Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Initial thoughts

The first practice is now in the books and it showed that some of these guys realize the window of opportunity is closing for them.

Anthony Smith took another hard shot at wide receiver Willie Reid - as he did several times last year in camp - and Reid popped up and fired the ball at him, touching off a scrimmish between the two that had to be broken up by teammates.

Reid later tangled with linebacker Andre Frazier on a running play after cracking down to block the bigger man.

Reid didn't back down on either occasion.

I waited to talk to Reid after practice and he had a long conversation with Ben Roethlisberger, who told the third-year receiver to let the coaches handle the cheap shots and to let that stuff go.

But the clock is ticking on Reid and he knows it. A third-round pick three years ago, he hasn't quite worked out to be what the Steelers envisioned.

And with the addition of second-round pick Limas Sweed this year, Reid is not guaranteed a roster spot.

He's clearly playing with something to prove.


Anonymous said...

Call me crazy, but I like Willie Reid. I don't think he has really had enough chances to show us what he can do, partly because of the foot injury his rookie year and the fact he was rarely active last year. With that being said, do the coaches think he can contribute as a receiver now too? It almost seems as if he only has a chance if we keep six WR's.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see he is steping up or atleast like you said dale, he is relizing that his window of oppertunity is closing, always nice to see competition happening tho, should make it for a nice battle between baker, reid, rucker, sweed, washingtion to win the wr postion battles

Lou Brown said...

Good....I like that kind of spirit in a player!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that Reid is stepping up. Smith, on the other hand, I just got to shake my head, it still sounds like he still has some maturity issues.

Dale Lolley said...

Smith, it seems, is just a knuckehead. LeBeau was yelling at him to cut it out and he just kept going.
If you're not going to listen to LeBeau, who are you going to listen to?
Dallas Baker had a really good offseason, but he's not a return man.
They need somebody to return kicks and punts. If Reid can show something - finally - in that department, he could have a shot.

Anonymous said...

Dale, Moore can return kicks and punts, right?
Also, did you get a chance to see any of the rooks?
The three players I look forward to hearing the most about are McBean, Stapleton, and the rookie UDFA Clement.

costanza2k1 said...

Hi Dale wanted to thank you for the inside scoop on our team. It's greatly appreciated...

Dale Lolley said...

Moore wasn't back there this morning, but I'm waiting until I see if that's a trend.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of Anthony Smith's complete unwillingness to do what coaches tell him. This was a non-contact drill. If I'm Willie Reid, been injured my whole career, I'm finally healthy and this douchebag drills me in a non contact drill, I would be livid. We need to cut Anthony Smith, he is not a Steeler. I'm so tired of his "coaches cant tell me what to do once I get on the field" attitude. He sucks as a FS because of his inability to play the position along with the scheme. Someone needs to sit this kid down and tell him that if he injured a teammate, he's off the squad. I cant stand the kid.

rocket9 said...

I think Reid is just an average kid. I don't really see the game speed he's rumoured to have and he's small and injury prone. We have better options now. Mwelde Moore or Holmes will do the returns for us. Not saying he can't make this team but he's on the bubble and its a mighty thin fabric.

As for Anthony Smith? I went from being enamoured of his athletic gifts to marvelling at his outright stupidity. I started worrying about him from his first INT of his young career where he did the idiotic grandstanding in an attempt to piss off the other team. Lebeau was livid after that and I see things have not changed much. Youthful enthusiasm is great but he takes it to outright "in your face, what you gonna do about it sucker!" incitement. Tom Brady torched him badly and you would think he would learn that your play on the field is all that matters..not the number of cheap shots you can deliver in non-contact drills to a guy like Reid who is despartely trying to make the squad, or by calling out the best QB in the league before a big game when you are by NFL standards. a mere pup in the big dog's house.

Not ready to totally give up on him but he may lack the brain power to compete in this league. The Steelers recent draftee's seem to have both atleticism and brains (Sweed, Mendenhall, Gay) and Anthony better get with the program.

Anonymous said...


You don't have to worry about me jumpin' on Wet Willie Reid's bandwagon!!! As far as I'm concerned, he was given every opportunity to be the main returner last year and pissed it away in the preseason by muffing a bunch of chances. He was the reason they traded for Allen Rossum at the 11th hour. I believe he needs to have an OUTSTANDING preseason to make the team. Am I wrong here?


Anonymous said...

...The only problem is, I didn't cut you.

lol, Lou Brown!

adamg said...

Dale, what do know or make of Colon's comments in the Trib today about Faneca and Zerlien? He seemed to imply that Faneca undermined what Zerlien was trying to teach and now the OL is all on the same page.

Dale Lolley said...

You mean the same quotes I had in my story? Really, it was something I touched on a bit last season on this blog, but since it was opening day of camp and he basically said the All-Pro guard didn't listen to the coach, I went with it again.
I've heard that was one of the reasons Starks was in the doghouse as well last year. He wanted to do things his way instead of listening to the coach.

But if you're Alan Faneca and you've been to six straight Pro Bowls, why would you want to change a lot?

Trouble is when other guys see you doing it your way and then want to do it their own way as well.

adamg said...

LOL! Sorry, Dale. I don't usually check the O-R and don't belong to SCI premium.

I guess some veterns took advantage of a new HC and staff. I also heard Zerlien had coached Faneca for a couple years at LSU and got the impression there might have been some conflict between the two in college as well.

As much as players might not like it, they are employees and coaches are the bosses. You have to do what they tell you.