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Old 05-25-2006, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Smolko has a chance...

My boy from Penn State Isaac Smolko may have a chance to make the roster. He's a good TE... he has the size, good hands and he is a good blocker. He made some big catches the last couple years for the Lions. I definitely wish he was coming back for another year.



Rookie tight end Isaac Smolko has had a little less than two weeks to be introduced to the Steelers offense and for the free agent from Penn State, it's getting easier every day.

But, it didn't start out that way.

After the team's three-day mini-camp, when information flies at them at game speed, Smolko's mind was spinning.

"It was rough," Smolko admitted. "It was a lot more mentally challenging than I expected and a lot less physically challenging than I expected. It was by far the most mentally challenging thing I have done since I started playing football. My head was spinning."

Now that he has had some coaching sessions under his belt, things are getting a lot easier. Things move at a much different pace during the coaching sessions. They work one-on-one more with their position coach. They get more time in the classroom to take things in. This time is extremely valuable for him.

"It's a lot better now," said Smolko. "I got more apt to calls and all. This is huge. It's what's going to help me make the team. It's time for me to learn the system and learn the plays. You can't wait until training camp to try and do this. It has to be done now. You have to go into training camp knowing what you are doing to try and make the team."

Smolko, who is spending his free time these days sleeping and studying his playbook, knows the odds can be stacked against him as a rookie free agent. But there is an opportunity that exists for him with the Steelers. Ahead of him are veterans Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman, but after that, it's three rookies trying to make an impression, including fifth-round draft pick Charles Davis from Purdue and fellow free agent Jonathan Dekker from Princeton.

"It was the best situation for me," said Smolko about signing with the Steelers. "A couple of other teams called and had six guys on the roster."

He has been using Miller and Tuman as resources, asking them questions and trying to learn as much from them as he can. And they are providing plenty of help.

"They are great. Anything I ask Heath or Jerame they tell me," said Smolko. "I came into this expecting not to get help from other guys because they help you and you get better and they take your job. These guys have been so helpful to me."

Smolko is pleased with the situation he is in right now. He is with a team that just won the Super Bowl. He isn't far from his Youngstown, Ohio home. And he is happy to have had somewhat of a choice in where he ended up.

But, despite that, there still is a little bit of a sting that he didn't get drafted.

"I saw a lot of guys get drafted that I thought I was just as good as and just didn't have the opportunity because my offense wasn't an offense that got me 40 balls a year," he said. "It's tough and it puts you in perspective. I think if you come in as a draft pick you might get complacent and think you are on the team, but this makes you work hard every day."

Hard work is something he certainly isn't afraid of. His family owns a farm in Ohio and he has spent many a day working on the farm.

"I worked on the farm until I got to college," said Smolko. "It helped with my work ethic and strength. You know what you need to do to get things done. It keeps you mentally focused more.

"Baling hay was the hardest thing I think I have ever done in my life. The heat, it would be 90-100 degrees and you are out there sweating over these bales of hay. It was the worst thing I ever had to do."


link: http://media3.steelers.com/article/64309/
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

He also made 4th and 15 at Northwestern Last Year. One of his BEST Penn State Catches.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

l`ll root for him to make it but its a long shot
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

I dont think this guy has a chance in hell.....no way we keep 4 tight ends. Plus, I despise Penn State.
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Old 05-26-2006, 04:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillers#1
I dont think this guy has a chance in hell.....no way we keep 4 tight ends. Plus, I despise Penn State.
I think that you'll take those words back when you see Smolko play this pre-season. The boy can play some ball. No they won't keep 4 TE's but Charles Davis sure as heck isn't a shoe in. Davis doesn't even want to play for the Steelers. I don't believe that the Steelers will let another TE prospect from Penn State get away.

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Old 05-26-2006, 05:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillers#1
I dont think this guy has a chance in hell.....no way we keep 4 tight ends. Plus, I despise Penn State.
Competition is ok with me. I like PSU. And I agree but at least he's not from ...
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

I saw Smolko play in high school against my brother so i dont think he should make the team because he went to Springfield. I know its a tupid reason but maybe he will be good if he has got he alent let him stay if not let him go.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel Pit
I think that you'll take those words back when you see Smolko play this pre-season. The boy can play some ball. No they won't keep 4 TE's but Charles Davis sure as heck isn't a shoe in. Davis doesn't even want to play for the Steelers. I don't believe that the Steelers will let another TE prospect from Penn State get away.
I hope he is a player, and I hope the competition makes everyone better
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

I would not be suprised at all if he beats out Davis... If not, they may give him a spot on the practice squad.
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Smolko has a chance...

My husband and I are both graduates of Springfield Local, and we have seen Isaac play a lot... Believe me, he is the real deal. He has the talent to make the team, even if they DON'T keep 4 TEs. He has made big plays both in high school and at Penn State, and he has proven time after time that he has what it takes to play with the big boys. Good luck, Isaac! Make Petersburg proud!!!
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