Angry Man cometh

PITTSBURGH – Teammates call him The Angry Man. So would anyone else who's watched Andre Frazier cover kickoffs for the Steelers the last month or so.

B. J. Sams wasn't one of them. Sams never saw him coming, but the Angry Man made an indelible impression with a thunderous hit on him during the Monday night game against Baltimore. And last Sunday, Frazier ended two Green Bay kickoff returns, the first with one of his patented Angry Man wallops.

"It isn't often you get a rookie that understands it and is running and flying around the way he is," said last year's special-teams captain Clint Kriewaldt. "He's smart and he's doing a good job."

Frazier is second on the team in special teams solo tackles with 5, second in assists with 3, second in total special-teams tackles with 8 and first in hits that wake up stadiums with at least 1. The hit on Sams was enough.

"He came through clean and smoked that guy," Kriewaldt said.

"We loved it," Larry Foote said. "Everybody loved it. You could hear the whole stadium react. I wish our Jumbo guy would've played it some more."

Frazier made the team this year as an undrafted rookie free agent from the University of Cincinnati. The son of Guy Frazier -- who played for defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau with the Cincinnati Bengals in the mid 1980s -- Andre Frazier had to be given a lecture at training camp by coach Bill Cowher concerning his tackling. The kid was trying to make a name for himself, but was going about it all wrong.

"That was a night practice," remembered Foote. "Right before the goal line (drill), he was tackling people to the ground. That's amateur college stuff. You can get away with it a little bit there, but up here there are only 53 people on the team."

Cowher pulled Frazier aside and talked to him, but the speech didn't take any of the aggressiveness out of the 6-foot-5 outside linebacker.

"He's doing it against the right team now," Foote said. "Andre's going to be a good player. He's growing and learning from Joey (Porter) and Clark (Haggans) and James Harrison. He's going to be good."

"You've got to wait in the wings like everybody else has to, but he's definitely going to get better," said Porter. "He has the size, the height. If he puts on a little more weight and keeps the same speed he'll be pretty good."

Good and angry.

"Well, they call me Angry Man," Frazier said with a sheepish grin. "I'm not angry, but they say I get angry on the field."

Frazier came to the team with a different attitude than most linebackers. One, he wasn't drafted, but the bigger difference was his maturity level. He's quiet, not flamboyant or boisterous or much of a party guy.

"He came in a little more humble and took his job a little more seriously because he had to provide for a family," said Porter. "He has a bigger role in his life with a kid and a wife, so he definitely takes his job real serious."

Two-year-old Andre II didn't appreciate the hit on Sams as much as wife Kea. And his dad took time out from a vacation cruise to watch the game.

"He left a message and said ‘Good hit.,'" Frazier said. "My wife liked it, too."

And what about The Angry Man himself? Is he satisfied?

"I'm just trying to do what I can," he said. "To tell you the truth, I'm digging this. I really like it. I want to be out there on special teams."

It shows.


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