Veteran Safety Chris Hope Eager to Lead

Veteran Safety Chris Hope Eager to Lead

Jay Adams

Published July 26, 2012 at 6:46 PM

With the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans, veteran safety Chris Hope had a close relationship with everyone in the organization — from coaches to scouts to grounds crew to cooks. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him.

So his first day wearing red and black was a little bit odd for the 11-year veteran.

“You just have to go through the growing times,” Hope said after the first day of 2012 Russell Athletic Training Camp in Flowery Branch. “It’s like the first day of school. I told my wife, I’m too old to feel like it’s the first day of school again, but it’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s an experience.”

The coaching staff has left things wide open for Hope, he said, as they just want him to learn the defense and get it down cold before worrying about starting positions. In the meantime, Hope is just fine taking the younger safeties under his wing and imparting as much knowledge to them as he can, even though he’s in direct competition with them.

A Super Bowl champion with Pittsburgh in 2005, Hope has seen it all in the league and he knows he’s got a lot he can share with younger talent. As a second year player with the Steelers, he was asked to take players like Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu under his guidance, so leading is nothing new to him.

“I’m an open book. Any question you ask me, anything I can help you with, anything that I see that I can make you that much better in,” Hope will help with, he said. “It’s a learning process and it’s the competition that makes everyone better.”

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