PDA

View Full Version : Tony Hills is likely the new starter at RG



hawaiiansteel
08-14-2011, 07:46 PM
Sunday Practice Report: Hills showing position flexibility, will start at RG vs Eagles

Sun, Aug 14th, 2011
By Dale Grdnic

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Tony-Hills-preseason-388x258.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- Tony Hills is in his fourth season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it would be fair to say that the former fourth-round pick during the 2008 NFL Draft has accomplished little to nothing to earn a roster spot.

That could change in the next week or so, as the Steelers let Hills play about a half-dozen snaps at right offensive guard -- as opposed to his normal left tackle spot -- late in the preseason opener Friday night at Washington. And he played both left and right guard during practice Sunday afternoon.

However, as the Steelers are searching for someone to secure the right guard position in camp, Hills said he will get the start there against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night at 8 at Heinz Field.

"It's a little change-up for me, but it's an opportunity that I'm going to take advantage of,'' a confident Hills said after practice. "I walked into the room today and saw that I was at guard, and they told me they wanted to see me at guard this week. So, I have to be up to that challenge.''

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... les/41578/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/sunday-practice-report-hills-showing-position-flexibility-will-start-at-rg-vs-eagles/41578/)

NJ-STEELER
08-14-2011, 08:53 PM
he's looking good at OT...i hope this doesnt screw him up

AkronSteel
08-14-2011, 11:30 PM
At this point I could really care less who wins the RG position. I just want someone to step up and take control of it. I like the way Hills played the other night in D.C. and they have never tried him in at G. Why not give it a shot? I re-watched the game twice today and I really liked the way that Keith Williams was playing. He did a really nice job of pulling and seemed strong at the point of attack. I gotta be honest too, Chris Scott has potential with his size and athletic ability....he just needs to play more I think. He needs to move his feet better both in the passing game from side to side and in the run game he seemed like he was doing a nice job getting his guy turned whatever way he wanted him to go most times but then he would lose his feet and fall to the ground. Kyle Jolly actually had a really nice block on Redman's TD run. He pushed his guy all the way down the line and allowed Redman to make a nice cutback. He also seemed to move his feet well in the pass game but needs to get stronger in the upper body. Jolly could be a solid practice squad type guy. We'll see??? I'll be very interested to see how this unit plays on Thursday night!!! It's an important step for the group as a whole!

hawaiiansteel
08-16-2011, 07:26 PM
On the Steelers: Hills climbs into new role at right guard

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201108/pd01steelers081511_330.jpg

Tony Hills grapples for position with defensive end Corbin Bryant (71) during workouts at training camp at Saint Vincent College.

The Steelers have opened a drive-thru window at the right-guard position in their offensive line, hoping the next person in line is just what they ordered.

Tackle Chris Scott, a fifth-round pick in 2010, was the most recent to pass through, getting a chance to play extensively in the preseason opener Friday night against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. But, in his first extensive action since being drafted, Scott had the window close quickly.

Next in line: Tony Hills.

Remember him?

After three years of little, if any, action at left tackle, Hills has been moved to right guard and will start there in the second preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night at Heinz Field.,

"Tony is very athletic, maybe the most athletic guy in the group," offensive line coach Sean Kugler said. "We're trying to find the best spot for him where he can help himself and he can help us."

Hills, a fourth-round draft choice in 2008, was used at right guard against the Redskins, and he played so well that the Steelers have inserted him at that position with the first-team offense in practice.

Scott, who missed the entire preseason and was on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the first six games last season, will move back to tackle for now. He had trouble handling twists and stunts by the Redskins defensive linemen.

"Tony Hills had one of his best games as a guard," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "So we're going to give him a shot."

At 6 feet 5, 330 pounds, Hills may not have the prototypical body size to be a guard. But he does have the athleticism to run the team's counter plays that require the guard to pull to the other side.

And it would be an opportunity to play on a regular basis, something Hills hasn't done in three years. He has been inactive for 43 of the 48 games since he was drafted.

"Whatever it is I'm doing, I'm going to keep doing it," Hills said. "I go out there and play hard and aggressive and play with sound technique and not make the same mistake twice. That's what I'm doing

When you know what to do, it's easier to go out and play. Being my fourth year, it's not about knowing the offense now. It's reading defenses, seeing how guys play, different keys to help me up my game."

The Steelers are not giving up on their other two holdovers at right guard -- Ramon Foster, who started the final 10 games of the 2010 season; and Doug Legursky, who started four games there last season.

But they would like to find a player who is a hybrid of both.

Legursky is the smartest offensive lineman on the team -- even more so than center Maurkice Pouncey -- but he is also the smallest (6-1, 315). He might start at left guard against the Eagles if Chris Kemoeatu, who returned Monday to team drills at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, is held out.

Foster (6-6, 325) replaced Legursky for the final 10 games last season because the Steelers wanted a bigger body to cover a defensive tackle in the 4-3 fronts used by the other teams in the AFC North Division, especially the Baltimore Ravens.

Maybe Hills is that guy.

"He's got great athleticism," Kugler said. "His redirect, his pulling skills, his ability to adjust in space, those translate to guard. I'm not saying he can't play tackle, but we're going to see if those skills flourish at the guard spot. That would be for the benefit of the entire team."

Right now, Hills is considered the top backup to left tackle Jonathan Scott, but that role has a short shelf life. Rookie Marcus Gilbert, their No. 2 draft pick, will be given a chance at some point and will make the roster. And the Steelers still have not dismissed the possibility of bringing back Flozell Adams, their starting right tackle in 2010.

"It's been three years I've been here, and that's what got me to here," Hills said. "And here is where I know the entire offense. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11228/11 ... z1VEIFIujP (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11228/1167600-66-0.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz1VEIFIujP)

costanza2k1
08-17-2011, 11:03 AM
While this is great and all, I was hoping someone would've surprised us on the LT position.

hawaiiansteel
08-20-2011, 06:34 PM
A Pittsburgh Steeler Steps Up Big Against the Philadelphia Eagles

By Cian Fahey (Featured Columnist) on August 19, 2011

http://www.donnan.com/images/TC09_Tony-Hills.jpg

Right guard was an unsettled position coming into camp this year.

Ramon Foster is a reliable if unspectacular incumbent starter. He is still young but doesn't impose himself on defenders as much as the Steelers would like. Foster is a reliable player but the team really wants a better mauler on the interior.

After the failures of Chris Scott last week, Tony Hills found himself in the starting position this week.

Hills is a fourth-year player that has been a total disappointment to fans throughout his career in Pittsburgh because despite reportedly being very talented he has never managed to get on the field.

He was drafted as a left tackle but may have finally found his place on the line at right guard. Hills is considered to be the most athletic offensive lineman on the Steelers roster—Maurkice Pouncey included—and it showed last night.

Unlike Chris Scott, Hills showed immediately that he had the strength to play inside. Scott struggled last week as he was repeatedly overpowered be bigger linemen. Hills has a big body for a tackle and showed good strength in holding the point of attack last night.

With his strength in the running game and ability to get to the next level, the Steelers could have found the final piece to a brilliant run blocking line next year. With Willie Colon outside him—who specializes in run blocking—Maurkice Pouncey on the other side—who specializes in everything—and Chris Kemoeatu further along, the Steelers have a very physical offensive group.

What made Hills stand out however is the fact that he was impressive in both facets of the offense.

The Steelers repeatedly ran play action to the right and side and screens to both receivers and running backs. Hills' quick feet and agile movement allowed him to seal his man and prevent him from making a play in those instances.

In the passing game he wasn't perfect but was a marked improvement over any of the players around him. Hills looked like a 10-year veteran despite not playing much throughout his whole career.

He wasn't perfect, but he had the best showing of any right guard the Steelers have had since Kendall Simmons.

Hills' opportunities to impress were cut short as both Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert were injured. However, this did allow him to show off his versatility as he put in a solid showing at his natural position of LT also.

While no player can ever build a reputation off of one preseason game, and they certainly won't win a starting place off of one. This particular game should create a lot of optimism around Tony Hills.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/8115 ... hia-eagles (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/811535-pittsburgh-steelers-two-steelers-step-up-big-against-the-philadelphia-eagles)

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-20-2011, 07:06 PM
Sorry if it's been posted, but what's the status of Gilbert and Scott?

hawaiiansteel
08-20-2011, 07:47 PM
Sorry if it's been posted, but what's the status of Gilbert and Scott?


anything for you, SASF! :Cheers


Ed: MRI Show Both Steelers Tackles OK

SATURDAY, 20 AUGUST 2011 - WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE


Tackles Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert suffered no serious damage to their knees from injuries that caused both of them to leave Thursday night's game against Philadelphia in the first half.

Both tackles had MRI tests and they showed no ligament damage. Coach Mike Tomlin called the knees “hyperextended” Thursday night but the two players had MRI tests on Friday to make sure the initial diagnosis was correct.

Scott, the team's starting left tackle, left the game after he was injured on the opening play. Gilbert, the Steelers' second-round draft choice this year, replaced Scott and left after the third series.

The Steelers practice today and Sunday and have Monday off. They resume practice on Tuesday as they prepare to play their third preseason game Saturday night against Atlanta at Heinz Field.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... tackles-ok

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-20-2011, 11:26 PM
Shoulda known you would fill us in as soon as the info became available, AlohaSteelDude -

thanks!!

:Cheers :tt2 :tt1 :Cheers

hawaiiansteel
08-21-2011, 02:22 AM
Steelers OL Hills has had his ups and downs

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 21, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-08-20/0821SteelHillsInsideCAP-a.jpg

The next Kellen Winslow?

Tony Hills smiles as he thinks about those days when he had limitless potential as a tight end. Days when he was widely considered the top prep prospect in Texas, which is kind of like being the smartest person at Harvard.

"I would have been the first Tony Hills," he said.

Hills' football odyssey has taken him from tight end to guard — the two are close in a literal sense but far apart by any other measure — and that's not even the half of it.

Hills was once given little chance of playing football again, following complications from a knee injury. Nearly a decade later, the ultimate football survivor may be in the mix to start at right guard for the Steelers.

Hills, largely an afterthought in his first three seasons with the Steelers, has been one of the pleasant surprises of the preseason.

Hills reported to training camp in what he said is the best shape of his life, and here is where it gets a little humorous.

He also showed up weighing close to 330 pounds, around 15 more than what he usually carries on his 6-foot-5 frame.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin promptly assigned the fourth-year veteran to a 7 a.m. workout group, reserved for players who arrived at St Vincent College too big or out of shape.

Tomlin soon realized that Hills didn't need the extra work. Indeed, Hills had lowered his body fat to 13 percent during the offseason — it had been in the 20s, he said — while adding the extra weight.

"I feel quicker. I feel more powerful. I definitely feel more flexible," Hills said.

Most of all Hills feels more confident after spending a summer with a Texas-based trainer that put him through something akin to boot camp while broadening his training horizons.

Hills said he rarely, if ever, used to stretch after working out. Now, that is one of the staples of his regimen.

The increased flexibility can only help Hills, because getting lower than the opponent is a critical component of successful offensive line play.

"The great thing about Tony is how much better his core has gotten," said Charlie Peters, who trained at Anytime Fitness in McKinney, Texas. "Your muscle strength and flexibility are one in the same, so you can be tight and exhibit some power but you're never going to get a full range of motion if that muscle's tight."

Full range of motion is something doctors thought Hills might never regain in his left foot — not after the hit that changed the course of his football life in December 2002.

DAMAGED GOODS

Hills had been the No. 1 recruit in Texas, according to several services, when he took a shot to the lower left leg while carrying a would-be tackler on his back. It happened during a playoff game in his senior season at Alief Elsik High School in Houston. The injury, which occurred in early December, left Hills with a torn lateral collateral ligament in his knee.

It ended his season and nearly his career, as nerve damage later caused Hills to lose sensation in his left leg, leading to what is known medically as drop foot. When Hills made his official visit to Texas in late December — he had already verbally committed to the school — he did so in a wheelchair.

Coach Mack Brown talked to him about still coming to Austin and helping with the program, though not once mentioning how Hills might do so on the field.

Small wonder: Doctors, Hills said, had given him a 2 percent chance of playing football again. His mother responded by adding Hills to every prayer list she could find and pushing him as if she were also his coach.

After surgery in January 2003, Hills had a second operation in August that successfully removed scar tissue and cleared his return to football.

"I've been to hell and back," Hills said of the ordeal. "I've been blessed."

When Hills got back on the field, Texas shifted him to offensive tackle. Hills backed up current Steelers left tackle Jonathan Scott at the same position in 2005, when Texas won the national championship.

He started the next two years before breaking his lower left leg near the end of the 2007 season. Hills slipped to the fourth round of the 2008 draft, where the Steelers took a chance on him.

To say he has played sparingly since then would be charitable.

Hills, who looked overmatched at left tackle during his first training camp, has played in only five games. He is optimistic that the time he spent with Peters during the NFL lockout will change that.

"I feel like it's my time," Hills said.

Peters agrees.

"He's the hardest worker I've ever seen," Peters said. "He doesn't quit."

MAKING HIS MOVE

That is not entirely true.

When Hills first met with Peters, the latter had scheduled three sets of exercises to serve as an evaluation.

Hills made it through two of them.

"He whipped my butt. After that I was like, 'You know what, I'm going to ride with this guy,' " Hills said.

The two worked together five days a week in the month leading up to the end of the lockout in late July.

The two-hour workouts were a mix of strength and cardiovascular training as well as stretching — something Hills said he still does for 20 minutes after lifting.

Hills has the training regimen, which includes nutrition, in his phone. His devotion to it is such that Steelers guard Ramon Foster calls him "the medicine cabinet."

"I've got so many supplements and proteins, it's ridiculous," Hills said.

Hills played well enough in the preseason opener that he earned a start at right guard last Friday night. Injuries, however, forced Hills to move to left tackle early in the Steelers' 24-14 win over Philadelphia. That limited what Hills could show the coaches at the one position that is up for grabs.

"He's had a good camp," Tomlin said after the game. "He continues to be a guy on the rise."

The coming weeks will determine how serious of a candidate Hills is at right guard. Not that he will lose sleep over what course the Steelers might take along the offensive line.

Not after what it has taken for him just to get to this point.

"It makes it so easy to come out here and compete because when you have something like that, pretty much your football life flash in front of your eyes, you appreciate the game that much more," Hills said. "I feel like that's what the (Steelers) looked at. They had a guy that was going to come in and work and wasn't just going to just sit back and enjoy being in the NFL, but want to make something of myself."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1VdMnmJmA (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_752633.html#ixzz1VdMnmJmA)

Steelerphile
08-21-2011, 07:15 AM
Go Tony!! I've always believed in you, when most everyone had written you off. He is the Steelers most athletic lineman and may very well be the hardest worker. He has earned a right to start somewhere on this line, and I hope and pray he stays healthy and has a excellent career.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-21-2011, 09:52 AM
Great article, hawaiiansteel!


Steelers OL Hills has had his ups and downs

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 21, 2011

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1VdMnmJmA (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_752633.html#ixzz1VdMnmJmA)
http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-08-20/0821SteelHillsInsideCAP-a.jpg .......



...When Hills got back on the field, Texas shifted him to offensive tackle. Hills backed up current Steelers left tackle Jonathan Scott at the same position in 2005, when Texas won the national championship.I didn't realize he had played with Jonathan Scott way back when, and even was his backup just like with us. How cool is that! Hopefully he'll be a back up no more this season ... he'll be a starting right guard!!





...Hills has the training regimen, which includes nutrition, in his phone. His devotion to it is such that Steelers guard Ramon Foster calls him "the medicine cabinet."

"I've got so many supplements and proteins, it's ridiculous," Hills said.Call me paranoid, but this part makes me nervous. So many times these supplements, even over-the-counter (OTC) ones, have banned substances in them. The bad part is the labels on these OTC substances are notoriously inaccurate and incomplete, and more than once an athlete has gotten disqualified/suspended because a banned substance in the jar wasn't listed on the contents. Even so, the onus is on the player to know what he's putting in his body, "ignorance is no excuse" is what they say when they disqualify the athlete. I hope the Steelers' trainer keeps an eye out for this sort of thing and counsels the players to be ultra-cautious. Nothing to do about it but keep fingers crossed, I suppose ...

Oviedo
08-21-2011, 10:37 AM
Really looks like they have decided that Hills is the guy they want starting at RG. Hopefully he can get enough reps for that to happen.

fezziwig
08-21-2011, 10:49 AM
I knew the Steelers must have seen something in him when they drafted him and afforded him the time to get healthy and learn the job but, I thought they were trying to make a tackle out of him ?

Can you imagine how great Ben and our offense could be if we had a good or very good o-line allowing Ben and our backs a glimps more of protection and blocking ?

aggiebones
08-21-2011, 06:54 PM
I think this RG thing is his last gasp. I expected him to be cut until they had some T injuries. So he'll linger around a bit longer.

And my first instinct to the supplements comment was the same.
Likely getting assistance and will plead ignorance. BUT will have garnered a few more game checks before he's gone.
Who knows.

DukieBoy
08-21-2011, 09:43 PM
The odds must be with us that a UTx kid succeed in the Burgh.

Things look good with Hills, in great shape, playing with attitude, position flexibility, and he must know the system.

RuthlessBurgher
08-25-2011, 01:21 PM
The odds must be with us that a UTx kid succeed in the Burgh.

Things look good with Hills, in great shape, playing with attitude, position flexibility, and he must know the system.

http://img.fanbase.com/media.fanbase.com/8/28142/92493c538f60e3e6b07d88fb24c4b8b3d9608e2f.jpg?x=574&y=744&sig=e27b39e62a37c9ce7a5b87b18580d97f

Oviedo
08-25-2011, 01:46 PM
I'm glad Hills is winning the RG job. He should be able to do a great job with his athletic advanatage over the other options. It will be a huge benefit for game day actives to have him on the field so go to OT in case of injury. Maybe playing Guard for a year gets him over the hump to be ready to play OT. Increased game reps can do wonders.

This obviously means Essex will likely be the primary game day swing player.

Keyplay1
08-25-2011, 02:56 PM
He is slated to start at RG Saturday vs Atlanta. I don't do windows or OL analysis. So some of you OL observers pay close attention to this move. There was an article today about this and it did mention how we got some good play out of Stephenson in 09 and Ramon Foster was steady last year. If this is an upgrade that sure is a big positive.

hawaiiansteel
08-25-2011, 11:55 PM
Analyzing the Offensive Line: So Many Injuries, So Few Options

Posted on August 25, 2011 by JJ

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1295326/37228194E.jpg

When Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert both suffered minor knee injuries in last week’s game against the Eagles, the Steelers looked around, apparently realized their lack of depth at tackle and decided to bring back veteran Trai Essex.

It’s good news for Essex, who had been waiting for a contract, and it does add a versatile lineman to the Steelers’ mix. But it’s also a sign of failure for the Steelers young offensive linemen.

Pittsburgh entered the preseason with five candidates to fill the open right guard spot, and three players who could legitimately fill the job of being the backup tackle. Two weeks into the preseason, Pittsburgh decided it needed to bring in Essex to be the backup guard/tackle who will likely dress on gameday.

In essence, they looked around and realized that while they had five candidates, they have a very short list of linemen they are comfortable with. After watching the Eagles game, I can see why. Many candidates were given a chance, few have stepped up to the opportunity.

But before we talk about some of the guys who are struggling, let’s acknowledge the big surprise. Tony Hills, offensive guard, has a much better ring to it than Tony Hills, offensive tackle. That much is clear after two games of the preseason.

Hills may be better known as the last man standing when it comes to the Steelers’ competition for the right guard spot. From Chris Scott to Doug Legursky to Keith Williams to Ramon Foster, the other guard candidates have all shown significant flaws.

Now Hills isn’t exactly prepping for a spot in the Pro Bowl. But his mobility has proven to be pretty useful at guard. Hills does a good job of getting to the second level to block linebackers, and once he locks up a linebacker he does a solid job of staying on his block, something that is frequently a problem for Legursky and Foster. And he has a little bit of a mean streak as well, as he likes to generally play to the whistle.

When Hills gets into trouble at guard, it’s usually because he’s playing too high. We mentioned a play last week where he was struggled when pulling because he hit a linebacker too high. We saw the same thing in different situations this week. On Ben Roethlisberger’s second pass of the game, Hills was slow off the snap and was caught playing too high. The result? Anthony Hargrove drove him into the backfield like Hills was wearing roller skates. Roethlisberger’s escapability in the pocket ensured it was a bad play but not a sack, but it was a rough start for the fourth-year lineman.

Hills’ problems with playing too high were more apparent when he slid out to left tackle after injuries to Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert. There were multiple plays where Trent Cole drove Hills back into the pocket. Interestingly, while most tackles’ biggest problems come from speed rushes, Hills seemed to have more problem overplaying for speed rushes, which opened up the inside for defensive ends with an out and up move. If you tell me that Hills is starting at guard in Week 1, I think he’s got a 50 percent shot of playing well enough to avoid being benched. If he’s forced to play left tackle I would fear for Roethlisberger’s safety.

The rest of the guard candidates? It wasn’t pretty.

Ramon Foster is never going to be a particularly nimble guard. He’s more of a straight-ahead road grader. But in the first series against the Eagles, he wasn’t doing a very good impression of a bulldozer either. On two of the Steelers first three running plays, Foster was driven into the backfield by his man. In both cases he recovered to at least occupy his man enough to let Rashard Mendenhall by, but you’d rather see those stalemates taking place at or on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

Foster did show a mean streak, although he may have taken that a bit too far with an absolutely brutal hit at the whistle on an Eagles linebacker. The play came just three minutes into the game. On a dump-off pass to Isaac Redman, Foster followed the play, then laid a cut block on linebacker Jamar Chaney just as the whistle was getting ready to blow. It wasn’t a late hit, but it sure was the kind of block that could end a guy’s season.

Foster did show flashes where he was able to use his strength to put his man on the ground, but his inability to prevent penetration was more apparent than his ability to dominate his man. On one particularly poor play Foster was driven into the backfield, which caused him to run into a pulling Legursky and ruining the play. Foster also gave up a sack. For a veteran, it was a pretty ugly performance.

Chris Scott got a chance to try out for the guard job in the first preseason game. He played poorly, and apparently was immediately dropped from the competition. He played right tackle exclusively against the Eagles, where he showed that he’s probably better off competing for the guard job. Scott wasn’t a complete disaster at right tackle, but he did look a little slow off the ball and generally he relied on doing just enough to push his man past the back of the pocket.

I would argue that Scott would still be a viable candidate for the guard job. Most of his problems in Week 1 were more assignment issues and technique problems than physical issues. As a young player, one can expect that some of those issues would improve as he gets more experience. But it would appear that Pittsburgh has largely given up on the idea of Scott being a guard candidate, and the signing of Essex could even put his roster spot at risk. Scott’s struggles at tackle ding the argument of his versatility, and if he’s not considered a legitimate guard prospect, then he could be the odd man out now that a veteran guard/tackle swingman is on the roster.

As far as Doug Legursky, he was adequate against the Eagles, but he struggled to stick blocks on linebackers. That’s not normally a problem for the mobile Legursky, so maybe it was just a bad night. But it’s hard to say in the first two games that Legursky has done enough to go from solid backup center/guard to starting guard. That being said, Legursky is the one of these candidates who seems to have a helmet guaranteed on gameday, as there is no other backup center on the roster.

As far as Keith Williams, he showed flashes of talent against the Eagles, but also plenty of problems. He was caught lunging with his head down on one play, which meant he was quickly shed. He was also driven into the backfield by his man on a couple of plays. He’s a rookie, so none of this is shocking.

All of these struggles are good news for Chris Kemoeatu. If several players had emerged, then Kemoeatu, who has missed the first two games with a knee injury, could possibly be looking at competition for his job, but right now, it’s hard to see anyway a healthy Kemoeatu isn’t starting against the Ravens.

With Essex’s signing, it’s highly unlikely there is room for everyone on the roster. If you count Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Willie Colon, Marcus Gilbert and Trai Essex as roster locks, there are probably three more roster spots available (and maybe four). At this point Tony Hills seems pretty safe as well, as right now he’s likely to start at right guard.

So that leaves three guys playing for two spots. At this point one would think that Foster has an advantage because he has starting experience, but you could make a pretty decent case that the upside of Scott (a much more mobile guard than Foster) or a rookie like Williams outweighs Foster’s experience. Pittsburgh will already have two experienced backup guards on the roster (Essex and Legursky), so it may be better off to try to develop Scott and Williams then bring back Foster just to sit on the inactive gameday roster.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/08/a ... #more-6081 (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/08/analyzing-offensive-line-injuries-options/#more-6081)

Shoe
08-26-2011, 02:40 PM
No offense to Hills... and I hope he proves me wrong obviously... But I think this is more an indictment of our current prospects (at Guard) than it is Hills seizing the job or anything. Consider that they are sticking a guy who's never played Guard, who has done nothing in his career and all of a sudden we're supposed to believe the light went on. Sorry I don't buy it.

Snatch98
08-26-2011, 03:06 PM
No offense to Hills... and I hope he proves me wrong obviously... But I think this is more an indictment of our current prospects (at Guard) than it is Hills seizing the job or anything. Consider that they are sticking a guy who's never played Guard, who has done nothing in his career and all of a sudden we're supposed to believe the light went on. Sorry I don't buy it.

I totally disagree. We have some injuries and the Steelers figured they'd give him a go at guard. He's extremely athletic and came in to camp in phenomenal shape. I guess we're going to find out in a hurry but he's healthy, in great shape and very athletic. Sean Kugler worked plenty of magic last season. No reason to believe that his arrival last year didn't spark something in Hillis. No reason for the "doom and gloom"

BradshawsHairdresser
08-26-2011, 05:04 PM
In other words, don't make a molehill out of a big Hills?

DukieBoy
08-26-2011, 08:05 PM
The odds must be with us that a UTx kid succeed in the Burgh.

Things look good with Hills, in great shape, playing with attitude, position flexibility, and he must know the system.

http://img.fanbase.com/media.fanbase.com/8/28142/92493c538f60e3e6b07d88fb24c4b8b3d9608e2f.jpg?x=574&y=744&sig=e27b39e62a37c9ce7a5b87b18580d97f

Oh ... yeah. Oops. Hook 'em Casey.