In an interview with Steelers reporter Missi Matthews, Steelers unrestricted free agent B.J. Finney talked about his upcoming free agency and the “next man up” mentality of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“We truly embodied Coach Tomlin’s ‘next man up’ mentality with the amount of injuries we had to go through and the amount of guys who saw playing time,” Finney explained. “We never quit and we fought to relevancy of getting into the playoffs. So I was extremely happy that we did that.”
Finney was then asked what kind of emotions he was going through when thinking about the 2020 season and if he could be in Pittsburgh or playing somewhere else.
Finney went on to explain that it isn’t bitter-sweet thinking about his time in Pittsburgh.
“Being a child hood fan of this franchise and then getting an opportunity to play for them, you can’t saw anything bitter about— it’s just sweet.”
When Missi Matthews asked Finney if he would like to stay in Pittsburgh, he did not hesitate with his response.
“Absolutely we’d love to stay,” he exclaimed. “My wife and I love it here. The amount of people we’ve got to meet, the city— we love the city— and the people in the organization, we just really love it.”
When asked about his embodiment of the “next man up” philosophy and his evolution in his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Finney had a simple answer.
“That’s my job.”
Finney went on to discuss how his former and current coaches as well as his teammates helped to teach him his importance to the team in his role to step in when needed.
“You’ve got to be ready at the drop of a hat. I don’t know anything else. That’s just been my job and to embody it just to make sure we don’t slow the unit down. That was my greatest pride point was making sure I wasn’t a hindrance. To be that person to make sure it doesn’t happen is huge for me.”
As much as both sides would like to keep Finney in Pittsburgh, it’s unclear if the Steelers can find enough money under the salary cap to offer him a fair deal. With the opportunity to take over a starting position due to the Steelers’ aging offensive line, Finney could very easily find himself with and increased role with the Steelers if the two sides can find an agreement. With his family’s support to stay with the Steelers, it would do both parties well to find a way to make it happen.
The entire released segment of Finney’s interview with Missi Matthews can be seen below.