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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Some things I've learned

During Friday night's practice, I heard Bill Hillgrove announce over the PA system that there was a vehicle with an Ohio license plate registered to a certain person (he used the name, which I can't remember) that had its lights on.

I thought it was strange that if they knew who the vehicle was registered to, why they just didn't say his name and tell him his lights were on.

Turns out, it was a little inside joke.

The person in question was a scout from the Cleveland Browns and the Steelers wanted to let him know that they knew he was there.

There's nothing shady about scouting a practice, however, under league rules if the team is charging admission for it as the Steelers do every year at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium.

That's why the Redskins coaches were so angry with owner Daniel Snyder a couple of years ago when he charged admission to every Redskins training camp practice. By doing that, he opened all of their practices up to opposing teams.

© A source tells me Chris Kemoeatu will return to practice Monday afternoon. He's just waiting on a special brace for his injured elbow - which apparently happened when he was running and missed a step, falling into a wall.

The starting left guard spot is Kemoeatu's when he returns, even though the team has been happy with how Trai Essex has performed there while Kemoeatu is on the PUP list.

© Another source tells me there is no battle at right tackle. The job is Willie Colon's.

© The center battle won't be decided until the team sees Sean Mahan and Justin Hartwig play in the preseason.


rocket9 said...

Dale, isn't it a sign of how little premier talent the Steelers have along the O-line that a short armed guy like Colon is a starting tackle? He's an average player who gets the most out of his talent and I do admire that. But he's got the body type of a guard and that's where he would be playing if the Steelers could draft O-line.It's not going to be fun to realize around mid-season that the STeelers could have won the division with an adequate O-line. I think this area of the team is a train wreck and every bit as bad as many observers have noted.

Chris Hein said...

Thanks for the insider information. In you opinion is it that Colon earned the position with pads on or was it always assumed from the start of camp he'd have the position? Does this point to a growing disconnect between coaching staff and FO?

Dale Lolley said...

That's a good question, Chris. I don't think that's the case, though.
I don't concern myself with Starks' contract for this season. They didn't feel they could afford to lose him this season, so they locked him up as insurance that Marvel's back would hold up.
The line doesn't look like a strength, but I've had people tell me the two best linemen on the team are Marvel and Colon, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the Mahan/Hartwig follow up from my earlier question. It should be an interesting battle.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I am not so sure this O line is going to be all that great but we will see. I don't want to see Ben running for his life because the O line was not addressed AGAIN.

Anonymous said...


Which "star" players won't play on Friday? And, do you anticipate Mr. Mendenhall seeing extensive playing time on Friday as well? By the way, Hillgrove is the man.

Always appreciative.

Dale Lolley said...

The could hold Roethlisberger out. That wouldn't surprise me. Starters will only play one series anyway.

Anonymous said...


Do you know if the team is keeping the throwback uniform around for a game or two? I haven't heard anything about them.


Chris Hein said...

Thanks for the answer. To follow up has any noise been made about extending Marvel in that case? I assumed they'd wait to make sure his back was healed, but if he's been looking good I'd hope they'd ink him another 4-5 years as a good LT is hard to come by. Especially if Hills is looking like more guard material.

Dale Lolley said...

I haven't heard anything about an extension, but I've been too busy to poke around about it. If I get a chance, I will.
They'll be wearing a third uni for a couple of games this season, but I'm not sure which ones.

Anonymous said...

I would not be surprised if they held Roethlisberger out either to let him heal. Probably better if they did honestly.

Anonymous said...

Things I've learned so far are:

After watching Mahan get bull rushed into Ben countless times, tossed around like a rag doll and resemble a speed bump it's not good news that Hartwig hasn't out-right seized the center position yet.

Kevin Colbert's paying back up, Max Starks 6.9 million dollars to be, a back up, again. According to Larry Zierline, Willie Colon is the starting right tackle for 2008. So much for the competition over paid and underachieving, Starks was supposed to give him. Truth be told, there never was a competition. IMO, the one ingredient Starks lacks to put him into the upper echelon is a nasty streak. Colon has enough for the both of them.

Casey Hampton's excuse for showing up to camp, grossly out of shape, was arrogant and disrespectful to the organization, his teammates and his coaches.

Troy showing up injured after all of the conditioning he did to prevent injuries is ironic.

Chris Kemoeatu, the guy slated to replace all pro, Alan Fancea, starts camp on the PUP list because he injured his biceps after falling down from running and then hitting a wall. Not good, especially for a guy that is not known for being nimble.

adamg said...

Dale, does the spate of groin injuries indicate something amiss with the Steelers' training regimen?

Dale Lolley said...

I don't think so. Anthony Smith was asked that Sunday and really couldn't come up with anything.
I think a couple of those groin injuries were veteran's days off - Farrior and Smith last Wednesday, for example – without him telling the media he was giving those guys a veteran's day off.

Iron City said...

Dale, can you give an update as to who was part of the 1st team offensive line today? I was hoping they would mix it up since today starts week 2. I am hoping to hear... (1) Hartwig gets his turn in place of Mahan (and never gives it back) and (2) Kemo has returned so we can get a look at him as a starter.

adamg said...

Pompeani just said on the news Kemo was back and running with the 1st team.

The Big Snack is still in Coach T's doghouse.