Hope this hasn't been posted before
[May 24, 2008]

Third time a charm?: Lorello fighting for a spot on Steelers' roster

(The Dominion Post in Morgantown (WV)(KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 24--PITTSBURGH -- Last season, Mike Lorello was one of eight players on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.

NFL practice squads serve a purpose similar to scout teams at the college level.

"We just give the offensive starters the defense they'll be seeing in a game," Lorello said. "So, if we're playing Baltimore, we'll simulate Baltimore's defense that week in practice."

Lorello played safety for the Mountaineers from 2002-05, and first signed with the Steelers as an undrafted priority free agent in 2006.

Since then, he's been through one contract, been cut and re-signed once, and is now on the first year of a fresh twoyear contract, trying to make the Steelers' active roster this season.

It's been a long road for the Powell, Ohio native who's crossing his fingers in hopes that his third season in the pros will finally see him elevated from the practice squad.

"They've kept me around this long right? It means they don't hate me," Lorello says, with an easy grin."

The good news is that there's only one safety in this year's class of incoming Steeler hopefuls who'll be jostling for roster spots alongside Lorello.

That's Ryan Mundy, a fellow Mountaineer.

So Lorello's not too worried about his competition. He knows firsthand how challenging a rookie season is, and he's more concerned about getting in shape for training camp. The team's current phase of organized training activities run until June 12, when the players get a five-week break before reporting back for camp.