Two members of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense received late Christmas gifts on Wednesday when they were honored by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association as the recipients of their annual awards for 2018.
Terrell Edmunds won the Joe Greene Performance Award, an honor given to the Steelers top rookie each season, while Joe Haden was presented with The Chief Award, an annual honor given to the member of the team who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperative with the media that Art Rooney Sr. was so well-known for.
When speaking to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com on Wednesday, Edmunds was clearly appreciative of an award named after such an iconic member of the organization.
“It’s a blessing and honor to receive an award named after a legend like Joe Greene. That is amazing me to me. I want to thank Mr. (Art) Rooney, Mr. (Kevin) Colbert, and Coach Tomlin for giving me the opportunity.”
“When I first came in here I just wanted to put everything out there and show Coach and Mr. Colbert why they drafted me. I wanted to make the plays that came to me. My mind was always to go out there and play, whether it’s on special teams, defensive side of the ball. Just go out there, 100 percent in everything I did.
“I learned a lot this year. A lot of ups and downs throughout the season. I grew more as I got snaps under my belt. I got more involved on the field. I have made more plays, and now is the time to make more plays. I have to keep on developing.”
Haden was equally pleased to be recognized for his efforts and to win an award named after arguably the most important Steeler of all-time.
“Win, lose or draw, my dad always told me never get too high when you are doing good, never get too low when you get down. Always stay even-keeled as possible so you can always be who you are and just stay humble.”
“It means a lot to me getting this named after Art Rooney Sr. I can only imagine how good of a guy he was. To be able to talk to people, be engaged and stay even-keeled is something I try to do. I was raised by my mom and dad well. It’s just treat people the way you want to be treated.”
Edmunds is the first Pittsburgh draft selection taken on Day 1 to win PFWA Rookie of the Year honors since Bud Dupree won the award in 2015. JuJu Smith-Schuster won the award in 2017, while David DeCastro was the recipient of The Chief Award last season.