Mon, 06 Apr 2020

Wormley ready to 'flip the switch'

The Steelers
25 Mar 2020, 05:30 GMT+10

When Chris Wormley first got the phone call from his agent, he was taken by surprise. He had no idea it was coming, no idea what he was about to tell him.

But when he hung up from the call, the reality hit. His football life had changed considerably.

In an instant he went from playing for the Baltimore Ravens to being traded to their biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I got a call from my agent and then a little while later I got a call from Eric DeCosta, the General Manager for the Ravens, and then Kevin Colbert gave me a call about 20 minutes later," said Wormley over the phone on Monday from his home in Baltimore. "It was those three calls right in a row, you are going to Pittsburgh.

"I was definitely a little shocked. One, because I got traded. Two, because it was a trade in the division, which rarely ever happens, which is kind of interesting to think about. Then excited. A new opportunity. A fresh start.

"Obviously, Pittsburgh is a great organization. It has a great culture. The teammates I am going to have now are some of the best in the league. I am excited for the opportunity and excited to get ready."

Wormley was traded to the Steelers last week, along with a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, from the Baltimore Ravens, while the Steelers sent the Ravens their fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, only the second trade ever between the two teams, the other in 1997. And it's not just a trade in a division, but it's a trade between two teams that are straight up rivals.

And Wormley knows all about that rivalry.

"There is that, not hatred, but 'evil respect' on the field," said Wormley of the rivalry. "I have played with Devin Bush and Zach Genrtry (at Michigan). I am not trying to hurt those guys when we played them, but at the same time you are trying to win. You have to flip the switch a little bit and put your Steelers hat on. Now I am going up against the Ravens twice a year."

So what will happen when the Steelers and Ravens meet in 2020? Will that 'evil respect' take on a new look?

"I guess that is it," laughed Wormley, who grew up a Steelers fan but tempered that as of late. "What I did for the Steelers, I have to do that for the Ravens now too. It will fun to play against my former teammates. But you are trying to win and get ahead in the division."

The trade is agreed upon pending a physical, something that has been difficult during a time when Americans are staying at home.

"With the coronavirus going on, everyone being on lockdown, and to get the call to be traded to the Steelers from the Ravens, it's been a crazy four or five days so far," said Wormley.

The one thing that has eased some of that for Wormley is the responses he has gotten since the trade, from his new teammates as well as Steelers Nation.

"Cam Heyward reached out to me a couple of hours after I got traded and said welcome to Pittsburgh," said Wormley. "I am excited to get ready. I thought that was pretty cool. Zach Banner reached out. I know him through the Combine, we trained together for the Combine before our rookie years. I am somewhat close to him when it comes to guys in the league.

"It's a great feeling. I know Cam wants to get back to work, he is working towards a Super Bowl. I want to help him finally get that Super Bowl after being in the league so long and to continue that success they have had on the defensive line for as long as I can remember.

"Just Steelers Nation in general. I got a lot of DMs. I got a lot of comments and stuff like that on my picture, saying welcome to Pittsburgh. Which is always a good feeling when you know you have the fan support."

Wormley said he can't wait until he is able to be in Pittsburgh with his teammates and show them what he can bring to the defense, one that had a strong 2019 season and is on track to only be better in 2020.

"First and foremost I can bring toughness, which is already a staple of Steelers football," said Wormley. "Someone that can stop the run. Someone that can pass rush when needed. But just someone that is willing to work and be a great teammate."

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