Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Batch to start

Charlie Batch will get the start at QB on Thursday in the Steelers preseason finale at Carolina, with Dennis Dixon following him.

Starter Ben Roethlisberger will not play at all.

Batch would appear to have the leg up to be Roethlisberger's primary backup, but there is also some concern among the coaching staff about having Batch play behind the third-string offensive line, which also factored into the decision to give him the start.

The staff feels Dixon is better able to escape pressure behind what is not a very good unit.

© Doug Legursky will get the start at right guard in the preseason finale, to get his chance "to state his case," according to Mike Tomlin.

Legursky will likely be the starter when the Steelers open in Baltimore.

© In addition to Roethlisberger, Ike Taylor, Chris Carter and Jerricho Cotchery will definitely not play.

Chances are, James Farrior, Troy Polamalu, Bryant McFadden, Maurkice Pouncey and Casey Hampton won't play either.

If Pouncey doesn't play, Trai Essex will start at center.

© The Steelers released nose tackle Anthony Gray, wide receiver Terrence McCrae, linebacker Chris Ellis and corner Niles Brinkley to get down to the 80-man roster limit.

42 comments:

Kevin said...

i like Legursky but am worried about him trying to block Ngata in that first game.

marc said...

does ngata normally line up of the center in baltimore's d?

adamg said...

Cody is now Balt's NT. On the Balt-Wash TV broadcast, one of the announcers said Ngata has actually lost weight.

I'm wondering if Legursky isn't starting at RG so the coaches can see how Essex plays at C. If Legursky starts at G, then if Pouncey would have to go out, presumably Essex would go in at C, not Legursky move over.

marc said...

according to espn, cody is listed as #1 NT and ngata is the #1 DE. that's a lot of beef on the d-line, but i wonder if ngata can generate a consistent pass rush.

also, i wonder if they're doing it to try and keep him more fresh. in the first 6 games last year ngata had 36 tackles. in the last 6 games he had 15 tackles.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

Do you believe Legursky should be the starter at RG and is one of the team's best 5 OL? I have no problem with putting the best 5 OL on the field and I do think Bronco Legursky is one of the best 5. And if T. Hills isn't a starter, does he still stick?

And lastly, what will be for the team this year -- 7 DL, 9 LBs, or 7 CBs. From what I've seen, the team should keep 6 DL, 8 LBs, and 7DBs (keeping both C. Allen and C. Brown).

Anonymous said...

Ngata plays both NT and DE. He's on the field much more than Cody and is against the center a lot regarless

I love that Ben isn't playing. No need at all to risk him

would have liked to see another game From Cotchery though

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Not Legursky getting reps at RG in a preseason game, that's fine. But I thought Hills had been doing really well. Or maybe Hills / Foster / Legursky are all so run of the mill it doesn't matter. Is Hills not down with the playbook or something? He at least seems bigger, better, than Legursky. Ah, who cares, we won the Super Bowl with Darnell Stapleton "blocking" Darnell Dockett.

Dale Lolley said...

I do think Legursky is one of their top five. I've been saying for some time that I think he'll be the right guard. He's got plenty of strength and his lack of height actually helps him with leverage.

At this point, I don't see how Cortez Allen makes the final roster. He has hardly practiced and hasn't played in a preseason game yet. If they cut him and sign him to the practice squad, another team would have to sign him to its 53 to take him off their practice squad. Based on how raw he is and the fact that nobody has seen him play, I can't imagine that happening right now.

adamg said...

Dale, don't you think Allen has a better chance to go on IR rather than the PS? That way there's no risk of losing him.

It's not like the Steelers have never stashed guys on IR before.

Anonymous said...

I am sorprise that James Harrison is going to play. I thought he needed this 15 days to rest hin back and get into football shape.

Steve-O said...

Legursky acquitted himself well against BJ Raji and the Packers in the SuperBowl. He's reliable and better than people give him credit for. Tony Hills on the other hand has never lived up to his draft status and couldn't win a job that was handed to him on a silver platter. I for one am done with the guy. If we can find another Tackle/Guard on waivers who can push the existing linemen than I would sign him and drop Hills.

datruth4life said...

Dale, don't forget that there are a lot of teams hurting for CBs right now. Particularly the Giants and Redskins. I wouldn't cut Cortez Allen.

After rewatching the Falcons game, Steve McClendon and Corbin Bryant look like two young lineman that can play in this league. They even had Corbin Bryant rushing outside in Woodley's spot in a 4 DL pkg later in the game. What are the chances that either of these two stick?

I also expect Thaddeus Gibson to be back in Pittsburgh, even if it is on the practice squad.

Dale Lolley said...

I think McLendon and Allen could both stick, but it would cost Hoke a spot.

Sorry, I'm not getting the love for Cortez Allen. Barely practiced and hasn't played in a preseason game. I don't care how corner-starved a team is, they're not taking a guy who was a project to begin with, who missed the entire preseason, and signing him to their 53. He'll be of no help this season. And if they IR him, he can't practice all season, so it's a wasted year.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Gibson still with the Redskins?

Steve-O said...

Dale, I agree with you, Allen should be safe on the PS this year.

I'm curious though, if James Harrison isn't up for starting at OLB, who realistically backs him up? From what I can tell Jason Worilds doesn't seem ready.

Anonymous said...

Dale, I don't really think anyone has "love" for Cortez Allen, it's just that he's our fourth round draft pick with some good potential for the future. Outright cutting him seems risky to me, with like others have said so many teams looking for CB help

Putting him on IR sounds like a way better option. He was always thought of as a project like you said, so he won't help us this year, but he can learn by going to team meetings at the very least

I like that much better than risking our fourth round choice for the second year in a row

Mike said...

Dale
If Legursky is one of the 5 best OL, then why did he lose the job lost year to Ramon Foster? I know he's been serviceable as a back-up center, but IMO he gets exposed as a guard because of his apparent weaknesses (undersized, difficulty holding blocks at the next level).

Now, I'm not saying Hills is definitely the answer. But I think he'll only get better as he becomes more comfortable with the position.

Kevin said...

I dont see any problem in cutting Cortez Allen and signing him to the practice squad. Like Dale said, he hasn't really practice or played at all this preseason. No team is going to sign him off of the P.S. to their 53 man roster. There are better options who have actually played

You guys worry too much

Patrick said...

Dale what is up with Sanders? Is he destined for IR?

If not, what do you think the depth is going to be for WR? Ward, Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Cotchery? I highly doubt Cotchery is going to play ST and I also doubt them keeping 6 WR's with Battle as the ST when it looks like there are other positions that will have an extra roster spot this year (DB, LB, possibly DL).

That leads me to think Sanders might get put on reserve, with Battle as the 5th. But if Sanders isn't that bad, then they won't do that. Whats the latest on his injury?

marc said...

i thought sanders said he was going to play in the last preseason game.

Patrick said...

oh, I haven't seen anything on him at all. If thats the case, obviously hes not getting IRed. Not railing Dale here, but I figured that would of been in his post too if so.

Jimmy Maple said...

Dale,

Love the blog, couple questions:

Any chance that Will Allen loses his roster spot to keep another corner. Don't some of the CB get some work at safety? We used to have only 3 safeties on the 53 when Deshea was still here.

Why is it a given that Cortez Allen would chose to sign on the Steelers PS?

Lastly, do you think Art 2 might be telling Colbert to get the team younger? Maybe giving one of the yound DL guys a leg up on Hokie?

marc said...

an article on triblive on tuesday said sanders is on track to play against carolina.

Anonymous said...

Patrick - Sanders is practicing and going to play Thursday

He isnt going on IR

pay attention idiot

Patrick said...

I don't have time to read every article out there. I didn't PG+ site which said "don't bet on Sanders" and I couldn't read the rest because I don't subscribe to that.

You guys are more worried about the Cortez Allens and other guys that are barely going to play (if possibly ever), and I ask the status of the health of the 3rd WR from last year and get blasted. Makes sense?

If Cotchery is the 5th receiver and they keep Battle for ST, then some of our beloved scrub DB's are going to be cut and you guys will will cry about it all year like Thad Gibson last year.

Dale whats the plan for the WR's, are they going to mix and match with different packages to get everyone some time? and where does Sanders currently stand then? I'd assume hes reduced early on.

Anonymous said...

Because they signed Cotchery, I think Battle gets cut even though he's decent

Antonio Brown is such a stud that he will have to become a starter and will likely lead our team in catches even more than Wallace (who draws more attention). Sanders, Ward and Cotchery can share time in the slot with Ward getting more redzone action

We probably have the best WRs 1-5 in the league

Patrick said...

OK, I know I'm an idiot. Had I just read my best buddy Dale's article in TODAY'S O-R I would have know the answers to my questions.

Sorry,

Idiot Patrick

P.S. Here's the article if you would like to read it:

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sports11/08-31-2011-Steelers-Sanders-set-to-return-

marc said...

i like clown patrick, he should stick around.

datruth4life said...

Can we forget all of this 'Cortez Allen to IR' talk? Tomlin said he's playing tomorrow night. Whether he is kept on the team or not, then that is a choice that Tomlin and his staff will make.

Dale, it's not so much 'love' for Cortez Allen as it is the hope that he could actually be an improvement at CB over the team's current selection and the Steelers not throw away a 4th round pick. Plus, with BMac and W. Gay likely in their last years, you will need CBs next year anyhow. Personally, I'd like to see if the guy can actually play before cutting him. Craig Wolfley said he believes the Steelers will keep Allen and give him a redshirt year.

I think McClendon and Hoke are battling for that 6th DL spot. I think the final roster spot will come down to if the team wants to keep a 7th DL (McClendon or Corbin Bryant), a 9th LB (Morty Ivy) or a 7th CB (Cortez Allen).

After rewatching the Falcons game twice, I noticed that rookie TE Wesley Saunders did some nice things in the running game with his blocking. He even lined up in the H-back position out of the backfield like David Johnson does a few times and got some good blocks. Gilmore looks like he's more comfortable as an in-line blocker than someone who can also play FB role. I don't think that Gilmore is that much better than W. Saunders right now to give him the spot. Saunders is a better pass catcher and athlete and could pay big dividends down the road. You just have to wonder if he'd be ready to help block Terrell Suggs in two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not nice to laugh at another's expense. But, hey I admit it, I'm laughing.

Anonymous said...

clown patrick > fake patricks >>>>>>> real patrick

Where is Patrick? said...

The sound of silence is deafening...

Dale Lolley said...

When it comes to Legurksy, last year was last year. They were more comfortable with Foster there last year. But I'd say the pecking order right now is Legursky, Hills, Foster.

Cortez Allen wasn't going to help this team this year, unless it was on teams. The fact that he hasn't played and comes from a small school aren't helping him there.
It doesn't equate to Gibson, who played for a big-time program and showed his chops in the preseason as a potential edge rusher.

Anonymous said...

I just hope we don't lose him

you think he'll go to the practice squad?

Henry said...

Trai Essex really is the turd that won't flush.

Anonymous said...

No one is going to sign Patrick off the patrick squad so I think we'll be OK.

Patrick said...

I think I'd be more of a story to make the PS than Cortez Allen.

Not to you people though, because clearly we can't lose our beloved 4th round picks. Even the ones who are cut by the 49ers.

And to those still crying about the Sanders thing. How many updates were there about this guy recently? Next to none. I didn't read the latest scope, my bad. But what we should all be interested in is who our 3rd string tight ends and interior linemen are, whether we should sign Lendale White (that was seriously suggested in a comment before) and how devastated we would all be if our 4th round pick from Citadel was "plucked" by another team. Some of you probably would be happy if we signed Vernon Gholston.

PatRick said...

Did you ever notice that I really have two names: Pat Rick?
it's what I've been saying. I'm like LenDale WhITe and JaMes Harris Son. I don't care about Patrick squad players like Ike Redlands.

Anonymous said...

Go to bed, Patty.

Patrick's Mom

Patrick said...

we have two nominations for posts of the year. They are the two above this one.

Equally as pathetic. Its going to be a tough vote.

Anonymous said...

Laugh it up Patty, Vernon Gholston is the next James Harrison. I say sign him!!!

Patrick (idiot) said...

can Vernon Ghoulston play running back? If so, can we sign him to replace Redman?

Redman hasnt done anything to impress me besides that first preseason game