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Rutter: Pitt, Penn State notes from NFL Combine

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INDIANAPOLIS — Leftover items from Friday’s interview sessions at the NFL Combine.

MILLER TIME

Scott Orndoff’s favorite tight end should come as no surprise for someone raised in Waynesburg and who played football at Seton-La Salle and Pitt.

It’s Heath Miller.
“I realize it more now than when he was still playing, but he was a complete, solid tight end,” Orndoff said. “He was a reliable pass catcher. He was out there first through third down. Anytime they needed him to make a play, he can down with it.”
Given Ladarius Green’s concussion issues, the Steelers still may be seeking a replacement for Miller.
“I’ll go wherever this process takes me,” Orndoff said.
Orndoff is projected as a late-round pick. He tried to increase his value by training in Tampa, Fla., under the tutelage of former NFL wide receiver Yo Murphy.
Orndoff was in Tampa from Jan. 2 until heading to Indianapolis this week for the combine.
“The tight end position has evolved so much,” Orndoff said. “There are so many great receiving tight ends here and also a lot of good blocking tight ends. If I was able to hone in my craft enough, I’d like to be a complete tight end, someone who plays first, second and third down like you used to see in the past.”
Or someone like Heath Miller.

COMING UP ROSES
Former Penn State receiver Chris Godwin is a projected third-round pick. The Steelers could be in the market for a pass catcher in that round, and Godwin said he spent some time with team officials at the NFL Combine.
After Penn State’s loss to USC in the Rose Bowl, Godwin headed to Pensacola, Fla., where he worked out and watched film with former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
“He’s just as he appears on TV,” Godwin said. “He’s a very cal and collected individual, but he’s very smart in what he does. … It was a great experience. I learned a lot of things from that guy. I was just mainly trying to pick his brain from everything in the classroom to training regimen to just how to get open and how to create separation in the NFL.”
Godwin decided to forgo his senior season after catching nine passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the Rose Bowl. He said the big game didn’t influence his decision to leave school early.
“I had been contemplating it, leading up to the bowl game,” he said. “Not one game is going to make or break your decision to when it comes to declaring for the NFL.
“It definitely was a good note to go out on.”

— Joe Rutter

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Author: Joe Rutter

After 13 years covering the Pirates -- the first 13 of their losing streak from 1993-2012 -- I moved away from PNC Park and into an assistant editor's position. Now, in 2016, after 10 years away from a beat, I'm back and happily covering the Steelers.

 
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