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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Tomlin talks about Giants game

Mike Tomlin wouldn't rule anyone out for Saturday's preseason opener at New York against the Giants, but he did say that nose tackle Steve McLendon (concussion), rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee), linebacker Jarvis Jones (groin) rookie tight end Rob Blanchflower (ankle) and rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (groin) are questionable to play.

Typically, Tomlin won't play rookies if they don't practice or get a full week of practice for regular season games. But a preseason game is different. There aren't any exotic looks or game plans.

It's doubtful that McLendon plays, in my opinion. His concussion must have been a pretty serious one, though he won't talk about it. He didn't even come to the field for practice the first couple of days, and when he did finally come out, he looked like death.

Blanchflower and Zumwalt both missed lengthy spots of practice but have been back the past couple of days.

The one everyone will be interested in is Shazier. The Steelers' top draft pick went through all of OTAs and the minicamps as the starter. He's missed the past few practices with a knee injury and sat out again on Thursday. If he can make it back for this game, that would be a surprise.

Jones was back on the field Thursday but was rotating with the first unit with Chris Carter until he gets his legs back.

@ Cam Heyward, Troy Polamalu and Antonio Brown sat out today. Heyward got banged up at the end of Wednesday's practice and left early, though he stayed on the field, but Polamalu and Brown appeared to be veteran's days off.

Tomlin said Wednesday that Heyward and Marcus Gilbert, who has had a strong camp, were both expected to practice Thursday. Gilbert was back, while Heyward was not.

@ Rookie Martavis Bryant continues to improve. He caught a deep post pass down the middle from Bruce Gradkowski when the team was working on its no-huddle offense that went for a long score.

Later, he caught made an over-the-shoulder catch in the two-minute offense for a score from Brendon Kay.

The kid has outstanding size and speed. If he can put everything together, he could be a star.

If not, he's still a size/speed matchup problem who could contribute this season as a deep threat.

@ I'm liking big Dan McCullers more and more. Today, he got his paw on a Landry Jones pass while playing in the third-team nickel.

His teammates seem to like him a lot, as well. Every time he makes a play, all you hear is "All right Big Dan."

@ The first kick coverage unit included Justin Brown, Brice McCain - who has been hitting everything with authority here - Antwon Blake, Will Johnson, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin and Robert Golden. Those guys could all be safe on this roster.


Anonymous said...

Dale - do you think this means we'll see Tuitt vs the Giant's 1's? Your tweeting on his performance this week has me currious.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is going on with Adam Podlesh?

Is HE due to give birth or something. I just don't understand how he's not at camp.

Dale Lolley said...

Yes, Tuitt should be out there with the first team.

Podlesh's situation is personal. The team is being patient with him. You should be able to read between the lines there.

Steve-O said...

With all of the praise I hear from various news sources, yourself included, I'm finding it difficult to figure out which linebackers get cut or placed on the practice squad. At this point I'd say Zumwalt will make the practice squad but we still have some pre-season games to sort the rest out. Is it as tight as it seems or do you see players separating themselves?

Dale Lolley said...

It is a tight battle. They're going to be forced to expose some good players to waivers.

It will sort itself out in the preseason. Injuries could play a factor as well

Anonymous said...

Bryant caught 2 passes? He's already way better than Sweed was!

How has Moye looked? they will need Moye and Bryant to be big redzone targets with Cotchery gone

Anonymous said...

Justin Brown is the 4th WR now Moye just got passed up by Byrant so Moye is now the Steelers sixth receiver. He won't be playing on offense this year barring injury.

Anonymous said...

so is Justin Brown good?

how has Wheaton looked? he was dissappointing last year

Anonymous said...


The Steelers have had a Penn State alumni on the roster for all 6 of their championships while have 0 Pitt players

Easley said...

Man, I feel for Podlesh. My wife went through a challenging pregnancy too, at times it was downright scary, so he's definitely doing the right thing, but it could cost him a job. That just sucks.

Dale Lolley said...

Moye is on the outside looking in at this point