Monday, August 10, 2009

Steelers add Stepanovich

The Steelers, thin at center due to two injuries, have signed former Arizona Cardinals center Alex Stepanovich.

Justin Hartwig has been bothered by a toe injury since training camp started July 31, and Darnell Stapleton is expected to be out for several weeks following left knee surgery. Stapleton, who began camp as the starting right guard, was the backup center last season.

The 6-foot-4, 296-pound Stepanovich was a fourth-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2004 and spent three seasons with them before playing for Cincinnati in 2007 and Atlanta in 2008. He has played in 46 NFL games, making 34 starts.

This could be a sign that the team got bad news on Stapleton, who was at training camp on Sunday during family day. Stapleton had his right knee heavily wrapped.

Of course it could also be that they just don't want to wear Doug Legursky and A.Q. Shipley, the only two healthy centers they have, out.

I would expect Hartwig to try to return to practice on a full-time basis soon - likely next Saturday when the team returns to Saint Vincent College from its preseason opener.

18 comments:

datruth4life said...

Dale,

In your opinion, does C/G Doug Legursky look like a potential future starter as a center? Are R. Foster and J. Capizzi locks for the OL this year?

And finally, when do you plan to grace us with your updated 53-man roster prediction? You know nothing generates the feedback on here like your roster predictions. Thanks.

HACK said...

From over at CBS...guy says the Steelers will probably keep 6 corners and lists them as Gay, Ike, Deshea, Keiwan Ratliff, Anthony Madison, and Joe Burnett. Says Lewis is on the bubble....I cant imagine them cutting Lewis (3rd rnd)...Whats your thoughts Dale?

Robert said...

Lewis is on the bubble? Thats bull. Everything about him is positive and no one cuts a 3rd round pick except the raiders. Anthony Madison is the guy on the bubble.

F'n Skinley said...

I'm guessing the article has Burnett and lewis backward?

Anonymous said...

The return of Sonny Harris allowed the Steelers to release Jordan Reffett and sign Stepanovich the stiff.

Michael said...

Burnett and Lewis aren't either on the bubble.

The competition is between Ratliff and Madison.

Anonymous said...

Dale, is Shipley or any other lineman practicing long snapping or is Warren that safe on the roster?

Robert said...

Thats a good question. If Shipley could backup center and long snap that would save a valuable roster spot.
He might be a year away from being able to backup at center though.

Jake said...

After what happened last year, Warren is a very valuable commodity on this roster. We can sacrifice one roster spot for someone that can long snap.

HACK said...

If Shipley can long snap close to what Warren provides...You have to drop Warren and keep Shipley...it would be nice to have a LS that can do anything else...freeing up a roster spot.....and this is from a guy who is not a big fan of Shipley

SKINLEY said...

I haven't heard of them even trying Shipley at long snapping though? Can you confirm, Dale?

HACK said...

While not Dale....I thought there was an article about Shipley long snapping recently...where he was going on the "more things you can do" idea of trying to get a spot on the final 53. Shipley is not a C/G he is pure C...so was trying to be C/LS

Dale Lolley said...

I have not seen Shipley long snap.
Any article that says Lewis is on the bubble should be disregarded.

As for the 53, let's wait at least one preseason game. I've got a lot of ideas, but things change when the hitting starts under the bright lights.

Dale Lolley said...

And no, I don't see Legursky as a future starter. Let's see if he makes the team first. He probably will, but things change.

I'd say at this point that Foster's a lock. Capizzi still has work to do.

Anonymous said...

You think Foster's a lock? wow, that says a lot about him. Now I can't wait to see him play....

Bupp said...

What I've read is that Shipley was backup LS at Penn State. With Hartwig and Stapelton out, he hasn't had time to work on any long snapping, being only one of two centers in camp.

Dale Lolley said...

I think you're right about that Bupp. If he makes the team - and that's a big if at this point - then they'll look at that.
They're going to put the best 53 together first.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Legursky dabbled in longsnapping too. No live experience either. IMO, Shipley has a better chance to make the final 53 if he could add lead blocker and special teams to his quiver rather than long snapper. I just don't see them keeping him if he can't be game day active. And being a back up long snapper won't make that happen. As bad as their short yardage was last year, he could make it on that basis (FB), ala Nick Cole for the Eagles.