On April 18, Ravens made a reduction in what would have been considered a reality just three years ago: Miles Boykin.
Boykin, the third round pick from Notre Dame Cathedral, was considered to be a great complement to the first round Marquis “Hollywood” Brown. Boykin played in all 16 games in his first two years, but missed nine games in 2021 due to hamstring and finger injuries. The 6’4 wide out has just 470 receiving yards at 33 receptions in Charm City. Ravens released Boykin because there was little sustainable production.
“Every time I stepped into the field, I was doing something to help the team win,” Boykin said. “I haven’t regretted being in Baltimore because I was successful there for the first three years.”
Boykin’s future for the NFL was balanced, but he didn’t have to wait long to decide on a new home. Originally from Illinois, Tinley Park was claimed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on April 19 and quickly crossed the enemy line to join his new team.
With the OTA and minicamp in the book, Boykin quickly adapted to his new organization, enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh so far, and said his body was “feeling good.” increase.
“It was great for me to be able to enter the building, meet everyone on the team, walk around the culture and walk around the coaches,” Boykin said. “Thanks to the whole process, I felt like a newcomer again for at least the first few weeks. Once I get used to doing certain things for the third year in a row, everything changes, but I’m inside the building. It’s definitely a blessing to be around those people. “
By playing against the Pittsburgh team twice a season, Boykin was already familiar with the baseline of Steelers players. He was particularly involved with his former college teammate, Chase Claypool. Boykin said he and Claypool haven’t always talked about joining the pros, but even if they worked with Mitch Trubisky in Florida in late June, the two were close together. I’m keeping a relationship.
“I and Chase have always had a relationship,” Boykin said. “Since Notre Dame, we’ve been like brothers. He’s the one I think is a lifelong friend and he’s just a great teammate.”
After spending a year with defensive lineman Chris Wormley, Boykin was sent to Pittsburgh in a rare exchange between enemies. Boykin has now reunited with a former Raven who helped guide him to his new home.
“I consistently talk to worms,” Boykin said. “Even in Baltimore, he was a great teammate. I was thrilled. [have] A man I knew before that was playing. “
He had some existing connections with the current Steelers, but Boykin enjoys deepening ties with his new teammates.
“I’m drawn to the many people there. It was great,” Boykin said. “They really accepted me, and it’s great just to talk the ball with lots of people.”
The typical off-season addition may not have set foot in Heinzfield (now Heinzfield), but Boykin stands out for his six opposition to the Steelers in his career. increase. As a result, Wideout feels that he and his teammates have discussed his keen insights and reached a deeper debate.
“With three years of experience, you can go in and talk about what you saw with another ball, or what you saw when you played against the Steelers, or what they saw. [were] We are playing against us, “he said. “It’s great to be able to connect at that type of level.”
Since Boykin’s debut in 2019, Ravens has won 33 and the Steelers have won 29. In addition, the two played off in two of the three seasons. Year after year, each is considered a prestigious franchise with a rich heritage of success, ownership and urban roots. So it may not come as a surprise to know that Boykin feels that the tissues are very overlapping.
“I’ve seen more similarities than differences,” Boykin said. “There are two great organizations to play in the NFL. I couldn’t ask for anything more than being with these two teams in my career.
“I have one thing to say [you have a chance at winning a Super Bowl] And another thing that says it and means it. When you play in these two organizations, you say it and you mean it. “
Early on, Boykin cherished his time with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Mike Tomlin became acquainted during the 2019 Scout process. As you can imagine, Boykin sees John Harbaugh’s shades in Tomlin.
“Oh my god, the similarities are ridiculous,” Boykin said. “Every day they have the focus they want to talk about, or the quotes they saw, or something they saw in the news they want to talk about. And that only makes us all better as players. It’s like you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. It will help you to be a better person, not just a soccer player. “
Prior to the Steelers player report date to Latrobe, Pennsylvania on July 26, Boykin emphasized that his goal was to learn a playbook. In a preliminary study of the offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system, Boykin gathered the intent of distributing the ball and the importance of diversity.
“He doesn’t want to have the weaknesses of the attack,” Boykin said. “I have so many weapons this year that I think he’s spreading the ball around. Find a way to give the ball to the playmaker.”
The Steelers show great depth and skill at the receiver in the form of 2019 draft companions Diontae Johnson, Claypool, Rookie George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. Boykin believes that wide outs bring unique assets, even in star-studded rooms.
“You look at our receiver’s room, look at every receiver and say’OK, these guys are the same’or’OK, these guys can do the same’ I don’t think we can. We all do different things. We all have different skill sets, “Boykin said.
Regarding his own talent in Pittsburgh receivers, Boykin believes his frame and tenacity stand out. This dates back to the South Bend era with him and Claypool.
“First and foremost, I think it’s my size,” Boykin said of what he offered. “I think I and Chase have brought toughness to the receiver corps. At the NFL, I don’t think you’ll actually see much. Block. We play awkward. We play. As a recipient, I’m doing what people really don’t want to do. “
Basically, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are separate offensive teams. Ravens ran the ball at 43.6% of last year’s snaps, while the Steelers were 36.9%, the third lowest in the league. However, it does not annoy Boykin without the involvement of the recipient.
“You can run the ball 100 times as long as we win,” he said.
Another difference between the two violations is the quarterback. With Lamar Jackson as the starter, Boykin played all three seasons, demonstrating his elite scrambling and playmaking abilities. Boykin emphasized how “fun” he spent in Baltimore with Jackson and sincerely supported his extension of his fifth year of QB.
“Lamar just makes things happen. I definitely think Lamar should be rewarded,” Boykin emphasized. “I don’t think he can monetize what he’s doing for that organization or team.”
At the mini camp and OTA, Boykin worked with Trubisky, Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph to change the landscape of the center. You can imagine fierce competition for those who win most of the snaps, but Boykin mentioned the collaboration striving for perfection.
“I just look at chemistry. They go with me wherever I go,” Boykin said. “They talk about ruined plays. They do the right thing, they harp it. There is clear transparency between the quarterback and the receiver, what the group expects. I think.”
Boykin’s responsibility is widely regarded as transcending the offensive side of the ball. The 25-year-old offers value as a gunner for a special team. In three years in Baltimore, Boykin has adapted to 417 special team snaps. This is called a “release”.
“You will not be the recipient of the play,” he said. “You can do whatever you want in one play, so I love playing Gunner because in my eyes no one can stop me playing 50 yards off the field. Because you can’t.
“As a receiver, our skill set is often not always tied to a special team. But if you are a receiver and you can play with a special team, it’s much more valuable to you. I think it will have something to do with it. “
In addition, Boykin liked to work with Danny Smith, the coordinator of the Steelers special team.
“He was definitely able to show me what he thinks I can do here, and how I can influence the game with a special team. He has ever been me. It was a great coach for me, “Boykin said.
In 2021, Pittsburgh obliged the receiver Ray Reima Cloud to return it. When McCloud departed as a free agent, general manager Kevin Colbert brought in Gunner Olszewski, a former All-Pro Patriot specialist. Boykin said he frequently chats with fellow newcomers who are eager to show off his ability to return.
“We were talking,’Oh, do you catch a lot of balls fair?’ He’s like,’No, I’m not catching anything fairly,'” Boykin said. Told.
When the Steelers head to St. Vincent University in less than two weeks, Boykin feels like he’s returned to Notre Dame, where the Irish were practicing at the nearby Culver Academy. His first go-around in Latrobe will be with Claypool as his roommate.
“We’re talking about nothing to do there,” Boykin said. “Just talk the ball. It will be fun. Play cards, relax and build a bond as a team.”
By convention, Boykin has no personal goal for 2022, avoiding the team’s goal: winning in the AFC North and ultimately in the Super Bowl. Boykin wants to play against former Irish teammate Troy Pride Jr., but if he needs to pick a highlight, he’ll go back to Baltimore to play against his former teammate. He said.
“I’m excited to be able to play twice a year,” Boykin said. “I don’t want to grudge, albeit a little, but every time I play Baltimore, it’s definitely a small chip on my shoulder.”
Boykin will have the opportunity to prove that Ravens is wrong as early as the 14th week if he can consolidate the spot on Pittsburgh’s roster within the next few months. Overall, the receiver is looking to make a positive contribution to the Steelers in every way.
“I’m excited to join the new season with a new team and get out there to compete,” he said.
Check out the player’s one-on-one podcast below for a full interview with Boykin.