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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Sunday thoughts

The Steelers wasted no time in getting new cornerback Brandon Boykin onto the field Sunday and it was interesting to see the dynamic at work.

While many might think Boykin is here as Cortez Allen insurance, it was Allen who was among those yelling instructions and helping Boykin through his first practice.

"Remember, I told you how you have to continue with that," said Allen after Boykin dropped off receiver Shakim Phillips as he ran a crossing pattern at the goal in seven-on-seven work.

Coaching intern Dexter Jackson was also coaching up Boykin on every play, telling him his responsibilities.

As a veteran, Boykin should pick things up pretty quickly. But he's way behind everyone else at this point.

Getting help from the new teammates will only accelerate the process.

@ Boykin didn't hold back on Chip Kelly today, first saying he doesn't feel Kelly is a racist but that he can't relate to his players very well.

Then, he basically called Kelly a liar, saying, "I felt like that honesty wasn't there all the time."

It could just be sour grapes on his way out the door, but Boykin should be much happier in a more relaxed atmosphere in Pittsburgh.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who said the team really liked Boykin coming out of college, isn't the control freak that Kelly at least gives the appearance of being. And the Steelers have a very loose locker room - disciplined, but loose.

@ The addition of Boykin tells me the Steelers aren't real confident that rookie Senquez Golson will be back anytime soon from the shoulder injury that landed him on the PUP list.

The Steelers wanted Golson to push nickel corner Antwon Blake and at least provide some depth there.

Fellow rookie Doran Grant has had his moments - he picked off another pass today and returned it for a touchdown - but the Steelers wanted an additional veteran at the position.

@ Landry Jones wasn't as good today as he had been in the previous couple of practices, though he still made some nice throws. He threw three picks today, including the aforementioned one to Grant.

@ Maurkice Pouncey is expected to be activated from the PUP list Monday.

The news was not so good on receiver Martavis Bryant. He'll be out a few days after having an infection removed from his left elbow - which he landed badly on Friday night.

With both Bryant and Markus Wheaton (hamstring) out, Eli Rogers continued to get work with the top unit.

Rogers had his moments again, but he and Dri Archer were the only guys back on punt return and Rogers dropped one that Sammie Coates, who was working as a gunner, scooped and scored on.

C.J. Goodwin also has gotten more work with the top units with Bryant and Wheaton sitting.

But right now, it appears that Darrius Heyward Bey has a lock on the fifth spot and Rogers has a slight edge over Goodwin if they keep six.

@ It was interesting to note in the goal line drill to end practice today that Roosevelt Nix lined up as a lead blocker in front of Le'Veon Bell - who scored - while Will Johnson was used in motion.

Both guys appeared to get their blocks. Nix has showed nice, soft hands and route-running ability, and also has been one of the stars of backs on backers.

I don't know that he can beat out Johnson, but he's consistently showed up.

@ Cameron Stingily got stuffed on two runs in goal line, but ran through Vince Williams on a third, and final attempt.

@ Cam Thomas again replaced Steve McLendon in the base defense at nose tackle as McLendon and Cam Heyward again got a day off.


Anonymous said...

interesting development with Nix, who I think had never even played fullback before- he was a DE, just like his dad!. Johnson has many roles as special teamer and, as the play mentioned, tight end as well as runningback though so he has a long way to go. But perhaps a spot on the expanded practice squad can be used on him....

Chris said...

Is Boykins being viewed as a one year rental? What are the chances of them extending him before he hits free agency?

Dale Lolley said...

I think they'll figure that out this year. I have to believe they would like to keep him given that they gave up a pick next year to get him.

Anonymous said...

Any chance they extend him before the regular season starts? If he blows everyone away in preseason (and by that I mean perform better than William Gay).

STEELCAN said...

While Gay, has been a solid player, Boykin is one of the best (at the least) slot corners in the league, who will probably get his chance on the outside too. I would have no problem with the Steelers not re signing Gay and Blake (both ufas at the end of 2015), and giving that $ to Boykin. The idea of an Allen/Boykin/Golsen/Grant CB group working in the newly "tweaked" system sounds exciting!

Marc said...

To extend boykin, he has to want to stay too. If it doesn't look like he will start on the outside, I wouldn't expect him to sign an extension.

Dale Lolley said...

Jumping the gun on the extend Boykin stuff, don't you guys think? Let's let him actually have a full practice first.
Seriously, they'll see how he plays this season. He's the same size as Brice McCain - actually physically bigger - so why couldn't he play outside some?

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's not like Boykin is some superstar we just picked up. He's a journeyman CB that we got for a fifth round pick.

I'm seeing rumors that Golson will be out for the season after needing shoulder surgery. I hope his small stature doesn't lead to a string of injuries in the NFL.

Patrick said...

what part of his career has been a "journey"?

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