Rookie Bruce Davis, the Steelersí third-round draft pick, will be sharing his thoughts in a diary with assistant editor Teresa Varley. In his first installment, Davis talks about getting settled at camp, Steelers fans and putting in extra time after missing OTAs because of classes at UCLA.
I arrived in Pittsburgh a day early and took some time to drive around the city and get to know where things are. I also looked around for a place to live when we get out of camp. Pittsburgh is a great city. I was so used to living in Los Angeles, and the people in Pittsburgh are so nice and really helpful.
The setting here at camp is great, good for focusing on football. I brought all of my clothes with me to camp because I had to move out of my apartment. I didnít bring much
else, though. When I got here I took one look at the bed and said I have to go to K-Mart. I got the little egg crate for my bed, toiletries, some snacks. Just what I need to get through things.
The first thing we had to do was the conditioning test, and it was definitely easy for me. I didnít know what it was going to be, so I had told my trainers to put it on me. I came out and breezed through it.
The first practice was tough for a little bit, but once you get into the flow it comes to you. I study as much as I can so Iím up to speed with what we have going on. If you know what to do, where to line up and your assignment, it gives you the ability to play fast. To this point I think Iíve done a good job of knowing my assignment, but every once in a while I slip up and Coach (Keith) Butler will get on me a little bit. I also have James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley and all those guys there to help.
We had backs-on-backers in the afternoon. That was a little new to me. I won a couple, lost a couple. It doesnít matter if you lose; itís how you come back the next time. Every
time I lose I learn something about myself and what I need to do to win these one-on-one matchups. Rushing from standing up is still a little new to me. Every day I feel myself
Iím putting as much time into my playbook and extra time on the field as I can. When I wasnít able to be at OTAs I studied the playbook as much as I could. I use the free time
that I do have here to study my playbook. The one day I took a nap between practices, I woke up a little sore. So now instead of taking a nap I try to go into the meeting room and sit down and do a little studying so I know what is going on.
LaMarr Woodley is my roommate, and at night when Iím on the phone with my girlfriend
heíll tell me to get off the phone and get in the playbook. He stays on me every day.
Every night after we get out of meetings I go up to the room, get in bed and open my playbook. He quizzes me every night on all the plays that we have gone over so far. One night I got an A-minus. He told me weíre doing this every day, so just get ready.
Itís really helpful. He and I played the same position in college and then came to the Steelers and switched to linebacker. Just having him there to help me and let me know what Iím going to need to know, the little stuff, being on me about staying in the playbook, is what I need as a rookie.
I havenít played linebacker in three years, and Iím a bit behind the eight ball because I missed OTAs. There is extra work I have to do on special teams, and Iím on every one
of them. I just want to get my fundamentals straight when it comes to team period. When it starts moving really fast, I want to know what Iím doing.
I have been working with Kevin Greene, and there is such a wealth of knowledge there. He was one of the best outside linebackers ever, in my opinion, and Iím fortunate to have him here. There is so much we can learn from him. We watched a little bit of his tape. I have been picking his brain a little bit. He has some great stuff for us. He helped us a lot.
A lot of people talk about the heat. Iím from Texas, and this is hot, but this is not Texas hot. But donít get me wrong, itís hot, and you have to take care of your body. You learn from watching the vets, to stay hydrated, to get in the cold tub after practice. Itís going to be a long season, so you have to take care of your body.
The vets are really good with us, but as rookies there are things you have to do. I carry James Harrisonís helmet and shoulder pads every day until this time next year. You gotta
suck it up and do it. I know somebody is going to do it for me in a couple of years.
We also have to sing, and my turn came in the defensive meeting. I sang ďAinít No Sunshine.Ē I figured since everybody else in the room was singing along that I was doing a good job. I knew the words and the song is only two minutes, so my time up there was short. But I got the job done.