Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thoughts from Tomlin PC

Mike Tomlin held a pre-training camp press conference Wednesday. Here are a few of my thoughts of about what was said.

© Tomlin was asked about the team's defensive line depth and if it was a concern and he proceeded to give a long answer about how when he made his statement about the lack of depth and age issues at the position, it was before Travis Kirschke and Nick Eason were re-signed.

Now, I like Mike, but he sounded a lot like a guy trying to convince himself that things aren't all that bad.

It is my understanding, though, that second-year man Ryan McBean has been practically living at the team's facility since getting the walking boot off his injured foot and the team has some high hopes for the 2007 fifth-round draft pick.

Also, keep an eye on undrafted rookie Kyle Clement from Northwood.

If Eason makes this team, it will be because those two didn't pan out and this team could have problems down the stretch as it did last season.

© Tomlin spoke very highly of free safety Ryan Clark and his recovery from having his spleen removed last season.

Clark's weight is back to normal and he got through the team's offseason program with no problems. But you'd better believe the team will keep a watchful eye on how he handles contact.

This team needs Clark as the deep man in the secondary. He's a heady guy and a good all-around football player as we saw last season when he was out of the lineup.

That's not to say Anthony Smith didn't learn and get better from last year's debacle, but Clark makes very few mistakes.

© Tomlin said Max Starks will start camp primarily at right tackle, which tells me there will be a competition there between he and Willie Colon.

Last year's battle never really materialized because Starks was forced to play left tackle for much of training camp after Marvel Smith's back became troublesome.

I still think the best line may incorporate Starks at right tackle and Colon at one of the guard spots. If Chris Kemoeatu struggles at left guard replacing Alan Faneca, that could happen.

© Lawrence Timmons will open as the backup to Larry Foote, but Timmons will get plenty of action as a linebacker on passing downs as the team begins to phase James Farrior out of that role.

It may not happen right away because Farriror is such a smart player and is still very effective. But it wouldn't hurt to give the aging vet a chance to catch his breath every once in a while.

13 comments:

adamg said...

Since Farrior will have the "green dot" helmet on defense, that makes me believe Farrior's going to be a 3 down player once the season starts.

Anonymous said...

dale...

Mr. Tomlin said no injuries are of concern going into camp. Does that mean that both Dennis Dixon and Tony Hills are completely healed from their late season injuries?

Thanks.
-Sasquatch

Dale Lolley said...

The package that they worked a lot with in OTAs had both Farrior and Timmons inside in the sub-package. But the plan is for Timmons to eventually take over.

Hills and Dixon are ready to go.

Ben said...

By my estimation, our LB corps should be pretty strong this year. Harrison - Timmons - Farrior - Woodley, with former-starter Foote and Bruce Davis backing them up. If Farrior and Harrison repeat last year's performance and Timmons/Woodley live up to expectations, we should have a very fearsome group of LBs.

Anonymous said...

I thought that Clark was on his way to a really really big year before he got sick in Denver

Joe said...

Dave,

Regarding the ILB situation, are we in a 1 year "problem" with 3 starters to fill 2 positions??? Is there a chance Foote will sit this year and then step back on the field in a starting role again if/when Timmons takes over for Farrior? I believe Farrior is in the last year of his contract.

Patrick said...

Dale,

like Adamg said, Farrior has the speaker in the helmet, so you would think he HAS to be on the field for passing downs. I forget the rules but can you have 2 players with speakers ? (obviously not on the field at the same time)

This also I think would be an issue if Timmons wanted to be in base packages with Farrior also on the field. What happens if Timmons supplants Foote, starts on say a 2nd down in a base 3-4 next to Farrior, it becomes a passing situation on 3rd down and we want Timmons, not Farrior on the field. They switch helmets? Seems like a logistical issue. And I don't see Timmons getting the speaker full time in his helmet this year.

I really think this is the reason Polamula should, and will, have the speaker in his head. If healthy, he is always on the field.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not sure about the green dot rules just yet and if more than one player can have them so long as they're not on the field at the same time. They bring officials to camp every year to explain new rules, so that will be something I can ask about.
I would actually give Ryan Clark or Townsend the green dot if Farrior isn't going to do it, but likely Clark, since he's got everything in front of him on every play. Troy would be a possibility as well.
And yes, it is a possibility that Foote is pushed to the bench this year and starts next season if they can't work something out with Farrior

adamg said...

I agree if Clark starts, he's a good candidate for the green dot. Aaron Smith would be another who could get consideration since he's on the field every down.

Anonymous said...

dale...

If you could pick 3 "on the bubble" players heading into camp, who would they be?

thanks.
-Sasquatch

SC Steeler said...

You mentioned high hopes for McBean. Is there a legitimate chance that he can be a significant D-Line contributor this year or are the hopes for the more distant future considering his inexperience and recent injuries?

Dale Lolley said...

Of player who have made this team in the past, I would put Tyrone Carter, Willie Reid and Trai Essex on the bubble.
Undrafted rookies I like are CB Travis Williams and DE Kyle Clements.

adamg said...

Mendenhall (5) and Sweed (4) just signed their contracts. That makes it a full roster for training camp.