Q&A: Limas Sweed

Limas Sweed will be in town for minicamp this weekend, but he talked to SteelCityInsider's Jim Wexell in between workouts from his home in Brenham, Texas.

Limas Sweed, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Limas, what's your hometown like?

A: You can get from one side of Brenham to the other side in less than 10 minutes. It's a country town. A lot of horses. A lot of open land. I grew up a real country person during high school and college.

Q: Is it around Houston?

A: It's between Houston and College Station.

Q: You were a real cowboy?

A: Yeah, you got it right. When I first learned how to ride a horse, I was told not to be scared when I got on the horse because the horse would know. And I was so nervous and scared it took off running with me falling off. I was about 12.

Q: Did you get hurt?

A: Nah. I was tough. I was a tough country boy.

Q: When did you get back on?

A: About a week. It took about a week to build up that courage again. My dad said I had to get back up there and show him who was in control.

Q: What's your family like?

A: My family consists of four people: me, my sister, my mother and father. My mother's always been real strict. It worked on me. She said "no pass, no play" and she enforced that. She's probably my biggest critic, but also my biggest fan. My dad, he's a deacon so he's kind of quiet by nature, but he's a cool guy. He always competes with you whether it's sports or dominoes. They're pretty cool people.

Q: Dad's a mailman?

A: Yeah, he's a mail handler also.

Q: Mom works at a prison?

A: She used to be a prison guard.

Q: She's one tough lady?

A: She used to jack me. She used to jack me up against that wall. She's been promoted to captain so she doesn't have to work as a prison guard now.

Q: What was greatest thrill in high school?

A: That's a tough one. I'm trying to think. Probably in high school it would be my senior year, the game before states. Winning that game and advancing to the state championship in high school was like no other because that was the pinnacle of my high school career.

Q: How did you do in that game?

A: I didn't really do too good. We didn't have any chances to throw the ball because the quarterback was getting sacked. We ended up losing but to be there was a good experience, playing competition like that.

Q: What's Texas high school football like?

A: Texas football? I think it's comparable to what it's like for Pittsburgh fans. They're die-hard fans, love the players, good loyal people, just great fans. That's how it is with Texas fans across the board in high school football. In my hometown on Friday nights, the whole town's there. Everybody comes to the games. And homecoming games you've got everyone there.

Q: Do you know a lot of Steelers fans there?

A: Actually I do. A lot of my relatives are Steelers fans. A few are Cowboys fans and (laughs) a few are Pittsburgh fans. It sounds funny but they came out. They talked about Lynn Swann, Franco Harris. I said, "Wow, you guys really do know what y'all talkin' about."

Q: Have you heard from them?

A: My Aunt Margaret called to wish me well. She wants a jersey.

Q: What's your number?

A: Fourteen.

Q: How difficult was your rehab?

A: I would wake up early in the morning and rehab from six to seven, then eat breakfast, then rehab from eight to nine, then workout, come back and rehab again, go home, rehab again. I'd go to sleep and do it all over again. I did that for two months.

Q: How was that different than your normal routine?

A: I was used to grabbing things with both hands and going to work. This, with my wrist hurt, was hard just because I am a hard worker and I'm used to digging in with my hands – hitting the weights, even pushups. I'd be laying around my house and I'd just start doing pushups and situps, but I couldn't do that. It was frustrating that I literally had to force my fingers to wiggle to get them to move again. There were a lot of frustrating days but I learned a lot.

Q: What could you bench before and after?

A: Before I could probably bench 355 or 360. I'm probably not there yet. I'm probably at 300 to 315. That's not too bad. I'll get it back. As far as me being able to do things, I bench press, run, squat, all of that.

Q: What's your vertical jump? A: It was 37.5 at my pro day. I used to be a basketball player in high school.

Q: Have you heard the Plaxico Burress comparisons?

A: Wow. I haven't heard it yet.

Q: Plax wore No. 4 in college. Did you take No. 4 in college because of Roy Williams?

A: Not really. I was No. 4 in high school, but I always looked up to Roy. It's one of those things where everything kind of correlated together.

Q: Is 14 a play off of 4?

A: Yeah, it's a play off of No. 4, but I kind of like those lower digits. Ever since high school I've liked the lower digits. It's just a personal preference.

Q: Was your greatest thrill at Texas the national championship game?

A: That was one, and the other was the Ohio State catch.

Q: Who'd you beat?

A: Ashton Youbouty.

Q: What was the title game like?

A: It was one of my greatest experiences so far. I mean that from a competition standpoint. I was out there with some of the premier NFL players in the game. Just being out there to play with those guys on a level like that was exciting. You could feel the electricity in the air. It was crazy.

Q: Did you make a big play?

A: I caught eight to 10 passes (8) that game, some big first downs, but I didn't score.

Q: You graduated in December?

A: Correct. My degree's in communications with a minor in business. It could lead to various things like radio, sportscasting, dealing with the youth, or I could turn to the business side for real estate, marketing. I have a lot of options.

Q: Do you know Casey Hampton?

A: Big Hamp, oh, yeah. I hung around with Casey in Houston a few times. Big Hamp, we're good friends. We're alumni. When I was in school he showed me a lot of love.

Q: What are your goals in Pittsburgh?

A: Come in and get a feel for the offense and the players. That's the first thing. I want to get a good chemistry with the team, which I know will happen. I just want to get in there, work hard, learn the plays and see what happens.

Q: What do you expect in playing time?

A: I couldn't tell you. It's going to depend on how quick I pick up the system. I'd like to come in and help the team out.

Q: Have you heard from Ben?

A: I'll probably hear from him today, or maybe when I get in there. People tell me he's excited. So am I. He's got a great arm. I've seen him play several times.


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