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K Train
08-29-2007, 11:57 AM
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Mike Webster was chosen for nine Pro Bowls at this position for the Steelers. Dermontti Dawson made it for seven. Jeff Hartings was an All-Pro there. Chukky Okobi understands what being Pittsburgh's starting center means, not only in the past but now.

That's why he will be so disappointed - no, make that angry - if he isn't.

Right now, he figures to be upset when new coach Mike Tomlin finally reveals who the Steelers' starting offensive linemen will be, something he hasn't done so far in the preseason. Tomlin is planning to wait until after Thursday night's exhibition game against Carolina to reveal his starters.

"I started camp as No. 1 ... but, right now, it seems to be the same (backup) role I've had," Okobi said Tuesday. "I've worked really hard this offseason - look at me, I think I look pretty good - but whatever happens, happens."

Okobi expected this was finally the year he would start, after Hartings retired following six seasons with Pittsburgh. The Steelers kept Okobi around for all of those seasons as a backup and gave him a $10 million contract several years ago - big money for someone with only six career starts.

While Okobi is scheduled to make $2 million this season, the kind of money that's normally paid only to a starter, Okobi is currently running behind Sean Mahan at center. Mahan, a guard-center who started for Tampa Bay when Tomlin was an assistant there, signed a five-year contract during the offseason that included a $4 million signing bonus and thus is certain to make the team.

Okobi opened training camp No. 1 on the depth chart, but Mahan began running ahead of him when Okobi missed time with a rib injury and has remained with the starters.

Though Tomlin hasn't confirmed it, there is every sign that Mahan, left tackle Marvel Smith, left guard Alan Faneca, right guard Kendall Simmons and right tackle Willie Colon will be the starters Sept. 9 in Cleveland. Colon has been practicing ahead of two-year starter Max Starks the last couple of weeks.

That unit started Sunday night's preseason game against Philadelphia and will start again Thursday night at Carolina.

"I missed a bunch of days with an injury and obviously it didn't help my cause any, but I think when I've been in there I've played really, really well," Okobi said. "I've done everything I can to control the situation."

Okobi doesn't have a good feel for the situation because the Steelers also have a new offensive line coach, with Larry Zierlein taking over from Russ Grimm, and offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, who replaced Ken Whisenhunt.

"I'm still in the process of getting to know these guys," Okobi said. "You've got to ask them. Maybe if it was Russ and these guys, I might have an answer. I really don't know what goes on in their staff meetings."

There's also this scenario: Rather than keeping Okobi as a backup if he doesn't start, the Steelers release him and keep Marvin Philip, a sixth-round pick a year ago, as a backup guard-center. Philip has been working at both positions, so it could happen - not many NFL teams can afford to keep three centers.


"This is the NFL and you're trying to get the best 53, and I'm definitely in the top 53 of the guys in this locker room," said Okobi, who is likely to find a job quickly if he's cut. "I'm just going to do what I do and I do it well, that's what kept me in this league, this locker room this long."

But if he's gone this time a week from now ...

"Once one door closes, another one opens," he said. "If I'm not on this roster I think it would be an injustice, but that's what it is, a business. It's a business."

Meanwhile, Faneca, the five-time All-Pro who is unsigned past this season, said there has been no movement by the Steelers toward offering him a new contract. The two sides have not talked for months, and Faneca promised in May this would be his last season in Pittsburgh.

"No, nothing going on in that area," he said. "It's status quo."

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7166912

Prosdo
08-29-2007, 12:01 PM
I don't blame Okobi. I would be mad as well.

TEEMONT
08-29-2007, 12:03 PM
I am actually curious to see everyone's reaction to this. He went to the press over this, and is calling his coaches "those guys". Faneca was villified for it, and he has done a lot more for this team than Okobi ever has.

Here's an idea, instead of griping that you aren't going to start, go earn the ****ing spot.

Prosdo
08-29-2007, 12:06 PM
I am actually curious to see everyone's reaction to this. He went to the press over this, and is calling his coaches "those guys". Faneca was villified for it, and he has done a lot more for this team than Okobi ever has.

Here's an idea, instead of griping that you aren't going to start, go earn the ****ing spot.

Good point. I don't agree with any player going to the media and griping. I think Faneca was a bit more extreme, but Chukky is guilty as well. I can understand his point of view, but going to the media is never a way to help your case.

K Train
08-29-2007, 12:07 PM
i say quit your whining

floodcitygirl
08-29-2007, 12:13 PM
I understand a sense of family and loyalty, but it's big business. The organization has a responsibility to the team as a whole and to the fans to put the best person in the spot. :2cents:

BlitzburghRockCity
08-29-2007, 12:27 PM
Tee hit it right on the head, if you want to be a starter then earn it and stop whining. If he was good enough to start then that's what he'd be doing but obviously he couldn't separate himself enough from Mahan in the right direction to earn the job.

both of them have high salaries so one of them might very well get a visit from the Turk at some point because their salaries are pretty high to carry both of them but we'll see.

K Train
08-29-2007, 12:29 PM
i think phillips is heading for the practice squad and we'll keep okobi for one more year. I wonder who ben prefers?

Prosdo
08-29-2007, 12:34 PM
i think phillips is heading for the practice squad and we'll keep okobi for one more year. I wonder who ben prefers?

I can see Phillips going to the PS. Good question. He has worked with Okobi more so maybe him? :dunno:

Mike Tomlin
08-29-2007, 01:01 PM
I'd be mad if someone came in and took my 2 million dollar salary I was expecting this year. He should have got off his azz and worked.

LatrobePA
08-29-2007, 02:14 PM
I say quit the boo hoo'n and EARN your spot. Real shame to make millions!!

Captcoolhand
08-29-2007, 02:50 PM
Personally, I don't think neither Chucky or Sean is worth what they're getting payed and 1 of them needs to be cancelled from this team.
Philips is a Decent player whom IMO could possibly be a good Backup. letting Okibi go and recoup the 2 million, allows up to save some Cap that could go towards signing Someone else.:2cents:

Stlrs4Life
08-29-2007, 05:06 PM
Well, I would be mad too. He should be mad.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-29-2007, 05:14 PM
i think phillips is heading for the practice squad and we'll keep okobi for one more year. I wonder who ben prefers?

That makes sense, giving Philip another year under his belt to become more familiar with the offense to assume the full time backup role...but OKobi and Mahan aren't cheap so we could see one of the them go. Perhaps even letting Okobi or Mahan go and giving Philip some type of new deal to keep him around with a pay raise ?

Is Okobi in Tomlins dog house for something that we don't know about that maybe is giving Mahan a bit of an upper hand in all of this?

K Train
08-29-2007, 05:41 PM
i think both mahan and okobi are gonna make the big bucks this year, i dont think were gonna feel comfortable with phillips at backup just yet, just kinda got to bite the bullet on the $$$$ for okobi and mahan this year

Black@Gold Forever32
08-29-2007, 05:47 PM
I am actually curious to see everyone's reaction to this. He went to the press over this, and is calling his coaches "those guys". Faneca was villified for it, and he has done a lot more for this team than Okobi ever has.

Here's an idea, instead of griping that you aren't going to start, go earn the ****ing spot.


Faneca and Okobi are both bitches.....:lol: I agree if Okobi wants to be the starter then earn that ****....He hasn't since he always seems to be hurt anymore...lol How does even expect to hold up for 16 games as a starting center?lol

K Train
08-29-2007, 05:54 PM
the thing thats gay is he can only play center....wtf? lol

Ambridge
08-29-2007, 06:20 PM
Okobi just needs to STFU!!
Hey Chukky!! This is what---your 7th season with the Steelers now and in those years it was never heard of that you pushed Jeff Hartings for the starting job----and now that Jeff is gone and you have a clear and prime shot to be the starter you have obviously left a clear doubt among the coaching staff that you should win the job.

If Chukky wants to get pissed at anybody it sounds like it should be at himself.

K Train
08-29-2007, 06:29 PM
ok, just for the record, cowher woulve let hartings play over any center out there i guarantee it, no one was taking that job no mater how bad jeff might have played...just the way cowher was

Iron City South
08-29-2007, 08:23 PM
I am actually curious to see everyone's reaction to this. He went to the press over this, and is calling his coaches "those guys". Faneca was villified for it, and he has done a lot more for this team than Okobi ever has.

Here's an idea, instead of griping that you aren't going to start, go earn the ****ing spot.

If Okobi was the one who went to press with this and purposly used "those guys" by design to show his disent, I would immediately call the Turk to clean out his locker and have his bags taken out to the curb in front of the UPMC sports facility. Players don't tell the coaches they belong on the 53 man roster, the coaches decide .... end of story.

Steel-Da-One
08-29-2007, 10:12 PM
maybe if okobi was a better player he wouldnt have to worry about it.

DIESELMAN
08-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Okobi just needs to STFU!!
Hey Chukky!! This is what---your 7th season with the Steelers now and in those years it was never heard of that you pushed Jeff Hartings for the starting job----and now that Jeff is gone and you have a clear and prime shot to be the starter you have obviously left a clear doubt among the coaching staff that you should win the job.

If Chukky wants to get pissed at anybody it sounds like it should be at himself.

:plus1: all he had to do was play and earn it, seniority don't mean **** in the NFL. As far as him cryin and whinin about it, well, that about sums it up. He's a crybaby bitch boy!!

BlitzburghRockCity
08-29-2007, 10:40 PM
Imagine that, you actually have to EARN your paycheck in the NFL ?? Who woulda thunk that ? :nonod:

JB 67
08-30-2007, 12:28 PM
I am actually curious to see everyone's reaction to this. He went to the press over this, and is calling his coaches "those guys". Faneca was villified for it, and he has done a lot more for this team than Okobi ever has.

Here's an idea, instead of griping that you aren't going to start, go earn the ****ing spot.

I agree how many oppourtunities should one guy get..if he hasn't shown something buy now he never will :cope:

digdug
08-30-2007, 02:39 PM
It should have been obvious to him that something was going on when the front office went out and got Mahan. I think the FO was trying to light a fire under his *** because he thought he was just going to slide into the starter spot after Hartings retired. The fire must've needed to be a blowtorch because it still didn't work. True Colors show through in times of adversity and Chuckky's sure did.:2cents: