The Pittsburgh Steelesr are looking to get younger on the defensive side of the ball, so it came as no surprise when they drafted linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first-round and safety Shamarko Thomas in the fourth. Both players are expected to play significant roles for the team in the near future and that process could be sped up thanks to the mentoring of the team’s veterans.
For Steelers safety Ryan Clark, he is putting the fact that Thomas is likely to be his long-term replacement with the team. Clark is hoping for an extension following the season, but if Thomas impresses the coaching staff enough they may feel that Clark isn’t worth the money.
Clark is still stepping up with fellow safety Troy Polamalu to mentor Thomas, so it goes to show that the Steelers veteran leadership is in place and it should have a positive impact on the team’s new rookie class.
“It all started the same day I got drafted,” Thomas said, via Mark Kaboly of thePittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Troy and Ryan called me and left a message and told me they were going to teach me everything they’ve learned. I came in here ready to learn. They’ve made me comfortable.”
It’s great to see the team’s vets stepping up to take on a positive role.
Having players like Clark and Polamalu assist in the growing process and teaching Thomas the ropes of the NFL could be exactly what the young man needs to jump start his career.