Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

5 things to watch at Steelers OTAs

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When the Steelers open up OTAs tomorrow they will be without 3 main players.  They have starter and Pro Bowler Mike Wallace out.  They also will be missing potential starters on the offensive line David DeCastro and Mike Adams.  Even with those guys out there will be plenty to watch.  The team is very young now and there are many positions open and up for grabs.  It will be intriguing to see where these guys line up.
5 Things to Watch:

Who lines up across from Ike Taylor at Cornerback?  The Steelers no longer have William Gay for fans to pick on this year.  The player across from Ike Taylor will be on of three guys.  It will either be Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen or Curtis Brown.  Who lines up across from Taylor will say a lot about where the team is going.  It is expected to be Lewis.  That would be status quo.  We all would expect that.  If someone else is in that starting roll tomorrow then it could be a battle to see who starts week one.  It will also show how little the Steelers…

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OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) Are Just a Reminder that We’re Still Two Months Away from Training Camp

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Tomorrow, the Steelers begin their OTA’s, and for die-hard fans, it’s at least a little taste of football, so to speak. We’ll get to see our boys in action again, albeit only in shorts, and we’ll get another glimpse of the new rookie crop………..well, except for DeCastro and Adams.

Speaking of that, Mike Wallace also won’t be there because of his contract dispute, and his absence will probably dominate much of the talk. Coach Mike Tomlin will more than likely have to spend the majority of his time with the media deflecting questions about his speedy receiver.

I don’t think that will be the only news. I’m sure there will be some “OTA Wonders” that really look good in their helmets and shorts, and we’ll marvel at their sheer athleticism.

Although, I’m pretty sure we won’t be allowed to marvel because I don’t think OTA’s are open to the general public.

In years past, before OTA’s, there was mini camp (there might still be mini camp, and if there is, I’m sure I won’t be able to tell the difference), and the thing that I remember most about Steelers mini camp was that it wasn’t training camp.

Mini camps, OTA’s, whatever you want to call them, are like the two or three days before your big vacation. You’re really excited about it, but you’re still bummed because you have another few days of work. Plus, you still have tons of things to take care of like packing, making sure the dogs get to the kennel on time, confirming your flight, and if you’re going out of the country, finding your passport.

You still have to get all of that stuff out of the way before you can even dream about being on the plane.

Training Camp, when the boys head to Latrobe in late July, now that’s more like it. For a football fan like me, that”s the equivalent to being on the plane to your tropical destination. It’s still not quite September, but you’re heading in the right direction.

OTA’s are more for the players than they are for the fans. It’s like the read-through before the actual rehearsal. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see some of my favorite actors and actresses rehearse before their big scenes; I find that pretty intriguing. But I have no desire to see them sitting around a table and reading their lines for the first time, months before the movie will even begin production.

I do realize that, at least for the offense, these OTA’s will be a little more urgent than in years past because of Todd Haley’s new terminology. But again, it’s for the players; it’s their script readings. As a fan, I don’t know how much enjoyment I’d get from it even if I could see it live.

When it comes to OTA’s, I’m more concerned about what a player doesn’t do than what he does do. I don’t want to hear about the great moves that (insert young rookie phenom here) displayed in OTA’s. I just want to know that his ACL is still intact after those great moves and that he’ll be attending training camp.

To sum it all up, these are the dog days of the offseason for a huge football fan like me. And OTA’s are just a reminder that we still have two months to go before training camp, which means we’re still a good four months away from the start of the regular season.

Oh man, now I’m even more depressed, Is there a way I can go into hibernation until September?. I hope that flight serves free drinks.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Statement on the passing of Coach Bill Stewart

Statement on the passing of Coach Bill Stewart: We are saddened by the passing of Coach Stew. He was a great coach and a tremendous person. We not only lost a good football person, we lost an even …

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Ed Bouchette On OTA’s, Wallace’s Contract Negotiations

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – 93.7 The Fan Steelers Insider, and Post-Gazette beat writer, Ed Bouchette joined the Fan Morning Show on Monday morning to preview this week’s OTA’s.

Willie Colon informed us that he will be moving from tackle to guard this season, which opens the door for newly drafted tackle, Mike Adams to start the season at right tackle. Ed tells us that Marcus Gilbert will remain at left tackle.

Ed reported that Mike Wallace will not report to OTA’s because of his contract negotiations. Ed believes that is not a big deal, as long as he doesn’t miss training camp. However, the wide receiver is allowed to sit out nine games before his contract year is foregone.

Running back is an area of concern for the Steelers, and Ed reminds us that there isn’t a high draft-pick among them with Rashard Mendenhall missing time early on this season.

For the entire interview, click below:

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Sports Talk Shows, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Ed Bouchette, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers, The Fan Morning Show

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

Curtis Brown Proved Worth On Special Teams As A Rookie

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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Curtis Brown didn’t see any snaps on the defensive side of the football as a rookie, but he did contribute quite a bit on special teams, a necessity for all young defensive players drafted by Pittsburgh.

Football Outsiders released their 2011 Special Teams Tackles Stats on Monday and Brown finished 11th on their list with 14 return tackles, of which 10 were regarded as stops. A stop, as defined by FO, is when a coverage player made it downfield to get a tackle (or assist) that stopped a return for less-than-average value. The stop rate for Brown was 71%.

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Pittsburgh Steelers to open OTAs without WR Mike Wallace

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will open their OTAs this Tuesday but they are going to without the services of WR Mike Wallace on the field. Accroding to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, two of the Steelers draft picks will also not be available to the team this week, but for reasons different from Wallace’s absence. OG David DeCastro and OT Mike Adams will not be attending because of league rules regarding the fact that their semester has not ended at Stanford and Ohio State respectively and both will not be able to join the team until June.
Wallace is not participating in camp due to the fact that he is unhappy with his current contract status. Wallace was given the restricted free agent tender which comes with a $ 2.7 million dollar base this season. Wallace wants a long-term contract, reportedly in the Larry Fitzgerald range in the neighborhood of $ 100 million dollars with $ 50 million guaranteed.
The receiver was a restricted free agent this offseason and another team …

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Weekend Check Down: The Top Stories of the Week


OTAs start on Tuesday, thank God! We are about to reach our next little oasis in the Death Valley that is the offseason. You would have thought that this would be a particularly slow news week, but there actually have been a few noteworthy developments, including some continuing encouragement coming out Steelers camp. But we begin with…

Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma received the harshest punishment leveled against a player by Commissioner Goodell as a result of the Bountygate debacle, a one year suspension. Instead of just slinking off in disgrace, Vilma struck back this week by suing Goodell for defamation, creating yet another interesting twist to this ongoing soap opera.

If you are a Goodell hater (and I know you’re out there) then the good news is that the suit is targeted specifically at Goodell, not the NFL. What I like about it is this action contains the promise that the arbitrary nature of some of Goodell’s decision making and the relative lack of accountability that accompanies it may be curbed somewhat. Goodell has managed to make himself the poster boy for doing the wrong things for the right reason. It would be difficult for a rational person to argue against the need for something to be done about player safety relative to the legal issues the league is confronting in this regard. His actions seem to reflect more of a cover your ass (CYA) mentality than a fair, well thought out strategy to change the league culture. Not surprisingly some players are balking at being thrown under the proverbial bus for the good of the league and its sponsors. Some change is absolutely essential if the NFL is to survive long term in any way closely resembling its current form. But a course correction from the current strategy is necessary, and if this lawsuit is the catalyst then it is a very good thing.

On the other hand it is worth asking the question whether the suit has any validity in light of the absence of clear evidence concerning what actually happened. Vilma doesn’t really have anything to lose by doing this and could conceivably gain regardless of the eventual outcome. The players in general will benefit as well. Now, in spite of the relative impotence of the NFLPA (so far) this action demonstrates that the players won’t just be punked by the league office. Steelers players are looking better and better as it becomes clearer by the day that they were way ahead of the curve on all of this in their response to similar treatment by Goodell in the past and their rejection of the CBA based on accountability concerns. James Harrison and Ryan Clark don’t seem so surly today. Before leaving the Saints let’s devote a line or two to…

Drew Brees

Folks are starting to get a little nervous in Louisiana over the relative lack of progress on securing a new contract for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. In light of the leadership vacuum that has occurred in the wake of Bountygate, Brees was being counted on to step into the void. While it would be considered too early to be worried about such things in most precincts in the NFL, it feels awfully late in New Orleans. It appears that instead of expediting negotiations the bounty situation may have complicated matters. And speaking of contracts…

Wes Welker

The Patriots receiver signed his tender this week, though he has since expressed some regret as to how things have developed since he made the decision. Of course, being Steelers fans, it is difficult to generate much sympathy with anything concerning this particular franchise. However, at least in my mind, every action of this sort brings us one step closer to signing Mike Wallace.

But all of these things are just prologue to what, if you are part of Steeler Nation, was the big news of the week…

Willie Colon moves inside

Steeler Nation generates a lot of dreams. Some of them are pretty half baked, based upon a lack of information or faulty assumptions on who to start, who to sit, who to trade, who to cut and so forth. Usually (often fortunately) these dreams remain just that, dreams. Well, this spring, surprisingly, in some cases amazingly, some of the fantasies have come true. Many wanted the team to make a heavy investment in upgrading the offensive line, and not only did they get their wish, they got a talent (DeCastro) that most didn’t have the nerve to even wish for. This week they received fulfillment for another dream, held for years, when during the course of an interview conducted at Steelers.com Willie Colon revealed that the team asked him to move to guard.

Last year the talk in Philadelphia was about a Dream Team. This year, while it has not been titled as such (so far), Steeler Nation is contemplating a Dream Offensive Line; LT Smokin’ Mike Adams (just kidding), LG Colon, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG David DeCastro, RT Marcus Gilbert. Of course cooler heads or the more cynical will quickly point out that only Pouncey has accomplished anything in this league at his projected position. There are some reasons for optimism. The timing of the move is such that it is clear that it is directly related to the acquisition of DeCastro. This says to me that team leadership is confident that DeCastro will step in immediately and be a force. Some predict similar success for Adams as well.

Colon also provided another tantalizing glimpse into the new Steelers offensive playbook by revealing that the running attack will be balanced to the point that we should anticipate both guards will be pulling. We can also anticipate that the shrinking, but still present anti-Colon faction will back off for a while as we wait and see what the results of this great experiment will be later on this summer. Meanwhile a lively debate has begun as folks argue over who among the other offensive linemen should be shoved out the door first. The clear early favorite is tackle Jonathan Scott. We’ll see.

Kelvin Beachum

The 7th round draft choice from Southern Methodist has been overshadowed twice so far in his brief career as a Steeler. First, he is an afterthought to higher round draft mates David DeCastro and Mike Adams. And he has been virtually ignored as attention and debate has focused upon more controversial first year players Sean Spence, Chris Rainey and Adams. So not much has been made of the fact that Beachum not only received his Masters Degree this week, but he also was honored by being chosen to give the commencement address to his fellow graduates. This cuts little ice with many in the Nation who see him being thrown on to the street right behind Scott. We’ll see.

2011 Steelers Highlights

Hopefully, enough time has passed for us to realize that in spite of the disappointing ending the 2011 season was a pretty good year. The Steelers premiered its 2011 highlight film at Heinz Field revealing, among other pearls, that this marked only the second time in team history where they managed back to back 12 win seasons. The film will be available to the public in July.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers 2011 Highlight Video Set for July Release, Announce Larry Richert PA Announcer

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24:  Heath Miller #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a catch against  Craig Dahl #43 of the St. Louis Rams during the game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won 27-0.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Amid the pre-screening for local media of the Steelers 2011 highlight video (titled “Heart”), the team announced the narrator for the video, KDKA radio host Larry Richert, will be the Heinz Field public address announcer as well.

It’s unique in the sense that when you hear “Roethlisberger’s pass is complete to Miller,” it will be the same voice that melts through the Steelers’ highlight videos, giving each stat announcement a feeling of importance.

Gotta love that, huh?

I’m a sucker for season highlight films. They’re often over-produced and melodramatic, but over 16 games, even when communities like BTSC thirst for analysis (amateur or otherwise) and discussion over the most minute details of every play of every game, one tends to miss the forest for the trees, and forget about a lot of great things that may have happened the previous year.

Plus, I love the music typically used in these things. I know, it’s borderline cheesy, but it’s fun to get fired up for the regular season in July and watching these videos always does it for me.

I’m assuming any request I’d make to the team to get early access to the video would be met with no response, but I’m gonna try anyway. If that doesn’t work, I’ll definitely get a preview of it done in July, when it gets released.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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