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Dupree expects great year: ‘There’s no pressure on me’

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Bud Dupree goes through a warm-up at the Rooney Complex during Steelers OTAs – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Bud Dupree is a rich man — but if he lives up to his own expectations on the football field, he will become a whole lot richer.

Dupree, who cashed in a cool $9.2 million payday March 13, courtesy of his fifth-year option with the Steelers, finds himself in an advantageous position in 2019. If he performs on the field, he'll prove his worth and become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 27, with all the power and leverage. He'll be coveted.

That said, he needs to perform. It all comes down to what he can do on the field, and if staggering numbers don't show up in the box score, they won't show up in his bank account, either. To that end, Dupree has full confidence in himself to deliver.

“It’s going to be a great year. Big year," Dupree was telling Dejan Kovacevic at the Rooney Complex during Steelers OTAs. "Expectations are to build on last year and keep it going."

That all sounds great, but there comes an immense amount of pressure with such a proposition, right?

Nope.

"Yeah, man, you know I don’t even deal with pressure. There’s no pressure on me," Dupree said. "I never have pressure. I’m just going to go out and play to the best of my ability and hope everything works out... Money is an option right now. That’s the only option. We go out to win, we play the best we can, everything will play hand-in-hand." 

Such a statement might sound curious from Dupree, who has never topped six sacks or 42 tackles in any of his four seasons for the Steelers. But to him, it takes a careful review of the tape to see what he's doing on the field. Dupree believes he's almost there and just one or two small adjustments will blow up the stat sheet in a huge way.

“I keep having the plays each year, I just got to finish the play… gotta make sure I close out the game," Dupree said. "A lot of sacks [were left on the table]. I got held like four times this year on clean sacks. I missed three sacks when I had my hand on the quarterback. Just those type of plays, what would that make the total, like 12, 13 sacks that I just had. It would be a different conversation going on probably.”

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