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Randy Cuthbert, Steelers Running Back, 1993-1994

February 23, 2012

Randy Cuthbert:

First, can you tell readers about your coaching career – how you got started and what you enjoy most about coaching?

While I was with the Steelers I did a lot of work in the offseason with kids and really loved it.  When I signed with the Panthers I started to work on a Master’s in Secondary Ed (math) and decided I wanted to become a math teacher and football coach.  Working with the kids and watching them develop in young men that will be successful in life is what I enjoy most about coaching.

What coaches and coaching lessons from your time with Pittsburgh do you find yourself referring to most now as a coach, and why?

I love the Steelers mindset.  Their blueprint for success involves building your team around class people, playing great defense, and controlling the ball on offense with a strong running game.  I believe that winning football at any level is predicated on those things.  There were so many great coaches in Pittsburgh, but I really enjoyed being around Dick Hoak and Ron Erhardt.  They were class people and great coaches.

You made the team as an undrafted free agent in ’93 – what do you think caught the coaches’ eyes and helped you secure a roster spot?

I think that I made the most of my opportunities when I got them, and that is why I made the team.

Who helped take you under their wing as a rookie and helped you adjust to the NFL – both on and off the field? How did they do so?

I remember three guys that really made me feel comfortable and made me feel like I belonged- Tim Simpson, Justin Strezelcyk and Levon Kirkland.  They really just gave me confidence and showed me the ropes.  

Justin and Tim were offensive lineman, which is great for a running back when can lean on them for advice.  I played against Levon for a few years when I was at Duke and he was at Clemson.  After playing against him for years, I really enjoyed being on his side.  He was a lot of fun to be around, and I had a lot of respect for him. 

What was your biggest adjustment as a rookie and what was your role on those teams you played for?

The speed of the game and the size of the guys were the biggest adjustments.  Trying to earn a spot and keep it was an ongoing challenge, also.  I was a backup  runnig back  (played both fullback and tailback) and played on special teams. 

Who were some of the toughest guys who lined up against – both in practice and on other teams?

The Steelers Linebackers, without a doubt.  Going against Greene, Kirkland, Lloyd and Olsavsky was always a fun challenge.

Coach Cowher was in only his second season when you arrived. What did you notive about how the teams – especially the veterans – took to his style of coaching and changes to what Coach Noll had done in years’ past?

I wasn’t there for Coach Noll, but I know that the players respected Cowher and identified with him.  He seemed to have a unique relationship with the players because he wasn’t too far removed from his playing days.  He was intense and emotional, but could also have a sense of humor when it was appropriate.

Who were some of the greatest characters on the Steelers teams you played for and what made them so? Any examples  -especially of how they used humor to keep the team loose?

Tim Worley was a riot.  I remember him wearing Beavis and Butthead shirts and hats all the time and impersonating those guys- funny stuff.

You played for two years before you retired in ’95. What prompted the decision to stop playing? 

I signed with Carolina in ’95 and had to retire due to knee problems.  I also had quite a few concussions, which is much more of a concern these days than it was back then.

What are some of your greatest memories in Pittsburgh – both on and off the field?

It was a great city, and the fans are passionate about all of their teams.  It was a great experience to play at that level, be around those players and coaches, and live in the city for two years.  Although it didn’t work out the way I wanted, I am grateful for the experiences that I had.

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