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Oviedo
05-18-2010, 05:17 PM
Thank God for Wexell actually putting out some good info as he always does. Leftwich looking better and Dixon looking worse.


OTA No. 3

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted May 18, 2010



SCI.com publisher Jim Wexell gives his thoughts and makes some notes on each of the Steelers' Organized Training Activities. Here's the first installment:

It appears that Troy Polamalu has gone back to Southern California to resume his high-intensity spring workouts with his personal trainer. Polamalu didn’t show up for Tuesday’s resumption of Offseason Training Activities (OTAs), and he’d hinted at minicamp that he might skip the remaining voluntary sessions in order to work with his trainer, as he had the previous two springs.
Also missing was Hines Ward, who’s healing from a minor hamstring injury at minicamp.

Rookie fourth-round pick Thaddeus Gibson also missed, as expected. He’s bound by NCAA rules to remain off the field until his class graduates. It’s always a problem with Ohio State players, although rookie Doug Worthington was able to report to OTAs since he’s already graduated from OSU.

Lineup changes from last year: Byron Leftwich at QB, Doug Legursky at C, Will Allen at SS, and Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle El at WR. Legursky is filling in for Justin Hartwig, who suited up but only snapped in the 7-on-7 drills as his shoulder heals from surgery.

As for the quarterback situation, Leftwich plays better with each practice, but it seems as if Dennis Dixon plays worse. Charlie Batch has been the most consistent quarterback. He doesn’t have Leftwich’s arm strength, but can drop an intermediate pass into the right hands for big gains. In fact, Batch threw a beauty to tight end David Johnson, who had a step on rookie OLB Jason Worilds about 25 yards down the field along the sideline, but Johnson dropped it.

Leftwich is beginning to have some fun with speedster Wallace. Leftwich slightly underthrew the receiver on a completed deep ball early in practice, and two plays later – with the nervous CB playing well off Wallace – threw a laser to Wallace on a slant over the middle that went for a big gain. Late in practice, Leftwich hit Wallace in stride on a deep pass.

On the other hand, Dixon made two of the worst throws in Tuesday’s practice. On the first, he attempted to throw an out to rookie Antonio Brown but Anthony Madison stepped in front and intercepted it for a touchdown. Dixon was also intercepted by diving safety Tuff Harris on a pass over the middle without an offensive player in the area.

Here are some other practice notes from Tuesday:

* William Gay accidently blew up Eugene Bright when he broke up a helmet-high pass to the tight end.

* Arnaz Battle and Will Allen were the first gunners to work, but Battle wouldn’t consider that to be any kind of promotion over Madison. My interview with Battle will be posted a little bit later.

* During the third-down portion of practice, the Steelers stuck with their nickel defense. On one play, ILB Lawrence Timmons lined up over Randle El in the slot and blanketed him before going over Randle El’s shoulder to break up a short pass.

* On another third-down play, Allen lined up over Battle in the slot, and had good coverage, but Battle rose up to snag a high Leftwich fastball that left Allen muttering to himself.

* One play after Madison stepped in front of Brown for his pick-six, Dixon went right back to the rookie from Central Michigan but Brown dropped the easy pass.

* The second-team OL, from left to right, is: Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Kraig Urbik, Maurkice Pouncey, Tony Hills.

* Gay played some safety during 7-on-7 drills.

* Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall were the only players used on kickoff returns.

* I asked someone in the know whether the Vikings feared the Steelers when the Vikes traded up in the second round to draft Toby Gerhart. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I know we loved Jason Worilds.”

* Stefan Logan went in motion the wrong way and drew the ire of an assistant coach. Logan then went the right way and caught the short pass. I believe it’s further proof that the Steelers are making an effort to include Logan more in the offense.

* Rookie fullback Demetrius Taylor caught another short pass and rumbled down the sideline for a big gain. The 273-pounder looks interesting.

* Later, rookie tailback Jonathan Dwyer took a handoff and cut off right tackle for an impressive run. He looked fast and powerful, but when someone asked Mike Tomlin what he thought about Dwyer, the coach just said, “He’s a rookie wearing shorts.”

* Gotta love that.

ANPSTEEL
05-18-2010, 06:06 PM
Thank God for Wexell actually putting out some good info as he always does. Leftwich looking better and Dixon looking worse.


OTA No. 3

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted May 18, 2010



SCI.com publisher Jim Wexell gives his thoughts and makes some notes on each of the Steelers' Organized Training Activities. Here's the first installment:

It appears that Troy Polamalu has gone back to Southern California to resume his high-intensity spring workouts with his personal trainer. Polamalu didn’t show up for Tuesday’s resumption of Offseason Training Activities (OTAs), and he’d hinted at minicamp that he might skip the remaining voluntary sessions in order to work with his trainer, as he had the previous two springs.
Also missing was Hines Ward, who’s healing from a minor hamstring injury at minicamp.

Rookie fourth-round pick Thaddeus Gibson also missed, as expected. He’s bound by NCAA rules to remain off the field until his class graduates. It’s always a problem with Ohio State players, although rookie Doug Worthington was able to report to OTAs since he’s already graduated from OSU.

Lineup changes from last year: Byron Leftwich at QB, Doug Legursky at C, Will Allen at SS, and Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle El at WR. Legursky is filling in for Justin Hartwig, who suited up but only snapped in the 7-on-7 drills as his shoulder heals from surgery.

As for the quarterback situation, Leftwich plays better with each practice, but it seems as if Dennis Dixon plays worse. Charlie Batch has been the most consistent quarterback. He doesn’t have Leftwich’s arm strength, but can drop an intermediate pass into the right hands for big gains. In fact, Batch threw a beauty to tight end David Johnson, who had a step on rookie OLB Jason Worilds about 25 yards down the field along the sideline, but Johnson dropped it.

Leftwich is beginning to have some fun with speedster Wallace. Leftwich slightly underthrew the receiver on a completed deep ball early in practice, and two plays later – with the nervous CB playing well off Wallace – threw a laser to Wallace on a slant over the middle that went for a big gain. Late in practice, Leftwich hit Wallace in stride on a deep pass.

On the other hand, Dixon made two of the worst throws in Tuesday’s practice. On the first, he attempted to throw an out to rookie Antonio Brown but Anthony Madison stepped in front and intercepted it for a touchdown. Dixon was also intercepted by diving safety Tuff Harris on a pass over the middle without an offensive player in the area.

Here are some other practice notes from Tuesday:

* William Gay accidently blew up Eugene Bright when he broke up a helmet-high pass to the tight end.

* Arnaz Battle and Will Allen were the first gunners to work, but Battle wouldn’t consider that to be any kind of promotion over Madison. My interview with Battle will be posted a little bit later.

* During the third-down portion of practice, the Steelers stuck with their nickel defense. On one play, ILB Lawrence Timmons lined up over Randle El in the slot and blanketed him before going over Randle El’s shoulder to break up a short pass.

* On another third-down play, Allen lined up over Battle in the slot, and had good coverage, but Battle rose up to snag a high Leftwich fastball that left Allen muttering to himself.

* One play after Madison stepped in front of Brown for his pick-six, Dixon went right back to the rookie from Central Michigan but Brown dropped the easy pass.

* The second-team OL, from left to right, is: Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Kraig Urbik, Maurkice Pouncey, Tony Hills.

* Gay played some safety during 7-on-7 drills.

* Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall were the only players used on kickoff returns.

* I asked someone in the know whether the Vikings feared the Steelers when the Vikes traded up in the second round to draft Toby Gerhart. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I know we loved Jason Worilds.”

* Stefan Logan went in motion the wrong way and drew the ire of an assistant coach. Logan then went the right way and caught the short pass. I believe it’s further proof that the Steelers are making an effort to include Logan more in the offense.

* Rookie fullback Demetrius Taylor caught another short pass and rumbled down the sideline for a big gain. The 273-pounder looks interesting.

* Later, rookie tailback Jonathan Dwyer took a handoff and cut off right tackle for an impressive run. He looked fast and powerful, but when someone asked Mike Tomlin what he thought about Dwyer, the coach just said, “He’s a rookie wearing shorts.”

* Gotta love that.




Thanks for posting-

Wexell is the best beat guy covering the steelers, imo.

A few interesting points-

Looks like you were correct regarding Will Allen playing SS. No mention of Mundy at all.

David Johnson is continuing to show his weakness - lack of hands.

The FB conversion guy, Taylor, catching the ball out of the back field is a nice thing to read.

as is Leftwich playing well- not so much Dixon.


As the team moves through OTAs, the three rookies' performance I am most interested in are:

Sanders
Dwyer
Taylor

Not much to learn about Pouncey in shorts, imo.

RuthlessBurgher
05-18-2010, 07:10 PM
The AP article about our minicamp today from NFL.com doesn't have nearly as many informative nuggets as Wexell, but I figure I'd post it anyway.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8183182a&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true


Life without Big Ben: Steelers give Leftwich most reps at No. 1 QB
Associated Press
Posted 28 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH -- These might be the most-scrutinized May practices in Steelers history.

The team resumed its voluntary offseason workouts Tuesday without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He remains banned from attending, and there isn't any indication when the NFL will allow him to participate.

"I'm waiting for word from New York like everyone else," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I'm not going to speculate until I get that word."

For now, Roethlisberger can only join his teammates on the golf course, and he played a charity event with them Monday.

The Steelers aren't certain if the league will allow Roethlisberger to attend any of the remaining 11 spring practices, which run each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through June 10.

On April 21, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for the first six games of the 2010 season and also ordered him to undergo a behavioral evaluation following a March incident in which a 20-year-old female college student accused him of sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga. The case will not be prosecuted.

In Roethlisberger's absence, Byron Leftwich took most of the snaps with Pittsburgh's starters, just as he has since being reacquired by the Steelers in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month. Leftwich was Roethlisberger's backup when the Steelers won the Super Bowl 15 months ago.

There's no sign from Tomlin that Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon will see similar work with the regulars. Tomlin promises only that there will be a clearly defined depth chart when training camp begins in July.

"I don't believe it's an effective approach to go into camp with a pure, open quarterback competition, if you will, a three-headed quarterback battle," Tomlin said. "We'll go in with a pecking order, and the opportunity to show what you're capable of will be based on that pecking order. All three guys will be given an opportunity but not an equal opportunity."

Training camp promises to be unique because the Steelers will have two starting quarterbacks to prepare -- someone for the first six games and Roethlisberger. By giving so much time to one quarterback, the Steelers are trying to prevent a significant drop-off in timing, execution or consistency when Roethlisberger isn't in charge.

"Ben's been in that huddle a long time now," Leftwich said. "He's been that guy for a long time. But the circumstances that exist, someone has to be in there, so I'm going to work my tail off and try to be the guy. He's going to miss those games, and someone's going to have to play. My mindset is I'm the guy, that we don't miss a beat."

With the Steelers coming off a 9-7 season in which they were good at the start, good at the finish and mystifyingly bad during the middle, they want to get off to a solid start in 2010 and put 2009 behind them as quickly as possible.

To Leftwich, that's why these seemingly routine-as-it-gets May practices are important.

"Especially for a lot of the guys Ben has played with a lot of years, there's chemistry there," Leftwich said. "That's why it's important for the guys that's here to come in and don't miss a beat. That's our whole plan, to get into the huddle, command the huddle."

Ben or no Ben.

"It's hard to go into a season without your star quarterback," said wide receiver Hines Ward, who didn't practice Tuesday because of a sore hamstring. "Our motto is not going to change; our mentality is not going to change. We've got one goal, and that's to try to win. The guys who are here now, that's what we're trying to do."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

SteelerNation1
05-18-2010, 08:11 PM
OTA No. 3

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted May 18, 2010



SCI.com publisher Jim Wexell gives his thoughts and makes some notes on each of the Steelers' Organized Training Activities. Here's the first installment:


* William Gay accidently blew up Eugene Bright when he broke up a helmet-high pass to the tight end.
Don't give up on Gay yet. He was VERY solid in a nickel role in 08. I find it hard to believe he just suddenly started sucking. He needs to regain that confidence he had 2 years ago.


* During the third-down portion of practice, the Steelers stuck with their nickel defense. On one play, ILB Lawrence Timmons lined up over Randle El in the slot and blanketed him before going over Randle El’s shoulder to break up a short pass.
Timmons on Ray Rice is so much better than Farrior on Rice.


* I asked someone in the know whether the Vikings feared the Steelers when the Vikes traded up in the second round to draft Toby Gerhart. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I know we loved Jason Worilds.”
Is it just me, or do the Steelers really want us to believe they LOVE Worilds? Everytime I read something about the guy, it's how much the Steelers love him. I hope they're aren't trying to talk us into it. I hope he's actually a player.



* Rookie fullback Demetrius Taylor caught another short pass and rumbled down the sideline for a big gain. The 273-pounder looks interesting.
I'll go on the record now and say this is the 2010 training camp hit. He makes the team and makes BA have a change of heart regarding the FB.

phillyesq
05-18-2010, 08:15 PM
Thanks for posting. Always interesting to read Wexell's info.

Interesting to see that Urbik keeps working at C. I think they're trying to see if he has the position flexibility to be the swing interior lineman on game days. If he does, I think he and Legursky could well be competing for a roster spot.

MeetJoeGreene
05-18-2010, 10:57 PM
Second team OL is a bit surprising with Urbik at C and Hills playing.

I think the only reason Johnson made it last year is because McHugh got hurt. McHugh is much more well rounded. And remember... we have never won a Super Bowl without an active PSU player on the roster. We need him.


Sux about Dixon. We know what we have with Lefty and I admit his arm and Wallace present some intrigue. But I was hoping Dixon was going to shine and overtake.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-18-2010, 11:10 PM
Question #1: Does anyone think Dixon will get cut when Ben gets back if he (Dixon) can't outperform Lefty?

Question #2: Has anyone ever seen Lefty throw a touch pass underneath to anyone?

phillyesq
05-19-2010, 12:04 AM
* William Gay accidently blew up Eugene Bright when he broke up a helmet-high pass to the tight end.
Don't give up on Gay yet. He was VERY solid in a nickel role in 08. I find it hard to believe he just suddenly started sucking. He needs to regain that confidence he had 2 years ago.


If I remember, Gay added some weight in anticipation of the starting role. Perhaps, as a nickel, he can drop that weight (since he won't take as much pounding in a part time role) and regain some quickness.

StarSpangledSteeler
05-19-2010, 03:21 AM
It's hard to tell anything about our most important unit (the OL) without pads. We must start getting some guys who can blow open holes in the running game, not just schematically but one-on-one, hat-on-hat. I believe kemo and colon have the ability (physically) do that right now against most opponents when they focus on their form and balance. I've seen starks do it on occassion. I believe Pouncey will be able to do it by next year. The question is which of the younger guys has serious upside. We need to get rid of the journeymen.

RuthlessBurgher
05-19-2010, 10:23 AM
Question #1: Does anyone think Dixon will get cut when Ben gets back if he (Dixon) can't outperform Lefty?

No. In that case, Ben would be the starter, Byron would be the veteran back-up, and Dixon would be the young developmental prospect. We've pretty much always had 3 guys like that at QB.

Question #2: Has anyone ever seen Lefty throw a touch pass underneath to anyone?

Touch pass? Byron wants to know what is this "touch pass" you speak of? :lol:

Oviedo
05-19-2010, 10:40 AM
Question #1: Does anyone think Dixon will get cut when Ben gets back if he (Dixon) can't outperform Lefty?

No. In that case, Ben would be the starter, Byron would be the veteran back-up, and Dixon would be the young developmental prospect. We've pretty much always had 3 guys like that at QB.

Question #2: Has anyone ever seen Lefty throw a touch pass underneath to anyone?

Touch pass? Byron wants to know what is this "touch pass" you speak of? :lol:

I've never seen Leftwich throw a pass less than 80mph
:wink:

ANPSTEEL
05-19-2010, 10:52 AM
Question #1: Does anyone think Dixon will get cut when Ben gets back if he (Dixon) can't outperform Lefty?

No. In that case, Ben would be the starter, Byron would be the veteran back-up, and Dixon would be the young developmental prospect. We've pretty much always had 3 guys like that at QB.

Question #2: Has anyone ever seen Lefty throw a touch pass underneath to anyone?

Touch pass? Byron wants to know what is this "touch pass" you speak of? :lol:

I've never seen Leftwich throw a pass less than 80mph
:wink:

Leftwich always brings the heater.

Can you imagine how many dislocated fingers his receivers end up with???

That has to suck.

SteelerNation1
05-19-2010, 12:43 PM
Poor Brian Balldinger. You should never play catch with Byron. :lol: :lol:

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/2008/12/custom_1229980710237_IMG00131.jpg

calmkiller
05-21-2010, 01:37 PM
No #4 or #5?

/sadface :cry:

Steelgal
05-21-2010, 02:36 PM
No #4 or #5?

/sadface :cry:

Ask and you shall receive, just don't report me :wink:

calmkiller
05-21-2010, 04:13 PM
Hell I won't. I got in trouble back on the trib board for doing the same thing. I never renewed my subscription after that.

Steelgal
05-21-2010, 08:27 PM
There's been quite the fallout over there in recent weeks with some Mods being banned and such. Hopefully they're more worried about that, than taking away priviledges from the remaining paying members.....