When Rodney Bailey started his NFL career with the Steelers in 2001, he had long hair and a twinkle in his eyes. But he left after the 2003 season, fought through two injury plagued seasons with two teams, and is back, minus the hair and twinkle. Bailey's now a hungry 27-year-old looking for a job.
Rodney Bailey, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers (5-30-2006)
Q: Hows the comeback bid coming?
RB: Well I feel great. Its just good to be here at minicamp and coaching sessions right now to get a chance to go over the defense and keep working at it.
Q: You know the defense and some important people from your last tour with the Steelers, do you still find yourself scratching and clawing to make a roster spot?
RB: Ive learned to take it one day at a time, work on everything you have to work on for that day, whether its hands, feet, run defense or nickel and dime packages. You just take it one step at a time and keep working.
Q: How did you feel playing in other defenses the last few years?
RB: Its a very unique defense here. Its coached very well and the most important thing is to just take time to understand where you are as a group. There are a lot of new faces around here. Im a new face. You just work accordingly. Its always great to work with new guys.
Q: Did you play against the Steelers while you were with Seattle and New England?
RB: When I was with New England I was injured. When I was with Seattle for the Super Bowl I was inactive. Ive never played against the Steelers. When youre not playing, youre not involved with anything thats going on.
Q: Didnt you have a serious injury in New England?
RB: Yes. I tore my left Achilles in 2004. I was pass rushing and it just went. It was an unfortunate situation but rehab was great and Im feeling great.
Q: Did you lose a step?
RB: I dont know. Time will tell. Give me a chance to get the pads on, get in some games and well see.
Q: Someone told me youre playing very well this spring and will help this team. Do you feel comfortable and do you feel youve come full circle and are back home where you belong?
RB: I definitely feel Im where I belong. It was an unfortunate situation. I never wanted to leave here in the first place. Im just looking forward and Im very, very excited about this upcoming camp this year.
Q: When you first came back who welcomed you first?
RB: Brett Keisel and Lee Mays were the first guys I saw when I came over in March. It was great to see them. This is a very, very familiar area. I love this area. I just have to make the most of it.
Q: Its not like going off to Seattle where you didnt know anyone, is it?
RB: If you do, in the NFL, play for other organizations, everywheres different. Its just that Im definitely very appreciative of the opportunity thats been afforded to me.
|Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by defensive end Rodney Bailey #95 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of the 49ers' game against the Seahawks on December 11, 2005 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)|
Jim Wexell reports for SteelCityInsider.com the Pittsburgh Steelers affiliate on the Scout.com network.
NOTE: Bailey was acquired by the Patriots when they signed the Pittsburgh restricted free to an offer sheet that the Steelers declined to match in 2004. He spent the entire 2004 season on injured reserve due to his leg injury. The former Ohio State DL then returned for the Patriots' 2005 training camp to compete for a roster spot with Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright and others. Bailey was released just prior to the beginning of the season and was subsequently signed by the Seattle Seahawks for the 2005 season. In Seattle he became a part-time contributor managing 12 tackles and one forced fumble. Bailey became an unrestricted free agent after the 2005 season, signing with the Steelers in March of 2006.