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costanza2k1
06-08-2009, 11:39 PM
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com ... -move.html (http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/2009/06/hills-wants-to-make-his-move.html)



Monday, June 08, 2009
Hills wants to make his move
I caught up with Tony Hills for a few minutes at OTAs and the second-year offensive tackle feels like he's ready to take a big step forward in his second training camp.

Hills and linebacker Bruce Davis were worked hard by head coach Mike Tomlin last year in training camp, with Tomlin taking a keen interest in both players. He'd line them up against each other time after time, telling them, "I'm going to make one of you a player."

Hills said he liked that pressure because if the head coach wasn't watching so closely, it meant he didn't care.

Hills said he has added five to 10 pounds of muscle to his frame and that his injury problems from college aren't even a distant thought in the back of his mind.

He's been working at both left and right tackle in OTAs and also saw time last year at guard on the scout teams. He feels like that experience will help keep him active on game days this year, citing Trai Essex's ability to play every position except center as a reference.

The Steelers will get a gift as they head into the final week of their OTAs, with the team receiving its Super Bowl rings Tuesday.

I haven't seen the design yet, but I hear it's spectacular.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 5:16 PM

Oviedo
06-09-2009, 07:50 AM
Hills could be a big part of solving any OL problems if he can develop as a legitimate starter. I like the fact he is getting reps at both LT and RT. With both Starks and Colon on one year deals Hills could be a valuable back mup this season and step into the starting line up next year or even this year due to injury. IMO he is the key to the OL going forward.

MeetJoeGreene
06-09-2009, 07:58 AM
Hills could be a big part of solving any OL problems if he can develop as a legitimate starter. I like the fact he is getting reps at both LT and RT. With both Starks and Colon on one year deals Hills could be a valuable back mup this season and step into the starting line up next year or even this year due to injury. IMO he is the key to the OL going forward.

I know that consistency is important to and OL, but if Hills and Urbik pan out... wouldn't the 2 of them replacing Colon and Stapleton be sweet....

Oviedo
06-09-2009, 09:20 AM
Hills could be a big part of solving any OL problems if he can develop as a legitimate starter. I like the fact he is getting reps at both LT and RT. With both Starks and Colon on one year deals Hills could be a valuable back mup this season and step into the starting line up next year or even this year due to injury. IMO he is the key to the OL going forward.

I know that consistency is important to and OL, but if Hills and Urbik pan out... wouldn't the 2 of them replacing Colon and Stapleton be sweet....

You have to think that is the ideal solution from the front office perspective. They get two young players to man the right side for the next 5-6 years. They already have Kemo secured at LG for several years.

That leaves LT and Center. Now you know they want to lock up Max but I think that is probably getting into the too hard to do category. We'll see if they can make something happen before camp. Left Tackle will remain a problem area if they don't resign Starks and it will be a hard one to fix unless Hills shows he can play there at a high level.

As far as Center you have Hartwig plus three others in the form of Stapleton, Shipley and Legursky to compete for the spot. That should really be a battle to watch. Hartwig will start this season, but longer term my money is on Shipley with Stapleton becoming the interior swing man like Essex is on the outside.

Here's a wildcard for you---If Hartwig has a very good season this year don't be shocked if the Steelers resign him and he starts a couple of more seasons.

Slapstick
06-09-2009, 09:46 AM
Is it too much to hope that Hills develops into a starting LT while Foster develops into a starting RT? :tt1

MeetJoeGreene
06-09-2009, 09:52 AM
Is it too much to hope that Hills develops into a starting LT while Foster develops into a starting RT? :tt1

While we are dreaming... how about Capizzi??


:Cheers :tt1

Oviedo
06-09-2009, 10:04 AM
Is it too much to hope that Hills develops into a starting LT while Foster develops into a starting RT? :tt1

While we are dreaming... how about Capizzi??


:Cheers :tt1

Would this be sweet in 2010:

Hills-Kemo-Shipley-Urbik-Capizzi/Foster

A young OL for about 5 years playing together. Maybe no All Pros but potentially solid which is more than OK. Remember a few years ago when the Giants had a young OL and everyone was all over them for how bad they were. Now they are really good.

papillon
06-09-2009, 02:46 PM
Right now,I'd rather see Shipley pan out and be the anchor in the center for the next 10-12 years than anything else. The Steelers are still the Steelers and they need someone in the middle that is smart, can run block and be sure not to get Ben trucked by an LB running free up the middle. Stunts and twists seemed to be the most problematic pass rush for Hartwig and the guards,

I don't dream nearly as big as some of you guys. :mrgreen:

Pappy

Steelerphile
06-09-2009, 07:43 PM
I like what I have seen of Hills and I think he has a lot of potential. He is a another guy who comes across well in an interview. He is intelligent, and is committed. He has a great, big frame and just needed to fill in with a little more beef and from the looks of this information, he is addressing that area.

My sense is he has a strongly competitive nature, and his future is bright. Trai Essex may be through with the Steelers. He will never be more than a backup, (not a fan). With Hills coming on, and also Shipley and Urbik, who are bonafide OL prospects, I actually think the OL has the potential to be good, this season. It wasn't horrible last season, IMO, but it can start looking good.

RuthlessBurgher
06-09-2009, 07:52 PM
I like what I have seen of Hills and I think he has a lot of potential. He is a another guy who comes across well in an interview. He is intelligent, and is committed. He has a great, big frame and just needed to fill in with a little more beef and from the looks of this information, he is addressing that area.

My sense is he has a strongly competitive nature, and his future is bright. Trai Essex may be through with the Steelers. He will never be more than a backup, (not a fan). With Hills coming on, and also Shipley and Urbik, who are bonafide OL prospects, I actually think the OL has the potential to be good, this season. It wasn't horrible last season, IMO, but it can start looking good.

Essex just signed a two-year, $1.92 million contract with a $500,000 signing bonus in March. He's not going anywhere. He's not a guy that I would want starting on a regular basis, but the fact that he can back up at every position along the o-line except for center makes him a valuable utility back-up option. That flexibility can allow you to dress 7 o-linemen on gameday instead of 8, which opens up more spots on the active roster for special teams demons.

Steelerphile
06-09-2009, 08:14 PM
I like what I have seen of Hills and I think he has a lot of potential. He is a another guy who comes across well in an interview. He is intelligent, and is committed. He has a great, big frame and just needed to fill in with a little more beef and from the looks of this information, he is addressing that area.

My sense is he has a strongly competitive nature, and his future is bright. Trai Essex may be through with the Steelers. He will never be more than a backup, (not a fan). With Hills coming on, and also Shipley and Urbik, who are bonafide OL prospects, I actually think the OL has the potential to be good, this season. It wasn't horrible last season, IMO, but it can start looking good.

Essex just signed a two-year, $1.92 million contract with a $500,000 signing bonus in March. He's not going anywhere. He's not a guy that I would want starting on a regular basis, but the fact that he can back up at every position along the o-line except for center makes him a valuable utility back-up option. That flexibility can allow you to dress 7 o-linemen on gameday instead of 8, which opens up more spots on the active roster for special teams demons.

I don't think a $1.92 million dollar contract assures Essex of a spot. Essex has been around for five years and been undistinguished. They very well might find get a more exciting player than him on the roster. He plays different positions but is nothing exceptional anywhere.

Oviedo
06-09-2009, 10:45 PM
If Essex was thought of in a negative vein by the staff he would not have been signed to a 2 year contract to come back. He is a good back-up and he will finish his 2 year contract with the team.