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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thoughts on first week of OTAs

I had to laugh when a reporter asked James Harrison how he was adjusting to his new role as a mentor with the Steelers.

"It's really not any different than before," Harrison replied. "It's just that the team is more vocal about it now than before."

Harrison couldn't be more right.

To think that James Harrison just became a leader this year because the team started talking about it is silly. After all, he's a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

To think that other players haven't always at least watched how he goes about his business is short-sighted. After all, that's exactly why the Cincinnati Bengals signed him as a free agent in 2013 following his release by the Steelers.

The Bengals didn't necessarily have a spot to play Harrison because he didn't fit in their 4-3 defense. But they wanted to have him around in an attempt to change the culture there.

When you're a guy such as Harrison or Troy Polamalu, you don't necessarily lead vocally. You lead by example. Players watch your work ethic and how you go about your business. Do you take plays off or mess around in the weight room? Do you pay attention in meetings?

You're always under the microscope. You can't take a day off.

It's the same reason a guy such as Antonio Brown is looked as a leader on this team, even though he's not the most vocal player.

The young guys on the team can look at Brown's work ethic and see the right way to do things.

Harrison has always been that guy. And he's always been approachable for those who have questions. Now, he's just being a little more vocal.

@ It's just been a few practices, but I like what I see from undrafted rookie running back Cameron Stingley.

He's a thick 6-1, 230 and shows some burst. Mind you, there's no tackling right now. But Stingly's a guy to keep an eye on.

@ Both Daniel McCullers and Clifton Geathers look lean for guys who can block out the sun.

John Mitchell said at the draft that both were in great shape and he wasn't stretching the truth.


Anonymous said...

woo hoo for Stingley. Hopefuly he follows Garvin's footsteps

Anonymous said...

Dale you think they are thinking long reach to bat down some balls. If we cant get to QB maybe block throwing lanes as a point of emphasis. Daniel McCullers and Clifton Geathers certainly have the reach.

Dale Lolley said...

Well, Heyward and Tuitt aren't exactly midgets. Heck, even McLendon is 6-3.

datruth4life said...

I am hoping that the 'great shape' for McCullers and Geathers will translate to a 2nd DL rotation of McCullers, Geathers, Conrad/L.T. Walton with Cam Thomas on the outside looking in. No way should they pay that bum $2M in base salary this year for him to spend most of the game on his back. Actually it'd be kind of intriguing to have that type of size as backups (as long as they can play). Conrad is 6'7, McCullers is 6'7, and Geathers is 6'8. BTW, I thought McClendon was 6'4''? At least all will look good getting off a bus. Just hope they can stop the run, rush the passer and eat up blocks when required.

deljzc said...

McLendon measured a little over 6'-1" at his pro day in college. He is not 6'-3" or 6'-4".

SBK said...

Steve McLendon is not a little over 6'1", google pictures of him and you'll see he's close in height with all the DE's.

SBK said...

Kiesel 6'5" next to Mclendon.

deljzc said...

And here's a picture of his standing next to 5102 Isaac Redman:

You can tell how tall someone is on a picture? You're special....

Dale Lolley said...

I've stood next to the man on many occasions. I'm a shade under 6-1. He's taller than me by at least a couple of inches.

Why does everyone always want to argue McLendon's size? When I reported a couple of years ago that he was 320-plus pounds, people wanted to argue that he was 280 because that's what was listed in his bio from his rookie year. When I say he's about 6-3, that's not right, either.

Who cares? He's big enough and he can play, regardless of what some say.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I know it's OTA's, but heard Cam Thomas is running 3rd team DL on D. How does Conrath, J.T. and Geathers look in drills so far? Gotta think if Conrath can make the Rams 53 with that deep DL that he can be the 3rd or 4th DE here.

FreeTibet said...

This is the stupidest argument in awhile.


Everything I've ever seen on McLendon lists him at 6'4". And listed heights are traditionally much more reliable than weights, especially in the NFL where they aren't exaggerated like they might be in high school or college.

After a quick google search, the entire first page of results says 6'4". The first thing that says otherwise is nfldraftscout on the second page. And you can have your opinion on how tall he looks, but he looks 6'4" to me.

Possible someone made a mistake? I saw an article today that says Shazier runs a 4.21. Rob Blanchflower was Rob Branchflower for a long time. One time a long jump judge shorted me an entire foot when he recorded the distance, because it was a personal best by 8 inches and he had tunnel vision. It happens.

...Or is it a conspiracy? And if it is, why? I never heard of a guy adding 3 inches when he goes pro, and why do it after transitioning to one of the only positions where height can be widely considered a negative? As the successor to Casey Hampton, you'd think everyone would want him to be 6'1".

Since we're battling pictures, here's one. I hope you don't mind my opinion that it's better than yours, because we can see all of them and they're definitely both standing up straight. He's next to 6'2" Chris Hoke, and he's clearly taller.

Hoke would have to be secretly 5'11" for you to be right on this. Now we're into double conspiracy territory...

Dale Lolley said...

There's no blocking or tackling Datruth. Impossible to form an opinion about anyone's play.

datruth4life said...

Dale, thanks. I know you'll get to this later on but what are your overall thoughts on this team heading to training camp. I really like the depth on both sides of the ball and the fact that there are young players with experience on every level of the defense. If the offense can improve in the redzone and win some games while the defense gets its footing early, this team could be battle-tested and ready to compete with anyone come December. I think this D is gonna be a lot better in December than what you will in September. And how can the secondary be worse with the performance that Ike and Troy put forth last year? You talk about holding on to two players a year too late.

And finally, there hasn't been much talk about the great salary cap position the team will be in next year, with being a projected $22M under the cap if it increases to its projected amount of $150M. Do you think the Steelers will redo Ben's base salary of $17.75M (overall cap no. of $23.95M) to free up even more cap next year? Thoughts on Timmons, AB and DeCastro receiving contracts next year?

datruth4life said...

And lastly, do you think a new deal with Beachum will get done before the season starts? Looks like both sides would like to get something done. As K. Colbert says, when you have both sides wanting to get something done, normally something does get done. BTW, reporting on football in shorts must be brutal.

adamg said...

Kelvin Beachum has done well for a UDFA, but he's not an elite LT, just serviceable. Think of it this way, if Beachum was say LT for Balt, Cincy or Clev, Steeler fans would be salivating at the thought of him trying to hold off a big pass rush. He just gets physically overwhelmed too often to justify a big, long term deal. Some team will gladly overpay for him and live to regret it.

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