GAINESVILLE, FLA – The Steelers coaching staff sat down with another Florida player during its Pro Day, this according to a source at the University.
That player is linebacker Brandon Spikes, who many feel have the size to make a switch to Outside linebacker or even a Defensive end in the 3-4 scheme.
Spikes is 6-foot-2, 249 pounds.
The one thing about Spikes, is that he has good football knowledge. He knows how to anticipate where the ball is going and is great at getting to the opposing rusher. Four of Spikes’ six career interceptions went for touchdowns, but his production was down from his stellar sophomore year the past two years.
Last year in regard to stats, it was his worst year on the field for the Gators, but he was plagued with injuries including a groin and heel tendinitis. Still he always seemed to come up with the play when it was needed.
Spikes was involved in an on field incident in a game against Georgia that caught national attention. In that contest he poked Bulldog freshman running back Washaun Ealy through the facemask.
Gator coach suspended him for a half of the next game, but Spikes refused to play the contest, instead suspending himself from playing. He spoke about the incident at the Combine last month to reporters.
” I didn’t want younger players to think that was the right way to play the game,” Spikes said. “There were a lot of emotions going on in that game, both sides were taking shots at each other. But that is why I suspended myself, because that is not the way the game is supposed go be played.”
Spikes has been compared by many to former Ohio State standout James Laurinaitis but if there is a flaw it is his sideline to sideline running ability.
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Willie Parker visited with the Rams, but left without a contract in hand. Last season for the Steelers, Parker rushed for 398 yards without a touchdown and he had only one receiving score.
Former Steeler Joey Porter, after taking a trip to DC, is the latest former player to sign with Pittsburgh West, IE; the Arizona Cardinals.
“I was looking to play for a West Coast team and I know everything Whiz is about,” Porter told reporters. “He had me over there in Pittsburgh for eight years so I don’t have to be blindsided by some new coaches and trying to wonder how I fit. I know exactly how I fit. I know how he would try and use me if I was here and I am just trying to be a piece to the puzzle that’s already there.”