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fordfixer
01-09-2010, 02:53 AM
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... elers.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/january/08/shipleys-future-may-not-be-with-steelers.html)

Shipley's future may not be with Steelers

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Friday January 8, 2010 12:00 AM

Times photo by Lucy Schaly 8/2/09 Steeler training camp 2nd day-A.Q. Shipley, Moon and Penn State graduate, during his second day of camp for the Steelers.

PITTSBURGH — A.Q. Shipley’s rookie year with the Steelers was a positive experience. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be back next season.

On Thursday, the Steelers signed seven of their eight practice squad players to their off-season roster. The only practice squad player not signed was Shipley, a center.

“An offer is on the table, but my agent and I are trying to figure out what’s best for me,” said Shipley.

In other words, Shipley wants to play.

On game days next year, the former Moon Area and Penn State standout wants to be in uniform as a member of a 53-man active roster. There are no guarantees that will happen in Pittsburgh. That’s why Shipley and his agent Eric Metz are exploring other options.

For the time being, he is not under contract with the Steelers.

Shipley came to the Steelers as the first of their two seventh-round picks in the 2009 Draft. But with Justin Hartwig entrenched as the starter at center, Shipley was among those released in the final cut on Sept. 5. He was then signed to the practice squad and remained there all season.

The Steelers kept nine offensive linemen, including first-year pro Doug Legursky and rookies Kraig Urbik and Ramon Foster.

As one of three third-round draft picks, Urbik wasn’t going to be cut. Legursky and Foster, both undrafted out of college, had the edge over Shipley because they were able to play two positions. Foster wound up starting four games at left guard due to injuries to Chris Kemoeatu.
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But even as a practice squad player, Shipley learned a lot about the pro game.

“It was great,” he said. “Obviously, I was a little disappointed at first about being on the practice squad. I wanted to play. I felt I was good enough to play. I thought I played well enough in the preseason. But it just didn’t work out.

“Still, from a first-year perspective, I think things went pretty well. I was able to go against (nose tackle) Casey Hampton, a Pro Bowler, every day in practice. I was able to practice against some good linebackers. I was able to get some more reps at guard and learn the system a little bit more. I put on about 10-to-15 pounds. So, yeah, it was a great experience.”

Playing on the practice squad did cost Shipley some cash. Had he made the active roster, he would have been paid $310,000, the NFL minimum for a first-year player. Practice squad players make around $88,400.

Shipley was able to keep his $42,000 signing bonus.

“I’m going to take a little time off and rest,” Shipley said. “I’ve been training since I got off the plane from the Rose Bowl last year. I really haven’t had any time off. So I need a break. Maybe I’ll take a vacation here and there.

“Then when I come back and start training again, it’ll be full go.”

Chadman
01-09-2010, 11:50 AM
Really liked this guy in college.

Hopefully he gets a shot- more bodies fighting for roster spots can't be bad.

NorthCoast
01-09-2010, 12:41 PM
Really liked this guy in college.

Hopefully he gets a shot- more bodies fighting for roster spots can't be bad.


Shipley; wish him the best but I think we have several players that can play center as well as other positions. This will be his achilles heel to getting PT...


Chadman, you really want Cody for your 1st pick?? Man, he just looked out of shape and lazy in the game Thursday. I think he will be battling weight issues his entire career. And will he be able to play more than 2 downs? Just not sold on the guy.

DukieBoy
01-09-2010, 08:25 PM
Wish Ship could play NT.
Wish him well wherever he goes.

Shoe
01-10-2010, 03:45 PM
He's just too small (crazy when you think about a 6-0, 300 pounder as being too small for O-line).