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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday thoughts

The Steelers' backup quarterback situation is something of a mess right now.

The team expects Bruce Gradkowski to be OK and return at some point. And he had better.

The Landry Jones experiment has not worked out. He's slightly better than he was before, but not enough that he's a sure thing.

I like what I've seen of Tajh Boyd at times, but he's had issues handling snaps from center. That's kind of important.

Tyler Murphy, who is more polished than Devin Gardner, has been at QB for the entire first week. He's got a long release that probably won't work in the NFL.

And all three have accuracy issues.

Could the Steelers be in the market for another veteran? Possibly. And Michael Vick is still out there.

But I think the only way the Steelers sign Vick is if they have something really bad happen. He'd be the nuclear option, ie. Ben Roethlisberger going down.

@ With the Steelers wanting more pass rush out of their defensive line, you can close the door on any potential Brett Keisel return.

Keisel hasn't filed his retirement papers yet, but I don't foresee a return to the Steelers in his future.

@ The Steelers' release of Shawn Lemon and addition of safety Jordan Sullen tells me the Steelers feel Ross Ventrone is going to be out for an extended period of time.

It also tells me they are happy with what they have at outside linebacker.

Bud Dupree's athleticism has been evident at times. But Anthony Chickillo has been the more impressive player at this point.

That's not surprising. Chickillo's the more polished player. But his ceiling isn't nearly as high.

It should also be noted that Chickillo is working against scrubs for the most part at this point, while Dupree is getting work against the better guys.

@ The defense is playing with a chip on its shoulder after having to hear about how good the offense was in 2014 and will be in 2015.

The line has been strong, especially the first unit. And you can add Daniel McCullers to that group as well.

But Vince Williams has been bringing it time and again.

The Steelers feel they have four starter-quality players at inside linebacker and it's tough to argue that they don't.


datruth4life said...

Dale, I know you had mentioned before about possibly trading Vince Williams because of the ILB depth, but I'm keeping him. It only takes one hit and you are down an ILB and would need one. You can never have too much talent at one position, especially if its still on a rookie contract and you are trying to win a super bowl.

I think Taj Boyd will separate himself from Landry Jones when the lights go on during the preseason games.

Tom said...

Every camp source I've read thus far has subtly said Chickillo looks better than Dupree..although to your point Dale, Dupree is going against 1's and 2's whereas Chickillo is dominating some 2's and mostly 3's & 4's. Although I found it interesting that Dupree struggled in Backers on Lineman 1 v 1's with some of the backup OL (Van Dyk if you want specifics) whereas Chickillo reportedly dominated the same linemen when given the chance. It's barely August though so I'm not worried about Dupree, just excited about a lighter, more explosive Chickillo.

Steve-O said...

Woodley(2nd round) outshined Timmons (1st round) when they first entered the league but the long term projections proved the Steelers made the right choice. I'm cautiously optimistic that Dupree will follow a si,liar path.

deljzc said...

If the Steelers sign Michael Vick, I'm not a fan until he's gone. In fact, I will root against them.

Michael Vick is a dog killing loser and a despicable human being. I will never forgive that. Never.

Steve Goff said...

As always, good stuff. We look pretty stacked at LB. I really liked Howard Jones last year and was glad to see him on the PS. Hope he does well, but the numbers are really tough. I can't make camp this year - how is his weight? I thought last year he could be much better with a few more pounds of muscle but certainly thought his frame could handle it.
Good to hear the DL and LB's are looking good. Great news. However, the biggest question going into this year in my mind is the Db's. Troy and Ike are gone; Mitchel supposedly played last year hurt, and Tez had confidence issues. We added a couple rooks (one who is hurt) and the Shark is stepping out of the shadows. When you get some time, would love to know how the db's are looking beyond the cover2 buzz. I know it is still very early, but the evolution of our db's with so much churn will have huge impact on the season methinks.



Easley said...

Given Gradkowski's uncertain health status, I wouldn't let Ben sniff the field this preseason. I certainly wouldn't let him run any plays that expose him to a hit.

Dale Lolley said...

That is one reason why they have not made a move to sign Vick. Heck, it's the reason a lot of teams haven't signed Vick. There is still that feeling out there regarding him.

Anonymous said...

Which is ridiculous, NFL players have done a ton of despicable things, including violence against women, animals, drug running, etc etc etc.

Vick is no better or worse than Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, or anyone else in the history of the game with violent behavior. For example two time superbowl winner Ernie Holmes fired a gun at a police helicopter and pled guilty to assult with a deadly weapon. If his stray bullet had harmed someone you know or love, you'd probably have some serious opinions. Ray Lewis covered lied to authorities about a murder. Point is lots of Steelers and other NFL players have done despicable things and if you're going to pick and choose your fandom it's ignorant and hypocritical. Either make your peace with it or find another sport to follow.

Anonymous said...

And lets not forget the extreme privilege and ignorance Roethlisberger displayed in his youth.

Ryan said...

If Bruce is injured long term, what would it take to make a trade for say Matt Barkley, Christian Ponder, Fitzpatrick, McCoy? A backup in their caliber.

deljzc said...

My line has always been abuse of children and animals is a far greater crime than almost anything. They are completely defenseless. In almost every domestic abuse case there are signs of things to come that adults choose to ignore. If anyone thinks the Ray Rice punch just came out of nowhere and he was the perfect gentleman and boyfriend before that, you're fooling yourself. She had choices. So do most of the women that choose to look the other way on sketchy personality traits and violent tendencies because they want the hot body, the celebrity and notoriety of dating an athlete. The girl that voluntarily walked with Roethlisberger into a sketchy, disgusting bathroom stall had choices too. I'm not justifying the end result and I'm not saying domestic abusers shouldn't be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. They should. But in my experience the victims of domestic abuse had many choices prior to the criminal act.

Those dogs had no choice. Children that are abused have no choice. That's a big, big difference to me. Always will be.