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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Steelers-Bills post-game thoughts

Either the Steelers are really good or the Bills are really bad. It's probably a little bit of both.

OK. We know the Steelers are really good, but I really thought Buffalo would be better than it showed Saturday night at Heinz Field.

Trent Edwards looked a lot like Bruce Gradkowski in this one.

© Mike Tomlin said the plan going into the game was to send whichever unit didn't open the first half out for the second half.

As luck would have it, the offense began the game, so the defense was on the field for the first series of the second half.

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons sprained his ankle on the opening play.

© I've changed my opinion somewhat of Limas Sweed. He can be a viable starter for this team if Santonio Holmes or Hines Ward is injured.

He still doesn't block downfield real well for a guy his size, but perhaps that will come.

© I learned something I did not know Saturday night. Sweed has size 15 1/2 feet. That's not a misprint, 15 1/2.

Make tapping those toes on the sidelines troublesome.

© Stefan Logan, welcome to the team.

© As I detailed in a column in Saturday's newspaper, that does cause some problems for a team that is this deep with veterans that also wants to keep a large portion of its rookie class around as well.

© Rashard Mendenhall's fumble was created as much by Chris Kemoeatu getting blown up at the line of scrimmage as it was Mendenhall.

You'd still like to see Mendenhall wrap the ball up more tightly, though.

That said, you can see what his skills as a receiver do for this offense. He's also running pretty hard as well.

© Of the healthy players, the only ones who did not play were safety Derrick Richardson and linebackers Andy Schantz and Tom Korte.

The team has to make four cuts by the weekend. That would be a good place to start looking.

© Did you see Mike Wallace's cut to make the first guy miss on his end around? Not only is this guy fast, he's got a nice feel when he's running with the ball as well.

He turned a play that should have been for no-gain into a six-yard gain.

It was nullified by offsetting penalties, but it did show some of his playmaking ability.


Anonymous said...

It looks to me like Isaac Redman will make the Practice Squad if he clears waivers and Logan is the lock for kickoff/punt returns. Aside from his speed, the kid makes good decisions and has terrific hands.

Dale Lolley said...

I would agree with both of those statements.

BoJangles said...

I can't wait to see this game tomorrow on NFL Network. From what I've heard both units were impressive. Even though its pre season i'm happy to see the team in mid season form. Hopefully we get a fair shake at repeating this time around as I feel we didn't after our last ring. I'm also encouraged by all the reports of Logan's progress. In TWO seasons it could be possible for both phases of our special teams units to improve drastically. Last years coverage on both punts and kickoffs were outstanding last season. If we can add some returning to the

Henry said...

Dale, I wasn't able to catch the game tonight.

Was Ben's fumble his fault or lack of protection?

Did Tank get any opportunities in Iso blocking?

And do you legitimately think David Johnson has the inside route to unseat Sean McHugh?

thanks for everything you do man.

adamg said...

Thought Logan did plenty enough to earn a roster spot. I don't think I've ever seen a Steeler returner like that - not even Woodson.

The Bills ARE a bad team and this was their 4th pre-season game. It's hard to assess the Steelers because of that. I don't think Buf blitzed at all, either. I did think their DBs covered pretty well and the catches Ward and Sweed made were top notch.

None of Hills, Parquet or Capizzi
looked like 53-man material so I could see Foster and Shipley making the cut with Foster being moved back out to T as a back up there. During a game, Essex could move to T if there was a need and Stapleton or Legursky could step in at G.

Redman didn't show anything that would make other teams eager to pick him up on waivers. He's a nice pounding back with no real breakaway ability.

Captain Cocktail said...

@Ben the fumble was preseason timing between the center and Ben.

@ale you need to Twitter. I thought that last night during the game.

I was impressed with how Sweed was catching everything thrown his way.

Most of the mistakes I seen last night were preseason stuff, especially the pentalities.

Anonymous said...

ok - so what do size 15.5 shoes do for us?

I hear it's exciting for the women folk but I'm not sure what it does for a player in a game.


Robert said...

No Hills or Capizzi on the roster huh? So who are the backup tackles supposed to be? And what is Shipley's purpose when Stapleton is the backup guard/center? Hills and Capizzi will probably both make the roster, one of them will definately make it.

Anonymous said...

I thought Redman looked reallly good as a between the tackles type runner. He had some really good runs where the line didn't do a good job blocking. Overall tough runner to bring down, the 3 yard and a cloud of dust type. The problem with Mendenhall is he looks great running through big holes but he is like FWP, he can't pick up the tough 3 yards when the defense is loaded to stop the run. His touchdown was out of the spread, similar to the offense he played in at IL. I still don't think he is a between the tackles type runner that would complement FWP. Keep Redman, put the Tank o PS, D Johnson can play FB.

Collin Williams said...

I noticed that when ever Redman ran the ball that none of his teammates ever helped him up. What's wrong with that Dale

adamg said...

Robert, Ramone Foster was a tackle at Tennessee. He's been playing at G, presumably so the coaches can see how he handles the position. Essex is also a T by trade with the ability to play G. Stapleton, Legursky and Shipley can all play G and C. Neither Hills nor Capizzi can play G. Parquet has played G. The problem is none of these guys were considered good enough to play last year even though the OL was a mess.

Hartwig is in the final year of his 2 year contract and is unlikely to be re-signed. That means the Steelers will need one of Stapleton, Legursky or Shipley to step into that spot next year.
Shipley is also the back up LS.

I see the OL as Starks, Kemo, Hartwing, Essex/Stapleton, Colon,
Legursky, Foster, Shipley and 1 of Hills/Capizzi/Parquet if they keep 10 OL. Of the first 9 you have 4 capable at T, 6 capable at G and 4 capable at C. That's the kind of multi-position flexibility Tomlin seems to like.

HACK said...

Capizzi was playing both T and G this year in camp.

I see the oline as
Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Essex, Colon
Hills, Foster, Legursky, Urbik, Capizzi

with Urbik and Hills,and maybe Foster inactive on gameday...Capizzi is backup T/G Legursky C/G

Anonymous said...

no way they leave off Stapleton...

Stapleton, Urbik, and Foster are locks imo, with Hills/Capizzi being 9, and Legursky being 10 if they keep that many. I don't think both Capizzi and Hills make the squad. Tomlin might put Stapleton on the Injured Unable to Perform list to start the season, where then I could see both Capizzi and Hills making squad to give him more time to evaluate them.

Dave said...

Dale, With Logan solidifying his position on the Steelers as a return man, I can't understand why they wouldn't try him out at RB or WR in these preseason games. Justin Vincent seems to get a quarter of work every game and there's no way he'll even be on the practice squad. I know Logan's 5'6", but lets get him the ball in space on a screen play and see what he can do. Saving it for the regular season maybe?

Patrick said...

Some reporters are unbeliavable:

Reporter to Casey Hampton: Can you remember when you were a young bubble guy and feel what some of these players are going through?

Casey: I never was a bubble guy, so I don’t remember that.

I really hope that wasn't you Dale, with that question.

datruth4life said...

Hack, I think you have it pretty much nailed down if they keep 10 and send D. Stapleton to the PUP list like I think that they will.

I do believe Capizzi will be the swing LT/RT and that D. Legursky will be the swing G/C on gameday.

If they only keep 9 OL, then I cut T. Hills and try to put him on the practice squad. I don't think he's ready to help you win games yet; too much finesse to his game and he can't play RT or G.

Dale, what do you think about how the OL will shake out?

Anonymous said...

Can't put a player on the reserve PUP unless he began the preseason on the active PUP. Can't be done with Stapelton.

HACK said...

There are two PUP lists...the ACTIVE PUP in which the player has to be put on it before training camp...then there is the Reserve PUP....the Reserve PUP are not eligible to play for 6 weeks....The Reserve PUP goes into effect before the season starts...the Active pup is the before training camp PUP....and all it means is a player on the active PUP can be activated at anytime...where RESERVE PUP must wait at least 6 weeks

Anonymous said...

I'm aware of the two PUP lists. I already named them. And I'm also aware of the distinctions between the two. And I also know that to make it to the Reserve PUP you have to start out on the Active PUP, which you have to be placed on before training camp. Stapleton wasn't, and therefore cannot be put on the Reserve PUP.

Robert said...

Hills seems to have trouble with the bull rush. He can handle speed guys ok but if someone runs right at him he just gets blown back.

datruth4life said...


Can you clear up if D. Stapleton & S. McHugh would be eligible to begin the season on the reserve PUP list (missing the first 6 games of the season)? Thanks.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't think they would be eligible since they were injured in camp. The only option would be to put them down for the year. I think that will happen with McHugh.

Ben's fumble was a timing issue. The line has blocked well. Only given up three sacks this preseason.

Essex, in my opinion, has been outstanding at guard.

Tank was inactive again. He needs to get on the field.

As for Shipley, I have to continue to say that I just don't see him making this roster.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Essex looked good lsat game

WTF was up with Kemo whiffing on those couple blocks? that idiot better get his act together

Tim said...

In my opinion, Essex has outplayed every lineman on the Steelers' roster so far this preseason. Willie Colon also looks better than he did last year. But the real question is:


Why has Max Starks been so terrible? He can't already be getting lazy because of his contract, can he? Is this just normal rust? He honestly looks drunk at times.

Anonymous said...

Starks M.O. has been being "lazy" his whole career. Read any profile from when he was coming out of college and they will mention his laziness.

Kemo is a combination of lazy and dumb

Anonymous said...

There is no "reserve PUP". There IS a waived/injured category whereby any team can pick the player up a week after his injury-span prognosis.
HACK should be spelled BUTCHER.

HACK said...

There is an ACTIVE PUP and a RESERVE PUP.

ACTIVE PUP(PRESEASON) is for a player injured for any reason before the start of the preseason. A player on the ACTIVE PUP can be removed from that list and begin to practice at anytime.

the RESERVE PUP(DURING THE SEASON) is for players that were on the ACTIVE PUP that you want to keep, but they are still are not ready to practice... once the season starts. Gives you 6 weeks before that player counts against the roster limit of 53.

A WAIVED/INJURED player just means the player you are cutting is injured....a player can not go on IR until he passes through the waiver wire. If no other team puts a claim in..then you can put him on IR

Anonymous said...

Do we have to keep any of the back up OL? They all stink. None of them are among the top 53 players. I guess we have to hope that none of the starters get hurt.

They also need a new Ol coach. Dermontti Dawson has shown an interest in getting back into the game. Hire him as an assistant OL coach. Give him what ever he wants.

Vaflyer said...

Dawson as an assistant OL coach is an interesting option. He has mentioned the idea of getting into scouting. I would hire him as a scout, and let him come to work on specific skills with guys at practice when he is in town...

Anonymous said...

Looks like Stapleton is going to IR. According to Wexell on Twitter Stapleton just told reporters that himself. Welcome to the club Doug Legursky.

Skinley said...

It solidifies Legursky's spot but also gives Shipley and Capizzi a legit shot at the 53 man.

Vaflyer said...

If the Stapleton report is true, and I have no reason to doubt Wexell, it is the best thing as far as I'm concerned. This will allow us to take in season looks at Shipley, Legursky, Essex, and Foster. If you assume Hartwig goes, that leaves Stapleton just replacing him on the roster.

Anonymous said...

Shipley is not making the 53-man roster

he is destined for the practice squad

Anonymous said...

The Steelers can't seriously consider this oline a finished product...what a mess. How many years is it going to take them to address this with someone drafted hire than the 3rd round?