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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Week 2 of OTAs news and notes

Not a whole lot happening at OTAs this week.

I guess the biggest news was that Marcus Gilbert got some time at left tackle this week with rookie Mike Adams still unable to attend because of the class schedule at Ohio State.

Though the Steelers would prefer to keep Gilbert at RT, it's not a bad thing for him to get some work on the other side - even in shorts. As we have seen the past couple of years, what the planned line is and what it turns out to be a few weeks into a season, are often two different things.

Besides, as I've previously said, it's not the Steelers' way to simply hand a rookie a starting job.

So with Gilbert, Trai Essex and Jonathan Scott working at LT, there are still some bodies to climb over there.

I know, I know, you all hate Essex and Scott. But it says here that if push came to shove and Adams can't beat those guys out - which is always a possibility - the Steelers want to cover their bases.

Plus, there's still the possibility of bringing Max Starks back again. Starks, by the way, has been seen at the Steelers practice facility.

© Perhaps the most bizarre happenstance of the week was the "retirement" of former quarterback Kordell Stewart.

Considering the only time I'd seen Kordell the past few years was on pre-game shows and such, I thought he'd already hung up the helmet.

I know a lot of fans have a great deal of dislike for Stewart, but I always found him a decent guy.

He was a little full of himself in the beginning, but got knocked down a peg by the whole benching in favor of Kent Graham (!) thing.

He stayed strong and came back a better player and person from that ordeal - and the ridiculous and cowardly rumors about his sexual orientation.

I always admired him a little for that.

Was he a great quarterback? No. But he sure was fun to watch. If the coaching staff had used him a little better, he could have been much more impactful than what he was - and he was still impactful.

© Hines Ward will be working on NBC this fall. I hope they give him some training before they set him free on the mic.

I did a story on Ward for the Steelers Game Day program a couple of years ago. I asked him two questions and finished the interview with 20 minutes of tape to go through.

Ward is famous among reporters for his talking. He would talk about anything and everything, often without cue.

I wish him luck.


Patrick said...

Kordell Stewart really had a bizarre career. I'm not one of the "he got screwed by the team and fans" guys, that don't blame him for his shortcomings, but he was fun to watch and had a few really entertaining years.

I'm surprised you didn't talk more about the offense in this post Dale. Its been said this Haley offense will focus more on the TE's, especially in goal line situations, running the ball, high percentage passes, and protecting Ben. Do you see that really playing out or is just early and fun to hear? With a guy like Wallace, you gotta try to stretch the field, and we know Ben is going to take every chance he can to do so.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't know at this point that anyone knows what is in store for this offense. Purely conjecture at this point.
He ran a wide-open offense in Arizona that never threw to the tight ends. He ran the ball like crazy at KC.

I think you can take from that the fact that he will play to the team's strengths.

Tim said...

Plan A: Adams / Colon / Pouncey / DeCastro / Gilbert

Plan B: Gilbert / Foster / Pouncey / DeCastro / Colon

Plan C: Starks / Colon / Pouncey / DeCastro / Gilbert

Plan D/E: Scott-Essex / Colon / Pouncey / DeCastro / Gilbert

I'm flexible on plan B, willing to leave Colon at LG and let Foster/Scott/Adams battle out the RT position, but I'd really only want that for a short amount of time. People don't want to flip flop Colon, but I think he's a big boy and can handle it if it means keeping the best 5 on the field and Scott/Essex off of it. I have zero problem with those guys being on the roster right now, and it's important to keep our bases covered. But I'll be devastated if they are for any reason active come regular season. That will mean there were serious disappointments, unless they go with 8 OL.

Plan C obviously only works if Starks is healthy and in shape for week 1.

At least the middle of our line should be pretty damn good no matter what. Haven't been able to say that since Faneca/Hartings/Simmons. I'm getting excited.

marc said...

i always liked kordell and wished cowher found a better way to use him. kordell was never going to be a pure pocket passer, but they tried to force him into it.

imagine kordell in the "wildcat" or a "tebow-like" offense. clearly a better passer than tebow, kordell would have been extremely effective in that type of offense...especially with the run game the steelers had at that point.

dare we say kordell was ahead of his time!!! :)

datruth4life said...

Dale, at what percentage do you put it at as far as the Steelers working out a long-term deal with Wallace before the season starts? Is it a lot lower than 50-50 right now?

TarheelFlyer said...

Play to HIS team's strengths....

That is what I really want to see. I think Haley does that. BA only recognized one strength this team had...Ben. He laid everything on him. If Ben was off, the offense was off. I can't wait to see Ben in an offense that actually allows his strengths and those of his teammates to come to the forefront.

joe said...

a little ot, but about haley. we had a guy from kansas city at work for a couple of weeks. talking at lunch and he is glad haley is gone...i'm glad we got him...colt fan sitting there is happy to get arians...i'm glad he is gone. funny how it works that way

i see scott getting cut and starks signed, the moment starks can play. he either starts at lt or becomes great depth

Anonymous said...

Kordell was a bit ahead of his time, but I think the whole "wild-cat" craze is now in the rear-view except as a gimmick.

Though I think it's great gimmick to have. If you're going to have a back-up QB, then why not have someone who can run something completely different that other teams have to spend time preparing for? Pepper in a few plays where he and the "real" QB are on the field at the same time and you've got something really cool.

Oh wait, that's exactly what Cowher did...guess maybe Cowher didn't squander Kordell's talent, he actually made the best of it. If I was a team that had a QB like Kordell I would take a page out of Cowher's playbook from that time to see how to make the best use of your players' talents.

Dale Lolley said...

Kordell set the stage for guys like Mike Vick. You have to be willing to let a running QB run at times. Kordell wasn't the passer that Vick is, but with an attack that emphasized his running ability a little more, he could have won more. Instead, they kept trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

As for the offensive line, I think once they make Colon a guard, they are going to keep him there unless they have a rash of injuries.

ibygeorge said...

Stewart had a great talent that was not a pocket passer. You hit it right on "square peg in a round hole". Let's hope those days are over with Haley.

Anonymous said...

All of this Kordell love and apologizing is ridiculous. What you people fail to realize or remember is Kordell was the reason why he was a failure as a legitimate QB. How soon you people forget that he was an unrealistic, stubborn person that, per his own words, despised and refused to play the "Slash" role. He said, himself that he was a QB only. Given that revelation Cowher had no choice but to force Stewart, the square peg, into a round hole. Kordell was the wrong choice as a QB for the Steelers. I've always maintained that he would have been a pro bowl wide receiver, but his enormous ego wouldn't allow reality to set in. Whenever I read or hear that he lead the team to the AFC Championship game I get sick because nothing is farther from the truth. It was Jerome Bettis that carried the Steelers on his back to the championship games; not Kordell. The Steelers offense was built around Jerome. Kordell was along for the ride.

Dale Lolley said...

So the 32 combined touchdowns he had in 1997 were all a result of Bettis?
Jerome had a great season, probably his best, but Stewart was pretty good that season working with mediocre receiving talent.
And he was a Pro Bowl player in 2001 when he led the team to another AFC title game, but that was Bettis as well?
Jerome barely broke 1,000 yards that season. Talk about revisionist history.
Was he a great QB? Nope. But he was the best the Steelers had at that time.
Mike Tomczak? Kent Graham? Please.

Lance said...

Dale has it right on. This brings back a lot of memories and makes me cringe to think a few idiots out there wanted to trade Ben after his missteps. We should be thankful to have a QB that gives us a chance every year, here's hoping our new OC can bring out his beast along with all the weapons around him.

Anonymous said...

If Kordell was as good as you're attempting to make him out to be then explain why he was such an abysmal failure in Chicago and Baltimore. With his experience he should have easily won the starting job against, supposedly, inferior competition on both of those teams. When he signed with Chicago I said at the time that he won't make it past the two year contract he signed. He proved me right. When he signed with the ravens I said he won't win the starting job. He proved me right again. Therefore, his failure to win either starting job in Chicago or Baltimore proved my point that Jerome Bettis and the rest of the Steelers offense made him look far better than he was. He couldn't lead a horse to water.

Dale Lolley said...

All hail the great soothsayer anonymous

marc said...

"He said, himself that he was a QB only. Given that revelation Cowher had no choice but to force Stewart, the square peg, into a round hole."

--You actually think kordell forced cowher to do anything? get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with Dale on the 2001 season. Bettis was leading the NFL in yardage going into week 10 when he got injured.


Dale Lolley said...

SBK, yes, Bettis was leading the league when he was injured. But he missed almost half a season. The Steelers went 13-3.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Kordell bashing is necessary, but I do think Cowher made the most of his talents.

The "slash" style of QB just has never been more successful than the traditional Tom Brady, Big Ben, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning type of QB. Cowher was ahead of his time in realizing that "slash" was best used as a utility player than a full-time QB. When you have a "slash" style QB winning the SB year in and year out then you can tell me differently.

Fresh said...

David Johnson and Kordell Stewart are the worst Steelers to ever put on the black and Gold. (Can the off-season be over yet?)

Anonymous said...

I'd take David Johnson over Sean Mahan or Bruce Arians.


Dale Lolley said...

Just gave me an idea for a new post

Fresh said...

Your welcome.