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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Home stretch

Football is a game of attrition, both on and off the field.

Don't think so? Take a look at the Steelers tight end position as an example.

We know that Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth will be the top two guys.

But heading into mini-camp, the team was looking at Rob Blachflower, Jesse James and Cameron Clear for the No. 3 spot.

Clear got early kudos from offensive coordinator Todd Haley, despite the fact that Blanchflower was a seventh-round pick in 2014 and James was a fifth-round pick this year.

Blanchflower looked good last season on the practice squad, making some progress to the point that late in the season, I noticed him showing up quite a bit.

But he didn't make it through two weeks of practice before getting hurt and being placed on the Waived/Injured List.

James, after a strong start to training camp, had perhaps the worst first game of a draft pick in recent team history, dropping two passes - one of which was a sure touchdown, the other that was ruled a fumble - and drawing a false start penalty.

Clear, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury and had to have surgery to have a bone chip removed. The early kudos he got from Haley are long gone.

That leaves James and Ray Hamilton, signed after his release by Dallas when Blanchflower went down, "competing" competing for the third spot.

James has bounced back from his struggles in the first preseason game and we since learned that he struggled after the death of a close friend, but what once looked like a promising battle turned in just a few weeks of training camp.

@ Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said what we already knew. The team won't be discussing a contract extension with Antonio Brown anytime soon.

Signing left tackle Kelvin Bachum to an extension remains the team's top priority at this point, though it's possible a deal doesn't get done before the regular season begins.


Randy Steele said...

Attrition? Two words: Jordan Zumwalt.

marc said...

got to go with james, imo. too much upside to pass up there.

Anonymous said...

agreed, James is a beast

who will win the punter battle?

Zeke R said...

AB is now Sticky Buns... hella funny

ibygeorge said...

Thanks for the camp reporting. I hope you looked forward to it as much as I do reading it.

ibygeorge said...

Thanks for the camp reporting. I hope you looked forward to it as much as I do reading it.

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