Big Lead Sports Bar

3/12/2008

Scrawler: Tailgating Pro Days and Drafting Sinbad

Here’s a modest proposal for Pittsburgh football fans: tailgate a College Pro Day. If there are any fans that you would put it past it is the “Steeler Nation.” (Aside: As much as I appreciate the loyalty of Steeler fans across the country, I cringe at this borrowed nickname.)

Anyway, if you were denied a hotel room in Pittsburgh last April because of the influx of Steelers fans invading Heinz Field to watch the NFL Draft (live from New York), you know it doesn’t take much to get charcoaled-fueled “Here We Go, Steelers” chants ignited. And, of course, there was this outside of Mercy Hospital awhile back.


Dates, schools and times of all the College Pro Day workouts are available here, complete with the pro day leaderboard. Someone, for the love of Mel Kiper, please supplant Wisconsin-Whitewater RB Justin Beaver’s first-in-the-clubhouse shuttle time of 3.96.

If you are looking to attend a College Pro Day, here are some of the local pro days listed:

On Wednesday, check out former IUP center Rory Thomas workout for scouts at 10 a.m. Funny that IUP has a “Pro Day” for one player, but when Slippery Rock’s Mike Butterworth entertains scouts at 9 a.m. on March 25 it is called an “individual workout.” Kutztown QB Kyle Spotts will workout at Duquesne on Friday but apparently no Dukes are worthy enough to join him.

On Thursday, Morgantown is the place to be. No, Nyjer, not centerfield at PNC Park. This Morgantown. Ten Mountaineers will workout, including fullback Owen Schmitt whose folkloric 10 broken facemasks and silly haircut have preceded his reputation.

Next Tuesday, Penn State has its chance to strut its stuff. Four Nits, including surprise (4.33 in the 40) CB Justin King and projected late first-round LB Dan Connor, will workout. Scouts wishing to look at QB Anthony Morelli will have to succumb to headlocks from his father. Someone once joked to me that during his recruitment Morelli and his father had matching tattoos and his pops shared a bunk with him in State College. After hearing more accounts, I began to believe it.

High noon the day after Easter, Pitt will hold its Pro Day as scouts will take six Panthers for test drives –– OT Jeff Otah, OG Mike McGlynn, TE Darrell Strong, DE Joe Clermond, CB Kennard Cox and DE Chris McKillop. Otah, a mid-first round projection, disappointed some at the Combine and will likely need a solid workout to improve his stock. McGlynn will likely make more funny faces.

OK, so there are a bunch of Pro Day workouts. Where should Steeler Nation … ahem, Steeler fans … turn their collective focus? A polling of Mock Drafts from 20 reputable Draftnik sites –– mostly used in my previous post on the Draft –– show nine picks for Virginia OG Brendan Albert as the Steelers first round selection. So get out your Terrible Towel and head to Charlottesville, Va., on March 18 to cheer him on.

Here are some interesting football-relating reads:

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports takes a look at how recent free agency has affected the Draft –– along with another Mock Draft nod for Albert not included above.

Fanhouse points out that the lack of college teams using the “SAM” strongside linebacker, instead using an extra defensive back to defend the spread offense, could someday diminish the talent level at linebacker in the Draft.

OK, so Albert is a well-documented possibility to become the Steelers’ first round selection. What about the second round? Purdue DE/OLB Cliff Avril, not to be confused with the rock-glam singer Lavigne, is a Steeler favorite. The Steelers talked to Avril after the Senior Bowl and they will also bring him to their South Side facility. (Anyone feel like they are reading TMZ.com?)


This is a must-NOT-read article for those needing clarification on the Max Starks “transition tag” scenario. Just read the comments at the bottom first and you’ll see many “experts” had a hard time wrapping their brains around just what in the heck the tag-labeling Steelers were thinking.

This, however, is a MUST read. Tip of the cap to Tirico Suave for compiling the 2008 Movie Character Mock Draft. (Married … With Children wasn’t a movie but Al Bundy made it anyway.) The Steelers took Andre Krimm (Sinbad) of Texas State and Necessary Roughness, just ahead of Air Bud and Joe Kane of The Program. Forrest Gump went No. 1. Others include Rudy, Stan Gable, Uncle Rico, and The Waterboy.

1 comment:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

I also dislike the term "Steeler Nation."

The Raiders own it in the NFL and the Red Sox claimed it in MLB.

Attaching "-nation" a suffix is officially played out: the Jets are doing it.

Time to be more creative, Steeler Fans.