CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – When you watch the Steelers practice at training camp, you’ll notice a guy walking around without a jersey on; but it doesn’t mean he’s not part of the team.
23-year-old Kyle Powers has his dream job, working on the equipment staff for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Somebody explained yesterday, Chase Claypool’s job is to catch passes, Mitch Tribusky’s is to throw the ball, TJ Watt’s is to stop the offense. And Kyle has a job too,” said Kyle’s dad, Mike Powers.
“He was a Steelers fan before he was even born,” said Kyle’s mom, Christine Powers. “I started buying Steeler clothes before I even had him, as soon as I found out he was a boy. But to see him up there and doing that, I mean, I was watching the players… but I was looking for him.”
Kyle works with the equipment – the pads, the footballs – and makes sure everyone has what they need to make it a successful day on the field. But sometimes, his duties go beyond that.
“In some of the drills, he simulates a pass rusher,” said Mike. “He’s 6’2” 280. So he can take a pad, and he knows the angles to take. If they need someone on the line, he can step in on the line. So he’s versatile in that.”
He works closely with the quarterbacks and the offensive line, and is the go-to guy for many of the players.
“When we talk to some of the players, they were in awe of him,” Christine said. “They said ‘whenever we need something, we yell for Kyle. He comes runnin, and he does it.’ The coaching staff has said nothing but great things about him which makes me feel good, like we did something right somewhere.”
Mike and Christine raised Kyle in Wayne, West Virginia.
“He played football from when he was 6, up through high school,” said Christine.
Kyle played on the O-line for the Pioneers, before heading to Marshall University; where he joined the Herd’s equipment staff, and started shooting some video for Marshall Athletics.
He quickly developed a hunger to work in the pros.
“He said ‘I think I’d like to do some NFL stuff,” said Mike. “Every summer they’ve got 100 guys coming to the camp, and they’re always looking for college students to help. It’s pretty stiff competition, but he was like ‘we’ll I’ll give it a shot.’”
The Steelers told Kyle to come up and help out with training camp.
“…just at training camps,” said Christine. “And it worked out that we could get him up there, and he did great at it. They asked him back year after year.”
Then, 2020 rolled around, the NFL starting rolling out new regulations due to COVID, which created a lot more work. So they asked Kyle to stick around and help as much as he could.
After that crazy year…
“They asked when he graduated, he told them, and they said we want you as soon as you graduate,” Christine said.
“Now he’s with them year round,” said Mike. “And a lot of people don’t realize the NFL season doesn’t end after the Super Bowl. It’s just the beginning. There’s about a week or two that you have off. But then you start getting ready for the combine, the draft, then mini camp, rookie mini camp, now they’re in training camp…”
Mike and Christine just got back from training camp in Latrobe, where they had a family day, and they got to see first hand their son’s hard work, paying off.
“He’s always had to work for everything he’s gotten,” said Mike. “That’s always how my family’s been. They’ve always been blue collar. If you wanted something, you had to work for it. You had to go get it.”
“As a parent, you try to teach them to do that,” Christine said. “You teach them good work ethic, whatever’s asked of you, you do. And he’s proven that time and time again. We’re very proud of him. I don’t wanna cry, but just to see him do that…”
And you can watch him too!
Standing on those Steelers sidelines every weekend this fall.