The home of die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans. It's not just a team, it's a way of life!

Frank the Tank and Other Draft Day Observations

April 29, 2009 by Palmer Sucks

Frank the Tank and Other Draft Day Observations


�Sucks Says

Random Rants by PalmerSucks

April 28, 2009



Forget the big-name guys, the Staffords and the Crabtrees and the Maualaugaboogashoogas -- and drop with me, far, all the way down to the fifth round of this weekend's draft.


Here, in near-free-agent territory is found the real story of the annual NFL pickfest. For here is where the teams that do their homework are separated from the teams that don't win six Super Bowls.


Lost in all the fuss over Ziggy Hood's swim move is the fact that the Stillers landed one Frank Summers, aka "Frank the Tank." Summers, a product of UNLV via Cal, is a 5'9" 240-pound bowling ball who displayed these physical talents at his outdoor workout: a 34.5-inch vertical leap, a 4.55 40 and last, but surely not least, a sick 30 reps at 225 pounds on the bench. Again, that was outdoors, on a windy day -- not inside some comfort dome.


Now you may not know about Summers, but you can be sure the Stillers do. Here's a bit from the local Vegas paper, just before the draft:


"Summers, is trying to make it into the league primarily as a fullback, compared to the backs at the Combine trying to get drafted as, well, running backs.

And if there's one team whose attention Summers caught more than anyone's as a fullback, it was the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who had two scouts on-hand alongside running backs coach Kirby Wilson.

The Steelers' staffers in attendance, after all of the players' running tests were completed, held Summers behind on the field to have him run a series of cone drills and pass-catching sets.

They wanted to see first-hand the soft and sure mitts that hauled in 36 passes during Summers' two seasons as a Rebel, which were a nice supplement to his 1,668 rushing yards.

After his first grab, a pass to the flat, he turned, grunted and sprinted downfield.

Wilson told him upon returning to the formation that he didn't have to worry about finishing each route after the catch.

Summers paid it no mind, running at least 20 yards, full speed, following each snag. He caught every catchable ball thrown his way.

At one point, one scout said, under his breath, 'He's a junior Bus', referring to sure-fire Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, who helped carry the Steelers to a win in Super Bowl XL over Seattle in 2006 to cap his brilliant 13-year career.

That extra effort, combined with Summers's preparation and execution, earned him several handshakes from the scouts upon completing his bench reps.

Now, he'll stay mostly in Las Vegas, where he plans on watching the NFL Draft on April 25 and 26.

He said he'll drop everything to go work out for teams individually if such trips are requested between now and then. And on draft day, he'll hope for a phone call from anyone delivering some good news.

Certainly, an ev en louder buzz will set off around the league regarding Summers after the champs worked him out in front of 11 other franchises.

But there's no question the added attention from the Steelers perked him up.

"It gave me a lot of confidence that I'm doing something right and I'm on the right track," he said. "And hopefully I can pick up my phone on draft day and (Wilson) will be calling me."



Your wish is our command, Mr. Summers. But it wasn't just that you got your call, it was WHEN you got your call.

See, the Stillers, as much as they were in love with the guy, could've jumped, reached for him in the third. But they waited -- and waited -- and when the 5th round arrived, waited some more. They grabbed Summers with the second pick they had, which came about, oh, 30 seconds after the first was announced.


Making, for my money, Frank Summers the value pick of the '09 draft. And a lesson in how the good teams do it. If he busts, you�ve lost a fifth-rounder � and not even your first fifth-round pick. As they say in trading, the risk is all to the upside now.


Now there's no guarantee he's a star -- no guarantee he'll make the team even -- but here is where drafts are made. Any fool team can stumble on a second-round star, but the real draft studs are the ones who mine gold on day two. Show me a team who's done that better than the Stillers, and you'll show me... well who will you show me?


Of course, you won't hear a word about Summers from Mel or Todd -- which should make you like him even more.


By the way, he's also known for his blocking skills. (Goodbye Mr. Davis, we hope!) There's more to protecting the QB than just guards and tackles. Tank also explains a little more why the team said goodbye to Gary Russell.


By the way, finishing each route after the catch? Here�s your Rudy, your Rocky, your underdog who�ll be busting his ass in Latrobe while the big guys are off sucking water from the hose.


Guess who I'll be rooting for this summer to make the team?


I dare you not to.



Picking Ziggy Hood in the first round was a tremendous step toward rejuvenating an aging D-line. Adding Jarron Gilbert in the second would�ve been an inspired one. Here were your ends for the next decade, waiting to be unleashed. Instead, the Stillers traded down, a strategy I normally like � but not in this case.


One of these days I�d like to see a team declare a position need, then spend almost its entire draft on that position. Imagine bringing in 6 O-linemen in a single draft � what are the odds at least two of them pan out? I�d like to find out.


By the way, anyone else catch the clip of Gilbert jumping out of a swimming pool from a complete standstill? I don�t think Chicago�s going to regret taking him.



This year�s �Suckers for the Hype� Award goes to the New York Jets, who sacrificed greatly to land QB Mark �Dirty� Sanchez (I�d like to see Berman try THAT obvious little nickname on the public). In case you missed the pre-draft coverage, about every third story was devoted to the guy. Sanchez at home con abuelita, Sanchez playing on top of the fire truck at his dad�s engine station, Sanchez going out for a six-pack and some Doritos. After last weekend I wanted to rename ESPN the �Excessive Sanchez Profile Network.�


Rex Ryan, I�m told, pushed hard to get him. Rex is about to find out the difference between being a hotshot coordinator, and a successful head coach.


Good luck with yet another overhyped system-product �SC quarterback, Jets. Call me when one of these guys wins something.



Speaking of the Leader, three queers � er uh, cheers to the network for showing us all those sweaty-pec shirtless shots of the draftees, in all their glistening glory. (Not surprisingly, USC led the way with the most beefcake appearances.) I haven�t seen this kind of homoerotic imagery since that 300 movie. I know these dudes get examined down to a tee before they�re drafted, but do WE really need to be exposed to so much man nip? What was this, the NFL Draft, or Saturday Night at Chippendale�s?


Ponder these questions whilst I repair to the cellar for another wine cooler.



Anyway, not a bad draft in a bad draft year. Some beef for the line, some speed in at WR � big-time speed -- courtesy of Mr. Wallace, who should put some excitement back into kick returns. (Imagine the pandemonium if Wallace comes in and actually holds on to passes!) Gotta love the story of his high-school buddy getting drafted by the Stillers, too. Local boy Shipley makes good. If Urbik pans out this will be a success.


Check back with me in a couple years.


Anyway til next time, this is PalmerSucks, and this is what I say.


(The views of PalmerSucks are not necessarily those of � but should be.)



Like this? Share it with friends: