Sunday, December 01, 2013

Fernando Velasco

The Steelers' Thanksgiving loss to the Ravens was costly beyond the won-loss record. On Saturday, the team placed starting center Fernando Velasco on injured reserve with a damaged Achilles tendon, ending his season.

Fernando Velasco
Velasco has been stalwart in the middle of an offensive line that finally began to look reasonably cohesive the past few games. Signed off the street after Maurkice Pouncey went on injured reserve following the season opener, Velasco proved he may be better than Pouncey at aspects of the position. Although not as mobile as Pouncey, Velasco may have been better at handling the big nose tackles (such as Baltimore's Haloti Ngata) now so prevalent in the NFL.

Velasco seems reliable, serious about his job, and a quiet source of inspiration for anybody willing to pay attention. Joe Starkey of 93.7-FM The Fan recently aired a poignant interview with Velasco, which is re-capped here in an excellent write-up by Rebecca Rollett on Behind the Steel Curtain.

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls are pulling for Velasco to return to the Steelers next season, hopefully as starting center.
"Everybody has a story...Everyone has some obstacles along the way, but what doesn't hurt you makes you stronger...I was blessed to have a grandfather who has helped me along the way. I've seen him go to work every day until he was 80-some years old; the only thing I've seen my whole life [from him] has been hard work...That inspired me to always keep working hard, no matter what the situation is, and just trust in the Lord...You can't use excuses in this life, you just take what you get and keep going." 
-- Fernando Velasco

No comments: