View Full Version : Pittsburgh Steelers report: Steelers steal Penn State's A.Q. Shipley in seventh round

04-27-2009, 08:10 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers report: Steelers steal Penn State's A.Q. Shipley in seventh round
April 27, 2:12 AM Add a Comment

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers wanted a center badly in the 2009 draft. So much so, they tried to trade up for both California's Alex Mack and Louisville's Eric Wood in the first round.

When they failed in the attempts, they took a defensive lineman instead, a man they didn't believe would still be on the board in Ziggy Wood.

Perhaps it was a good omen of sorts, as the Steelers finally got their man, six rounds later when they tagged Penn State and nearby Moon Twp native A.Q. Shipley in the seventh round.AQ Shipley at the ESPN Awards after winning the Rimington Trophy

Needless to say, Shipley was ecstatic about getting the call.

"As a Steeler fan growing up especially being from Pittsburgh it means the absolute world to me," he said. "When I finally got the call and Coach Tomlin got on the phone it was unbelievable and meant the world to me."

Shipley was one of the players the Steelers brought in for interviews. As a senior in 2008, he won the Rimington trophy as best center in the country and was also a second team all American.

But at 6-foot-1, 304 pounds he has been described as undersized for the center position with short arms. Asked about that, Shipley said it has yet to be a factor in the way he plays.

"Never and I dont plan on them being," Shipley said of his arms being a liability. "Ive gotten that knock throughout this whole process going into the NFL. It makes me work that much harder to get the other attributes that I have that allow me to be the player that I have been all through college and will hopefully allow me to be that player in the NFL."

Shipley does remind many though, of another undersized center, Hall of famer Mike Webster. While at Moon Twp., not only did he get to meet Webster, but he also played football with his son, Garrett.

"I played with (Garrett) for two years," Shipley said of Webster. "So the fact that I could learn what I could in the short time with Mike Webster and get to know him as a person. It obviously means that much more to me being that he was one of the greatest centers ever to play the game and the best probably ever with the Steelers."

Asked about Shipley, director of football operations Kevin Colbert said he was all heart.

"You are going to hear a ton about how he is short and his arms are only 29 inches, but once we figure out a way to measure a heart, then we will be on to something," Colbert said. " A.Q. is a productive, tough player. That is what we were looking for in these late rounds."

Colbert said one of the things that intrigued him most about Shipley was what other players had said about his toughness.

When wed interview defensive linemen when we interview any position, we always ask them who was the toughest offensive lineman you went against, and vice versa and we got A.Q.s name quite often," Colbert said. " I cant answer why he lasted, but we're happy to get him where we got him because we think hell come in and hell compete."

04-27-2009, 08:18 AM
Though I was a little disappointed that the Steelers weren't able to get Mack in the 1st round, I'm cool with the Shipley choice. He's home grown, had an outstanding college career at my alma mater, is a lifelong Steelers fan - sounds like a promising young man to me! :thumbsup::tt02::applaudit:

04-27-2009, 03:05 PM
If you remove the "Penn State" part, does anyone really get excited about a 7th round draft pick? Honestly?


Steel Head
04-27-2009, 03:13 PM
If you remove the "Penn State" part, does anyone really get excited about a 7th round draft pick? Honestly?


The Steelers have not won a Super Bowl without a Penn Stater on their roster :tt02::tt03::tt::drink: