Steelers' Grant given Ike Taylor's old No. 24
Grant worked with the third secondary group during voluntary workouts and this week's minicamp and appears to be ready to take the next step in his development.
''They gave him my homey's number (24), and it's no surprise he has his locker, too,''' said veteran Will Gay, referring to Ike Taylor, who recently retired. The Steelers can only hope that Grant can be as successful as Taylor was during 12 seasons.
''It means a lot to be wearing the No. 24 and holding a locker next to Will,'' Grant said. ''He and Will Allen probably are the two veterans who have helped me the most.''
Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake, who played cornerback and safety for the Steelers from 1989-1998, retired after 13 seasons before moving into coaching. So, when he talks, Grant listens intently.
''He always tells us to work hard, compete hard and take care of the little things,'' Grant said. ''If we can do that, then the bigger things will take care of themselves.''
Grant was a co-captain for college football national champion Ohio State last year, and he routinely was tasked with covering the opposition's top wide receiver. Lake was impressed.
''A corner that has matched up with some top-notch programs has seen a lot of receivers that have gone in probably the first, second or third round,'' Lake said. ''To have that kind of experience and step right into the NFL gives him a slight advantage.''
Grant also believed he developed solid leadership skills with the Buckeyes.
''I try to lead by example and be physical in coverage and in the run game,'' Grant said. ''I can come up and tackle a back, receiver or a tight end, and I'm not opposed to doing it. And with the Steelers, defensive backs are asked to do that a lot, as well as cover them downfield.''
NOTES: The Steelers placed rookie OT Micah Hatchie (6-5, 306) from Washington on the reserve-injured list Wednesday and signed rookie interior lineman Colin Rahrig (6-2, 285) from Indiana. . Mini-camp concludes Thursday. . The Steelers must report to training camp on Saturday, July 25.