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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are they or aren't they?

A report surfaced that the Steelers are among the three finalists for HBO's Hard Knocks show, something the NFL later denied.

According to the report, the Steelers, Bears and Giants are the three teams the league is looking at handing over to HBO for a behind-the-scenes look during training camp this year.

Any of the three, which all have a big following, would be a ratings bonanza for HBO, which is what the network is looking at.

You can bet, despite the league's denials, that the three finalists announced are, in fact, correct.

There are only eight teams eligible to begin with, and among those eight, the Steelers, Giants and Bears would, without a doubt, be the biggest draws.

The others are the Bills, Cardinals, Jaguars, Raiders and Rams. Outside of Oakland, which might actually be an interesting watch, there's not a lot of draw with those teams.

It's likely that somebody from HBO leaked the three teams it wants and is pushing the NFL to give access to.

We'll see if the league buckles and serves up one of its premiere teams.

The Steelers, who run a tight ship at training camp, don't want show coming to Saint Vincent and becoming a distraction. But given the league's new rules regarding the show, they might not have a choice.

@ In their latest mock drafts, ESPN's Mile Kiper and Todd McShay couldn't have had more different picks for the Steelers.

Kiper had Pittsburgh taking Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, while McShay settled on Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller.

I've already made my thoughts known on what I think of mocks that have the Steelers taking an offensive lineman. I discount them immediately.

But Fuller was the guy I had the Steelers taking in my latest mock last week, though Darqueze Dennard was gone in McShay's mock, while he was still available in mine.

Honestly, I could see the Steelers taking either one.

@ Draft prospect Scott Crichton, a defensive lineman from Oregon, had this to say about his pre-draft visit with the Steelers.

"I was one of those kids who wanted to play for the Steelers," Crichton told Sirius radio. "I'm a big Steelers fan. That was my team growing up. When I went over there it was just like a dream come true. I just fell in love with the place."

At 6-3, 275 pounds, Crichton is a bit undersized to play defensive end for the Steelers. But he also lined up at outside linebacker and nose tackle at times for Oregon. And he forced 10 career fumbles, including six in 2013.


Patrick said...

Good bet Crichton is one of the Steelers pick.

I think Dennard is the first pick unless him, Gilbert Evans, and Ebron are gone. Then maybe a trade down if someone is willing to be generous. But Dennard is the safe bet.

I could see Buffalo being the pick for Hard Knocks. Young coach and a team that needs to win or possibly be moved. Plus there is a lot going on with Jim Kelly up there that is motivational (hope the best for Jim)

BlackNGold said...


I'm with you on Fuller, I think he's the best fit for our Defense.

Oh and you've got a typo, Kyle not Brandon Fuller.


Mark said...

Patrick beat me to it. The Bills would make an interesting story (what is the impact of Ralph Wilson's death on the team?), although they don't have the draw of the other teams listed.

Plus, they are spending time practicing with the Steelers in preseason, so Hard Knocks gets that as extra.

marc said...

you would think the rooneys would have enough clout to say "no thank you" if they didn't want the steelers to participate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marc, although is it the Rooney's that don't want the film crew or Mr. T?

I for one would love it, being in CA and never getting that much media on the Steelers. It would be a great watch for the fans..

As far as mock drafts, I'm still holding out hope that we land Pierra Desir..


Dale Lolley said...

I don't see Gilbert to the Steelers. Too soft.

And you're right, wrong Fuller.

And no, the NFL is telling teams that they have to do it. Looks like everyone is going to participate at some point - unless the show goes away.

Anonymous said...

Hard Knocks is already worked out. Quid pro was no lost draft picks from Tomlin's sidelind dance if thr Steelers dropped opposition to doing the show. At this point they're just figuring out which team would draw the most viewers.

Anonymous said...

Dale, then that's a real sad state of affairs for the league

gives credence to the whole goodell is a dictator this

Anonymous said...

Uh, I'm no Goodell lover but putting your product on TV as much as possible is a smart decision for the league as a whole. His job is to make the owners money and promote the NFL brand, Hard Knocks is great for the league.

datruth4life said...

Gil Brandt of said yesterday he expects the Steelers to take Fuller at #15. Said out of all the top rated CBs, he fits the Steelers D the best. I respect Brandt's opinion a lot, but he is a little late to the party.

1 – CB K. Fuller, Va. Tech
2 – DT, S. Truitt, Notre Dame
3 – WR D. Moncrief, Mississippi
3 – OLB J. Attaochu, Ga. Tech
4 – OT A. Richardson, Tennessee
5 – ILB, J. Zumalt, UCLA
5 – CB W. Aikens, Liberty
6 – WR J. Brown, Pittsburgh State
6 – OLB L. Webster, Bloomsburg
6 – TE C. Gilmore, Colorado State
7 – NT R. Carrethers, Arkansas State

(Steelers pick up extra 3rd & 6th rd picks for trade down in 1st round)

Dale Lolley said...

Hard Knocks is indeed great for the league. The downside is giving a network inside access to your inner workings and dealing with the distractions, neither of which the Steelers want.

But sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do.

As for Fuller, you know I like him. I like Dennard as well, though I wonder about his hips and ability to play zone coverage.

The Steelers have played more press man in recent years, however. But Fuller is the kind of tough-guy corner the Steelers like.

marc said...

Would fuller be able to come in and win a starting spot right away?

Anonymous said...

It is true that Goodell should be doing everything to put the NFL product on media. Hell, he does a great job at that- I'll give him that. I applaud whoever came up with the hard knocks idea. Problem is, it should NOT be obligatory for teams that don't want it, plain and simple.

And Dale, we may all have to do things we don't want to at times, but it does not mean that's the right way to go about it, nor that we should simply accept it

Dale Lolley said...

Fuller would compete for the nickel job right away with Gay and definitely help on special teams

Patrick said...

unless you mean returning, and I don't think you do, "help on special teams" is something I want from my 4th round pick, not my first.

marc said...

you would like to think any player picked at 1.15 would be able to come in and start for your team in his rookie year, or at least contribute significantly.

since 2000, the steelers have had 7 players picked at #19 or lower. of those 7, only 2 did not start a game their rookie year. Timmons was one, and his injury may have had something to do with that. polamalu was the other one.

the point being, typically players drafted in this range should be able to come in and make an immediate impact. therefore, if fuller would not be expected to make that kind of impact, would it be more prudent to try to slip down a few spots, pick up an extra draft pick, and still get the same (or similar) player?

Dale Lolley said...

In an ideal world, sure. Wouldn't it be ideal to have the No. 1 pick as well? But it takes two to tango.

As for Fuller, he is outstanding on special teams as a gunner. And I have little doubt he would be the nickel corner right away. Since the nickel is on the field better than 60 percent of the time, I would say that makes him a starter even if he isn't officially listed as such.

marc said...

very true, you need someone who is willing to trade up.

regarding the nickel corner, it all depends on how other teams attack the steelers defense and how the steelers adjust to that. regardless, I agree, that if he is on the field a majority of the time that is a significant contribution, whether he starts or not.

at the end of the day, I have faith in the steelers first round pick as they have very consistently chosen quality players and significant contributors over the years.

datruth4life said...


Your concerns with Dennard is off coverage. My concern is his speed. He ran a 4.51 at the combine and didn't run again at his Pro Day. Fuller ran a hand-timed 4.40 at the combine. I also like Fuller's length and the way that Va. Tech used him, even playing him a little at LB against Ga. Tech's run-heavy offense. I must admit I think WR O. Beckham at pick 15 is a great fit for the Steelers as well. While he's learning the WR position, he can also be the team's top KR & PR. That's good value for a no. 1 pick. And lastly, some people are down on ILB C.J. Mosley because of his injury history at Alabama. When I look at his tape, what I see is a 4-down LB that doesn't have to come off the field and could be a starter at ILB for the Steelers for the next decade. A heck of a football player that would look really good in a LeBeau 3-4 playing next to Timmons. I think he'll be there even if the Steelers moved down to pick #19, where I think the Dolphins will be open for business to move up to grab an OL.