Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Lessons Influence Steelers Rookie B.J. Finney's Drive for Improvement

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Lessons Influence Steelers Rookie B.J. Finney's Drive for Improvement

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pittsburgh rookie center B.J. Finney won't be on the field when the Steelers play the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Finney, who joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, won't travel with Pittsburgh's active 53-man roster while he improves his craft on the practice squad.

"He gives us a hard day's work," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Finney in a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. "He's in our program developing."

There is one area Finney admitted as his biggest challenge transitioning from college to the professional ranks.

"The speed, just being able to play as fast as I need to," Finney said in a telephone interview. "I can do that half the time, but I'm not as consistent as I want to."

That the 6-foot-4, 318-pound Finney willingly points out a weakness in his game along with an honest self-assessment hardly comes as a surprise given his roots.

Finney, a native of Andale, continues to apply lessons learned from legendary coach Bill Snyder to his current situation with the Steelers.

"When you get to your locker and you sit down, and it's like, man, there's a mile-long list of things I know in my mind that I have to get better at without coach saying anything to me," Finney said. "I know and that comes from coach Snyder and his program."

Finney's football upbringing was quickly reinforced over the summer months when he met former K-State running back Rock Cartwright.

Cartwright, who spent 10 seasons in the NFL, served as a coaching intern with the Steelers during training camp and found Finney difficult to miss.

"I actually saw him with K-State gear on," Cartwright said in a telephone interview. "I think he had on a pair of shorts or something, and I asked, 'You went to Kansas State? …

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