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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Week 4 OTA thoughts

Many of the stars were missing as the Steelers returned to practice this week after a day of bowling.

Ben Roethlisberger – who was at Dwight White's funeral – Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton were among the missing. Polamalu, of course, is working out in California. Hampton may be at a clinic working on getting his weight down. At least that's the rumor.

Brett Keisel, Santonio Holmes and Najeh Davenport didn't practice Wednesday - not that Davenport is a star.

What it means, though, is that a lot of the younger players are getting more reps.

I mentioned last week that defensive lineman Kyle Clement, an undrafted rookie from Northwood, has been working with the second unit. Wednesday, Clement was getting extra attention from Aaron Smith after practice, as Smith worked with the 6-3, 315-pounder on his hand placement and coming out of his stance.

Clement is definitely somebody to keep an eye on at camp.

Another player who has caught my eye is undrafted cornerback Travis Williams from East Carolina.

Williams looks to have good playmaking ability and can run. He's just 5-9, 180, though, so he is lacking some size.

© Ryan Clark has had a solid camp coming back from his spleen injury.

That's a good sign. But the real test will be when the hitting starts.


Joe said...

Is Hampton's weight up because of poor conditioning this offseason or just a maintenance thing to try and extend his career?

Dale Lolley said...

It's something he's struggled with throughout his career. He's just a big guy naturally. If he weren't playing football, he'd probably be 400 pounds.

stillX said...

Hampton's been gaining weight for the last two seasons and he just hasn't been as effective late in games or in the final stretch of the season because of it. Yes, he's big enough to command a double team, but that's all we're getting at the ends of games when he's visibly (IMHO) gassed.

I was hoping Tomlin would do the same thing to Casey he did to Williams in Minn, but this may work just as well.