As you know, we here at The Nittany Turkey track the trials and tribulations of former Nittany Lion quarterback Anthony Morelli. We frequently ridiculed his efforts to secure an NFL job, but it appears now that he might have the last laugh.
When we last touched on the subject, Morelli, a Rhodes scholar who has always gone by Anthony and never Tony, had given up a potentially lucrative career in the reconstituted Arena Football League, where he could have earned as much as $75,000 per season, in favor of concentrating on getting into the NFL. Tony had been working with former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jumping Jack Flash Trudeau, and while in Indy, he attended the NFL Scouting Combine. He did not participate in the drills with this year’s crop of college players, but he was nevertheless accorded an audience with scouts on Friday, after everyone else had gone home. Later, in March, Morelli participated in Penn State Pro Day, on his old campus.
The NFL had shunned Morelli, who was initially signed by the Arizona Cardinals, where he played in the pre-season back in 2008, but was released before the start of the regular season. Since then, he has failed to catch on with the few NFL teams that gave him tryouts.
Now, it appears that he has a real shot with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Ron Musselman of the Post-Gazette, the Steelers liked what they saw at the combine and Penn State Pro Day. “Morelli has a real shot at being the next Brian St. Pierre,” said Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, “especially given the uncertainty surrounding Ben.” Tomlin was referring to starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who apparently has an IQ lower than even Morelli’s, especially when it comes to being twice shy after being burnt once, but I digress.
The Steelers signed Roethlisberger’s backup, Charlie Batch, originally from the Pittsburgh community of Homestead, to a two-year extension on March 26. Byron Leftwich had a one-year deal last year which expired, leaving open a slot for a third-stringer.
Morelli has Pittsburgh roots. He seems a natural for the third-string slot. Anticipating being offered a contract, Morelli has contacted former Steeler great Mark Malone in Chicago, with the intent being to engage another mentor who is “close to the Rooneys.”
Steelers Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, when contacted by ESPN, denied that Morelli already had an offer. “It’s not something I can discuss,” stated Arians, who appeared to be uncomfortable with the subject. “We’ve seen Morelli and we know what he can do. Did you see how he winged a pass 60 yards at Three Rivers Stadium when he was only 10 years old? Anyhow, a lot depends on what goes on at the top.” Arians was referring to the Roethlisberger situation, in which the top quarterback has gotten himself in deep shit because he apparently does not know how to keep his dick in his pants.
Pittsburgh is a great town for quarterbacks. This Turkey can personally recall four hall-of-famers who played for the Steelers. Aside from the obvious one, Terry Bradshaw, you might not recall that John Unitas, Len Dawson, and Bobby Layne all played for the Steelers at various stages in their careers. However, Morelli’s bust is not anticipated to join theirs in Canton. He’s been enough of a bust on the field, already.
Morelli’s entourage in Indianapolis did not answer phone calls. However, it was rumored that Mrs. Morelli was vacationing in Hawaii with Mrs. Bubby Brister.
Will this rumor come to fruition? We here at The Turkey promise to stay close to this story.