MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Matt Spaeth is part of the group working at Larry Fitzgerald’s camp. Sit with him and you realize that the young man now has some years in this game.
“It’s been a whirlwind to think this is year seven for me. I was just talking to somebody else, I don’t want to say this, but I’m coming up on 30 and to think I’ll be 30 playing in the NFL is just amazing. It’s been a dream come true,” Spaeth said.
His career flourished when he was moved from defensive to tight end for the Gophers. It was here he also established a trait that is his signature – to be tough.
“That’s why I have a job, to be honest with you. I like that and I enjoy that, and the physical nature, and getting in and mixing it up and the grimey stuff – that’s what I like. And I think that’s why I’ve been able to last as long as I’ve had in the league. I’m willing and capable of doing it,” he said.
He’s always trained with the focus on outworking your opponent.
It started growing up in St. Michael, where his friends watched him grow into a Super Bowl-bound tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where his father set a foundation.
“I give, and have to give, most of my credit to my dad in just the way I was raised. He worked hard every single day of his life, and had a construction company. When we weren’t in school or practice, we were at the job site with him. And I hated it, but it instilled a tremendous work ethic,” he said.
He left the Steelers and joined the Chicago Bears, another town and team that appreciates tough.
Spaeth then got a chance to return to Pittsburgh this fall. He will take the job because it’s his kind of town, and his kind of team.
“I love the city of Pittsburgh and playing for the Steelers. It’s an incredible organization with a great fan base. And you know, I just like to tell people that I’m gonna go out, and no matter what I’m gonna give it all I got every time, and I’m gonna play hard and do the little things that hopefully help us win,” he said.