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hawaiiansteel
08-11-2012, 10:48 PM
5 Bold Predictions for the Rest of the Steelers 2012 Pre-Season

Written by: Kyle Curry on August 11, 2012

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The Steelers are one game into the 2012 NFL preseason and there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the team. Training camp for the Steelers will break in the next week. Once they break camp the Steelers will start practicing the “good stuff.” During the closed practices the Steelers will work on their offense and stop working with the “vanilla” playbook.

However, during the rest of the pre-season the Steelers have some big decisions to make. The hardest part of training camp is putting together the final depth chart and making the final cuts. So where could some of the surprises come from?

1.) Charlie Batch – Batch has struggled with injuries during recent years and he isn’t getting any younger. The Steelers have a capable back-up in Byron Leftwich and with Jerrod Johnson playing well during training camp so far the Steelers may want to keep him around. Johnson has potential and with the Steelers already having a franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and his back-up, Leftwich, there is little room for Batch.

Bold Prediction: The Steelers will either cut Batch or he will suffer a “season ending injury” allowing them to put him on injured reserve for the 2012 season. Batch has served as more of a sideline coach than as a player in recent years and they may want to keep him around. If they don’t want to guarantee his contract by keeping him on the roster, however, he could be cut. It would be the end of an era for Batch in Pittsburgh.

2.) Mike Adams – Adams struggled in the first pre-season game giving up two and a half sacks early in the game. Prior to the game, however, the Steelers second round pick was being praised for his play in practice. Maybe it was just first game jitters, but Adams will need to improve and play better in the final three pre-season games if he wants to start. Max Starks could return to camp at any time and will provide stiff competition for Adams at left tackle.

Bold Prediction: Adams will start for the Steelers in week one of the regular season. Max Starks is still on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and there is no indication of when he will be able to return to practice. If Starks returns Adams will have a tough time earning the starting spot, but I think Adams has what it takes to be great. He will have to improve, of course, but I expect to see better things from Adams in the Steelers second preseason game next week.

3.) Cortez Allen – Allen is fighting for a starting job alongside Ike Taylor. His main competition is fourth year man Keenan Lewis. Lewis broke into the Steelers line-up last year as the nickel-back and now he is hoping to replace William Gay, who signed with the Cardinals in the off-season.

Bold Prediction: Cortez Allen will start alongside Ike Taylor to start the regular season. I think Lewis will remain as the Steelers nickel-back during the 2012 season. Behind Lewis and Allen will be Curtis Brown, who played poorly against the Eagles, but will improve as the pre-season moves along.

4.) Jason Worilds – Worilds hasn’t practice yet this off-season due to an injury and he still hasn’t shown he has what it takes to be a back-up behind James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley. The Steelers choice to use Lawrence Timmons in place of Harrison when he misses time shows the team’s lack of faith in Worilds.

Bold Prediction: With ex-Bengal Brandon Johnson, Chris Carter, and Adrian Robinson all making strong cases to make the 53-man roster Worilds will be cut. He may have potential, but injuries have plagued his short career and the Steelers have some better options to back-up Harrison and Woodley. Worilds will have to return to the line-up soon and be a stand-out if he wants to make the roster.

5.) Mike Wallace – Wallace is still holding out and has lost a lot of fans in Steeler Nation, but there have been a few positive reports recently about Wallace returning soon. Although nothing is imminent and Wallace could technically hold-out all the way into November things could change.

Bold Prediction: Wallace will return to the Steelers and sign a long-term deal within the next two weeks. Call me crazy, but with training camp about to end Wallace can likely make a quieter return to the Steelers facility in a little over a week. The Steelers have talked about wanting Wallace and Wallace seems to want to remain in Pittsburgh, at least from what we have heard. It also seems they aren’t too far off in negotiations so I will keep an optimistic outlook on the Wallace situation.

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