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View Full Version : Sean Spence, Chris Rainey and Marquis Maze "phenoms" of OTAs



hawaiiansteel
06-09-2012, 12:53 AM
Friday, 08 June 2012

Written by Ed Bouchette

Good morning,

Some stuff as we close the books until training camp:

--- There have been a few “phenoms” during these OTAs, players such as rookies Sean Spence, Chris Rainey and Marquis Maze. Let’s remember what these spring practices are, however. There have been such spring hits in the past – Mr. May, I would call them – only to disappear in August. However, that does not take away from what they have done and they may well continue doing it in August and beyond.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...e-for-steelers

Oviedo
06-09-2012, 08:12 AM
I think Spence is really going to push to get into the line...if allowed.

hawaiiansteel
06-09-2012, 02:03 PM
Alabama WR faces maze of obstacles

June 9, 2012
By Brandon Boyd / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Marquis Maze had a shot.

Maze, then playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS national championship, fielded a punt from LSU's Brad Wing and raced toward the end zone.

One defender missed, then two. With two blockers and two LSU players left, Maze made his move at the LSU 40 -- not toward the end zone, but instead hobbling to the LSU sideline.

The whistle blew as he ran out of bounds. He headed toward the Alabama sideline, limping, limping, then pulling up lame, falling to the turf.

He dragged himself across the field and got back up, limping once more until cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick -- drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals -- ran out to help Maze off the field.

"I have a pride in not laying on the field when I'm hurt," Maze, a Birmingham, Ala., native said. "I was wanting to get off to the side on my own and kind of let the doctor see what's wrong with me once I get to the side.

"Really, it was like, 'It's my last game, I ain't coming out.' That's what was going through my mind at the time."

The prognosis was a pulled hamstring, and it meant the gliding-to-gimpy, 49-yard punt return would be the final play of Maze's college career. Cameras caught Maze crying on the sideline after learning that he would not be able to re-enter the game.

"It was tough. People that seen the game seen the reaction from me on the sideline, so people know I'm a competitor and saw that was a game that I didn't want to come out in," he said, referring to Alabama's 21-0 victory against LSU.

Undrafted and signed as a free agent by the Steelers, Maze has absorbed all he can from the veteran receivers on the team.

"They keep telling me to work hard and, you know, they tell me certain things I can do on certain routes to get open," Maze said. "I really appreciate the things those guys say to me to help me out."

At 5 feet 8, 186 pounds, Maze is the shortest player on the team. He makes up for it with plays that go for long yardage.

"He's a very smart football player. Talented," said Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich. "You can tell he's a playmaker and has always been a playmaker."

And whether it was the punt return in the national championship game, his 80-yard touchdown reception against Arkansas in 2009 or even his touchdown pass against Florida in '10, Maze was the guy who provided Alabama with a frequent spark.

"Big plays. Key plays. That's what I've been known for," Maze said. "Just big plays and key plays in game situations."

Maze will have to come up big in practice and scrimmage situations to make the Steelers. He is competing with Emmanuel Sanders and fellow rookie Chris Rainey to be a returner, and faces a slew of receivers fighting for jobs.

"I'm not focusing on beating nobody out. I'm just focusing on myself and getting myself better," Maze said.

"Really, my goal is just make the team right now. I don't know what my goals or what the plans of the coaches are, but I'm just working."

Then, humility gave way to confidence.

"I'm working my tail off, really, to be a starter. I mean, if I only work to be a fifth guy, then I don't think I'm working or I don't think I have confidence in myself. And I do have a lot of confidence in myself."

"Heart of a lion," he added the next day. "Heart of a lion."

When Maze walked off the field after the final day of organized team activities, there was no hiccup in his step, no limping, no hobbling.

No tears, either. Just passion.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz1xInqRnHj (http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/alabama-wr-faces-maze-of-obstacles-639605/#ixzz1xInqRnHj)

hawaiiansteel
06-09-2012, 10:59 PM
LeBeau: Steelers defense will be fine

June 8, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

LeBeau's defense took some hits after the season when the Steelers cut linebacker James Farrior, defensive end Aaron Smith, cornerback Bryant McFadden -- all 2011 opening-day starters -- longtime backup nose tackle Chris Hoke retired, and cornerback Willliam Gay signed with Arizona.

Yet there isn't much competition for starting jobs.

Ziggy Hood replaced Smith at left end and stayed there last season, although he will be pushed by Cameron Heyward. Larry Foote takes over at the buck linebacker spot for Farrior, yet he has another big talent behind him as was the case when Lawrence Timmons pushed Foote all the way to sign with Detroit in 2010.

LeBeau raved about rookie Sean Spence, a third-round draft choice from Miami.

"I don't have any concerns about Larry playing the buck, but we're going to have to replace numbers there. Somebody is going to have to step up in there. We have some guys who are experienced and some who are not. But I do like our draft choice. He's done everything any first-year player could do in coaching sessions without pads. I think we're in the right direction there."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...e-fine-639449/

BradshawsHairdresser
06-09-2012, 11:23 PM
LeBeau raved about rookie Sean Spence, a third-round draft choice from Miami.

"I don't have any concerns about Larry playing the buck, but we're going to have to replace numbers there. Somebody is going to have to step up in there. We have some guys who are experienced and some who are not. But I do like our draft choice. He's done everything any first-year player could do in coaching sessions without pads. I think we're in the right direction there."


Translation: "Maybe in three or four years, he'll have the chance to be a starter."

Slapstick
06-10-2012, 01:34 PM
Translation: "Maybe in three or four years, he'll have the chance to be a starter."

Which is fine. He's a 3rd round pick...

DukieBoy
06-10-2012, 01:48 PM
Sean Spence has been immersed in football and saturated with it from his earliest years. His read and react is phenomenal, as is he speed. IMO, He will pick up the Steelers defensive schemes very quickly, and become a contributor on 3rd downs early this year, and will be starting by the beginning of the 2013 season.

BradshawsHairdresser
06-10-2012, 07:49 PM
Which is fine. He's a 3rd round pick...
Not fine if he's as talented and as smart as many are saying. If reports are true, he's already ahead of Larry Slow-a-Foote in terms of ability...all he has to do is pick up the D. With his smarts, I can't believe that would take him more than a season. Of course, there will be an actual on-field learning curve, but why should we hold back a potential star-in-the-making in favor of a linebacker who is serviceable, but who couldn't even hold a starting job in Detroit?


Sean Spence has been immersed in football and saturated with it from his earliest years. His read and react is phenomenal, as is he speed. IMO, He will pick up the Steelers defensive schemes very quickly, and become a contributor on 3rd downs early this year, and will be starting by the beginning of the 2013 season.

Hope you're right, but it doesn't exactly fit with the LeBeau M.O..

Crash
06-10-2012, 07:51 PM
Which is fine. He's a 3rd round pick...

Yeah waste his whole rookie contract as a backup player. That's real bright.

LeBeau would play a bad veteran over a promising young player.

DukieBoy
06-10-2012, 08:17 PM
Yeah waste his whole rookie contract as a backup player. That's real bright.

LeBeau would play a bad veteran over a promising young player.

One issue is who will take charge to call the defensive signals. Foote knows the defense and the calls to make. Can Timmons fulfill this responsibility?

Crash
06-10-2012, 08:56 PM
One issue is who will take charge to call the defensive signals. Foote knows the defense and the calls to make. Can Timmons fulfill this responsibility?

With proper coaching? Timmons can call defenses.

Just like Farrior before him.

steelz09
06-10-2012, 09:11 PM
With proper coaching? Timmons can call defenses.

Just like Farrior before him.

Farrior had leadership Characteristics .... Timmons does not. Give that responsibility to Woodley, Foote, Clark .. Timmons shouldn't be the guy.

Crash
06-10-2012, 09:14 PM
The same James Farrior who basically did nothing to help Timmons when he became a full time starter and instead it was James Harrison who took him under his wing, that guy?

LeBeau's first order of business once Farrior was let go should have been to teach Timmons to make the calls, so they can rotate Sylvester and Foote.

steelz09
06-10-2012, 09:32 PM
The same James Farrior who basically did nothing to help Timmons when he became a full time starter and instead it was James Harrison who took him under his wing, that guy?

LeBeau's first order of business once Farrior was let go should have been to teach Timmons to make the calls, so they can rotate Sylvester and Foote.

Yeah, I'm sure Farrior had issues w/ Timmons. lol It's widely known that Farrior was the leader of the defense.

It's not that Timmons can't be taught to make the calls. You missed my point completely. I want 1 of the D leaders calling the plays. Timmons isn't a leader. He's an o.k player but he's not outspoken enough to be a leader.. He's not an outspoken guy.. He's very quiet and quite honestly, I don't think he's very smart. Do you want that type of person calling the plays? I could see Spence being the play caller in the future. Until then, give it to Woodley, Clark or Foote.

Crash
06-10-2012, 09:44 PM
You don't have to be outspoken to be a leader. Dermontti Dawson was a leader and he barely spoke.

Great leaders can also lead by example. Ziggy Hood's dedication this off season to fitness is a sign of leadership.

steelz09
06-10-2012, 09:49 PM
You don't have to be outspoken to be a leader. Dermontti Dawson was a leader and he barely spoke.

Great leaders can also lead by example. Ziggy Hood's dedication this off season to fitness is a sign of leadership.

Yea... Ziggy, eho may not even start is a leader. lol. If Heyward tears things up and starts over Ziggy... is Ziggy still a "leader"? Don't you need to start in order to be considered a leader? I would sure hope so. How can you speak and expect to be listened to when your sitting on the bench?

Your still missing my point after 3+ posts. I'm giving up on this :)

Crash
06-10-2012, 09:53 PM
Well in that case how was James Farrior a leader in 2011 when his role was reduced? Isn't that the same thing?

Slapstick
06-10-2012, 10:40 PM
Well in that case how was James Farrior a leader in 2011 when his role was reduced? Isn't that the same thing?

Zing!

BTW, Ziggy will start...

phillyesq
06-10-2012, 11:10 PM
The same James Farrior who basically did nothing to help Timmons when he became a full time starter and instead it was James Harrison who took him under his wing, that guy?


I would like to see a link substantiating that claim if you have one.

steelz09
06-10-2012, 11:14 PM
Zing!

BTW, Ziggy will start...

no .. it's not the same thing. It's not even close to the same thing.

DukieBoy
06-10-2012, 11:25 PM
quite honestly, I don't think he's very smart. Do you want that type of person calling the plays? I could see Spence being the play caller in the future. Until then, give it to Woodley, Clark or Foote.


What is your evidence about Timmon's smarts?

Calling the defensive signals is Foote's responsibility now. Clark at FS may line up too far off the LOS to make the calls.

Crash
06-11-2012, 12:11 AM
I would like to see a link substantiating that claim if you have one.

It was reported in late 2009. I think Wexell posted it, can't find the link, I wasn't posting here in 2009 but this is what I posted on my board at the time in a discussion with a poster:


And now there are rumblings that Farrior really hasn't helped mentor Timmons at all, and it's James Harrison who has begun to take him under his wing.

feltdizz
06-11-2012, 09:24 AM
I don't think he's very smart.

I'm curious to know why...

steelz09
06-11-2012, 09:40 AM
What is your evidence about Timmon's smarts?

Calling the defensive signals is Foote's responsibility now. Clark at FS may line up too far off the LOS to make the calls.


I don't have any concrete evidence or a link that I can post. It's my person evaluation / opinion of the guy.

For me, the biggest problem isn't necessarily IQ. I don't expect Timmons to have an IQ of Bobby Fischer or something like that. It's his personality. He's a quiet guy. He's not the guy to stand up in a room and take charge of a situation. Timmons is a guy that just wants to play football. That's great and all, but he's not "that leader" that I want on the defensive side. It's not a good fit for him. I think Sean Spence could turn out to be that guy.

steelz09
06-11-2012, 09:42 AM
It was reported in late 2009. I think Wexell posted it, can't find the link, I wasn't posting here in 2009 but this is what I posted on my board at the time in a discussion with a poster:


And now there are rumblings that Farrior really hasn't helped mentor Timmons at all, and it's James Harrison who has begun to take him under his wing.


I guess in all this mentoring ... James Harrison forgot to teach him how to play OLB. Hopefully, James Harrison isn't teaching Timmons on how to handle communication with Rodger Goodell.

RuthlessBurgher
06-11-2012, 10:12 AM
It was reported in late 2009. I think Wexell posted it, can't find the link, I wasn't posting here in 2009 but this is what I posted on my board at the time in a discussion with a poster:


And now there are rumblings that Farrior really hasn't helped mentor Timmons at all, and it's James Harrison who has begun to take him under his wing.



The Madden-loving Crash quoting the evil Jim Wexell? What's next, dogs and cats living together in peace and harmony?

Slapstick
06-11-2012, 10:13 AM
The Madden-loving Crash quoting the evil Jim Wexell? What's next, dogs and cats living together in peace and harmony?

It's mass hysteria!!

Slapstick
06-11-2012, 11:03 AM
Yeah waste his whole rookie contract as a backup player. That's real bright.

LeBeau would play a bad veteran over a promising young player.

This is Foote's last year under contract...

If Spence is as good as people claim, then it makes sense to let Larry walk...

DukieBoy
06-11-2012, 11:04 AM
I don't have any concrete evidence or a link that I can post. It's my person evaluation / opinion of the guy.

For me, the biggest problem isn't necessarily IQ. I don't expect Timmons to have an IQ of Bobby Fischer or something like that. It's his personality. He's a quiet guy. He's not the guy to stand up in a room and take charge of a situation. Timmons is a guy that just wants to play football. That's great and all, but he's not "that leader" that I want on the defensive side. It's not a good fit for him. I think Sean Spence could turn out to be that guy.

Agree that Spence could have that potential to call the defense, once some NFL experience is gained in this complex defense, based on his immersion in football since youth with his coach-father, and seeing his videotape.

Timmons does give the impression of being a quiet guy. I would like to see him run in Farrior's old spot, though; I think he'd be best utilized there, be a beast in that spot. Doesn't mean I think he should be calling the defense, necessarily.

Slapstick
06-11-2012, 11:06 AM
Agree that Spence could have that potential to call the defense, once some NFL experience is gained in this complex defense, based on his immersion in football since youth with his coach-father, and seeing his videotape.

Timmons does give the impression of being a quiet guy. I would like to see him run in Farrior's old spot, though; I think he'd be best utilized there, be a beast in that spot.

You and Crash are both right in this, IMO...

On passing downs, I could see Foote coming off the field, Timmons sliding over to the Mack and Spence taking over Timmons' regular spot in the nickel D...

DukieBoy
06-11-2012, 11:11 AM
You and Crash are both right in this, IMO...

On passing downs, I could see Foote coming off the field, Timmons sliding over to the Mack and Spence taking over Timmons' regular spot in the nickel D...

:)Crash and Me. :confused:

;)Crash and Burn. :Cheers

Keep your friends close ... Hey, Crash just wants to win.

Crash
06-11-2012, 12:40 PM
The Madden-loving Crash quoting the evil Jim Wexell? What's next, dogs and cats living together in peace and harmony?

Um, no, I quote Wex all the time. Still doesn't change the fact that he's Kordell loving assclown who resents Ben because he has the two rings that his beloved hero couldn't win. John Steigerwald is the same way. They think bashing Roethlisberger somehow lessens the blow of Kordell's failed career.

Ghost
06-11-2012, 02:57 PM
After his very first NFL OTA's; I think it's quite obvious that Spense is a bust... I mean he's not even penciled into the lineup. Wasted draft choice.

birtikidis
06-11-2012, 08:06 PM
IMO ota's tell me nothing. There are nothing but gym class heros at this point. Until they strap it up and take a hit, I'm not excited

hawaiiansteel
06-12-2012, 03:13 AM
Looking Back At The Circumstances That Led To Kendrell Bell Starting As A Rookie

Monday, June 11th, 2012 by Dave Bryan


The excitement about third round draft pick Sean Spence is back in full swing after the comments made by Kevin Colbert, Dick LeBeau and Keith Butler following the OTA sessions that wrapped up last week. While it is great that the rookie seems to be picking things up so fast, it is pretty close to being out of the question that he will start alongside Lawrence Timmons when the Pittsburgh Steelers take the field against the Denver Broncos in week one.

Jeremy Hritz hit it on the head today when he posted that Spence will most likely serve as a special teams player first and foremost and a role player as they season progresses. Is it out of the question that he starts later on in the season? I would say no, but it all depends on how Larry Foote plays and if Stevenson Sylvester can make the jump in his third season.

While it is easy to point back to several years ago when Kendrell Bell did the unthinkable by starting week one after being drafted in the second round of the 2001 draft out of Georgia, the circumstances that led to that were a little different as Bell really didn't have any competition.

When the Steelers took the field for their final regular season game of the 2000 season against the San Diego Chargers, Levon Kirkland was the strong-inside linebacker and Earl Holmes was the weak-side inside linebacker. During the off-season that followed, Kirkland was released prior to the draft and the Steelers signed veteran free agent linebacker Mike Jones with hopes that he could assume the weak-side starting spot with Holmes shifting over to the strong-side.

The depth at that time inside for the Steelers was pretty much nonexistent as versatile linebacker Mike Vrabel had left to sign with the New England Patriots as an unrestricted free agent and John Fiala was mostly regarded as a special teams player. Everyone knew that the Steelers had to address the inside linebacker position in the 2001 draft and many in the organization were praying that Dan Morgan out of Miami would fall to the Steelers at the 16 spot. When the Carolina Panthers selected Morgan with the 11th overall selection, the Steelers traded down three spots with the New York Jets and drafted nose tackle Casey Hampton. In the second round is when they got their inside linebacker in the form of Bell.

Coming out of the 2001 draft the Steelers had a first year aging veteran on their team in Jones and the rookie Bell, who like Spence this year, really excelled early on. When the Steelers played the Atlanta Falcons in their first preseason game, Jones started alongside Holmes, but it was Bell that stole the show that night in relief with his two sacks and six tackles, one of which was for a loss, against the Falcons. Bell also added a tackle on special teams and was always one of the first players down field on the punt team. If you remember that game, you remember that Bell was the best player on the field that night.

Tim Lewis, the Steelers defensive coordinator at the time, had glowing comments about Bell after that game. "He's very explosive," Lewis said. "Did you see his sacks the other night? He was blocked by two guys on one and still made the play. It's almost like he doesn't know he's being blocked. He just runs right through. It's real interesting to see his power."

Lewis was not the only one to praise the play that night of Bell as head coach Bill Cowher was not shy with his praise of the rookie either. "I thought Kendrell Bell played exceptional," said Cowher. "I said it even before Friday night. The one thing you'll see about the kid can is that he can tackle."

Bell would go on to outplay Jones the rest of the preseason and even started the final preseason game against the Buffalo Bills alongside Holmes. It was an easy decision for the coaching staff to make because the only player on the roster that Bell had to beat out was Jones and he did so easily.

With Spence being regarded as a weak-side guy himself initially by the organization, and behind Timmons on the depth chart, you can see the difference in the two situations. Baring an injury, Foote will be the strong-side starting inside linebacker in week one against the Broncos with Timmons beside him. The Steelers have depth and experience inside when you throw Sylvester into the mix and this creates a much different set of circumstances than Bell faced as a rookie. For Spence to start week one, it would mean Timmons has been moved over to the strong-side because Foote is either injured or ineffective and it would also mean that organization does not think that Sylvester can play.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/looking_back_at_the_circumstances_that_led_to_kend rell_bell_starting_as_a_rookie/10989578

hawaiiansteel
06-25-2012, 11:06 PM
Rainey, Spence: Steelers Wildcards?

Posted by Steelblitz
June 24, 2012

The Steelers drafted Chris Rainey and Sean Spence in the 2012 NFL Draft. Rainey, an explosive offensive threat, and Spence, an instinctual inside linebacker, both are poised to help the team as rookies.

Spence will likely be used on special teams and in coverage packages on defense. The Steelers inside linebackers struggled to cover quick backs and tight ends in 2011. This is likely one of the reasons James Farrior was cut this offseason.

Spence was a standout at Miami and is known for his coverage ability and instincts. His speed and coverage skills will make him a secret-weapon of types for the defense. He can be used to cover backs and tight ends. Spence won’t be a full time player in 2012, but he will play an important role.

Rainey, on the other hand, was a returner, receiver and running back at Florida. Rumors have been circulating since he was drafted that he could be the Steelers version of Dexter McCluster. Todd Haley coached McCluster while with the Kansas City Chiefs. He used McCluster as a receiver, scat back, and he was also a returner for the team.

Rainey has his eyes set on the returner job labeling special teams as his number one priority. He will also have a shot at helping on offense as a back and receiver as a rookie.

Rainey and Spence will be rookies in 2012, but they could play very important roles. The Steelers want Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders to focus on receiver rather than returning kicks and the defense needs help against the leagues new-breed of tight ends.

Whether they see many plays, or just a few, Rainey and Spence have a shot at being the Steelers wild-cards on Offense and Defense in 2012.

http://network.yardbarker.com/all_sports/article_external/steelers_training_camp_stars_to_be/11084171

SteelAddicted
06-27-2012, 08:58 AM
Sean Spence is going to be the prototypical linebacker in todays NFL. Smaller, Quicker and Smarter. You have to make reads as a middle linebacker with todays misdirection style offenses and pass heaving attacks. I'm excited to see what the kid can do.

Woodley, Timmons, Spence, Harrison

I would like to see a year or two with that crew shutting it down.

Jackson
06-27-2012, 02:31 PM
Friday, 08 June 2012

Written by Ed Bouchette

Good morning,

Some stuff as we close the books until training camp:

--- There have been a few “phenoms” during these OTAs, players such as rookies Sean Spence, Chris Rainey and Marquis Maze. Let’s remember what these spring practices are, however. There have been such spring hits in the past – Mr. May, I would call them – only to disappear in August. However, that does not take away from what they have done and they may well continue doing it in August and beyond.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...e-for-steelers

Seriously. But, anyway, who really minds talking up the recent draft picks? No harm done and it makes all concerned feel warm and hopey.