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SteelDad
08-07-2011, 01:54 PM
In the city of Pittsburgh, there are many time-honored traditions. Going to Primanti’s for example or the Pirates finishing below .500 again are just a couple. One that continues to stand the test of time is the annual “biding of time by Steelers’ linebackers.” It’s a tradition where young linebackers work their tails off to prove their worth. This is not unlike lions teaching their cubs to pounce on their prey. Even guys like former NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison had to work hard in the shadows of special teams before their time would come. The next such player in this line of succession may well be 2nd year inside backer Stevenson Sylvester.

To the novice football fan, Sylvester was not exactly a household name when he was drafted by the Steelers in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Utah. To those that really know football, they recall his ‘coming out party’ of sorts in the Utes’ 31-17 whipping of once-beaten Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. ‘Sly’ recorded seven tackles, three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in his #10 jersey. Now wearing 55, Sylvester returns from a rookie season in which he was a special teams’ demon. Playing in his first pre-season last year, he led the Steelers in tackles from the linebacker position over the 4-game schedule. To most in Steelers Nation, he had arrived to take his position in the line of succession.

This past off-season, or during the lockout I guess is the more official term, Sylvester added what he believes is 20-25lbs of muscle training with the same man who trained Olympic Gold Medal-winning speed skater Apolo Ohno. If you follow Sly at all on Twitter, you know he commented frequently on his workouts. For the record, I was winded just reading them.

Sylvester is from Las Vegas and was not heavily recruited coming out of high school with Utah being the only school to offer him a scholarship. He is an extremely humble young man who credits his mother with a tremendous amount of his success. In fact, she used to critique him following every game he has ever played regardless of the sport. Even as a professional, he knows who the first phone call comes from after a game.

Sylvester has been excellent so far in training camp. Linebackers Coach Kevin Butler was stated this week as saying, “We actually have to get him to be ‘patient’ on the field.” Sitting behind proven veterans like James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons can be as rewarding as it can be upsetting. Guys like Sylvester just want to be on the field, but learning from two greats isn't all that bad either. In football, you’re always one play away. When his time comes, and it certainly seems like it’s coming, he’ll be ready. And so will his mother.

Marc 'SteelDad' Uhlmann

www.steeleraddicts.com (http://www.steeleraddicts.com)

LarryNJ
08-07-2011, 09:46 PM
20-25 lbs of muscle? That is great, I'm sure he'll be ready when his number is called.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-08-2011, 01:34 PM
Good stuff Marc! I recently went back and relistened to the interview we did with Sly not too long ago, and I'm reminded again just how dedicated he really is. He spent the offseason staying ready for his turn and so far he's taking advantage of his opportunities. I can't wait to see this kid get on the field more.

SteelDad
08-08-2011, 04:05 PM
Good stuff Marc! I recently went back and relistened to the interview we did with Sly not too long ago, and I'm reminded again just how dedicated he really is. He spent the offseason staying ready for his turn and so far he's taking advantage of his opportunities. I can't wait to see this kid get on the field more.

I pulled a lot of my content from our interview with him. Interesting listening to Ken Lair's interview with Keith Butler today. He was very harsh on Worilds, but much more positive on Sly. Butler isn't one to gush, but you could tell he was pleased with him.

K Train
08-08-2011, 05:04 PM
hes the truth, i was concerned about his size but not anymore

SteelDad
08-08-2011, 05:46 PM
hes the truth, i was concerned about his size but not anymore

Had the same concerns K, but he looks darn good right now.

K Train
08-08-2011, 06:02 PM
normally size wouldnt bother me for a dude like this, my concern was at the time his size was a question of mine, timmons size was also leaving something to be desired and they were a player in very similar molds with similar problems as being a 34 MLB.

and now they are both just ****ing monsters, problem solved

SteelDad
08-09-2011, 11:29 AM
normally size wouldnt bother me for a dude like this, my concern was at the time his size was a question of mine, timmons size was also leaving something to be desired and they were a player in very similar molds with similar problems as being a 34 MLB.

and now they are both just ****ing monsters, problem solved

Totally agree. Thought for sure Timmons was destined to be on the outside but he has proven me wrong.

pimplydan
08-10-2011, 02:56 AM
Nice to be informed on Sly , thanks , I will be watching him closely remembering what you guys have sayed about the guy . You guys have got me excited over him , sounds like great stuff .

K Train
08-10-2011, 10:35 AM
i havent heard one negative thing about him....could the steelers have gotten their first late round pick (6-7) right since when???? brett keisel?

cant wait to see him, ive been working on a mock for next year and i might have to remove MLB at one of the bigger steeler needs if he translates how i expect him to in preseason.

bold statement of the week: he leads the preseason players in tackles by the end of the games