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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Week 2 OTA notes

Rain shortened what was otherwise a pretty lackluster day Tuesday.

A team that had been very loose and having a lot of fun the first week back, didn’t seem all that interested in practicing today. It was probably a little hangover from the long holiday weekend.

The lone time somebody showed some real fire was when safety Anthony Smith jumped a sideline pass from Charlie Batch during a two-minute drill, intercepting it. Smith, of course, couldn’t just pick the pass off, he ran about 10 yards with the ball and then fired it at the fence surrounding the field.

Just when you though the kid might be learning a little something, he goes and does something totally stupid like that.

Why is it stupid?

Much like Joey Porter doing a foot-stomp in training camp and injuring his knee after beating a fourth-string tackle for a sack, Smith firing a ball as hard as he can after picking off a pass in practice is totally meaningless.

The only thing that can happen is an injury.

The coaching staff knows you picked off the pass Anthony. You don’t need any of the extracurricular stuff.

I can guarantee that Dick LeBeau never did anything like that after any of his more than 60 career meaningful interceptions.

© Marvel Smith was still a no-show as he is still at home helping his wife with the birth of their first child. Max Starks continues to hold down the left tackle spot with Smith out, with Willie Colon at right tackle.

Kendall Simmons was present, but still out of action, but Chris Kemoeatu was back at left guard.

With Kemoeatu back in action, Sean Mahan was back at center, with Darnell Stapleton filling in for Simmons at right guard.

The coaching staff seems to really like Stapleton and the fact they feel comfortable enough to line the youngster up at guard as well as his regular center position speaks volumes about that.

© James Harrison was another no-show today, but there was another Harrison, Arnold, holding down the outside linebacker position opposite LaMarr Woodley.

The team isn’t ready to move rookie Bruce Davis up the chart just yet.

© Wide receiver Kevin Marion was only signed by the Steelers after Dorian Bryant failed his physical with the team, but the little man from Wake Forest doesn’t look bad out there.

The 5-10, 168-pound speedster catches everything thrown his way and hasn’t looked like a guy who is technically the last player on the roster.

Just goes to show you that all some guys need is a chance.


Anonymous said...

"The team isn’t ready to move rookie Bruce Davis up the chart just yet."

I believe Bruce Davis is finishing school and will miss the rest of OTAs. Not sure he would have immediately been been behind J. Harrison anyway, but I don't think we can say yet.

Also have noted Stapleton getting a solid look at guard. You mentioned Hartwig, Mahan, and Colon got looks at guard last week, but exploring the Stapleton option seems to be the priority at this point. We'll see if he continues to be the man behind Simmons as training camp arrives.

If Max were to pull ahead of Colon for RT, I wonder whether they would continue to keep Colon focused on RT as a back-up or if he will compete at guard (and which side?) as potentially the fifth or sixth best lineman that you just want on the field ahead of players such as Mahan or Hartwig (whoever loses the center battle), Stapleton, and maybe even Kemo or Simmons.

Dale Lolley said...

You're right, Davis isn't there, but they would be playing A. Harrison ahead of him regardless. Poor choice of words on my part.
They like Stapleton's upside enough to want to get him ready to play any of three spots.
I would expect that they'll look more at Colon as a guard at some point, but who knows?