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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trouble for tight ends

It was tight ends attempting to block linebackers one-on-one in a running drill that caught my eye early on in Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

And boy, do the Steelers’ young tight ends have a ways to go as run blockers.

James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley pretty much dominated whoever they lined up against, with only Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman holding their own at the point of attack.

Jon Dekker pretty much got tossed around by whomever he faced and Cody Boyd got a couple of pretty good chewing outs from coach James Daniels after allowing his man to slip off blocks.

Matt Spaeth was also uneven in his blocking, though he did win his individual matchup a couple of times.

Spaeth also got an earful from Daniels and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians when the team broke for 9-on-9 inside running when he lined up at the wrong position, causing the team to re-huddle.

The only change in the lineup this afternoon was Anthony Smith replacing Ryan Clark at free safety. But as I reported this morning, those two will rotate on a practice-by-practice basis.

The team spent a good portion of today’s practice working on its two-minute offense and defense. In both cases, the defense kept the offense out of the end zone, though both were in field goal range.

The first-team offense, however, blew any chance for a score. On fourth down and six from the 13 with eight seconds to go, both Alan Faneca and Marvel Smith false started, causing the clock to be run down for zero. Those are the kind of kinks that need to be worked out now.

Santonio Holmes and Verron Haynes are still out.


thempirates said...

Any time Harrison has started the past couple years, he's been unquestionably better than Porter.

We may miss his emotional leadership, but otherwise it's addition by subtraction.

It only sucks that Harrison is almost 30 already.

Dale Lolley said...

He's 30, but he doesn't have a lot of mileage on him. Plus, they drafted the two kids to be ready to play down the road.