Monday, August 16, 2010

Pouncey runs some first team

Rookie Maurkice Pouncey split time with the first unit at center Monday following a strong preseason showing against the Detroit Lions.

Pouncey played well enough that he could push Justin Hartwig to the bench.

Pouncey saw time at both center and right guard against the Lions, but Trai Essex has played well enough at right guard to hold down that spot.

The Steelers would also like to continue to give new right tackle Flozell Adams more of an opportunity to work next to Essex rather than swapping different players in there with Adams. Adams is shifting from left to right tackle.

28 comments:

adamg said...

Pouncey really played way above anyone's expectations. He was all over the field and making at least two blocks on several plays. If I'm Colbert, I'm scheming on how to draft Pouncey's twin brother, Michael, right now.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Hartwig should Tomlin decide Pouncey will be the starter. Hartwig wanted out of TN because he was being asked to move to G while they broke in a rookie center. I could see Hartwig being traded or cut.

I tried to watch the OL play on TV and I noticed Essex did a pretty good job against Suh. He did get double team help at times, but also handled Suh 1 on 1.

I'm really not that worried about the OL.

Anonymous said...

Clock is ticking on Hartwig.

I'm worried about Flozell. We already know what we have in Starks, Kemo, and Essex.

adamg said...

I was absolutely floored during the game to hear Tunch and Wolf say that Kemo is a bit lacking in football instinct/ smarts when it comes to OL play. They've probably known that for awhile, but it was a big surprise to hear them say it over the air. That said, one of the analysts (Miller or Williamson) said on the radio today that when Pouncey played C with the first team in OL/DL drills, all the DL stunts and twists were picked up perfectly presumably meaning Pouncey was able to get the correct blocking info to the Gs.

keevin said...

Kemo is the one I worry about the most. He is as dumb as a bag of rocks and isn't getting any better

Vaflyer said...

Dale, what are your thoughts about Hartwig staying with the team if he isn't the starting center? That didn't go over with him very well the last time that happened. What do you think his reaction will be this time?

Also, anyone else earn themselves 1st team reps or 3rd team guys able to move to the 2nd team?

Dale Lolley said...

They like Legursky a lot and would probably make him the swing guy on game days inside. They also like Foster's upside as well and would use him one game days as well. So there's two inside guys they'd keep over him.

Anonymous said...

Tunch and Wolf are employees of the Steelers, so it's definitely notable when they say something negative about one of the players (especially Wolfley).

All things being equal, I'd rather have a weak lineman (e.g. Essex) than a stupid one (e.g. Kemoeatu).

datruth4life said...

Dale, who are the 9 OL that you see making the team right now? How much do you think Hills helped himself during the last game? He looked pretty good from some of the highlights I saw. Also, do you think OL Dorian Brooks has a legit chance to make this team? Lastly, I believe the Steelers primary nickelback this year will end up being C. Butler before the end of the year. Who stays and who goes in that secondary? This team, especially on D, seems to have pretty good depth this year. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Dale.

What about Urbik? Any improvement or in danger of getting cut?

Vaflyer said...

Urbik is in doubt in danger of getting cut. The best thing which could happen for him IMO is Hartwig to get cut, that might save him. That being said if they truly like Legursky and Foster more (weren't both of the UFA signings?) they may make the choice to keep Hills instead. J. Scott and Hills would then be the backup OTs.

Personally, I feel much better about the center of our line than the tackles. Ideally Urbik would step up and replace Essex giving you a lot of youth on the line, but I don't see that happening at the moment. The tackles, well we have a lot of issues there.

Anonymous said...

"Urbik is in doubt in danger of getting cut. The best thing which could happen for him IMO is Hartwig to get cut"

Too true. And hartwing getting cut imo doesn't seem too unlikely. I like having foster and legursky as backups. Hills, well he finally showed something last game. But it was one game in three years and against all backups. I need to see more

Hey Dale, how has Will Allen and Mundy been doing? safety depth worries me more than oline this year honestly. Cromartie Smith seems good, but he can wait in the PS for a while

marc said...

at this point, the OL is the keystone to this team. if they play well enough to open some holes and give lefty time to throw, then things will be good.

the defense is solid, and deep.

i expect special teams to be improved, how could they not.

the key, especially early in the season, is controlling the clock and scoring in the red zone. no brainer there. we need a good OL to do that.

adamg said...

Thought the offense did a good job controlling the clock against Detroit. They seemed to be running the ball well until Mendenhall's fumble set them back. The draws and screens and counter runs were nice, too. I think many fans have forgotten what that kind of controlled offense looks like.

marc said...

the sacks didn't help either.

Vaflyer said...

I think Adams needs to play the first half of next game. He needs the reps at the RT spot. You play him a quarter next to Essex and a quarter next to Urbik. Use fillers to finish the game. This allows Adams to get more comfortable at the position.

I would also love to see Pouncey get some time with both Essex and Urbik. I still think Urbik is more fitting for this new Oline coach and cutting him would be a mistake. The problem is that unless 2 guys that are currently starting get cut, he isn't making it.

Patrick said...

I see what Vaflyer is saying and more or less agree. But they need to decide on a starting OL and let those guys gel ASAP. I realize they have to see what these guys have and who goes best with who, but for all intents and purposes they only have 2 preseason games left to give the starting 5 legit snaps together. The starters will barely play in the 4th game.

It would be nice to have C and RG decided before the 3rd preseason game and give them a half together. I think it will be Pouncey and Essex.

Dale Lolley said...

I thought Hills acquitted himself well, way better than expected playing on a sore ankle.
Urbik was overdrafted. Nice kid. Tries hard, but has no foot speed.
I like what I've seen of Brooks. But his lack of size is obvious. May be better suited to play center. He is very quick and has a nasty streak.

Right now, I see the starting five - with Pouncey being one of them, Foster, Legursky, Scott and Hills being on the final roster.

But this week will be a very, very good test. The Giants front is possibly the best in the league.

Tim said...

who do you think is worse at their respective position: essex or hartwig? I'm really curious what you think.

Vaflyer said...

Dale said:

"Right now, I see the starting five - with Pouncey being one of them, Foster, Legursky, Scott and Hills being on the final roster."

This would imply that one of Essex or Hartwig is getting cut. Did I see that correctly?

Anonymous said...

Essex is also a backup T, whereas Hartwig is a C only, so I'd imagine Hartwig would get cut.

keevin said...

yep, and Legursky is a good backup C

I agree with Patrick (for once), they need to set their starting 5 and stick with it to give them time to gel

adamg said...

Dale, wasn't Tony Hills recruited to Texas as a TE out of high school? To me, physically he still looks more like a TE than OT. Is there a chance that the coaches might elect to keep Hills as a OT/3rd or blocking TE? That would free up a roster spot.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances that Hartwig could also learn to big a long snapper and take over those duties? That would leave an extra roster spot open by replacing Warren wouldnt it?? Or is that too hard a position to learn??

Patrick said...

why not James Harrison while we're at it?

Anonymous said...

Ya that james harrison long snapping was pretty ugly!

But if we eliminate logan and warren, that would be 2 extra spots open over last year. just a thought!!

emac2 said...

I still think POuncey needs to start. (I think that has always been the plan but they didn't want him to be viewed as a failure if he took a couple of months to be ready)

I would cut hartwig and The hotel and instead use that 5 mil and a 3rd round pick next year for the best tackle we can find. It seems the DL trend is towards smaller faster guys that these huge tackles can't keep up with and we seem to be going to wrong way.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, Harrison has done some long snapping as the backup throughout camp. He's likely still the backup there - though I haven't cared enough to ask.

Just a gut feeling, but if Hartwig doesn't hold off Pouncey, I don't think he'll be here. And I do think Essex is the better player.

Tim said...

thanks for the response. i really appreciate it.