Hey “yinz,” what about that stellar 2008 draft? On May 5, 2008 while walking in Chicago, the Steelers first round pick, Rashard Mendenhal,l was allegedly robbed at gunpoint.  The Steelers second round pick  Limas Sweed ended up robbing the Steelers straight up with his “irremovable” fear of traveling across the middle of the football field on the way to dropping the incoming pass because of hearing strange and ominous sounds and possibly thinking, “hey mom this potato is a little too hot for me and the guy behind me deserves the football more than me, shucks it’s not worth my life or extra chiropractor bills, heck can have it.”

What about getting defensive backs Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor in the 1st and 4th round of the 2003 draft? Who would have thunk it?

Who can forget the great Walter Abercrombie, the running back snatched with glee by the Steelers in the first round in 1982? Abercrombie received more accolades as a promising gospel singer than a NFL running back.

Oh brothers and sisters aren’t you still rejoicing remembering the day that the name of wide receiver Troy (hands of stone) Edwards came off of the draft board in 1999?

The year before Pittsburgh chose Alan (Big Red) Faneca and their 3b pick was an all purpose running back, wide receiver,  a “neck cracker” and “belly buster” out of the University of Georgia with absolutely no fear.  Oh by the way, his name is Hines Ward and he is the Steelers all time leading receiver.

In fact the Steelers drafted Troy Edwards in the first round a year later with the sole purpose of replacing Ward.  I have no idea what the current address of Troy Edwards is.  I am relatively certain that you may find Hines Ward chilling at his future home located at 2121 George Halas Dr. NW Canton, Ohio 44708.

Folks my point is the technique of drafting players to compete in the NFL is not an art or a science because it can only be based upon a player’s heart and soul, not his height, weight and how fast his time in the 40 is.   A player can alter his diet and become stronger.  He can shed a few pounds and train a bit longer to become faster.  There is no technique that can be taught to give a player heart.  The only way the “amount of “heart” that a player possesses can only be evaluated is on the football field not in any combine or workout.

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)

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