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SteelMember
03-19-2009, 12:11 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

When the Steelers placed tackle Marvel Smith on injured reserve near the end of the 2008 season and signed tackle Jason Capizzi, he had no idea he just came back to a team that would be headed to the Super Bowl.

Capizzi was on the St. Louis Rams practice squad at the time, sitting and waiting since late October on a team that wasn’t headed anywhere in the post-season.

Then in December Smith, who had missed the previous 10 games, was placed on IR. And it was another opportunity for Capizzi to make it on his hometown team.

Capizzi, who played at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is from Gibsonia, Pa., was originally signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent in 2007. He was released prior to the start of the season and then spent time on the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Bucs and Kansas City Chiefs practice squads, before being signed to the Steelers 53-man roster prior to their AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

During the 2008 off-season Capizzi suffered a stress fracture in his foot, ending any chance he had at winning a spot on the roster and was eventually released during training camp.

This year, he is hoping that the third time is a charm. Capizzi, 6-9, 330, got an early jump on working out when he started coming to the practice facility before the offseason workouts even began. He is working out daily while making sure he paces himself to stay healthy.

“For us younger guys that didn’t play as much as the veterans did, it’s an opportunity for us to come in and get a lot of undivided attention,” said Capizzi. “It’s something good. You have to watch and not go into it too hard. That’s something I did last year and got hurt. You take your time, ease into it and get it ready to go. We are going to be here four months so we understand it’s a process.”

After being on the roster but inactive for the post-season last year, Capizzi is hoping this year he finally gets his chance to get out on the field.

“I want to be a contributor,” said Capizzi. “I don’t want to be on the sidelines in shorts and a t-shirt rooting for my team. I want to be out there in uniform and if my name is called, let’s go, go out there and help and protect Ben (Roethlisberger) any way I can, whether it’s right or left tackle. I can do both and just help my team win games.”

The Steelers did apply the franchise tag on tackle Max Starks this year and recently re-signed tackle Trai Essex. But Smith is not expected to be back and Capizzi still feels good about fighting for that roster spot.

“I hope that I have shown enough in my film and preparation that they know I can get the job done,” said Capizzi. “I just have to keep working and get better every day.”

Capizzi was raised a Steelers fan, going to games as a kid with his dad. He doesn’t think being a hometown kid brings more pressure, but it does bring excitement.

“Its more satisfaction when it does work out because my family is here and they get to experience this with me,” said Capizzi. “It’s not pressure. The game is pressure enough. You just want to out there and perform well and do well.”

Being a hometown guy Capizzi has been trying to get out in the community as well, recently taking part in the Sixth Annual Reading Is FUNdamental Pittsburgh Dr. Seuss/Read Across America Day at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Capizzi read “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut,” and enjoyed the experience.

“Reading a book is kind of different. It’s a good program,” said Capizzi. “I felt like a first grade school teacher, holding the book about and showing the pictures and reading it while rhyming like Dr. Seuss does it. You have to get into the flow of it. After the first few pages I was fine.
“It’s always good to give back to the community that helped you when you were a child. It’s very special to me to help out the City of Pittsburgh. It’s a great city and close to my heart.”

It seems the offseason news is obviously getting very scarce (ie trade Ben), so I'll just see if anyone is willing to comment on a real story.

I hope he gets his shot this year. He's definately saying all the right things. :thmbup:


http://news.steelers.com/article/104152/

rbryan
03-19-2009, 12:18 PM
Dude is big enough.....I'd love to see him turn the corner as well.

If memory serves me wasn't he a blue chip recruit originally committed to Pitt before an off field issue landed him in the doghouse so he transferred to IUP.

steelreserve
03-19-2009, 12:19 PM
If there's anything that has a chance of getting the crushing weight of the Max Starks Annual Franchise Tag Contract off our neck, I am wholeheartedly in favor of it.

MasterOfPuppets
03-19-2009, 12:27 PM
stapleton went from practice squad to starting in the superbowl.....:noidea: ....keep the faith capizzi...:thumbsup:

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 12:46 PM
I have heard good things about this guy, but there never seemed to be a place for him. I think if he's going to make a name for himself, this year would be his time.

tony hipchest
03-19-2009, 12:48 PM
here is an article i posted 2 years ago before the draft where kirwan was taking about finding a sleeper and developmental players.

i too have been patiently hoping jason can develop into a willig clone.

DRILLING AT THE BOTTOM
I learned a valuable lesson a long time ago getting ready for the draft. It's important to spend time in the early part of April digging and scratching down at the bottom of the talent pool for late-round draft picks and free-agent types with at least one special quality -- exceptional speed, rare size, an interesting athlete from another sport -- something that catches your eye.

The personnel director should take one scout and turn him loose on the bottom feeders. Close to one whole round in the draft will come from players not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Back in the early 1990s, we came across a player named Matt Willig, a backup defensive tackle at USC who was 6-foot-9. He didn't do much on game tapes and tested below our standards for a defensive tackle, but he could bend his knees and was smart to go along with that 6-9. We signed him about 15 minutes after the draft and moved him to offensive tackle. He spent two years training at the new position and ended up playing in the NFL for well over 10 years.

When you decide to work the bottom of the talent pool, I'm talking about players who did not go to the Combine, probably didn't play in any all-star games, and might have little in the area of production. They can be from big schools or they could be from schools no one has ever heard of.

Here's a list of the kind of guys I'm talking about. The young scout needs to head out on a three-week tour, working out a group like this, talking football with them, watching some tapes and aiming to come back to the office a day or two before the draft with a few nuggets. Remember when Steelers scout Dan Rooney Jr. came back with a running back named Willie Parker? Parker never started at North Carolina but he had rare speed.




And now, here's my "Matt Willig List" for the 2007 draft. The first reaction from a scout I ran the list by was, "These guys can't play." Perfect, that's what everyone said about Willig, so I know I'm on the right track! The goal is to find one late-round pick/free agent who is worth developing as an offensive lineman.

1. Jason Capizzi, Indiana (Pa.) University (6-9, 324 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.22 40-yard dash, 34-inch arms, 11?-inch hands.
Sounds like a Willig clone, and I sure hope he can bend his ankles and knees.

Vincent
03-19-2009, 12:56 PM
I love this kid.

There was an article about him before the 2007 draft about him being a hometown kid that wanted a shot, so I have rooted for him since. Was saddened when they cut him because I saw potential. But was ecstatic when they signed him back.

I hope they develop him into a starter. He could be here for a long time. :tt::tt02::helmet:

FWP, Silverback, Capizzi? Why not?

I think he's better than Colon right now. And you don't need a proctologist to see it. :chuckle:

Vincent
03-19-2009, 01:07 PM
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/04mpfZz8y2aAf/610x.jpg

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/07oj8pMd9ZghM/610x.jpg

This young man fits in.

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 01:10 PM
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/07oj8pMd9ZghM/610x.jpg

This young man fits in.

I don't want to get off topic, but you notice the only guy without a towel is Reed.

"Damn You Empty Towel Dispenser!" :smashy: :chuckle:

Vincent
03-19-2009, 01:20 PM
I don't want to get off topic, but you notice the only guy without a towel is Reed.

"Damn You Empty Towel Dispenser!" :smashy: :chuckle:

Great catch Steel!! Weirder than green @#$%. But then, so is Jeff.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-19-2009, 01:37 PM
I get the whole ...."root for the local underdog" sentiment and always hope we can find a diamond in the rough.

I just never see anything from him but ending up on teams practice squads. I think with Starks, Essex, Colon, Hills under contract and maybe a high round draft pick taken.........I still think he is a long shot to make the 53 man roster. Best of luck to him.

OneForTheToe
03-19-2009, 02:24 PM
I get the whole ...."root for the local underdog" sentiment and always hope we can find a diamond in the rough.

I just never see anything from him but ending up on teams practice squads. I think with Starks, Essex, Colon, Hills under contract and maybe a high round draft pick taken.........I still think he is a long shot to make the 53 man roster. Best of luck to him.

The only way I see him making the team, outside of being an injury replacement, is if they decide to keep one less guard because Essex can back-up that position as well. Of course, the problem there is that the Steelers seem to like Legursky as a project at guard. Doug would have the edge, IMO, as a project player over Jason in that he could potentially backup the center position as well. Plus, as you stated, there will be at least one draft pick surely for the O'line.

Steelers Since '75
03-19-2009, 02:30 PM
The only way I see him making the team, outside of being an injury replacement, is if they decide to keep one less guard because Essex can back-up that position as well. Of course, the problem there is that the Steelers seem to like Lagursky as a project at guard. Doug would have the edge, IMO, as a project player over Jason in that he could potentially backup the center position as well. Plus, as you stated, there will be at least one draft pick surely for the O'line.

Yeah in the 5th or 6th round... sarcasm emoticon :coffee:

OneForTheToe
03-19-2009, 02:48 PM
As El-Gonzo stated above, there aren't going to be many spots open on the O'line next year.

All the starters from the Super Bowl (at least four of whom will remain starters), plus Essex and Hills (sounds like a singing duo), leave us with only two spots open - if we keep our usual 9 o'linemen. So Capizzi, Legursky, any high draft picks (lower round picks could be sent to PS), or even free agents (rookie or not) will have to compete for two spots. I think Legursky has another year on the P.S. , but I'm not sure about Capizzi, because he has been passed around the league like um ... a never mind.

stlrtruck
03-19-2009, 03:09 PM
As El-Gonzo stated above, there aren't going to be many spots open on the O'line next year.

All the starters from the Super Bowl (at least four of whom will remain starters), plus Essex and Hills (sounds like a singing duo), leave us with only two spots open - if we keep our usual 9 o'linemen. So Capizzi, Legursky, any high draft picks (lower round picks could be sent to PS), or even free agents (rookie or not) will have to compete for two spots. I think Legursky has another year on the P.S. , but I'm not sure about Capizzi, because he has been passed around the league like um ... a never mind.

Don't forget, Harrison was passed around a few times too before landing his job with us (for a second stint). Sometimes it's those journeymen that prove to have the most value because they have the most to prove!

OneForTheToe
03-19-2009, 03:26 PM
Don't forget, Harrison was passed around a few times too before landing his job with us (for a second stint). Sometimes it's those journeymen that prove to have the most value because they have the most to prove!

I wasn't putting him down. I was just trying to come up with an analogy about being "passed around" that was appropriate for print. I couldn't think of one so I gave up.:laughing:

stlrtruck
03-19-2009, 03:35 PM
I wasn't putting him down. I was just trying to come up with an analogy about being "passed around" that was appropriate for print. I couldn't think of one so I gave up.:laughing:

my-bad!

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 03:36 PM
As El-Gonzo stated above, there aren't going to be many spots open on the O'line next year.

All the starters from the Super Bowl (at least four of whom will remain starters), plus Essex and Hills (sounds like a singing duo), leave us with only two spots open - if we keep our usual 9 o'linemen. So Capizzi, Legursky, any high draft picks (lower round picks could be sent to PS), or even free agents (rookie or not) will have to compete for two spots. I think Legursky has another year on the P.S. , but I'm not sure about Capizzi, because he has been passed around the league like um ... a never mind.

I totally understand this thinking, but...

Even all these guys are a returning Super Bowl Championship line, I know it's difficult to keep a straight face, but it's my understanding of the Steelers, Tomlin or any other coach, that NOBODY is guaranteed a starting position at this point. (not even because of money. We've sat high payroll players before) With the way some people talk about how bad the line is, I don't see a problem with a guy "competing" for a postion. You never know what's going to happen in a given year. :noidea:

Besides, nobody seems to have a problem with all the other traing camp bodies the Steelers are currently signing. For the right price of course. :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-19-2009, 05:35 PM
I honestly see the Steelers drafting 2 O linemen and even if only 1 makes the squad, the roster should shake out with 9 linemen

Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Colon, Hills, Essex, Rookie, Stapleton, Capizzi..........with Legursky and Parqet on the PS.

It could happen, but its actually a young group with little depth at guard or experience. If 2 rookies make it, then either Capizzi or Stapleton is out.

steelreserve
03-19-2009, 05:56 PM
I honestly see the Steelers drafting 2 O linemen and even if only 1 makes the squad, the roster should shake out with 9 linemen

Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Colon, Hills, Essex, Rookie, Stapleton, Capizzi..........with Legursky and Parqet on the PS.

It could happen, but its actually a young group with little depth at guard or experience. If 2 rookies make it, then either Capizzi or Stapleton is out.

Or maybe we move Stapleton and Starks to defensive line to give us youth. After all, they seem to spend most of their time in the backfield anyway, so it'd be a natural fit.

Oh, snap, and such.

tony hipchest
03-19-2009, 06:23 PM
I wasn't putting him down. I was just trying to come up with an analogy about being "passed around" that was appropriate for print. I couldn't think of one so I gave up.:laughing:
been passed around like lindsay lohan? :noidea:

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 07:40 PM
been passed around like lindsay lohan? :noidea:

Brilliant!

All the bad words contained in a proper noun. :laughing:

devilsdancefloor
03-19-2009, 07:55 PM
I was really rooting fo him last year not because he is a hometown undr dog i think he is a better tackle, but we wil see! i actaully think he would have made the 53 man roster last year if he hadnt got hurt.

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 07:56 PM
I honestly see the Steelers drafting 2 O linemen and even if only 1 makes the squad, the roster should shake out with 9 linemen

Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Colon, Hills, Essex, Rookie, Stapleton, Capizzi..........with Legursky and Parqet on the PS.

It could happen, but its actually a young group with little depth at guard or experience. If 2 rookies make it, then either Capizzi or Stapleton is out.

Do you think he's that far behind Hills and Essex at this point?

He just has to look better than the competition, right? :chuckle:

I know I may be grasping at straws, and I have confidence that the Steelers will address it in the draft, but our line needs to improve. We have two short term solutions at LT and I think thats about all their worth. :noidea:

SunshineMan21
03-19-2009, 07:59 PM
Are we sure Essex is coming back at this point? I have missed the news on him. I'm not sure if he was a RFA or an UFA.

Lambertfan
03-19-2009, 08:10 PM
Jeff Reed lots like my younger brother...who thinks he is God....Sheetz should of auctioned off that dispenser and donated it to charity!!!

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-19-2009, 08:24 PM
Do you think he's that far behind Hills and Essex at this point?

He just has to look better than the competition, right? :chuckle:

I know I may be grasping at straws, and I have confidence that the Steelers will address it in the draft, but our line needs to improve. We have two short term solutions at LT and I think thats about all their worth. :noidea:

Essex started 2 years ago when both Smith and Starks went down. He also got the nod against Jacksonville because he has better feet than Starks.......so I say yes, Capizzi is far behind him. Hills, played 4 years at Texas and if it wasnt for his injury might have gone early 3rd round last year.

Capizzi has all the size, but is stiff and plays upright. I think he may be a guy that can play RT, but he clearly is the #5 OT on the roster behind Starks, Colon, Essex and Hills at this point.

SteelMember
03-19-2009, 08:37 PM
Essex started 2 years ago when both Smith and Starks went down. He also got the nod against Jacksonville because he has better feet than Starks.......so I say yes, Capizzi is far behind him. Hills, played 4 years at Texas and if it wasnt for his injury might have gone early 3rd round last year.

Capizzi has all the size, but is stiff and plays upright. I think he may be a guy that can play RT, but he clearly is the #5 OT on the roster behind Starks, Colon, Essex and Hills at this point.

Ok, I'm with ya.

I really don't care what the names turn out to be. I just want them to improve...both run blocking and pass pertecting. I mean, our run game was definately not up to snuff and I don't want Ben to get "2 more concussions"...or worse. :wink02:

OneForTheToe
03-20-2009, 02:38 AM
been passed around like lindsay lohan? :noidea:

That'll work. Of course, with Lohan, is it passed around by a X Cromozone or a Y?

I'm not sure.

Galax Steeler
03-20-2009, 04:37 AM
It seems like thread after thread that we read, it seems less likely that we get that O-lineman in the first round that many covet. I got high hopes on him. Third time's a charm....:tt::tt:

Yea it is starting to look more like we are going to draft a db now.

SteelMember
03-20-2009, 07:40 AM
That'll work. Of course, with Lohan, is it passed around by a X Cromozone or a Y?

I'm not sure.

I don't think she's sure either. So the answer is...yes. :wink02: