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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Any questions

Not much going on right now in the way of Steelers news. I'm also on vacation this week - as you can tell by the unseasonably cold and wet Pa. weather.

But if anybody has any Steelers or NFL-related questions, feel free to ask away.


Wieters said...

So, are the Steelers' front office and coaching staff much smarter than the rest of us and they know exactly what they're doing in regards to the offensive line, or are they no smarter than the rest of us and they're actually as confused as they appear to be?

Ed Bouchette, for one, went on record on 1250 ESPN yesterday saying that they have no idea what they're doing...

srk said...

How has Dallas Baker looked in the OTAs...I heard he has made great strides since last season.

jlf said...

How is the secondary shaking out? Will McFadden finally win a starting position? How about William Gay? And the undrafted rookie, Travis Williams, could he make a contribution or will sit on the practice squad for a few years?

stillexile said...

Questions, you say? Here's three.

1)Grady Jackson, the former Jags D-lineman....Am I the only one surprised that he hasn't found a new home yet?

2)Will the additions of Humpal, Mundy, and Fox to the ST coverage units keep me from cringing every time we punt or kick the ball away?

3)Could you expound on our current center crop, particularly Hartwig, Stapleton, and Legursky?

Dale Lolley said...

Wieters. I think what Ed was saying is that they aren't sure how this line is going to shake out. There is some difference of opinion on Starks. The scouts in the front office think he's one of their top five. The coaching staff isn't so sure.

Srk- Dallas Baker was the most improved player at mini-camp and OTAs that I saw. But there's no tackling, so you can't be sure about the line positions and such.

jlf-Williams was a kid I thought looked good in OTAs. As for McFadden, this is the year he has to make the move. But I never count out Townsend. He's a consummate pro.

Exile-Grady Jackson is a fat pig who can only play about 10 snaps per game. Somebody may sign him if they have an injury, but he's probably eaten himself out of the league. Those guys should help the teams. Fox is supposedly a demon on teams.
As for the center position, again, they're not hitting, so it's tough to tell. But Legursky did most of his work at guard.

Patrick said...

Will Wille Colon get any snaps at LG this summer? He's got guard size.

Is Jeremy Bloom expected to compete for a job on this team? If so, does he have a snowballs' chance?

Do you believe Hartwig will be an improvement over Mahan? If so, how much of an improvement?

Brian said...

Do you get the feeling the Steelers would like to bring in another free agent (DE?) but that the net-loss rules governing compensatory picks are preventing them?

Jeff said...

Any update on Casey Hampton? Has he lost some weight and does anyone know his whereabouts during the OTA's?

Dale Lolley said...

I think the coaching staff feels that Colon is a tackle and that's where they will keep him for now. That could change once they get to camp if Starks is performing well and they feel their best five is with Colon at guard.

I don't see Bloom making this team.

Hartwig has more bulk than Mahan, which should help with the problem of him getting moved out so easily.

After June 1, comp picks are no longer awarded for signings, so no, that is not what is holding the Steelers back from signing a vet. They apparently don't like what is on the market at this point.

The rumor with Hampton is that he was working out with a trainer trying to get his weight down. But I have no confirmation on that.

Nine said...

1. How did Mendenhall look in the OTA's and how much work did he get?

2. What do you think the starting offensive line will shape up to be? And who is standing out amongst everyone?

3. Also I was curious how Sweed was looking, his catching and route running in particular..

Patrick said...

1. Are any of the line calls still made by the Center? I know Rothleisberger can change protection schemes, but did Mahan have any control over assignments? The line seemed completely out of synch last year, not just physically, but mentally. Would Hartwig provide a "smarter" option than Mahan? Any thoughts on this? (I realize its a bit of a far out question, but you said any).

2. Does Dennis Dixon take a roster spot as QB #3 this year? I think most would agree if we practice squad him, hes a goner. Is he a healthy scratch? Thats a costly roster spot to use on gameday for a QB that might not even be healthy to play....does he get put on IR and basically redshirted? Regardless of whether or not you agree it was a smart draft pick, I think this is the biggest issue with Dixon.

3. DeJaun Ramsey was released by the Eagles. Obviously, being released by a team doesnt scream potential, but look at the guy's measurables. Appears to be a perfect size for a 3-4 DE. Any chance we bring him to camp?

Dale Lolley said...

Mendenhall looked very good. Power and speed.

Line play is impossible to judge when they're only wearing shorts. But I would bet on Smith, Kemoeatu, Hartwig, Simmons and Colon. For whatever reason, the coaching staff isn't big on Starks. But they had to bring him back given Smith's back problems.

Sweed looks good. But he's still got a way to go on his route running.

I don't know about the line calls, sorry.

Dixon will be the No. 3 and eventually the No. 2.

DeJaun Ramsey does nothing for me, but I just don't know much about him.

ch3 said...

How are the battles for the LB jobs working out? I realize Woodley, Harrison and Farrior have their spots locked down. How is the battle between Foote and Timmons going? How do Mike Humpal and Bruce Davis look?

Dale Lolley said...

Davis was unable to attend most of the offseason because of class restrictions at UCLA.
The Timmons-Foote battle will be one to watch at camp. They're working Timmons a lot in the passing game, but he was still running second team for the most part in the base.

Anonymous said...

Great info Dale, thanks.

ch3 said...

How does Mike Humpal look (Iowa Fan)? What about Gary Russell, will he make the team over Najeh?Also do any of the UDFAs have a shot to make the roster?

Dale Lolley said...

Humpal looks good by all accounts. He should contribute on special teams immediately.
My money would be on Russell making this team over Davenport, but you never know. When Tomlin brought his kids in one day, the boys kept asking their dad where Najeh was.
Finally, they saw him and there was obviously an connection there.
Will that matter in cutdowns? I don't think so. But again, you never know.

srk said...

How much of an effect did the Steelers changing O line coaches have on last seasons O line ...Some coaches have very differnt ways of teaching ...Do you think the players are now buying into Larry Zierlein and his way and now have a better understanding of it ...your thoughts

Dale Lolley said...

Zeirlein, I was told by players, is very much into technique and everyone using the same technique. Grimm, on the other hand, didn't care what technique was used, so long as the blocking was effective.
Starks, for one, was one who didn't necessarily fall into line with Zeirlein's approach, hence his backup status.

Ben said...

Speaking of the line, am I the only one who thinks it will get better without Faneca? It seems, though he was a professional, he was nearly uncoachable last year.

To me, a young, hungry Kemoeatu will be a big upgrade over a spoiled, aging veteran Faneca.

Mike said...

Great job with the blog, Dale. I'm stoked for the start of camp. How did Tony Hills look during the mini camps? Has Sweed showed any ill effects of the wrist that allowed him to drop to the 2nd round?

Wieters said...

I'm with you, Ben. Faneca might have been our best and most decorated lineman, but I can't imagine his attitude last year was anything but detrimental to the cohesiveness of the line.

A healthy Marvel and no Sean Mahan won't hurt either...

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not so sure that will be the case. I'm a big Faneca fan.

Sweed looked good. Did a nice job of catching the ball. Hills is tough to tell because there's no real hitting.

Anonymous said...

I've heard there is an international player on the roster that is exempt from the mandatory 80 player limit for teams before the start of training camp. Is this true and if so what is his name? Any info about him would be helpful. Also, do you have any thoughts on Mundy? I hear he's very smart which should really carry-over to the field.

Dale Lolley said...

No international player that I saw anywhere. They had one two years ago, but not this year.
Mundy looks good.

Dale Lolley said...

Obviously, they brought Marvin Allen back and released Zebransky.

This allows them to keep Allen - who is from Great Britan - on the PS without having him count for anything.
Tells me they don't think they'll be putting two WRs on the PS.