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AkronSteel
07-02-2009, 11:59 AM
Steelers camp countdown: Dominant 'D' + clutch QB = another playoff run

Gerry Dulac and Vinnie Iyer

Wednesday, Jul. 1, 2009 - 10:43 a.m. ET

This is the eighth in a series of team-by-team breakdowns that will run on SportingNews.com before the start of training camp.

Reporting date: July 31

On the way to winning their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl trophy, the Steelers debunked the myth that games are won or lost along the line of scrimmage. That is, at least as far as their offensive line is concerned.

The Steelers also reinforced what they believed all along: Even when faced with the NFL's toughest regular-season schedule, you are never out of any game when you have a dominating defense and a marquee quarterback.

So why should 2009 be any different?

Of the 22 starters who combined to beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, the Steelers lost only two -- cornerback Bryant McFadden, who signed with Arizona, and inside linebacker Larry Foote, who was cut this spring.

Look for more clutch play from Ben Roethlisberger, 27, who is just entering his prime. And there's no reason to think the defense, which dominated the NFL in just about every facet last year, won't be just as good.

The running game, which was ravaged by injuries, should be better. So should the offensive line, which returns all five starters after a season that began with four players at new positions.

"It's a different year," says coach Mike Tomlin, who has been to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons. "We know that things that happened in the past are things that happened in the past, and it may affect how we're judged from a perception standpoint. But it's not going to dictate how we work or how we approach our business."
What's new

Offense: Second-year running back Rashard Mendenhall, who missed most of last season with a broken scapula, is ready to become an integral part of the offense. That alone should help a rushing attack that produced an average of 105.6 yards per game in 2008.
Related Links

The team has to find a replacement for No. 3 receiver Nate Washington, who signed with the Titans. Limas Sweed, last year's second-round pick, has the size and speed but needs to improve his route-running and consistency to be a factor in the passing game. Mike Wallace was drafted in the third round and has been clocked at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash.

Defense: The evolution of inside linebacker Lawrence Timmmons brings even more athleticism and explosiveness to the unit. Timmons spent most of last season playing in the nickel and dime schemes, but when the team cut Foote, it cleared the way for Timmons to start alongside James Farrior.

The biggest problem for the secondary is replacing McFadden. William Gay, a fifth-round pick in 2007, should step in as the starter at left cornerback, something he did for four games last season when McFadden was injured. Gay played so well that he split time with McFadden the remainder of the season, including the Super Bowl. Gay is not as solid against the run as McFadden, but he has superior cover skills and breaks better on the ball.
Burning question

Are the Steelers the team to beat?

"That defense -- everyone will look at that as the reason. Two things stand out as they made it to the Super Bowl: a great quarterback and a great coach. (Ben Roethlisberger) was great in the clutch last season, allowing them to overcome a lot of late deficits. They played and won so many close games that it makes you a little nervous to pick them.
--CBS analyst Phil Simms
View from the other sideline

(An anonymous opponent breaks down the Steelers.)

"This team is so strong defensively, and one of the reasons they are is because they run to the ball better than any other defense. They get to spots where they are extremely hard to cut off. They're always staying ahead of you. Every year, when you look back at all their games and who ran best against them, you still have a tough time figuring it out.

"(Defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau has them put together extremely well. They have developed a sense of pride. You have a lot of teams who have more individual interests in mind. But when you get it like the Steelers get it, when you have 11 guys gang-tackling and running to the ball, that's what's special about them.

"They have such a great combination of strength and speed. They close so quickly. There are very few explosive plays. They just recover so well because of their team speed."
Bottom line

The Steelers had few defections in free agency, and the core of their Super Bowl-winning team remains intact. Roethlisberger proved last season that as long as he is the quarterback, the team is not out of any game, particularly when he has a defense that can shut down the run and pass with equal aplomb.

The offense will be better with a more-seasoned line, and the return of Mendenhall will help the running game. Granted, the defensive line is beginning to age, but not to the point where it is affecting production. Another division title and a run at the Super Bowl are within this team's grasp.

Projected depth chart

OFFENSE
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch
RB: Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall
FB: Carey Davis, Frank Summers
WR: Hines Ward, Mike Wallace
WR: Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed
TE: Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth
LT: Max Starks, Tony Hills
LG: Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex
C: Justin Hartwig, Darnell Stapleton
RG: Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik
RT: Willie Colon, Trai Essex

DEFENSE
LE: Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood
NT: Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke
RE: Brett Keisel, Travis Kirschke
OLB: LaMarr Woodley, Arnold Harrison
ILB: James Farrior, Keyaron Fox
ILB: Lawrence Timmons, Patrick Bailey
OLB: James Harrison, Bruce Davis
CB: Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis
CB: William Gay, Deshea Townsend
SS: Troy Polamalu, Tyrone Carter
FS: Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy

SPECIALISTS
K: Jeff Reed
P: Daniel Sepulveda
KR: Mike Wallace
PR: Joe Burnett
LS: Greg Warren


Good read!!! Man am I ready for July 31st to get here!!!

:tt1

NorthCoast
07-02-2009, 12:34 PM
Anyone have the camp schedule?

I am going to be in the 'Burgh area wk of Aug. 10 and want to try to get to Latrobe for a visit.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
07-02-2009, 12:42 PM
Steelers camp countdown: Dominant 'D' + clutch QB = another playoff run

Gerry Dulac and Vinnie Iyer

Wednesday, Jul. 1, 2009 - 10:43 a.m. ET

This is the eighth in a series of team-by-team breakdowns that will run on SportingNews.com before the start of training camp.

Reporting date: July 31

On the way to winning their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl trophy, the Steelers debunked the myth that games are won or lost along the line of scrimmage. That is, at least as far as their offensive line is concerned.

The Steelers also reinforced what they believed all along: Even when faced with the NFL's toughest regular-season schedule, you are never out of any game when you have a dominating defense and a marquee quarterback.

So why should 2009 be any different?

Of the 22 starters who combined to beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, the Steelers lost only two -- cornerback Bryant McFadden, who signed with Arizona, and inside linebacker Larry Foote, who was cut this spring.

Look for more clutch play from Ben Roethlisberger, 27, who is just entering his prime. And there's no reason to think the defense, which dominated the NFL in just about every facet last year, won't be just as good.

The running game, which was ravaged by injuries, should be better. So should the offensive line, which returns all five starters after a season that began with four players at new positions.

"It's a different year," says coach Mike Tomlin, who has been to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons. "We know that things that happened in the past are things that happened in the past, and it may affect how we're judged from a perception standpoint. But it's not going to dictate how we work or how we approach our business."
What's new

Offense: Second-year running back Rashard Mendenhall, who missed most of last season with a broken scapula, is ready to become an integral part of the offense. That alone should help a rushing attack that produced an average of 105.6 yards per game in 2008.
Related Links

The team has to find a replacement for No. 3 receiver Nate Washington, who signed with the Titans. Limas Sweed, last year's second-round pick, has the size and speed but needs to improve his route-running and consistency to be a factor in the passing game. Mike Wallace was drafted in the third round and has been clocked at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash.

Defense: The evolution of inside linebacker Lawrence Timmmons brings even more athleticism and explosiveness to the unit. Timmons spent most of last season playing in the nickel and dime schemes, but when the team cut Foote, it cleared the way for Timmons to start alongside James Farrior.

The biggest problem for the secondary is replacing McFadden. William Gay, a fifth-round pick in 2007, should step in as the starter at left cornerback, something he did for four games last season when McFadden was injured. Gay played so well that he split time with McFadden the remainder of the season, including the Super Bowl. Gay is not as solid against the run as McFadden, but he has superior cover skills and breaks better on the ball.
Burning question

Are the Steelers the team to beat?

"That defense -- everyone will look at that as the reason. Two things stand out as they made it to the Super Bowl: a great quarterback and a great coach. (Ben Roethlisberger) was great in the clutch last season, allowing them to overcome a lot of late deficits. They played and won so many close games that it makes you a little nervous to pick them.
--CBS analyst Phil Simms
View from the other sideline

(An anonymous opponent breaks down the Steelers.)

"This team is so strong defensively, and one of the reasons they are is because they run to the ball better than any other defense. They get to spots where they are extremely hard to cut off. They're always staying ahead of you. Every year, when you look back at all their games and who ran best against them, you still have a tough time figuring it out.

"(Defensive coordinator) bad word LeBeau has them put together extremely well. They have developed a sense of pride. You have a lot of teams who have more individual interests in mind. But when you get it like the Steelers get it, when you have 11 guys gang-tackling and running to the ball, that's what's special about them.

"They have such a great combination of strength and speed. They close so quickly. There are very few explosive plays. They just recover so well because of their team speed."
Bottom line

The Steelers had few defections in free agency, and the core of their Super Bowl-winning team remains intact. Roethlisberger proved last season that as long as he is the quarterback, the team is not out of any game, particularly when he has a defense that can shut down the run and pass with equal aplomb.

The offense will be better with a more-seasoned line, and the return of Mendenhall will help the running game. Granted, the defensive line is beginning to age, but not to the point where it is affecting production. Another division title and a run at the Super Bowl are within this team's grasp.

Projected depth chart

OFFENSE
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch
RB: Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall
FB: Carey Davis, Frank Summers
WR: Hines Ward, Mike Wallace
WR: Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed
TE: Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth
LT: Max Starks, Tony Hills
LG: Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex
C: Justin Hartwig, Darnell Stapleton
RG: Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik
RT: Willie Colon, Trai Essex

DEFENSE
LE: Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood
NT: Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke
RE: Brett Keisel, Travis Kirschke
OLB: LaMarr Woodley, Arnold Harrison
ILB: James Farrior, Keyaron Fox
ILB: Lawrence Timmons, Patrick Bailey
OLB: James Harrison, Bruce Davis
CB: Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis
CB: William Gay, Deshea Townsend
SS: Troy Polamalu, Tyrone Carter
FS: Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy

SPECIALISTS
K: Jeff Reed
P: Daniel Sepulveda
KR: Mike Wallace
PR: Joe Burnett
LS: Greg Warren


Good read!!! Man am I ready for July 31st to get here!!!

:tt1

Author keeps saying Foote got cut. Didn't he request a release so he could go home to Detroit?

Thanks -

SteelerNation1
07-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Anyone have the camp schedule?

I am going to be in the 'Burgh area wk of Aug. 10 and want to try to get to Latrobe for a visit.
http://news.steelers.com/article/105725/

buckeyehoppy
07-02-2009, 07:11 PM
I am aiming for a trip to Latrobe on Aug. 15, 16 or 17. I am going to shoot for the Monday if I have it off. If not, I get to fight the crowds on Saturday or Sunday.

fordfixer
07-02-2009, 11:00 PM
http://www.sportingnews.com
Dominant ‘D’ + clutch QB = another playoff run

On the way to winning their NFLrecord
sixth Super Bowl trophy, the
Steelers debunked the myth that
games are won or lost along the line
of scrimmage. That is, at least as far
as their offensive line is concerned.
The Steelers also reinforced what
they believed all along: Even when
faced with the NFL’s toughest regular-
season schedule, you are never
out of any game when you have a
dominating defense and a marquee
quarterback.
So why should 2009 be any
different?
Of the 22 starters who combined
to beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl
43, the Steelers lost only two—cornerback
Bryant McFadden, who
signed with Arizona, and inside
linebacker Larry Foote, who was cut
this spring.
Look for more clutch play from Ben
Roethlisberger, 27, who is just entering
his prime. And there’s no reason
to think the defense, which dominated
the NFL in just about every facet last
year, won’t be just as good.
The running game, which was
ravaged by injuries, should be better.
So should the offensive line,
which returns all five starters after a
season that began with four players
at new positions.
“It’s a different year,” says coach
Mike Tomlin, who has been to the
playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
“We know that things that
happened in the past are things that
happened in the past, and it may
affect how we’re judged from a perception
standpoint. But it’s not going
to dictate how we work or how we
approach our business.”
WHAT’S NEW
Offense: Second-year running
back Rashard Mendenhall, who
missed most of last season with a
broken scapula, is ready to become
an integral part of the offense. That
alone should help a rushing attack
that produced an average of 105.6
yards per game in 2008.
The team has to find a replacement
for No. 3 receiver Nate Washington,
who signed with the Titans. Limas
Sweed, last year’s second-round pick,
has the size and speed but needs to
improve his route-running and consistency
to be a factor in the passing
game. Mike Wallace was drafted in
the third round and has been clocked
at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash.
Defense: The evolution of inside
linebacker Lawrence Timmmons
brings even more athleticism and
explosiveness to the unit. Timmons
spent most of last season playing in
the nickel and dime schemes, but
when the team cut Foote, it cleared
the way for Timmons to start alongside
James Farrior.
The biggest problem for the secondary
is replacing McFadden. William
Gay, a fifth-round pick in 2007,
should step in as the starter at left
cornerback, something he did for
four games last season when McFadden
was injured. Gay played so well
that he split time with McFadden the
remainder of the season, including
the Super Bowl. Gay is not as solid
against the run as McFadden, but he
has superior cover skills and breaks
better on the ball.
OPPONENT’S VIEW
(anonymous opponent
breaks down the Steelers)
“This team is so strong defensively,
and one of the reasons they
are is because they run to the ball
better than any other defense. They
get to spots where they are extremely
hard to cut off. They’re always staying
ahead of you. Every year, when
you look back at all their games and
who ran best against them, you still
have a tough time figuring it out.
“(Defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau
has them put together extremely
well. They have developed a sense of
pride. You have a lot of teams who
have more individual interests in
mind. But when you get it like the
Steelers get it, when you have 11 guys
gang-tackling and running to the ball,
that’s what’s special about them.
“They have such a great combination
of strength and speed. They
close so quickly. There are very few
explosive plays. They just recover so
well because of their team speed.”
BOTTOM LINE
The Steelers had few defections in
free agency and the core of their
Super Bowl-winning team remains
intact. Roethlisberger proved last
season that as long as he is the
quarterback, the team is not out of
any game, particularly when he has
a defense that can shut down the run
and pass with equal aplomb.
The offense will be better with a
more-seasoned line, and the return
of Mendenhall will help the running
game. Granted, the defensive line is
beginning to age, but not to the point
where it is affecting production.
Another division title and a run at
the Super Bowl are within this
team’s grasp.
— Gerry Dulac & Vinnie Iyer

mshifko
07-03-2009, 12:40 PM
going to a few practices the week of august 3rd....looking forward to it

Flasteel
07-04-2009, 10:58 AM
Steelers camp countdown: Dominant 'D' + clutch QB = another playoff run
Gerry Dulac and Vinnie Iyer
Wednesday, Jul. 1, 2009 - 10:43 a.m. ET

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article ... layoff-run (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-07-01/steelers-camp-countdown-dominant-d-clutch-qb-another-playoff-run)

Reporting date: July 31
Ben Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings, and he's just now entering his prime.
On the way to winning their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl trophy, the Steelers debunked the myth that games are won or lost along the line of scrimmage. That is, at least as far as their offensive line is concerned.
The Steelers also reinforced what they believed all along: Even when faced with the NFL's toughest regular-season schedule, you are never out of any game when you have a dominating defense and a marquee quarterback.
So why should 2009 be any different?
Of the 22 starters who combined to beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, the Steelers lost only two -- cornerback Bryant McFadden, who signed with Arizona, and inside linebacker Larry Foote, who was cut this spring.
Look for more clutch play from Ben Roethlisberger, 27, who is just entering his prime. And there's no reason to think the defense, which dominated the NFL in just about every facet last year, won't be just as good.
The running game, which was ravaged by injuries, should be better. So should the offensive line, which returns all five starters after a season that began with four players at new positions.
"It's a different year," says coach Mike Tomlin, who has been to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons. "We know that things that happened in the past are things that happened in the past, and it may affect how we're judged from a perception standpoint. But it's not going to dictate how we work or how we approach our business."
What's new
Offense: Second-year running back Rashard Mendenhall, who missed most of last season with a broken scapula, is ready to become an integral part of the offense. That alone should help a rushing attack that produced an average of 105.6 yards per game in 2008.
The team has to find a replacement for No. 3 receiver Nate Washington, who signed with the Titans. Limas Sweed, last year's second-round pick, has the size and speed but needs to improve his route-running and consistency to be a factor in the passing game. Mike Wallace was drafted in the third round and has been clocked at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash.
Defense: The evolution of inside linebacker Lawrence Timmmons brings even more athleticism and explosiveness to the unit. Timmons spent most of last season playing in the nickel and dime schemes, but when the team cut Foote, it cleared the way for Timmons to start alongside James Farrior.
The biggest problem for the secondary is replacing McFadden. William Gay, a fifth-round pick in 2007, should step in as the starter at left cornerback, something he did for four games last season when McFadden was injured. Gay played so well that he split time with McFadden the remainder of the season, including the Super Bowl. Gay is not as solid against the run as McFadden, but he has superior cover skills and breaks better on the ball.
Burning question
Are the Steelers the team to beat?
"That defense -- everyone will look at that as the reason. Two things stand out as they made it to the Super Bowl: a great quarterback and a great coach. (Ben Roethlisberger) was great in the clutch last season, allowing them to overcome a lot of late deficits. They played and won so many close games that it makes you a little nervous to pick them.
--CBS analyst Phil Simms
View from the other sideline
(An anonymous opponent breaks down the Steelers.)
"This team is so strong defensively, and one of the reasons they are is because they run to the ball better than any other defense. They get to spots where they are extremely hard to cut off. They're always staying ahead of you. Every year, when you look back at all their games and who ran best against them, you still have a tough time figuring it out.
"(Defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau has them put together extremely well. They have developed a sense of pride. You have a lot of teams who have more individual interests in mind. But when you get it like the Steelers get it, when you have 11 guys gang-tackling and running to the ball, that's what's special about them.
"They have such a great combination of strength and speed. They close so quickly. There are very few explosive plays. They just recover so well because of their team speed."
Bottom line
The Steelers had few defections in free agency, and the core of their Super Bowl-winning team remains intact. Roethlisberger proved last season that as long as he is the quarterback, the team is not out of any game, particularly when he has a defense that can shut down the run and pass with equal aplomb.
The offense will be better with a more-seasoned line, and the return of Mendenhall will help the running game. Granted, the defensive line is beginning to age, but not to the point where it is affecting production. Another division title and a run at the Super Bowl are within this team's grasp.
Projected depth chart
OFFENSE
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch
RB: Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall
FB: Carey Davis, Frank Summers
WR: Hines Ward, Mike Wallace
WR: Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed
TE: Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth
LT: Max Starks, Tony Hills
LG: Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex
C: Justin Hartwig, Darnell Stapleton
RG: Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik
RT: Willie Colon, Trai Essex
DEFENSE LE: Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood
NT: Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke
RE: Brett Keisel, Travis Kirschke
OLB: LaMarr Woodley, Arnold Harrison
ILB: James Farrior, Keyaron Fox
ILB: Lawrence Timmons, Patrick Bailey
OLB: James Harrison, Bruce Davis
CB: Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis
CB: William Gay, Deshea Townsend
SS: Troy Polamalu, Tyrone Carter
FS: Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy
SPECIALISTS
K: Jeff Reed
P: Daniel Sepulveda
KR: Mike Wallace
PR: Joe Burnett
LS: Greg Warren

Flasteel
07-04-2009, 11:17 AM
My bad. I posted the above article without looking at Zippy's Camp Countdown thread. My humblest apologies.