Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some midweek news, notes

Jarvis Jones is no longer in a cast and said he's getting closer to making a return.

He won't begin practicing  until after the bye week because he's not quite ready to make his return. He needs to rebuild his strength and flexibility in his injured right wrist, which looks markedly smaller than his left.

Once he starts practicing, the clock starts ticking on him and the Steelers will have 21 days to either activate him or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

James Harrison and Arthur Moats have been fine filling in for Jones, but wouldn't a Harrison/Jones rotation look better?

@ The NFL has released its results from early Pro Bowl voting by fans and Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are both among the top 10.

Bell has the second-most votes among running backs behind DeMarco Murray with just over 210,000. That ranks him sixth in the overall voting.

Brown leads all wide receivers with just over 200,000 votes and is seventh among all players.

@ I had a long talk with Bell today and asked him what he thinks he'd be doing if he weren't playing football.

Bell didn't hesitate. He said he'd be playing in the NBA.

If you think that's crazy, consider that Michigan State didn't offer Bell a scholarship to play football until seeing him on the basketball court.

Bell said he scored 31 that night.

He also high-jumped 6-8 in track that year.

To that point, Bell had been getting offers from a number of MAC schools to play running back. Some bigger schools wanted him but only as a safety or linebacker, likely a nod to the fact he's a legit 6-1, a height many don't consider ideal for a running back.

Bell wanted to be a running back or nothing. But after seeing his explosiveness and athleticism in that basketball game, Michigan State offered.


LexingtonLegend said...

A Harrison/jones rotation will look better only if jones starts proving he's worth that first round pick. Hope he get's his wrist strength back so that it's not easily reinjured.

Dale Lolley said...

Well, he did have two sacks in the first three games, including one in Carolina on which he was injured that helped turn that game.

Patrick said...

I'm excited about a Jones and Shazier combo. I don't think either are quite "there yet" but they have much more potential to make plays than Spence/Williams and Moats.

In other random thoughts, did anyone else think Ben was the most p'od of his career on Babin being an idiot? I don't think I have ever sen him so mad. Seymour once punched him in the face and still didn't get him that angry.

LexingtonLegend said...

that's true. i forgot he had 2 sacks. Moats also has two sacks and a FF but in a lot more games. i don't know how many snaps Moats has been playing, doesn't seem like much though.

Anonymous said...


I haven't heard any discussion about 2 calls in the game that seems to go against the steelers. First was the Mike Vick fumble, which was clearly a fumble and second was the off sides call on DHB during the on-sides kick. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but those were 2 pretty iffy calls. Has Tomlin addressed any questions regarding this?

marc said...

if jones makes it back, won't someone need to get bounced from the roster? at this point, who would that be?

Mike Frazer said...

Marc, I'd wager Justin Brown, as he is still eligible for the practice squad and I don't think he has even dressed the last three or four games. Dale could definitely provide more insight, though.

It's possible it's one of the zillion CBs, but only after Ike returns. Chris Hubbard would be an option as well but I don't think they want to push the bottom limit on OL. We've had enough injuries there the last four years to warrant keeping ANY big body around.

We could always teach McCullers to play both sides of the ball, though :)

Dale Lolley said...

At this point, Harrison is getting about 60 percent of the snaps splitting time with Moats. It was opposite the first couple of games.

Tomlin did not comment on the two calls that went against the Steelers. Serves no purpose other than get yourself fined. They were blown calls in my opinion.

As for who gets bounced from the roster, I doubt it's Brown. With Ike Taylor also just about healthy, they'll have too many defensive backs. They could do something there.

Dale Lolley said...

John Mitchell said today that the Steelers will start Daniel McCullers at nose tackle if Steve McClendon does not play - which is highly likely.

marc said...

go get'em big boy!!!!

marc said...

dale, McCullers is listed as 6'7" - 352 lbs. could you venture a guess at his playing weight? thanks.

Dale Lolley said...

That sounds about right for McCullers. He's a big, big man.