Steelers check out candidates for center
Friday, August 07, 2009
Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers worked out two free agent centers today at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe as they brace for bad news on the injured left knee of Darnell Stapleton.
Alex Stepanovich, a six-year veteran who played for the Atlanta Falcons last season, and rookie Alex Derenthal of Temple both worked out for the team today. However, both left the Saint Vincent campus at mid-afternoon, heading back to the Pittsburgh airport.
Stepanovich, who played at Ohio State and was a fourth-round draft pick and former starter of the Arizona Cardinals, was released by the Falcons in June. Derenthal signed as an undrafted rookie with the New York Giants, but was released before the start of their training camp.
Stapleton had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and while neither the team nor coach Mike Tomlin have said anything, the word going around training camp is that the offensive lineman could be lost for the season. Stapleton became the starting right guard last season but was playing center at the start of training camp because of a toe injury to Justin Hartwig.
Tomlin said that Hartwig should be ready to resume practice soon. The Steelers have only two healthy centers, first-year pro Doug Legursky and rookie A.Q. Shipley, neither of whom have played in an NFL regular-season game.
Ed Bouchette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
First published on August 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm
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