Former Notre Dame TE Alize Mack strives to make impact with Steelers
During his first day of practice as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad, three impressions were made on Alize Mack that stood out.
How friendly people were to him at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, how well-run and revered the organization is … and how “old-school” his new team’s respected position coach is.
“‘JD,’” Mack said, referring to 16-year Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel, “is old school. A lot of what they are doing here is old school.
“With Coach James, I think (Thursday) was my first time being on a one-man sled, getting under the chute, so that was an experience. That was new for me. But I’m excited to work and get better. It’s different, but it’s something I need to become an all-around player, a better player.”
New Steelers p-squad TE Alize Mack is elated to be here.
"This is one of the greatest organization in football history"
Said he had a real tough time on the 1-man sled, tho, in his 1st practice
"That was new for me – and Coach Daniels, he is an *old-school* guy. But it's good."
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) September 26, 2019
The Steelers on Tuesday announced the practice-squad signing of Mack, a former highly-recruited player to Notre Dame. On a team with little depth at tight end, even as a practice-squad player, there is a potential path for Mack to contribute to the Steelers, an organization that has had its eye on him since the spring.
“It’s very chill here,” Mack said, “but they expect a lot. This is one of the greatest organizations in football history. All the Super Bowls that we’ve won here, you think about all the great players who have been in this locker room.”
Mack had a low-round draft grade, and he was taken in the seventh round by the New Orleans Saints. Mack was cut at the end of training camp, though. Although his receiving skills appear to have NFL potential, Mack’s blocking isn’t considered up to pro standards.
And Mack recognizes that.
“I’m more of an athletic tight end who can catch the ball,” Mack said. “Right now, if you ask me what my value is, it’s pass-catching. But at the end of the day if you want to last and you want to be on the field, you’ve got to do it all.
“So I look forward to just every day getting better at something. Just trusting the process, really. I think I’m supposed to be here. I trust the role that I’m in, and they’ve welcomed me in with open arms; everyone’s been greeting me, so when it’s like that, you know you want to play for these guys. You want to give your all and continue to work, and I’ll do that.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .