About a week-and-a-half prior to Father’s Day, Trey Griffey was asked if his dad had given him any fatherly advice about competing during his second season as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.
“He just told me, ‘Go in there and do what you do,’ ” Griffey, a wide receiver, recalled after an organized team activities session last week. “ ‘Everybody is going in there looking for a job. Even though you were there last year, you are still competing for a job.’ ”
Good advice — from a Hall of Fame source.
Griffey’s father is Ken Griffey Jr., the MLB Hall of Famer. Trey’s grandfather is Ken Griffey Sr., the Donora native who was a three-time MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion.
Trey chose football, the sport he played at Arizona. After brief stints as an undrafted rookie with the Colts and Dolphins in 2017, he has been property of the Steelers since signing a reserve/future contract in January 2018.
Trey Griffey, The Kid's kid, trying to make name for himself as a wide receiver with the #Steelers
(Via TribLive) https://t.co/gMNaxkmyF6
— Kevin Gorman (@KGorman_Trib) May 28, 2018
Griffey showed enough during last year’s OTAs and training camp that he was kept on the practice squad all of last season — and to be brought back for 2019 within hours of the season ending.
“There’s always nervous moments as far was when a season ends, but once I signed the futures contract, it’s still not official until you actually show up (for summer workouts at the facility),” Griffey said.
“And I’m just happy to be here. You get to learn from Ben (Roethlisberger) every day. It’s not something that every wide receiver gets to do, learn from a Hall of Fame quarterback. I am blessed to be here and learn from every day here, so I am just enjoying it.”
The 6-foot-3, 192-pound Griffey had four catches for 44 yards last preseason. His size and athleticism fit in well with his NFL contemporaries on the practice field.
Griffey said a year as part of the “show” (scout) team throughout an NFL regular season helped his development immeasurably.
“Going into a second year, you’re a little more prepared,” he said. “You know what to expect with the plays and are just going through it.”
Arizona wr Trey Griffey, son of MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. with a stellar catch pic.twitter.com/kvSVouNAVS
— Skye Underwood (@SkyeUnderwood) October 2, 2016
The highly publicized departure of Antonio Brown aside, the Steelers wide receivers depth chart is a tough group to crack. JuJu Smith-Schuster is the clear No. 1; 2018 second-round pick James Washington and 2019 third-rounder Diontae Johnson are assured roster spots, as are free-agent signee Donte Moncrief and, seemingly, returning slot man and punt returner Ryan Switzer.
That doesn’t even count veteran slot receiver Eli Rogers, 2018 practice-squad holdover Tevin Jones, former Raiders special-teams standout Johnny Holton or OTAs breakout and former CFL star Diontae Spencer.
In other words, the path to remaining with the Steelers past training camp is not a simple one for Griffey. He doesn’t seem daunted by it, though, perhaps because of the reassuring counsel he got from his Hall of Fame dad.
“Nobody’s job is really secure; you see it all the time — players get released, they get picked up,” Trey Griffey said. “So you go out there every day, do your best, and the next day the same thing. It’s a daily thing. You always have to get better every day. So that’s always how I look at it.”