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The Pittsburgh Steelers rookies give back in a big way

The Pittsburgh Steelers rookies have already started to make an impact in the community.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There are few players who have donned the black and gold who stand out in a crowd more than Mel Blount. Whether it’s his overall stature, or the cowboy hat, Blount has always made an impact wherever he goes.

Everyone knows about Blount’s impact on the field when he played for the Steelers, but off the field he has tried to make an ever larger impact on the community. Blount created the Mel Blount Youth Home in Claysville, Pa., and a special program through the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative.

The program is run for area youth that provides an environment which fosters the desire to learn, work, play and to develop principles of respect, responsibility, and leadership through nurturing, moral & character development and guidance.

“This is one of the bright spots of our program,” Blount said at this year’s event. An event which dates back to 2004. “When these Steelers players come, it’s special. These kids that come for the program love and admire these athletes.

“I think it does two things. It helps the kids. They love these guys. They watch them on television, cheer for them, are big Steelers fans. When the players come out and sit and talk with these kids, and then see them on television and what they do in season, it’s special to them.”

For one Steelers rookie, this trip to Claysville wasn’t his first, and it certainly meant a lot in his return. That would be none other than the team’s top pick, Kenny Pickett. Pickett, who was drafted 20th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, had an appearance for the program during his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh.

“It meant a lot,” said Kenny Pickett. “I came out here my freshman year at Pitt. To come out here as a rookie, came full circle. It was awesome to be out here with the guys and play some football, tell some stories.

“I think it’s awesome Mel stays involved with the organization and the guys give back. The whole rookie class was great today. Huge shoutout to the kids that came out. We had a blast with them. A lot of laughs. Went through a lot of drills, had some fun at the end. Had a good lunch conversation with the kids. It was a great day overall.”

The NFL player is often recognized for all they don’t do, or what they do wrong. Missing an assignment on a play, not delivering in the clutch or having anything go on off the field. I think it is important to also cite what these players do which is good, especially in the community.

The Steelers are incredibly active in the Pittsburgh area, and that isn’t including individual players’ initiatives like Cam Heyward’s “Heyward House”, which is something entirely separate from the Steelers organization. Often times the rookie class working with the youth at Blount’s youth home is just the beginning of their work in the community.

Throughout the offseason, and even in-season, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC not just for the X’s and O’s of the 2022 Steelers, but also to highlight the good the players and organization do in the community.