PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – As the Steelers report for COVID-19 testing at their temporary training camp, one of their rookies believes a NFL season will happen.
“It’s not going to be a normal season,” said third round pick Alex Highsmith. “Already teams have come out to say no fans at their stadiums. It’s definitely going to be a different season, but I think we are going to do whatever we can to have a season.”
Highsmith spent part of last week working out with Steelers defensive captain Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Dan McCullers, Tyson Alualu and defensive line training coach Brandon Jordan.
The linebacker from Wilmington, NC said it’s been an awesome experience and he’s starting to get to know the team and coaches and is confident in his abilities. He also believes they will be smart with coronavirus.
“We are going to do whatever it takes to take the proper precautions-social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands,” Highsmith said. “Making sure we stay safe. We know if someone ends up getting it, we will be good.”
“Not only are we keeping ourselves safe, but everyone going back to their families, we are thinking about them as well.”
For many college rookies, it’s the first time they’ve had a significant amount of money. Which could lead to activities that would be considered high risk by health experts.
“Right now football is the most important thing,” Highsmith said. “I’m not going to jeopardize this opportunity by going out and putting myself and others at risk. Putting others before myself is the mindset I’m having.”
The 22 year-old said his mentality is one he learned from his college coach, be a low maintenance guy. Highsmith describes that as someone who shows up early, always does the right things, never misses anything. Just keeps his head down, works hard and takes care of the ‘no-talent things’ like hustle.
“I don’t get rattled by adversity,” Highsmith said. “Whatever I can do to be the best I can be no matter what the adversity. I’m going to do it.”
There were no rookie camps, no mini-camps, no organized team activities and will be no preseason games. Yet, Highsmith believes he can make an impact this year.
“I’m itching for it,” Highsmith said. “The moment I got drafted I’ve been wanting to get up here. It’s awesome. I can’t wait to get out there and put on pads and get out there with the guys.”