Five questions with ... Aaron Smith

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Recently we caught up with Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith to discuss, among other things, his alma mater and what a biceps tear feels like.

1. As a 10-year veteran, how hard is it to make it through a decade in this league?

Aaron Smith: It's hard at first just trying to learn the game. Then once you figure out the game, it's hard to get your body right to play the game. It is difficult. I'd say it takes four years to figure out how to play. That's around the time you realize that you belong in the league.

2. Do you feel age concerns with the defensive line are legit or overrated?

AS: I think it's overrated. Like I tell everybody else, 30 is the new 20, you know (laughs). But we have a lot of depth as opposed to a lot of teams, and it's a lot of mature depth. So we don't have to take 80 snaps a game. We can rotate and bring guys in and out.

3. What is your college, the University of Northern Colorado, best known for?

AS: What is it known for? That's an interesting question. Well, I would probably say it's a good teaching school. It's a small Division II school, and it's not really a whole lot more to say about it, other than it's a good teaching school.

4. Who is your favorite NFL player to watch that's not on your team?

AS: Bryant Young. He was my favorite player. He just retired, but I liked his motor. He played hard and had good technique day in and day out.

5. You tore your biceps last season. Describe what that feels like.

AS: It feels like getting shot with a gun. It's a burning, painful sensation. Every time I tried to use my arm, it felt like someone was digging a knife in my arm. It curled up to here (points to upper arm). I have a picture of it from the game. I tore it in the first quarter and played the rest of the game on it. I have a picture of me running and you can see it's all curled up.