Professional Hustlers: Miami

Professional Hustlers looks at the Mid-American Conference studs of yesteryear and what they're doing in the pro ranks right now. Will they make the team? Are they still an elite player? Did they wander off into Canada?

QB Ben Roethlisberger – He won two Super Bowls and he won't even be the Week 1 starter for Pittsburgh? Wow, he must've had a lousy summer. Instead, the Steelers might ride one-time MAC king Marshall alumni Byron Leftwich as their starting quarterback. Given that he moves around the field like he's barefoot in the sand, I don't see this experiment lasting longer than, say, the seventh game.

LG Jacob Bell – Now here's a guy Miami can tout as being an elite Week 1 starter. Even if it is, y'know, the Rams offensive line. At least he projects to start. But on his conscience will be 1/5 of the concussions that Sam Bradford will sustain this year. So, like two.

S John Busing – After sparse playing time with Cincy and Houston for four seasons, he's now with the New York American Football Giants of New Jersey. He played substantively in their second preseason game, but he's way down there on the list of secondary players. An OK chance to make the roster. But heck if anyone knows.

TE Tom Crabtree – He's "one of five tight ends" that Packers tight end coach Ben McAdoo is cool with using. And that's a lot of tight ends, you're probably saying, but silly goose, they won't all be playing at once! Usually it's only two at a time -- or three if the year is 1968. Crabtree might get most of his playing time on the return team.

TE Jake O'Connell – Still married to Rebecca Romijn and was in that awful Piranha 3D movie. Oh ... wait. JAKE O'Connell is probably going to be the backup Chiefs tight end behind Leonard Pope. Always, always be there when the Pope needs help. He'll thank you for it later.

DB Alphonso Hodge — In the CFL, but hurt. So does it really count?

CB Darrell Hunter — Heaven help him, he keeps trying. All he's done in the NFL since 2005, when he became a pro, is two tackles in three games. That's not much, but the UFL's Florida Tuskers will be his new home. At least for now. Until a new league forms next year, and he plays in that.

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