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Oviedo
06-20-2008, 01:28 PM
The first one, well, he was able to deal with that. Now the second one, that was a little much for any man to overcome, even if he is a 6-foot-6, 300-plus pound Texas brute.
So you would have to excuse Steelers rookie left tackle Tony Hills for going into what he called ‘a funk’ for a little while after breaking his left ankle which needed six screws inserted into the bone to stabilize it just two games before the end of his collegiate career.

That funk very well could’ve been caused by the thought of those once almost guaranteed first or second-round dollars evaporating into late-round money.

Or it could’ve been caused by the thought of battling back from yet another devastating injury at the worst possible time.

Just a few years prior, Hills suffered a career-threatening knee injury that eventually led to a condition called ‘drop foot’ during his last high school game that put into question whether the University of Texas would honor its scholarship offer with the then all-state tight end.

Despite showing up to his official recruiting trip to Austin in January 2003 in a wheelchair and sporting a leg-length cast, Mack Brown honored his word and Hills did, too. And he turned into an All-America offensive tackle by his senior year.

“People say they have a respect for the game,” Hills said. "But until it's almost taken away from you, you don't understand.”

After fighting through what turned out to be two years worth of rehabbing of his knee that forced him to miss his freshman year at Texas, Hills figured the injuries were all behind him. Then came the ankle injury right before he was to turn pro.

“It was depressing,” Hills said. “I didn’t get to play my final game against Texas A&M and didn’t get to go to the Holiday Bowl and who knew what was going to happen with the draft.”

But, the Steelers drafted him in the fourth round. "I am right where I need to be," he said. "The only thing I am thinking about now is the 34 fight and the 122 and 22 double. That is the only thing that is on my mind right now. Everything worked out for the best because I am here.”

Maybe Hills' mental strength is why the Steelers equipment staff handed him No. 66, which was most recently worn by Alan Faneca.

"Hopefully over the long haul I can be half the player he is," Hills said. "I was going to take whatever number they gave me. Once I got it, I knew who wore it last year, I knew I was going to keep it. I just plan on making it a number.”

Often times, players change numbers after making the team as a rookie, but not Hills.

“I don’t have any desire to change my number,” he said. “My main focus is to make sure I do what I am supposed to do. A number is just a number.”

His number very well could be No. 1 as in the No. 1 left tackle sooner rather than later. The Steelers have plans of Hills eventually taking over for Marvel Smith at left tackle possibly as soon as next year when Smith’s contract is up.

Hills is big at 6-6, but his quick feet and overall speed is what makes him so attractive to the Steelers. It is a skill Hills honed while playing soccer during his youth, and basketball as a teenager. Prior to giving up basketball his freshman year in high school, Hills was on the U.S. Junior National team.

“That has helped me with my mobility,” Hills said. “Soccer and basketball helped with quickness.”

But Hills knows he still has a lot to learn about playing offensive line. He's started only 24 games there.

“I never really had a position,” Hills said. “I have been moving ever since midget league. I started out as a defensive tackle then I moved to defensive end then tight end then tackle. Who knows where I will be in the next couple of years? Hopefully I will still be playing left tackle.”

MeetJoeGreene
06-20-2008, 03:31 PM
Nice read.

Man, I hope he pans out. Because I have a feeling we are going to need him.

Shawn
06-20-2008, 03:37 PM
Quick feet I like the sound of that.

06-20-2008, 05:41 PM
Quick feet I like the sound of that.

If you look at most of the good pass blocking tackles most of them have a similar frame. About 6ft 5-6ft 6 300-315lbs. Then notice how the bigger ones like a Max Starks--330lbs plus are slow in their set up and generally get beat off the edge.

As I said pre-draft, guys like Jake Long, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams, Anthony Collins, etc., all of who have that similar build, should do well in pass blocking. Tony Hills if he can stay healthy is in that mold.

RuthlessBurgher
06-20-2008, 06:06 PM
Quick feet I like the sound of that.

If you look at most of the good pass blocking tackles most of them have a similar frame. About 6ft 5-6ft 6 300-315lbs. Then notice how the bigger ones like a Max Starks--330lbs plus are slow in their set up and generally get beat off the edge.

As I said pre-draft, guys like Jake Long, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams, Anthony Collins, etc., all of who have that similar build, should do well in pass blocking. Tony Hills if he can stay healthy is in that mold.

I was shocked that we passed on Collins in the 3rd round. Hopefully Bruce Davis turns into the animal it appears he could be, because Davis would not have been my selection there when we had such a need in the trenches and Collins still on the board.

I heard a rumor that we were in discussion with the Cowboys to move up in the 4th round to #111, but they took a deal from the Browns instead (Cleveland's '09 3rd rounder for that '08 4th rounder 111th overall instead...and the Browns took another TE!...still mortgaging the future in Cleveland). In that spot, I wonder if we were aiming for Collins (who was taken one spot later by division rival Cincinnati :evil: , or a d-lineman like Dre Moore (who was taken by Tampa 3 picks after that) or Red Bryant (who went to Seattle at #121, only two picks away from falling into our laps at #123).

Chavezz
06-20-2008, 07:16 PM
Quick feet I like the sound of that.

If you look at most of the good pass blocking tackles most of them have a similar frame. About 6ft 5-6ft 6 300-315lbs. Then notice how the bigger ones like a Max Starks--330lbs plus are slow in their set up and generally get beat off the edge.

As I said pre-draft, guys like Jake Long, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams, Anthony Collins, etc., all of who have that similar build, should do well in pass blocking. Tony Hills if he can stay healthy is in that mold.

I was shocked that we passed on Collins in the 3rd round. Hopefully Bruce Davis turns into the animal it appears he could be, because Davis would not have been my selection there when we had such a need in the trenches and Collins still on the board.

I heard a rumor that we were in discussion with the Cowboys to move up in the 4th round to #111, but they took a deal from the Browns instead (Cleveland's '09 3rd rounder for that '08 4th rounder 111th overall instead...and the Browns took another TE!...still mortgaging the future in Cleveland). In that spot, I wonder if we were aiming for Collins (who was taken one spot later by division rival Cincinnati :evil: , or a d-lineman like Dre Moore (who was taken by Tampa 3 picks after that) or Red Bryant (who went to Seattle at #121, only two picks away from falling into our laps at #123).

4th rd was tough! There were a lot of good players sitting there and they just kept ticking off one by one. I had heard about the trade up attempt and i'd love to know who it was four.

Chavezz
06-20-2008, 07:23 PM
I was talking to my wife about drop foot (Nurse, podiatry is not her specialty though) and she thought that drop foot was something that doesn't ever heal.

She was telling me that one of the major symptoms is that the foot will go completely numb on occasion and you can't feel anything. I think we can all figure out the negatives with that.

SMASHMOUTHFOOTBALL
06-20-2008, 10:00 PM
Quick feet I like the sound of that.

If you look at most of the good pass blocking tackles most of them have a similar frame. About 6ft 5-6ft 6 300-315lbs. Then notice how the bigger ones like a Max Starks--330lbs plus are slow in their set up and generally get beat off the edge.

As I said pre-draft, guys like Jake Long, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams, Anthony Collins, etc., all of who have that similar build, should do well in pass blocking. Tony Hills if he can stay healthy is in that mold.

I was shocked that we passed on Collins in the 3rd round. Hopefully Bruce Davis turns into the animal it appears he could be, because Davis would not have been my selection there when we had such a need in the trenches and Collins still on the board.



I had heard it was the exact player I was craving in RED Bryant. I would of loved to of grabbed him--but I am almost sure it was him.

I heard a rumor that we were in discussion with the Cowboys to move up in the 4th round to #111, but they took a deal from the Browns instead (Cleveland's '09 3rd rounder for that '08 4th rounder 111th overall instead...and the Browns took another TE!...still mortgaging the future in Cleveland). In that spot, I wonder if we were aiming for Collins (who was taken one spot later by division rival Cincinnati :evil: , or a d-lineman like Dre Moore (who was taken by Tampa 3 picks after that) or Red Bryant (who went to Seattle at #121, only two picks away from falling into our laps at #123).

4th rd was tough! There were a lot of good players sitting there and they just kept ticking off one by one. I had heard about the trade up attempt and i'd love to know who it was four.

RuthlessBurgher
06-20-2008, 10:23 PM
I was talking to my wife about drop foot (Nurse, podiatry is not her specialty though) and she thought that drop foot was something that doesn't ever heal.

She was telling me that one of the major symptoms is that the foot will go completely numb on occasion and you can't feel anything. I think we can all figure out the negatives with that.

I believe that Marvel's foot going completely numb was the last straw that took him out of the game late last season because his back condition was radiating down his leg and into his foot.

SteelerOfDeVille
06-21-2008, 11:52 AM
i still say the 1st four rounds were darned good... and Hills was the BPA, no question.

fordfixer
06-21-2008, 12:37 PM
I was talking to my wife about drop foot (Nurse, podiatry is not her specialty though) and she thought that drop foot was something that doesn't ever heal.

She was telling me that one of the major symptoms is that the foot will go completely numb on occasion and you can't feel anything. I think we can all figure out the negatives with that.

can this affect the head too cause I think I have that at times.
My head goes numb and I can't think :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
06-21-2008, 02:05 PM
I was talking to my wife about drop foot (Nurse, podiatry is not her specialty though) and she thought that drop foot was something that doesn't ever heal.

She was telling me that one of the major symptoms is that the foot will go completely numb on occasion and you can't feel anything. I think we can all figure out the negatives with that.

can this affect the head too cause I think I have that at times.
My head goes numb and I can't think :lol:

Well, that would certainly explain the quality of a lot of your posts! :wink: :lol:

steelblood
06-22-2008, 07:19 PM
I was talking to my wife about drop foot (Nurse, podiatry is not her specialty though) and she thought that drop foot was something that doesn't ever heal.

She was telling me that one of the major symptoms is that the foot will go completely numb on occasion and you can't feel anything. I think we can all figure out the negatives with that.

Most scouting reports agreed with your wife. Some scouts claimed that Hills foot was still going numb in games as recently as this past season. Hills and the Steelers are the only ones claiming he is over the problem. We shall see.