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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Madison is back

The Steelers today signed cornerback/special teams ace Anthony Madison, who was waived Tuesday by the Colts.

To make room for Madison on the active roster, they released Corey Ivy. Ivy had been signed last week to help bolster the special teams unit.

Madison, of course, led the Steelers in special teams tackles with 25 in 2008 but was released in training camp.

© Guard Chris Kemoeatu went through a full practice today, as did quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Troy Polamalu is still out.

© From the Associated Press today:

"NFL teams now have new, stricter instructions for when players should be allowed to return to games or practices after head injuries, guidelines that go into effect this week.
In the latest step by the league to address a hot-button issue, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs Wednesday saying a player who gets a concussion should not return to action on the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms.
Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness, and persistent headaches.
The old standard, established in 2007, said a player should not be allowed to return to the same game if he lost consciousness.
Wednesday’s memo also says players “are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”
Nearly one-fifth of 160 NFL players surveyed by The Associated Press from Nov. 2-15 replied that they have hidden or played down the effects of a concussion."


Anonymous said...

Good news Dale. Not that Foster wasn't holding his own but his pulling wasn't the greatest.

Steelers Depot said...

Don't forget, they released RB Isaac Redman From Practice Squad & Re-Signed RB Justin Vincent & DT Steve McLendon,. That ought to spark discussion?

Dale, any info on why Vincent over Redman? did he miss a meeting, over sleep?

adamg said...

The Steeler management team made a lot of roster decisions this year that favored keeping rookies and draft choices over more established STers. Now they are walking back those decisions by re-signing guys like Cary Davis and Anthony Madison.

Dale Lolley said...

Fans often mistake the practice squad as somewhere to hide a player who's not quite ready to contribute, but has potential.

While that does happen on occasion, the practice squad is exactly that, a place to put players who better help you practice.
They feel that Vincent gives them a better look in practice. Doesn't mean Redman won't be back. In fact, he may get another look in training camp next season. I haven't heard anything about him - disparaging or otherwise - since the season began.

Steelers Depot said...

Dale, I understand the "why" behind the practice squad, and know it gets shaken up quite a bit throughout the season based on what they want body wise for practice and also bodies for injury depth at practice. Such is the case with Jonathan Palmer & Steve McLendon, but you must admit that it is a bit peculiar the swap of Vincent & Redman. Do you not agree? Also I am not one of those Redzone Redman Warriors, but do find this move a bit weird. Not that it matters that much.

The Apple said...


Did Troy have complications with his knee recovery or is the team simply holding him out longer than they normally would because of the bad passing attacks over this stretch?

Dale Lolley said...

I think with Troy's knee that they want him as close to 100 percent as possible. He's been so disruptive when he's played that they want that Polamalu for the playoffs. When Troy is playing like that, they can beat anyone.

Steelers Depot said...

I just remembered that MeMo had swelling in his ankle after the Ravens game. Totally forgot that. Vincent is a much better pass catcher, so he is likely getting some of the reps MeMo would get. All makes sense now. Thanks.

marc said...

there's something i just don't understand.

often times you hear good special team's players say it's all about attitude and just flying down the field to destroy a blocker or the ball carrier.

if that's the case, how in the world can these young guys not embrace special teams as their ticket to the nfl? how can they be that bad?

Jacob said...

Having Polamalu healthy for the playoffs does them no good if he's health-ily (I made that word up) watching the playoffs from his couch. Based on the recent results, the Steelers are no longer a shoe-in for the playoffs...

Anonymous said...

Marc, remember a lot of the draftees were star players at their schools.
While a few might have returned kicks, I bet not many were gunners, blockers or tacklers on special teams. Willingness is certainly a big part of ST play, but having some prior experience and knowing how to play on them and what one is doing helps, too.

gjjbmoore said...

Maybe the NFL should look into getting better helmets? Something needs to done to protect the players heads. With today's technology, you would thing something could be done. Maybe, air bags if the impact is that severe? Sounds crazy, but something needs to be done.

Scotty said...

Airbags. Decent Idea. But the mental picture of this during the game made me crack up!

Raiders D stinks, forget the pass, keep running like last week.

other_patrick said...

There used to be a guy on the chiefs that had padding inside and outside the hard shell of his helmet to help with some neck injury.

Miffed about Redman.

marc said...

the idea of using better helmets has always been a strange issue.

i played baseball in college and sometimes you would see a batter with a larger helmet because he had some concussion problems in the past and i always wondered, "why don't we all use that helmet?"

i'm sure cost is an issue - it is a business. but also, i wonder how it would affect the players willingness to lead with their head if they knew it was almost impossible to get a concussion with a better helmet. would it ultimately result in more injuries? would there be even more violent blow-them-up type hits?

Anonymous said...

I'm all in with the bigger helmets. Once you get used to looking at them, they become quite attractive.


Patrick said...

Didn't Steve Tasker wear one of the extra big helmets for the Bills?

Duane said...

OK dudes, don't want to say I told you so, but check out my post from Sept. 2:

"I disagree that Burnett can replace Madison's ST play. He is slower than Madison and will be a step slower getting there and not make the play sometimes. I think it is a mistake to let Madison go. Teams will start to break occasional returns against us without his disruptive influence as a gunner. That could kill us in a big game."

Well, the Steelers have just gotten EXTREMELY lucky. They got Madison back. The man has got to be hurting right now, bouncing between different teams while coping with the passing of his father in training camp. But if he can still bring his usual game on ST, just watch what happens to our coverage units.
Our gunners (usually Burnett and Mundy) have not been getting to the returner quickly enough, allowing the returner to get a head of steam. That is going to change. If he doesn't get in there for the quick tackle, Madison will often force the returner to spend extra time avoiding him, and allow the rest of our unit to close in on him. I think the likelihood of a big return against us has just gone way down.

This really helps level the playing field again for our offense and defense to not have to play from a hole, and if they can make the playoffs and get Troy and Ben back and healthy, look out. I see another deep run!

keevin said...

Duane - i stopped reading after you said Burnett is slower than Madison. Madison is the better special teams player but he is not faster than Burnett

Hopefully Burnett or Keenan Lewis can replace Willie Gay next year because Gay sucks and is being targeted and beaten every week

marc said...

i don't want to underestimate the importance of getting madison back. he might be the key to the ST's problems.

however, i don't see a deep run with this group this year. 11 games into the season and patterns emerge. turnovers, lack of focus, poor game management, soft defense at clutch times, questionable play calling, key injuries. these aren't the ingredients of a super bowl team.

adamg said...

Over at one of the hockey blogs, there was a mention of a new helmet that will be tested in the AHL next year and also the possibility of shoulder pads that are less rigid.

I do believe the hardness of the helmet and shoulder pads are a big part of the problem. It probably wouldn't hurt if more players wore the kind of collars Lambert used to wear to give more support to the back of the neck/head.

One other interesting thing. I was watching a show - can't recall what cable channel - about guys who can break the hardest objects with their bare heads. Anyway, their heads were wired up with electrodes to measure the amount
of shock their brain received to figure out why they never knocked themselves out. It turned out they showed virtually no movement of the brain inside their skulls.

Duane said...

keevin - i agree, without a doubt, madison is the better special teams player, but madison is in fact also faster than burnett. burnett has below average speed for a corner. madison was faster than burnett is coming out of college and his speed is one of his assets on ST, along with his ability to elude the blocker and make a play on the returner. i really think he makes a huge difference on our coverage units.

marc - in my opinion, along with ST, the defense's inability to close out games, which you mentioned, has been the biggest problem. if troy can bear a close resemblance to his normal self when he returns, the defense will be closing out games again. with his superb anticipation and elite speed, troy tracks down most of the breakaway runs and breaks up many of the deep passes our defense has been giving up before they happen.

marc said...

i don't question the impact of troy. i've said before, what has happened this season shows he is the team's mvp in my opinion.

but can his presence overcome all the other problems when we face a playoff caliber team? i just don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it, Nascar modified head restraints in their cars after Dale Earnhart was killed. SO it's pretty important to protect the head. The air bags going off during a game would be a hoot! MAybe even bring a new dimension to the game?

The hardness of the NFL helmets has to cause other severe bodily injuries too. That's a good idea to soften the exterior surface of the helmets. My son has a soft rubbery protective case around his Nintendo DS hand held gaming system. It protects it in case he drops it. Which he has a bunch of times.

Maybe Dale L. should forward our brillant comments to the NFL Commissioner??

I like Redzone Redman too! He could do a lot for the Steelers. More than fast, (slow-to-heal) Willy Parker.

It's gjjbmoore, the Google identity sign-in always messes up for me.

Patrick said...

With a gun to my head, I would say this team makes the playoffs and upsets someone in rd 1. I don't see it going much further than that, like in 2005, though.

Its a few major things (that we've all discussed a 100 times over) that need serious improvement to put them over the top in these close games. Every lose this year has been frustratingly close and winnable. Winning out the regular season is not that far fetched.

Anonymous said...

i don't see play calling or turnovers as glaring issues right now. the offense wasn't lighting up the scoreboard last year either. and the defense has been forcing fumbles lately. add that to troy's eventual return to the secondary, and I think the turnovers will start to even out.
every loss has been down to the wire. i think troy's impact would have helped the defense bail the offense out in some of these games, as it did last year. troy would have tracked down ray rice before he broke that run in OT.

marc said...

sorry, but turnovers are a huge issue.

we have 20 turnovers, 11th most in the league. that is the second most of any team with a winning record behind arizona with 21.

we have the worst give/take ratio of -4 of any winning team in the league and 9th worst in the whole league.

only 7 teams have more fumbles than we do.

we have a turnover in every game played this year!!

the combined record of the 4 teams with fewest turnovers is 32-12 for a .727 winning percentage.

it's pretty simple, you want to win, hold on to the ball.

rocket9 said...

Agreed on the turnovers. WE seem to penalty prone this year and alwmost always at crucial 3rd down situations. A hold or false start...disheartening when the team needs to get it going.

I like Tomlin and Co. but that is on them. They take too many undisciplined penalties and havent been ready to play at key junctures of the season. The last Bengals game was unforgivable in terms of team being prepared.

We have been waiting through 11 games to see this team "come together" Hasn't happened and I am skeptical it ever will. They don't seem to have the juice this year.

Patrick said...

This is Patrick. Mom, get off the board!

Duane said...

you're right. turnover differential is very important. but i think it is premature to write this team off to an early playoff exit. with troy in there, this defense is unlike any the steelers have had since the 70's. they practically win some games on their own. they erase turnovers and get the ball back to the offense. they have playmakers like polamalu, harrison, woodley, timmons, farrior, that come up with game-changing plays with the game on the line, and a defensive coordinator who masterfully creates situations in which these players can excel. they have had some injuries lately and given up some plays, but if they are healthy, the steelers make a run deep into january. no other defense right now can compare with the steelers when healthy.

Anonymous said...

I still think the Steelers have a decent shot.

Problem is the competition seems rougher this year. Last year, Titans where the team but they were fading down the stretch (Collins was a lot of that), SD had issues, defense was weak and no running game, and Ratbirds had an amazing D but no O and a rookie QB. And then the NFC gave up the Cardinals? I mean they were playing good footbal but they're still the Cards.

This year, can we play with Indy? (can anyone), SD is looking much better than last year, and the Pats are back. And if you get thru that? who wants to play Drew Brees right now - he could beat China.

As always, it comes down to who's hot and injuries.

Farmer Fran

Duane said...

There's still five games left to be played. Let's see where everyone stands at the end of the season.

Dale Lolley said...

I won't count this team out. I think they'll win their last five.
Indy was pretty good in 2005 as well. The Steelers beat them.
I'm not saying that will happen again, but I won't count this team out. The last five are all very winnable.

Anonymous said...

Patrick said...
Didn't Steve Tasker wear one of the extra big helmets for the Bills?

No, honey, that was Mark Kelso. Now go get some rest.


Patrick said...

Either way, that helmet made him look like a big sexy lollipop!


other_patrick said...

You can see a picture of the Special helmet here.

Interview with the equipment guy who made it.

Patrick said...

can we get Jeff Reed to wear 1 of those special helmets, so that he can tackle people?

then maybe he can take over for Willie Gay at corner who sucks

just some insight from me, Patrick

Anonymous said...

Hey Dale can we get this guy above off of here?