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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Week 2 of OTAs start

There were a couple of new faces as the Steelers opened their second week of OTAs, as cornerback Ike Taylor was in town for the optional practices and rookie running back Dri Archer returned from a mandatory showing at the rookie symposium.

It didn't bother me that Taylor wasn't at the OTAs last week. There's nothing the team is going over in the first week that he doesn't already know, though it is good for him to be there to show the young guys how to work. Nobody works harder than Taylor.

Some in the media ripped Archer for attending the symposium, but the Steelers had to send somebody there.

The easiest position for a player to play right away in the league is running back. Slot receiver might be second on that list. So why not Archer?

@ As some of you know, I've been saying for months now that Justin Brown, a sixth-round pick last season, was impressive in practice the last month of the 2013 season.

Even though he was running scout team stuff, he made a number of great, acrobatic catches that made me take note.

Given what I've seen thus far, Brown has the inside track on the fifth wide receiver spot with this team.

That won't make Derek Moye fans happy. But Brown just looks better.

@ I would expect the Steelers and Brett Keisel to come to terms on a one-year deal at some point, but probably not until right before training camp starts.

Keisel won't need a ton of reps to come in and play 10 to 15 snaps per game, and having him around for OTAs or mini-camp would only take valuable snaps away from the many new faces the Steelers have on their defensive line.

The same could be said of James Harrison - if the Steelers are interested in bringing him back as a backup. I don't see that move happening at this point, though.

While a reserve defensive end wouldn't be counted on to play special teams, a reserve linebacker would. And I just don't see Harrison playing at lot of special teams at this point in his career.

An injury or two could change that, but it's not like Harrison is sitting at home eating cheese curls. Chances are, he's keeping himself in good shape, and if the Steelers had a major injury at linebacker, he could be at their facility in a moment's notice.

@ The Steelers are adding former California University of Pa. star C.J. Goodwin to their roster.

A receiver, the 6-1, 178-pound Goodwin was a transfer from Fairmont State. He ran a 4.46 40 at his on-campus workout.

Goodwin caught 11 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown last season at California.


adamg said...

Dale, how is local kid Chris Elkins looking so far?

Dale Lolley said...

Tough to tell with linemen since there's no contact

Tim said...

I don't remember the last time I was this excited for the #5 WR battle. I think DHB has the inside track right now, but I'm looking forward to preseason to see them battle it out.

Anonymous said...

I just don't see any way that Archer can be a RB. If Bell and/or Blount get injured, no way can he carry it more than 10x. A 3rd RB is more of a need than a 6th WR. Other 5 receivers are set.

Dale Lolley said...

If Bell and Blount both get hurt, they'll sign somebody. Probably two somebodies.

But what team wouldn't?

He can be a running back and carry the ball 10 times per game. Not much more than that.

Anonymous said...

I think keisel may be a good idea to bring back, if he wants. I can see keisel being the mentor type and really helping to bring the younger guys along.

I'm not so sure about Harrison though. as dale pointed out, he won't be on special teams, most likely, and I don't know how beneficial he will be as a veteran mentor for the younger LB's. especially with porter coaching. maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see Harrison as the type to go out of his way to help the younger guys.

kelly said...

"maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see Harrison as the type to go out of his way to help the younger guys."

Not sure, but I think I read somewhere that the guys in the Bengals locker room really liked Harrison and he was quite helpful to them.

datruth4life said...


I think DHB will be Brown's primary competition for that 5th WR spot more so than Moye. DHB still has 4.2 speed and good size at 6'2'', 221 lbs. Also, he can play the X,Y, & Z receiver positions, the slot, block and play as a gunner on special teams. He returned kickoffs in college as well.

At the end of the day, if your
5th WR has size and can stretch the field, play special teams and any WR position in your offense and has 63 NFL starts, 169 career receptions for 2,380 yards and 12 touchdowns, he's going to be tough to cut. Especially if he's playing for you at the vet minimum.

As far as Deebo not playing special teams, is that an issue if you are keeping 9 LBS? And BTW, didn't Jarvis Jones play special teams last year and play them well? Let Jarvis play special teams and let Deebo come in to play every 3rd series or so to keep each other fresh. I just think Jones would benefit from having someone behind him like Deebo to show him up close and personal how to work and prepare. I think it'd also help him having someone who knows this defense inside and out. And last year's camp phenom, OLB Alan Baxter, is also looking for a job.

Lastly, Mark Kaboly said that he thinks OLB Vic So'oto, 6'3'', 265 lbs., has a decent shot at making the team. Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

DHB sucks

he will not make the team

Anonymous said...

DHB can't catch dude. I

I'd take Moye or Brown any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

datruth4life said...


Who is backing up J. Jones at ROLB right now? I know that Moats is running first team LOLB with Worilds recovering. Your thoughts on the depth at OLB on this squad and whether you think more moves will be made?

Anonymous said...

maybe DHB can play OLB