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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Myriad of players out today

There were a bunch of players missing from practice today as the Steelers began preparations for their game against the Titans Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger didn't practice, but was getting around pretty well - albeit in a walking boot.

Roethlisberger did participate in the first walk-through and said that's the really important part for him, seeing what looks the Titans will use.

He also said he'll wear a fortified shoe on his injured left foot, just like the one he wore last year on his right foot.

Also sitting out were Casey Hampton, Cortez Allen, James Harrison, Chris Kemoeatu, Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Aaron Smith and Jason Worilds.

© Good news for all of you Jonathan Scott haters. He split time with newly signed Max Starks today at left tackle.


Henry said...

Worst possible time for Worilds to be hurt. This was his chance to really step up and show something to the coaches. Granted, I still think he'll get more opportunities, even just bc of his draft slot

Dale, Should Timmons or Woodley get hurt, surely Chris Carter isn't our first OLB off the bench?

What's the contingency plan there?

Dale Lolley said...

Sylvester would also get a look

Steve-O said...


Is it me or is Worilds hurt a lot? If he's the heir apparent to James Harrison he's going to have to be a lot more durable.

As far as Sylvester goes, what's your opinion of the guy. Is he ready to move into a starting role? It seems to me like Foote and Farrior may have reached their shelf life.

steagle34 said...

OL & Ben & WRs on pass plays...

Is anyone else seeing this?

It seems to me in recent years, 2008 in particular, especially the Super Bowl, a defender or two would fight through OL, Ben would scramble & look downfield, and the OL would stick with it & try to get back into the play, Holmes & Ward & Heath (and last year Brown & Sanders) maybe initially were covered but then get open, and it all eventually results in a nice positive play.

This year, it seems they're letting a defender get through more quickly, Ben & WRs have very little time, Ben is sometimes evading the wrong way, stepping into the rush, especially w/Marcus Gilbert pushing the outside rush out wide, the previously-beat-on-the-play OL is unable(/unwilling?) to get back into the play, and the play is over quickly, and Ben gets hammered. I haven't been able to observe much on Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Ward & Heath trying to make something out of nothing on broken plays.

In addition to the OL simply "needing to play better" & hopefully now Max helping out, I think Ben and the OL (especially Ben & Gilbert) and WRs need to "get on the same page". That should help let our skill & speed shine, no?

bruinmann77 said...

Dale Starks might be the Staring LT by next week,also do you think Gilbert will remain as RT. Any chance Dwyer gets a hat this week.

Anonymous said...

Dale, as for us Jonathan Scott haters, I ask you, what has he done to not justify our wrath? He's the worst LT in the league. He looks more like a turn style than a LT. That's what the Steelers get when they go looking for bargain basement deals to protect their one hundred million dollar QB's blind side. Now suppose you try to convince us that he's not what we know he is.

adamg said...

I just wonder how much having to play in domes affected the OL play. They've had to go on silent counts and I've noticed Pouncey seeming to do more directing of the OL pre-snap than usual. Scott, Foster, Pouncey and Kemo all played together last year. They should be familiar with each other which leads me to believe they weren't hearing the calls or hearing them correctly.

Robert K said...

I think our oline problems are just a perfect storm of a QB who holds the ball, runs around the pocket (so the oline doesn't know what angle to block), an bad OC and a just a general lack of talent on the oline.

We sure don't have marvel smith, faneca and Jeff Hartings out there anymore...3 pro bowlers.

Patrick said...

Can Redman fill in at LB? He is just not impressed me at RB.

marc said...

if you want to look for excuses regarding the o-line, i think the root of the problem comes from an overall lack of talent.

consider that since 2006 the steelers have drafted 10 o-linemen with 3 still on the team and 2 were projected opening day starters this year (colon, pouncey). also consider that no o-linemen drafted from '07-'09 is currently on the team. wow.

i know their philosophy is to take linemen in the middle rounds to develop, but i still think that's a crappy track record for the past 6 years.

kelly said...

Dale, were Starks and Scott splitting time at LT because Scott isn't yet 100% or do they think Max is the best option and want him to start ASAP?

Anonymous said...

marc, while I agree that the FO hasn't been very good at evaluating O-Line talent in the draft, part of the problem is that O-Line positions have been extremely over-valued in the draft recently. The Steelers reached at least once for a second round pick that didn't work out.

The issue is that either:

A) The offense needs to adjust to the talent that they have and not call plays that take so long to develop, or add some protection


B) The FO/coaches need to accept reality and get some help via free agency


C) All of the above

The problem is that everyone has been living in la-la land thinking that the line is good enough to protect Ben for 10 seconds when it isn't good enough to execute a basic offense

marc said...

it is "all of the above" and gets back to my original point that there is an overall lack of talent on the o-line. i attribute that to a poor job of evaluation by the front office. obviously, they have not addressed the o-line thru free agency because they felt they had what they needed in house.

the only free agent linemen they have brought in are "backup caliber" guys, which is fine when you are trying to provide depth. but, ultimately, it all comes back to the fact their OL draft picks have not been working out.

Anonymous said...

Part of the "problem" is that Ben, Arians, Tomlin, and the FO are all OK with Ben taking 150 hits a year. This risk/reward has been a success -- two Super Bowls, three playoffs, etc. -- and Ben has been tough / lucky enough to escape catastrophic injuries. This has alot to do with Ben's playing style and Bruce's offensive ideas; it's not just the O-line talent, as poor as it's been. Hopefully this isn't the year all of this catches up with them.

Vaflyer said...

I can tolerate this line if we can add another starter in the draft next year. Something like:


Starks, Legursky, Draftee, Scott or Foster as depth. We need to take some steps to upgrade. We don't need any skill guys, so lets upgrade here.

When it comes to UFA use, I think we will see some on D. As the older vets move on, we may look to add inexpensive vets to fill backup roles. For instance, depth behind the youth at CB.

Just another IMO...I think Timmons may show that he never should have been moved to the inside. I just don't see him fitting with where he is, and that means in the draft...we better get some ILBs.

Tim said...


I just saw that Pouncey was fined $7,500 for his "late" hit against the Texans. I said at the time that it wasn't late, and after reviewing it carefully I stand by that. When he made contact for his shove, the play was STILL GOING ON!

It could have been called as a block in the back, because even though he pushed him sideways, he did have one hand on the guy's back. But it was by no means late. Moore was still moving forward, and still off the ground. I don't think it should have even been flagged, and if anything the league should have looked at it and silently said to itself, "Oops. That wasn't late. Oh well." But to say that it was so bad it deserved a fine?

This can only mean one thing. The league wants players to officially stop trying not just before whistels blow, but before plays end. Timmons, Pouncey, Ziggy, Harrison, Miller, your hustle is no longer needed. Maybe Cadillac Williams and Jonathan Scott had the right idea. Their moronic displays led to more points scored, which is the payment Goodell receives for his destruction of the game.

Henigin said...

Dale - I guess Max is in better shape than when he showed up at camp?

BoJangles said...

It's simply time to begin investing high round draft picks on the offensive line again. We have started to do that w/ Pouncey & Gilbert. I know there are gems in the late rounds but we shouldn't have 6th rounders protecting the franchise.

Smith (2nd) Faneca (1st) Hartings (1st) Simmons (1st) Starks (3rd)

You get what you pay for. Our guys stink & where most of them were drafted shows you why.

Vaflyer said...

Gilbert 2nd
Pouncey 1st
Starks 3rd

Right now I am thinking another 2nd rounder this year. Either Sylvester can play every down, or he can't. Farrior needs to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Dale -- what's the deal with Hampton's shoulder? DNP for two days now. Thanks.

kelly said...

Looks like Kemo is out and Legursky will take his place. That makes one starter remaining on the line from the first game.



Tim said...


Legursky started opening day. Maybe he didn't deserve it, but he was officially the coaches' first choice.

steagle34 said...

Can we take a moment to breathe, and keep perspective?

This past offseason the team re-signed/extended: Ike, Willie C, Troy, LaMarr, Lawrence T.

Key team members, no?

The message from the front office seemed to be: We believe in these guys. Some of the players left somewhat bigger offers on the table to stay here. Some restructure partly to help the team with the salary cap. The guys like each other, and it's quite the fanbase, one with high expectations. A good match for a team that expects a lot of themselves.

It seemed that drafting DL Cam H, OL Marcus G, CB Curtis B, and CB Cortez A addressed areas of (fan-approved!) need. And Troy, James, Aaron S & others got to work on rehabbing from injuries.

With key vets retained, there's not much salary cap room to work with. Allegedly a certain aging but good offensive lineman wanted $5-6 mil and a guaranteed starting spot, and he and Max were two of the biggest (pun intended) losses from the team of last year.

And well, now Max is back. Yes, Marcus looks like a rookie, with some talent. Jerricho, Cam, and Curtis haven't seen the field much. Ike's played well, Willie's out for the year (again!?), Troy's been on fire, LaMarr and Lawrence have disappointed.

Who will step up? We'll see.

Where we are is: There's a Titans team that wants to leave Pittsburgh with a win on Sunday.

kelly said...


I know Legursky started opening day, but it was at RG. A technicality I know, but still...