Down, but not out

Ross Scheuerman gets yet another shot in the pros

Ross Scheuerman, former Lafayette standout running back, has recently signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

After four prolific seasons with Lafayette, in which the Allentown native accumulated over 3,500 yards and 31 touchdowns, Scheuerman made the decision to enter the 2015 NFL combine even as a decidedunderdog.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Scheuerman to their practice squad that summer, it was clear that Scheuerman’s skillset had been far from overlooked.

“I think my versatility definitely makes my game stand out as a running back,”Scheuerman said. “I can do many things out of the backfield and I think I can line up in the slot and catch passes. That’s definitely what I see myself doing in the NFL. Being a dual threat type of running back.”

Scheuerman’s greatest physical skills— acceleration and turn speed— have become increasingly valuable assets in a league that has seen the slot receiver and third down route-running back grow become more relevant to offenses looking to beat the blitz.

When the nimble back tore his Achillesin the same preseason in which he was signed, Scheuerman’s career appeared to have ended before it even began.Any chance that he had to make an impression and stick with a team seemed to be gone.

“If you aren’t available, you are no use to any organization,”Scheuerman said.  “That was what killed me last season was being injured. Injuries are unfortunate, but they are part of this game. They are really inevitable, so you just have to prepare your body and give yourself the best possible chance to stay healthy.”

But Scheuerman’s NFL career wasn’t over yet. With one opportunity behind him, his shrewd and realistic outlook at a career in the NFL proved to be the motivation that would find him his next home with the Green Bay Packers.

“This year has been a learning experience for me,”Scheuerman said. “I got to see what the real business side of the NFL is like and how cut throat the business is. It isn’t easy by any means but I’ve definitely become stronger and grew a thicker skin from my first year.”

That thick skin was needed when Green Bay cut Scheuerman after refusing to offer him a new contract after only a brief time with the team.Scheuerman once again found himself without a job.

Scheuerman didn’t stay unemployed for long, though. His agent quickly worked out a new opportunity with the Eagles, a team that had been struggling to find their feet on offense all year long.

“They’ve seemed interested in me throughout the season so it looks like a great opportunity in Philly,” Scheuerman said, excited at the prospect of entering his comfort zone close to home.

This new deal, called a Reserves/FuturesContract, is geared specifically towards players like Scheuerman who found themselves without a team before the end of week 17 of the NFL season.

Further, this contract implies a rather serious level of interest from a team— exactly the kind that Scheuerman needs — a statement of confidence that in spite of a tumultuous and disappointing beginning to his career, his untapped potential is still valued enough to warrant a roster spot in the next preseason.

Only time can tell what the future really holds for Scheuerman, but his physical skills and mental toughness have pushed him over the first road bumps and landed him in a position to make things happen in the 2016 season.

Leave a Reply

*