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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday news, notes

The Steelers actually had some live tackling today in practice as head coach Mike Tomlin changed things up a little bit from previous years.

It gave the coaching staff another extended look at rookie running back Le'Veon Bell, and Bell continued to shine as a runner, showing off quickness and more shiftiness than any 240-pound running back should truly have.

It will be shocking if he is not the starter by the opening game.

@ Add rookie defensive end Nick Williams to the list of walking wounded. He now has a knee injury that will be evaluated.

He was joined on the sidelines by Cortez Allen (knee), who is close to a return, and DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring). Head coach Mike Tomlin admitted Van Dyke's injury could be significant, which is bad news for him, but good news for Curtis Brown.

@ It was interesting today to hear linebacker LaMarr Woodley talk about not getting an opportunity to rush the passer as much in 2012. Part of the reason for that was that so many teams used a quick passing game against the Steelers that the opportunities just weren't there.

But that's always happened to the Steelers. The key is stopping the run better than they did in 2012.

If an opponent gets nothing running the ball on first down and then picks up five yards on a second-down pass, the opportunity to rush the passer is far better than giving up four yards on first down, a five-yard pass and facing third-and-one.

@ It probably won't surprise too many, but Mike Adams ate Ziggy Hood's lunch in one-on-ones today.

Cam Heyward looks highly motivated this season, and it won't be a surprise to see him supplant Hood in the starting lineup.

@ On the other side of the line, Marcus Gilbert is a concern. It seems to take him a play or two in individual drills before he gets going. Doing that in a game will be an opening drive killer.

@ Where will the Steelers make up for Heath Miller's production? How about fullback Will Johnson.

Johnson is big and fast and a matchup problem for any team that has to defend him. He's too fast for most linebackers and too big for most defensive backs.


Anonymous said...

I guess I want to believe that Colbert doesn't miss on first round talent.

Perhaps Hood is just being asked to hold the point which might not be his skill set.

I have been watching him over the second half of the season specifically and thought I saw an improvement in his play. He was not on skates or falling down as much as in the past. He batted down some passes and rushed the passer a few times.

He may not be a star, but we need him to perform at least adequately as Keisel is not going to last much longer. They don't have another good option now.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

adamg said...

I'm convinced Ziggy is not a DE, but a DT. It's a mystery to me with Aaron Smith and Hampton gone why the coaches don't at least try Hood at NT and McLendon at DE.

Dale Lolley said...

Hood and McLendon have both worked at those spots in the past. But it's not going to happen on a full-time basis.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale this is a concern about Gilbert.I believe Adams will be the Future LT and Gilbert will slide over to the RT side. Who is running with the second team at LT

Dale Lolley said...

I agree that Adams is better suited for LT. But he's the better run blocker.
Beachum is the primary backup at both.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Is Embernaste still with the team?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the team had some live tackling. I was getting tired of all the dead tackling.

Nate said...

Dale, any insight or thoughts on UDFA Alan Baxter so far? There were reports earlier this year that he was an absolute steal as an undrafted player.

marc said...

hood is a first round miss, it happens. he's not a bust, but still not what he should have been. heyward will start and kiesel's replacement will need to step up next year.

how is golic looking on the o-line. any chance he hangs around? thanks.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale Cheadle or Hubbard are ahead of Embernate? what your take on Long playing LT with the second team any shot at making the roster?

Dale Lolley said...

It's too early to make any judgments on any of the undrafted linemen. They have good days and bad days. The true test will be once they start playing games.
And with the way they are shuffling guys around, trying to see who can play where, it's only more difficult.

bruinmann77 said...

Thanks dale
looking forward to Aug 10

Anonymous said...

Is Keisel better than Hood at this time, and how much longer can Keisel hold up, especially now that Harrison is gone?

Charles said...

This is gorgeous!