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Old 08-05-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
unlvrebelx
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Default The Tank's on Track

See the article @ http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...1419913625.txt

The Tank's on track


By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 12:05 AM EDT
LATROBE — At training camp, everyone knows “Tank.”

It’s hard to miss the human bowling ball running back renowned for his bruising style of play.

But this isn’t UNLV, where Frank Summers played for two years. This is St. Vincent College, the summertime home of the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

“When you carry a nickname like ‘Tank,’ guys are going to try you,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “They want him to prove that nickname is earned. That’s the nature of the National Football League. This is a show-me game, and he’s starting to understand that.”

Summers, a rookie taken in the fifth round of this year’s draft, is finding out he’s a marked man.

Because of his build and reputation, the Steelers’ defense has its sights on “Tank” wherever he goes. He’s been part of two of the most vicious hits in camp so far.

“I guess it’s their way of saying ‘welcome to the NFL,’” said the 5-foot-10, 247-pound Summers.

The first violent collision came on the last play of Sunday afternoon’s practice. As Summers ran with the football toward the sideline, he was drilled by linebacker Keyaron Fox and cornerback William Gay. As the sound of the impact resonated throughout the practice field, the ball popped loose and the Steeler defenders whooped it up. “Tank” was stopped in his tracks.

Then at Monday’s morning session, Summers and linebacker Lawrence Timmons crossed paths with great force.

“When you have a name like ‘Tank’, you already have a bull’s eye on your back,” defensive end Brett Keisel said. “Guys have been popping him and letting him know that ‘Tank’ can be hit, too.

“But to his credit, he gets hit, he gets right back up and he runs back to the huddle. That says a lot about him.”

Summers first got his nickname when his mother pinned it on him as a kid growing up in Oakland, Calif.

“It stuck with me ever since, and no, I don’t mind it at all,” he said.

A star halfback on his high school team, Summers originally signed with California of the Pac-10. After not faring well academically as a freshman, he transferred to a junior college. From there, he went to UNLV where he played tailback and rushed for 928 and 740 yards, respectively, the past two seasons.

So far with the Steelers, he’s playing both halfback and fullback. Surely, the Steelers will experiment with him in camp as their short-yardage and goal-line back.

“It’s a faster speed, the physicality of the game is off the chart, and the mental aspect of the game is much harder,” Summers said of his transition from college to pro football. “It’s definitely a different ball game up here. If you aren’t prepared mentally and physically, you’re going to get left behind and knocked out.”

If Summers can master his playbook, he could end up being the one who is delivering knockout hits as a Steeler. Certainly, the coaches are intrigued by his potential and will likely give him plenty of chances to see if he can make the grade.

For example, Summers had seven repetitions on Monday in a “backs vs. ‘backers” drill in which running backs have to block blitzing linebackers. No other back had more reps.

It’s a tough drill for running backs. But on this day, Summers held his own. He lost a few battles but won more than his share.

“You have to remember, we have the No 1. defense in the world, and they have a lot of pride on that side of the ball,” running backs coach Kirby Wilson said. “So if you can play against our defense, you can play against anyone in the National Football League.

“Our defense, they’re just doing their job. They’re hunting, they’re hitting, they’re attacking and they’re running to the ball. That’s going to help Frank became a hard, NFL-type player because this is a level of intensity and violence he hasn’t seen before in his life. It’s part of his growth. It’s a good thing.”
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

aslong as he's not confused with Tank Johnson...then he'll be fine in my eyes.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

I've never wanted a 5th round pick to work out more than Summers. It would be nice to have a guaranteed insta-yard type guy back on the team. Get 'em 1 or more yard(s) every time and they'll find a place for him.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

he'll eventually make his way into the rotation and if/when he does, he'll make big moves. everyone seemed to have had doubts surrounding Moore, but he's now a key player and he's got skills. i like him. Summers could pull off that role too, except with more power. it sounds to me like he's a Maurice Jones-Drew type. a mover and shaker. he'll do it. =)
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

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Originally Posted by SteelCityKing View Post
he'll eventually make his way into the rotation and if/when he does, he'll make big moves. everyone seemed to have had doubts surrounding Moore, but he's now a key player and he's got skills. i like him. Summers could pull off that role too, except with more power. it sounds to me like he's a Maurice Jones-Drew type. a mover and shaker. he'll do it. =)
Just heard on-line that he is lowering his shoulder and looked like "Bettis" with the way several DB's had to converge on him....VERY good news!!!
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

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Just heard on-line that he is lowering his shoulder and looked like "Bettis" with the way several DB's had to converge on him....VERY good news!!!
Sounds better already for the Tank.....

He kinda looks like this... except with a 44 on him....
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

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Originally Posted by unlvrebelx View Post
“I guess it’s their way of saying ‘welcome to the NFL,’” said the 5-foot-10, 247-pound Summers.
seems like he gained a bit more weight also....

he was 225 when drafted, then 230, once in a while 241 then 243, now he is 247

hmm... wonder what he really weighs.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

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Just heard on-line that he is lowering his shoulder and looked like "Bettis" with the way several DB's had to converge on him....VERY good news!!!
i don't know about you brother, but i REALLY miss Jerome Bettis! if he's plowing like the Bus...then more power to him. i'll take that comparison over MJD. even though i made that comparison. not anyone else. haha!

anything to bring more power to an already powerful football team...that's awesome.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Tank's on Track

I'd be happy if the tank just showed some receiving out of the backfield and that he could be a big contributor on special teams. That way he can supplant Carey Davis on the roster.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:49 PM   #10
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I'd be happy if the tank just showed some receiving out of the backfield and that he could be a big contributor on special teams. That way he can supplant Carey Davis on the roster.
somebody please beat cary davis out of his roster spot.
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