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Friday, May 29, 2009

Random notes

A recent Sports Illustrated poll listed the Rooney family No. 1 among owners in the NFL.

Given the team's history of winning, the way players are treated and other factors, it's hard to argue that.

I thought it was interesting, however, that Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was ranked third from the bottom.

Fans like to go crazy every offseason when the Redskins go on yet another of their spending binge that have become commonplace under Snyder.

But for all the spending, the Redskins have been mediocre since Snyder bought the team in 1999. It also causes Snyder to squeeze every single penny out of fans in Washington, who aren't receiving a lot of bang for their buck.

Heck, SI ranked Cincinnati owner Mike Brown ahead of Snyder. That ought to tell you something.

© An interesting note from OTAs this week: Left tackle Max Starks missed a day of practice earlier this week. His replacement was not Tony Hills, Jason Capizzi or any of the other young guys.

According to Jim Wexell of, Trai Essex replaced Starks at left tackle.

Now that may not be an outright indictment of any of the young guys - Hills in particular - but it does give some insight into where the team thinks those players are at this point.

© It's hard to believe there are just two weeks of OTAs remaining before the Steelers break for a month. After that, it will be off to training camp.

© I caught up with Dennis Dixon this week and he said that although the coaching staff has not approached him about running any wildcat-type plays, he's open to the idea.

Dixon said those type of plays wouldn't be a stretch for him to run because he did many of those things in college.

Dixon is completely healed from the knee injury that ended his senior season at Oregon and I would look for the coaching staff to at least try some wildcat stuff with him at some point.


Viz-Burgh said...

No real surprise there with Essex sliding in for Starks. Essex was the swing tackle on gameday all last season. He's clearly the #3 OT at this point.

I'm really hopeful that Capizzi, Hills, and Foster can step up during camp and really show that they belong with this team, but it's no secret that they aren't there yet.

Dale, any word on Donovan Woods? I heard a rumor that he was carted off the field yesterday with some leg injury. True? False? Any details?

Unknown said...

When Hills does line up in practice what side is he normally on? Are the Steelers looking at him more at left or right tackle? Thanks Dale.

Patrick said...

Jon Jansen was just released. I wish the Steelers could pounce on him, because Starks - Jansen is a lot more attractive than Starks - Colon as our tackles.

I doubt it will happen because of the cap and the desire to extend Miller and others.

But I can wish.

Dale Lolley said...

Woods has a sprained ankle. No big deal.

Hills has been on the left side. It would have been a good opportunity to get him some extra reps, but I guess they decided that it would be better to get Essex some reps there instead.

Jon Jansen is more attractive than Starks? You've got to be kidding.
You're talking about a 33-year-old tackle who hasn't started a full season since 2005 and has missed all but one game in two seasons since 2004.
Let's be a little realistic.

Patrick said...

no no more attractive than Colon

Patrick said...

i also must not follow the redskins, because i didn't know he has had so many injuries. I thought he was more consistent.

So I semi retract my statement. I think if he came on the cheap, he could be a quality back up/provide competition. I mean we just talked about how Essex is our top backup. The line depth is weak, at best.

datruth4life said...


How about entertaining us with your vast knowledge and intelligence and give us your picks by position for the 53-man roster and practice squad?

I bet you'll end up having 40 posts for that one. Anyway, it's a slow time and all of us are bored. Thanks.

Dale Lolley said...

Maybe I'll get to that over the weekend truth. To be honest, right now it would be a guess, though.
There are always some camp surprises.

datruth4life said...

Dale, you know that would spark all types of response and maybe some other thread topics we haven't thought about.
You really do a great job here and we appreciate it. Thanks.

Steeler fan from the 70s said...

While it would be nice from this fan's perspective to see them giving Hills a shot at working with the 1rst team, I don't think it really means anything.

Coaches often make young unproven players try to earn their spot on the depth chart. At this point, Essex should be next in line. He's been on the roster longer and actually has game experience. Hills will get his shot during camp and preseason.

I'm sure we'll all get to see if Hills has made any progress once preseason games come around.

schnifin said...

Hey Dale,

What is Tomlin's contract situation? Any chance they lock him up to a longer term deal? He's certainly earned it.

Anonymous said...

Good question. I think he signed a four year deal. And IIRC, they always renegotiated an new contract extension with Cowher when he had two years left on his contract. So this should be Tomlin's year.

Patrick said...

I don't know what Tomlin's thoughts are, but he is going to have some leverage too. He will def be paid in the top half, possibly top 10 of coaches when he does get a new deal. If it happens next offseason, he could REALLY cash in, if the Steelers duplicate their success.

But if ever goes for 2 from the 12 again (unless its completely necessary) I might lose my mind.

Sorry, 2 years later, I still hate that call.

Todd said...

Lolley, while I agree that Jansen isn't the answer, you're exaggerating his injury history a bit. He was out for a full season in 2004, and he was out for the year in 2007. Aside from those two seasons, he hasnt missed more than 2 games in a single season. He played with two broken hands one year. I don't think he's a legit option, but aside from two season ending injuries, he has played almost every other game in his 10 year career. He may be old, but hes not Marvel Smith type injury prone.

Aside from that...I think what we've seen with the re-signing of Kemo, the tagging of Starks and the drafting of Urbik is a return to a hardnosed steeler running game. Have you noticed any difference in the mentality of the RBs now that we have Summers and Mendenhall, both of which are bigger than Carey Davis?

Also, have you seen any flashes of ability from David Johnson to give you an idea that we may go the route of a larger FB to block for our new larger RBs?


Dale Lolley said...

Fact is, Jansen hsan't played a full season in five years. That's why they got rid of Marvel Smith. I don't care what his injury history was. I only know what it is now.

Yes, I see them attempting to get more hard-nosed in the running game. They realize they have to be able to get a yard when they need one. They haven't been able to do that well the past two years.

Kyle said...

i've been reading that frank summers went to UNLV instead of southern cal because cal wanted him to play fullback. i suppose he could just prefer the position and wanted better rushing stats coming out of college but could fans be blinded by the nickname and their love of short yardage guys in thinking that he'll be the fullback?

Anonymous said...

I think tackle is the biggest issue for the steelers. We cannot run because we cannot block.

My idea is to move Colon to his natural guard position and get some free agency help at the position.

Marc Colombo from the Cryboys, was a free agent. I do not know if he fixed the contractual problems but seems a solid player coming from a good running ofense (bears and cryboys). Is this possible?

Anonymous said...

offensive line is a real weakness for this team. hope someone anyone steps up in camp and makes a big impact.

if Hills was a wasted pick . . . that is a big problem