James Washington spent countless hours helping his father on farms, one of which is family-owned in Lexington, Texas. 

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PITTSBURGH — James Washington has an exercise for developing strong receiving hands that even Antonio Brown doesn’t try on social media: changing the tires on a 6E Series John Deere tractor.

Years of handling that clunky jack underneath multi-ton farm machinery always got Washington right for game days.

“It teaches you to hold leverage, put your shoulder into it and shove it,” said Washington, the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ second-round pick. “Flip the tire up and lean it against the tractor, then you kind of want to wiggle it on there.”

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Before Washington learned to do it all on the field for Oklahoma State, he had to do it all in the fields of north Texas.

As a teenager in Stamford, Texas, with a population of less than 3,000, Washington spent countless hours helping his father on farms, one of which is family-owned in nearby Lexington.

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