Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Marvin Phillip is One Play from Being a Starter

(The Burgh - August 9, 2006) - As has been widely reported, Chukky Okobi herniated a disc in his neck yeseterday in camp and is now recovering from today's surgery. Initial reports from Latrobe say that Okobi will miss at least 8 weeks.

Okobi who until yesterday was the heir apparent to Jeff Hartings, will miss at least half of the regular season, if not more. Now the focus is on fifth-round draft pick Marvin Phillip from the Cal Bears, who thus far through camp has mostly been overlooked. In a split second, Phillip goes from maybe making 2006 Steelers to being the second-string center and a must have on a team that has no other true centers on its roster.

Although yesterday's events could not have possibly been foreseen in April, having a Nick Mangold (he was mentioned as the Steelers #1 pick in some of this past spring's mock drafts) in Black n' Gold instead of Santonio Holmes might be a luxury the Steelers wish they had right about now.

On a more positive note, Jeff Hartings' knees have have not been bothering him as they have in seasons past. Look to see alot of Phillip in the pre-season opener against Arizona this Saturday, as keeping Hartings healthy is even more of a priority than getting Phillip some much-needed playing time.

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