Loud and proud; Steelers TE Ebron gleefully making noise
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Eric Ebron never stops talking. Ever. In the crowd. In the changing room. On the field. On social media.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Tight End's inner monologue will be streamed live for the whole world to hear. It's a non-stop barrage of one-liners and verbal microphone drops that appeal to everyone from head coach Mike Tomlin to opposing defenders.
So much for staying calm and trying to fit in with a veteran team. That is just not Ebron's way.
"I'll still be me," said Ebron on Friday. “Honestly, as me, you either like it or you hate it. And when Mike Tomlin and all the coaches got here, honestly they probably didn't understand what to expect from a player, but they all fell in love with him. "
Maybe because Ebron hardly ever speaks. The 27-year-old with his soft hands and oversized personality was set up as a free agent in the off-season to give Ben Roethlisberger another red zone target. On September 27, he celebrated his first touchdown in a win over Houston-yard Grab in the end zone in a game where he positioned himself wide and then overtook Texas defender AJ Moore, which is exactly why the Steelers put him on a two-year deal Have committed over $ 12 million.
Nonetheless, Ebron is very slightly reluctant - as friendly as possible - when asked if this is the role he envisioned when filling it out when he arrived.
"As much as you ask what my role is, my role is to come here and win, very clearly, period," said Ebron. "If I go far out (or not) ... shoot, I'll go into the backfield and take a handover. I have two quick touchdowns, you know? It just doesn't matter. I want to win."
He only did this intermittently at previous stops in Detroit and Indianapolis. He was in the playoffs three times. He has not yet made it out of the divisional round. He firmly believes that after their best start in a decade before visiting Philadelphia on Sunday (1-2-1), the Steelers (3-0) have what it takes to see well into January and beyond play.
To get there it takes more than just talking, action is being taken. Stressing that it is okay to do both, Ebron adds that it is unwise to mistake your boasting for a lack of work ethic.
"I think I'm one of the best there is because I'm always full of energy," said Ebron. "I always bring laughter. I always bring luck. But when I play football, when it comes to football, it is something completely different for me. Many people do not distinguish the two or do not separate them. They are two completely different lives. When I play soccer, or play soccer, it's soccer. When I'm outside of soccer, I am who I am. "
A person he didn't think was hidden until he found the land. From the first day of the training camp on, Ebron's voice echoed constantly over an empty Heinz field. Some days his target might be someone in high school. Some days it could be an offensive lineman. It wasn't uncommon for Tomlin to say "Ebron!" Screamed. while reheating to continue a kind of good-natured baking.
For an organization that sometimes seems buttoned down, players insist that there is room for a bit of flashlight.
"We are happy that the boys can express themselves," said linebacker T.J. Said Watt. "And Ebron does plays so he can do anything he wants to talk."
Center Maurkice Pouncey, who knows a thing or two about his opinion, believes the Steelers may have been lucky when Ebron went public after an argument with Indianapolis last season.
"I'm glad the other teams betrayed him and now we have a chance to show him around and we have a chance to get to know him and see all that he can bring to the football team," said Pouncey.
It's not just production either. Sure, Ebron has seen his number of goals grow in their first three games, from two in the opener against the New York Giants to five next week against Denver to nine against the Texans. But the attention he drew from Houston defenders also unleashed Vance McDonald, who caught an important 14-yard pass from Roethlisberger on the victorious touchdown run.
"We work together," said Ebron. "I only do a lot of the passing game. It's cool for him. It's cool for me. We're just using our skills to help the team win."
NOTES: FB Derek Watt (thigh) and S Marcus Allen (foot) face Philadelphia. T.J. Watt, who missed training on Thursday with a knee injury, said he felt "great" and expected to play.
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