Stephon Tuitt Couldn’t See Himself Leaving Pittsburgh ‘Surrounded By Greatness’

It is unfortunate that Pittsburgh Steelers fourth-year defensive end Stephon Tuitt’s new radio spot on WDVE had to coincide with him suffering an injury in the season opener, though there is now much optimism that he was lucky to avoid a major issue and could even potentially return as early as Sunday.

He talked yesterday during his interview about having a bit of a sense of disbelief over the idea that he could potentially be dealt a season-ending injury just a day after he had signed a new five-year extension worth $60 million.

But the most interesting part of the interview is when he talked about his drive in the offseason to continue to get better and to improve himself. He seems to be abnormally motivated to excel for a player who has already achieved a certain level of success.

The interviewer mentioned that he spoke with John Mitchell, the defensive line coach, over the summer about how Tuitt sat down with him and wanted to review every play from the previous season as part of his goal to get better, and he asked the defensive end to talk about it and what motivated him to do it.

“What’s the point of doing anything if you don’t want to be great at it?”, he asked. He then talked about how his teammates and the organization he plays for drive him to be better.

“Especially when you’re around other players [that are] great. That’s why I couldn’t see myself leaving [in free agency next] because I have too many great people around me”, he said. “I like that. For me to leave that, to downgrade, probably try to start over or try to create that somewhere else, I didn’t want to see that. I’m surrounded by greatness and that’s all I want to be, and I will continue to be that way”.

Of course, he won’t be going anywhere for a while, now inked through the 2022 season. He probably hopes by then to add another 60 or so sacks to his career total. “The next step in my process [of improving] was just understanding the type of player that I was, and [the way to do that] is by going back and looking at film, getting a chance to see, ‘hey, why did I miss this play?’, and ‘how can I make more plays?’”, he said.

“I’m a very athletic player and very blessed to be able to have some of that athleticism that I do for my size, height, in this game. I just wanted to advance that some more, see how I can help this defense become even more dominant”.

Tuitt said that he and Mitchell broke down his film and realized how many plays he left out on the field. “I could have had double-digit sacks, most definitely”, he said. “It’s just all about slowing down, understanding sometimes, just slowing down. Like I said once you get back there you get so excited and start losing yourself, and that’s what I did most likely when I got back there”.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    As a Notre Dame and Steelers fan, ive had the privilege to watch this guy longer than most. He’s dedicated to his craft and always wants to improve. Definitely glad he’s staying a Steeler for at least the foreseeable future.

  • NCSteel

    Godspeed in your recovery sir.
    The team needs you and it would seem, you need the team as well.
    Fantastic !

  • pittfan

    Love this guy. He really stepped up when Cam went done last year and made a name for himself.

  • Michael Conrad

    A team player and good guy. I hope his takes his time coming back.

  • Give me 53 guys with his attitude and drive to be better and i’ll give you a championship team.

  • My neighbor is a big Golden Domer fan and when we drafted Tuitt he said we were lucky we didn’t take Nix. He said Nix was over rated because he reaped the benefits of Tuitt getting more attention from opposing O-linemen. A short few years later, he must have been right, because, I don’t think I ever heard about him since that draft year.

  • melblount

    It’s so hard to tell their attitudes apart, was that Tuitt or LBell talking?

  • treeher

    Nix was a bust. Appears he never recovered from knee surgery.

    Nix was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. On May 16, 2014, he was signed to a $2.85 million contract by the Texans, including a signing bonus of $575,252. Nix underwent a second knee surgery during the off-season and missed workouts as well as most of training camp. His rookie season prematurely ended after he underwent a third knee surgery on September 24, 2014. He was unable to play any games during his time with Houston. Nix was released by the Texans on September 4, 2015.

    On September 6, 2015, Nix was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants. On September 8, 2015, he failed his physical and was waived. On September 9, 2015, Nix was re-signed by the Giants. He was waived again on November 7, 2015. On November 10, 2015, he was re-signed to the Giants’ practice squad. On January 6, 2016, Nix signed a reserve/future contract with the Giants. On September 3, 2016, he was released by the Giants.

    The Washington Redskins signed Nix to their practice squad on September 5, 2016. On September 19, 2016, he was released from the practice squad.

    Nix was signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad on October 25, 2016. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Jaguars on January 4, 2017. On May 15, 2017, he was released by the Jaguars.

    He is currently unsigned.

  • Ish Gadol

    melblount is still hitting hard, LOL!

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    That was basically the situation. Tuitt required a lot of focus from the offense. He essentially required double teams about 50% of the time to stop if I’m remembering correctly. His strength and speed were just too much to handle.

  • copanut

    Fun fact: Not only were the Steelers wise to take Tuitt rather than Nix, the pick the Texans used for selecting Nix actually came from the Steelers.

    The Steelers traded their 2014 third round pick to the Browns in order to move up in the 2013 draft to take Shamarko Thomas. The Browns then traded that 2014 pick to the Eagles in order to move up to take Johnny Manziel. The Eagles then traded that same third round pick to the Texans, in swap for two picks that netted them Jaylen Watkins and Taylor Hart. Finally, the Texans used that same third round pick to take Louis Nix.

    Somehow, that 2014 third round Steelers pick managed to produce five different players for four teams, who all combined aren’t worth a bucket of spit. The Steelers could have saved everyone a lot of trouble by just hanging on to that third round pick
    and not using it at all.

  • VaDave

    What a great story. Talk about a cursed pick… thanks for posting.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I have a good friend who played tight end in college and had was assigned to block Tuitt a few times when they played Notre Dame. He said, “It was like trying to block a gorilla.” (His words not mine).

    He went on to say he had never encountered a player that was so big, and so strong, and so fast. Ever.

    If Tuitt ever learns some technique he would be the best DE pass rushing force we’ve had since Aaron Smith. And it’s great to hear how much he wants to be in Pittsburgh.

    “Stephon. If you’re listening. Please don’t rush back. We can’t have you injuring that bicep again. We need you this year.”

  • Thanks for coping and pasting the wikipedia article on him.

  • treeher

    You’re welcome.

  • Conserv_58

    LOL! To think fans in here were calling Steve Johnson a yoyo.

  • Conserv_58

    Thanks for that. It put in perspective how much one traded pick could create so much momentum for so many teams and end up a wasted pick for all teams involved.

  • KPott

    I’m soooo glad we picked him. I remember seeing some mock drafts here where fans had Ra’Shede Hageman. Tomlin and Colbert have their jobs for a reason.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Heck, surround my with 60 million great ones and I would never leave either.