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Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday news, notes

Kevin Colbert met with some media members today, including myself, and discussed a number of issues facing the Steelers.

Of course, the big news was that Colbert said he doesn't see any way that Ben Roethlisberger doesn't retire with the Steelers.

Colbert also would not close the door on re-signing a veteran player or two. Specifically, when asked about Brett Keisel, Colbert said he wouldn't close the door on anyone.

@ Colbert also said the Steelers can, in fact, still negotiate a new contract with Jason Worilds during training camp and the preseason.

There was some question to that. But since Worilds signed his transition tag, he accepted the contract and therefore can still negotiate.

Colbert said the team would like to get a deal or two done before the regular season starts and specifically mentioned Worilds, Cortez Allen, Shaun Suisham and Marcus Gilbert as starters whose contracts are up after this season.

That might not be earth-shattering news, but he did not mention some other starters who will be free agents, such as Ike Taylor or Will Johnson.

That should give you an idea of what they're thinking about in terms of extensions.

The team, according to Colbert, is under $6-million under the salary cap. Signing Worilds to an extension would make sense, if possible, since that could lessen his cap number this year.

Allen and Suisham should be priorities as well.

The team would like to keep at least $3 million or so in cap space available for in-season injury replacements.

@ Speaking of Worilds, he had an interception of Ben Roethlisberger on Monday while covering speedy Dri Archer.

That prompted head coach Mike Tomlin to suggest that it was the first interception for Worilds.

"I call him the defensive end from Blacksburg," said Tomlin, referring to Virginia Tech, where Worilds played in college. "I'm going to paint that ball and give it to him."

@ The Steelers practice in pads today for the first time and rookie Ryan Shazier was a star, to the surprise of nobody.

Fast and physical.

@ Rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who has been splitting time at inside and outside linebacker, went out today with what appeared to be a groin injury.

@ The Steelers were forced to hold the practice on the turf field at Saint Vincent College because of heavy rains in the area.

@ Martavis Bryant was back at practice today after sitting out with a groin injury. Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) and C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) were both out, but neither injury is considered serious.

@ Ramon Foster was still out of camp today. Chris Hubbard got all of the snaps today at left guard.

@ I have been told that the Steelers feel there is nothing to the accusations against Maurkice Pouncey. The league has not contacted the team regarding the incident in Miami earlier this month and their own people have checked it out as well.

@ I've heard the Emmanuel Sanders interview in Denver several times now and don't see it as a big deal.

Of course Peyton Manning is different from Ben Roethlisberger. Manning is considered one of the biggest workaholics in NFL history.

That doesn't mean Roethlisberger doesn't work.

And Roethlisberger did take his younger receivers to California this offseason for a week to work out. He also spent extra time with Antonio Brown working on red zone throws while the rest of the team was working on special teams this week.

It's similar to the way Lance Moore got in some hot water in New Orleans for saying that Roethlisberger has a lot stronger arm than Drew Brees.

He wasn't being disrespectful to Brees. He was just stating how he felt.

Now, Ryan Clark saying earlier this week that the Washington secondary is the best one that he's played in was a bit disrespectful - especially considering he hasn't played in it yet.

But guys are always going to speak highly of their new situation.


adamg said...

I always watch what the Steelers do and not what they say so I'm taking their comments about a BR contract extention with a grain of salt. Despite what Colbert said about BR's career arc not declining, the fact is BR has taken a beating over his 10 yrs with the Steelers. I see him not aging well like McNair. I believe the Steelers will allow BR to play out his contract and if need be, they will franchise tag him in 2016, by which time he'll be 34 yrs old. The true tell, of course, will be if they draft a qb early this year or next.

Dale Lolley said...

I'd take them at their word on this, Adam.

Steve-O said...

Colbert doesn't make bold statements often. He could have taken a much lower profile when discussing Ben's contract but he consciously declared Ben a Steeler for life. That's pretty bold! I'd say the Steelers are intent on signing him to a long term deal. Given the current talent on the offensive side of the ball I think Ben will be sacked much less over the next few years and barring a serious injury will play out most if not all of his next contract.

On a side note, how did Sean Spence look today? Any lingering effects from the knee injury?

Dale Lolley said...

Spence has been moving well all spring. His knee is a non-issue

adamg said...

BR might well be a "Steeler for life", but it's more than conceivable the rest of his "football life" is only 2 or 3 years. I just don't see them giving him a long contract extention esp in view of the salary cap problems they've had caused by long term deals on players like Woodley who declined in a hurry after signing.

Anonymous said...

I could see Ben playing 4 or 5 more years. Yes he's taken a beating but he is a big dude and can take hits.

Also, he's never had a season ending serious injury. The kind that really take a toll on a play.

Even though he's getting older last season was his first season that he started all season.

If he plays with discipline and avoids hit he could play 4 more years maybe 5.

deljzc said...

With the way they protect quarterbacks these days, I wouldn't be surprised if quarterbacks around the league (Roethlisberger included) play much longer than their predecessors. Brady and Brees have both talked about playing into their 40's (and if you read the article on Brees in SI this week, you'd believe it). I don't really see any reason Manning should quit unless his neck/spine flare up again.

These guys are making $20 million/year and they take maybe 100 hits all season. Most are keeping themselves in top shape with advanced diets, medicines and training.

Roethlisberger's Achilles heal right now is either his plant foot/ankle joint (which has had multiple surgeries) or concussions (of which he's had a few). I don't see any major deterioration in his upper body or knees. I think Roethlisberger has 5 good years left being a top-10 quarterback in the league and even after than could milk out a few more season if he really wanted to (although at lower production).

kyle said...

Ben has had multiple shoulder issues but like several others, I think he could play at a high level for four or five more years.


I know you're not a big fan of Ben's but I'm not sure what you saw last year to make you believe Ben is going to fall off a cliff at 34. If he doesn't get mangled, he can still be more than effective.

Dale Lolley said...

The guy Roethlisberger's game most closely resembles, Elway, played into his late 30s. They relied heavily on the run game later, with Elway still able to make some big throws.
I think you're seeing that kind of shift here.

Patrick said...

I'll take a couple of late-career Super Bowls from Big Ben.

Yinzer out.

kyle said...

I'm not in the "Ryan Clark should shut up" camp but that statement is a little nuts.

He played in a secondary with Sean Taylor and then another one with Troy Polamalu. Nobody on Washington's current roster is of that caliber and even averaging the secondary out won't get you to that talent level.

Anonymous said...

"I have been told that the Steelers feel there is nothing to the accusations against Maurkice Pouncey"

What else would you expect them to believe? You don't think they'd ever say our center is a thug and his brother is a brainless goon, do you?

Maybe the Steelers can get through this week without somebody getting served with a lawsuit or getting arrested.


kelly said...

Maybe we can get through one of these comment sections without a moronic statement.


BlackNGold said...

LoL, good one kelly.

There have just been SO many incidents with Steelers players this offseason...

Dale Lolley said...

They had their own investigators look into the incident. They talked to police in Miami. They found nothing of substance. Period.