LATROBE (KDKA) — The rain may have put a damper on the first day of Steelers Training Camp, but it didn’t keep the fans away or the players from working hard.
However, because of the heavy rain, practice kicked off an hour later than usual because it had to be moved to Latrobe High School.
Wet but determined to see their favorite team back in action, the fans that started arriving at Saint Vincent College early – some at 5 a.m. – headed over to the nearby high school stadium.
“A tornado couldn’t keep us away,” said Dara Turner, a Steelers fan. “We love the Steelers. We will come out her no matter what.”
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti has more with fans —
As usual, fans were hoping to get autographs, and many were looking forward to seeing fan favorite and rookie running back James Conner, the star of the Pitt football team.
The Steelers’ third-round pick beat cancer last year and is now ready to take on the NFL. Before he hit the field for the first practice of Training Camp, he spoke to reporters.
“It’s surreal finally being in an NFL training camp, and I made this team, and just do my best, and soak it all in, work hard and just try to be successful in every aspect,” Conner said.
Conner knows what it’s like to win. He’s been doing it his whole life and he doesn’t plan to stop now.
“Believe in yourself, believe in myself. I’ve been overcoming odds my whole life, ever since high school, so it’s the next step,” he said. “I still know how to play football, the game speed’s faster, people get better, but I got better, so I know I can play.”
Focused on learning the Steelers’ playbook, Conner knows it will be a big opportunity to open some eyes, especially while Le’Veon Bell isn’t at camp.
“I guess another opportunity to learn the playbook,” Conner said.
Even though Conner is a rookie and still hasn’t really made the team yet, his jersey is the top-seller in the NFL. He noticed it, but said he quickly turned the page.
“It’s a lot of support, a lot of love from everybody. It feels good, but I haven’t even taken a snap yet. So, I got a lot to prove, but the jerseys are nice,” he said.
For his first day of practice, Conner did a lot of special teams’ work and was third in the running back rotation behind Fitzgerald Toussaint and Knile Davis.
So, yes, Conner has something to prove, but the good thing is, he knows it.