Reporting Jory Rand
LATROBE (KDKA) — Just two days before the Steelers were set to face the Denver Broncos in the post-season, smoke and flames billowed from running backs coach Kirby Wilson’s home in Seven Fields.
Wilson got out alive, but spent weeks in the hospital suffering from burns on half his body.
Seven months later as the Steelers hold their first practice at training camp, Kirby Wilson was back.
“I’m back out there, I’m jogging, I’m doing all the things I used to do and it’s fun to be back,” he said. “I tell you, it’s truly a blessing.”
Wilson attended OTAs and mini-camp this spring, but he was relegated to a golf cart to stay out of the sun.
“I burn easily, so I’ve got to use a lot of sunblock and I got to take some shade breaks,” he explained.
But today, what Steelers players saw brought a smile to their face.
“You don’t know how much it means to us,” QB Ben Roethlisberger said. “It’s a neat thing, but for us players that know Kirby, have relationship with him, it truly is special.”
“My players – first guy I saw when I got back was Isaac Redman and he was like, ‘I knew you couldn’t stay away!’” Wilson said.
“OTAs he wasn’t getting around too good and come back here a month later and he’s jogging and running and getting his weight back is amazing,” Redman said.
“No doubt ever came in my mind that I would not be here,” Wilson continued. “It was just what condition would I be in when I got here, so my goal is to leave camp in the same condition that I came here and that is upright.”