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Thread: OTAs

  1. #1

    OTAs

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008
    OTAs reconvene

    The Steelers got back together Tuesday for what will be the bulk of their OTAs with most of the team on the practice field. Left tackle Marvel Smith, wide receivers Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes, and strong safety Troy Polamalu who will miss all of the sessions while working out in Calfornia were notable exceptions.

    Washington, in particular, may not want to miss too much action. Second-year pro Dallas Baker continued right where he left off in mini-camp and was catching everything in sight.

    Baker, a seventh-round pick last season who spent the year on the practice squad, looks like a player who's ready to contribute.

    Think the rookies' heads aren't swimming? Think again. Cornerback Travis Williams, an undrafted player, was checking the playlist tucked in his pants before every play, and even sometimes after the ball was snapped, getting a late jump off the line.

    He made perhaps the defensive play of the session, however, breaking up a deep ball intended for Willie Reid. Reid, by the way, is firmly on the bubble with this team, especially since his return skills have proven to be less than what they should be.

    With Smith out, the Steelers looked at a lot of different offensive line combinations, using centers Sean Mahan, Darnell Stapleton and Justin Hartwig at guard, and tackles Willie Colon and Trai Essex at guard as well.

    Max Starks saw plenty of action at left tackle.

    No. 1 pick Rashard Mendenhall was still out of action with the hamstring injury suffered in mini-camp, but second-year defensive end Ryan McBean had his cast off and was practicing lightly.

    I saw one player I believe it was first-year wide receiver Matt Trannon, but it's tough to tell when they're in street clothes and I don't know all the faces yet in the lunch room with a fresh cast on his hand, something that doesn't bode well for the youngster.

    Punter Daniel Sepulveda looks like his leg is even stronger than last year. He was consistently kicking the ball into the roof at the indoor practice facility, which is 100-feet high. And some of those balls were still rising when they hit.

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  2. #2

    Re: OTAs

    Not sure where the poster got this info from.
    http://www.steelerfury.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4748

    For those who wanted changes on the offensive line, Tuesday was the day. Because of injuries and absences, the Steelers used only one of last year's first-team starters in his same position.
    Willie Colon lined up at right tackle, but Darnell Stapleton started at right guard and Sean Mahan started at left guard. Free-agent acquisition Justin Hartwig opened at center. Max Starks was the left tackle. Guards Kendall Simmons and Chris Kemoteatu were on the sideline nursing minor injuries while left tackle Marvel Smith was tending to a personal issue. The second-team line, from left to right, was Jason Capizzi, Mahan/Trai Essex, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Jeremy Parquet.

    The receiving corps also missed most of its key players. Hines Ward returned, but Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes were out, replaced by Dallas Baker and Willie Reid. Baker, in particular, had a strong practice.

    TE Matt Spaeth may have made the best catch of the practice, going high to snare a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the back of the end zone. The best catch by a defensive player was made by rookie safety Ryan Mundy, who dove to intercept an overthrown Charlie Batch pass.

    The top defensive play might've been made by undrafted rookie cornerback Travis Williams, who broke up a deep pass intended for Reid.

    By unanimous decree, the top catch on special teams was made by nose tackle Chris Hoke, who made a running, over-the-shoulder catch of a pass off a fake field goal.

    First-round pick Rashard Mendenhall remains sidelined by a hamstring injury. Also on the injury front, defensive end Ryan McBean is out of his boot and off crutches, but remained sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot.

  3. #3
    Hall of Famer costanza2k1's Avatar
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    Re: OTAs

    Great news about Baker...I agree with the first article, Washington should be scared. Just because he has a decent end zone dance doesn't mean he'll stick around. Day by day I'm just about sold on the thought of Reid being cut.
    ours is not to wonder why just invert and multiply...

  4. #4

    Re: OTAs

    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1
    Great news about Baker...I agree with the first article, Washington should be scared. Just because he has a decent end zone dance doesn't mean he'll stick around. Day by day I'm just about sold on the thought of Reid being cut.
    I honestly think as he can't return(which I still scratch my head over), the deck is stacked against him making the team this year.

  5. #5
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    Re: OTAs

    I suspect his injury may have been more serious than the public was informed. Being on the sidelines and not dressed in his rookie year may have hurt is confidence some as well. Sucks as he had some promise coming out of college.
    ours is not to wonder why just invert and multiply...

  6. #6
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    Re: OTAs

    Baker sounds like he has had a great off-season so far. I also remember reading that he really started to impress in practice late last year. I know that success in practice is a lot different from success in games, but it would be great to see him start to put things together.

    It is starting to sound like Reid will really have to fight for a roster spot. I don't really expect anything from him in the return game, but I think he could be effective as a slot receiver, a guy on WR screens, that sort of thing.

    It will be interesting to see how things shake out, but it's great to hear that there is some strong competition for roster spots.

  7. #7
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    Re: OTAs

    Quote Originally Posted by anothersteelerfan
    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Max Starks saw plenty of action at left tackle.
    If he shows he can play well at LT, he should be signed long term and Marvel can play out this last yr and leave as a FA next March.
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  8. #8
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    Re: OTAs

    Quote Originally Posted by anothersteelerfan
    Not sure where the poster got this info from.
    http://www.steelerfury.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4748

    For those who wanted changes on the offensive line, Tuesday was the day. Because of injuries and absences, the Steelers used only one of last year's first-team starters in his same position.
    Willie Colon lined up at right tackle, but Darnell Stapleton started at right guard and Sean Mahan started at left guard. Free-agent acquisition Justin Hartwig opened at center. Max Starks was the left tackle. Guards Kendall Simmons and Chris Kemoteatu were on the sideline nursing minor injuries while left tackle Marvel Smith was tending to a personal issue. The second-team line, from left to right, was Jason Capizzi, Mahan/Trai Essex, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Jeremy Parquet.

    The receiving corps also missed most of its key players. Hines Ward returned, but Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes were out, replaced by Dallas Baker and Willie Reid. Baker, in particular, had a strong practice.

    TE Matt Spaeth may have made the best catch of the practice, going high to snare a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the back of the end zone. The best catch by a defensive player was made by rookie safety Ryan Mundy, who dove to intercept an overthrown Charlie Batch pass.

    The top defensive play might've been made by undrafted rookie cornerback Travis Williams, who broke up a deep pass intended for Reid.

    By unanimous decree, the top catch on special teams was made by nose tackle Chris Hoke, who made a running, over-the-shoulder catch of a pass off a fake field goal.

    First-round pick Rashard Mendenhall remains sidelined by a hamstring injury. Also on the injury front, defensive end Ryan McBean is out of his boot and off crutches, but remained sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot.
    I think Mahan will beat out Kemo for LG. I also think Spaeth will have a monster season if Ben just throws him the ball. I also think Reid makes this team. he will make tough catches. If Baker has a great pre-season it could be Washington heading out of town.
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  9. #9

    Re: OTAs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by anothersteelerfan
    Not sure where the poster got this info from.
    http://www.steelerfury.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4748

    For those who wanted changes on the offensive line, Tuesday was the day. Because of injuries and absences, the Steelers used only one of last year's first-team starters in his same position.
    Willie Colon lined up at right tackle, but Darnell Stapleton started at right guard and Sean Mahan started at left guard. Free-agent acquisition Justin Hartwig opened at center. Max Starks was the left tackle. Guards Kendall Simmons and Chris Kemoteatu were on the sideline nursing minor injuries while left tackle Marvel Smith was tending to a personal issue. The second-team line, from left to right, was Jason Capizzi, Mahan/Trai Essex, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Jeremy Parquet.

    The receiving corps also missed most of its key players. Hines Ward returned, but Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes were out, replaced by Dallas Baker and Willie Reid. Baker, in particular, had a strong practice.

    TE Matt Spaeth may have made the best catch of the practice, going high to snare a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the back of the end zone. The best catch by a defensive player was made by rookie safety Ryan Mundy, who dove to intercept an overthrown Charlie Batch pass.

    The top defensive play might've been made by undrafted rookie cornerback Travis Williams, who broke up a deep pass intended for Reid.

    By unanimous decree, the top catch on special teams was made by nose tackle Chris Hoke, who made a running, over-the-shoulder catch of a pass off a fake field goal.

    First-round pick Rashard Mendenhall remains sidelined by a hamstring injury. Also on the injury front, defensive end Ryan McBean is out of his boot and off crutches, but remained sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot.
    I think Mahan will beat out Kemo for LG. I also think Spaeth will have a monster season if Ben just throws him the ball. I also think Reid makes this team. he will make tough catches. If Baker has a great pre-season it could be Washington heading out of town.
    Agreed on Nate,O.He's way to inconsistent for my liking anyway.Great news about Baker.Can't wait to see him in some pre-season games.

  10. #10
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    Re: OTAs

    THat is great to hear about Baker and the Punter.

    Dang... if Baker is for real and Sweed is as well, we could have a really good tall package.

    That should make Ben happy.
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