PDA

View Full Version : Smokin' Joe Burnett



Oviedo
06-17-2009, 03:57 PM
Snapshot: Smokin' Joe Burnett


Joe Burnett By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Jun 17, 2009


Deep into the offseason, SteelCityInsider.com continues its coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers with a look at another newcomer. Here's an inside peek at fifth-round pick Joe Burnett.

It was a hockey night in Pittsburgh, an early playoff game that became part of the Stanley Cup run, but for hardcore fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers it was a night to take a peek at “Smokin” Joe Burnett.
Burnett, at the time, was among a handful of mid-round cornerbacks the Steelers were courting, and that night opposite the Pens on TV ran an ESPN Classic game featuring Burnett and his Central Florida squad go up against rival South Florida from early in the 2008 season.

Burnett was a star. He returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, blocked a field goal, and returned three punts for 71 yards – one, a 35-yarder, set up a fourth-quarter touchdown that helped rally UCF to tie the game late before losing in overtime.

It was quite a peek at the 5-9 3/8, 192-pound cornerback, whom the Steelers later drafted at the end of the fifth round. Burnett was a four-year starter at UCF and intercepted 16 passes, after intercepting 31 at Eustis High School near Orlando, Florida. He clearly has sticky hands, as Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton pointed out when he invoked the name Antwaan Randle El on draft day, but it’s Burnett’s ability to return punts that the Steelers expect to be the first payoff on their investment.

Burnett was a four-time first-team all-conference punt returner and is expected to perform the task as an NFL rookie.

“He has a great chance to be our punt returner,” said one enthusiastic member of the Steelers’ staff. “He catches the ball and makes good decisions.”

Burnett displayed those natural skills this spring and will enter training camp as the No. 1 contender to give Santonio Holmes the break the coaching staff wants for their best offensive deep threat. The staff, of course, first wants to see Burnett perform under the bright lights of the preseason.

“I was just asking Coach Ray about getting my shot. Is it the preseason?” Burnett asked. “Him and I are going to sit down and talk about it. But like you say, under the lights, I’m looking forward to it. I’m blessed to be at that position and have the ability to play it and I’m looking forward to returning kicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Burnett returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns in college. He returned one punt for a score in the Conference USA title game against Tulsa his freshman season, and repeated the trick in the same game against the same team as a junior. Last year he became the first player in 10 years to return a kickoff for a touchdown against Miami, but Burnett is remembered better by some fans for an obscene gesture he made to Miami fans that was captured on YouTube.

“That gesture that I did was out of my character,” he said. “It was one where I was so caught up. We all make mistakes and I put it behind me. I apologized to both schools. I was caught up in the moment and it was out of my character. That was not me at all. If I could take it back, I definitely would.”

Burnett is a bright and engaging young man who graduated in three-and-a-half years with a degree in Criminal Justice. He graduated as a member of the UCF honor roll.

“Very bright, very bright,” was how Steelers veteran cornerback Deshea Townsend described him. But, Townsend cautioned, “It’s still tough. A rookie at any position on this defense needs a season, maybe more before they really understand how this defense works.”

And Burnett is working at one of the more difficult positions of all – nickel cornerback.

“That’s always tough on first-year players, but he has good natural skills out there,” said Townsend, who explained why the nickel position is so difficult:

“You have to learn the outside and then the inside, so it’s kind of like double duty,” Townsend said. “It makes for a tough couple of weeks when you’re coming in. You just have to do so much. You have to play man, you’ve got to play your half, you’ve got to blitz. You’ve got so much on your plate instead of just learning how to squat and play a couple of zones. You’ve got a lot more responsibilities because you have to line people up, call strengths. The nickel’s tough to learn.”

Townsend, though, said that Burnett may not have to play nickel back, even if he’s active on game day to return punts.

“Allen Rossum was a punt returner and he didn’t play in the nickel package,” Townsend said. “They know what they’re doing here.”

Burnett sees that. He’s happy to be with the Steelers – the team, he said on draft day, for which he wanted to play.

“I love being here,” he said. “When I came here not knowing what to expect, the guys showed so much love. They really want the younger guys to grow. They answer any question you have. No one gave me a cold shoulder or blew me away or told me I asked a stupid question. They made me feel more comfortable and welcome and made me believe I can do it here.”

Flasteel
06-17-2009, 05:38 PM
I'm with you O. I think Burnett is going to finally give us something in the punt return game that we haven't had since ARE took off for greener pastures. I can't wait to see him flash his skills in the preseason.

Oracle
06-17-2009, 10:10 PM
Part of being a great punt returner is being fearless. Hungry young athletes are usually the most fearless and i think burnett fits that bill. It's not just his speed and moves, he's got good fire inside. You can tell he's determined not just to make the team but produce on the field. I don't care if he's 5'9" if he's got sticky fingers i'll take him.

SteelerNation1
06-18-2009, 12:10 AM
Ov,
Only one question...did your order the Burnett authentic jersey yet? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Jom112
06-18-2009, 12:22 AM
Ov,
Only one question...did your order the Burnett authentic jersey yet? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't think they make them in petite yet... :stirpot

Just messing with you Ov. I have to say I was happy for you as soon as they announced that Burnett was drafted by the Steelers. You were definitely the first person on that bandwagon...

Oviedo
06-18-2009, 08:21 AM
Ov,
Only one question...did your order the Burnett authentic jersey yet? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't think they make them in petite yet... :stirpot

Just messing with you Ov. I have to say I was happy for you as soon as they announced that Burnett was drafted by the Steelers. You were definitely the first person on that bandwagon...

Thanks. It's kind of neat to watch a player in college for four years up close and see so many good things and then it is icing on the cake to have the best team in the world draft him. Never had that happen before.

You could just see that Burnett was more than the stats. I live about 1.5 miles from campus plus my oldest daughter goes to UCF and we frequent a lot of the same places as the athletes and fans. Everything you ever heard about Burnett was good in all aspects of life. Hopefully, he keeps his focus and stays humble and doesn't do anything stupid.

As a football player I think he can contribute for a long time to Steelers success. I'm waiting to see what his final number is before ordering a jersey and guarantee it won't be petite

Flasteel
06-18-2009, 09:50 AM
Ov,
Only one question...did your order the Burnett authentic jersey yet? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't think they make them in petite yet... :stirpot

Just messing with you Ov. I have to say I was happy for you as soon as they announced that Burnett was drafted by the Steelers. You were definitely the first person on that bandwagon...

Thanks. It's kind of neat to watch a player in college for four years up close and see so many good things and then it is icing on the cake to have the best team in the world draft him. Never had that happen before.

You could just see that Burnett was more than the stats. I live about 1.5 miles from campus plus my oldest daughter goes to UCF and we frequent a lot of the same places as the athletes and fans. Everything you ever heard about Burnett was good in all aspects of life. Hopefully, he keeps his focus and stays humble and doesn't do anything stupid.

As a football player I think he can contribute for a long time to Steelers success. I'm waiting to see what his final number is before ordering a jersey and guarantee it won't be petite

I used to live in this little subdivision just off campus on Alafaya when I was a Golden Knight. I never graduated from UCF (U Can't Finish) so I never became too much of a fan after leaving and thus never had a chance to really watch Burnett. I wound up graduating from USF but ironically missed that monster game he had against the Bulls. All I know is I love what I've seen and read from the guy and he potentially fills a huge need for us.

Oviedo
06-18-2009, 10:08 AM
Ov,
Only one question...did your order the Burnett authentic jersey yet? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't think they make them in petite yet... :stirpot

Just messing with you Ov. I have to say I was happy for you as soon as they announced that Burnett was drafted by the Steelers. You were definitely the first person on that bandwagon...

Thanks. It's kind of neat to watch a player in college for four years up close and see so many good things and then it is icing on the cake to have the best team in the world draft him. Never had that happen before.

You could just see that Burnett was more than the stats. I live about 1.5 miles from campus plus my oldest daughter goes to UCF and we frequent a lot of the same places as the athletes and fans. Everything you ever heard about Burnett was good in all aspects of life. Hopefully, he keeps his focus and stays humble and doesn't do anything stupid.

As a football player I think he can contribute for a long time to Steelers success. I'm waiting to see what his final number is before ordering a jersey and guarantee it won't be petite

I used to live in this little subdivision just off campus on Alafaya when I was a Golden Knight. I never graduated from UCF (U Can't Finish) so I never became too much of a fan after leaving and thus never had a chance to really watch Burnett. I wound up graduating from USF but ironically missed that monster game he had against the Bulls. All I know is I love what I've seen and read from the guy and he potentially fills a huge need for us.

Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Flasteel
06-18-2009, 10:16 AM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

RuthlessBurgher
06-18-2009, 11:46 AM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

Oviedo
06-18-2009, 12:01 PM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

There isn't much south of that on the Guldf Coast althoiugh the relatively new Florida Gulf Coast University is in Fort Myers.

The University of West Florida is in Pensacola so I guess in comparison to Pensacola Tampa is south.

MeetJoeGreene
06-18-2009, 12:01 PM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

3 of the Top 10 are in FLA.... I didn't know that many people in Florida went to college.... I thought FLA was all old people and :Boobs

Oviedo
06-18-2009, 12:02 PM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

3 of the Top 10 are in FLA.... I didn't know that many people in Florida went to college.... I thought FLA was all old people and :Boobs

Florida is all former Pittsburgh area residents who actually want decent paying jobs and aren't dumb enough to keep paying state taxes :D

The Steelers rule in Central Florida

RuthlessBurgher
06-18-2009, 12:30 PM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

3 of the Top 10 are in FLA.... I didn't know that many people in Florida went to college.... I thought FLA was all old people and :Boobs

Well, think about how many of our board brethren are Floridians...Oviedo, FlaSteel, Asian, Discipline of Steel, etc. FLA is all old people and :Boobs and crazy Steeler fans. :mrgreen:

Flasteel
06-18-2009, 01:27 PM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

3 of the Top 10 are in FLA.... I didn't know that many people in Florida went to college.... I thought FLA was all old people and :Boobs

Well, think about how many of our board brethren are Floridians...Oviedo, FlaSteel, Asian, Discipline of Steel, etc. FLA is all old people and :Boobs and crazy Steeler fans. :mrgreen:

The Steeler Nation dominates here as well. In my county (Manatee) there are probably 4 or 5 Steeler bars alone and not a day goes by where I don't see somebody representing. Only the Bucs can claim to have a larger fan base here...and it's probably close.

As far as the USF moniker, the school was the southern most public university in Florida when it opened in the 1950s and as O stated, there wasn't a whole lot of development south of Tampa on the gulf coast at the time. You are correct however RB, we are definitely west-central Florida.

AngryAsian
06-18-2009, 01:53 PM
The Steeler Nation dominates here as well. In my county (Manatee) there are probably 4 or 5 Steeler bars alone and not a day goes by where I don't see somebody representing. Only the Bucs can claim to have a larger fan base here...and it's probably close.

As far as the USF moniker, the school was the southern most public university in Florida when it opened in the 1950s and as O stated, there wasn't a whole lot of development south of Tampa on the gulf coast at the time. You are correct however RB, we are definitely west-central Florida.


The Floridian based fans of the board have to get together for at least one game this year, FLA. Ov, seems to be centrally located for meeting of the minds. I know you are a fixture of a local watering hole in your town (from what I remember you saying last year), but surely we could all meet up. I'm wondering if any of the Floridian B&G brothers are going to make it up for the PS Tailgate session this Oct. 4th?

Do you remember what subdivision you lived in off Alafaya. I lived off Alafaya as well around '88. Didn't attend UCF, but tended bar for about a year and half in downtown O'ville, what was then called "Cairo." The subdivision I lived in was then called "FoxHunt" like a quarter mile from the Publix on the corner of Alafaya and Colonial. We were definitely neighbors.

Flasteel
06-18-2009, 03:00 PM
The Steeler Nation dominates here as well. In my county (Manatee) there are probably 4 or 5 Steeler bars alone and not a day goes by where I don't see somebody representing. Only the Bucs can claim to have a larger fan base here...and it's probably close.

As far as the USF moniker, the school was the southern most public university in Florida when it opened in the 1950s and as O stated, there wasn't a whole lot of development south of Tampa on the gulf coast at the time. You are correct however RB, we are definitely west-central Florida.


The Floridian based fans of the board have to get together for at least one game this year, FLA. Ov, seems to be centrally located for meeting of the minds. I know you are a fixture of a local watering hole in your town (from what I remember you saying last year), but surely we could all meet up. I'm wondering if any of the Floridian B&G brothers are going to make it up for the PS Tailgate session this Oct. 4th?

Do you remember what subdivision you lived in off Alafaya. I lived off Alafaya as well around '88. Didn't attend UCF, but tended bar for about a year and half in downtown O'ville, what was then called "Cairo." The subdivision I lived in was then called "FoxHunt" like a quarter mile from the Publix on the corner of Alafaya and Colonial. We were definitely neighbors.

Ha! That's exactly where I lived...on Foxhound Lane. I lived there in 1992 & '93 though.

I doubt that I can get away for any tailgating this season unless it's in December (grad school) but I am considering the game down in Miami at the beginning of January. One of these days my slant-eyed friend we will get together and raise a few up.

RuthlessBurgher
06-18-2009, 03:22 PM
The Steeler Nation dominates here as well. In my county (Manatee) there are probably 4 or 5 Steeler bars alone and not a day goes by where I don't see somebody representing. Only the Bucs can claim to have a larger fan base here...and it's probably close.

As far as the USF moniker, the school was the southern most public university in Florida when it opened in the 1950s and as O stated, there wasn't a whole lot of development south of Tampa on the gulf coast at the time. You are correct however RB, we are definitely west-central Florida.


The Floridian based fans of the board have to get together for at least one game this year, FLA. Ov, seems to be centrally located for meeting of the minds. I know you are a fixture of a local watering hole in your town (from what I remember you saying last year), but surely we could all meet up. I'm wondering if any of the Floridian B&G brothers are going to make it up for the PS Tailgate session this Oct. 4th?

Do you remember what subdivision you lived in off Alafaya. I lived off Alafaya as well around '88. Didn't attend UCF, but tended bar for about a year and half in downtown O'ville, what was then called "Cairo." The subdivision I lived in was then called "FoxHunt" like a quarter mile from the Publix on the corner of Alafaya and Colonial. We were definitely neighbors.

Ha! That's exactly where I lived...on Foxhound Lane. I lived there in 1992 & '93 though.

I doubt that I can get away for any tailgating this season unless it's in December (grad school) but I am considering the game down in Miami at the beginning of January. One of these days my slant-eyed friend we will get together and raise a few up.

Or the other game down in Miami at the beginning of February. :wink: :tt2 :tt1

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
06-19-2009, 08:44 AM
Trivia for the day: What is the sixth largest university in the country based on student enrollment?

Answer: The University of Central Florida with 48,000 students.

Actually, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) UCF is now 5th in the nation with over 50,000 enrolled in the 2008-2009 academic year.

1 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 53,715
2 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 52,734
3 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 51,413
4 University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 51,141
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 50,254
6 University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 50,006
7 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 48,029
8 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 46,648
9 University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 46,174
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania 44,406

USF is in Tampa? How is that considered to be South Florida? It is more like West-Central Florida. :?

3 of the Top 10 are in FLA.... I didn't know that many people in Florida went to college.... I thought FLA was all old people and :Boobs

Note that it doesn't say anything about graduates :stirpot