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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday with Tomlin

The Steelers on Tuesday placed tight end David Johnson (wrist) and offensive tackle Levi Brown (pectoral) on injured reserve.

Both will require surgery.

To replace them on the roster, the Steelers signed former Raiders tight end Richard Gordon, whom Mike Tomlin said is a strong run blocker, and cornerback Isaiah Green. The Steelers like Green's special teams ability.

The Steelers did not sign an offensive tackle because they expect Mike Adams to be the backup at left and right tackle. The team liked the way Adams handled his demotion last week and aren't ready to give up on him.

@ Markus Wheaton will not be ready to return this week from the broken finger he suffered against Minnesota.

Brett Keisel (ribs) and LaMarr Woodley (knee) will be slowed in practice early in the week, but are expected to play against the Ravens.

@ Tomlin said he banned somersaults into the end zone, calling them potentially dangerous and silly.

@ Linebacker Sean Spence will practice in a limited basis this week as he continues his attempt to come back from a serious knee injury suffered in the 2012 preseason.

Privately, the coaching staff isn't expecting a return this season.


marc said...

not sure i would call that "privately" being as you are reporting it on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Something seems fishy with the Levi Brown trade. He misses the 2012 season with a torn tricep, gets traded to the Steelers and injures his tricep in warm ups? Either the injury never healed completely so the Steelers bought damaged goods or he’s got really weak triceps. I would think that the front office would consider all aspects of the player including injuries when evaluating the player prior to the trade. Wouldn’t the medical staff specifically evaluate whether the tricep healed properly during the physical? So they paid $700,000 plus a conditional draft pick for this? Either the FO is stupid or inept or to paraphrase Michael Corleone “maybe they’re just unlucky.”

Lose a tackle before he even plays and give his roster spot to a tight end? While Beachum was serviceable, is Max Starks that washed up after playing all year for the Steelers in 2012? The excuse for releasing him seemed to be the “zone blocking” scheme which never made it into the game plan. Bringing him back as a backup who knows the system might make sense just in case the LT has one of those 4 penalty or 2 sack games.

marc said...

well, seems no other nfl team thinks starks is worthwhile either.

and players get hurt all the time, whether its practice, warmups, games, lifting weights. i've seen a pitcher tear his elbow warming up for a game, an outfielder break his ankle shagging flies during batting practice and a third basemen break his finger fielding a ground ball during warmups. i'm sure the steelers wouldn't have signed brown if they felt his triceps wasn't 100%.

Anonymous said...


Agreed, injuries do happen, but when an injury occurs, one would think that the medical staff would take extraordinary measures in examining the injured part and err on the side of caution when issuing their report, knowing that a draft pick/financial consideration is at stake. I'm guessing this is what happened with Ahmad Bradshaw when he visited. So the Steelers are just unlucky then?

Regarding Starks, he may have difficulty fitting into another system, but he looked better last year than anyone at LT this year. Based on how "unlucky" the Steelers have been with injuries along the OL recently, it would make sense to plan for them and go with a guy who knows the system and terminology. I've never been a fan of Starks until this season.

phil said...


time to take off the tinfoil hat. If the steelers had any indication that Levi Brown would be unable to play Sunday, there's no way in hell they deactivate Mike Adams and go with 6 offensive linemen.

I like Tomlin taking some fun out of the game for the players. 1-4 isnt fun for anyone afterall.

Dale Lolley said...

Their doctors checked out Brown. That was part of the contingency of the trade. He played the first four games. It was a freak thing. It happens.
Plus, the injury could void the conditions of the trade.

This is the same front office that put together three Super Bowl teams, so I don't think they're "stupid."

As for Starks, if you've watched him try to play this season - I did - you'll see he just can't play at this point. Gave up three sacks in very limited playing time against second teams in the preseason for San Diego in the game I watched.

The Steelers have moved on.

Anonymous said...

OK, I can buy the "freak" answer, so we only lose $700,000 plus a draft pick for not one play? Arians will probably send the Rooneys a Christmas card this year thanking them for the gift. Funny how the Steelers seem to be having a lot of "freak" accidents on the offensive line, players falling into the back of their own players legs, etc., it's almost like it's a way of life now.

marc said...

well, considering there were 170 players placed on IR by the beginning of week 1 (and who knows how many more by now) i don't think it is really a "freak" thing. these guys push their bodies to absolute limits - add to that a very violent sport - and the severe injuries are simply unavoidable.

that's why, imo, the best teams are the deeper teams who can make it thru a season because their backups are quality players thanks to good drafts, personnel decisions, etc. actually, it is more "freakish" to go thru a season without significant injuries, i believe.

phil said...

first of all, "we" didn't lose $700,000. the team lost $700,000 of cap space that it was otherwise not using, which really means its use doesn't even have an opportunity cost to it. so we, the fans, lost nothing (aside from the first 4 games, but those were before Brown even arrived)

second of all, we dont know what the draft pick is, or if there will even be one since conditional picks are so often based on # of starts or % of plays, with Brown on IR it could very well mean no draft pick at all for all we know.

the brown "trade" didnt work out. but you can't fault the front office for trying SOMEthing.

Anonymous said...


As far as freak goes, it seems pretty freakish to dive into the bag of the legs of your own Pro Bowl center, freakish in terms of who you're supposed to hit, but again, good coaching could correct that. Last year, Gilbert seemed to be tossed around like a rag doll into a couple of players' legs, but again, the one with DeCastro was unclear whether he caught his cleats in the turf. Once may be a normal part of the job, but a couple times maybe player quality/coaching/balance issues.


Though I moved away from the Burg 35 years ago, I still bleed black and gold, so it's a "we" thing. You're right, give the FO credit for trying, but the opportunity cost is that you can't afford to sign another player and even if it's a 7th round pick in 2015, I think we're going to need all our draft picks for the foreseeable future.

Eric T said...

The trade was conditional on Brown being on the active roster for 5 games. He wasn't, so it won't cost the Steeler's anything. Basically, they paid a portion of Brown's salary this season to give Adams a wake up call.

It really isn't that big of a deal though. Injuries happen all the time to all teams.

Though I moved away from the Burg 35 years ago, I still bleed black and gold, so it's a "we" thing.

I bet the Rooney's would gladly accept any contribution you'll be making to the $700K they are paying Brown, since its a "we thing.

Dale Lolley said...

Are you not reading? The pick was conditional. There will be no pick exchanged since he's not going to play

I might add that he's signed through the next two seasons, so they still have his rights or can cut him at not cost.

Anonymous said...


After Eric T had posted, I did read it here, did you actually say, like Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, that it was conditional based upon being on the active roster for 5 games or was it just a vague reference to playing time?

That’s a real positive that the Steelers don’t have to give up a draft pick. Whether they’re inept or snake bit, the hits just keep on coming though. One of the luckiest things that happened to the Steelers this year was Brian Hoyer getting injured because if he continued to win and won against Pittsburgh, it would have elevated the criticism of the front office moves/talent evaluation. Doesn’t matter though, Suggs and Dumerville are coming to town, so Beachum, Gilbert and all the rest better bring their A game as a win would put the Steelers back in contention.

Anonymous said...

I thought I remember reading that the Steelers got Brown for a conditional 2015 draft pick. I also remember reading that he’s due $6 million in 2014. So they renegotiate the contract to the vet minimum with incentives for playing time. He’s on the roster in 2014 and is active for 5 games. So do the Steelers still owe the draft pick? Since you’ve asked if I was not reading, that the pick was conditional, I’ll ask you Dale: did you read the trade agreement and could tell us what the actual terms and conditions are? If you didn’t, then bring it up with Colbert next time you talk to him.

Dale Lolley said...

Yes, he's due $6 million next season.
Highly likely the Steelers cut him at the end of the season - missed seasons in a row.

If the Steelers cut him, he counts nothing against their cap, since Arizona ate the signing bonus prior to the trade. The trade also doesn't cost them anything

Fresh2Def said...

But do they lose a draft pick and a bottle of conditioner?

phil said...

"Mr. Colbert! Mr. Colbert! This is Dale Lolley. Listen, this anonymous commenter on my blog who thinks the Steelers front office is inept is using the Levi Brown trade to prove that you all should be fired. What were the exact conditions of the trade?"

marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marc said...

"Hi Dale. Shame Brown got hurt, thought he might catch lightning in a bottle with us, or at least slow the leak down to a trickle at LT. Oh well, didn't cost us anything...see, that's why we made it conditional and made sure the Cards picked up the majority of the money."

"Exact conditions of the trade? Yeah, sure, I'll send you a PDF of the contract along with all our notes on the matter as well. Hey, why don't you just start sitting in on our personnel meetings."

"Anonymous poster, huh? Yeah, I get all kinds of anonymous messages on my voice mail. F-this, F-that, F-you. Those anonymous guys sure have a lot to say."

Anonymous said...

"Are you not reading? The pick was conditional."

My response was to this statement, if the pick was conditional, please tell us what the conditions were? If Dale didn't really know the conditions, then any amount of reading won't solve the problem. I thought Dale "hobnobbed" with these guys, but regardless, it is a valid question for 2014 and Dale responded accordingly.

It was also factious, but I’m glad you guys picked up on that and we don’t need to use sarc tags here.

Eric T said...

Thanks for the chuckle Phil and Marc. Well played.

Anonymous Brian said...

All the anonymouses who are rude to Dale & exhibit troll behavior make us other anonymouses look bad.

Thank God the Steelers signed an eighth blocking tight end. What gives?

When the CBS announcers kept pointing out Cromartie's holding tendencies, did anyone else notice how that is the EXACT thing Revis did all the time? Personally, I think cornerbacks should be allowed to do that, but still... I guess it's like Michael Jordan never traveling or what have you.