Steeler Training Camp: Day 7- Rookie guard Urbik not happy with his play
August 8, 1:07 AM · Matt Pawlikowski - Pittsburgh Sports Examiner
LATROBE - With Darnell Stapelton out for an indefinite period of time, the right guard slot is open.
Trai Essex appears to have the job locked up, and has looked impressive thus far in camp.
Meaning who is the backup?
Entering camp there was a lot of hoopla surrounding Kraig Urbik. Urbik (6-5, 328) was selected by the Steelers with the 15th pick (79th overall) in the third round of April’s NFL Draft, the first of the team’s three choices in the round.
The Steelers obtained the pick for Urbik as well as the 20th pick in the third round as part of a draft day trade with the Denver Broncos.
Admittedly, Urbik who has played like a rookie is expected - some good, some bad, some ugly - says he is learning the NFL game.
" It's been a learning process," Urbik said. "I thought I was a little further along, but I thought wrong. I just have to get a lot better in the next couple of weeks."
Urbik started 50 games during his college career at Wisconsin, lining up at right guard 34 times and starting 16 games at right tackle. He became the first freshman at Wisconsin to start at offensive tackle since 1996 and registered 325 knockdown blocks during his college career.
But the NFL is not NCAA, and Urbik is learning that quickly.
" The speed of the game and timing," Urbik said. " That is what you have to get used to and do it in a hurry. I just have to start paying attention to the little things and better myself each day. I have to compete."
More than 15,000 fans headed to Latrobe High School to watch the Steelers host its only night practice of camp. Those attending night practice at Latrobe High School got a special treat. Not one, but all of the Super Bowl trophies were on display for fans to get a look at and take a picture with. Zambelli's also put on a fireworks display and WDVE was on hand to broadcast live.
"This was like homecoming at William & Mary," Tomlin said. " It was an awesome crowd.”
SPECIAL TEAM ACE
The Steelers practices special teams during the morning session at St. Vincent, and Stefan Logan saw most of the action. I like this guy, and while there are those who feel he is a bubble player to make the team, you have to like what he did in the CFL last year. As of now rookie Mike Wallace is the frontrunner for kick return man.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Ok, maybe it wasn't the best play of the evening, but its nice to have Troy Polamalu back in practice. He had an interception of Ben Roethlisberger during the 11-on-11 drills.
Tomlin addressed Stapleleton's condition and offered these thoughts on a time table for a return to practice.
"The surgery today was exploratory and they liked what they looked at," said Tomlin. "They’re going to give him a couple of weeks, and we’ll see where we go from there. If I had to nail it down today it would be tough to do. We’ll give him a couple of weeks, see how his body responds and we’ll go from there."
NFL officials are making their rounds to NFL training camps to explain the new rule changes that will take place in 2009.
Of course the most infamous one, is the Hines Ward rule where blocks with a helmet, forearm or shoulder to the neck are from the side or behind are illegal. It is a costly one too if a player is called 15 yards.
Some other rule changes for 2009, include the Ed Holuci rule, where when a quarterback fumbles and it is incorrectly ruled an incomplete pass possession can occur for the defensive unit even if the whistle blows as long as there is a clear recovery.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
The Steelers brought in two centers for a look on Friday, Alex Stepanovich and as reported first by Jim Wexell of SteelcityInsider this morning Alex Derenthal. Neither was signed to a contract.