PDA

View Full Version : Biggest Surprise Players This Season



flippy
08-01-2011, 08:28 AM
Who do you think is going to make the biggest improvement this season? On O? On D?

My picks are 2 longshots:

1. Sylvester - With James Harrison's back, I have a feeling there's gonna be some more reps for some younger guys and the most intriguing guy at LB is Sylvester. This guy is a beast. And I have a feeling he'd bring the James Harrison like tenacity to the position. I just have a feeling Sylvester is gonna force the coaches to play him this season.

2. Antonio Brown - This kid is explosive. And while he didn't get the reps that Sanders got, I have a feeling Sanders foot may slow him down enough that Brown will get more work early and he's not gonna look back. I have a feeling he might be the best WR we have on the roster and no one knows it yet.

Oviedo
08-01-2011, 08:36 AM
I think Sylvester is being groomed as an ILB not for the outside. Worilds would be the guy who would have to be ready to contribute if either Woodley or Harrison go down.

IMO I would prefer to move Timmons to the outside in the event of injury because I think he would be an absolute beast coming from the outside.

I agree that there should be some concern about Sanders foot and Brown could see more time on the field. IMO however I see Brown as more of a slot guy verus someone playing opposite Wallace on the outside.

IMO the guy who will be the surprise this season will be Sweed. It will all come together for him and he will be a good player. Bigger WRs usually take longer. See Mike Williams in Seattle.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-01-2011, 09:41 AM
I don't know why, but I think that the biggest improvement will be one of the boards biggest whipping boys - BMac.

I've read where he played injured last year and that was the main cause of his poor play. It also looks like he is looking good so far in camp, with comments about him sticking to Wallace. If he rebounds then this D will be scary once again.

On O I will go with Gilbert, although I shouldn't. The lockout sets rooks back far more than vets. But I can see the potential opening on the line at three or four positions and there is an opportunity if he can pick it up. Looking at the line now I would say that he has little shot at LT, but the projected starter at RT is coming off of a major injury, the starting LG is currently hurt and out of shape, and there will be open competition at RG. Lots for him to choose from if only he can catch on quickly.

RuthlessBurgher
08-01-2011, 10:04 AM
I think Stevenson Sylvester and Mario Harvey show enough that the team will be satisfied with those 2 young'uns as the ILB backups to Farrior and Timmons, making Larry Foote (and his salary) expendable.

steelz09
08-01-2011, 10:12 AM
Even though, I'm a fan of J. Scott and his significant improvement towards the end of last year, I think Gilbert is a wild card.

He played LT against very good competition in the college ranks. He may not play LT this year but he might beat Foster out for the RG spot before moving to LT in a couple years.

If Gilbert beats out Foster and Legursky for the RG spot then why not just cut Kemo and his overpaid salary and move Foster / Legursky to that side? I don't think we would see a decline overall.

Ghost
08-01-2011, 10:37 AM
I'm not sure the Steelers have a ton of confidence in Sweed. If the money had been there, they would have definitely signed his replacement in Plex and I think he would have been let go.

Like to see Batch make the team as a long shot although the MM signing may not be good for him. Saw an article where Batch held up pretty well in the backs on backers drill and even got a congratulatory pat from Harrison.

Oviedo
08-01-2011, 10:46 AM
Even though, I'm a fan of J. Scott and his significant improvement towards the end of last year, I think Gilbert is a wild card.

He played LT against very good competition in the college ranks. He may not play LT this year but he might beat Foster out for the RG spot before moving to LT in a couple years.

If Gilbert beats out Foster and Legursky for the RG spot then why not just cut Kemo and his overpaid salary and move Foster / Legursky to that side? I don't think we would see a decline overall.

I think if Gilbert could replace Foster that would be a great move. Let Gilbert get his feet wet at OG and then bump him out to OT.

Chadman
08-01-2011, 11:04 AM
When you look at the Steeler roster there really isn't a lot of spots for new players to shine as most of the team is returning veterans.

B-Mac is a good choice as his injury seems cleared up & he might rebound nicely. WR's are decent picks because a lot of them see the field. I have little confidence in Sweed & would not be surprised to see him miss a roster spot in favour of the UDFA from Ohio St. If Redman gets more carries it won't really be a surprise to us.

I guess the positions that offer the greatest scope for "surprise" performers will be on the unstable OL (Gilbert, Legursky & Chris Scott are candidates) or, for mine, TE, where Miller is the only 'lock' in a position that sees multiple TE's on the field under Arians.

So my surprise player for this season is the other big UDFA- Wesley Saunders, who I suspect not only wins a roster spot, but the #2 TE role as well.

birtikidis
08-01-2011, 12:17 PM
I also think Sly will show a ton of improvement. I think Farrior may miss a little time and they'll bump Timmons over and let him get used to his new spot. Worilds will get some time at JH spot and play so-so, but that will help his long term development. and btw, moving timmons outside is a bad idea imo. I love his sideline to sideline ability much more than his pass rush skill.

Snatch98
08-01-2011, 12:56 PM
I think a lot of us are hoping it's Limas Sweed, myself included. If he can stay healthy he'll be the big guy we need in the red zone. I think the most likely candidate is Stevenson Sylvester. He has a nose for the football, is very aggressive and has a high motor. He'll be Farriors eventual replacement.

EDIT: And if we don't sign a FA TE, it could be Saunders.

hawaiiansteel
08-01-2011, 05:31 PM
Camp Confidential: Pittsburgh Steelers

by James Walker
August 1


BIGGEST SURPRISE

It's only the first weekend of camp, but backup cornerback Keenan Lewis has been a pleasant surprise. Lewis is gaining valuable experience working with the first-team defense. Taylor signed a four-year contract in free agency and isn't allowed to practice with the team until later this week.

Despite a rocky two years in Pittsburgh, Lewis has always been a good athlete. He is displaying good size and quickness and is making fewer mental mistakes, which is key. The competition for the important nickel role in the secondary will be intense this summer, and Lewis could have the inside track.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

With the lengthy NFL lockout, someone was bound to show up out of shape. Backup running back Jonathan Dwyer was that person for the Steelers.

I expected to see more from Dwyer, a sixth-round pick in 2009. But he struggled mightily during the conditioning evaluations and hasn't done much in the practices. The Steelers' running back corps is deep and Dwyer is definitely on the roster bubble.

OBSERVATION DECK

I like the swagger this year of Pittsburgh's "Young Money" crew of receivers. Last year, Mike Wallace was going into his first year as a starter and Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown were rookies just trying to fit in. But you can see that last year's success, particularly in the second half of the season and the playoffs, has helped this group and improved confidence. Instead of getting yelled at by Ward, Wallace is on top of everything so far in practice and is even helping Ward tutor other receivers. Sanders and Brown look much more comfortable in their roles and are displaying the same quickness and competitiveness they showed last year.

Pouncey already looks scary good in his second season. In my seven years covering the NFL, I've never seen a center who moves as well and fluid as Pouncey. Last week, longtime NFL writer Damon Hack of Sports Illustrated and I were sitting next to each other watching Pittsburgh's conditioning evaluation. We were amazed with how easily Pouncey, who is listed at 304 pounds, was running 100-yard sprints, while the rest of the linemen were lagging far behind. Pound for pound, Pouncey is easily one of the top athletes on the Steelers.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0801/nfl_g_pouncey_bl_400.jpg

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons appears to have added some considerable muscle in his upper body. Timmons, who is in a contract year, said he trained mostly in Florida this summer. Timmons also is one of the best pure athletes on the team. The key will be for him to maintain his quickness and acceleration while also adding strength.

The fact that the Steelers tried hard to recruit big receiver Plaxico Burress says a lot about the status of Limas Sweed. The former second-round pick enters this training camp on thin ice and is down to his last shot. Sweed is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury and had issues with drops before that. Pittsburgh is taking the approach that anything it gets from Sweed is considered a bonus. He is currently the No. 5 receiver.

Keep an eye on rookie seventh-round pick Baron Batch. The running back has showed good explosiveness through the hole and the ability to pass protect, which is very valuable. He has been a pleasant surprise in camp so far.

Overall, Pittsburgh's situation at running back is getting crowded. Mendenhall, Isaac Redman and Batch were all impressive during the first weekend of training camp. The Steelers also re-signed veteran backup Mewelde Moore. There were rumors about Tiki Barber being interested in the Steelers, but I don't see it. Pittsburgh has considerable depth at that position.

Finally, another sleeper who is actually having a good camp is backup tight end and de facto fullback David Johnson. What the third-year veteran lacks in athleticism, he makes up in effort. Although not his specialty, he's made several nice receptions in practice and remains one of the best run-blockers on the team. The Steelers are still in the market for a No. 2 tight end following the departure of Matt Spaeth to the Chicago Bears.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... h-steelers (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/30026/camp-confidential-pittsburgh-steelers)

Shoe
08-01-2011, 05:56 PM
I'd like it to be someone like Ziggy Hood. I'm not sure if people are considering him arrived or anywhere near the sort, but I am not one of them. All he's shown to me, is that he's "serviceable with potential". I would like him to "surprise" me, and rise to become a strong, consistent force. I would also like Willie Colon to "surprise" me, and show up hungry... show up and perform as if he lost out on a year playing, and give Pouncey some help on that line.

Djfan
08-01-2011, 06:13 PM
It's almost too easy, but watch Redman. I bet he has a chip on his very gifted shoulder, ala James Harrison. Mendy, Redman, Batch and whomever sounds good to me.

On D, it seems like Lewis took good notes while in the doghouse. Let's hope this superhero we have riding the pine gets his melon out of the patch and starts to contribute according to his ability.

SMASHMOUTHFOOTBALL
08-01-2011, 06:14 PM
I think Baron Batch makes the team, gets Dwyer cut and puts M. Moore's job in jeapordy.

Discipline of Steel
08-01-2011, 06:25 PM
I also think Sly will show a ton of improvement. I think Farrior may miss a little time and they'll bump Timmons over and let him get used to his new spot. Worilds will get some time at JH spot and play so-so, but that will help his long term development. and btw, moving timmons outside is a bad idea imo. I love his sideline to sideline ability much more than his pass rush skill.

Worilds getting time in James Harrisons spot is like DD getting time in Ben Roethlisbergers spot to help his development. Maybe in mop up duty, otherwise im sure they want all their star players on the field. I do agree with your comment on Timmons though.

PS If everyone is picking Sylvester, then he wont be much of a surprise when he plays well this year. Im picking Isaac Redman to assert himself and score a ton of TDs from near the goal line.

birtikidis
08-01-2011, 06:27 PM
I also think Sly will show a ton of improvement. I think Farrior may miss a little time and they'll bump Timmons over and let him get used to his new spot. Worilds will get some time at JH spot and play so-so, but that will help his long term development. and btw, moving timmons outside is a bad idea imo. I love his sideline to sideline ability much more than his pass rush skill.

Worilds getting time in James Harrisons spot is like DD getting time in Ben Roethlisbergers spot to help his development. Maybe in mop up duty, otherwise im sure they want all their star players on the field. I do agree with your comment on Timmons though.

PS If everyone is picking Sylvester, then he wont be much of a surprise when he plays well this year. Im picking Isaac Redman to assert himself and score a ton of TDs from near the goal line.
Two back surgeries tell me that James will get a little bit of a break from time to to time.

chiken
08-02-2011, 09:14 AM
C. Butler.

Oviedo
08-02-2011, 09:21 AM
I think Baron Batch makes the team, gets Dwyer cut and puts M. Moore's job in jeapordy.

I would love to see that happen. Batch just looks like a kid who wants it really bad and he seems like a class act.

Dwyer just doesn't seem to want it anymore. Like a lot of players he has all the talent in the world but seems to lack the heart and work ethic to take it from college to the pros. It's a shame because he could be the legit #2 RB that we really need.

Moore just needs to go away. I will be really ticked if Batch has a great camp and preseason and they keep Moore just because of comfort level.

Slapstick
08-02-2011, 09:24 AM
I would love to see that happen. Batch just looks like a kid who wants it really bad and he seems like a class act.

Dwyer just doesn't seem to want it anymore. Like a lot of players he has all the talent in the world but seems to lack the heart and work ethic to take it from college to the pros. It's a shame because he could be the legit #2 RB that we really need.

Moore just needs to go away. I will be really ticked if Batch has a great camp and preseason and they keep Moore just because of comfort level.

I would think it more likely that Batch takes Dwyer's spot on the roster and a guy like John Clay spends a year on the practice squad like Redman did...

I genuinely believe that the Steelers will keep the best football players instead of saying, "We already have a 3rd down back in Moore...let's dump Batch."

Oviedo
08-02-2011, 09:35 AM
I would love to see that happen. Batch just looks like a kid who wants it really bad and he seems like a class act.

Dwyer just doesn't seem to want it anymore. Like a lot of players he has all the talent in the world but seems to lack the heart and work ethic to take it from college to the pros. It's a shame because he could be the legit #2 RB that we really need.

Moore just needs to go away. I will be really ticked if Batch has a great camp and preseason and they keep Moore just because of comfort level.

I would think it more likely that Batch takes Dwyer's spot on the roster and a guy like John Clay spends a year on the practice squad like Redman did...

I genuinely believe that the Steelers will keep the best football players instead of saying, "We already have a 3rd down back in Moore...let's dump Batch."

I would have agreed with the "best football player" notion until we brought back all these veteran back ups after this screwed up off season. Just sems like they are taking the low risk approach and going with what they know.

That may not be bad given they were in the Super Bowl but can't milk these guys forever and they need to get some fresh blood in who may surprise them with contribution if given the chance like Pouncey, Sanders and Brown did last year.

Slapstick
08-02-2011, 09:57 AM
I would have agreed with the "best football player" notion until we brought back all these veteran back ups after this screwed up off season. Just sems like they are taking the low risk approach and going with what they know.

That may not be bad given they were in the Super Bowl but can't milk these guys forever and they need to get some fresh blood in who may surprise them with contribution if given the chance like Pouncey, Sanders and Brown did last year.

And if there had been a full offseason, you would be right...

ikestops85
08-02-2011, 10:37 AM
I also think Sly will show a ton of improvement. I think Farrior may miss a little time and they'll bump Timmons over and let him get used to his new spot. Worilds will get some time at JH spot and play so-so, but that will help his long term development. and btw, moving timmons outside is a bad idea imo. I love his sideline to sideline ability much more than his pass rush skill.

Worilds getting time in James Harrisons spot is like DD getting time in Ben Roethlisbergers spot to help his development. Maybe in mop up duty, otherwise im sure they want all their star players on the field. I do agree with your comment on Timmons though.

PS If everyone is picking Sylvester, then he wont be much of a surprise when he plays well this year. Im picking Isaac Redman to assert himself and score a ton of TDs from near the goal line.

I don't think so ... Worilds will probably get some playing time when Deebo gets suspended for what is ruled an illegal hit. We might as well face the fact that the Steelers will be targeted again this year for perceived 'dirty hits' and some of our players will get suspended because of it. My money is on Harrison being the first one to sit out.

ramblinjim
08-02-2011, 11:18 AM
Crazy prediction for huge surprise:

Keenan Lewis comes to play and beats out Bryant McFadden for the #2 Corner spot.