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fordfixer
05-27-2009, 12:20 AM
Shipley thrilled by chance with Steelers
Penn State's A.Q. Shipley gets to start his NFL career with his hometown team.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
BY DALE GRDNIC
For The Patriot-News

http://www.pennlive.com/nfl/patriotnews ... xml&coll=1 (http://www.pennlive.com/nfl/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/124337670673820.xml&coll=1)

PITTSBURGH - Former Penn State center A.Q. Shipley thought he was going to be selected earlier than the seventh round during last month's NFL draft.

But even though the 2008 All-American and Rimington Trophy winner as the nation's top center lasted nearly until the end of the two-day event, things could work out just fine with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We all want the biggest, the fastest, all the measurables," Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said. "[But] you're not going to get that. I always tell players that 90 percent of their evaluation is from August until December, what we see them do on the field.

"[Shipley] was a productive player. When we interviewed defensive linemen ... we always ask them who was the toughest offensive lineman he went against. We got A.Q.'s name quite often. So I can't answer why he lasted. We're happy to get him where we got him because we think he'll come in and he'll compete."

Shipley, from Moon Twp. in suburban Pittsburgh, was contacted by representatives from Cincinnati and San Diego, but he was thrilled to be taken by his hometown Steelers.

"As a Steelers fan growing up, especially being from Pittsburgh, it meant the absolute world to me when I finally got the call and Coach [Mike] Tomlin got on the phone," Shipley said.

"It was unbelievable and meant the world to me. I think this is a great fit for me. After [starting center] Justin Hartwig, I think the Steelers' backup center last year was the starting guard.

"So the fact that I have an opportunity to make the team and learn from a guy like Justin is great."

Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein and Colbert heard about Shipley's shortcomings, his short arms and lack of height, but they clearly believed that the 6-foot-1, 300-pound powerhouse should overcome them.

"He played at Penn State and did a great job," Colbert said. "You're going to hear that he's short and his arms are only 29 inches, but once we figure out a way to measure a heart, then we'll be on to something.
Penn State's A.Q. Shipley gets to start his NFL career with his hometown team.

"A.Q. is a productive, tough player. That's what we're looking for in these late rounds."

Shipley also is aware that the center position has a storied past with the Steelers. The lineage includes Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and former Penn Stater Jeff Hartings.

Shipley also could play guard, if necessary, and position flexibility makes him valuable to the team.

Shipley has been taking part in the Steelers' spring workouts since the draft and appears to be settling in after a slow start to the noncontact practice sessions.

"It's been a slow transition for me, a learning experience, but I'm getting there," Shipley said. "We ran similar concepts at Penn State, and I'm sure there are similar concepts at other places. But the terminology is different. The way they make their calls and things like that.

"Rookies like me, we need all the reps we can get," Shipley added, "mentally and on the field. Right now, the physical reps help me a lot."

The learning process has reminded him of his early days at Penn State.

"I guess you could compare being a rookie in the NFL like being a freshman in college," Shipley said.

"When I got to Penn State, I had to prove some things to my teammates and the coaches. And it's certainly the same thing here with the Steelers."

SteelCrazy
05-27-2009, 12:35 AM
The Ship is going to be a beast at the center position for years to come. We were shockingly lucky to me, to have gotten the best center n the draft in round 7. He will be a pro bowler several times over.


Believe me when I say this...........

Acero
05-27-2009, 07:11 AM
The Ship is going to be a beast at the center position for years to come. We were shockingly lucky to me, to have gotten the best center n the draft in round 7. He will be a pro bowler several times over.


Believe me when I say this...........

I certainly hope you're right, man. As Steelers fans we are a bit spoiled in being used to having rock solid pro bowl centers that last for a decade. The instability at the position the past few years makes me uneasy (and I'm sure I'm not alone) and I hope Shipley can be the future starting stud many say he can be.

Jooser
05-27-2009, 07:50 AM
"He played at Penn State and did a great job," Colbert said. "You're going to hear that he's short and his arms are only 29 inches, but once we figure out a way to measure a heart, then we'll be on to something. Penn State's A.Q. Shipley gets to start his NFL career with his hometown team.


:Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap

Me likes this type of psychobabble!

Oviedo
05-27-2009, 07:50 AM
Let's hope the love affair with Shipley is justified. This quote says it all in my mind


"We all want the biggest, the fastest, all the measurables," Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said. "[But] you're not going to get that. I always tell players that 90 percent of their evaluation is from August until December, what we see them do on the field.


If you are a player you are a player. Too much today is made of numbers in the era of fantasy football nerds and we sometimes miss the most important thing--is the guy a winner and can he make a difference.

100$handshake
05-27-2009, 08:20 AM
The guy is a 7th round draft pick yet he gets love from all the PSU grads and fans. The chances of 7th round picks making a veteran Super Bowl roster are very slim. Why does Shipley have what it takes?

MeetJoeGreene
05-27-2009, 08:33 AM
I am really pulling for AQ....

but I have a realistic outlook and don't have really high expectations at this point.

papillon
05-27-2009, 08:46 AM
Shipley would almost have to fall flat on his face not to make the roster, don't you think? He really only needs to be better than Legursky to take the backup center job. I have to believe that Shipley has a place on this roster provided he is at least serviceable.

Pappy

ramblinjim
05-27-2009, 09:07 AM
Shipley would almost have to fall flat on his face not to make the roster, don't you think? He really only needs to be better than Legursky to take the backup center job. I have to believe that Shipley has a place on this roster provided he is at least serviceable.

Pappy

:Agree

There is plenty of room on our o-line this year for some young guys that want to work hard to make a statement.

Chadman
05-27-2009, 09:43 AM
Even with what Chadman believes to be a good, solid draft, 7th round A.Q. Shipley is still probably Chadman's favourite pick in 2009.

Looks, sounds & acts like a Steeler & watching his college play- there's some talent there. To be honest, the one area of an NFL team where late round picks have a decent shot of 'making it' is the interior OL.

So instead of some people asking 'why?' to Shipley making the roster, why not ask 'why not?'.

SteelCzar76
05-27-2009, 09:57 AM
I feel as though Ship will go on to be very productive. Lack of particular physical measurables are often offset by other gifts,.. and especially by collegiate productivity amongst ones peers. (Granted, if your physically lacking, as well lacking in terms of onfield performance though,..that's simply a recipe for "grits" :lol: )

In Ship's case though, the strength, intelligence, acumen, will and tenacity that helped him not only overcome his lack of height and wingspan, but in fact allowed his play to rank him as one of the very best amongst his peers in college,....may very well be the determining factors for his performance at the pro level.

At least that's what i'm betting on,....

ikestops85
05-27-2009, 10:16 AM
While I do like what I've seen and read on Shipley I'm confused why everyone is looking past Legursky. There pedigrees seem to be similar. Legursky was both a Rimington Award Finalist as well as on the Outland Trophy Watch List. Legursky has also played guard so he has more of an advantage with regards to position flexibility and he has a year of experience so it should be a good battle.

I don't care which one wins it as long as we can come up with a long term solution to the center position. We need that solid anchor in the middle.

RuthlessBurgher
05-27-2009, 10:18 AM
Shipley also could play guard, if necessary, and position flexibility makes him valuable to the team.

I don't see this at all. It has been established that he is small with short arms for a center. Those inadequancies would get even more magnified if he were to move further outside. He seems like a center only to me.

Mister Pittsburgh
05-27-2009, 12:36 PM
While I do like what I've seen and read on Shipley I'm confused why everyone is looking past Legursky. There pedigrees seem to be similar. Legursky was both a Rimington Award Finalist as well as on the Outland Trophy Watch List. Legursky has also played guard so he has more of an advantage with regards to position flexibility and he has a year of experience so it should be a good battle.

I don't care which one wins it as long as we can come up with a long term solution to the center position. We need that solid anchor in the middle.

100% agree. Was going to post the same thing. I have read nothing but positive things about him. Powerlifter with good speed & quickness. Good size. I wouldn't count him out of the battle.

Mel Blount's G
05-27-2009, 04:02 PM
Shipley also could play guard, if necessary, and position flexibility makes him valuable to the team.

I don't see this at all. It has been established that he is small with short arms for a center. Those inadequancies would get even more magnified if he were to move further outside. He seems like a center only to me.
Having no experience as a long snapper could also work against him...

I'm pulling for the guy. It would sure make a great story if some of these homeristic claims that he will be a perennial pro bowler were to actually emerge as reality.


And that "measure the size of his heart" comment was a popular tv commercial and slogan (in Canada) for an ex NHL hockey player. The actual saying was "They said he was too small..blah blah blah...but they didn't measure the size of his Heart"
http://www.prohockeyfr.com/photogallery/photoshistoire/theo_fleury.jpg

The topic of his size always comes to the forefront when discussing the Oxbow, Saskatchewan born Fleury. Fleury was always the smallest player on any team he ever played on. He grew to be just 5'6" and played around 180lbs. Despite this he played with ferocious physicality. Grit and determination were his calling cards, even though he had the speed and skill to twice break the 100 point barrier.

Even though he dominated the Western Hockey League as a junior star with the Moose Jaw Warriors, even the Flames did not expect much from Fleury. GM Cliff Fletcher used his 166th overall draft choice in 1987 on Fleury, hoping that he would turn into a minor league drawing card. He turned into not only perhaps the best player in that draft class, but the best player in Calgary Flames history.

flippy
05-27-2009, 04:13 PM
We goin to the 'ship.

#7

RuthlessBurgher
05-27-2009, 04:31 PM
[quote]Shipley also could play guard, if necessary, and position flexibility makes him valuable to the team.

I don't see this at all. It has been established that he is small with short arms for a center. Those inadequancies would get even more magnified if he were to move further outside. He seems like a center only to me.
Having no experience as a long snapper could also work against him...

I'm pulling for the guy. It would sure make a great story if some of these homeristic claims that he will be a perennial pro bowler were to actually emerge as reality.


And that "measure the size of his heart" comment was a popular tv commercial and slogan (in Canada) for an ex NHL hockey player. The actual saying was "They said he was too small..blah blah blah...but they didn't measure the size of his Heart"
http://www.prohockeyfr.com/photogallery/photoshistoire/theo_fleury.jpg

The topic of his size always comes to the forefront when discussing the Oxbow, Saskatchewan born Fleury. Fleury was always the smallest player on any team he ever played on. He grew to be just 5'6" and played around 180lbs. Despite this he played with ferocious physicality. Grit and determination were his calling cards, even though he had the speed and skill to twice break the 100 point barrier.

Even though he dominated the Western Hockey League as a junior star with the Moose Jaw Warriors, even the Flames did not expect much from Fleury. GM Cliff Fletcher used his 166th overall draft choice in 1987 on Fleury, hoping that he would turn into a minor league drawing card. He turned into not only perhaps the best player in that draft class, but the best player in Calgary Flames history.[/quote:395frvss]

Even though the NHL never was able to find a reliable means to measure the size of one's heart, unfortunately for Fleury, NHL officials were able to measure the amount of drugs and alcohol in his system throughout his playing career. How much of that heart was wasted this way?

Mel Blount's G
05-27-2009, 04:44 PM
:lol: The new Fleury commercial:


They said he was too small

They said he couldn't make it.

They said he couldn't compete.

But they didn't measure the size of his ability to inhale stimulants

Steel Life
05-27-2009, 11:26 PM
Looking at this realistically, Ship has an uphill battle to make the roster...though I think he'll end up on the PS. I just think that despite the size of his heart (that grows 10 times on game day) he's ill-suited to handle the likes of Ngata, Peko & Rogers twice a season. The fact that he doesn't long-snap makes it even more difficult for him, despite his rumored "position flexibility". Best of luck to him...I just don't see it.