Shady Side Academy grad signs with Steelers
Mike Farrell, a 2008 Shady Side Academy graduate, was hoping to hear his name called in last week's NFL draft after a successful career as an offensive lineman for Penn State University.
His name wasn't called but maybe the next best thing happened.
On Saturday, the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers called him and signed him as a free agent.
“I was a little surprised,” Farrell said. “I hadn't gotten much feedback from the Steelers once our season ended. It was exciting to hear from them.
“I had to then look at it from a business perspective.”
Farrell said he had heard from other teams and had to weigh his options to determine what he thought was the best fit.
“I had to decide where I thought I would have the best shot at making it,” Farrell said. “The fact that the Steelers didn't draft any offensive linemen made the choice easier.”
Though disappointed that he didn't get drafted, Farrell was not totally shocked.
“Realistically, I knew I had an outside shot at best,” he said. “I watched the late rounds of the draft and figured that I would get a shot as a free agent and that I would make the most of the opportunity.”
He thinks he performed well at the pre-draft workouts and combines.
“I wasn't intimidated by all of the projected first round offensive linemen there,” Farrell said. “I was confident. The Big 10 has a lot of outstanding offensive linemen and I was a starter on a Big 10 team.”
Farrell believes that playing under former NFL coach Bill O'Brien last year improved his stock.
“NFL teams saw my background and playing in an NFL style offense was a nice foundation,” he said. “I worked hard to grasp his offensive scheme and learn what my job was on each and every play. It helped me to become more versatile. I had a complete understanding of the new offense and I gained consistency. I believe that will help me when mini-camp opens.”
Being a native Pittsburgher may cause some problems for Farrell if he makes the team.
“I'll need a lot of game tickets,” he said. “I've got a lot of family and so many friends that have given me a lot of support.
“They've been awesome.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Play of nose tackles could have impact on Steelers’ stretch run
- Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
- Steelers notebook: Heinz Field not in play for Bills-Jets
- Rossi: As Blount walked, Porter called
- Cut by Steelers, LeGarrette Blount joins Patriots
- Steelers cut ties with running back Blount after incident in Tennessee
- Steelers Film Session: Sticking with what works
- Lack of experienced backup means more work for Steelers RB Bell
- Steelers’ Mitchell banned from social media