WR Sterling Shepard
September 7, 2020
Q: We haven’t heard anything definitive but let’s play a hypothetical. If you were voted a captain or if you’re announced as a captain in a half hour, what would that mean to you?
A: If that’s how my team views me, then I’d be happy to take that role. But if not, I’m also happy to take a different leadership role, just because you’re only allowed so many guys to be captains and I clearly understand that. Pretty much my whole career, I’ve never been voted a captain. But I’ve always been a leader in my own way, so that’s what I’ll continue to do.
Q: In years past in the league, you come back from Labor Day weekend, you hit the practice field and when it’s down to 53, you almost get that sense that ‘alright, now the season is beginning.’ I’m curious with the extra guys on the practice squad, being out there for a little bit, it didn’t seem like you guys were cut down as much as maybe the numbers would suggest in the past. Did it feel that way, or does today feel like the first step towards the regular season?
A: I’d say it definitely looks like a cut down. But if you look at the wide receiver room, it didn’t look like much changed at all. If you look at it from my eyes and going into my meeting room, yeah, I felt like not much changed. But when I got to the team room, yeah, you could kind of tell it was cut down.
Q: I know we asked you earlier in camp about the younger guys, the younger receivers, a lot of the rookies, first-year guys. As someone that’s been a part of this, do you like the fact that your room is almost as intact as it was in camp? The way that guys performed, does that say a statement about a position how well these guys did?
A: Yeah, they had a lot of tough decisions to make. There’s no doubt about that. But I’m very excited to see some of the guys in here because I know how hard they worked. I saw the talent whenever they walked into the door. Yeah, I’m happy to have those guys.
Q: A lot of people look at the Steelers and they think and are predicting they will be the best defense in the league. Obviously, the circumstances this year are a little bit crazy. To have to face that defense Week 1, how are you guys viewing that?
A: It’s a great test for us. They’ve been good on that side of the ball for a long time, so that’s nothing new. We’re excited. We’ve been preparing. We started today, and we’ll continue throughout the week to prepare for them. But we’re looking forward to it.
Q: How much is it a chance for you guys to make a statement also?
A: Like I said, we’re just taking it one day at a time. That’s what we’re focused on. We’re taking it one day at a time, doing what we have to do before the game so we can have the outcome that we want to have. It’s going to take that narrow-minded focus on each day at a time.
Q: Do you guys feel ready? You have a game in a week, a week from tonight now. Do you feel like you’re ready for that?
A: We still have a week to go. We haven’t really gotten into game prep, but as far as camp, camp went well. I felt like guys made some major strides on building our identity of the team, and we’re still building that. But I feel like we’ve made some major strides. We’re ready to put our best foot forward and get this season underway.