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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

OTA opens

The Steelers had perfect attendance at the opening of their final OTA session on Tuesday.

That's important because, well, these are the actual OTAs that matter.

While a big deal was made about Antonio Brown skipping the initial OTAs a while back - reportedly because he wanted a new contract - the final three weeks are the on-field team work, 9-on-7, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

There's really not a lot of position work for a guy like Brown to do at this point. He works out hard enough on his own. At this point, he's fine-tuning his game and the best way to do that is in team drills.

Ben Roethlisberger laughed off any questions about whether he thought Brown was going to show for OTAs and mini-camp.

"I called him as soon as I heard that," Roethlisberger said. "He said he didn't know where it was coming from."

It came from Brown's agent or someone close to him. But it was more laying the groundwork for a possible new deal in 2016 than it was this year.

@ Roethlisberger said he has no idea what PSI the Steelers set their footballs to and he doesn't care one way or the other. He has no preference as to how hard or soft the footballs are.

He also said that the Patriots getting caught manipulating footballs in last year's playoffs and spygate doesn't diminish anything they've done in his eyes.

"They've won a lot of games." he said.

@ Ryan Shazier said his workouts with many of the other young linebackers and James Harrison in Arizona were very beneficial, teaching him what it takes to workout in the offseason in the NFL.

@ With a tip of the cap to the NFL's new PAT rule and possibly more two-point conversions this year, the Steelers began by working on that aspect.

Roethlisberger feels the new PAT rule of kicking from the 15 will benefit dome teams since they have a lower potential to miss those kicks while outdoor teams will have a more difficult time with them late in the year.

Then again, if you've got home field advantage in the playoffs and you're playing a dome team, you could have an advantage.

@ Ike Taylor showed up at the first practice. He's not playing, but he was around and didn't have anything to do, so . . .


emac2 said...

And here I thought both teams played the game on the same field.

Unless Ben was talking about.....Kicker STATS???

adamg said...

During the height of the deflated footballs scandal, on ESPN Ryan Clark said Ben liked his footballs a certain way and the Steelers accomodated him, but within the rules.

Anonymous said...

Way to plant the seed for a possible Ike Taylor return Dale. That was like the end to one of the Chuckie movies, foreshadowing the sequel.

Easley said...

I thought I read somewhere that Ike Taylor had a coaching internship.

Marc said...

is Jarvis jones showing any new pass rushing moves and how does Dupree look?

TarheelFlyer said...

Re: Ben's comments about Patriots

I think Ben is spot on. It does not diminish the on field, but it does say something about their character. If I had kids who were Pats fans, I would be concerned about what this was teaching them. Win at all cost, even if you have to cheat to do it.

Qwikdoc said...

Was Jarvis part of Harrison's off season workout group in AZ? If not, that is worrisome.

Qwikdoc said...

Just read Wexell's column. JJ did participate in AZ. Disregard previous question.

Dale Lolley said...

Well, if Ryan Clark said it, it must be true. He wouldn't have been talking out of his butt.
I don't doubt Roethlisberger likes them a certain way, but I might doubt that Ryan Clark, who plays defense, knew what it was.

There's no live hitting in this, guys, so nobody's showing any real pass rushing moves. They get a free release at the line. This is football in shorts.

I thought Ben was being silly about the advantage for a dome team, kicker stats, etc.

But they did open with two-point conversion practice again today.

Marc said...

I get that, but was just wondering if you saw him practicing some new stuff.

Tim said...


How does it not diminish what they've done on the field?

It doesn't wipe it out completely, because obviously they still would have won games. But would they have won [i]all[/i] those same games, exactly? Would the scores have been exactly the same? Unless you believe they went through all that effort and risk to cheat without getting any benefit in return whatsoever, then you have to know it helped them on the field.

But how much? Which plays did it affect? Which passes? Which catches? Which non-fumbles? Which games? What percentage? 10%? 5%? 1%? You can make a guess, but we'll never know, exactly. And THAT is the problem with cheating.

It's stupid to say the Patriots couldn't win games without cheating. It's stupid to say Barry Bonds wouldn't have hit any home runs without cheating. But would he have hit ALL those home runs? Which are legit and which aren't? THAT is the problem with cheating. And that is why they deserve a ruined name. We shouldn't have to guess which games they won legitimately, nor should we be forced to accept their victories when they had an unfair advantage. But here we are.

Anonymous said...

Roethlisberger obviously can appreciate the kind of work that goes into being a successful QB regardless of a balls psi and wisely left the pedantic quantifying to the sports obsessives.

adamg said...

Dale, I'd believe Ryan Clark over BR 6 days a week and twice on Sunday. BR can be counted on to come out with comments like that one that just leave one incredulous. I doubt there's a starting qb anywhere in the NFL who doesn't have footballs done to his liking.

Anonymous said...

Every QB has their gameballs worked over to their liking. Roethlisberger's comments were specific to the PSI. Clark's comments were general and non-specific, no mention of PSI. I doubt anybody just takes the balls straight out of the cellophane and uses them as is. Roethlisberger might prefer a certain level of distress and finish for better grip and spin, and might not also care about the specific PSI if a max variance of 1 pound. I don't see where the two comments, as they were presented here, are at odds. Roethlisberger might not feel the small range in allowable PSI is significant or even perceptible to his big mitt, but at the same time might prefer the surface condition a certain way.

Rodgers likes it maxed. Brady likes it low. Could be Roethlisberger likes it in the middle. Which is boardering on indifference, since a half pound either way probably wouldn't be a big deal. But I'm pretty sure every QB wants that slick wax off the ball and the leather broken in.

And what does anyone expect Roethlisberger to say about the Patriots? They play them in the opener. He's not going to give them 4 months of Anthony Smith bulletin board material. That's a team searching for rallying points anywhere they can find them. Why feed into it.

datruth4life said...

Dale, you think the Steelers will put in a waiver claim for DB Tracy Porter? He's 28 years old and was a ball hawk in New Orleans who made some big plays in big games. If healthy, I think he'd be a good fit. Thoughts?

Dale Lolley said...

Oh, I don't doubt that Roethlisberger like the ball a certain way. But I do doubt that Ryan Clark knows how that is. That's all I'm saying. They're both full of it. And you're right, he's not going to give them any bulletin board material.

As for Porter, I don't think so. He's missed most of two of the past three seasons. It would be interesting to see if he could actually pass a physical.

Anonymous said...

Last time I saw Porter he was returning a ben int for a td in week one of 2012 on sunday night. Since then all I've heard is injuries and he's no good. Times do change fast

Tim said...

In my mind, Ryan Clark's record is that of a loudmouth, but a straight-shooter. Ben's record is too covered in BS to read it properly. That's not a complaint, it's just his style with the media. He's full of it. Always has been.

Maybe Clark is wrong, but "How could he know what it is when he plays defense?" is a pretty laughable assumption. Like they weren't teammates and friends who shared a practice field for almost a decade. And taking Ben at his word is, well... if you do that a lot, you'll be wrong a lot.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Lolley said...

While I agree that Ben isn't necessarily the most trustworthy guy, I would put Clark in the same place.

Also, your assumption that Clark and Ben were friends might be the thing that's more laughable. He hangs with the offensive linemen because that's the right thing to do. He counts Keisel among his good friends. He rooms with Heath Miller. He's not hanging out with a lot of defensive guys - if any.

Why do you think he's been passed over for team MVP so many times? He's well respected in that locker room. Liked or friends? That's a different matter. But you don't have to like somebody to play them. But he and Ryan Clark weren't exactly exchanging recipes.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Clark is doing everything he can to setup his media career. I wouldn't trust much of what he has to say, especially about our offense.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:26 has the right of it. And he started doing exactly that 2 years before he retired.

Tim said...

Whether it's for his own future career gains or because he values honesty or because he can't stand BS, Clark seems like the type to tell the truth. That's my take on stuff he's said in the past. That doesn't mean I accept everything he says at face value, but if my choices are:

1. Believing Clark completely fabricated this story (and the proof is he plays defense), or
2. Believing Ben is being less than straight-forward (and inching himself away from a cheater in the process),

it's an easy call.

Anonymous said...

Again, what is there that's irreconcilable with both statements? Clark might and probably does have direct knowledge of the balls getting worked over to Roethlisberger's liking. But I doubt he has any idea what PSI Roethlisberger prefers. And Roethlisberger only mentioned being indifferent to PSI, not to breaking in the balls.

A: Clark: Ben likes the gameballs a certain way.
B: Roethlisberger: I don't care about PSI.
C: Who gives a crap? A <> B.

Anonymous said...

Football is my favorite sport, even though I'm a professional in another sport, but if I read one more article or comment about the inflation levels of the footballs, I may quit watching. #drivingmecrazy!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dale, what do you think about Ike's appearance? Is there any word of him picking up an assistant DB coaching position? There are a lot of young DBs and Holliman needs to learn how to tackle...

Shahed Moni said...

Watch NFL Football live stream online. If you want to never miss a moment of your favorite NFL team this season with on-demand options from Game Pass. Massive play markers and also the condensed game feature enable you to observe the foremost crucial moments of a game in but half-hour. Watch each touchdown, every sack, and each interception from every team live stream every and each week.

Seattle Seahawks game live stream NFL

San Francisco 49ers game live streaming

Orleans Saints game live stream online

Green bay Packers games live stream NFL

Dallas Cowboys NFL games live stream

Stay tuned :)