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UW alum Lewis catches on with Steelers

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 29, 2009 at 10:06 am with 8 Comments »
January 29, 2009 10:06 am

Pittsburgh cornerback and UW product Roy Lewis films a cameraman during media day for Super Bowl XLIII on Tuesday in this AP photo by Charlie Riedel.

He’s one of he few, recent University of Washington products to make the next step to the NFL, but it appears cornerback Roy Lewis has found a home with Pittsburgh.

Lewis was signed as an undrafted free agent and was invited to the Steelers training camp in August of last year. The Pittsburgh coaching staff liked the hard-hitting Lewis and his ability to play both corner and safety, so Lewis stuck with the team, getting assigned to the team’s practice squad.

Lewis, who graduated with a degree in American ethnic studies, said he’s bounced between the practice squad and the active roster this season, and is on the 53-man roster for the Super Bowl. However, he’ll probably be inactive for game day.

Defensive backs coach Ray Horton, also a Washington product, said Lewis actually had a chance to sign with Detroit and be on that team’s active roster but turned down the bump in pay to stay with the Steelers.

"He’s a hybrid, corner/safety for us and we like guys who can play two positions," Horton said. "And he’s that. He’s very smart and he’s very tough."

Lewis said he’s gained 20 pounds since college, beefing up to 200 pounds at 5-foot-10, while maintaining his speed in order to take the more physical pounding in the NFL.

"It’s an encouraging environment and an enabling environment," Lewis said about playing for the Steelers. "No one here wants to hurt you. You hear stories about other organizations and how they treat rookies, but that’s not the case here. We’ve been embraced."

Lewis said it was tough to watch the Huskies struggle through a 0-12 season, particularly because he had to bet on the Huskies each week with the rest of the teammates, leaving Lewis a little lighter in the pocketbook.

"It was tough to swallow," Lewis said. "Because I times at the beginning of the year I thought we had a chance. But of course with the BYU call and Jake Locker getting hurt that kind of hurt my heart because I kind of just saw the team fall apart from the inside-out. Guys weren’t playing, guys had lost their fire. I didn’t see any passion.

"Even when I was at UW, win, lose or draw we played hard. I mean on the defense we hit. That’s what we’re known for. You can’t play at UW unless you hit. Just like here with the Steelers."

So what’s the difference between Lewis’ time at Washington and Pittsburgh?

"Confidence," Lewis said. "There is no doubt. We go into every game with the utmost confidence that we’re going to win."

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Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. CeaYoung says:

    Still snoring…

    I came across this today:

    Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski believes that the team will “hit the defensive side of the ball very hard” early in the draft.

    Kowalski doesn’t think Detroit will pick a QB before round three. If he’s right, considerations at No. 1 will include Boston College DT B.J. Raji, Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry, Texas DE Brian Orakpo, and Ohio St. CB Malcolm Jenkins.

    So here’s my current Most Wanted list:
    1. Crabtree
    2. Jenkins
    3. Raji
    4. Moreno

    Looks like the Raji secret is out. The guy went from a 2nd rounder to a possible number 1 overall pick. Wow!

  2. maddog12 says:

    Raji did practice well at the senior bowl. However, I think he played like he was sleeping in the game. I don’t think the play by play guys ever spoke his name except to say where is Raji. I don’t know why this happened but I have heard several pundits say not to pay too much attention to it. I disagree.

    I think the senior bowl is a job interview. If you do not put out your best effort and impress you don’t get the job. Because of his performance in the game I have soured on Raji a little bit. A high motor dominating performance is what I would expect from an elite top 5 NFL draft pick. I would expect that level of performance at not only the game, but in his stats the previous year. Is that sustained level of excellence there? I am not sure it is.

    At this point I think there will be a lot better choices for the Hawks to make at 4 than Raji.

  3. williambryan says:

    Did anyone see the tidbit on MSN/Fox sports about Favre going to the Vikings? In the article it says
    Vikings may make run at Brett Favre?
    The Brett Favre-Vikings rumors have been circulating for a week. It’s risky, but if the Vikings are unable to trade for Matt Cassel of New England or Matt Hasselbeck of Seattle, it wouldn’t be shocking if they made a run at Favre should he become available, as expected. New Jets coach Rex Ryan expects Favre to attend offseason workouts, which Favre rarely did when he was in Green Bay. Currently, Favre counts for nearly $13 million on the Jets’ tight salary cap, and they could save that money if they place him on waivers next month. The future hall of famer would then become a free agent and available to the Vikings, who were interested in him last summer. No doubt he would sell a lot of tickets in Minnesota despite the sour economy. — Pioneer Press


  4. maddog12 says:

    Hasselbeck to the Vikings? For who…Hutch, Peterson and their 1st round pick for say the next 5 years?

  5. Eric Williams says:

    Williambryan: The Hasselbeck rumors have been out there for awhile but I’m still somewhat skeptical. I think Jim Mora likes Hasselbeck’s leadership, his ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage and his familiarity with the West Coast offense. I would be surprised if he ends up elsewhere.

  6. Hasselbeck to the Vikings, you might as well scrap next season too. Matt is the best quarterback Seattle has ever had, yeah better than Jim Zorn and Dave Mudbone Krieg. Sure we need linemen and defensive back, but without Matt, the offense would look like it did this year. No disrepect for Sencea, when Matt is healthy, he is a playmaker.

  7. williambryan says:

    Seneca was able to lead the team to wins with the second string guys. I think Seneca is more of a “playmaker” and Seneca has never been responsible for a BIG mistake that has cost us a game which Hasselbeck did three times this year. Don’t get me wrong Hasselbeck is a probowl QB, but in my mind Seneca would be a pro bowl QB if given the chance to start for the Hawks.

  8. OutSydeDog says:

    Zorn and Krieg are big favorites of mine, but I agree, Matt’s the best we’ve ever had. I don’t want him going anywhere anytime soon. I think he can win us a SB with a line that blocks, a decent running game, and WR’s who CATCH the ball. Oh yeah, some D would help some too :)

    GO HAWKS!!!

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