View Full Version : Steelers rookie aims to be both scholar and athlete

Hawaii 5-0
05-04-2012, 05:07 PM
Steelers rookie aims to be both scholar and athlete

May 4, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Myron Rolle works during Steelers' rookie mini-camp on the South Side Friday morning.

The most talented player attending this weekend's rookie orientation is not top pick David DeCastro, who pulled on Alan Faneca's old number 66 in his first practice with the Steelers.

It is not tackle Mike Adams, their second-round pick, nor is it halfback Chris Rainey, whose coach called him the steal of the NFL draft.

The most talented player on the field Friday at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex is himself a most complex man. His name is Myron Rolle and he is a 25-year-old strong safety trying to make his first NFL roster.

If he does, it might not rank as the most impressive item on his resume. That could be his masters degree in medical anthropology from Oxford -- the Oxford, not the University of Mississippi -- which he earned before the Tennessee Titans drafted him on the sixth round in 2010.

He also has that little humanitarian trip to the Congo, invited to be part of a group by former president Bill Clinton along with people such as Ashley Judd and Jeff Gordon.

Oh, and when Rolle's football career ends, whenever that is, he will begin medical school with the goal to be a traveling neurosurgeon.

"If it lasts 15 years, I'll start medical school when I'm an old man,'' Rolle said as he finished his first practice with the Steelers Friday.

Rolle has the size (6-2, 215), the speed (4.5), certainly the smarts, and he even has the number (Hall of Famer Mel Blount's 47). So, many scouts would like to know, what's missing? He spent the 2010 season on Tennessee's practice squad. He went through their 2011 season and was cut. He had a few tryouts before signing with the Steelers in January.

Perhaps with everything else going for the young man, football just might not be that important to him?

Oh, yes it is, he insisted.

"Oh, it's incredibly important, and I just appreciate the Steelers for giving me the opportunity to continue my football career. My athleticism, my love for the game hasn't left my body yet. And when that happens I'll give it up. Right now, I'm 100 percent committed."

He reasoned that things did not click for him in Tennessee because of the time he spent away from football studying.

"I think I was still rusty, I really do. I was coming back from Oxford and hadn't played in a year and a half. It's hard to get the rhythm of football back, especially when you're playing in the National Football League, where the best athletes play.

"I appreciate Jeff Fisher and the Titans giving me an opportunity. Now I feel I'm back in. My feet are wet, I have the calls down, I have the feel of the game again and I'm ready to go.

"It's my priority right now, it certainly is. I'm excited to be out here again, playing, learning a new system, being with a great team and just trying to keep this football dream alive. I've been playing since I was 6 and it's hard for me to get away right now."

If he does not make it in the NFL, he will never know if Oxford held him back. But then, if he opted for football instead, he might never had known if that held him back. He's shooting for the best of both.

"Oxford was amazing. I traveled a lot and met a lot of incredible people . . . I just had a great time, something I recommend to everybody. I don't regret my decision to go to Oxford.''

With his medical career at least temporarily on hold, there is opportunity for a young safety with the Steelers. Even though they have two Pro Bowlers starting, Ryan Clark will turn 33 in October and Troy Polamalu is 31. Their backups are Will Allen, 30 in June, and the kid of the bunch, 27-year-old Ryan Mundy.

"I like the situation, I like my chances if I perform and do what I'm supposed to do,'' said Rolle, cousin of former Titans and Ravens defensive back Samari Rolle, who also played at Florida State. "I know there is a lot asked of the safeties here, there's a lot asked of players in general here. I'm just looking forward to meeting that standard , and once I do that, hopefully I put myself in position to earn a spot."

Even if he does not make it in football, there is overwhelming evidence that Myron Rolle will earn a spot somewhere.

NOTES -- Rookie offensive tackle Desmond Stapleton failed his physical. The Steelers replaced him with guard Corey Balcerzak, a rookie guard from St. John Fisher College . . . Rookie guard Sean Spence wore James Farrior's old number, 51, and rookie tackle Mike Adams wore Chris Hoke's old number, 76.


tony hipchest
05-04-2012, 05:35 PM
i was glad the steelers didnt draft a safety last week. i believe if rolle wasnt dedicated, he woulda never returned. he's fighting and putting in the work. i like that.

05-04-2012, 08:52 PM
How great would it be if Myron Rolle actually works out and can replace Ryan Clark when he retires? He's 8 years younger than Clark, and the Steelers will have given up basically nothing for him; not even a draft pick. He has gotten his football legs back under him by now I think after the year and a half away from the game, and he's hungry.

05-04-2012, 09:30 PM
I remember following Myron Rolle when he was in the Rhodes Scholarship finalist chase and was awarded it a few years back. There was a special on him by Costas I think. Super sharp kid though some thought that didn't transfer all the time on the field. I'm glad we are giving him a shot and I hope he proves to be an asset. I think Mundy should be next in line though as the next starte when the time comes.

btw, is it me or is Ed really butt-hurt over DeCastro taking Fanica's number. It isn't like Faneca just left the team. I don't know. I might be trippin

Hawaii 5-0
05-05-2012, 01:19 AM
Rolle prepared to make impact for Steelers

By Mark Kaboly

Published: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Myron Rolle has had conversations with Jesse Jackson and rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton during a humanitarian trip to the Republic of Congo last summer.

He graduated Florida State’s pre-med program in 2Ĺ years with a 3.75 GPA; he has scrubbed in for surgeries as a shadow; was awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship; and received a master’s degree from Oxford University in medical anthropology.

But that just scratches the surface for this 25-year-old.

Rolle has had his own foundation for three years, he’s in the process of obtaining funding to open a free health services clinic and sports complex in his parents’ native land of the Bahamas and plans on finishing his medical degree and becoming a philanthropic neurosurgeon.

But the one thing that the Steelers safety has yet to accomplish is what drives him the most – making an NFL roster.

That might change this year, as Rolle was on the field Friday at the team’s minicamp for the first time since he signed with the Steelers in January.

“I think I have a decent shot if I do what I have to do,” Rolle said. “If I meet the standard of what Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the Steelers’ organization requires, I think I can put myself in position to earn a spot.”

After skipping a year of football to study abroad, the most success the three-year starting safety at Florida State has seen since being a sixth-round pick of Tennessee in 2010 was a year on the Titans’ practice squad.

Rolle, who is cousins with Giants safety Antrel Rolle and former Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle, went through a second training camp with the Titans last year but was released during the final cut down.

“I appreciated Jeff Fisher and the Titans for giving me that chance,” Rolle said. “I definitely appreciate Coach Tomlin and the Steelers giving me a chance here.”

Rolle signed a futures deal with the Steelers in January and provides a breath of youth into a position quickly aging. Ryan Clark is 32, Troy Polamalu is 31, Will Allen is 29 and Ryan Mundy is 27.

Rolle could provide what Allen did for the team last year — backup at both safety positions while playing special teams at a saving of nearly $1 million.

Rolle believes he is back in football shape after being away from the game for a year. He believes that’s what hurt him in Tennessee.

“Being in Oxford, where the weather isn’t great and rugby is probably the most important sport there, it is hard to stay in shape and do the things you need to do to play in the NFL,” Rolle said.

Even with his unique educational background and aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon, football is something that Rolle is completed dedicated to now.

“After football is done, I hope my hands are still in good shape and I don’t have many concussions, so I will be able to perform surgeries on operating tables and travel and learn different cultures,” Rolle said.

Possibly losing two careers with one freak accident on the football field isn’t something Rolle dwells on.

“I can’t think about it because that will slow me down and I wouldn’t be as good a player as I possibly could be,” Rolle said. “If you look at it rationally, sure I am taking a chance, but life is about taking chances. I am excited about my opportunity here.”


tony hipchest
05-05-2012, 02:12 AM
ive pulled for myron ever since he came back and declared for the draft. i dont know if there has ever been a better "feel good" story. i always felt the steelers had him on their radar, but the titans snagged him first. bottom line though-

Rolle could provide what Allen did for the team last year — backup at both safety positions while playing special teams at a saving of nearly $1 million.

with that being said, i cant recall any game where will allen impacted a single point being scored either way. if we can get the same impact from a longshot it may not only be a luxory, but a neccessity.

the likes of greg warren and suisham probably got their proverbial heads on a swivel right about now.

05-06-2012, 09:46 PM
Why are long snappers so damned expensive? I used to do it in HS when playing special teams, it was freaking cake. I can't complain because do we ever have bad snaps? Either way, he should not be eating cap the way he does

tony hipchest
05-07-2012, 12:12 AM
long snappers typically only make the veteran minimum, therefore an older snapper is going to be about 2X as expensive as a rookie regardles of their skill or talent level.

05-07-2012, 06:10 AM
Rolle prepared to make impact for Steelers

Myron Rolle has had conversations with Jesse Jackson and rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton during a humanitarian trip to the Republic of Congo last summer.

Not to sure either of these "accomplishments" are something to brag about! :puke:

Hawaii 5-0
05-08-2012, 03:01 PM
Q&A: Myron Rolle

By Jim Wexell
Posted May 4, 2012


Myron Rolle left Florida State for Oxford University in England on a Rhodes Scholarship in 2009. He spent the 2010 season on the Titans' practice squad but was cut in 2011. He's trying to make a comeback with the Steelers.

Myron Rolle, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Anyone try to draft you on to an intramural rugby team at Oxford?

A: Oh yeah. They did. I was going to play the wing against Cambridge in the big, big match we have over there, but those guys are kind of crazy with no pads. A lot of them donít have teeth, so I didnít want to do it.

Q: Thatís Michigan-Ohio State isnít it?

A: Or Florida-Florida State. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal. It was a great experience over there, Oxford. Iíll never forget it.

Q: Any regrets?

A: Looking back on it, if I had any regrets they were short-lived and very transient. When I look at the big picture I think I made the right decision not only for myself but for my family and for other people who look up to me as a role model or sort of paradigm for scholastics and athletics.

Q: What feedback did you get at the time?

A: A lot from parents who want me to serve as sort of a mentor, or a guy for their children to focus on in school. My parents came from the Bahamas and they made academics the No. 1 priority. That was something that was routine in my life and it stuck with me and it just went to a bigger magnitude at Florida State when I had the opportunity to go to Oxford University. Iím very proud of the position Iím in. Iím very humbled, too.

Q: You're a medical student. Is football more difficult than surgery?

A: I havenít been in surgery yet so this is tougher. This is great. Itís a great opportunity. Iíve been playing football since I was six in New Jersey and Iím excited to be out here again.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: I still have a love for the game. I still feel I have athleticism in my body to be able to contribute to a team. I was just excited by this opportunity. Everything Iíve seen, hear, the workouts Iíve done so far, this practice here Ė which was high-tempo, high-intensity with coaches who love the game Ė you just get that feel that everybody loves it here. As soon as I signed with Pittsburgh a bunch of fans wrote me on Facebook and Twitter to welcome me to the team. It was astounding. It was almost overwhelming. To have that love Ė to give it back is something I want to do on the field, show that on every snap I go 100 percent and do all I can.

Q: Do you view it as an opportunity that they didnít draft a safety?

A: I do. Any time I step on the field I see an opportunity. Every time I take a snap itís my time to show the coaches and the organization I can contribute here and earn a spot. Thereís a level that I want to reach; thereís a level that every man needs to reach here to be a Steeler, to be a part of this team, and Iím just looking forward to grinding every day to get there.