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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mid-week thoughts

The Steelers wrapped up their third week of practice at Saint Vincent College Wednesday night with a matinee practice.

All eyes were on new placekicker Garrett Hartley as he showed off his leg in an extensive kicking session.

Hartley made 8 of 11 kicks - unofficially - missing two of them from 57 yards. One was short and wide right, the other short and wide left.

The other miss came from 42 yards.

But he displayed plenty of leg.

The man Hartley was signed to replace, Shaun Suisham, and Cameron Stingily both had surgery done on their knees on Wednesday.

Suisham was placed on injured reserve, while Stingily, a rookie running back, was Waived/Injured.

The team signed veteran wide receiver David Nelson and rookie running back Braylon Heard to replace them on the roster.

@ Lawrence Timmons, Vince Williams, Cortez Allen, Mike Mitchell, Daniel McCullers, Ross Ventrone and Senquez Golson were among those who did not practice today.

That makes it unlikely that those guys will play Friday in Jacksonville.

It was confusing on the part of Williams. I saw him in street clothes early. Then I saw No. 98 running around on the field. It was Ryan Shazier wearing Williams' number.

@ The offense had a good day, with guys making some off the charts catches during the team portion of practice.

Markus Wheaton had a nice, stretching catch from Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline against Antwon Blake.

"Good adjustment," head coach Mike Tomlin said to him. "Way to find it."

Not to be outdone, Heath Miller made a turning, twisting, one-handed catch on the next play from Roethlisberger.

Rookie Sammie Coates made a nice adjustment on a pass from Landry Jones to catch a ball that was slightly behind him, but twisted his ankle on the way to the ground and immediately let the ball go.

That earned him some private words from Tomlin. He limped for a bit but was OK.

The offense dominated seven shots, as well, beating the defense 5-2.

Roethlisberger made it look easy, throwing TD passes to Miller, Antonio Brown and Josh Harris.

The throw to Brown was particularly good. He rolled to his right and Brown was initially covered. As Cam Heyward closed, Roethlisberger looked at Brown again and the receiver went back to the inside and Roethlisberger threw him the pass between two defenders.

The look on Heyward's face, "You gotta be kidding me," was priceless.

Harris then scored on a draw to make it 4-0 for the offense. Landry Jones then entered and threw a TD pass to Tyler Murphy - though it appeared safety Ian Wild would have possibly had a sack on a blitz.

He then overthrew Matt Spaeth - who was blanketed so it could have been a throwaway - and a pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey was broken up to end it.

@ Roethlisberger also was successful in a two-minute drive to end practice.

He and Brown put on a show, with Roethlisberger throwing Brown's way four times on the drive - all completions, including a three-yard TD pass.

Tomlin matched rookie Doran Grant on Brown a few times as they closed on the end zone - then taunted him.

"Here he comes 24," Tomlin said.

Later adding, "How you doing 24? Oh shoot, here he comes again."

Jones wasn't as successful with his try.

After a short completion to Coates, he was nearly intercepted by James Harrison, then was sacked by Bud Dupree.

His fourth-down pass was then intercepted by B.W. Webb to end practice.


Geoff Jarocki said...


What's wrong with Timmons?

kelly said...

When does the Landry Jones experiment end? Why not dump him now and use his reps elsewhere? Has Boyd completely fallen out of favor? I'm not saying he's the answer, but Jones certainly isn't. Let's see what Murphy can do with some meaningful time.

LexingtonLegend said...

Jones would have looked a lot better had his receivers caught the ball and not given it away twice. I think jones is out the door after this year. If Bruce was healthy the entire offseason i suppose i could have seen him gone this summer but i think it will likely be after this 2015. I'd like to see him with some better supporting players before i completely write him off. He's definitely improved from the past two years.

Qwikdoc said...

Dale, any inside info on how Hartley beat out the other two? I thought it was widely held that Jay Feely was the best of the three. Was it leg or money?

Anonymous said...

Landry Jones is fine as a number #3 but he'll never be a #2 QB. Wasted 4th round pick that should have gone to the defense.

Easley said...

I'm curious to see Hartley on kickoffs. A kicker who can consistently put it through the end zone and eliminate returns is a huge weapon (see Justin Tucker). From looking at Hartley's career stats, it appears he's not that guy. Of course, neither was Suisham.

Patrick said...

Oh Easley I recommended that idea in 2009 when they couldn't cover anyone on kickoffs but instead had a roster spot for Stefan Logan. Don't ever mention a kicker who can kick one through the endzone on kickoffs, you might get flammed

Easley said...

Can't believe anyone would flame me now. I think collectively we've all experienced too many times looking at the back of Jaboby Jones' jersey as he streaks down the sideline.

Dale Lolley said...

Hartley was better than the other two in the tryout. Money was not a factor.

No such thing as a "wasted" fourth-round draft pick. Some work, some don't. Hell, the Patriots get all kinds of credit for getting Brady in the sixth. If they had known he'd be what he turned into, they would have taken him in the first. QB is a tough position to draft, especially now with all the spread guys coming out. They miss more than they hit.