Q&A: Chris Kemoeatu

Chris Kemoeatu

With the departure of All-Pro guard Alan Faneca to the New York Jets in free agency, Chris Kemoeatu has assumed the starting left guard position for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With the departure of All-Pro guard Alan Faneca to the New York Jets in free agency, Chris Kemoeatu has assumed the starting left guard position for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here's what Kemoeatu had to say about it last week at the Steelers' mini-camp.

Is this mini-camp camp different for you than others have been?

CK: I guess so. I'm just going go out there and work hard every day. I've got some big shoes to fill. All I can do is go out every day and work hard and try to keep up with everybody else.

What makes you prepared for this move this year that maybe you didn't have before?

CK: I think I've been around for a couple of years now and watching the older guys work and their work ethic and the way they study. I think that helps a lot.

Have you prepared differently?

CK: It's real different. I've got a lot of people depending on me now. I've got to put in a little extra as far as studying, being a little more fit. There's a lot of expectations.

What's the biggest challenge for you going to be?

CK: As far as stepping up and learning to work with different guys, Marvel (Smith) and some of the older guys.

Did you keep an eye on what was going on with Alan and his contract this offseason?

CK: I didn't pay attention to it until it actually came down to him signing. Then I heard it before it happened. It happens like that. You don't know what's going to happen, but you come to work every day and try to play up to the best of your ability.

He made a lot of money.

CK: Shoot, he deserves it. He's one of the best guards, the best at what he does. I watched him and Kendall (Simmons) in everything they do. From rehabbing their body to resting and all that stuff. I learned a lot.

You think that might be you someday?

CK: I'm not going to be as good as him yet, but I'm trying to work at it and try to be the best that I can be. I'm going to work hard every day and try to communicate a lot better and learn how to play next to them. Being part of the first group, there's a role that you have to set for the younger guys. We're in there trying to do all we can to get better. There's some big shoes I've got to fill and big expectations, not just from the coaches, but from the older guys I'm trying to play next to.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

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