PITTSBURGH -- For those that had their eyes elsewhere during the Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens matchup in Week 13, offensive lineman John Leglue was fired up. Really fired up.
The third-year lineman had made his way through four NFL teams before landing in Pittsburgh, and has never played a professional game. That is until this past weekend.
Leglue was thrown in at left guard after the Steelers lost B.J. Finney to a back injury. Leglue was on the active roster for his second week after being promoted following the injuries to J.C. Hassenauer and Kevin Dotson. He was in line to replace Finney because of Joe Haeg's positive COVID-19 test.
"You prepare every week like you're going to be playing," Leglue said. "Coach [Adrian] Klemm and all the o-line coaches emphasize that. Coach [Mike] Tomlin says to make sure you always take advantage of your opportunity. One of the biggest things is every day in practice, we all practice with a purpose in order to be able to maximize our opportunity when we do get it."
In a game that came down to one point and 20 seconds, Leglue took on a weight that many wouldn't handle. But in Pittsburgh, Leglue had that embedded in him all week.
"Ben [Roethlisberger], early on in the week, emphasized the importance of the rivalry. So did coach [Mike] Tomlin," Leglue said. "You definitely want to be a part of that rivalry."
Leglue said he FaceTimed his parents afterwards and they told him how proud they were. Since his signing with the 53-man roster, the Steelers offensive lineman has cherished every second - and took full advantage of his opportunity in the league's biggest rivalry.
"When I signed to the 53, I teared up," Leglue said. "It was a dream come true right there. A lot of hard work has been going into this."
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