Note: Recently, LLT was granted the opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Curtis Brown, the Steelers' 2011 3rd round draft pick! The following is a transcript of their interview. Steelers Universe would like to extend our gratitude to Curtis for taking the time to sit down with us, Ashley Kerns, Marketing Director for Allegiant Athletic Agency and Elizabeth Hughes, also of Allegiant, for coordinating our interview with Curtis!© 2011 Steelers Universe
SU: This is Perry Biggerstaff with SteelersUniverse.com and we want to welcome Steelers third round pick Curtis Brown. How are you doing today, Curtis?
CB: Pretty good, and yourself?
SU: I'm doing good. We want to thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us. You know we all thought that we might be looking at you as a possible second round pick this year and I tell you, I know that I speak on behalf of everybody in the entire Steeler Nation when I say that we were really excited to see you still there at the end of the third.
CB: I feel the same exact way, man. It couldn't have worked out any better. I'm pleased with the results.
SU: Well, you know, just looking at some of your tape, you have great speed, great ball skills, but the thing that I find most impressive about you is your agility. You start and stop as well as any cornerback that I have seen in years. Do you think that is your best attribute?
CB: I really do. My coaches said that they have never seen a more agile person. They said that I was the quickest thing they have ever seen. I take pride in it, so I say it's something that I'm pretty good at.
SU: Your shuttle speed at the combine was just phenomenal. I mean it was elite shuttle speed. I was really impressed with that. There seems to be some scouts who do question your functional strength, though. Is that something that you have heard before and how do you answer those critics?
CB: Well, I have heard it before, but one thing that I know that I do is that I am aggressive. I know that if I get into this Steelers program and have all the weight and strength that I need, I'll come up and challenge. That's not a problem for me.
SU: You know that's what I told someone too. I said this is a guy who is probably going to put his sleeping bag in the weight room if that's what it takes.
SU: Go through that moment that you were drafted by the Steelers. Where were you at and what were the emotions?
CB: I was back home, chilling in the yard. We had a big get together and we had about 10 pounds of crawfish, étouffée, and all kinds of things barbecued. It was getting real late and I was getting nervous and weary but when I seen that 412 area code pop up on my phone it was just a feeling of....I cant even explain it, I really couldn't.
SU: Well, who was on the other end?
CB: I don’t even really remember. I talked to everybody on the staff.
SU: You received high praise from Coach Lake. What are your thoughts about being groomed in not only Dick Lebeau’s system, but being under the tutelage of a Steelers icon like Coach Lake?
CB: Just being under all of them, I mean, this is the best opportunity for me. I mean, if I want to be a great player in the future this had to happen, something like this. For me to be in this program with these Hall of Famers, to just work and learn from them, I’m just thankful and grateful for them finally finding me and them considering taking me. I'm just happy, I'm just blessed.
SU: I take it you got to tour the facilities when you had your visit there. What were your thoughts when you visited the Steelers and when you stood in front of those six championship trophies?
CB: Well, one thing that I stood in front of was the team photos. I mean I couldn't stop looking at all the teams, every team, and the trophies showed they were so successful, and I just wanted to be a part of that. To be a part of a team that brings home another trophy here in the future.
SU: You know, I talked to Baron Batch a couple of days ago and we talked about the friendly rivalry that the front office seemed to be instigating between the two of you. So, you tell me....right now, who is going to win? You or Baron?
CB: Oh, man. I talk on the field. (laughing) That's how I’ve always been and that's how I am going to continue to be.
SU: Looking back at some of your games last year, I noticed that teams sometimes failed to test your side of the field. Do you feel like that kind of affected your stats a little bit and maybe even your draft grade?
CB: Well, I know that the first five or six games I did not get one ball thrown to my side, so that was kind of frustrating. I didn't have a chance to show that I can make plays on the ball but I feel like all the coaches, they graded me feeling pretty good and they saw what they wanted. The Steelers saw what they wanted me to be and picked me up in the third round so I guess that is what I deserved and I'd like to go out and show them that I can play just like a first round pick. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter at what pick you go it's just how you perform when you get there.
SU: You're exactly right, and the truth of the matter is that people not throwing to your side of the field, that's respect. They're showing you respect by not doing that. Tell me, what role do you foresee for yourself the first year, are you willing to play Special Teams?
CB: Anything. Anything to get on the field. Just like when I went to college, anything to get on the field, that's what I'm going to do. Special Teams, anything.
SU: Have any of the Steelers' cornerbacks reached out to you at this point?
CB: No, I haven't heard from them. I have talked to Cortez though.
SU: I talked to Cortez also, he is a remarkable young man. I tell you, this draft class just seems remarkable, from all aspects. From a talent aspect, from the character aspect, from the work ethic, I've just been very impressed with virtually every one of the picks.
CB: I feel the same exact way.
SU: You know a lot of the fans are placing their hopes on your shoulders. They're hoping that you are going to be able to strengthen what they perceive as one of the weakest parts of our defense. How do you respond to that type of expectation?
CB: Just show what I can do. I feel like that I am a good performer and that I can contribute to this team and that's what I plan on doing as soon as I get called up.
SU: Is there a player that you pattern your game after?
CB: No. I mean, I just go out there and lock up. That's my game.
SU: What aspect of your game to you feel like you need to work on?
CB: Well, just growing in this game....period. In all techniques, I mean you can learn every day so I plan on getting under Ike Taylor and all of them and just learning.
SU: That's a great attitude to have. At this point in your life, who has been your biggest influence? Who has helped you the most to get where you are at right now, Curtis?
CB: My grandmother.
SU: Is she the one that raised you?
CB: Yeah, from six weeks on. I mean, she did everything she could to counsel me in her life and she was always there for me. Just me and her.
SU: So I take it I know where that first football is going when you get your first pick-six.
SU: Well, Curtis, I tell you, it's been a privilege to talk to you. We are looking forward to seeing you on the field this year and good luck. Tell the Steeler Nation where they should go for all their Steelers needs.
SU: Thank you, Curtis, it's been a pleasure.
CB: Thank you.