Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Breaking for the Bills

Training camp is winding down and I know the players probably couldn't be happier.

After watching practice after practice for the past two weeks, I know that I'm tired of it all. The players have to really be sick of it.

Mike Tomlin must have sensed that a little and gave them the morning off after having them stretch to make sure nobody had gone over the wall.

I kept a close eye on new punter Mitch Berger today and came away with unimpressed.

Berger is more consistent than Paul Ernster, but doesn't kick the occasional 60-yarder than Ernster does. He also didn't shank anything, which Ernster has done a couple of times as well.

Tomlin took time during his press conference today to rip the media for what he thought was an unfair portrayal of safety Anthony Smith as a thug.

Tomlin said Smith's feelings were hurt by the portrayal.

Talking to Smith later in the day, I didn't get that sense. He just said that he's never robbed anyone and doesn't have a record, so he can't be a thug.

Guess he's got a different idea of what the word means than most people.

Tomlin did say, however, that Thursday's game against Buffalo will be a big one for Smith, who has missed a good amount of time in camp with a hamstring problem.

The team is liking what it has seen from rookie Roy Lewis, and it likes Ryan Mundy's upside.

It's possible Tomlin is looking for a good reason to rid himself of Smith.


Craig said...

Mundy's injury upset me almost as much as Batch's. The fewer safety prospects we have, the smaller our chance of getting rid of Smith and his double-digit YPA.

rocket9 said...

Craig..yep !!

I don't have a hate for Anthony..I just don't think he can cover. Plain and simple. He's got the speed and physical ability but he does not have the instincts to read a play..almost always a day late and a dollar short.

The hit on HInes was particularily cowardly though..as I understand it the play was over and Hines was already starting to jog back to the huddle on a non-contact drill. I hope that's the last late hit AS makes as a Steeler. He's the kind of guy who costs you games.

VaFlyer said...

Anthony Smith is playing the wrong position, IMO. He is a perfect backup to Troy P, but he is not a FS. He doesn't have the discipline. He is a big hitter and can fly all over the field. He can't be any worse there than Tyrone Carter....

Steve May said...

I know this is sports talk and not sociology or linguistics or whatever, but Tomlin, I think, saw "thug" (or as Collier used it, "thuggery") as a word that has come to be racially charged and would not have been applied to a white player. I pretty much agree with him.

Dale Lolley said...

I've seen white players called thugs before. Look at Romanowski.