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The Steelers named their 2008 Rookie of the Year today, and it was (drum roll, please)....linebacker Patrick Bailey, an undrafted rookie from Duke who's third on the team with 12 special teams tackles. From what I can see, he's the first undrafted player to win the award since its inception in 1984.

Like I said in the day-after wrap-up on Monday, this was a rough year for the Steeler draft class, with two picks landing on injured reserve, one on the practice squad, three that don't dress, and one that dresses but has limited game action.

It just goes to show you how tremendous of a job the veteran roster has done in a season that's seen rookie contributions for contenders all around the league. It also illustrates how deep the Steelers are from the standpoint that they don't absolutely have to plug rookies into the lineup (although having Mendenhall would sure be sweet in those goal-line situations). That said, I can't wait to see what some of these guys can do when healthy and with a year under their belts in 2009.

In other Steeler news:

--The NFL officially gave their OK to the Rooney ownership deal by a 31-0 vote of the owners. Yes, it was a blowout.

--DE Aaron Smith might not be going to the Pro Bowl, but he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

--Steelers are now #1 in the cumulative power rankings. Mike Tomlin will put that trophy next to the rushing title trophy that doesn't mean anything.

--Hey Yinzers, stop trying to rename the Steeler defense!

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Tom said...

Dan Krieder won the award in 2000 as an undrafted rookie.

Anonymous said...

This draft class has been horrible so far.