Vincent ready to ball

Right guard Kendall Simmons underwent successful surgery Wednesday to remove a loose particle from his left elbow. The injury was discovered during an MRI on his shoulder, which Simmons injured lifting weights. Simmons will consider surgery on the shoulder after the season but will resume lifting weights in four weeks, according to the Steelers. Simmons is expected to be ready for the start of training camp on July 25. His replacement is Keydrick Vincent, who stopped by for a chat.

KEYDRICK VINCENT June 11, 2003

Reporter: I hear you're running first team.
Keydrick Vincent: Yeah, they put me in there, man.

R: How's it feel?
KV: Man, it's alright. It's fresh. I've done it before so it's no shocker.

R: Are they confident you could handle the job if Kendall doesn't come back?
KV: Oh, I hope so. I wouldn't be here if they didn't, right?

R: Give me a self-assessment as you prepare for your third season.
KV: It's football, man. Shoot, I get paid, too. It's just football; just play; have fun.

R: Why didn't you get upset last year when you didn't get a shot at the right guard job?
KV: This is the organization and they have their plans and I really can't do anything about it. It really wouldn't matter what I thought because they're going to make their own decisions anyway. So why be upset or get angry?

R: Were you upset?
KV: Hey, I didn't get drafted, so anything can happen. That's the nature of the beast I guess. I mean, I can't get upset as long as I make the team and we're winning. That's the decision they made and I can't do anything about it.

R: As rookies, the undrafted guys say they only need the roster invitation, that they can show their stuff. But that undrafted tag sometimes follows a guy. Has that tag maybe hurt you?
KV: Like I said, I don't know how they run their business. I can't answer that.

R: Is right guard your best position?
KV: I don't know because I play both of them. In college I played all right guard. Wherever they tell me to go, I'll make myself comfortable.

R: What part of your game do you need work on?
KV: There are a lot of things I need to work on, like my feet, my conditioning, everything, learning my plays.

R: Shoot, it doesn't sound like you deserve a chance at all.
KV: (Laughs) No, I'm just hard on myself. I like to be perfect in everything I do, so those are some little things I will work on and will improve by the time I get back there.

R: Are you looking at this year as any kind of financial opportunity because of your contract status (free agent next March)?
KV: I don't even look at it financially, man. As long as I have a job, we're winning ball games, I mean, if I play I play but when it's my time to play I'll be ready to play, so financially I'm not looking at it. It would be nice, but you never know, so you can't dwell upon that. I've just got to get better.

R: The key is to just keep 'balling, right?
KV: Just keep 'ballin'. That's all I have to do.

Jim Wexell
SteelCitySports.com

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