<
>

Jeremy Bloom still chasing NFL dream

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

LATROBE, Pa. -- For the first time in his multi-sport career, Jeremy Bloom is blending in as just another player.

There are no national headlines surrounding Bloom this summer. No world championships or two-sport controversy that preceded him at the University of Colorado.

Bloom says his skiing career is officially over and now his next dream is to play professional football. Currently, he's a return specialist on the bubble with the Pittsburgh Steelers trying to make the roster out of training camp.

"Oh, yeah, that's why I'm here," Bloom said of playing football. "After the 2006 Olympics, I got to go to two [Olympic] Games and win three world championships. And I said, 'You know what? If I have an opportunity to play in the NFL, I'm going to take it.' So it's been a blast these three years and I'm just still trying to break in."

Following a high-profile battle with the NCAA over Olympic sponsorship rights as a college student, the national media followed Bloom's every move three years ago. But since then, Bloom's brief tenure in the NFL has been uneventful.

The former fifth-round pick in 2006 spent his rookie season on injured reserve with the Philadelphia Eagles and was eventually released. This year, Pittsburgh, looking to improve its special teams, is giving Bloom another opportunity.

"I love it," Bloom said. "It's exciting. I'm an action-sports guy and returning [kicks] would probably fall into those categories."

Ironically, Bloom will make his Pittsburgh debut Friday night against the Eagles as a returner in the preseason opener for both teams.