Daily Archives: May 27, 2012

Steelers Figure To Have David DeCastro Under Contract Soon

I posted recently about what likely was the hold up on the Pittsburgh Steelers getting first round draft pick David DeCastro under contract. Now it seems like the logjam ahead of DeCastro is starting to move thanks to the New England Patriots drawing the line in the sand this past week with their first round pick Chandler Jones, the 21st overall selection this past April.

Jones deal was for the mandated four-years, but only three years of it is guaranteed. The theory is that DeCastro and his agent were waiting to see just how far down the four year guaranteed deals fell, and with Jones being Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks’ Foot Surgery Gives Mike Wallace More Reason to Skip OTAs

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Reports indicate Giants WR Hakeem Nicks' foot surgery was successful. hat's a good thing for Nicks and the Giants. And Steelers fans should be resigned to understanding why WR Mike Wallace is not participating in OTAs.

Nicks broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot Thursday while running a route in the defending champs' OTA session. He had surgery the following day and is expected to be inactive for the next 12 weeks (although Nicks' agent, Peter Schaffer, told the New York Post they're waiting on a post-surgery estimate).

If it is the 12 week originally anticipated for recovery, Nicks would be out for their entire training camp.

Injuries are often fluke things, occurring despite outstanding conditioning, proper technique and usual stress. While the odds of what happened to Nicks happening to any other receiver in the league are low, it's still a big risk to take for a player like Wallace, who's eyeing a long-term extension.

What if Nicks blew out his ACL? He's likely out for the entire season. Since it would be considered a football injury, he would still accrue a season of eligibility, thus making him an unrestricted free agent in 2012, but his stock, coming off a severe knee injury, would likely drop off quite a bit.

The NFL is ultimately a business, and Nicks' injury only gives Wallace more reason (not defending or supporting his agenda) to avoid team-issued workouts.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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LaMarr Woodley: Steelers should have beaten Broncos easily

In the opinion of Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh’s playoff loss in Denver was less a matter of the Broncos playing well than the Steelers playing badly. Woodley says that even now, five months later, that overtime loss particularly stings — because he believes the Steelers should have won that game, and should have won…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule Preview: at Denver Broncos

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road in Week 1, and will take on the team that ousted them from the playoffs in January, the Denver Broncos.

Taking a look at where the Broncos are in May, it will be a daunting task. But one the Steelers need to get used to. With perhaps the toughest schedule overall they've had since 2008, this isn't the last good team they'll play in 2012.

They're only the first.

Broncos Improvements

Obviously the replacement of QB Tim Tebow with QB Peyton Manning stands out the most. While it's easy to look at the game of football in an absolute zero-sum sense, that isn't quite the way it works. The Broncos offense was geared around the strengths it had last year - running the ball, improvising play from its quarterback and calculated deep passing.

Of that, deep passing is likely to be the only carry-over from last year's playoff run. But that area, along with others on their offense, will be even better.

Manning looked sharp in OTAs to this point, as most would expect from a man as driven as Manning is. WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker give Manning an underrated backbone of receivers and as a unit, its offensive line played well enough to establish a formidable run game. Move the yards from the rushing column in 2011 to passing, add more scoring and you've got the Broncos.

It's an outstanding football team, and Denver isn't an easy place in which opposing teams can pull out a win.

Broncos Losses

The defensive secondary may take something of a hit with the loss of SS Brian Dawkins (retirement). It's generally an underwhelming unit as a whole, particularly with the advancing age of CB Champ Bailey.

Steelers Advantage

The Steelers had an advantage in terms of deep passing in their overtime playoff loss, but a lack of protection up front along with an injured quarterback prevented them from connecting on a few deep throw opportunities they had. Denver will look to protect its secondary with the continued domination of its pass rush. Pittsburgh's newly remodeled offensive line could help prevent that, but assuming Mike Adams and David DeCastro are named the Week 1 starters (not a lock just yet for Adams, nearly a certainty for DeCastro), they'll be making their first NFL starts in a hostile environment.

Steelers Disadvantage

Steelers CB Ike Taylor had possibly the worst game of his career in the playoff loss, and while it seems strange to say this, it seems more likely he'd have a better chance of success against a better and more traditional quarterback like Manning. Taylor was playing for the interception far too aggressively against the weak-armed Tebow, and the Broncos exploited that for several big plays. They also exploited OLB James Harrison's desire to get up the field, and had Tebow simply escape outside Harrison, who abandoned the edge.

These aren't problems the Steelers can't fix rather easily, particularly when you play a quarterback as good as Manning. Discipline is key, and it's something that will be stressed heavily leading up to the game.

This series will go through each of the Steelers games slated on the 2012 NFL Schedule, and we'll evaluate how they stand post-draft and pre-training camp. We'll revisit this again in August, but for now, we're comparing where each team is compared to where they were last year.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Starkey: Broncos loss still stings, motivates


Sun, 27 May 2012 17:23:24
by JOE STARKEY




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Source: TribLIVE RSS Feeds

Former Colts K Mike Vanderjagt Still Hearing About 2005 AFC Divisional Playoff Game


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Allegedly, former Colts K Mike Vanderjagt still knows how to choke.

Only this time, it wasn't at the end of a playoff football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the throat of a student after he taunted Vanderjagt by chanting "Wide Left! Wide Left!" in reference to his missed kick at the end of the 2005 NFL Divisional Playoff game between the Colts and Pittsburgh.

Vanderjagt, a volunteer coach and school parent at Charter Middle School in Marco Island, Fla., according to witnesses, grabbed a student by the throat and began swearing at him after the student was seen and heard yelling "wide left" through a rolled up poster board.

Vanderjagt said he placed his hand on the student's shoulder, by the base of his neck, and did not choke him.

Local police reviewed the matter and sent an incident report to the state's attorney general's office, who concluded no charges would be filed. Vanderjagt also said he's spoken with the boy's family, and he apologized. The boy also apologized.

The school board voted 4-2 in favor of allowing the school's principal to handle the decision of whether to keep Vanderjagt on as a coach.

Apparently, the boy he allegedly choked (and admittedly touched) was only the latest of many who were taunting Vanderjagt in a similar fashion over the months.

Obviously accosting a child is against the moral code of any teacher or child, but a certain level of respect should be given to those coaches and teachers. It seems like a good life and history lesson for both Vanderjagt, the student and everyone involved with the incident.

For life, one must learn to overcome failures, accept them and move on. For history, they should all remember the kick was wide right, not left.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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NFL, NFLPA battle could spread to 2012 restricted free agency

With the NFL and NFLPA suddenly getting along even worse than the Hatfields and the McCoys, it makes sense to think about other ways in which the fight could manifest itself. The union now claims that the teams engaged in collusion two years ago, establishing a secret $ 123 million per-team salary cap.  Though that claim…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


Mike Wallace, Steelers in talks on a long term deal

Mike Wallace is no showing optional OTAs for the Steelers as he wants a new long term deal. Wallace, who has yet to sign his 1 year, 2.742 million restricted free agent tender, reportedly wants Calvin Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald money, which is somewhere around 15+ million per year over 7-8 years. Wallace couldn’t get that from the Steelers even if they wanted to give it to him because of their cap situation, but he and the Steelers are in least in talks on a long term deal. It’s unclear if one will get done. Right now, the Steelers hold all the leverage. Since he’s only had 3 years in the league, the Steelers can slash his salary to 577,000 if he doesn’t resign by June 15th.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Valley’s Clemons stays grounded


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Sun, 27 May 2012 17:23:24
by BILL BECKNER JR.




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Source: TribLIVE RSS Feeds

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Rashard Mendenhall not ruling himself out for Week One

When Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL in the season finale, it created some doubt about whether he’d be able to get back on the field in time to help the team during the 2012 season. Mendenhall still isn’t sure when he’ll be back, but he’s adamant that he won’t miss the entire…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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