PITTSBURGH — Tuesday was the day that NFL vets reported to training camp as they look to began a season in the unknown with COVID-19 still in the air. One of the many veterans reporting has Central Georgia roots and shared with us what his unusual offseason looked like during a pandemic.
“We’ve been training out of a garage -- literally, a garage -- for about a month straight,” says Northside High School graduate Steve Nelson. “You know, when this thing first hit.”
Even professional athletes had to deal with adversity when it came to the coronavirus shutdown. Former Houston County and Northside football standout and current Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson didn’t let that stop him, though.
“Really, there’s no excuses,” explains Nelson. “I don’t care if you workout with jugs of water, you have to do something. It’s all about being professional at this level, just improvising and making the best of this situation.”
Nelson knows this season will especially challenging for the rookies, including several first-year players from Central Georgia, whom he advises to take it all in.
“Find a guy who can mentor you, who can lead by example, and ask them questions on how to become successful as well,” says Nelson.
Nelson teams up with fellow Central Georgian Bud Dupree from Wilkinson County, a rising star in the league and a teammate that makes his job easier on defense.
Although the other professional sports are playing without fans, the NFL says they will scale their fans down to under 20,000, but Nelson says he won’t be affected either way.
“I just take it as in practice -- we don’t have fans. Fans are great, but at the end of the game, we’re out here to accomplish goals and we got to carry out these goals,” says Nelson.
Now, as NFL training camps get underway and the preseason games are now scrapped, we wait for season kickoff on September 10th.
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