Jay Riemersma Visits The Pittsburgh Steelers

Jay Riemersma (pronounced REE-merz-ma) visited the Steelers on Wednesday. Following is a transcript of his meeting with reporters:

Media: Is this your second visit?

JR: Yes.

M: Did you meet with Tampa?

JR: Yes.

M: Do you have any other visits scheduled?

JR: Not right now. We're still talking to a few teams but nothing's solidified yet.

M: How serious are the Steelers?

JR: Obviously Pittsburgh has approached me with a need and I'm just excited to be here and be a part of (it). Hopefully something comes down the line. Right now we're both interested and we're just kind of talking it over.

M: Did anything come of the Tampa visit?

JR: No, nothing really yet, just kind of the same thing, just kind of checking each other out, going through the physical, getting those preliminary things out of the way. Just from my perspective I wanted to go to places that had a need and are winning programs, and obviously you guys know a lot about winning around here.

M: Why do you say they have a need here?

JR: I didn't say need. I think there's a need just because they contacted me.

M: You do things they don't normally do here, catch passes.

JR: Yeah, that's kind of been my mainstay for awhile. I kind of made a reputation for being a pass-catcher but I'm fairly comfortable in whatever offense we try to run and wherever I may be placed, whether that be blocking defensive ends or running out and catching passes against safeties.

M: Did they indicate they'd like to involve the tight end more in their passing game?

JR: We haven't really talked a whole lot. I just got in a little while ago and just went through the physical process. I haven't even talked to Coach (Bill) Cowher yet but it's what I can bring to the table so hopefully it'll happen.

M: Will you remind him about the trick play on which you caught an 8-yard touchdown pass against him in 1999?

JR: Yeah. You know, last year we didn't use many of those plays for the tight end. Again, this is just something to get to see the coaches, get to know each other.

M: There's a coordinator here who likes those kinds of plays.

JR: Certainly we see that from a distance. Seeing the Pittsburgh offense, the evolution of it and what they're trying to do, it's pretty neat. You can tell the guys are out there having fun. I think I'd fit into it. I think the most appealing factor for me is the winning tradition of the organization and the strength and character of the coaching staff and management. Those are real high priorities for me. Certainly the tradition here has been incredible.

M: You were productive until a few years ago. Then Kevin Gilbride's offense emphasized the outside guys, right?

JR: Exactly. It's hard to argue with the success we had. We were moving the ball early in the season, not so much later in the season. We kind of plateaued, but we did a lot of good things.

M: Any chance you'll go back there even though they signed the kid from Cleveland (Mark Campbell)?

JR: I don't think so. No.

M: A little thawing out up there to do?

JR: Let's just say me and the old boss that was around here didn't get along too well.

M: Do you expect them to make you an offer here?

JR: I really don't know. It's kind of early in the process. Again, I'm just excited to be out here and the opportunity to visit with the staff, the coaches and everybody I've been in contact with has been great. The team is great. The tradition is great and I'd love to be a part of it.

M: Was Buffalo looking for a different type of tight end or was the salary a problem?

JR: Both of those things are probably correct. The tight end they're looking for doesn't really go with the kind of talent I bring to the tight end position. And also I think it was a salary-cap situation, too.


Born: 5-17-73 Evansville, Indiana.
Position: Tight end
Size: 6-5, 252
College: Michigan
Years in NFL: 8 (all with Buffalo Bills)
How entered NFL: D-7b, 1996
Career statistics: 90 games, 64 starts, 204 receptions, 2,304 yards, 11.3 average, 38 long, 20 touchdowns.
Last season: 16 games, 15 starts, 32 receptions, 350 yards, 10.9 average, 29 long, 0 touchdowns.

Jim Wexell

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