View Full Version : Does Wesley Saunders play tonight?
10-11-2012, 07:24 PM
10-11-2012, 07:31 PM
I dunno, but here is an article about him from yesterday:
Steelers TE Saunders moving on after suspension
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 3:35 p.m.
Updated 3 hours ago
Weslye Saunders remains puzzled about his four-game suspension, but he’d rather put it behind him now that he’s back in the Steelers’ locker room.
The second-year tight end has shifted his focus toward working his way back onto the active roster. Even if the Steelers activate him for Thursday night’s game at Tennessee, Saunders is likely to play only special teams.
Saunders familiarized himself with offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s playbook during training camp. Now he must reacquaint himself with it.
“I really feel good, but I don’t know what coach (Mike Tomlin) is going to decide,” Saunders said. “But I feel good and confident that I’m ready to play.”
Saunders spent the past five weeks training in Arizona. He maintained contact with several players, including tight ends Heath Miller and Leonard Pope. But he was prohibited from talking with the coaching staff during his suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
Perhaps the biggest challenge during his suspension, Saunders admits, was watching the Steelers play without him.
“Especially with the two losses,” Saunders said. “For the most part, (the suspension) went real fast — except on Sunday. I can’t wait to get on the field.”
Saunders said he attempted to persuade the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to shorten his suspension even after two failed attempts.
“We talked, but they weren’t having any of it,” said Saunders, who was allowed to play in all four preseason games. “Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.
“I couldn’t speak on it before. It was frustrating for me, especially knowing that even with an illegal drug there’s no suspension for a first offense, let alone four games. It’s over with, so I’m ready to move on.”
Saunders was hesitant to accuse the commissioner of overstepping his bounds, a criticism hurled at the commissioner after the suspensions of several New Orleans players accused in the bounty scandal.
“I can’t really say if he did because I don’t know how much say he had in the final ruling,” Saunders said. “I feel if you looked at it on a case-by-case basis, some things might be different in some instances. The rules have to be upheld. I guess he made the right decision.”
The Steelers must decide how and when to make room for Saunders on the roster. It seems likely that either veteran Pope or rookie David Paulson will be released. Paulson appears to have leaped ahead of Pope on the depth chart, considering he’s played more minutes — including special teams e_SEmD the past two games.
Haley will continue to progress through the playbook. So Saunders will be pressed to catch up.
“Like everybody else across the board, the guys that give us the best chance to win each and every week, those will be the guys helping us,” Haley said. “(Saunders) is just trying to get back in the flow right now.
“There are plays and situations, packages that certain guys will be in. It just so happened that last week the package we were in had David and Heath in it.”
Saunders is perhaps the best blocker among the tight ends. He was expected to fill the void of H-back after David Johnson was lost for the season with a knee injury.
“There will be a slight learning curve because we are doing a few things differently,” quarterback Byron Leftwich said. “I know he’s happy to be back to contribute any way he can.”
10-11-2012, 07:37 PM
Here's another that says that the Steelers will have to make a decision about adding him back to the active roster (and therefore needing to cut someone else to keep our total at 53) tomorrow:
Steelers: Weslye Saunders happy to be back, excited about Todd Haley's offense
By Chris Adamski | CBSSports.com
October 9, 2012 5:17 pm ET
Steelers tight end Weslye Saunders is back after serving a four-game suspension. He hopes his role will be similar to that of fellow TE Heath Miller, but he's been given no indication yet. (US Pressire)
Tight end Weslye Saunders watched the Steelers on TV. What else could he do?
On a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance since the regular season opened, Saunders han't been allowed at the Steelers' facility or having contact with team officials.
But what Saunders saw on TV, he liked. The veteran ahead of him on the depth chart, TE Heath Miller, has had quite a start. Miller is the only tight end in the league averaging a touchdown per game (four in four games).
"Watching these first four games and seeing the productivity that Heath is putting out there, it's pretty exciting, especially for a guy like me. I believe I can make plays in the passing game and the run game," Saunders said. "To see Heath go out there and do it consistently gives me a good feeling on the inside."
Miller leads the Steelers in touchdowns and his 19 catches are tied for second on the team with WR Mike Wallace. His 179 yards rank third.
It's only a quarter of the way through the season, but Miller is on pace to set career-highs in all but receiving yardage. In the first season under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, increased use of the tight ends in the passing game could become a trend.
"I certainly hope so," Saunders said. "It seems that way. Just going off of Heath's performance so far, it seems that way."
Saunders has the ability to be a force as a pass-catcher, and he also is viewed as an adequate blocker. He does not have to be added to the roster until Friday.
The Steelers have given no public indication who will come off the roster to make room for Saunders, or even if Saunders will play Thursday against Tennessee. Saunders said the organization has told him nothing. It's possible veteran TE Leonard Pope will be released to make room. Perhaps TE David Paulson will be removed from the 53-man and placed on the practice squad, but that seems unlikely.
Saunders may or may not become a prominent receiving weapon for the Steelers this season. One thing he assuredly won't do is put anything in his body that isn't thoroughly vetted first.
"I don't take any supplements. I don't even take Advil," he said. "I don't take anything. If you actually look at the list of the things ... excess amounts of caffeine, stuff that you're really not sure. And if you're not sure, don't do it. So I don't take anything."
"I had only taken it one time last year, so out of the maybe 10 or so drug tests last year I only tested positive once. I knew then not to take it; I know now not to take it anymore. It was a mistake that happened, and I'm ready to move on."
10-11-2012, 08:15 PM
They already said that they won't make any decision until tomorrow
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