Shipley CC

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2009 SEVENTH-ROUND DRAFT PICK ALLAN 'A.Q.' SHIPLEY CENTER 226th Overall Conference Call

A.Q. Shipley
Center – Penn State University
7th Round – 226th Overall
 
A.Q. Shipley:
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What do you think about being drafted by your hometown team?


It's an unbelievable feeling. As a Steeler fan growing up especially being from Pittsburgh – it means the absolute world to me when I finally got the call and Coach Tomlin got on the phone it was unbelievable and meant the world to me.
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Does this temper some of the disappointment you may have felt for not going earlier in the draft?


It does. I think early on I was obviously frustrated. I was thinking I was going to go a little earlier and I started getting calls and I was hoping for that one call that would put me on a team – and the fact it came from the Steelers really meant that much more.
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Is this a good team not just because it's Pittsburgh, but because of the depth at center they really don't have a lot?

 
Exactly, I think this is a great fit for me. After Justin Hartwig I think the back-up center last year was the starting guard. So the fact that I have an opportunity to go in and make the team and learn from a guy like Justin Hartwig who has Super Bowl experience – has a Super Bowl win and who's been in the league for awhile and is a very good center himself. It's going to be a great opportunity to learn from him and Coach Zierlein.

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Can you play guard?

I can. As a redshirt freshman I played a little bit of guard, but obviously being able to make the line calls and getting everybody on board my last three years at Penn State ultimately forced me into the center position.
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When you played at Moon did you play with Garrett (Webster)?


I did play with Garrett Webster. I played with him for two years so the fact that I could learn what I could in the short time with Mike Webster and get to know him as a person. It obviously means that much more to me being that he was one of the greatest centers ever to play the game and the best probably ever with the Steelers.
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Have your short arms ever been a liability at all?


Never and I don't plan on them being. I've gotten that knock throughout this whole process going into the NFL. It makes me work that much harder to get the other attributes that I have that allow me to be the player that I have been all through college – and will hopefully allow me to be that player in the NFL.
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Did anybody call and give you an idea that they might be selecting you or more wait and see?

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I talked to San Diego and Seattle and they both said in the 6th and 7th round we're looking at either me or another guy. When I got the call from the Steelers, like I said that was probably one of the best feelings I ever had.

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