PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers signed four-year veteran quarterback Brian St. Pierre to their practice squad, the team announced today.
St. Pierre (6-3, 230) was originally drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round (163rd overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft. He then spent time on both the active roster and the practice squad for Pittsburgh before being waived on Sept. 3, 2005. St. Pierre was signed to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad on Sept. 22, 2005, before being signed to the active roster on Dec. 8.
St. Pierre, who was waived by the Ravens on Sept. 2, 2006, has played in one career game, which was the Steelers’ season finale against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 2, 2005.
To make room for St. Pierre on the practice squad, the Steelers released fullback John Kuhn. Kuhn (6-0, 255) spent part of the 2005 season on the team’s practice squad and was signed to this year’s practice squad on Sunday, Sept. 3.
The longest interview of a practice-squad player in Steelers history occurred at noon on Labor Day and was headed up by Fox Pittsburgh’s Paul Alexander. Here’s Brian St. Pierre:
You still have the old official nameplate. How does it feel?
It feels good to be back. I’m excited. I kind of got a crash course in the game plan last night with Coach [Mark] Whipple, so we’ll see how it goes.
Is this déjà vu all over again?
Yeah. I felt a little weird walking in but it hasn’t felt like it’s been that long. There was some recall of the offense, some familiar faces. It’s good to see the guys.
What happened with the Ravens?
They weren’t going to keep two. That was made clear pretty early on. At practice the third guy wasn’t even getting reps, so I kind of had an inkling it wasn’t going to work out there. Luckily for me Pittsburgh needed a guy to come in and I’m glad to be here.
Are you in shape?
I feel good. I went through a whole training camp and prepared like I always did.
Are there any strange faces here?
There are still some new guys I don’t know, but there’s a lot of recall with some familiar faces. I’m looking forward to working with them.
Does the game plan look good?
Yeah it does. Hopefully we’ll be ready. Hopefully I can do my part in practice and show them I’m ready to go.
Did you talk to Coach [Bill] Cowher yet?
Yeah, I talked to him last night. He just said we’re going to see how practice goes and we’ll go from there, take it day by day.
Do you expect to be activated by Thursday?
My plan is to go out and practice and show them I have some recall of the offense and the decision’s in their hands. Hopefully that’s their decision.
[Second wave of reporters approaches.]
What happened in Baltimore?
They weren’t going to keep three quarterbacks. It was made known pretty early on that third guys aren’t really getting much reps at all. So, I did what I could with the opportunity I got, which wasn’t much, and then I ended up here.
Were you afraid that you burned a bridge when you turned them down last year to stay with Baltimore’s practice squad?
Yeah. I didn’t want it to come off like that but I was told by Baltimore I was going to be brought up at the end of the season for four or five games and they actually did that, and I wasn’t sure if coming back here was just going to be for a couple games with Ben [Roethlisberger] coming back, so I had to make the best business decision for me. It wasn’t an easy decision by any stretch, and then to miss the Super Bowl, I mean, that’s tough but that’s just the way it worked out but I’m glad to be back.
Obviously, they didn’t feel as if you’d burned a bridge.
I would hope not. It was mutual respect. It wasn’t like I said, no way, forget about it. I just felt like I might have an opportunity here. I didn’t know they were going to go out and get Steve McNair in the offseason. I was kind of surprised a little bit. It’s just the way it worked out.
Ever imagine you’d be back in this locker room?
When I left here I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back or not, but they brought me in the league. They drafted me and I felt loyal to them. Obviously I left and was upset that I got cut because I wanted to be here but it’s good to be back for sure.
Somebody thought that might happen since they kept your name plate.
Yeah. I guess that’s a good sign.
What were you thinking while the Steelers went on their run last year?
I was rooting like heck for them because I’ve got a lot of friends on this team and it was great to see Ben play as well as he did and for guys to step up through the injuries. To be on the fringe of not making the playoffs and then to go on that run is pretty amazing.
At best you’ll be here a couple weeks. Do you think it could be longer?
I don’t really know. I’ve just got to go out there and try and get a snap from center and try to remember the cadence.
Do you still remember the basis philosophy and terminology?
They like to run the ball here I think. I think I can do that.