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Old 05-04-2006, 08:55 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Humes ready to do whatever is asked


Humes ready for whatever is asked
Thursday, May 4, 2006

By Teresa Varley

It didn't take long for the subject to come up after running back Cedric Humes was drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round on Sunday.

Just three questions in to his first press conference with the Pittsburgh media, the topic of being in the mix to compete for the short yardage job vacated by Jerome Bettis was asked.

"Whatever I go there to do, and whatever I do, I'm going to compete," said Humes, the power back from Virginia Tech. "If that's the job that I need to compete for, I definitely will. I definitely believe that I can be the short-yardage guy."

He isn't the only one who thinks that way. Running backs coach **** Hoak feels like Humes has a shot at the role as well and sees him competing for it along with Duce Staley and Verron Haynes.

"He makes yards after contact," said Hoak. "You get him down in the red zone and he doesn't have to run that far. He has been really productive on the goal line for them and if things work out like they did with Jerome (Bettis) last year he may be the guy to fill that role.

"Willie (Parker) is the guy coming into camp and you have Duce and Verron so they all will get a shot at that role. Verron is a very good short-yardage runner and a goal-line guy. When we would have goal line practices at training camp, Verron stuck it up there pretty good and has done some good things."

Humes lead Virginia Tech in rushing last season with a career-high 752 yards and added 11 touchdowns, while starting nine games. He also had 10 receptions for 71 yards. Humes came on strongest at the end of last season when he had over 100 yards rushing in three of the final four games.

"Cedric is a good player," said Hoak. "He has been a very productive back there. They had a two back system where he played with another guy a lot and split time but he is very effective once you get down into the red zone. He is a powerful back. He can catch the ball. He is not a burner. He doesn't have Willie Parker speed but he breaks tackles and makes yards after contact. He is a good solid player."

Humes power is something that was attractive to the Steelers. He is solid at 6-1, 233 pounds and was the winner of the Super Iron Hokie Award for the second consecutive year, given for outstanding performance in the weight room.

"I might not be as fast as (Willie) but I definitely feel confident in my speed for my size and my ability to power run. But at the same time, I have to ability to elude players at times and set them up. I think I have an advantage that way.

"Staying in the weight room, and working on my legs and all types of weights definitely helps me out on goal line and short yardage situations."

Humes was the 240th player overall selected in the draft and it likely was the speed that was the factor in him lasting so long.

"Like I said he is not a real fast guy that's probably why he slipped down there a little bit because he has been very productive," said Hoak. "The other things are that there have been a lot of those backs if you look at the draft this year that have kind of slipped this year."

Humes isn't worried about where he was selected, it's all about what he does with the opportunity.

"To be able to get drafted, first of all, is a blessing," said Humes. "I'm happy about that. I'm happy to be a Steeler now.I definitely saw myself as a good fit for the Steelers and it's definitely been in my mind the whole time. I'm happy to be there and I think I can fit in there with their scheme."

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