Rookie Bruce Davis, the Steelersí third-round draft pick, will be sharing his thoughts in
a diary with assistant editor Teresa Varley.
Coach (Mike) Tomlin kept on me during practice the first few weeks, probably because
I wasnít here for all of the OTAs, but itís good. The pressure helps me a lot. Some people fold under pressure, but I thrive under it. It was good to have the head man after you a little bit. It keeps me accountable and makes me work extra hard.
Iím glad he does put some focus on me because it means he expects a lot out of me. They tell you when you first get here that your first year isnít a redshirt year, this isnít college.
So itís good to have him on me and have that pressure and all that. It forces you to elevate your game. Itís only going to make me better. Any chance I get to make myself better as a football player, Iím all for it.
Some of the times when he got on me were during drills with the linebackers and the offensive linemen. If I didnít get it right the first time, I would want to do it a second
time. The more mistakes I make, the more I grow and learn.
After practicing against each other for a few weeks it was great to have a game experience. I drove in myself from training camp to Heinz Field. I gave myself some extra time to find the way, because I hadnít been there before. I did get a little bit lost, but I
did end up finding the right way.
It was pretty crazy arriving at Heinz Field, and thatís when it hits you this is your first NFL game experience. You see all of the people in the parking lots tailgating, then going into the locker room and seeing my jersey hanging there is what I had been waiting for my whole life. I have been working towards this goal since I was 10 or 11, and to go into an NFL locker room and see you have a jersey to play for a team you watched your whole life, I was in awe.
I went out on the field a little bit early to warm up, my normal routine. I wanted to focus and get myself prepared, but walking out of the tunnel right before the game felt like the longest walk of my life. The hallway kept getting longer and longer because I was so ready to get out there. When I finally got out there and you see all of that black and gold and everybody is standing up and screaming, it was ... this is it. It was crazy.
For some reason I can always hear my mom at games, since college, and I heard her at Heinz Field over all of those screaming people. I still heard my momís voice.
My first couple of plays, I donít know how to explain it ... itís your lifeís work. Everything you have been working for hits you in one second. You look across the sideline and Iím watching guys like Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb. Just to be on the field with our guys and the veterans on the team, I have so much respect for those guys I have been working with in camp.
To be out there and have them behind you is a great feeling.
I still have some stuff I need to clean up. Itís mental stuff, not physical. I found I played very hard, and thatís one thing the vets tell me. My locker is right next to Larry Foote and James Farrior, and they tell me it doesnít matter if you make mistakes as long as you are going full speed. They tell me to go as hard as I can.
There is no doubt I was tired on a few occasions, but I took their advice and was going as hard as I could. But there are still things to clean up mentally, and that will come.
I was tired. Coach Tomlin saw me breathing hard during the game, and even though weíre in the middle of the field, heís yelling, ďHey, this isnít the time to get tired.Ē I
thought, this is just like practice; his eyeballs are still on me. Itís good to have him there and know he expects a lot from me. It helps me push it to the next level.
Having my family at the game was awesome. It was great, especially to see my mom. She is just as excited as I am. Thatís just the way she is. Before every college game she
would call me and give me encouragement. It was the same at this game. She was so excited and happy to be out there. They were close enough to where I could see them
from the field, so it was great.
They came in the morning of the game and stayed until the following night. They had an
extra room, so I went and stayed with them at the hotel, got to go out and eat with them and just spend some time together. Thatís what I normally would do back at school, and it was nice to keep that same routine going.
I had a king-sized bed. I was telling LaMarr Woodley we have that little college bed in
the dorm at camp, and Iím used to having a big bed. The first few nights I would roll over and I fell off the bed one time.
But this night, I rolled over and expected to fall off and was still on the bed. Yes! It was