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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quick hits from Minnesota game

If you’re looking for some insight into the first round of cuts, quarterback Dennis Dixon, wide receivers Jeremy Bloom, Marvin Allen and Micah Rucker, running back Justin Vincent, defensive linemen Jordan Reffett, Ryan McBean and Martavius Prince and guards Doug Legursky and Matt Lentz did not play against the Vikings.

Dixon, however did not play because head coach Mike Tomlin wanted Byron Leftwich to play under fire in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. And Allen gets an exemption on the practice squad as a player from Great Britain.

The rest of that group are likely done here, if not this week, then later.

© I liked what I saw from Rashard Mendenhall - with the two fumbles being a very notable exception.

Mendenhall ran with greater power and had some very nice cuts.

Now, he'll have to work on that whole ball protection thing.

But it's better to get that kind of stuff out of the way now rather than in September against Houston.


Liguori said...

I agree with you on Mendenhall. He looked much more confident and ran with power and speed.

It seems to me that Willie Reid and Tyrone Carter most likely secured roster spots for themselves tonight as well.

adamg said...

Casey Hampton looked like the Hampton of two or thjree years ago, not the out of shape, easily pushed around NT of last year. He was stuffing the run and his quickness was back. Hampton might not want to admit it, but it looks like the coaches did know what his right playing weight should be.

Keyaron Fox. How did KC let this guy get away? He can play.

There are going to be some tough cuts to make among the DBs.

It's hard to watch the OL on TV, but I saw Hartwig handle his man several times without help from either guard. Kemo can steamroll people. Marvel looks to be still having trouble with speed rushing DEs.

I agree that Reid will probably stick over Baker and Rucker.

Anonymous said...


I got a new nickname for our 1st round pick....Meatballs Mendenhall!!! What do ya think?


rocket9 said...

Reid is pretty good as long as he gets a cushion from the corner. He can't beat the jam. He's probably going to make the team but only because Baker is his competition. I don't really like either of those guys with Reid being a preseason player who disppears once the real hitting starts.

Hampton DID look good, adamg. I hope this was a wakeup call for him that its time to play harder because last year was not a dominating one for him (by his high standards). Coach Tomlin rang his bell and he answered.

Mendy got taught a lesson that most rook RB's learn early. They WILL punch the ball out on you so wrap it up with 2 hands. Not too worried about it as he looks to have the full skill set of an elite back.

Colon is a guard playing tackle. Why the STeelers can't see that is beyond me.He doesn`t have the arm length.Or the feet. I think he would be a good guard but they seem determined to use him there. I am in no way a Starks man but least he has the frame and the appendages to play the position! LOL! Simmons ...he's got to be benched at some point and that may be the catalyst to move Colon to his spot.

The D is going to be the strength of this team, especially if the right side of the O-line gets Ben killed which is a distinct possibility. Someone said the interior of the line held up OK against a terrific D-line of the Vikes and the edges were exploited more. Will have to watch the game in full as I only caught bits and pieces of it last night.

Miller is BEn's escape hatch. He has superb hands and finds the seams consitently. Hope his blocking improves from last year.

Well..we are looking like a 9 win team at this point. We'll see what happens but they are nothing if not entertaining to watch..

Dale Lolley said...

Carter and Reid probably made the team with their efforts Saturday.
Anthony Smith also looks much better at strong safety rather than free.
Rocket Rashard seems to the nickname that is gathering the most momentum.

The only way they could bench Simmons would be to move Colon to guard and play Starks at RT, but they don't seem to want to do that for some reason.

adamg said...

Heath Miller reminds me so much of Ted Kwalick.

The problem with Simmons is that the Steelers just signed him to a big long term extension last year. Benching him would make them look bad, but then there seems to be a disconnect between the front office and coaches on the appraisal of O-linemen.

Anonymous said...

"The only way they could bench Simmons would be to move Colon to guard and play Starks at RT, but they don't seem to want to do that for some reason."

Do you think this is a matter of sheer stubborness, kinda like Noll going with Rivera over Marino because Rooney was taking advice from Clayton? Everyone on earth and heaven seems to know Colon is a guard not a tackle and Simmons isn't a starter, yet Zeirlien seems determined to prove otherwise. It's either that, or they are colossally inept at evaluating talent. Zeirlien is the only OL coach to bother with evaluating Hills, many others had him scratched from their board entirely. And the scouts who where at his workout felt he wasn't close. I really don't have a clue what they're looking for in an Olineman. I'm not sure they do either.

Dale Lolley said...

For whatever reason, they like Colon at right tackle, even though his natural spot seems to be guard.
As far as Hills, I think at that point in the draft, they were throwing up a Hail Mary becauase of the run on tackles in the first round that basically sucked up everyone with any kind of high grade.

todd760 said...

Who do the coaches try to fit on the practice squad? McBean, Hills, Humpul, Baker, Rucker and Paxson?

The OL is in shambles currently, coupled with whose contracts expire at the end of the season leave me with a queezy feeling.

Simmons should be benched or cut. His guaranteed money was for only $7.5 million. Go with Colon at guard, Starks at RT and Stapleton could be the backup to Willie. Maybe Essex could swing as the backup left and right tackle.

Dale Lolley said...

They're not going to cut Simmons. It's senseless to talk about it and any kind of cap savings or hit. It's not going to happen.

As for the practice squad, Marvin Allen is a given since they get an exemption for him. I think they'll keep Justin Vincent around at running back.
Hills won't be put on the PS. They don't want to risk putting him out there for somebody else to sign.
Humpal will be a possibility. Paxson will probably go on. I think they may give up on McBean.