I think it was in my second year, maybe third in the league, when a young rookie nose tackle from Indiana University Pa. burst onto the scene in training camp. Then Steelers defensive line coach George Perlesgot so excited he couldn’t contain himself and trumpeted loudly before the media, “He’s a phenom!”
His name was Joe Cugliari, a big rough tough guy from Pittsburgh. Joe was having a lights out training camp after going undrafted and came to camp with very little known about him. It didn’t take long for Joe to shine, and before his knee injury ended his pre-season, Joe became known as the “Camp Phenom.”
Every year it seems, if you follow the Steelers closely, you can pick a new phenom out. Someone flying below the radar. Someone who’s name doesn’t register with most fans. Someone who essentially is brought to camp to fill out the roster.
My pick for the title of Camp Phenom this year is Dorian Brooks, an undrafted free agent guard from Ohio State. He’s on the smallish side (6’2″, 306) but he’s got quick feet, strong as an ox, and good balance. He’s picking up playing center as well. I wouldn’t be suprised if he ended up on the practice squad or better. Look for him.
By the way, scheduled guests for the Locker Room show tomorrow (August 4th) include Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle-El. Be there or be square…Nanoo, Nanoo
Listen to the Tunch and Wolf’s “In the Locker Room” show on Fox Sports Radio 970AM Pittsburgh
Monday – Friday
11:00am to 1:00pm
READ Craig’s “Training Camp” blog stories (Link)