As a young boy, Kyle Steuck was one of the kids offering their bike to their green-and-gold heroes at training camp.
On Sunday, Steuck was one of the players borrowing a bike from some kid hoping to one day be in Steuck’s shoes.
Steuck, who played at nearby West De Pere High School, was signed by the Green Bay Packers and practiced for the first time on Sunday. The undrafted offensive lineman from Northern Michigan fills a huge need for the Packers, who have lost the war of attrition at center.
“A little nervous,” Steuck said after practice. “I mean, growing up in Green Bay, it’s kind of the big thing. You go and watch practices as a kid and ask for someone to grab your bike, and then today I was the one doing that. It was a dream come true.”
Steuck was one of the tryout players at the Packers’ rookie orientation camp in May. He didn’t get signed but was told by the personnel department to stay ready. He did some coaching at Ashwaubenon and his alma mater this summer. It was during a meeting with West De Pere’s coaches on Friday when his agent, John Perez, called. Steuck had been offered a tryout for Saturday morning. This time, he was awarded a contract .
There wasn’t much time to celebrate, though he did enjoy his reality check — courtesy of veteran defensive tackle Letroy Guion.
“I got my welcome to the NFL moment, getting knocked on my butt,” Steuck said. “Other than that, it all went good.”
Steuck fills a pressing need, with injuries devouring the interior offensive line depth chart. Center Corey Linsley remains on the physically unable to perform list because of an injured hamstring. First-year guard/center Matt Rotheram walked onto the practice field with his arm in a sling due to a biceps injury sustained Friday night vs. Cleveland. Rookie center Jacob Flores has been out with a knee injury. Rookie guard Lucas Patrick has been playing with one hand, with the other in a club-cast. (More on that here.) Veteran starters Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang take limited reps to keep them fresh for the regular season.
In light of all of that, it’d be nice if Steuck could contribute on Thursday night vs. Oakland; Don Barclay played 73 snaps vs. Cleveland. To get up to speed with an offense that his teammates have been running since May, there will be some late nights and early mornings in his future.
“There’s a lot of stuff to learn,” Steuck said matter-of-factly.
Either way, Steuck will fulfill a lifelong dream vs. the Raiders when he runs out of the Lambeau Field tunnel.
“It’s going to be sweet. Again, a dream come true,” he said. “You dream about going through that tunnel, and you sit in the stands watching it, wondering what it must feel like, and then idolizing those guys. Then I finally get to run out of the tunnel myself.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.