Pittsburgh’s native son – Jason Taylor Craig Thomas
Here are Jason Taylor’s thoughts on playing the AFC Championship Game in his hometown –
“I was born and raised a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and really idolized that team and those players, heck, until I got drafted in ’97. When you grow up in a city like that, you can’t help but be a Steelers fan. It’s pretty cool to get a chance to go back and play against them. It’s an opportunity to play for the big one.
“George Novak, the head coach at Woodland Hills High School, was the guy that got me to play football. He saw me doing some landscaping one day in Pittsburgh and asked where I went to school. I told him that I was home-schooled and I don’t play football. I had never played football at that point. I told him I lived in Woodland Hills School District and he said, “Hey, I’m the head football coach, why don’t you come out and give it a shot?” I wasn’t interested at first. I loved basketball growing up. Although I was a Steelers fan, I had never played organized football. He got me to come out.
“Who would have thought, how many ever years ago that was. I don’t want to date myself too much but it was a long time ago, 20 years ago I think. Here I am and he’s still doing it, still putting players in the league. I think Woodland Hills leads all high schools in the nation with putting players in the NFL. That’s a real testament to George Novak and the job he does.”