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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thoughts for a long week

I'll be out of the country for a while starting tomorrow, so I've had to get a lot of writing done ahead of time before skipping across the pond.

But it was an eventful day in the locker room.

First of all, Ben Roethlisberger denied that he was in any way taking a shot at rookie running back Le'Veon Bell with his statements Tuesday on his radio show when he said he wasn't sure what to expect from Bell and then compared his work to Heath Miller's.

"That’s more just me knowing Heath," Roethlisberger said. "I meant that as a compliment to Heath, just saying that I know Heath and have been around Heath a long time. He’s the second-oldest guy on the offense other than me and J-Co. It was more about me saying I know Heath and I don’t know Le’Veon enough to know if he can play through pain? How much pain can he play through. I just don’t know him well enough. That’s all that was meant from those comments.

"I didn’t even know that it created anything. I’ll go say something to him. It was more of a compliment to Heath and less about knowing that guy. Next year, I’ll probably be able to talk about him better."

Bell didn't take offense.

"I’m a young guy, a rookie," he said. "I haven’t been there. I haven’t spent a season with them. They don’t know what I’m about yet because I haven’t played. I just want to show them what I’m about."

@ So much for the overblown games in the locker room thing.

The pool table in the locker room got a new - gold - felt on Wednesday. The first guys to play on it? Veteran Larry Foote and third-year cornerback Curtis Brown.

Of course, the "big" news last week was that players who hadn't been in the league four seasons weren't going to be permitted to play the locker room games, per order of the team's veterans.

So much for that.

@ I don't expect to see the Steelers rotating Kelvin Beachum at offensive tackle with Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert this week as Mike Tomlin did last week.

That move was decided early in the week last week and had nothing to do with the play in last Sunday's game. The Steelers didn't rotate in the second half and the message has been sent.

Adams and Gilbert played reasonably well in a tough situation Sunday. The Steelers dropped back to pass and Roethlisberger was sacked three times - despite Chicago knowing they had to throw it after falling behind 24-3 and 27-10.

@ With Cortez Allen back, I would expect that William Gay will go back to the nickel role, with rookie safety Shamarko Thomas heading to the bench.

The big nickel package will probably bring safety Robert Golden onto the field.

@ Vince Williams said today that he took snaps with the first-team defense at inside linebacker. Nothing surprising there. He's taken the majority of the snaps in Foote's place, even though Kion Wilson has started.

The Steelers weren't sure about Williams' run-stopping ability, but he's showing that he can be a thumper.

@ Since I'm going to be away from the computer, you'll get my prediction now.

I think the Steelers finally find a way to force a turnover or two by Christian Ponder, who, like Roethlisberger, has accounted for seven turnovers himself this season.

And I think Roethlisberger will take better care of the football.

Minnesota has also given up nine - count em - nine TD passes, including six to opposing tight ends.

Take the Steelers, who are favored by one, 24-17.


marc said...

"adams and gilbert played reasonably well..." - that's a tough one to swallow there dale.

with golden coming in on "big nickel" package, does that mean he is outplaying shamarko right now?

dale, your thoughts on velasco after two games please. he seems to be quite adequate. is he a long term consideration for the team?

finally, the steelers will win if for no other reason the vikings are the worst team in football. i saw them play against the browns here and they are so bad vikings fans should get discounted tickets to home football games. as long as the steelers gang tackle peterson and watch the cutback lanes, they should win by at least 10 points.

regarding peterson by the way, he was running as hard as any running back i have ever seen. just absolutely attacking the hole. he is fun to watch even if he only gains 70 yards.

Frank Beans said...

Have good trip Dale!

Mark said...

For the (overblown) pool table situation, maybe the younger players only have access if a veteran is involved in the game? Then the "rule" would be to encourage the younger and veteran players to mix and socialize more.

Anonymous said...

they do have the internet in the UK bleieve it or not:-) j/k, have a safe trip

Anonymous said...

Ponder may or may not play, sore ribs. If not, then Matt Cassell will take over, hopefully he’s rusty. Enjoy London Dale and take some time to see the sights, like Big Ben….. :).

Anonymous said...

Like I said, I hope Cassel's rusty:

Dale Lolley said...

Rewatch it Mark. Gilbert played pretty well. Adams not as much. But three sacks and a couple of hurries with 44 pass plays? That's acceptable, especially when you get down 24-3. The early pressures came up the middle, not from the edge.

Velasco seems adequate. It's been two games. Let's let it play out a little more.

Vikings aren't as bad as Jacksonville. Jags are the worst team in the league. Oakland is second.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the Jags, and Oakland is a mess, but they played the Colts much, much tougher than San Fran.

marc said...

I stand corrected. The jags are the worst team, but Oakland is better than the Vikings.

Maybe the steelers only gave up three sacks, but how often was #7 running around for his life? And they were still running the ball halfway through the third quarter. They did not play well.

Anonymous said...

So if Velasco was a long term consideration, would it be as a starter and then move Pouncey to G?

Dale Lolley said...

They're not going to move Pouncey. They would move Velasco if that were the case.

As for pressure with 7, how many times is 7 running around because 7 refuses to throw the ball away or take a checkdown? It's a career-long battle.