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Old 05-18-2007, 08:33 AM   #1
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Default Stephenson puts it all on the line

By Teresa Varley

Guard Cameron Stephenson didn't know a lot about football when he came to the United States as an eight-year old from Australia.

But after a weekend of Steelers mini-camp, he is likely on information overload.

Stephenson, the Steelers fifth-round draft pick from Rutgers, didn't begin playing football until his freshman year in high school.

He spent two seasons at Los Angeles Harbor College, where he played on the defensive line in 2002 and was set to play both offensive and defensive line in 2003 but suffered a knee injury and missed the season.

When he went to Rutgers he made the switch to offensive line in 2004. He was switched to back to the defensive line in the 2005 season and then back to offensive line in 2006.

"I think playing both sides of the ball is important in high school," said Stephenson. "It helps you out because you never know where they'll play you in college. I went to junior college for a year before going to Rutgers. I played defensive line there. When I got to Rutgers, I started with a little defense before being switched back to offense."

The Steelers plan on keeping him just on the offensive line and even though he might need some experience there, they like what they have seen of him.

"I really liked him when I saw him on tape and when I met him down at the combine," said offensive line coach Larry Zierlein. "He is a guy who is not a flashy guy, but he just does everything well. Usually when you look at a guy, you see something you don't like about him, even though he may be a good player. That is one of the things we like about him. There are some first rounders that I don't like things about. This kid right here, you just really don't see anything glaring that you don't like about him.

"He is steady. He is not flashy. He has really good strength. He understands how to play the game and you see that he knows how to pick up the twist. He has a good feel for it. He is a pretty good athlete, who pulls pretty well. I just think he is one of those guys, whose personality is very mature. Obviously, he has a good feeling about himself. I think he is going to be a heck of a player."

Stephenson knows that there were some drawbacks to moving back and forth from offensive and defensive line, but prefers to accentuate the positives of the moves.

"Defense is more about getting off the ball and reacting to the ball," said Stephenson. "Offense is about footwork and balance and keeping your weight centered so you can take on the guy coming at you.

"Moving from defense to offense is a plus because you're familiar with the moves you'll be encountering and that helps you anticipate and be a better player."
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Stephenson puts it all on the line

Good article. Does he still have his austrailian accent?

Anyone else think this was a little bit of an "in your face Faneca" "we can get by without you" type article?
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