SteelCity Q&A: Alameda Ta'amu

Alameda Ta'amu is clearly not the eager-to-please party boy of his rookie season anymore. Here's the interview:

ALAMEDA TA'AMU, NT, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: In light of all that's occurred this past year, how would you describe this spring?

A: This spring helped me out a lot. I really got to stay here and spend time with the team. I just have one goal in mind and that's making this team and trying to help them out.

Q: I assume you've made changes in your lifestyle.

A: Yes.

Q: Could you talk about that?

A: Well, I don't drink no more. I've been doing everything possible to keep myself away from that and stay positive and be with the team.

Q: Was it hard to quit drinking?

A: When something happens that bad and that big where you embarrass your family, you pick your family over something as small as drinking. I just don't want that to happen to me again. I don't want to do anything that will put my career in danger or is embarrassing my family again.

Q: How has it helped you?

A: I'm here. I'm here every day.

Q: You were here every day last year.

A: Yeah, but I'm here (points to his head). I'm here. I pay more attention now. I'm with the guys and we all have one goal, rather than always looking forward to what's going on after practice.

Q: Similarly, it takes time for the light to go on with the understanding of this defense. Has the light gone on yet?

A: Yeah. It went on for me.

Q: Do you understand it?

A: Yes. I got it while I was working out there during OTAs. I learned the techniques that go along with this defense.

Q: What does it mean to you that they have Al Woods working as the second-team nose tackle ahead of you?

A: Whatever coach thinks is best for the team. All I can do is what the coach wants me to do. All I can do is keep working hard.

Q: Did you get any work with the second team?

A: Yeah, I got work. We rotated a lot. Just the fact Al's a two right now, I'm happy for him.

Q: Are you feeling OK about going into your second training camp?

A: I'm way more prepared than I was last year. I know what I have to face and I'll be coming in way better shape than I was last year.

Q: In what way?

A: Just knowing what I need to do.

Q: Are you the same weight?

A: I lost about 15 since last year. I'm at 357 and I want to be 345 by camp.

Q: What is your plan to do that?

A: I'm going to stay here with the team and not go home. I'm going to stay here and just continue to work out with Cameron (Heyward) and Ziggy (Hood).

Q: Did you have a reaction when Mike Adams was stabbed on the South Side?

A: A lot of things happen after 12 on the South Side. I learned my lesson. (Pause) Things happen. (Pause) I felt bad for Mike. (Pause) I don't think he'll be back over there for a long time.

Q: Do you feel you are more mature now? That you've grown?

A: Yeah. I've learned a lot. I feel I've done a lot for a 22-year-old. I'm more confident this year in what I should do.


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