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Terence Garvin Making Strides in Second Steelers Season

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PITTSBURGH - A year ago, Terence Garvin was just hoping he could do enough to keep his job.

The former West Virginia University defender sat through all seven rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft and never heard his name called. He latched on with the Pittsburgh Steelers and with a strong camp and a solid preseason, he made the cut.

Making his mark mostly on special teams, Garvin wrapped up his rookie year with 11 tackles. Now he’s a year older and looking for a bigger impact.

“It’s different just because I know what I’m doing a little more,” Garvin told wvillustrated.com. “I’m a little bit older, I’m a little bit different physically and mentally, but I’m still trying to prove myself. I’m out here competing every day.”

Garvin gives his interview from a locker room where he is surrounded by teammates he has come to consider family. He certainly has much left to prove as he looks to define his defensive role, but he also knows that after spending a season with the franchise, he is one of them.

“I know people now. It’s more like they’re my brothers,” Garvin said of his teammates. “We’ve bonded over the year, but I still feel the same like I’m out here fighting every day. You can never feel complacent. When you feel complacent, that’s when things start going the wrong way for you.”

Pittsburgh finished last season a disappointing 8-8, but with wins in six of the last eight games. Garvin and his teammates are trying to continue that momentum to the start of the season.

“We went through a lot of stuff last year and we grew a lot from it and we’re just trying to carry it on right now,” he said. “We’re trying to come out and start fast. That’s what our coaches are preaching. We’re just trying to start fast every day, every game, really.”

In the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Garvin had seven tackles and a sack to help secure a 16-13 victory. He’s showing that he’s more capable of playing the linebacker role that he’s been asked to embrace since joining the pros.

“I can cover, I can rush pretty well, there are a lot of different things, but I’m still growing,” Garvin said. “I still have a lot of stuff that I need to learn. I’m just a work in progress, but I feel like I can help in different aspects wherever they need me to help right now.”

The rookie campaign wasn’t only a learning experience on the field for Garvin, but also off of it. He found out just what it meant to be a professional football player and to get paid for his craft rather than simply do it for fun.

“You’ve just got to grow up,” he said. “You’ve got to grow up in a lot of aspects of life. You’re not in college anymore, you’re not in high school, it’s not a game. It’s real life. You’ve got to come out here every day and you’ve got to work.”

Helping in that transition was former WVU teammate Will Johnson, now the starting fullback in Pittsburgh. Now a veteran for the Steelers, Johnson took Garvin under his wing during his rookie season.

“I love Will. I talk to Will all of the time,” Garvin said. “He’s a familiar face I can talk to and vibe with and get a little back home feel, a little West Virginia feel. If I’m feeling down, I know I can talk to him about it and vice versa. It’s always nice to have a familiar face, somebody you know.”

Speaking of the Mountaineers, Garvin was on the field for West Virginia’s first season in the Big 12. Now they’re getting set for year three in the conference and Garvin likes what he’s seen from his alma mater after speaking with some of the current members of the team.

“They’ve got the right mindset, they’re all pretty focused and they know they’ve got a big game in ‘Bama the first game,” Garvin said. “I think they’ll be ready to go. I’m excited to see what they’ll go out there and do this year.”

You can see a lot more from Garvin in this weekend’s episode of The Dana Holgorsen Show, airing statewide on your local West Virginia Media Station. 

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