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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Zierlein says o-line needs to be set

We’re getting near the end of the competition on the offensive line according to Pittsburgh Steelers coach line coach Larry Zeirlein.

Zeirlein told me Wednesday that, ideally, he’d like to have his starting offensive line decided upon following Saturday’s preseason game at Washington.

You can read more about the decision process and what it likely means in my story in Thursday's Observer-Reporter.

For the second day in a row, Bryant McFadden ran with the first-team defense at right cornerback in place of Deshea Townsend. Santonio Holmes also practiced with the first team at wide receiver in place of Cedrick Wilson.

Townsend, in fact, didn’t play corner for the second day in a row, lining up at free safety with the No. 3 units.

Willie Parker worked without a sleeve on his left knee today for the first time and appears to be running at 100 percent after missing nearly two weeks with some soreness in that knee.

Ben Roethlisberger was held out of the passing drills and didn’t throw any in team drills, but head coach Mike Tomlin said that was a planned rest and had nothing to do with the quarterback banging his hand on a teammates helmet Tuesday. Charlie Batch will get a similar rest Thursday according to Tomlin.

Derrick Jones, Darnell Stapleton, Chris Hoke, Marvel Smith, Anthony Smith and Okobi did not practice today. Najeh Davenport was added to the injury list today with a sore foot. The extend of that injury isn’t known yet and we’ll get an update on that Thursday.

Lawrence Timmons did more work today than he had in previous practices this week after returning from his groin injury. Timmons replaced Arnold Harrison in the second-team base 3-4 defense at right outside linebacker, with Harrison moving to left outside linebacker on the third unit.


Kelly said...

What do you think of Starks at LT? Personally I think it's a waste of time and he's looked terrible there for the most part. What does this say about Essex? Do they have no faith in his ability at left tackle? I know they want to have versatility in their O-line, but I just don't see Max as a viable option.

Dale Lolley said...

Tomlin said today that they will look at Essex at LT this weekend in Washington. They wanted to look at Starks at LT to see what their options would be there. He struggled last week agianst Green Bay. I thought he was OK there against New Orleans.

datruth4life said...

Dale, considering the state of the offensive line, can the Steelers afford to put a player like Capizzi on waivers? 6'9 tackles with feet like Capizzi's and his upside don't come along that often, especially for a team whose tackle situation looks problematic right now. I think they have to keep him over keeping six wide receivers, seven defensive lineman or 10 dbs. He is right now better than W. Young, Eason or Iwuoma. Good young LTs are hard to find and I think they might have found a gem. Your thoughts?

datruth4life said...

Also, will Starks start at LT against the Skins or will Essex start? If Tomlin decides that Essex should play LT over Starks, then that at least gives the new coach an edge over Cowher in the "putting a square peg into a round hole" way of thinking that the stubborn Cowher was famous for. A classic example of this is his refusal this past year to see that R. Coclough shouldn't be anybody's punt returner. His stubbornness (along with Coclough's hands) cost them the game against the Bengals. I was there at that game and predicted to my friends what would happen when Coclough went back to field that punt in the fourth quarter. I think if Tomlin plays Starks at LT this year, that could mean Big Ben ending up on IR real quickly. And by the way, you kick butt on this blog. You've got to keep it going for the whole season. Thanks.

Dale Lolley said...

Smith is going to play this weekend and Starks will be back on the right side - albeit on the second team. Essex will be at LT on the second unit.
As for Capizzi, they like him, but unless Essex falls on his face at LT Saturday, he's destined for the practice squad from what I've been told.