Getting to Know the 2012 Steelers: TE Leonard Pope

Kansas City (2011): Played in 16 games with KC…Had 24 grabs for 247 yards with one touchdown.

Kansas City (2010): Played in 16 games with the Chiefs…Had 10 catches for 76 yards with two touchdowns….TD’s came against Denver on December 5th and against St.Louis on December 19th.

Kansas City (2009): Played in 13 games (eight starts) … Had 20 catches for 174 yards (8.7 avg.) with a TD … Signed with the club as a free agent on September 29th … Caught one pass for eight yards vs. Dallas (10/11) … Posted one catch for five yards at Washington (10/18) and at Jacksonville (11/8) … Caught three passes for 11 yards in a starting role at Oakland (11/15) … Produced two catches for 26 yards with a 21-yard TD vs. Pittsburgh (11/22) … Recorded two catches for 18 yards vs. Denver (12/6) … Caught four passes for 45 yards vs. Buffalo (12/13) … Posted three catches for 23 yards vs. Cleveland (12/20) … Tallied one reception for seven yards at Cincinnati (12/27) … Caught a season-long 29-yard pass at Denver (1/3/10).

Arizona (2006-08): Played in 42 games (25 starts) … Had 48 catches for 476 yards (9.9 avg.) and five TDs … Played in three postseason contests … Had two catches for 21 yards (10.5 avg.).

2008: Played in 13 games (eight starts) and was inactive for three contests … Caught nine passes for 77 yards (8.6 avg.) … Recorded two catches for 12 yards vs. Dallas (10/12) … Was inactive with an ankle injury at Carolina (10/26) and at St. Louis (11/2) … Posted two catches for nine yards at Seattle (11/16) … Had a 25-yard reception at Philadelphia (11/27) … Started three games and was inactive for one contest in the postseason, catching two passes for 21 yards … Was inactive with an knee injury in an NFC Wild Card Game vs. Atlanta (1/3/09) … Started an NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Carolina (1/10/09) … Had two catches for 21 yards in the NFC Championship Game vs. Philadelphia (1/18/09) … Started in Super Bowl XLIII vs. Pittsburgh (2/1/09).

2007: Saw duty in 13 games (11 starts) … Posted 23 catches for 238 yards (10.3 avg.) with five TDs … Had a 30-yard TD catch vs. Seattle (9/16). It was the longest TD catch by an Arizona TE since TE Freddie Jones caught a 33-yarder at Detroit (12/4/04)  … Tallied three receptions for 35 yards with a TD at Washington (10/21) … Registered a career-high five catches for 52 yards with a career-best two TDs vs. Detroit (11/11), becoming the first tight end in Cardinals history to catch multiple TDs in a game since TE Doug Marsh did it at Tampa Bay (10/16/83) … Compiled two receptions for 39 yards vs. San Francisco (11/25) … Produced two catches for 14 yards with a five-yard TD vs. Cleveland (12/2) … Caught four passes for 16 yards at Seattle (12/9) … Was placed on injured reserve with a right ankle injury on December 11th.

2006: Played in 16 games (six starts) … Caught 16 passes for 161 yards (10.1 avg.) … Had one catch for nine yards in his first NFL game vs. San Francisco (9/10) … Tallied two receptions for 32 yards at Atlanta (10/1) … Registered two catches for 20 yards at St. Louis (12/3) … Caught two passes for 40 yards, including a career-long 33-yard reception at San Diego (12/31).

College: A two-year starter at Georgia who entered the NFL Draft after his junior season … Saw action in 35 games (21 starts) for the Bulldogs … Caught 59 passes for 994 yards (16.8 avg.) with nine TDs … Started 11 contests his junior campaign in 2005, tallying 33 catches for 491 yards with three TDs … Appeared in 12 games (10 starts), catching 25 passes for 482 yards with six TDs as a sophomore in 2004 … Played in 12 games as a freshman in 2003 … Had one catch for 21 yards … Named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News … Majored in Consumer Economics at Georgia.


• Played one year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA.

• Named all-state and was invited to play in the Georgia-Florida High School Game as a senior at Americus High School in Americus, Georgia.

• Led his club to state titles as a junior and senior.

• Had seven TDs as a tight end as a senior.

• Has four brothers and four sisters.

• Established the Leonard Pope C.H.A.M.P. Foundation (Creating Hope and Making Progress) in 2008 to promote programs that enhance the quality of life for children and families by teaching them leadership skills, assisting in community revitalization, education awareness and providing role models for underprivileged youth.

• Led an effort to raise money to repair Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Georgia after it was devastated by a tornado in March of 2007.

• Full name: Leonard Pope.

• Single with two daughters, Cheryan M. Pope (8) and Laila D. Pope (1).

His Role with the Steelers in 2012: Pope inked as a backup to Heath Miller, and knows the system the Steelers are going to run with Todd Haley now as the teams offensive coordinator.  He played under Haley in Arizona when he was the OC there, and in KC when Haley was the head coach.  With 24 grabs last season for 247 yards and a score, Pope could become a solid piece as a backup in the Steelers offense in 2012.

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and of course, the National Football League. On NFL Sunday’s you can hear Matt on National networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and other stations around the country. Matt also joined The Washington Post in 2009 as a guest columnist on league hot topics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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