Dan Kreider, Steelers Fullback, 2000-2007
First, can you let readers now what you’ve been up to since you’ve retired from the NFL and how you got started in the line of work?
I have ownership in a property management business with my family that we started six years ago. I am involved with management of the properties.
What lessons from your playing days have helped you most in this new line of work?
The lessons from my playing days that have helped me in this line of work is being willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Some jobs are not that much fun but they still need done.
You were signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2000. What made you decide to sign with Pittsburgh and how surprised were you when they approached you to do so?
Coming out of college my two choices were Miami or Pittsburgh. I felt like Pittsburgh ran the type of offense at that time that fit my style of play.
As an undrafted free agent, there’s certainly no guarantee you make the team. How do you deal with the stress of constantly battling for a roster spot?
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I found a lot of peace with my circumstances when i trusted that God had my best interest in mind. It didn’t mean that everything was going to work out the way I thought it should, but it gave me the peace to work as hard as I could, play with a reckless abandonment and see where that would put me, as far as making the team.
I had no regrets. I left it all out on the field. If God had a different plan, than who am I to fight it?
You were named the team’s rookie of the year in 2000. How surprised were you and how much did that honor mean to you?
I was very surprised to get the team’s rookie of the year honor. I knew nothing about it until they told me i had won it. We had such great players on offense that year that it made my job easy. With that offensive line and Bettis in the backfield, I was a small piece of the puzzle.
You blocked for a number of different backs in Pittsburgh (Bettis, Zeroue, Ma’afala and Parker, to name a few), each with very different running styles. How difficult was it for you to adjust to such different backs?
Making adjustments to the different backs in the backfield wasn’t too difficult. All the backs I played with were excellent athletes. Sometimes on certain plays you would have to change your technique depending on who was behind you, but very rarely.
How key is chemistry between a fullback and halfback and how do you develop that?
Chemistry between a fullback and halfback is important. You need to be on the same page as far as reading the defense on each play and understanding how the play you are running should be run against that defense.
Also, reading the same thing with regard to how the offensive line is making there blocks. You develop that chemistry by practice on the field and through film study in meetings.
There’s a great emphasis today on the use of two tight end sets versus the use of a fullback. What are your thoughts on why this is the case and do you see the fullback position making a return to prominence in the NFL. Why/why not?
I believe that there is a great emphasis on two tights ends because of the desire to throw the ball more. With that type of offensive personnel, it gives you the ability to run the ball with players who are good blockers, as well as throw the ball with a tight end who is a better matchup against a linebacker.
I think that there will always be a handful of teams that continue to use a fullback. It really depends on the teams offensive game plan.
After the 2007 season, you signed on with the Rams. How difficult was it for you to leave the Steelers and what ultimately prompted that move for you?
It was hard to not sign back with the Steelers after the 2007 season, but I was rehabbing an ACL surgery in my right knee and my contract was up at the end of 2007. I had a great experience with the Steelers and i believe that they are one of the best run organizations in the NFL.
They were very good to me.
What are some of your best memories as a Steeler, and what made them so? Any examples?
Best memory: winning Superbowl XL.