SnapShot: Dan Rumishek

Coming out of the Michigan football program, Dan Rumishek found some old acquaintances with the Steelers, and they dredged up some, ahem, rather unkind memories.<br><br>Over there's Larry Foote, the guy Rumishek pedaled to class every morning -- a mile uphill -- on the front of his bicycle.<br><br>"He refused to walk," said Rumishek.

And here comes Jerame Tuman, "The last thing I remember about him," Rumishek said, "was him beating the [spit] out of me."

Jerame Tuman walked by with a big smile on his face. He didn't ignore the reporter's follow-up: Why?

"No particular reason," said Tuman, a tight end, "other than he was a Sam linebacker."

Yes, Dan Rumishek was a relatively skinny 250-pound linebacker his first year at Michigan. But he's since grown into a 285-pound defensive end. Tuman's hoping to push 270 these days after a wild eating binge, so he's obviously getting along with Rumishek a little better.

"Well, he's no longer a Sam linebacker anymore, either" Tuman said.

And thus there isn't much of a need for the two to mix it up on the field anymore. Rumishek will be stationed between the guard and tackle in the Steelers' 3-4 alignment. He was a tackle at Michigan, where he started 32 games as a four-year letterman.

"It was kind of the same scheme at Michigan," Rumishek said. "Our d-line basically kept the linemen off our linebackers and rushed the passer when you needed to, so hopefully I'll get used to the system here quickly."

Rumishek was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, making the second team as a senior and the first team as a junior. In his career, he recorded 68 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and eight pass break-ups. His career highlight came during his sophomore season.

"We won at Ohio State for the Big Ten title," he said. "That was pretty impressive because that's the loudest stadium in the country, as far as I'm concerned. But you could hear a pin drop by the fourth quarter. You really could."

Rumishek won the Katcher Award that season as the team's top defensive lineman. As a sophomore, he had a career-best 24 tackles. It appeared as if a future in the NFL was his, but scouts didn't see it that way last April. He's considered too small to play defensive tackle in a 4-3 and too slow to play defensive end. However, he may be just right for the Steelers' 3-4.

"On draft day, the Steelers were the first team to call," Rumishek said. "They called about the sixth round, told me they didn't have a sixth-round pick and in the seventh round they were probably going to go offense and if I was available as a free agent they'd love to have me.

"After they picked in the seventh round, they called again and I gave them my agent's number. After Oakland picked last, I called my agent and he said we were on the phone with Pittsburgh right now. It was pretty much a done deal right after the draft."

Since Larry Foote makes enough money to get his own rides these days, and since Rumishek is bigger than ol' bully Tuman, Pittsburgh could be a perfect fit in more ways than one.

Jim Wexell

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