View Full Version : Mundy impresses Steelers with smarts, skills

05-27-2009, 12:05 AM
Mundy impresses Steelers with smarts, skills

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 26881.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_626881.html)

Twenty-nine has significance for Steelers safety Ryan Mundy beyond the fact that it is his uniform number.

It explains why coach Mike Tomlin, among others, call the Woodland Hills High graduate "Wonderlic."

When Mundy took the Wonderlic while visiting the Steelers prior to the 2008 NFL Draft, he tackled 29 of the 50 questions on the aptitude test during an allotted 12-minute time period. What earned Mundy his moniker from Tomlin? He didn't miss any of the questions he answered.

"I've never heard of that," Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton said.

If Mundy does as well on his the tests that lie ahead specifically the ones he will face in training camp he could find himself playing a significant role for his hometown team.

The Steelers, who are not deep at safety, could afford to get younger on the back end of their defense, especially after not spending a draft pick there in April.

All of that translates into an opportunity for Mundy that is as golden as the color of the jerseys he and the other Steelers defensive players have been wearing during offseason practice.

Not that Mundy, the Trib's WPIAL Class AAAA Player of the Year in 2002, will win a roster spot or a job over the next couple of weeks. Tomlin, after all, dismissively refers to this time of the year as "football in shorts."

But one thing that won't hurt Mundy is the favorable impression he has been making during the practices that resumed Tuesday at the team's South Side facility.

"I was just walking off the field thinking basically every day he's done something good," Horton said last week.

Mundy has been getting plenty of work while running with the first-team defense.

And with starters Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark not taking part in the offseason practices the former is training in California; the latter is still recovering from shoulder surgery Mundy has been playing both strong and free safety.

"It's a great experience for me," said Mundy, whom the Steelers drafted in the sixth round out of West Virginia in 2008.

The Steelers let Anthony Smith, once considered the team's future at free safety, leave in March as a restricted free agent. Tyrone Carter, the primary backup at both safety spots, is 33 and going into the final year of his contract.

If his young legs make Mundy, 24, an appealing prospect at safety, his lack of experience doesn't appear to concern the Steelers.

"Nothing fazes the kid," Horton said. "I don't think, 'Oh, he hasn't played a lot of plays' or 'Oh, he doesn't know what he's doing.' It's like he's a veteran, and we're treating him like that.

"We plan to give him a heck of a lot of work during the preseason and see what we have. We're counting on him."

Mundy got little playing time during his first preseason. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder logged fewer than 10 plays before sustaining a high ankle sprain in the Steelers' 2008 preseason opener against the Eagles.

The Steelers took the calculated risk of releasing Mundy, figuring teams hadn't seen enough of him to sign him while he was recovering from the injury. They later re-signed Mundy, and he said the time he spent practicing with the Steelers has prepared him to make a significant jump in his second season.

"I just feel like I've got to stay healthy," Mundy said. "I know I'm going to be in shape. I know the playbook. So if I stay healthy, I feel like everything will take care of itself."

05-27-2009, 07:48 AM
I'm pulling for Mundy to become the heir apparent to Ryan Clark. I love Clark but not sure we have the cap space to extend him unless he is willing to take a discounted deal. I also like the fact that Mundy is a local kid and it is always good when you have local players who make it. Just like Batch they can translate that into being great role models for young people in the Pittsburgh area. That is why I am also pulling for Shipley, but the priority is to be good not just homegrown.

05-27-2009, 08:14 AM
Mundy is a great ball player. I thought when we drafted him last year that the kid definitely has potential here. I'm pulling for him all the way.

05-27-2009, 08:32 AM
I really hope he can be a good, solid find.

he was VERY highly recruited coming out of high school (not that that means anything now).... but maybe he has the skills and it has taken time to emerge...

05-27-2009, 08:37 AM
I really hope he can be a good, solid find.

he was VERY highly recruited coming out of high school (not that that means anything now).... but maybe he has the skills and it has taken time to emerge...

He had some solid football players in front of him with a higher draft status and, regardless, of what teams say, that has some bearing on players drafted later in the draft and the financial commitment is much less.

Polamalu and Clark are as good a tandem as there is in the NFL right now. Smith (3rd round) and Carter (experience) kept him on the PS. It sounds like the Steelers may have something here, we'll find out once they put the pads on in August.


05-27-2009, 09:45 AM
It would be great to see Mundy really step in to the job as the #3 or #4 safety this year. I don't think that you can count Carter out -- he has experience and provides solid veteran depth.

I think the ideal situation is Mundy earning a spot this year, and then replacing at least Carter next year as the #3. I like Clark, and hope that he is signed to a reasonable long term deal.

05-27-2009, 11:16 AM
it would be nice to see Mundy beat Carter out and have Deshea be a backup safety as well. It would be awfully nice to see Mundy turn out to be a real diamond in the rough. Sounds like he has been working really hard.

05-27-2009, 02:02 PM
While playing at WVU, Mundy became a standout both from his leadership abilities, as well as his play making ability. He's a ball hawk who's not afraid to bring the wood with his pads either. Here's some film...

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Here's a rundown of Mundy's Senior season after his transfer to WVU. (Source:Wikipedia)

West Virginia
Following his redshirt-junior season of 2006 at Michigan, Mundy decided to use an NCAA rule to transfer to West Virginia University. The rule allowed seniors to transfer to another school and participate in athletics without having the sit out a season due to their previous school not having a certain field they want to study in. Mundy enrolled at West Virginia and began his work on a master's degree in sports administration.

Mundy excelled at practice during the 2007 preseason training. Mundy replaced senior Ridwan Malik at free safety for the starting job for the season opener against Western Michigan.[2] In that game, Mundy had five total tackles. In the second game of the season, Mundy pounced on a Marshall fumble to recover the ball for the Mountaineers, along with his six tackles, in their 48-23 win.[3] In the 21-13 loss to USF, Mundy recorded four tackles and his first interception as a Mountaineer. Against Syracuse in the 55-14 win at the Carrier Dome, Mundy had an interception on Syracuse's first drive off of a tipped pass. In the victory against Mississippi State for homecoming, Mundy recorded two pass deflections and 5 tackles. Against Rutgers, Mundy recorded an interception that he returned for 32 yards, his third interception of the season, and also had a hit on receiver Tiquan Underwood that knocked the ball out of his hands to save a touchdown along with 5 total tackles. In the victories over Louisville and Cincinnati, Mundy had a total of 4 tackles, two pass deflections, and a fumble recovery against Cincinnati. In the 66-21 victory over #20 UConn to clinch the Big East title, Mundy had only one tackle, but did recover a fumble. At the end of the regular season, Mundy earned the team's Coaches Contribution Award. In Mundy's final collegiate game, the 48-28 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, he recorded a career-high 11 tackles.

Mundy finished his collegiate career in the 2007 season with 45 tackles, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. After the season, Mundy was selected by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame's Hampshire Honor Society as a scholar-athlete.

05-27-2009, 08:03 PM
Mundy had the talent to start for two different major college programs...to me, that says something....

05-27-2009, 08:40 PM
This is just the progression I thought he would take, and was quite nervous he would get scooped up last fall.

been pulling for him since draft day last year, and he'll prove why we invested the time in him.

another versatile, smart, team leader. this combination of tomlin and colbert will bring us into true dynasty range sooner than later.

go mountaineers!