PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin skipped the small talk and went straight to the misdirection playbook when talking to third-round draft pick James Conner shortly after he was selected.
Conner, the former Pitt star running back who captivated college football with his recovery from Hodgkin's lymphoma, was at a Buffalo Wild Wings in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, when he got the call.
"Where are you, you in Erie?" asked Tomlin, according to Steelers.com.
"Get in the car and drive down. We're not going to reimburse you for your gas mileage."
After a dramatic pause, Tomlin confirmed "Man, I'm just joking."
"Congratulations, man, to you and your family," Tomlin said. "We're excited for you. More importantly, we're excited about you being a Steeler and chasing a championship in 2017, and you're going to be a big part of that."
The Steelers aren't viewing Conner as a sentimental pick. They like his downhill running style and his toughness.
Conner calls going to Pittsburgh a "dream come true."
"I know it's surreal, I know it's an unbelievable thing, but you've got to get over that," Tomlin said. "We've got work to do."