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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eventful weekend

It was an eventful two days for the Steelers as they began their final week of work at Saint Vincent College.

First, due to a knee injury to second-round draft pick Mike Adams suffered in the preseason opener against Philadelphia, the team had to shuffle the deck with its offensive line.

Adams, who is expected to be out a week or so, had started against the Eagles at left tackle. With him out, the Steelers slide right tackle Marcus Gilbert over to left tackle.

That allowed them to keep rookie David DeCastro at right guard - where he will stay - and put Ramon Foster at right tackle.

With Willie Colon back at left guard, the Steelers' starting offensive line for their second preseason game will look like this from left to right: Gilbert, Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, DeCastro and Foster.

It will likely stay that way until Max Starks is ready to come off the PUP list, at which point, he will move to left tackle, sliding Gilbert back to the right side.

Starks is expected to be activated within the next two weeks after having offseason knee surgery.

@ With Isaac Redman (groin) and Jonathan Dwyer (shoulder) sitting out practices, the Steelers got more bad news at running back Sunday, when John Clay went down with a hip injury.

Already thin with Rashard Mendenhall on the PUP list, that left the Steelers with just Barron Batch, Chris Rainey and Will Johnson - now the starting fullback following David Johnson's season-ending knee injury against the Eagles - to carry the football.

That didn't work out so well in Sunday's goal-line drills as the Steelers tried to pound the ball into the end zone with Batch (210 pounds) and Rainey (178).

Rainey scored once by leaping over the top of the line, but the defense had the better of it overall.

@ For the second time in this training camp, Antonio Brown and Ike Taylor got into a fight, this time during a red zone drill.

This one got a little more heated than their previous dust up last week as the two continued to jaw at each other after practice.

Don't expect any long-lasting effects, however.

Brown and Taylor are both competitors and neither wants to give an inch. And they've been going against each other on a daily basis now for three weeks. It can get a little irritating.


Mizou said...

It's a little odd the mini-rivalry between Brown and Taylor, as Taylor was patting Brown on the back and talking to him during the Eagles game after his big catch and run over Asomugha.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is so much teh RBs as the OL still being a work in progress.
Batch Rainey and Will Johnson showed good running ability in the open areas of the field. Away fro the Goal line.

Robbie said...

Wouldn't it be a better idea to leave Gilbert at RT and use Essex at LT until Starks and/or Adams return? Why change two OL spots because of one injury? I'd think it would be more important for Gilbert to get all the practice he can at RT and to build chemistry with DeCastro.

adamg said...

I am curious about moving Foster to OT. AFAIK, he's never played a down there in the NFL although that was his college position.

I didn't think Legursky looked that great at C last Thursday and Essex
was surprisingly competent when he had to fill in at C last year. I'm wondering if working Foster at OT means he and Essex will be the two main back up OL on game day and Legursky might not make the team given he
didn't play that well at OG last season?

Lance said...

I mentioned something about this in the prior thread. I think you are correct, or at least the coaches are considering it. We all know how they like position flexability, and it would appear they are grooming Foster for just such a role. I would say Adams, DeCastro, and Pouncy will only play one position, so Gilbert and Colon can swing, and Foster and Essex would seem to complete the puzzle. I like Legursky, but someone has to go, and he is just not physically strong enough and he lacks the athletisism of Foster.

alexrkirby said...

I've also been hoping that Legursky gets the axe.

I'd like to see us keep some of the younger olinemen around and get rid of the vets who aren't developing.

Maybe we can stash Beachum and that Lee on the PS.

Dale Lolley said...

They moved Foster out there because they want to give him an extended opportunity to prove if he can be the swing guy. He's obviously not a left tackle, but can he play right? They don't know.
Tells me Essex is on the bubble.

adamg said...

Still think Legursky is the odd man out if Foster shows he can handle at least the RT spot. Legursky got manhandled at G last year and eventually lost his job to Foster. Essex can, if needed, play all 5 OL positions. That's more valuable than a guy who is primarily the back up C and not good enough to be the back up at both G spots.

Steve-O said...

I just read a story on Pro Football Weekly about NT Dontari Poe. Going into the draft I figured David DeCastro would be long gone before the Steelers picked so I had my sights set on Poe but after his beastly workout at the combine the Steelers chances of getting him decreased significantly. THANK GOD! turns out the guy is currently the 3rd string NT and the team is saying he has a long way to go before he sees any real playing time. Things always work out for the Steelers in the long run....

Lance said...

Poe couldn't dominate at Memphis...this year's Vernon Gholsten...there is one every year. Glad that he is someone elses problem.

Dale Lolley said...

Legursky, by the way, isn't going anywhere.