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costanza2k1
07-06-2009, 02:45 PM
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com ... -away.html (http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/2009/07/training-camp-three-weeks-away.html)


Sunday, July 05, 2009
Training camp three weeks away
Training camp is three weeks away and I can already feel the excitement about the upcoming football season building.

The Steelers don't have a lot of position battles this season, but they have some things worth watching.

Who will be the starting right guard, Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik or darkhorse Trai Essex?

That's right. Essex could be a factor at that position.

The starting cornerback position is William Gay's to lose and he will have to fall flat on his face or get hurt to do so.

But who will be No. 3? Deshea Townsend again? One of the rookies? Keiwan Ratliff?

Ratliff has younger legs, but you can never count our Townsend. And the rookies, particularly Keenan Lewis, looked good this spring.

The other big battle will be fo the No. 3 receiver spot. I think Shaun McDonald may steal that one from Limas Sweed.

McDonald would give the team the ability to keep Hines Ward on the outside or shift him to the slot if it so chooses. If Sweed's on the field, Ward has to go to the slot.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 11:32 PM

Oviedo
07-06-2009, 03:34 PM
I think Lewis and Burnett make Ratliff expendable. I think Deshea stays because of his knowledge of the system and his ability to play back up free safety. I think only an injury keeps Townsend off the roster. If Ratliff was a talent he would not have been available.

phillyesq
07-06-2009, 08:43 PM
I think Lewis and Burnett make Ratliff expendable. I think Deshea stays because of his knowledge of the system and his ability to play back up free safety. I think only an injury keeps Townsend off the roster. If Ratliff was a talent he would not have been available.

The depth at corner is a good problem to have. I think that Deshea makes the roster, Lewis is pretty much a lock based on his draft position, and I'm excited about Burnett. Ratliff provides nice veteran depth. An interesting consideration is Anthony Madison. He is a great special teams player, but doesn't offer as much at corner. All of the competition at the backup spots in the secondary should make for great competition.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-07-2009, 09:39 AM
What will happen if either Burnett or Lewis (or both) step up and prove that they are ready to play? Deshea is a great guy to have around, but can we afford to keep him here if he isn't coming in on every third down? I know that he is working out at FS too, but he has never played there. I don't think you keep him strictly based on position flexibility and veteran leadership - he actually has to play as well.

At a cap hit of over $2.3M - $1.8M in salary - can Deshea be the darkhorse for the Turk's list?