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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Practice squad set

The Steelers haven't officially announced it yet, but a number of guys were at practice today and in the locker room afterward.

Here's who I saw today.

OT Trevis Turner; TE Jamie McCoy; RB John Clay; LB Morty Ivy; DE Corbin Bryant; WR Tyler Grisham; OL John Malecki; and safety Da'Mon Cromartie Smith.

I previously thought I saw guard Keith Williams – and they didn't take down his nameplate from the locker – but it was another guy.

The Steelers have confirmed the above signings.

© All starters were accounted for and practicing today, including cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden.

It marked one of just a handful of times both starting corners have been on the field together.


Anonymous said...

It's only 6 guys on the PS? I thought it was 8... Butler... Warren... Lyons... DCS... :(

Superfan9o said...

ESPN reports that the other two guys are WR Grisham and DB Cromartie-Smith

Superfan99 said...

Crezdon Butler to Arizona. 53 -man roster. Good for him.

Henry said...

Of course he went to Arizona. What a stooge Whisenhunt is.

Eric T said...

The Cardinals new coordinator was Butlers db coach last year. Makes sense given the injuries they have had this preseason.

adamg said...

PS is Clay, Jamie McCoy, Grisham, Turner, Malecki, Bryant, Ivy and Cromartie-Smith.

Not a lot of talent there, imho, maybe Bryant and C-Smith.

Superfan99 said...

Bryant, Ivy and C-S have upside. Grisham could fill in if WR injuries pile up.

Dale Lolley said...

The practice squad isn't about hiding guys with talent. If they had enough talent, they'd be on the 53. It's about having the best guys to play on the "look" team.

That's why there are no corners. They have enough young corners that will get as much practice time as possible, even on the look team.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised about Grisham and Cromartie, those two may have a future

But big congrats to Ivy and Malecki! I love seeing the hometown boys suceed, and they are very hard workers which I'm sure the steelers appreciate. Too bad for Lyons, but really other than his height he offers nothing

They need a runningback on the squad anyway, so Clay was a given. Not too excited about the rest though. Thought Gray did a better job than Bryant

McCoy is good insurance if Saunders throws away his chance though

adamg said...

Thought Malaki looked terrible, but he's a center by trade and insurance there.

Grisham did not have a good preseason at all, but he's a known quantity and familiar with the offense.

Anonymous said...

Would have liked to see Anthony Gray on the PS. What was the word on his camp? I know he was let go in the first round of cuts, but it seems to me he's the perfect backup to Hampton & Hoke, whereas McLendon, at 280, is a DE on our team (though he's listed at DT).

Anonymous said...

"The practice squad isn't about hiding guys with talent. If they had enough talent, they'd be on the 53."

Then why did Legursky, Redman, McLendon and Mundy make the 53? They all started out on the practice squad, so doesn't that mean they don't have enough talent?

Patrick said...

Redman doesn't have talent, I've told u dummies that plenty of times!

datruth4life said...

Folks, McClendon is not 280 lbs. That is what Troy had him listed as a senior and what the Steelers used when they invited him to camp 3 years ago. He weighed 306 pounds at his Pro Day in March 2009 and has had 2 years of in-season and off-season weight training to get that up. The way he looks on the sidelines now, he has to be about 320 to 325 pounds. Plus, he played his behind off in the preseason. Hokie was very fortunate that he landed a roster spot this year.

Anonymous said...

Cant wait till next Sunday so I can stop worrying about who didnt make our team. Gray, Butler, Lyons...what could have been. We all love a good James Harrison story. Bring on football!!!didnt make our team. Gray, Butler, Lyons...what could have been. We all love a good James Harrison story. Bring on football!!!

datruth4life said...

Dale, let's play a game that Tunch and Wolfe often play during their radio broadcast called "Better or Not," when they talk about a team position group and whether it is better now than the previous season or not.

Areas where I think the Steelers are better this year: QB, RB, WR, OL, K, DL.

Areas where the Steelers are worse: special teams coverage (but that could be offset if Suisham can put more kicks deep into the endzone. Plus, Anthony Madison was a great special teams gunner and special teams player. Too many long returns this preseason.

Areas where it's too early to tell: LB (Deebo was a beast last year. Any dropoff in his play will be very noticeable), DB (Can Ike and Troy repeat career years after each being a year older into their 30's?). Also, can Keenan Lewis be effective as a starter when BMac gets the perpetual boo-boo that he gets every season and has to miss time? And can the kids - C. Brown and C. Allen - contribute whether on special teams or in the nickle if needed this year?


Anonymous said...

Yea, per another source from another website, McClendon is 320. He nearly pushed Hoke off the roster.

Does anyone know what happened to KWilliams the G from the Huskers?

We have some nice talent on the PS with Ivy, McClendon, and C-S.

Dale Lolley said...

I love it when some anonymous bozo comes here and tries to play gotcha.

In general, the practice squad isn't about taking the next best eight players who didn't make the roster. It's about taking guys at certain positions who can help with practice. That doesn't mean none of them can ever make it. People were asking about corners and Warren in particular.

Patrick said...

anonymous bozos? never

Anonymous said...


Dale Lolley said...

I'll take a lot of stuff, but when somebody tries to put words in my mouth or deliberately misconstrues something I wrote, I'm not going to take it.

As for your post DaTruth, I think the Steelers are better or the same pretty much across the board.

They could be worse at LB depending on Harrison's health. But Timmons could help offset that.

Anonymous said...

how can Timmons offset that?

he was on the team last year if i recall correctly

bruinmann77 said...

Dale anyone surprise you that didn't ake the Ps.I was thinking Lyons or Harvey and Williams. I like them keeping Turner even though he played exculsily at RT.

Steve-O said...

There are rumors Dorin Dickerson is going to work out for the Steelers on Tuesday (according to his twitter page). If they sign him I'm assuming PS and if so, would he bump someone or would he be added?

Also, I find it odd that Jarret Crittenton was held until the last minute (part of the final 5 cuts) and yet he isn't on the PS. What's the story behind that? Was he trade bait along with Kapinos?

Anonymous said...

What's the story with Keith Williams that he wasn't signed to the practice squad, they didn't see any potential there?

Dale Lolley said...

Word is that the Steelers couldn't reach Crittendon and didn't want to cut him without telling him.

Timmons is improving, hence his improvement offsets any backslide by Harrison.

And no, they saw nothing in Williams. Too slow footed to have that little strength.

Steve-O said...

Thanks for the update Dale, its always a pleasure getting your insight and latest news on the Steelers.

Anonymous said...

newsflash Dale - Timmons was pretty damn good last year

Mark said...

newsflash anonymous - Timmons might get better still

adamg said...

Dale, are the first cuts still recallable waivers? I remember it used to be that some better players were cut in the first waves so teams could see if there were any claims made on them and if so, could recall them.

BillinDC said...


With the Redskins release of Taddeus Gibson, do you think the Steelers will try to bring him in? Or does his release from so many teams sort of tell all that needs to be said?


BillinDC said...

Timmons was dinged up in the second half of the year. I refer you to Dale's story on Timmons:

Dale Lolley said...

Gibson may not be a good fit in some defenses. We'll see what happens. Remember, James Harrison was cut a bunch of times as well. Not saying Gibson is James Harrison, but …

Anyone who is released at any time is available for the practice squad, so long as they are eligible under the practice squad guidelines.

steagle34 said...


On paper (which doesn't count for much), in my opinion (which doesn't...):

QB: Ben avail @start of yr is better (tho managed 3-1 w/o), qb#2 got hurt last yr too but if that wasn't for whole yr then this yr is worse, Dixon: improve?, Batch: about same... If BB continues to work on deep ball accuracy & on noticing open checkdowns, then better... but I'll say about a wash.

OT: +Colon -Starks -Flozell +Gilbert +1yr_more_here_for_JScott = similar, less depth this yr but more upside. 2nd yr w/same OL coach could be good thing.

interior OL: same-ish

RB: #1 RB good but might not have reached his best & also maybe should tweet less, Redman in NFL shape for 2nd yr now so prob improvement (but less a jump than last yr), Was Mwelde's best year like 3 years ago?, maybe #4rb this year won't be useless... so RBs a lil better

WR: better... Wallace needs to work on adjusting to the ball and highpointing it more, esp now w/ more dble teams.

TE/H-back: -Spaeth +Saunders +expected_improvement_by_Johnson = prob a little worse now as Spaeth was a potential red zone target & improved last year, but maybe more upside if Saunders puts in work

DL: better. more depth. Hopefully lead team to #1 run D again, plus now we want more pressure.

ILB: Timmons even better, 36 yo leader & Foote as good as last yr? not clear, no Fox, Sylvester a yr older... so a wash/a little better

OLB: Harrison not back to form yet, Worilds & rook are ?s but should be better, if Woodley could arrive a 1/4-step sooner would get more sacks... overall, worse until/if Harrison is Harrison again... then: better

DBs: Depth remains a concern. Much depends on health of injury-prone Troy & B-Mac. Can somebody please beat out Gay for nickel (& dime) duties? Gay did nice work as blitzer/tackler but scares us in cvrge. Mundy & Lewis have already made on the field contribs, but let's not be the next Tony Hills: after yrs and yrs, being almost ready might not be good enough... If less-injured, then better.

schedule: prob supposed to be harder? (after led div on tie-breaker & was in SB). Although "iron sharpens iron" it would make for a difficult road to win div & earn homefield & earn a bye.

focus & hair standing on the back of necks?: Although it's supposed to come internally, last yrs doubters who thought 2-2 w/o BB was the goal/ceiling was a "we'll show 'em" factor... same with OL rallying to perform in spite of injuries... team unified while being unfairly targeted for headshot tackling fines. Much of that brotherhood built last year (& other yrs) should carry over as fuel for this year, but needs reignited.

coaches & management: It seemed Tomlin and LeBeau improved last year... and Kugler & Everest seemed like upgrades. Still Rooneys. Still Colbert. It would seem Arians (& BB) has the pieces, but can they improve in red zone? How is Lake doing w/ DBs? Maybe Tomlin taking resting-of-injuries approach in camp shows he learned lesson from playing a still-injured Troy in late reg season game that def should have been winnable w/o him.

Maybe ST coverage weakness is partly negated by new kickoff rule (until cold outdoor games) & allowed team to keep someone other than Ivy on the 53. Maybe 2nd yr with same ST coach is good thing. Maybe Sepulveda stays healthy but he & gunners continue to not pin inside the 20. (Is Chidi Iuwoma avail for hire as asst coach?) Can Sushi be as accurate as last year?... about same/slightly better

On paper, going in, they're better, but you could say the same thing about the Eagles, the Packers, the Bucs. NE, NYJ, BAL, KC, IND prob think they're better too. An injury or 2 or 3 or 4 to key pieces can change the picture a lot in a hurry.

If this teams finds themselves at 3-3, will Farrior give a speech, they rally, go 9-1, and be in the mix for a title with renewed focus?

Anonymous said...

^ wtf is this crap steagle?

steagle34 said...

T'was a Response
to the Comment
by the Blogger

"Dale, let's play a game that Tunch and Wolfe often play during their radio broadcast called "Better or Not," when they talk about a team position group and whether it is better now than the previous season or not."

In my bloated post (even with abbreviations), I basically agreed that this year's team is about same or better than last year in most areas... when relatively healthy.

I feel that the main question marks/concerns are:
* the secondary (after the top 3)
* special teams (I miss Chidi, plus ST James Harrison & ST Keisel)
* James Harrison's progression from surgeries.

Also noteworthy: Tomlin saying Timmons is prepared to play Outside if called upon. In such a scenario, I suspect Foote is most likely to get a majority of snaps in the middle w/Farrior. Foote is more proven if less dynamic than Worilds coming in at OLB.

Things look pretty good right now. If the question marks find good answers, this team has the capability to go 12-4, 13-3, 14-2, 15-1 and to make noise in the playoffs. But at 0-0, they haven't had a chance to do anything yet; we'll see how it shakes out. I feel if bad luck strikes or mistakes appear, I would think this team would respond & recover.