You know what they say. “If you can’t be them, join them.”
Appearing on Wednesday the Varsity House podcast with presenter Shaun CrawfordSteelers teammates Minkah Fitzpatrick, Chase Claypool and Miles Boykin have joined Crawford to talk about many different topics ranging from what it’s like to have Mike Tomlin as head coach, to what it’s like to play at Heinz Field with the Terrible Swirling towels and the iconic song Renegade being blown up by loudspeakers in the fourth quarter of hard-fought matches.
As for WR Miles Boykin, who the Steelers acquired in this offseason offseason when the Ravens handed him his travel documents in April, he’s always been from the opposite sideline in a shirt that’s not black and gold. Boykin mentioned when he joined the Steelers that he initially thought the team would select him in 2019, but once he became a Raven, he quickly learned to hate the Steelers as their archrival. However, Boykin got to experience what it was like to be immersed in the Steelers culture as an opponent, as he pointed out when he arrived at Heinz Field as a visiting team, quickly learning the impact fans can have on the game when Renegade is cracked.
Steelers embrace the atmosphere of the game at Heinz Field: “There aren’t too many moments like those in the sport”
Shortly after Crawford was asked what role Boykin will need to play to impact the Steelers ahead of 2022, former Notre Dame teammate and current Steelers teammate Chase Claypool intervened when Boykin initially replied that he will have to make his mark on the special teams to make the roster.
“I’ll try to be right next to you and try to catch one,” Claypool interjected when Boykin said he’ll have to run down to the kickoffs to make a tackle.
The mention of Chase coming down at kickoff with Boykin sparked a memory for Boykin from 2020, when the two clashed in a special team battle.
“I remember having a Chase block, mate,” Boykin replied. “What was your first game? You play in Baltimore. I’m saying the first game you played against Baltimore. Was he in Baltimore? “
“Yes. I think it was, yes it was,” Claypool confirmed.
“So, Chase is doing a kick-off and I’m trying to block it,” Boykin said as the story begins. “But they kick, they did this stupid thing. The Steelers kicked the ball all over the pitch. So, I have to go chase him all over the field. So, I get there and get in line. Chase goes after me, push me behind. He hasn’t even come close to the contrast. “
Hard love from former Notre Dame teammates, huh?
While Claypool may have been in his inaugural NFL season with the Steelers, he knew it was best not to let previous college ties stand in the way of a Steelers-Ravens rivalry. The push behind Boykin may have been unnecessary, but Boykin was able to quickly learn that he would not receive sympathy from one of his friends while he was wearing the other team’s shirt.
“It’s always been fun, man. I love to compete against you. I also love competing against you, ”Boykin continues, recognizing both Claypool and Fitzpatrick as his former rivals. “Because you’re a hell of a player, man. Just the way they both, you know, command each other out there on the field. As if there are definitely players you respect. I don’t like playing against all of you, but you definitely respect many players and how they play ”.
¡TOUCHDOWN BALTIMORA CORVI!
– Endzoner (@endzoner) November 1, 2020
Boykin may still see Minkah Fitzpatrick in front of him in training during training camp this fall or he may again be confronted with Claypool on opposing special team units while the team is in Latrobe. However, Boykin has dealt with his encounters with both boys in the past and used it to develop a respect for both of them and the way they play. Luckily for Boykin, he no longer has to play against them, but now he will share their same sideline and wear their own uniforms, while also having the support of all of the Steelers Nation.
Hopefully, Miles Boykin can win the respect of his new teammates with his play on the pitch this fall, earning a spot on the roster and playing from the best part of the fierce division rivalry.