Matt Spaeth: 'There's a sense of determination here'

Marc Serota

Former Steelers third round draft pick Matt Spaeth returns to Pittsburgh, and, judging by the lack of selection of a tight end in this year's draft, has the faith of the coaching staff.

It's been two years since tight end Matt Spaeth, a third round pick of the Steelers in 2007, set foot in the Steelers locker room.

A lot has changed since then, through his own admittance. In an interview done by Teresa Varley of the Steelers team web site, he mentions the team is a lot different than when he was last in Pittsburgh, but it "has a sense of determination" he's noticed since the start of the offseason workout program April 15.

"I love it," he told Varley. "This team is so young. It's a different team than when I was here before. It's important for me to be around these guys and show them I am here to work. I am here to put my hand in the pile and help others any way I can."

Spaeth could end up being the team's starter at tight end, as Heath Miller continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered in Week 16. The Steelers did not draft a tight end, as some thought they would. Spaeth signed a two-year deal in March to return to the Steelers after a two-year stint with the Bears.

He hasn't been much of a receiving threat in his six seasons in the NFL, but notched back-to-back career highs with six receptions against Indianapolis and San Diego in Weeks 9 and 10 of the 2008 season.

Learning now under a new offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, Spaeth will need to be a quick study if he's going to hold up the level of play the Steelers got from their tight end position - or just from Miller - in 2013.


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