View Full Version : Marshall begins bid to join Steelers

05-22-2007, 08:24 AM
By Scott Brown
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A regular at his church also happened to be a celebrity.
The teenage boy figured he'd never get near Kordell Stewart, and he wrote a letter that he could give to the then-Steelers quarterback while Stewart was signing autographs or posing for pictures.

But after one service at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Hill District, Rasheed Marshall got a chance to talk to Stewart one-on-one and tell him what he had put in that letter: how he also played quarterback as well and had the same number as Stewart and played for a school that also wore black and gold.

Roughly a decade later, Marshall is hoping to add another similarity between the two, albeit with a twist. The former Brashear High and West Virginia star is trying to catch on, literally, with Stewart's former team.

The quarterback-turned-wide receiver will be among those taking part in the OTAs (Organized Team Activity) that start today at the Steelers' South Side facility. The optional practices that will be held through mid-June are especially critical for Marshall because he is still trying to master a new position, not to mention the Steelers' playbook.

"I think the more reps that I get will be a lot more helpful," Marshall, a Pittsburgh native, said of the importance of OTAs. "I've got to catch up. I think for myself the biggest thing is the mental standpoint of it. I think the athletic ability and talent is there."

The two have never been a question with Marshall, who capped a stellar career at West Virginia by winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors his senior season.

His size -- he admits he is 6-foot tall, even though Marshall is listed at 6-1 -- led to a move to wide receiver, and the 49ers took Marshall in the fifth round of the 2005 draft.

He played in 12 games his rookie season, primarily as a kickoff and punt returner, and totaled 575 return yards.

"Going into the second year out there, I think that's when I felt the most comfortable playing wide receiver," Marshall said. "But in any other NFL organization, sometimes it doesn't work out."

Marshall, 25, didn't survive the 49ers' final cut and then fell victim to a different kind of numbers crunch.

Since he had spent more than nine games on an active NFL roster, Marshall was ineligible for any team's practice squad.

With no other team willing to sign the player that was still something of a project to its active roster, Marshall returned to Pittsburgh.

He continued to train, and he worked out for a handful of teams.

Shortly after last season, Marshall signed with the team he used to watch every week on TV.

That was the easy part.

The hard part is sticking with the Steelers, as they return their top four wide receivers from a year ago as well as Willie Reid, who missed most of last season with a foot injury.

"I definitely think there's an opportunity," Marshall said. "At this point and time, I'm just trying to keep picking up on the ins and outs of the playbook. For the most part, I have all of the concepts down. I still need to tighten up on knowing my assignments and things like that because there's a lot of information."

Here are Rasheed Marshalls stats since getting into the NFL:
Looks like he is strictly a special teamer....has been clocked at 4.45

The Duke
05-22-2007, 03:54 PM
As long as he doesn't become another Kordell. We do have lots of receivers, will be interesting to see who make the team.

05-22-2007, 05:42 PM
He actually owned up to not being a QB

05-22-2007, 05:59 PM
Hmmmm, another Antwaan Randel El? Think Tomlin would go for it?

05-22-2007, 11:50 PM
Actually I know Rasheed pretty well. I am a WVU ALumni and my brother played ball with him at WVU. He is a really talented athlete and I would love to see him make the squad. I think he would be a great replacement to Randal El. Rasheed we WVU Mounties are pulling for you.


Galax Steeler
05-23-2007, 05:00 AM
It will be interesting to see what kind of lineup we have at widereceiver.

05-23-2007, 08:56 AM
As long as he inherits the Steelers mentality when on the football field, I'm all for him. Going to school at WVU, I'm sure he's fully aware of the Steelers Fan mentality so that may be of some assistance for him.

05-23-2007, 02:11 PM
I'd love to see him fill a Randle El-type role, but we lost a special talent when Antwaan left for the Skins. Granted, he's a niche player -- he'll never, never NEVER be a #1 receiver -- but he was a great weapon because of his versatility. If this guy is close to that, I'll be happy, but I'm not gonna count my chickens yet. We have a ton of talent at wideout right now, and considering that we just added one via the draft, I think we'd be hard-pressed to justify having more than six on the roster. Maybe he'll stay on the practice squad for a year and move up when Cedrick leaves (and he WILL leave, because he's not worth the money we're dropping on him).

TX Steel
05-23-2007, 08:23 PM
Hey, Tomlin wants guys who love football. This guy sounds like he would go above and beyond to play for the Black & Gold.

Best of luck to him.

05-24-2007, 01:36 AM