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lamberts-lost-tooth
05-07-2008, 10:12 AM
Rucker gets taste of NFL at Steelers camp
Naple News
By SCOTT HOTARD
Monday, May 5, 2008

Micah Rucker got his first taste of the NFL last week, spending four days in Pittsburgh for a Steelers minicamp.

He caught passes from Ben Roethlisberger. Had dinner with Dan Rooney. Took pointers from Hines Ward.

“Just sitting there,” Rucker said Monday, after returning home to Bonita Springs, “it doesn’t seem real. It was really an experience.”

Rucker, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound wide receiver, learned a lot, some of it the hard way.

On his second day of practice with the Steelers, who signed the undrafted Estero High product early last week, Rucker stuck his receivers gloves in his helmet and put his headgear on the ground, where it lay too long for a veteran’s liking.

When he went to retrieve his helmet, Rucker says someone had picked it up and hidden it from him.

Welcome to the big leagues, rook.

“I’m looking for a helmet to put on,” Rucker recalled. “Everybody’s just looking at me and laughing.”

No wonder Rucker’s head was spinning. The four days in Pittsburgh were a whirlwind, an acclimation period for young newcomers.

Rucker was handed a mountainous playbook and asked to learn it. He was bounced from one team meeting to the next.

When he wasn’t helping keep the Steelers’ fridge stocked with Gatorade and water — a rookie chore — Rucker, a long shot to make the team, was doing his best to fit in.

“I tell you,” he said, “it was something else. It was very tough mentally — trying to get acquainted to everything going on. The key is just learning the plays and really just learning to feel comfortable and playing faster than I ever have.”

Only six months ago, Rucker was wrapping up his career at Eastern Illinois University, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) school. He caught 104 passes for 1,743 yards in two seasons after transferring from the University of Minnesota.

It wasn’t enough to get drafted, but Rucker — like Lely High product Steve Octavien, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs — struck a free-agent deal in short order.

Rucker figures to get a hard look from the Steelers, who are hungry for big receivers.

First, he must get acclimated.

The minicamp hit Rucker like a cold Gatorade shower, introducing him to some of the Steel City’s brightest stars.

He found himself talking shop with Ward, the MVP of Super Bowl XL.

He sat at a dinner table with Rooney, the Steelers owner.

He ran curl routes that directed him to balls thrown by Roethlisberger, the franchise quarterback.

“He’s got a golden arm,” Rucker gushed, “the way he puts it in there.”

Rucker will rejoin the Steelers later this month for organized team activities. The orientation behind him, he figures to feel more at home.

He’ll know his way around the complex. He’ll have a better understanding of the playbook. He’ll have the confidence to ask more questions in team meetings.

And yes, he’ll keep his helmet on.

“I’m keeping that thing on tight,” Rucker said with a laugh. “Tight.”


http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/may/05/football-esteros-rucker-gets-taste-nfl-steelers-ca/?printer=1/

Hammer Of The GODS
05-07-2008, 10:56 AM
6-foot-6, 220!!! Wow I hope this kid can play. What is his 40 time? If he is sub 4.4 he is a decent tall threat to go deap ala R. Moss. But I guess if he was sub 4.4 he would have been drafted based on shear size and speed. I guess we will see.

GO BURGH!

PENS vs. FLYERS GAME 1 FRIDAY!
HERE'S TO A STANLEY CUP AND A LOMBARDI TROPHY IN 08'-09' :tt03:

vasteeler
05-07-2008, 11:03 AM
6-foot-6, 220!!! Wow I hope this kid can play. What is his 40 time? If he is sub 4.4 he is a decent tall threat to go deap ala R. Moss. But I guess if he was sub 4.4 he would have been drafted based on shear size and speed. I guess we will see.

GO BURGH!

PENS vs. FLYERS GAME 1 FRIDAY!
HERE'S TO A STANLEY CUP AND A LOMBARDI TROPHY IN 08'-09' :tt03:

im with you on the lombardi but i have to admit i am a die hard flyers fan i hope you guys are not to hard on me for that

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-07-2008, 11:11 AM
6-foot-6, 220!!! Wow I hope this kid can play. What is his 40 time? If he is sub 4.4 he is a decent tall threat to go deap ala R. Moss. But I guess if he was sub 4.4 he would have been drafted based on shear size and speed. I guess we will see.

GO BURGH!

PENS vs. FLYERS GAME 1 FRIDAY!
HERE'S TO A STANLEY CUP AND A LOMBARDI TROPHY IN 08'-09' :tt03:

Ran a 4.52

The Duke
05-07-2008, 11:13 AM
im with you on the lombardi but i have to admit i am a die hard flyers fan i hope you guys are not to hard on me for that

you're dead to me :chuckle:

jk

Rucker seems like a great, hopefully the steelers found their next great udfa. 6-6! ben must be so happy

Elvis
05-07-2008, 12:20 PM
Speed is nice, but it is not everything... Hines Ward did not and still does not have 4.4 speed. Alot of this speed thing is overrated, I will take a man with 4.60 speed and a huge heart and you can have your burner that cant catch a cold!!
:tt02:

stlrtruck
05-07-2008, 12:33 PM
im with you on the lombardi but i have to admit i am a die hard flyers fan i hope you guys are not to hard on me for that

My brothers one you types. Die-hard Steelers fan but somehow ended up on the wrong side of the tracks for hockey. I called him Sunday, and basically told him I we wouldn't talk until the series is over (go figure hockey fans) and he agreed (as we both laughed).

And since we don't have the smiley to put up here you'll have to imagine the following:

One smiley
holding one sign
sign reads "FLYERS SUCK!"

BettisFan
05-07-2008, 01:19 PM
wait so did we sign this guy?

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-07-2008, 01:29 PM
wait so did we sign this guy?

He is one of UDFA..signed the day after the draft. Played two years at Minnesota then transferrred to Eastern Illinois.

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-07-2008, 01:31 PM
Speed is nice, but it is not everything... Hines Ward did not and still does not have 4.4 speed. Alot of this speed thing is overrated, I will take a man with 4.60 speed and a huge heart and you can have your burner that cant catch a cold!!
:tt02:

I think we all like the possibility of Sweed in one corner of the endzone and Rucker in the other...

I hope he pans out..at least to the practice squad.

srk173
05-07-2008, 02:14 PM
Unless he is a moron who cant learn the book, then he will be practice squad willy all day.

Galax Steeler
05-07-2008, 04:39 PM
Hopefully he can learn the playbook and at least come into the game under certain situations and help us out.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-07-2008, 05:14 PM
His girlfriend was killed by a drunk driver when he was in college....The Rucker became an activist against drunk drive...He seems like he is a good young man and I'm rooting for him....

PalmerSteel
05-07-2008, 05:24 PM
with his size and a decent speed, he must have terrible hands and/or terrible route running to not get drafted. hope he gets better on our practice squad this year though.

Rhee Rhee
05-07-2008, 06:20 PM
6-foot-6, 220!!! Wow I hope this kid can play. What is his 40 time? If he is sub 4.4 he is a decent tall threat to go deap ala R. Moss. But I guess if he was sub 4.4 he would have been drafted based on shear size and speed. I guess we will see.

GO BURGH!

PENS vs. FLYERS GAME 1 FRIDAY!
HERE'S TO A STANLEY CUP AND A LOMBARDI TROPHY IN 08'-09' :tt03:

if he was 6'6 220 and ran a sub 4.4 he would have been drafted...

slashsteel
05-07-2008, 06:32 PM
His pro day he ran the 40 in 4.57 and 4.47.

Preacher
05-07-2008, 07:01 PM
His pro day he ran the 40 in 4.57 and 4.47.

Hey..

7 100ths of a second can be made up in game speed no problem.

19ward86
05-07-2008, 07:03 PM
If he ran a sub 4.4 he wouldnt of played in DII.

SteelersTilIDie
05-07-2008, 07:06 PM
im with you on the lombardi but i have to admit i am a die hard flyers fan i hope you guys are not to hard on me for that

you gotta be kidding??

GO PENS!!

WizDom-N.KnowLedge
05-08-2008, 02:59 PM
Speed is nice, but it is not everything... Hines Ward did not and still does not have 4.4 speed. Alot of this speed thing is overrated, I will take a man with 4.60 speed and a huge heart and you can have your burner that cant catch a cold!!
:tt02:

I agree yet diasgree also. On one hand great players tend to have alot of heart. But, by the same token athlethically gifted players can also be great. A player with heart and slow speed could be a good football player but taleneted players with speed and could catch could become special..... Moss, Harrison, Holt, Johnson etc. etc.

Preacher
05-08-2008, 03:06 PM
I agree yet diasgree also. On one hand great players tend to have alot of heart. But, by the same token athlethically gifted players can also be great. A player with heart and slow speed could be a good football player but taleneted players with speed and could catch could become special..... Moss, Harrison, Holt, Johnson etc. etc.

In hockey... there is this family called the Sutters. They were 5 brothers that played in the NFL. They couldn't really skate as fast as many of the other players, shoot as well as most of the stars, pass like any of the good players...

but somehow, they were almost always the first ones to the puck, made the game tying goals, put the puck on the stick when passing... because they just loved the game too much to be beat at it.

Talent can only take you so far. The heart takes you the rest of the way. I would take heart over talent any day, because in the last 10 minutes, when your down by 14 and hurt, it is heart that will carry you through, not talent.

To have both... well, that is a bonus.

Hey, we have one of those on our team. Ward has heart, he isn't the most talented. He sure isn't the fastest. but he has the heart that drives him to make the plays and the catches he has no business making.