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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday news and notes

The Steelers held yet another feisty practice today, highlighted by a drill I had not seen them run before - something head coach Mike Tomlin called "wide receivers stalk blocking DBs."

The drill consisted of a player running with the ball toward an imaginary edge and the receiver firing out and blocking - or attempting to block - the defensive back in front of him.

Things got very heated in the competition, with wideout Derrick Williams getting into it with rookie corner Andre Freeman in a fight that brought in several teammates, including safety Ryan Clark.

Moments later, Ike Taylor or Antonio Brown got into a little pushing match.

At the completion of it all, the coaching staff brought both groups together - presumably to remind them that they are all on the same team.'

@ Every day the Mike Wallace holdout continues is one day closer to Plaxico Burress returning to Pittsburgh.

That's not a misprint.

Burress is definitely on the team's radar, and at some point, the Steelers are going to have to move on without Wallace.

Burress would be an immediate help to this team in the red zone.

@ LaMarr Woodley continues to dominate the backers on tight end blocking drill, regardless of who the Steelers put in front of him.

Don't know if that is because he's that good, the Steelers' tight ends behind Heath Miller aren't that strong or both. I'm leaning toward a little bit of both.

Tuesday, it was Woodley again completely rag-dolling David Johnson on three consecutive runs through the drill. Woodley looks primed for a big year.

@ The Steelers have been giving both Mortty Ivy and Stevenson Sylvester some work at outside linebacker in an attempt to find some position flexibility there.

Ivy didn't look all that strong at the point matching up against Jamie McCoy, who might be the most consistent blocker of all the tight ends behind Miller.

@ Miller, by the way, returned to practice on a limited basis today and looked good catching the ball.

Keenan Lewis, who was thought to be out for at least a couple of days with a shoulder injury, went through a full practice.

A little competition goes a long way.

@ First-year quarterback Jerrod Johnson made back-to-back perfect throws in the final team session, making a beautiful sideline throw to Marquis Maze down one sideline. Maze had a nice diving catch on the play.

Johnson then dropped a ball in perfectly to Tyler Beiler over Freeman.

Johnson is a big kid (6-5, 251) but shows good mobility in the pocket. He could push Charlie Batch off the roster.


Braden said...

Is Plax still being considered even though they just signed a 6'4" WR (Paul Cox)? I know Ben has been practically begging for a tall WR since Plax left. Is this the FO's way of appeasing him (maybe?) whilst saving some cap space for Wallace? Great reports as always, Dale.

bruinmann77 said...

i think Plex gives them more than an roster filler.

bruinmann77 said...

nice to hear about Johnson great size and good mobility at least should be a PS guy.
it be nice having a young guy in the stable.
I was wondering if Maze is moving up the list .

Dale Lolley said...

Cox is nothing but a camp body at this point. Burress would be on the roster come Sept. 9.

marc said...

signing burress would be nice. he's probably not as great as he was before, but still causes match-up problems for the defense. that's what it's all about.

the no-huddle emphasis is interesting, but i hope we don't see a return to the "tommy gun" era. it should still focus around ball control. interesting, that the steelers may be migrating towards a more "peyton manning like" offense right when arians leaves and goes back to indy.

Marshall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

I read from a couple other sources that Saunders is having a good camp, including his blocking. They said he looks stronger than a year ago. Does it look like he's struggling to you or does he look okay?

Anonymous said...

i track fantasy analysts twitter on the site Fantasy Football Aggregator or and a couple guys were talking about this as well but did not give much thought to Plax really heading back to Steel Town. would love to see the reunion with Big Ben and could be good for 8 - 10 TDs at least

Anonymous Brian said...

Let me be the first to say that Ben is a drama queen and a big dummy.

adamg said...

LOL! How do you have a "little rotator cuff tear" or is BR being a drama queen again?

Dale Lolley said...

Typical Ben. Meanwhile, he spends time after practice throwing. Haven't seen him hindered at all.

As for Saunders, he's still inconsistent. One play he'll look great. The next, not so much.
But the tight ends behind Miller are unimpressive.
Mark Bruener, who is working as a scout, is the second-best tight end in camp.

Anonymous said...

Dale, I keep waiting for someone to say "DeCasto is a monster. He is owning the d-line!" Yet, I haven't heard anything yet. Why is that?

HACK said...

I have a little rotator cuff does happen...doesn't keep you from doing much...but will hurt like the dickens from time to time when you are goes to a certain position.....really is like the old joke. "Doc it hurts when I do this......then don't do that"

Anonymous said...

Dale! Great your updates. Question for is Toney Clemons looking? We went to same high school...hes a pretty big bodied wr that seems to have alot of potential.


marc said...

if you took a poll of MLB players on their rotator cuffs you'd probably get 80% who might say they have slight pain when they throw.

dale, ask his wife if he complains this much at home as he does at work.

adamg said...

Interesting comments by AB on the differences between Haley and Arians. Sure sounds like Arians didn't have much interest in anyone except his BR.

marc said...

dale, is what you're seeing similar to AB's comments?

Dale Lolley said...

Yeah, AB is pretty on target there.

DeCastro is still a rookie. He has his good moments and bad. The true test will come in the games.

As for Clemons, he's looked good at times going over the middle - but there is no threat of violence. Again, have to see it in the games.

Anonymous said...

i heard Ben's arm fell off today in practice. has it been successfully reattached yet?