(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Steelers' third-round pick Kendrick Green out of Illinois has already texted with his predecessor in Maurkice Pouncey.
"He reached out to me the morning after I was drafted, texted me," Green said via Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. "That was crazy to hear from him. He is a Hall of Famer in my eyes. He has been a staple here, the center for a long time. Hopefully one day I plan on joining him, being a Steelers center for a long time in my career."
Ben Roethlisberger reached out to Green, as well.
"I answer the phone and he's like, 'Hey, it's Ben Roethlisberger,' and I'm just talking it up to him," Green said via Colin Likas of The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill."I told him, 'As long as I can remember, you've been the quarterback for the Steelers.' And he's like, 'Yeah, way to make me feel old.'"
Green could be snapping the ball to Roethlisberger in his rookie season, but he'll have to beat out veterans B.J. Finney and J.C. Hassenhauer. Green doesn't see this season as a redshirt year. He's hoping to be the starter in Year 1.
"I plan on trying to take the job right away," Green said. "I'm going to go in and compete. They've got some older guys that have been in the league for a little bit there at that position. Kind of surreal, to be honest, but I'm ready to do it."
It's a surreal feeling for Green that he'll be playing with a future Hall of Famer in Ben Roethlisberger, a player that he grew up watching on TV.
"I never in a million years would think this was going to happen," Green said. "He has been the quarterback for the Steelers for as long as I have been playing football. It's surreal. He has been playing since I was seven years old, and I am 22 years old now. It's just exciting. I am ready to get to it."