When the 2017 NFL Draft came to a close, a slew of players were left wondering just what would happen to them the following season. The Steelers signed 9 players to undrafted free agent contracts after the draft, and two of them were TE Paul Butler and CB Aaron Terry from California University of Pennsylvania.
Thanks to BTSC reader, and pseudo contributor Kelly Anozie (Twitter handle @kanozie80), he reached out to both players to get a feel for what they can bring to the Steelers as undrafted rookies.
Tight End Paul Butler
When you found out that you were being signed by the Steelers, what were you feeling at that moment?
I was happy but I'm never complacent. I feel I have a lot to prove.
Scouts have the tendancy of overlooking many tangible and intangible qualities when selecting players to draft. Yourself being undrafted, I am sure that you believe you were overlooked. What attributes do you believe you possess, that will help you in becoming a successful Tight End with the Steelers?
I am a complete tight end the Steelers need. I can block in the trenches and I can extend the field always finding a way to make a catch. I've always played with a major chip on my shoulder which gives me an edge.
I found a video where you deadlifted 585 lbs, which is extremely impressive. How did you develop that type of strength and how do you believe you'll translate that on the field?
When I found out I had a chance to play college football I dedicated myself in the weight room. I graduated high school at 175lbs and within 2 years I was up to 250 and in putting on weight I got stronger. I've became more explosive and powerful through my workouts which allows me to be a better athlete on the field.
Which Steelers player do you look forward to working with and why?
I look forward to working with James Harrison the most. Hes constantly working to perfect his craft and always in the gym working very hard. I can relate to people more with similar work ethics as mine.
How do you believe Coach Gary Dunn has helped you prepare in taking this next step in the NFL?
Coach Dunn gave me an opportunity again after missing my entire junior year with an injury.
What are your expectations for Steelers training camp in August?
I believe I can earn a contract and make the final 53 man roster and eventually become the tight end the Steelers need.
Cornerback Aaron Terry
When you think of all the players that were drafted this year, do you think not being drafted give you an advantage?
I wouldn't necessarily say that it gives me an advantage but it for sure makes me want to go harder. Not that I wouldn't go hard if I was drafted but I feel as though not being drafted gives you little more tip on your shoulder.
How was your experience playing under coach Gary Dunn and what life lessons did you take from playing for him?
My experience was a very good experience there is nothing that I would say that I didn't like. Main thing that we focused on was making sure that we were doing things right that's all it was about. Along with that just making sure that we are being the best man that we can be and just do things the right way at all times.
What excites you the most being part of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization?
The thing that excites me is the simple fact that I have the opportunity to be able to continue to play football at the professional level. Not only that the Steelers are my favorite so it is amazing that I am able to be apart of this organization.
Perhaps this question was asked when you signed up with the Steelers but I'll ask it to you. Do you believe you can take on Antonio Brown 1 on 1?
Yes I do believe that I can take him on. I have no doubt in my abilities, he is a very great receiver and actually one of my favorite players. So I am happy that I get to compete against him and make each other better.
This team came one game away from making it to the Superbowl. In your professional opinion, in what ways can your skills an attributes help this team make it to Superbowl 52?
I think that I am a very versatile player, I am able to play the cornerback position and safety. You can put me at any defensive back position and I will excel. I think that this gives coaches the chance to do more things with me in their systems.
I think that my field smarts and my passion for the game can really help the team. I have very good football I.Q and just really understand the game that helps me play better. At the end of the day you have to love the game and just enjoy the process, make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Huge thanks to Kelly for getting, and sharing, the interviews to BTSC!