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Monday, July 28, 2008

Afternoon delight

Either LaMarr Woodley is going to be a beast this season or the Steelers' offensive line - and right tackles in particular - really stinks.

Woodley was unblockable in the one-on-one drills this afternoon by either Willie Colon or Max Starks.

Neither is going to be a Pro Bowler anytime soon, but they are legitimate NFL offensive linemen. So maybe Woodley is just that damn good.

I spoke with the second-year linebacker after practice and he's really raring to go this season after languishing on the bench a bit last season as a backup to Clark Haggans (?).

I know. Haggans had one of the least productive seasons of any outside linebacker in the past 15 seasons for the Steelers. And for whatever reason, they still kept running him out there.

That won't be the case this season and Woodley is going to put up monster numbers.

Somebody else who stood out this afternoon was second-year defensive lineman Ryan McBean.

They were using McBean on punt coverage and he was really getting down the field well for a 290-pounder. This team hasn't had a young defensive lineman to use as a wedge buster the past couple of seasons, but McBean could be that guy.

Rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall shows good learning ability. After being beaten a couple of times in backs-on-backers blocking, the No. 1 pick picked up his game after that and stoned some guys.

He looks good with the ball in his hands, too, slipping through holes.


Justin said...

Great article as always Dale, this is my first time posting and I just wanted to say I really enjoy your Steeler's blog!

SC Steeler said...

Great news on Woodley and thanks for the updates. Was McBean getting many snaps at DE? With Kemo out, who was running with the 1st team at LG?

Anonymous said...

I love it. Thanks for the news on McBean Dale. Keep the good stuff coming

adamg said...

Woodley might not be the biggest, fastest or strongest guy; he's just a football player. He showed that at Michigan coming with big plays game after game. I have no doubt if the Steelers went to a 4-3, Woodley could be a productive DE in it.

Dale Lolley said...

Trai Essex was at left guard

costanza2k1 said...

What's the word on Hartwig? I can't believe Mahan is better than him. Are there plans to bring him in with the first team? I'm very confused.

SC Steeler said...

Mahan was a major disappointment last year. As the incumbent starter, he's going to begin camp as the #1 center but if Hartwig resembles his previous form from Tennessee at all, he'll overtake Mahan shortly. Otherwise, Ben better start scrambling now.

Anonymous said...


Nothing short of superb updates! You better not start making us pay for this stuff!! Great inside info is always appreciated by the serious fan. It's really nice of you to share your in-depth analysis so frequently. So, has the "evil" Stanley Druckenmiller been spotted hiding in the bushes??? What is the latest from your media brotherhood with the potential sale??? Enlighten us.

Deep from The Woods in Latrobe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dale, keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

OL slots....
Starks, Hills, Smith & Colon - OT
Chris K, Simmons - G
Hartwig - C

Final 2 roster spots on OL are up for grabs between Mahan, Stapleton & Essex unless Hills is a complete flop. Do you think I am reading this right? If so, your thoughts on who gets cut? I'd love to see Mahan's contract disappear.

Dale Lolley said...

I'll see how the thing breaks down Tuesday. Maybe today Hartwig will get most of the work with the ones.
They're not cutting Mahan. I'd be very, very surprised if they did. And Essex, it would seem, is pretty safe as well.
As for the sale, we've joked about it and stuff, but really, nobody knows how it's going to break. Dan and Art have been very visible - as usual. It's business as usual in that department.