Daily Archives: June 16, 2012

Steelers RB Baron Batch Shows Vulnerability, Depth of Skills


Steelers RB Baron Batch is known in Steeler Nation as being unique - both in his skills on the football field and his hobbies off of it.

Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldi interviewed Batch recently, and provided some insight into the second-year player's mind, as he continues to rehab from a knee injury that cost him his 2011 rookie season.

Batch is something of a renaissance man, painting and writing self-reflective prose on his web site, www.baronbatch.com. At Texas Tech, Batch was just as multi-faceted, rushing and receiving for over 3,600 yards in his career.

He was drawing raves for his willingness and ability to block during the early portion of training camp before he suffered a torn ACL. His words in describing the process are those of a grizzled and wise veteran moreso than a 23-year-old second-year rookie. More than that, they express an openness and vulnerability not often expressed or shared by professional athletes.

It's a weird feeling to all of a sudden just be told that you're ok to go compete with some of the best athletes in the world, and especially unsettling when you have been out of action for 9 months. But just like with other things in my life this was no different. Sometimes you just have to dive in.
Dive in with both feet, aware of the dagger like rocks that may or may not rest at the bottom of the lake, aware that you might not succeed and failure is a real possibility.
I wish I could tell you that I took my own advice on this.

Batch dives into a fierce competition at running back, despite the likelihood of an opening created by RB Rashard Mendenhall's own torn ACL and subsequent rehab process. The Steelers drafted RB Chris Rainey in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft and have been stockpiling running backs (like Batch) the last few years.

Isaac Redman is the unquestioned starter and feature back in Mendenhall's absence, but John Clay and Jonathan Dwyer will push Rainey and Batch just as hard as they will be pushed. It's tough to say how it will work out on paper, but Dwyer and Clay have regular season touches and Rainey and Batch do not. However, the latter are better athletes and their combinations of speed and quickness provide a dimension of elusiveness behind Redman.

If Mendenhall is placed on the PUP list (a likely outcome of training camp), he will have to miss the first six games of the season. While nothing is certain, in that situation, though, it's likely one of the four - Dwyer, Clay, Rainey and Batch will be cut.

So like Batch said, sometimes you just have to dive in. That seems to be what he's willing to do, and that mentality should work out well for him.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Rashard Mendenhall will likely start the season on the PUP list

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Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert recently stated that running back Rashard Mendenhall will likely open the 2012 season on the PUP list.
“My guess is they’ll open the season on PUP (the physically unable to perform list),” Colbert said.
“You’ve got to remember both of those injuries happened late in the year.”
If Mendenhall is on the PUP list once the regular season begins, the Steelers won’t be able to activate him until after week six.  At that time, they’ll have to decide whether they want place him on the active roster or put him on injured reserve.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Tomlin – 6/12

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

Bradshaw thinks NFL doesn’t truly care about former players

The ongoing debate regarding whether current or former NFL players would let their sons play football continues. This time, the comments come from a high-profile Hall of Famer with one small caveat:  He doesn’t have a son. “If I had a son today . . . I would not let him play football,” Terry Bradshaw…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Maurkice Pouncey’s ankle is feeling great

*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***

The only similarity between the end of the last two Steelers seasons is that center Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t on the field either time. A sprained ankle against the Jets in the AFC Championship Game in January 2011 caused Pouncey to miss the Super Bowl loss to the Packers. The ankle never really healed during the…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Antonio Brown’s Catch or Troy Polamalu’s Strip Sack, Which Was More Exciting


I'm at a wedding this weekend in Eagles Country, and outside of a few playful barbs with fans of the Eastern Pa. teams, it's been pretty mellow.

I think, now that they've discovered my presence as a Steelers fan, they're going to come at me a bit more aggressively tonight. It began late Friday, when a quick highlight of the Steelers in 2011 came on the TV. I cheered, and heard a boo or two.

Not a big deal, but one way or another, the conversation came around to which team was more exciting, the Steelers or the Eagles.

Yes, I'm now dumber for having that conversation, but the two main points I used (out of hundreds) was Antonio Brown's catch against Baltimore in the 2010 playoffs.

It doesn't get much more dramatic than that, as far as timing and weight of the game being played.

However, another one was just as critical and just as surprising (like most things this man does).

Troy Polamalu's sudden strip-sack of Ravens QB Joe Flacco (who had no chance on the play), and LaMarr Woodley's subsequent recovery to set up the game-winning touchdown was every bit as exciting.

The Eagles fan threw out DeSean Jackson's punt return to defeat the Giants (gotta give him that), but seemed to struggle to come up with another one. I'm sure there is one, I just don't know what it is.

I feel I won the argument. He may come back at me tonight, I'm not sure.

In the meantime, which of these two plays do you feel was more exciting? I feel some kind of tournament coming on.

Which play was more exciting?

  57 votes | Results

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Trai Essex – 6/12

Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex talks about the new look O-line.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

Players Sound – 6/13

Around the lockerroom during minicamp day 2.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

Do Bradshaw’s comments make sense?

Mike Florio talks about hot topics in the NFL, including Terry Bradshaw’s recent critiques of the league and Mike Wallace still not signing a franchise tender with the Steelers. 

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

Deadline for Wallace to Sign RFA Tender Today, GM Colbert Says No Reduction Coming


Speculation often takes on a life of its own. It's not that information is intentionally reported falsely, it's just the cliche game of telephone. "John is sitting on the right" turns into "John is standing over there with a cup of coffee purple monkey dishwasher."

In digging through stories regarding Steelers WR Mike Wallace, who has until today to sign his restricted free agency tender before the Steelers have the right to reduce it from $ 2.7 million to $ 577,000, I came across two main themes; One, everyone seems comfortable in suggesting the Steelers won't exercise that right, and two, no one confirms with the Steelers that's the case.

Until Thursday, that is.

The Tribune-Review noted Steelers GM Kevin Colbert's appearance on Mark Madden's 105.9 FM show the Steelers will not reduce Wallace's tender offer, but the timing of his announcement is interesting.

It's as if he's playing the "in good faith card." That's really what this whole negotiation is about.

Most never felt the team would reduce it, but clearly, Art Rooney II wasn't thrilled with Wallace not attending minicamp. In that, he could make a valid argument that both sides were asked to negotiate in good faith, and part of that is signing his RFA tender and showing up to work with his team.

I'm not suggesting that's the right course of action, but it's fair for Rooney to exercise his collectively bargained right to reduce his tender after the other side snubbed his team by not showing up to a mandatory event.

This bleeds into a frequently argued point on here. Wallace is technically not under contract with the Steelers, although the Steelers maintain his rights. He cannot play somewhere in 2012 without the Steelers' approval, which is in many ways a binding contract. As a part of the NLFPA, Wallace is subject to the same rules regarding restricted free agency, and while I'm fairly certain the Steelers wouldn't be allowed to put a gun to his head and force him to run fly routes, the idea centers around negotiating in good faith.

So should he show up or shouldn't he? Should the Steelers reduce his tender offer or shouldn't they?

Is Colbert's well-timed statement his way of acting in good faith? If it is, what will Wallace's be?

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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