Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2014 Goal: $450.00 - To Date: $450.00 (100.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Steelers Football > Pittsburgh Steelers


Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Steelers

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
A Son of Martha
Supporter
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 7,976
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Bires: Essex's football life changed because of a different kind of reception

Bires: Essex's football life changed because of a different kind of reception
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/lo...tml?mode=print
Mike Bires Times Sports Staff | Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 11:45 pm

PITTSBURGH — The way Trai Essex sees it, July 23 was a life-changing day for he and Ben Roethlisberger.

On that day, Essex was among the many Steelers who helped Roethlisberger celebrate his wedding.

It was also a day when Essex realized that if he wanted to remain in pro football, he needed to get his life in order.

When Essex showed up for Roethlisberger’s wedding, his teammates almost couldn’t believe their eyes. They were shocked to see that Essex allowed himself to get fat and out of shape during the off-season. He weighed around 375 pounds, close to 50 pounds over his playing weight.

The Steelers coaches weren’t shocked and weren’t amused. They were disappointed. When camp started a week later, the Steelers were in no hurry to re-sign Essex, an unrestricted free agent.

Even though Essex had a terrific time at Roethlisberger’s wedding, he sensed that he was in deep trouble. He got the cold shoulder from his coaches. From that day forward, he dedicated himself to getting back in shape in hopes of getting one more chance.

On Aug. 22, he got that chance. He was the last of the Steelers’ free agents to sign.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve when the Steelers routed the Rams, and there was Essex turning out to be one of the surprise heroes.

“I particularly like the effort of Trai Essex,” coach Mike Tomlin said after the 27-0 romp.

When the Steelers got the ball for the first time in the first quarter, Essex was playing left guard for the second straight week. He had replaced Chris Kemoeatu, who’s struggled all year with injuries, inconsistent play and careless penalties.

But on the Steelers’ second offensive snap, the O-line was forced to re-shuffle for the umpteenth time this season. Doug Legursky, who was filling in for injured center Maurkice Pouncey, hurt his shoulder and was done for the day.

So Essex moved over, giving the Steelers their third different center in three weeks.

“When I saw Doug go down, my heart was beating,” Essex said. “I was nervous as hell. But after a few snaps I settled down and actually had fun.”

Overall, it was a fun day for all the Steelers, who improved to 11-4 and kept alive their chances of winning the AFC North.

Considering he’s 37 and making his first start since Week 4 of last season, Charlie Batch played well. He even showed nifty agility by twice eluding on-rushing defenders.The Heinz Field fans obviously enjoying seeing Batch play while Ben Roethlisberger rested his injured ankle. On several occasions, chants of “Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!” echoed throughout the North Shore.

Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 116 yards. Rookie John Clay scored his first career touchdown on his first pro carry. Antonio Brown set the Steelers’

single-season record for all-purpose yards. After serving a one-game suspension, James Harrison recorded a sack. Lawrence Timmons got his first sack of the season. The Steelers’ defense pitched their second shutout of the year.

“It was a good, necessary win,” Tomlin said.

But for Essex, it was a day in which he came full circle.

Since Roethlisberger’s wedding, he’s managed to salvage his career. He’s lost 50 pounds. And in a season in which the Steelers have had so many injuries, especially on the offensive line, Essex has been so valuable.

When he took over for Legursky at center, Essex was playing his fifth different position on the O-line this season. He’s played both tackle spots and both guard spots.

“Hey, I got a few snaps at tight end and fullback this year, too,” he said with a laugh.

Really, it’s Essex who’s been the poster child for Tomlin’s “next man up” and “the standard is the standard” mantras.

Early in his career, Essex was strictly a tackle. But in recent years as Tomlin continues to preach position flexibility, Essex has learned to play guard and center as well.

“The more things you can do, the better chance you have of staying in this league,” he said. “I’m just thankful I’m still here. I guess Ben’s wedding was the best thing to happen to him and the best thing to happen to me.”
mesaSteeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 11:39 AM   #2
pittpete
Bench Warmer
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 396
Member Number: 5301
Thanks: 123
Thanked 223 Times in 132 Posts
Default Re: Bires: Essex's football life changed because of a different kind of reception

It may be a blessing in disguise that Legursky went down.
If anyone recalls, on one of the first running plays, Essex pulled at LG and barely made it and ran into the back of another Steeler.
It would have been a loooong day for that lard@ss having to pull with the geniusBA's favorite play
pittpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
Bayz101
Renegade
Supporter
 
Bayz101's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Mansfield, Ohio
Posts: 8,288
Gender: Male
Member Number: 18856
Thanks: 2,061
Thanked 5,049 Times in 2,138 Posts
My Mood: Lurking
Default Re: Bires: Essex's football life changed because of a different kind of reception

I'm glad Legursky went out either way, we needed all our starters out for rest at some point.
__________________


"Either you're playing dumb, or it's not an act". -Judge Judy

No need to drive me crazy. I can walk from here.
Bayz101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts