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Oviedo
05-21-2009, 07:52 AM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

5:15 p.m.: In spring football, it's not so much the on-field production that sheds light on the coming season, but the coaches' intent for a player, or how they're using the player. In that way, it's a big spring for Mike Wallace and Ryan Mundy. They're obviously important parts of the staff's overall plan.

Wallace, the speedy rookie receiver from Ole Miss, is being used as a gunner on the No. 1 punt coverage team. He's also part of the multiple-WR set on the second team offense and will certainly be given a chance to win a kickoff return job.

Mundy, who was signed to the practice squad last November, is the starting free safety with Ryan Clark out. He's also the fullback, or personal protector, on the No. 1 punt team. The coaches are also giving him reps with the second and third team defenses when they can. It's obvious these two players are being "coached up" in order to help this season.

On the field, Wallace runs mainly short routes, because, he said, he ran so few of them in college. Wallace did run one deep pattern today. Anthony Madison crept up in press coverage and Wallace ran past him, had him by a couple of steps, caught the eye of Ben Roethlisberger, but couldn't come down with the difficult catch downfield. Ryan Clark razzed Wallace as he returned, saying the rookie has to make those catches if he wants to play. It's obvious that he has everyone's attention here, and it's not just because of his Mohawk hairstyle. Wallace also sped downfield to cover a punt, but got there too early, tried to catch it, but didn't and with his back to the return man allowed a sizable return. Mundy intercepted a Roethlisberger pass over the middle that was intended for Santonio Holmes. Mundy was in zone coverage and did nothing special to make the play, other than to mop up a mistake.

* Has Ziggy Hood stepped into a viper pit on the D-line with his fancy No. 1 draft status? Of course not. The defensive line is my favorite part of the team because the vets have class and they get it from their coach. I imagine that on most teams Hood would be snubbed by a veteran unit that's heard too much about its advancing age, but most teams don't have Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel and Co. They must like the kid because, if I may, they're showing him a lot of love during unit drills.

* I did get word that the Steelers had Eric Wood rated higher than Hood. How's that for love? But I figured some of the draftniks out there wanted to know.

* To continue with my amateur scouting analyses, Ramon Foster, the undrafted rookie RT out of Tennessee, sure looks like a ballplayer. I've seen a lot of stiffs over the years, and he isn't one of them. He's the third-team RT now, but my gut tells me he'll eventually move to guard, a la Keydrick Vincent. He's more mobile than Vincent and will add to the interesting depth the Steelers are grooming on the O-line.

* Foster was a strong seventh-round consideration by the team, but the Steelers opted for the muscular young TE David Johnson. That the Steelers passed on Foster gives you a window into what they think about Tony Hills and Jason Capizzi. Hills, as Bruce Arians reiterated on draft day, has good feet and is an athletic big man. The giant Capizzi is focused and realizes he has a chance to put it all together at training camp. Interesting depth indeed.

* WR Martin Nance remained sidelined, but was running routes and sprints. He told me the low hamstring down behind the knee has been bothering him.

* I asked a scout if he likes anything out there. He ripped off the names Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett and street free agent WR Brandon Williams.

* With Ziggy Hood and Kraig Urbik buried deep among their respective lines, the most intriguing rookies this year are, again, Wallace and Lewis.

* Frank "The Tank" Summers isn't getting much work. He'll have to show something before getting the chance that, say, Wallace is getting.

* For the second day in a row, undrafted rookie Steven Black made the catch of the day, this one a diving catch over the middle with Ike Taylor in pursuit.

* Silverback Harrison wasn't on the first punt team, but the rest of the interior coverage unit was Lawrence Timmons, Donovan Woods, Andre Frazier, Keyaron Fox, Carey Davis and Patrick Bailey. Not bad at all.

Oviedo
05-21-2009, 08:01 AM
Didn't realize that Undrafted FA WR Steven Black is 6'3" and over 210lbs. He seems to be impressing.

Sounds like Ryan Mundy is being given every opportunity to prove he can step in for Ryan Clark.

Ramon Foster may be a steal.

If Hills and Capizzi can be serviceable LT and RT respectively we will be talking about how brilliant the Front Office and scouts are at this time next year. I'll really believe in the Rooney's "Luck of the Irish" if this happens.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-21-2009, 09:10 AM
Doesn't sound as though the author of that report is in agreement with many of the posters on this forum about Urbik...Many here have anointed him as a starter, or think he will be by midseason, but according to this report, he's "buried" among the OL personnel.
Guess we'll have to wait to find out who's right.

Oviedo
05-21-2009, 09:50 AM
Doesn't sound as though the author of that report is in agreement with many of the posters on this forum about Urbik...Many here have anointed him as a starter, or think he will be by midseason, but according to this report, he's "buried" among the OL personnel.
Guess we'll have to wait to find out who's right.

All of this is fluff for a boring off season. It really starts to matter when the pads go on. For the most part the OTAs are just mental gymnastics for the rookies to try to learn the playbook, terminology, etc.

I still think we see Urbik on the field by midseason.

pfelix73
05-21-2009, 10:13 AM
I'm not so sure. He has some vets to beat out..........

MaxAMillion
05-21-2009, 10:20 AM
Keenan Lewis has been my pick since the senior bowl. Speed is the only thing in question with his game. He has good size and logn arms. I think he is a better prospect than Gay. I suspect he will be the starter come 2010 over Gay.

I think Lewis may be the best draft choice in this class. I am really high on him.

RuthlessBurgher
05-21-2009, 10:39 AM
Doesn't sound as though the author of that report is in agreement with many of the posters on this forum about Urbik...Many here have anointed him as a starter, or think he will be by midseason, but according to this report, he's "buried" among the OL personnel.
Guess we'll have to wait to find out who's right.

In the thread about SKL's encounter with Colbert in Florida, he said specifically that they "love" Keenan Lewis and Kraig Urbik. Whenever talking about linemen, however, we'll have to see what happens when they put the pads on this summer. Wideouts and corners can impress at this time of year in shorts, but the big uglies can't show all that much when there is no hitting.

I find it interesting that Lolley stated that "I did get word that the Steelers had Eric Wood rated higher than Hood" but SKL reported that Colbert said that "(Hood) was a guy they really wanted and had him ranked above all the G/C's and most of the tackles." I wonder which is correct.

stlrz d
05-21-2009, 11:10 AM
I've heard several scouts say the only thing you can look at with O linemen that aren't in full pads is footwork and body position...and that's about it.

frankthetank1
05-21-2009, 11:14 AM
Keenan Lewis has been my pick since the senior bowl. Speed is the only thing in question with his game. He has good size and logn arms. I think he is a better prospect than Gay. I suspect he will be the starter come 2010 over Gay.

I think Lewis may be the best draft choice in this class. I am really high on him.

i would be a little shocked if lewis is starting over gay. you never know but the steelers usually dont start many rookies, especially on defense

RuthlessBurgher
05-21-2009, 12:21 PM
Keenan Lewis has been my pick since the senior bowl. Speed is the only thing in question with his game. He has good size and logn arms. I think he is a better prospect than Gay. I suspect he will be the starter come 2010 over Gay.

I think Lewis may be the best draft choice in this class. I am really high on him.

i would be a little shocked if lewis is starting over gay. you never know but the steelers usually dont start many rookies, especially on defense

To clarify, he said that he thinks Lewis will start over Gay in 2010, not as a rookie.

MaxAMillion
05-21-2009, 04:36 PM
Keenan Lewis has been my pick since the senior bowl. Speed is the only thing in question with his game. He has good size and logn arms. I think he is a better prospect than Gay. I suspect he will be the starter come 2010 over Gay.

I think Lewis may be the best draft choice in this class. I am really high on him.

i would be a little shocked if lewis is starting over gay. you never know but the steelers usually dont start many rookies, especially on defense

To clarify, he said that he thinks Lewis will start over Gay in 2010, not as a rookie.

Right, I think Lewis will play as a rookie and start in his second year. I really like Lewis a lot.

Eddie Spaghetti
05-21-2009, 05:59 PM
i think i read somewhere postdraft the steelers had eric wood rated as high as 12th on their board.

i am convinced they were shocked when buffalo selected him.

grotonsteel
05-21-2009, 07:19 PM
It will be an interesting battle at Training Camp between Jason Capizzi , Tony Hills and Ramon Foster.