Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mini-camp, that's a wrap

How intent was Mike Tomlin in getting a full day of practice in on Thursday for the final day of mini-camp?

So much so that when the skies opened up Thursday during the afternoon practice, he quickly moved the team indoors.

Some would say the extra hour of practice the team got indoors was no big deal, but when you're breaking in a new free safety and rookie inside linebacker, all the reps are important. That's especially true considered strong safety Troy Polamalu had missed all of the OTAs and needed the extra time working with Mike Mitchell.

Tomlin had traditionally let the team leave following the morning walk through. That wasn't happening today.

@ That should be a pretty good preview of what's going to happen at training camp this year. There will be no wasted practice dates.

This is a team with a lot of new (and young) components and the more practice time they can get, the better.

The new CBA severely limits how often and how intense teams can practice, which hurts teams that have a lot of turnover.

That typically hasn't been the Steelers, but it is the boat in which they now find themselves.

@ There's a growing buzz around this current Steelers team. I was talking with Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette, who also writes for the Sporting News - for which I had a longtime subscription but didn't know still existed - and he said the publication was picking the Steelers to win the AFC North in its yearly preview magazine.

I'm not surprised by that, though I'd still say Cincinnati is the overall favorite.

I think the Steelers are a definite playoff team this year from what I've seen. Regardless, their two games with Cincinnati in December should be huge.

@ Todd Haley called this the deepest receiver group he's had. That might be true. There are a bevy of seemingly equal talents fighting for a roster spot after the top four - Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant (on scholarship).

And they all bring something a little different.

I'd say the battle right now is between Justin Brown and Darius Heyward-Bey, but I'm not counting anyone out. After all, Derek Moye made the roster last season based on a couple of nice plays in the preseason.

@ Jason Worilds was excused from today's practice.

@ The Steelers remain interested in free agent cornerback Brandon Flowers. I'm not sure where he would fit into the mix, but the team is about $6 million under the salary cap and the only corner among their top four signed for next year is William Gay.


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know it is football in shorts, but the only draft pick that I have heard nothing about is Shaq Richardson. Any updates on how he looks or what the coaches are saying about him?

LexingtonLegend said...

If they think flowers can be a good starting corner for them the next few years and replace Taylor then they should do it. If they think they have a successor on the squad then they should stay pat. They should have a good idea about that after mini camp & OTAs.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale think they are legit looking at Flowers the cb depth has a bunch of no names as backups.i just want to know what you think if the steelers are serious about starting Thomas at de and having a whole bunch of rookies as backups.I still believing that 99 will be bck when camp starts. i also want your thoughts at depth OLB since Jones is still learning and Worlids has past injuries

Dale Lolley said...

Well, I don't know if this means anything or not, but all of Keisel's stuff is still in his locker.

They have Moats and Carter as backup outside backers. That's not horrible.

Richardson has made a play here and there.

Anonymous said...

I am very curious as to how big Dan McCullers has been doing. I don't recall seeing any notes on his activity at the OTAs or mini camp session. Thanks.

Dale Lolley said...

It's tough to look at linemen on either side and say this guy is doing well or not when they're not in pads and there's no true contact. Anybody who tries to do that is just guessing.

Noel said...

I'm dismayed by some of the comments I read on various sites about Pouncey's contract. I think it was a great signing. He's young and played well despite very sub-par Guard play for most of his tenure. I think he will be great for this team with guys like DeCastro in there.

Anonymous said...

If you look at our average ypc up the middle during Pouncey's time as our center it's average to poor. That's a pretty big indictment of his play.

If you had put a Pouncey jersey on Valesco no one would have noticed Pouncey was gone.

Anonymous said...

If that's the Stat you are gonna look at, then you also need to consider the rest of the line play, and the quality of running backs..

Dale Lolley said...

Exactly. Who has he been playing with? Last season was the first one that DeCastro played a full year.

LexingtonLegend said...

Pouncey has been playing with Foster and Gilbert, thats who. Same guys. Maybe it is the addition of DeCastro that makes all the difference. Velasco came in out of no where and solidified everything. I hope they resign him. Maybe it's DeCastro that deserves all the credit.

Anonymous said...

Velasco was better than Pouncey

TarheelFlyer said...

I am still waiting to see what DeCastro and Pouncey look like next to each other.

Anonymous said...

Velasco was better than Pouncey?

So a guy who was cut with virtually no replacement by Mike Munchack of all people is better than the only center in history to make the pro bowl in his first three years?

If your basis for that argument is some pro football focus stat about yards per rush, then maybe you should check and see who was playing beside him. An improved Foster and DeCastro (who Pouncey has only play a couple games with) will make all the difference.

And let's not forget that the Steelers paid him all that money for a reason. He is the leader of this offense. The team rallies around him. His passion, intelligence, and leadership is not measurable. Wait and see...

Velasko, really?....

Anonymous said...

The Steeers paid Sean Mahan lots of money too, how did that work out? Lamar Woodley anyone? They decided Ike Taylor was worth 10 million dollars last season. I think he led the league in yards given up by a cb.

The Steelers haven't made the best contract decisions that last few years.

Anonymous said...

lmao at Pouncey being the leader of the offense

Big Ben says hello

Dale Lolley said...

Pouncey is, without a doubt, one of the leaders on this team. You might not like it, but it's the truth.

As for Velasco being better than Pouncey, go back to reading ProFootballFocus. After all, Will Gay is, what, a top five corner in the league according to that site.

Tania Milton said...
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Tania said...
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Anonymous said...

Pouncey is quickly becoming the most overrated player in the NFL

his best attribute is his leadership and his mobility. Hopefully he doesnt lose mobility with all these injuries.

but at the point of attack, he is not that stout of a blocker and gets push back. Velasco is the opposite type, doesnt get pushed back but is not mobile

marc said...

imo, it's still hard to put a label on pouncey. he's definitely a "versatile" center. he must have "football intelligence" to make the line calls and the players clearly see him as a leader.

but I also feel he has shown to be weak at the point of attack. now, maybe that was due to injuries, playing with a bum ankle, I don't know.

ultimately, to be the highest paid player at a position you should be dominant at that position. I'm not sure pouncey has shown to be dominant, yet. especially coming off his knee injury, I think this contract has a partial "leap of faith" on the steelers part. is it wise/prudent to make a player the highest paid at his position under those circumstances? probably not, but that's a risk that management has taken and hopefully they are proven right by pouncey's play.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Pouncey fan due to his off the field persona/antics. That said, he's a damn good Center and I can't imagine how much better he'll be with Munchak as Coach.

~SBK