'Odd Man Out' Joins Practice Squad

Versatile Chris Scott set some lofty goals in Pittsburgh but will have to salvage his career with a shot on the Packers' practice squad.

Chris Scott went from vying for a starting spot with the Pittsburgh Steelers to latching onto the Green Bay Packers' practice squad in the span of about 13 months.

"I hadn't done anything over there so they wanted some guys who were going to come in and take care of business," Scott said of his release in Pittsburgh's cutdown to 53 players. "Being that I hadn't done anything, I was the odd man out and my time was up."

It was a quick fall for a man who started at left tackle for his final three seasons at Tennessee.

Scott (6-foot-5, 332 pounds) was the Steelers' fifth-round draft pick in 2010. He spent the first eight games of his rookie season on the physically unable to perform list with a broken foot and spent the second half of the season as a gameday inactive. Scott got his chance in 2011, starting the first game of the preseason at right guard. He didn't perform well and fell out of favor. He played on special teams in two regular-season games and wound up demoted to the practice squad when they re-signed veteran Max Starks.

Heading into training camp this summer, Scott set "big goals" for himself. Instead, as camp progressed, he began to sense that his time was up.

"You kind of know but you don't know all the way," he said. "You don't know until it actually happens but you kind of get a feeling just how everything is going. You know the nature of the business, how things are going to work out and who they're looking at and how the offense is going to work out, so I had a slight sense but I didn't know until it actually happened."

Jim Wexell, the longtime Steelers beat writer for SteelCityInsider.net, said Scott's "natural position is clearly tackle but his feet are too slow for speed rushers. He's a strong SEC guy with a bit of versatility."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy, however, was impressed with what he saw in the Steelers' preseason finale against Carolina.

"Just had an opportunity to watch Chris Scott play in the last game, the Pittsburgh-Carolina game, and I thought he played very well," McCarthy said. "It was probably his best performance of the preseason, just in my opinion, in viewing the tape with the personnel department Saturday. He's definitely a (talented) young man. He spent three years in Pittsburgh and we feel it was important to bring him in and take a look at him. Physically, there's a lot to like. I thought he played very well in that game and I'm excited he's here."

Released on Friday, Scott's agent and the Packers spoke on Saturday and offered him a spot on the practice squad.

"(My agent said), ‘They really want you to come help them out,'" he said. "I didn't hear anything else. Green Bay was pretty much the team that was contacting him. He said. ‘Check it out, think about it.' I said, ‘Sure, why not?'"

Scott flew from Pittsburgh to Green Bay on Sunday, landing at about 4 p.m. He got the clerical work out of the way on Monday morning and was on the practice field for the 10:45 a.m. workout. He played left guard at practice. At Pittsburgh, he was mostly a right guard with some right tackle and even a little center.

Practice squad isn't ideal, certainly not for someone who thought he might be starting by this point in his career. But Green Bay's not a bad place considering the paper-thin depth.

"I've got to get into that playbook fast," he said. "There's a lot of new terminology from where I just came from, so get in the playbook, make sure I know everything, have it register and put it out there on the practice field."

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

Packer Report Top Stories