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fordfixer
12-22-2010, 02:51 AM
Essex deflects speculation he'll start against Carolina
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 14849.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_714849.html)

• Trai Essex deflected speculation that he would replace Jonathan Scott at left tackle for Thursday night's game against Carolina. Scott was replaced late in the fourth quarter after New York Jets defensive end Jason Taylor beat his block to tackle Mewelde Moore for a safety. However, coach Mike Tomlin said Scott left the game because of injury. "I'm anticipating everything will be the same as it has been," said Essex, who has played guard, tackle and even some tight end this season. "It's been kind of crazy this year, but whatever position they want me to play, I'll play." Essex said the short preparation week didn't affect the coaching staff's decision not to make a lineup change. "No," he said. "Left tackle's actually my natural position so (if he had to move), that wouldn't be a problem." Scott, who suffered a stinger against the Jets, practiced Tuesday.

• Tight end Heath Miller, who missed the past two games with a concussion, practiced yesterday and is probable for the Panthers. Wide receiver Arnaz Battle (shoulder) and defensive lineman Steve McLendon (stinger) are questionable. Defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps) is listed as questionable even though he hasn't returned to practice and is scheduled to have another MRI exam next week.

• Carolina running back Mike Goodson (illness) is questionable. Goodson is the Panthers' second-leading rusher and receiver.

• The Steelers worked out former West Virginia receiver Wes Lyons, who attended Woodland Hills High School. Lyons, a tall target at 6-foot-8, is a relative of safety Ryan Mundy.

LordVile
12-22-2010, 03:45 AM
Lyons, a tall target at 6-foot-8, is a relative of safety Ryan Mundy.
:shock:

flippy
12-22-2010, 07:28 AM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

papillon
12-22-2010, 07:36 AM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

You dream about Hloti Ngata? :shock:

Pappy

flippy
12-22-2010, 07:40 AM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

You dream about Hloti Ngata? :shock:

Pappy

I was a sideline reporter and the Steelers were playing the Ravens. I guess they thought it was a conflict of interest to have me on the Steelers sideline.

papillon
12-22-2010, 07:50 AM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

You dream about Hloti Ngata? :shock:

Pappy

I was a sideline reporter and the Steelers were playing the Ravens. I guess they thought it was a conflict of interest to have me on the Steelers sideline.

Please tell me Erin Andrews was involved in this dream of yours. :Boobs

Pappy

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-22-2010, 08:22 AM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

You dream about Hloti Ngata? :shock:

Pappy

Classic response! :lol: :lol: :lol:

flippy
12-22-2010, 12:29 PM
I had a dream that I interview Ngata and asked him which Olineman gives him the most problems and he told me Essex is so underrated and that his long arms, quick feet, and technique are just too much for a Dlineman to handle.

If I dream it, it must be true.

I guess deep down I like Essex at LT. Hate him on the inside.

You dream about Hloti Ngata? :shock:

Pappy

I was a sideline reporter and the Steelers were playing the Ravens. I guess they thought it was a conflict of interest to have me on the Steelers sideline.

Please tell me Erin Andrews was involved in this dream of yours. :Boobs

Pappy

I wish.

At least it wasn't clown porn or something like that. I have no idea why I dream the things I dream.

RuthlessBurgher
12-22-2010, 02:48 PM
At least it wasn't clown porn.

:lol:

I pray that you do not have a Rex Ryan foot fetish dream next. :shock:

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-22-2010, 03:01 PM
At least it wasn't clown porn.

:lol:

I pray that you do not have a Rex Ryan foot fetish dream next. :shock:

If it gets to a foot fetish dream with Rex Ryan and Haloti Ngata...You might want to seek help. :shock:

BradshawsHairdresser
12-22-2010, 03:29 PM
At least it wasn't clown porn.

:lol:

I pray that you do not have a Rex Ryan foot fetish dream next. :shock:

If it gets to a foot fetish dream with Rex Ryan and Haloti Ngata...You might want to seek help. :shock:

What are you, some kind of phobe? C'mon...you need to acknowledge that some people are just born that way. :lol: :lol:

flippy
12-22-2010, 05:37 PM
At least it wasn't clown porn.

:lol:

I pray that you do not have a Rex Ryan foot fetish dream next. :shock:

I worry about what I'll end up dreaming sometimes. The stupidest suggestions/news leads to the weirdest dreams for me.

I'm about as innocent a person as you'll run across in life - borderline naive sometimes. So when I hear something weird like a foot fetish, my head will take it to a place that would seem downright silly to most others.

Jooser
12-22-2010, 08:28 PM
Was Erin Andrews dressed up like the Hamburglar? :D

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
12-22-2010, 10:54 PM
Please get this discussion back on topic quickly :shock:

I wish that they would have tried Essex at LT when Starks went down. I thinks that had they done that then we would not be quite as worried about our LT situation.

Essex has had a very strange kind of career here if you think about it.

Third round pick in '05, although consensus was that it was high for Essex who was more of a Fifth round prospect. Although, IIRC, there was a rumor that a well known coach at the time (Parcells maybe if I remember) was ready to pounce later in the third or early fourth.)

Backed up Marvel when Marvel was still a quality lineman. Marvel was also making top dollar so there was never much of a chance that he was going to make it onto the field.

Looked alright in his few opportunities to start due to injury his rookie season.

Never made it as a LT and gets moved inside. Now, suddenly, a starting guard last season when he had never played there before.

Overlooked several times to replace Starks when injury occurred.

Like I said, I'd feel much better with him there now than with Scott, and especially if he had started since Starks went down.

NorthCoast
12-23-2010, 10:22 AM
I guess we have to trust the coaches on this one. They see these guys day in, day out, so there must be some good reason why Essex has not been at LT all season. Maybe one of the coaches has some serious man-love for Scott? But for as bad as Scott's been playing, you would've thought Trai would have gotten a shot a long time ago. It may possibly be due to Essex's position flexibility (or more correctly Scott's position inflexibility).

Oviedo
12-23-2010, 10:32 AM
I guess we have to trust the coaches on this one. They see these guys day in, day out, so there must be some good reason why Essex has not been at LT all season. Maybe one of the coaches has some serious man-love for Scott? But for as bad as Scott's been playing, you would've thought Trai would have gotten a shot a long time ago. It may possibly be due to Essex's position flexibility (or more correctly Scott's position inflexibility).

It may be a case where his flexibility has actually hurt him because he is learning multiple positions while a guy like Scott can only learn one. Maybe they feel that he is more valauable as the 6th guy in case of injury and he doesn't get the practice reps at a single position. By all accounts, Essex is a really intelligent guy so maybe that is why he is the 6th man because he knows so many positions so well.

Personally, I hope never to see Scott start again.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
12-23-2010, 11:53 AM
It may be a case where his flexibility has actually hurt him because he is learning multiple positions while a guy like Scott can only learn one. Maybe they feel that he is more valauable as the 6th guy in case of injury and he doesn't get the practice reps at a single position. By all accounts, Essex is a really intelligent guy so maybe that is why he is the 6th man because he knows so many positions so well.

Personally, I hope never to see Scott start again.

I really hope that this is not the reason because it would go against the "get the best 5 on the field" philosophy. Unfortunately though, I think that it does have something to do with it.

You can't tell me that neither Essex nor Hills is capable of doing better than Scott.

Oviedo
12-23-2010, 12:02 PM
It may be a case where his flexibility has actually hurt him because he is learning multiple positions while a guy like Scott can only learn one. Maybe they feel that he is more valauable as the 6th guy in case of injury and he doesn't get the practice reps at a single position. By all accounts, Essex is a really intelligent guy so maybe that is why he is the 6th man because he knows so many positions so well.

Personally, I hope never to see Scott start again.

I really hope that this is not the reason because it would go against the "get the best 5 on the field" philosophy. Unfortunately though, I think that it does have something to do with it.

You can't tell me that neither Essex nor Hills is capable of doing better than Scott.

Maybe by having Essex play "sixth man" they don't have to have as many OL active on game day. Maybe if he were starting they would have to have two guys active (interior OL and OT) to do what Essex can do.

I've never understood why he wasn't the first option when Starks went down because most of the times he has played LT he has done well.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-23-2010, 12:13 PM
There wasn't much of a body of work to look at for Essex last week. However, there is also a little encouragement by his performance in a sense that the Jets had their ears pinned back because they knew a pass was coming and Essex held up pretty well. That all being said, based alone on his performance against the Jets, I would say you have to give him a shot if Scott struggles at all. Scott had a pretty good game himself by his standards aside the big blunder. But if you start getting the pressure from that side like the previous 3, I think you should start rotating with Essex to see who will perform better. Chemistry is important but I do believe there won't be that much if any of a drop off between Scott/Kemo & Essex/Kemo based upon familiarity.

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2010, 12:56 PM
It may be a case where his flexibility has actually hurt him because he is learning multiple positions while a guy like Scott can only learn one. Maybe they feel that he is more valauable as the 6th guy in case of injury and he doesn't get the practice reps at a single position. By all accounts, Essex is a really intelligent guy so maybe that is why he is the 6th man because he knows so many positions so well.

Personally, I hope never to see Scott start again.

I really hope that this is not the reason because it would go against the "get the best 5 on the field" philosophy. Unfortunately though, I think that it does have something to do with it.

You can't tell me that neither Essex nor Hills is capable of doing better than Scott.

Maybe by having Essex play "sixth man" they don't have to have as many OL active on game day. Maybe if he were starting they would have to have two guys active (interior OL and OT) to do what Essex can do.

I've never understood why he wasn't the first option when Starks went down because most of the times he has played LT he has done well.

I don't see why they can't have Essex-Kemoeatu-Pouncey-Foster-Adams starting, with Scott backing up the 2 OT spots and Legursky backing up the 3 interior OL spots. If 2 interior OL go down, you could then move Essex inside and put Scott back at LT if you needed to.

flippy
12-23-2010, 02:11 PM
Trai's strength is his quickness at tackle. He moves his feet fairly nimbly for a big man.

He's so bad at G, it's almost laughable that we all say he has position flexibility.

Essex is to G as Deebo is to LS. Heck, even that may be a stretch. Even better, Essex is to G as Big Ben is to P.

hawaiiansteel
12-23-2010, 03:33 PM
Bires: Maligned line has been OK

By: Mike Bires Beaver County Times
Thursday December 23, 2010 12:14 AM

http://media.timesonline.com/thumb/368x276/23pouncey_web767265.jpg

Times photo by LUCY SCHALY Rookie Maurkice Pouncey prepares to snap to Charlie.

PITTSBURGH — Flash back to the Steelers’ last Super Bowl win, that 27-23 thriller over the Arizona Cardinals. Remember, if you can, the first words out of Ben Roethlisberger’s mouth when he put his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

He didn’t thank God.

He didn’t say how wonderful it felt to win a second championship at the age of 26.

He didn’t say how proud he was to be a part of yet another glorious moment in Steelers history.

No, what Roethlisberger said first to a world-wide TV audience was this: “Who’s laughing now O-line?”

That was Roethlisberger’s way of paying tribute to an offensive line that was questioned and criticized for most of 2008. But it was a line good enough to pave the way for the sixth Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

The Steelers’ O-line of 2010 hasn’t been getting much respect either.

It’s been fashionable to bash the front wall, especially after a Roethlisberger sack, or after a red zone failure or after some of the holding calls that have stymied the offense in recent weeks.

There’s even this “New York Life Protection Index” that ranks NFL O-lines based on how well they protect their quarterback. Right now, the Steelers rank 26.

But considering the chaos on the Steelers’ offensive line this season, it’s a position that deserves credit.

Remember, right tackle Flozell Adams, a 35-year-old veteran, wasn’t signed until late July as a replacement for injured Willie Colon.

When the Steelers went to camp, Justin Hartwig was the first-team center. But by the time camp broke, rookie Maurkice Pouncey had taken over.

Then halfway into the season, left tackle Max Starks was done for the year with a neck injury.

At right guard, there have been three different starters: Trai Essex, Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster.

Yet, the Steelers are 10-4 right now and on the verge of winning the AFC North Division and earning the No. 2 playoff seed in the AFC. The offense hasn’t necessarily been super. But it’s been good enough.

Rashard Mendenhall ranks seventh in the league with 1,173 rushing yards. Mike Wallace ranks sixth with 1,048 receiving yards. Roethlisberger ranks 10th with a 92.6 passer rating.

Yes, the Steelers do allow too many sacks. They’re tied for 28th in the league with most sacks allowed at 38. And yes, Jonathan Scott has struggled at times at left tackle in place of Starks.

Still, the performance of the O-line overall this season has been more positive than negative.

Take this past Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the New York Jets for example. True, the Steelers didn’t finish the job. Their last-minute drive fell short. But in that game, the Steelers racked up 378 yards of offense and had 25 first downs against one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses.

Overall, the offensive line probably played its best game of the season.

It’s a bit premature to think the Steelers will win another Super Bowl this season. But they’ve positioned themselves well to this point.

They cannot take anyone lightly when the playoffs begin. On the other hand, no one should take the Steelers lightly.

That speaks volumes of an offensive line that may be peaking just at the right time.

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... en-ok.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/december/23/bires-maligned-line-has-been-ok.html)