Golic Jr. Born To Be ... A Steeler?

Mike Golic Jr. (Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Just before his first snap with the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the first practice of rookie minicamp, on the first play, Mike Golic Jr. jumped prematurely and ...

... caused whistles and some scattered muttering from the coaches.

It was the wrong way to open the spring of his rookie season, but Golic said all the right things afterward during his first interview in Pittsburgh.

"A little too excited for my first snap of NFL football, I guess," Golic said with a laugh. "I got it out of my system early."

He was also asked about which team he – the son of a former Eagle and nephew of a former Brown – rooted for while growing up.

"My favorite team growing up was the Pittsburgh Steelers," Golic Jr. said.

Really?

"For the sake of this, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers, absolutely," he said with another laugh. And in that response, in that last word, he seemed to channel his media-famed father: absolutely.

"Pure joy," the 6-4, 300-pound Golic said of the moment the Steelers called him after last April's draft. "This is something I've been dreaming of forever. To get the opportunity to live out my dream in one of the best sports towns in the country is unbelievable."

The Steelers signed Golic after the draft, and the next day on his father's show – ESPN's Mike & Mike – the helmet of the Steelers was displayed prominently in the center of the set as Mike Golic Sr. smiled proudly. The eternally whiny co-host, Mike Greenberg, allowed that, "The Terrible Towel, which I've hated all my life, now I can actually root for it, if he makes the team. If he doesn't make the team, I can continue rooting against it."

The proud papa next to Greenberg said, "People have been congratulating me, but a few have asked me what it will be like rooting against your hometown team when you go up to Cleveland, and I'm like, ‘Are you kidding me?'"

It's a question Steelers fans have been asking since the 1950s. But, of course, Golic Sr. grew up in Cleveland and his brother Bob was a three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle with the Browns. But, it won't be hard for Golic Sr. to move forward.

"Yeah, he got over that pretty quickly," said Golic Jr. "Blood's always going to be thicker than any team allegiance for him, so he's as excited as I am."

Born in Voorhees, New Jersey, to a Cleveland-raised father and a Chicago-bred mother, Golic Jr. was raised in West Hartford, Ct., as both a scholar and an athlete. He went off to Notre Dame – just ahead of his younger brother and sister – where he was a reserve center before starting four games at guard as a junior.

As a senior at Notre Dame, Golic started all 13 games at right guard as the Irish revived their running game in reaching the national championship game.

Golic not only helped Notre Dame to its highest yards-per-rush average (5.0) in 16 seasons, he graduated with a degree in film, theater and TV with a 3.43 GPA. He then began taking courses in graduate studies, and those courses will lead to ...

"I'll worry about that then," Golic said this spring. "Really, all I'm focused on now is doing what I can to helping the Pittsburgh Steelers and making this team and being a part of this organization and being a part of this NFL and getting to represent that shield."

To that end, the Steelers used Golic all spring as the right tackle on their third-team line. And he didn't false-start again after that first play.

"Coach (Mike) Tomlin always talks about having position flexibility, and the more you can do to help the team," Golic said. "When I was given this opportunity to play tackle here and show that that's one more thing I could do, I took that by the reins. I listened to the coaching that he and Coach (Jack) Bicknell have offered, and all these coaches that are just trying to teach us the fundamentals of these spots and learn concepts and things like that, and really just be the best I can be with that. Like I said, doing more never hurts."

And his immediate goal?

"Just to show them that I'm in great shape, that I'm going to play through the echo of the whistle, that I can pick things up quickly, take what I've learned and put it on the field."

It was Golic Sr. who recommended that his son sign with the Steelers, and after his first spring Golic Jr. – one of the Steelers' priority undrafted free agents – understands why.

"The way this organization is run is first class," he said. "Even now, being here through this spring, you can tell, from top to bottom, they do things the right way. They treat people the right way. From the Rooney family on down to the people who work in the dining hall and janitorial staff, everyone's treated the same. It's a family atmosphere and I think that's something a lot like Notre Dame. It's something I really like about this place."

SteelCityInsider.net Recommended Stories


Up Next


Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell didn't mince words on draft day when he said of seventh…

Tweets