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Thread: Sean Spence ready to return

  1. #81
    "The fact that he is medically cleared to play is miraculous". Yes, and it almost seems greedy to ask for more but...please, can he suit up and play well on Sundays. If that happens I will not ask for any more miracles for at least two months.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy View Post
    Im so happy to hear he is doing good. We will need him this year.
    I, of course, am pulling for him. But I don't agree we "need him" unless Shazier or Timmons go down, and that would be horrible if either does.

  3. #83
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Steelers linebacker Sean Spence optimistic about future

    July 28, 2014 1
    By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    Third-year linebacker Sean Spence steps over high hurdles during warmups before practice at Steelers training camp Sunday.

    Sean Spence, meet Rocky Bleier. Fifteen years from now, Spence could be earning a living by traveling the country and retelling his inspirational story.

    He could take some inspiration of his own from the story that is Bleier's. Granted, Spence's tale does not contain the drama of Bleier's, whose foot was mangled by shrapnel in a Vietnamese jungle. Spence's knee was blown up on home ground at Heinz Field as the rookie linebacker chased down a quarterback.

    Yet, their long, seemingly impossible comeback attempts in football parallel one another. Bleier's was a miracle. Spence's is still a possible miracle in the making.

    Injured in August 1969, Bleier had trouble walking in training camp in 1970. Chuck Noll wanted to cut him. The Rooneys instead carried him on their injury list. He made the team in 1971, gained 1,000 yards in 1976 and retired after the 1980 season with four Super Bowl rings.

    A book, a movie and thousands of inspirational speeches followed.

    Today an important milestone in Spence's comeback takes place. This will be his first day in pads and contact at Saint Vincent College in two years. That contact promises to severely test his injured left knee that has been two years on the mend, particularly when he plants his foot and takes on a block from one of the big linemen.

    "I'm looking forward to it," Spence said Sunday.

    He has waited two years for this day, since that gruesome injury in the final preseason game of his rookie year against the Carolina Panthers. The anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments tore. The knee dislocated. More important, the peroneal nerve was damaged. That nerve had to regenerate and often it does not. Spence was one of the lucky ones.

    There have been some low points over the past two seasons as Spence mounted the long rehabilitative process, but the moment of that injury was not the worst.

    "Going back on [injured reserve] last year," Spence cited as No. 1.

    Spence, placed on the physically unable to perform list to start last training camp, was allowed to practice with the team for a three-week period in the middle of last season, and it could determine if they would add him to their 53-man roster. Then came another setback when his right middle finger was broken after one day in pads. They wound up putting him on injured reserve again.

    "After going through what I went through, then to finally getting back out there and had to break my finger and go back on IR, it was painful," Spence said. "But I think it was best."

    Spence said he knows other organizations might not have had so much patience as he continues his comeback, much like the Steelers showed with Bleier.

    "I was very blessed to be with this organization because I could have been cut loose a long time ago," he said. "But they didn't, they stayed and waited for me and I'm very thankful and grateful for that."

    He remains an optimist, convinced that his left knee will do just fine today while digging in against bigger men from his inside linebacker position.

    "The way I trained in the offseason, the way it feels, I have total confidence in it," Spence said. "I'm just looking forward to it."

    Nervous?

    "I'm a happy nervous, not nervous that I'm afraid, just the regular jitters you get when you put on the pads the first day."

    Two summers ago, Spence was among the hits of training camp and in preseason games. A third-round pick, he was the original young inside linebacker expected to move Larry Foote aside and he looked the part.

    That promise, the knee injury and his long ordeal since have helped make his story a popular one with Steelers fans.

    He believes he can turn his story into a Bleier-like happy ending.

    "I hope to play a 10-year career," Spence said. "People probably think it's unlikely, but they probably didn't think I'd be back in this setting and I am. I'm going to take one day, one year at a time and see how it goes.

    "The story is still writing itself."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz38jWOJHYn

  4. #84
    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick beats View Post
    I, of course, am pulling for him. But I don't agree we "need him" unless Shazier or Timmons go down, and that would be horrible if either does.
    Yea, I don't think we "need" him but we would be loaded at ILB if he proves that he is what most of us hope he is. I know they're playing different positions but I'm not totally convinced that a completely healthy Spence with 2 years of "learning" and playbook experience is a downgrade from Shazier. Can Shazier play as fast as what he is timed if he's thinking to much about his assignments? I guess that is to be determined.

  5. #85
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    People doubted that Thomas Davis would ever be able to come back from his series of knee injuries, but he proved everyone wrong and was a vital piece of that dominant Panther front 7 last year. Here's hoping that Spence can do something similar.

  6. #86
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    Would the best possible outcome be that Shazier and Spence show they can play at this level allowing Worilds to be a 1 year rental (freeing his almost 10 million dollars next year, plus the 10 million increase cap room) and then draft for depth at ILB in the next draft?

    Wouldn't that leave the Steelers with plenty of room for Ben?

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    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  7. #87
    I know Timmons struggled at OLB and I'm not generally a fan of moving a star from their position. But, if Spence proves that not only can he play but he has some star potential I would want my best linebackers on the field. I think Shazier would be explosive at OLB. Shazier and Jones on the outside...Timmons and Spence on the inside. That could be a really tough crew.

  8. #88
    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    I know Timmons struggled at OLB and I'm not generally a fan of moving a star from their position. But, if Spence proves that not only can he play but he has some star potential I would want my best linebackers on the field. I think Shazier would be explosive at OLB. Shazier and Jones on the outside...Timmons and Spence on the inside. That could be a really tough crew.
    I completely agree. This would be a good problem to have. Also, in 2 years Timmons' will be 30 and count ~12 million against the cap so the success of Spence and Shazier might make that contract interesting in the eyes of the FO. A lot of "what ifs" but it definitely presents an interesting situation if things played out.

  9. #89
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    James C Wexell @jimwexell:

    @sportsfan_Steve: @jimwexell how Spence looking? Looked as fast as he did in the spring. Popped some people too. Instinctive.

    https://twitter.com/jimwexell

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    James C Wexell @jimwexell:

    “@sportsfan_Steve: @jimwexell how Spence looking?” Looked as fast as he did in the spring. Popped some people too. Instinctive.

    https://twitter.com/jimwexell
    I wonder how that compares to his FIRST spring. I hope the kid can make it.
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