Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tomlin Tuesday

Mike Tomlin said today that Willie Parker, Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Rashard Mendenhall and Kendall Simmons are out for Sunday's game at Jacksonville.

There's a chance Carey Davis could play, but I think it's unlikely after seeing him in a boot and on crutches Monday night.

Tomlin also said Trai Essex and Darnell Stapleton will compete for the starting job in place of Simmons.

As expected, Najeh Davenport will likely sign here today. And Gary Russell will be activated off the practice squad.

They'll team with Mewelde Moore and Sean McHugh to fill the running back positions against Jacksonvillle.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Running back by committee? I would like to see some of Gary Russell, but his demotion to the practice squad probably tells me that Moore starts, Najeh gets some short yardage and Russel chases kicks and punts.

kelly said...

I would love to see Russell get some real time. I have a feeling he could be solid. Any idea on who will start and get the majority of the touches? They may not want to over work Moore as he is our only real return guy, next to a few punt return opportunities Holmes gets.

Any chance Colon could move to guard and Starks takes RT? I think this would actually make our line stronger.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

With Essex & Stapleton competing to fill the open spot at RG, what does that say for Max Starks not being able to get in the starting lineup? I thought Tomlin might move over Willie Colon to fill the spot and let the $7.9M tackle get some burn.

If I am Starks, I don't think I'd be too happy about this. I'd be looking for the first opportunity out of here after the season. As far as the RB position, I liked the way McHugh blocked coming out of the backfield. A couple of hits reminded me of Dan Kreider in his prime.

The last question is how come the team has to go to the no huddle spread offense for Ben to get the ball out of his hands quicker? Can't he do that in the team's regular offense as well? I was like everyone else last night, yelling for Ben to get the ball out of hands and just throw it away if something isn't there. That just doesn't seem to be in his DNA right now.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I don't know datruth about starks, I'd have a hard time complaining if I was getting paid to just sit on my ass...

kelly said...

Well, I think that's always been a bit of an issue with Starks... He doesn't really care and isn't a heavily motivated guy. If he were, he wouldn't be on the bench. But he's gotten paid because of his physical attributes and gotten by with minimal effort... And some mismanagement by the front office of course.

mike tomlin's kids said...

Najeh!

Dale Lolley said...

They'll probably go back to Najeh returning kicks.
I don't see Colon moving to guard unless Essex and Stapleton both flop.
Starks would have been looking for the first opportunity to get out of here regardless of how this played out. They took his starting job from him basically without giving him a shot at it.
I think in the no-huddle, Ben is able to get more comfortable and the defense is a little more back on its heels.
And Starks is far from a lazy guy. Don't know where you're getting that info from.

kelly said...

Dale,

I'm sure I read/heard somewhere that Starks wasn't a high motor guy and wasn't competing up to his potential. Are you saying he works hard in the off season and in camp? That's good to hear, but it makes me wonder why he can't get on the field.

Did Colon get much work at RG in camp? I really think our line would be better with him at guard and Starks at RT.

Dale Lolley said...

Colon may have taken a few snaps at guard in the OTAs – honestly, I don't remember – but not in camp.
Starks came in this year in great shape.
I think some people may have mistaken him coming in heavy the previous couple of years as him being lazy and not a hard worker. He had knee surgery in both of those offseasons and really couldn't work out.

kelly said...

What I can't figure out is why Starks isn't playing? I know he's had his problems at RT, but Colon has had several as well and Starks has more of the physical attributes you'd like to see in a tackle. What is it that the coaches like better about Colon? Is there any chance Starks didn't compete overly hard to win the spot? Maybe he didn't want to risk injury this season knowing he has a big contract coming elsewhere next year... So he figured he'd ride the pine with his guaranteed $6.9 mil. and protect himself? I know he's not a dumb guy.

Dale Lolley said...

He wasn't really given a chance to win the job, much like last year.
Starks lined up mostly at LT in training camp.

kelly said...

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here, but why wasn't Starks given a chance at RT? I know the front office and coaching staff may have a difference of opinion on Starks, but it seems a little ridiculous not to give a guy you're paying nearly $7 million a real opportunity to start. I just don't get it.

Dale Lolley said...

He wasn't given a chance at all this year. Last year he got a nominal chance. But in both camps, he spent the majority of his time working at LT.

ch3 said...

Do you think Starks is our future LT? That is the only reason I can think of as to why they don't play him at RT. He won't get too much exposure and it would be cheaper to sign him.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Sean McHugh????!!!! No.

And: Mewelede Moore doesn't block. Period. I don't know why the coaching staff has a problem with Max Starks -- during the Eagles game they should have put him in at running back, for all the success Moore was having at trying to block.

At this point, let Gary Russell start and get the majority of the playing time.

SC Steeler said...

Dale, how do you see the RB situation playing out Sunday night?

Mewelde as starter and still playing 3rd downs? Najeh or Russell or Davis as primary back-up? Will either Najeh or Russell be inactive?

Anonymous said...

Kelly,

Dale didn't exactly answer your question, but what I heard (I believe from Jim Wexell on the radio) is that Tomlin/Arians/Zierlein like their lineman to be "brawlers" like Colon, and think Starks is too "soft".

Dale Lolley said...

Starks will be gone after this season. For whatever reason, they don't like him. Whether they think it's because he's too soft or whatever, that would be a hypothesis. I've said the same thing in the past.

As for the running back situation, I see Moore as the starter and third-down back, with Russell being used on short-yardage.

VCTMbrian said...

Was anyone else embarrassed by the play of Townsend? Unless he pulls a 180, i see some trouble in the near future. One thing this makes me afraid of is the price tag that B-Mac is going to be able to ask for come the offseason, and i really dont think we will be able to afford him. B-Mac has played very well and is going to want a STARTER's salary, i don't think this will be possible. Maybe we franchise tag him, but i wouldnt be surprised if he was gone. This means instead of drafting O and D-line this coming year, we will haveto pursue a corner back too.

kelly said...

I had hoped the Steelers would bend their rule about not negotiating contracts once the season starts, but so far it's not happening. B-Mac will likely not be around next year, and that's too bad, because he's been solid. We're also going to have troubles on the O-line as well, with Smith, Starks, Kemo and Essex all in their last year. Not sure what the front office is planning.

VCTMbrian said...

Another thing... Anyone else find it funny that the offense started rolling once Arians stopped play calling?

Anonymous said...

If we franchise tag mcfadden we'll have to pay him big-time starter's salary anyhow. Lets hope he can convince his agent to be reasonable and we get a long-term deal done, but I doubt it.

It's too bad too, Ike and him as CBs for a few years would be a nice stretch.

Dale Lolley said...

I think they'll make McFadden a priority. Then, they can concentrate on the offensive line in the draft. This is a very good offensive line draft.

I don't see what your problem with the play of Townsend was.

kelly said...

Now it looks like Eason is out for Sunday. The D-line is VERY thin. Who are they going to activate? I read they signed Reffert to the PS, does Paxson get to dress?? They have to add someone... Right??

Dale Lolley said...

Paxson would be the guy.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see what your problem with the play of Townsend was."

Dale,
I love what you write most the time.. but please. Did you see Townsand on Monday night! OMG it was horrible.

Anonymous said...

Townsend had a pathetic attempt at a tackle on Mason at around the 20, which Mason easily slipped out of and ran to the 3, setting up the game-tying TD.

Dale Lolley said...

Sorry guys, but at that point I was writing two stories. That's the way it is with night games. When it became apparent Baltimore was going to score, I began re-writing my game story for the third time.

Townsend also had a big pass breakup over the middle early in the game.