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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Past the one week, mark

Saturday's practice pushed us over the one-week mark here at Saint Vincent College and the tempers were still on display to a certain degree.

Kelvin Beachum and Chris Carter got into a little tussle during a red zone drill, then, during the goal-line portion to end things, Maurkice Pouncey and Hebron Fangupo squared off for a little after-the-whistle dance.

Neither were as big as Friday night's Battle Royal at Latrobe Memorial Stadium, but you can see that, after a week of hitting each other every day, these guys are ready to get into a stadium and hit somebody else.

@ One thing I did like about Saturday's minor dust ups was that on both occasions, the other linemen quickly jumped in and got things settled. They're sticking up for each other.

@ The goal-line drill was won by the defense, 4-3.

Ben Roethlisberger threw to a wide-open Matt Spaeth in the flat on the first possession, but the rest of the plays were runs, with Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount both sitting this one out.

Vince Williams had the hit of the series, smashing Miguel Maysonet to the ground, with Shamarko Thomas coming in to help clean up.

@ Thomas had a bit of a scare midway through practice when he turned his ankle badly along the sidelines while making a tackle.

I was right there and he immediately grabbed the ankle, but got up, limped back out to the field and ran the next play before going off.

But he quickly recovered and made the first tackle of the inside run series.

Sean Spence finished that session off by twice stepping into the hole and dropping a runner in his tracks.

@ Rookie Martvis Bryant had a couple of great catches, using his size down the sideline to shield away a defender for a long gain, then catching a fade pass in the back of the end zone with one hand over Cortez Allen for a score on another.

Bryant still has some overall work to do, but his size-speed combo is rare.

@ Dri Archer was lightning in a bottle for the backs-on-backers passing drills.

It's a one-on-one receiving battle and Mike Tomlin matched Archer against Lawrence Timmons each time.

The score? Archer 4, Timmons 0.

Archer's speed was just too much for Timmons, himself one of the faster inside linebackers in the league.

@ Steve McLendon was given the day off today. That meant the Steelers shifted Cam Thomas to nose and rookie Stephon Tuitt came in at end.

Tuitt is a remarkable athlete. He's built like Cam Heyward, only he runs better and is more athletic. That's no knock on Heyward. Tuitt has a chance to be special.


snarkey said...

Love to hear Tuitt is doing well. I think he was a 2nd round steal.

Henigin said...

Dale - I've read that Tuitt seems to be an outlier of the Steelers' 2014 draft class that doesn't fit with the mold that most of the rest of the guys fit as having high Nike SPARQ scores, and have been wondering if that's just coincidence or if the Steelers are incorporating advanced analytics into their player evaluation and organization managagment. Do you know how much (if any) they are doing this? Just curious...

LexingtonLegend said...

What are nike sparq scores?

Anonymous said...

At the combine Tuitt was found to have a stress facture in his foot. Aside from the bench, he was held out of all other physical testing. As well as his pro day. I have no idea where a score would come from or based on what. He lifted 31 and at his Jr. Day ran a sub 5 40. Unless they're using data from his high school tests, either way, useless for projecting a SPARQ score. When it comes to 4/5 techs, you want them long, strong, and mobile. He's all of that.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and SPARQ is kinda a combine for high school kids sponsored by NIKE. They've developed an all-encompassing metric using a handful of physical tests. 40, shuttle, vertical, and tossing a 6 lb ball from a kneeling position. The unknown cocktail of those tests are used to produce a single score, which is then normalized by the player's weight.

It's suspected that the Seahawks also use this in evaluating prospects, but I don't know when/where they'd have em toss the heavy ball to round out that metric. Can't do it at local visits, and I'm guessing it would be reported if they had anyone do it at their proday. Just leaves private workouts, and there are very few of them so there's no way Seattle's data could be comprehensive. My guess is they use bench or weightroom data confirmed by campus visits/coaches/trainer interviews. Squats, hang/clean, or whatev in place of the ball toss.

TarheelFlyer said...

Heyward is what he is IMO due to his drive, his will to win and compete. IF that rubs off on Tuitt, who many had as a first round talent, I agree we could have a special player.

Anonymous said...

Who is Mark and why are you telling him we're past one week?

Dale Lolley said...

Tuitt is a special talent. The Steelers feel very, very fortunate to have gotten him in the second round. He's a first-round talent.

From what I've seen, he's a bigger version of Heyward. Tall, lean and fast. Now, it took Heyward a couple of years to get "it." Now, he's a rising star.

Tuitt won't get that long of a learning period. He's going to get thrown in there a lot.

Henigin said...

Anonymous said...

Heyward had it and Jason Worilds had it. I remember people ripping those 2 because they weren't able to start because of Harrison, Woodley, Kiesel and Hood so they had to have been busts.

The only difference why Woodley was able to start his second year was because he had no one in front of him. We always sit first and second year defenders because we could. That's not the case anymore.

I like that we've been done handing jobs to vets just because they are more experienced. Them Benching Hood for Heyward was such a good thing and Heyward probably should have been given the job in his first season.

Hopefully if Tuitt ends up better than Thomas at some point this season they give him the spot.

Starting right away would probably be a bad thing as we saw with jones last year.

Gonna be interesting to see how Shazier does. Hopefully he's not going to be looking at teammates constantly asking for them to tell him what to do like Jones last season.

Point is Heyward had it, he could have played at a higher level than Hood in his first year, maybe not right away but at some point. Same with Tuitt, just a matter of if they're going to give him a chance.

Dale Lolley said...

And that's what they're weighing in the whole Keisel situation.

They also have some nice developmental guys as well, Arnfelt, Nick Williams, Mauro. If you bring Keisel back, it's to play - at least some. That takes time away from Tuitt and means you have to release a couple of the other guys.

Anonymous said...

Dale - It actually took the Steelers a couple years to "get it" in regards to Heyward. He should have been starting since day 1

Anonymous said...

meh they didn't want to throw the towel in with ziggy hood

Dale Lolley said...

No, he shouldn't have been starting from Day 1 with the Steelers. Had several veterans tell me he just wasn't getting it early on.