Spencer finding new special-teamers

<b>PITTSBURGH -</b> Sean Morey may not play a position that has a title, but top kick coverers in this age of specialists are becoming well known throughout the league.<br><br> "I've talked to Steve Tasker on the phone," said Morey, the Steelers' latest acquisition. "I've watched a lot of tape on Michael Bates. I was with Larry Whigham in New England. There've been a lot of good players along the way, even Troy Brown. I've learned a lot from them."

The Steelers believe Morey is another in this distinguished line and are excited about putting him opposite Chidi Iwuoma as the team's flyers, or gunners as they are coming to be known.

"We've got some kids who can run and some kids with experience doing it," said Steelers special teams coach Kevin Spencer.

"Special guys that can impact the game," said coach Bill Cowher. "A big hit does more than just what it does from a coverage standpoint. It ignites your football team."

Cowher, who was the special teams MVP of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1983, approached Spencer about adding Morey, who was the Eagles' special teams MVP in 2003.

Even though Morey (pronounced Mor-EE) led the Eagles in special teams "production points" and was second in tackles, he was released this week to make room for linebacker Jason Short, according to Morey.

"They indicated to me they needed bigger guys in punt protection," Morey said. "He's a linebacker and did a great job covering kicks. I think he was sort of their guy, their special teams ace."

So Cowher asked Spencer if Morey could help the Steelers.

"Coach said to me, 'What do you know about Sean?'" said Spencer. "I said, 'He's a bleep.' I can't say it. I don't want to cuss. But I've known about Sean since he's been in the league … and he was fresh in my mind because he played really well against us when we played Philadelphia, so I re-looked at the film and it didn't take very long to make that determination. I talked to John Harbaugh, who's a very good friend. He was disappointed they had to lose Sean through a roster situation with linebackers and the d-line.

"So coach made me aware of him and asked if I'd like to have this kind of guy on the team and I said absolutely. He accepted my decision and made a tough decision, but I'm very pleased to have a guy like that."

As Cowher said at his press conference on Tuesday, the Steelers now have "two pretty special coverage guys" in Morey and Iwuoma. It's a good start for a special teams coach who lost players such as Clark Haggans, Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope to the starting lineup this year.

"We're still waiting to see if James Harrison will be the surprise guy this year and if we're going to take up the slack for Chris, Troy and Clark," Spencer said. "We have some big shoes still to fill but I like what we've got. I'm excited about the kids we have."

The Steelers ranked third in special teams last season behind the Eagles and Carolina Panthers, according to statistical research done by the Dallas Morning News. The Steelers played both teams in the second half of their preseason.

"I thought we did pretty well against the Eagles and then we fought the battle against Carolina," Spencer said. "It was a good measuring stick for our guys. We held our own. Just a few things we have to clean up, but we did alright."

Morey is excited about joining the Steelers, and he knows of Iwuoma.

"We had to account for him when he was covering kicks," Morey said. "I've got a lot of respect for him and I'm excited to play with him."

And the Steelers?

"I think they take special teams very serious here, so I'm excited to be in a situation in an organization that really takes that serious," he said. "When we played the Steelers in the preseason, we knew the mentality of this team is they're going to hit you in the mouth, and I'm pretty excited to be a part of that. I think it's going to be a good year."

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