Artrell Hawkins Visits Steelers: Transcript
Q: Are all the Bengal influences helping?
A: Yeah, I have a soft spot in my heart for Coach (Dick) LeBeau and Ray Horton and also Darren Perry. I mean, Coach LeBeau drafted me out of college, along with Coach Horton. I know what they're about; they know what I'm about. I feel comfortable in their scheme and it's a good opportunity I think, and so right now we're in the process of getting something done.
Q: Do you think you can give them an upgrade in coverage ability?
A: Yeah, I mean with my experience and with the front seven here I think it would be a good fit. I think it would give me the opportunity to achieve some of the things that I wanted to achieve throughout my career. You can't come to a better place than Pittsburgh. Any bit of success is going to go through the roof. It's the type of market I've been looking for as a player. I'm just thrilled they want me here and we're going to try to get a deal done.
Q: You sound like you're focused on Pittsburgh. Is this where you want to be?
A: At this stage in my career, on this day, today, I'll go public and say yeah I would love to play here. That's not anything Coach (Bill) Cowher and the rest of the coaches don't know. Yeah, I am going down to Carolina right now. I do have to look out and make sure I have options, but Pittsburgh is high on my priority list.
Q: Have they made you an offer?
A: Yeah, we're trying to hammer some things out right now.
Q: Is it possible you could cancel your trip to Carolina?
A: Yeah, it's possible it could happen. I have a flight in an hour and a half.
Q: Does being from around here play into it?
A: Yeah. I think it could be a positive, or a negative thing, but I think more positive than not. A lot of the people where I'm from, which is Johnstown, follow the Steelers. They're big-time Steeler fans up there and I think I would have a pretty good following in that respect. I think it would be fun to come home and play in Western Pennsylvania.
Q: Are you closer to signing here today than you were two years ago.
Q: Are you thinking third corner? Fourth corner? What are you thinking?
A: I'm thinking competing for a starting job.
Q: Are you bitter about what happened in Cincinnati?
A: No. It was just my time to go. Marvin (Lewis) and I sat down and talked in January and I expressed to him what my expectations are as a player and I asked him man to man if that was what he was thinking would he please release me in early enough time so I could go somewhere and get established and be effective and contribute to a team. He honored that and I appreciate that.
Q: Do you still have a lot of family in Johnstown?
A: Yeah, all of my family is in Johnstown. The majority of my family is in Johnstown.
Q: What most impressed you today?
A: I knew what to expect when I came here. I've met Coach Cowher before. Like I said, this is my second trip here as a free agent. It's more appealing today because I'm a lot more familiar with some faces upstairs. The defensive coordinator and the secondary coaches I've worked with before. I know I like them; I know they like me; I know we work well together. That's just one more piece of the puzzle. Pittsburgh was interested in me before, but even more so now just because of the connections that I do have here, being from the area and also being coached by some of the coaches.
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