Sunday, July 21, 2013
Training camp battles to watch
With training camp set to start at the end of the week, here are a few of the battles that will be contested over the next few weeks:
Nickle corner: William Gay was re-signed and is the frontrunner, but third-year pro Curtis Brown can't be overlooked. Gay has played the position in the past and contrary to some fans' beliefs, has played well as the third corner. But Brown has more upside. Josh Victorian, DeMarcus Van Dyke and rookie Terry Hawthorne could be in the mix as well since the Steelers intend to move starter Cortez Allen back into the slot on passing downs. Regardless of who wins the No. 3 job, the Steelers have a great deal of depth.
Running back: Will a true starter emerge? Jonathan Dwyer opened the offseason getting the No. 1 carries, but Isaac Redman had pretty much surpassed him by the end. The Steelers want rookie Le'Veon Bell to win the spot but he's going to have to do just that, win it. He won't be handed the position by default.
Third wide receiver: This should be interesting. We know that Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will be the starters. But who will be No. 3 in the pecking order, Plaxico Burress, Jerricho Cotchery or rookie Markus Wheaton? It will likely depend on the down and distance, but Cotchery will likely get the majority of snaps as the No. 3 until Wheaton gets his feet under him. The Steelers should take a look at veteran Donald Jones, released by New England last week, as well.
Right outside linebacker: It's Jason Worilds job to lose. Rookie Jarvis Jones might see some time as a situational pass rusher, but Worilds will get every opportunity to run with it - at least until the bye week.