View Full Version : Steelers' Fox finding confidence

09-02-2008, 12:29 AM
Steelers' Fox finding confidence
By John Harris
Monday, September 1, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 85864.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_585864.html)

Linebacker Keyaron Fox, who officially became a member of the Steelers when the final cuts were announced Saturday, held no illusions about what he was getting himself into when he signed with Pittsburgh in March.

Fox, who spent four years as a Kansas City Chiefs backup, was far from a lock to make the Steelers' 53-man roster. He also had to switch from playing in a 4-3 defense to a 3-4.

Acquired primarily because of his special-teams skills, Fox needed to also prove himself capable of calling defensive signals as the "buck" linebacker behind starter James Farrior.

With the Steelers opening the regular season Sunday against Houston Texans, Fox said he's finally settling in with his new team.

"My confidence level is up," said Fox, 26, a native of Atlanta who made 35 starts during his college career at Georgia Tech. "That helps a lot."

So does snaring an interception in the Steelers' final preseason game against Carolina last Thursday.

"Long overdue," Fox said. "I've been needing a play like that, just so I could take the ball home to my momma. Even though it's preseason, I'm keeping that ball. It gave me a boost of confidence going into the season."

Fox spoke frequently throughout the interview about his confidence level, which has never been higher.

His interception, for instance, was a direct result of knowing where he was supposed to be, not to mention where the quarterback was expected to deliver the ball.

"The quarterback was staring the guy down," Fox said. "I came from the back side. He never saw me coming."

There were times when a confused Fox wondered if he made the right call signing with the Steelers.

He understood that mastering a new defense presented a unique set of challenges. The early months were the hardest.

"They told me they were going to throw a lot at me," said Fox, who did play some 3-4 with the Chiefs in 2006. "I was having trouble picking it up. As time progressed, it started getting easier and easier.

"I was used to sitting back waiting for somebody else to make calls. Now, the calls are coming a little bit quicker."

Lately, Fox has looked back fondly on his initial meeting with coach Mike Tomlin that convinced him the Steelers would be a good fit for a young linebacker hoping to make a name for himself with a winning team.

"When I came in and talked to coach Tomlin, he said he still wanted me to concentrate on special teams," Fox said. "I also told him my goal was to play on defense. He liked that passion and desire, and we kind of just clicked."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

09-02-2008, 03:22 PM
Glad we have him, so far!