Former UMass football standout tight end Rob Blanchflower is mentioned in a story on Steelers.com about the programming provided for Pittsburgh's rookies which helps acclimate them to the franchise as well as the NFL. Part of the programming includes guest speakers on finance and professionalism as an NFL employee. Rookies also do work in the community, learn other life lessons and are given advice and guidance on how to make the most of their opportunities outside of football.
"Anyone that leaves college and has to go to the real world to a job has to deal with a lot of things they didn't have to deal with growing up," said tight end Robert Blanchflower, the team's seventh-round draft pick. "It's like taking Finance 101 and Life Skills 101. I think the biggest thing to all of us were taxes. When you are a student you aren't dealing with that. I don't think anyone realized how serious that was. But setting up for the future, a 401K and financial advisors, most things 22-years old right out of college don't always have to deal with.
"There is a great support system here. We learn a lot about finances and being responsible so there is no negative feedback on the program, ourselves or our families. Being aware of things that are out there and getting educated helps with the learning curve and the process of maturing and getting into the professional workplace."
"Talking to other friends on other teams, they aren't as thorough as they are here," said Blanchflower. "It's a blessing they take the time out to get the resources to help us."