Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wednesday's thoughts

Still no news on Darnell Stapleton, which I guess is good news.

Stapleton was actually down the field at this afternoon's practice tossing the ball back and forth with running back Mewelde Moore, who was also sitting out.

Mike Tomlin, however, still isn't saying what the problem with Stapleton is, other than that it's a knee problem.

© Tomlin is from the Bill Belichick school of talking about injuries. While Bill Cowher didn't want players talking about injuries, he was very transparent about them. If you asked about an injury, you usually got an honest answer.

Tomlin is much more guarded.

© The play of practice was one that most people didn't see - you really had to be watching closely to see it.

In the afternoon session, Lawrence Timmons came from the middle of the field pre-snap to line up over left tackle Max Starks. Quarterback Charlie Batch and the line stopped and pointed him out as a blitzer and Timmons backed off to the middle again before coming at the snap.

As Starks went to get a punch on Timmons, the linebacker deked as if he were going to take Starks on. But when Starks extended his arms, Timmons ducked at a dead run and blew around him. If it would have been a live drill, he would have killed the quarterback.

I probably didn't do the play justice, but it was a thing of beauty - unless you happen to be an offensive line afficiando. If that's the case, it was a Homer Simpson-like Doh! moment.

© With Ben Roethlisberger sitting out today, we got a good look at young quarterback Mike Reilly. All I can say is this: He'd better be very smart because he doesn't look like he has NFL-caliber arm strength.

© I really like what I see of young cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis.

They don't always make the play - though Burnett had a nice interception this afternoon after dropping one in the morning – but they always look like they're in good position on the receiver.


Anonymous said...


You say that Reilly doesn't have an NFL Caliber arm, yet Wexell says he has a very strong arm on twitter? Interesting.

Dale Lolley said...

Gee, I guess we don't always agree on stuff as some people might sugges.

Collin Williams said...

Is Dennis Dixon doing good is he going to get the 2nd string job

Robert said...


I have heard some reports that Hood could be tried at NT, do you think he could play that position? He seems more suited to DE to me.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad to hear Burnett is looking good Dale. how do you think he will fit in on the team? punt returner? gunner on punts?

Anonymous said...

You wrote 4 paragraphs on how you don't have any news of Stapleton's injury.

GaBlackNGold said...

Wow. Always has to be one in the bunch

Captain Cocktail said...

I remember when Duce Staley was tossing the ball on the sidelines in sweat pants

Captain Cocktail said...


No way Dixon gets the backup role ahead of Batch.

kelly said...

I wouldn't say there's 'no way' Dixon gets the back up spot, it's unlikely, but it's not impossible. He could give us a different dimension and add in a few plays on game day if he were the #2. We could put in a few creative packages for him and force defenses to game plan for it.

steelguy said...


Any chance Dixon has been practicing holding for kicks?

Captain Cocktail said...

LOL@steelguy: He would be a good option for a fake field goal or something. There is no doubt he has talent, but hes no starting QB in the NFL.

Kelly: Dixon is a bigger Pat White, but while I love Pat White, hes a situational QB at best.

I'd take Batch over any backup QB in the league

adamg said...

Dale, if Stapleton's injury turns out to be serious, do you see any chance the Steelers would look to sign Kendall Simmons? I can't see them going into the season with Legursky and/or Shipley as the back up center.

Patrick said...

good point adamg. I'm kind of susprised Kendell Simmons wasn't signed by anybody

datruth4life said...


D. Stapleton to have arthroscopic knee surgery in the morning and out indefinitely, via the Post-Gazette. E. Bouchette said normal scope procedures usually have players back in 2 to 4 weeks.

Depending on what they find, there's a possibility Stapleton could be ready for the first game or soon thereafter.

Dale Lolley said...

Burnett missed practice today, so he didn't look too good.

Dixon could certainly beat out Batch as the game-day backup. I still think if there were a long-term injury, Batch would be the guy - at least initially.
But they could keep Dixon as No. 2 on game day to open up some options.