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Thread: Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

  1. #1
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    Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    By John Harris
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Monday, August 18, 2008
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 83501.html

    Observations from coach Mike Tomlin's second training camp with the Steelers that ended Sunday afternoon at St. Vincent College:

    Camp Tomlin still plenty tough: So much for Tomlin taking it easier on his players this year at St. Vincent. Truth be told, Tomlin may have worked his players harder than he did in 2007. "We've been in pads every single day this year," running back Willie Parker said. "Last year, we weren't in pads every single day." Said linebacker Larry Foote: "We had a lot of two-a-days. That was rough."

    Batch out, Leftwich in: The Steelers were content with Charlie Batch backing up Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Enter Byron Leftwich, who was signed to replace Batch, out with a broken collarbone. Leftwich can now make the Steelers reconsider retaining Batch, who is five years older. Leftwich has the potential to keep Roethlisberger on his toes -- not as a potential threat as a starter, but as someone who can produce when given the opportunity.

    Battle of wills: Tomlin won the battle, but Casey Hampton may have won the war. Despite Tomlin's attempt to punish the overweight Hampton by putting him on the physically unable to perform list, Hampton accepted his punishment because he understands that as the Steelers' No. 1 nose tackle, he gives them the best chance to win.

    Double-secret-probation switch at cornerback: Ike Taylor continues to play right cornerback and Deshea Townsend remains on the left in the biggest -- and least publicized -- position change this offseason. When asked about the flip-flop, which began with the AFC wild-card playoff game against Jacksonville, Townsend said Sunday: "It's just Coach's decision. It's a little different in route progressions for the guy that's covering. A lot of times when you're on the right side, you're on the single side of the receiver. When you're on the left side, you're on the strong side, a combination of tight end and receiver."

    Strange situation: It's not like the fiscally prudent Steelers to overpay a backup tackle, especially given the team's tenuous ownership situation. So why sign Max Starks as a one-year, $6.895 million transition player? Makes you wonder if management believed it could release Starks even after signing him; his contract's guaranteed for the season. Why else pay so much for someone to do so little?

    Broken promise: Four days before the start of training camp, Tomlin told reporters he had spoken with safety Troy Polamalu and "we anticipate him being ready to go." So much for the best-laid plans. Polamalu, who was granted permission to train in California during the offseason, is expected to practice for the first time Tuesday. There was nothing wrong with Polamalu being allowed to work out where he felt comfortable, but if the team had been able to monitor his situation more closely, perhaps his surprise hamstring injury wouldn't have surprised Tomlin when camp opened.

    John Harris is a sports writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    That little tidbit about Casey is not encouraging. It sounds like he's basically playing his veteran status to his advantage.

    Honestly, his behavior thus far has disgusted me. Even after the public humiliation, he just doesn't seem to care. It's like he doesn't see anything wrong with his actions.

    Maybe if he was still playing up to expectations, I could cut him some slack, but he isn't. Lately it seems all he does is just stand there on the plays. He can't get any pressure at all, and even finds himself pushed back at times. Just pathetic.

    He'd better get his act together real soon. If he doesn't, our whole defense will suffer. Fact.

  3. #3
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    Re: Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer
    Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    By John Harris
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Monday, August 18, 2008
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 83501.html

    Observations from coach Mike Tomlin's second training camp with the Steelers that ended Sunday afternoon at St. Vincent College:

    Camp Tomlin still plenty tough: So much for Tomlin taking it easier on his players this year at St. Vincent. Truth be told, Tomlin may have worked his players harder than he did in 2007. "We've been in pads every single day this year," running back Willie Parker said. "Last year, we weren't in pads every single day." Said linebacker Larry Foote: "We had a lot of two-a-days. That was rough."

    Batch out, Leftwich in: The Steelers were content with Charlie Batch backing up Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Enter Byron Leftwich, who was signed to replace Batch, out with a broken collarbone. Leftwich can now make the Steelers reconsider retaining Batch, who is five years older. Leftwich has the potential to keep Roethlisberger on his toes -- not as a potential threat as a starter, but as someone who can produce when given the opportunity.

    Battle of wills: Tomlin won the battle, but Casey Hampton may have won the war. Despite Tomlin's attempt to punish the overweight Hampton by putting him on the physically unable to perform list, Hampton accepted his punishment because he understands that as the Steelers' No. 1 nose tackle, he gives them the best chance to win.

    Double-secret-probation switch at cornerback: Ike Taylor continues to play right cornerback and Deshea Townsend remains on the left in the biggest -- and least publicized -- position change this offseason. When asked about the flip-flop, which began with the AFC wild-card playoff game against Jacksonville, Townsend said Sunday: "It's just Coach's decision. It's a little different in route progressions for the guy that's covering. A lot of times when you're on the right side, you're on the single side of the receiver. When you're on the left side, you're on the strong side, a combination of tight end and receiver."

    Strange situation: It's not like the fiscally prudent Steelers to overpay a backup tackle, especially given the team's tenuous ownership situation. So why sign Max Starks as a one-year, $6.895 million transition player? Makes you wonder if management believed it could release Starks even after signing him; his contract's guaranteed for the season. Why else pay so much for someone to do so little?

    Broken promise: Four days before the start of training camp, Tomlin told reporters he had spoken with safety Troy Polamalu and "we anticipate him being ready to go." So much for the best-laid plans. Polamalu, who was granted permission to train in California during the offseason, is expected to practice for the first time Tuesday. There was nothing wrong with Polamalu being allowed to work out where he felt comfortable, but if the team had been able to monitor his situation more closely, perhaps his surprise hamstring injury wouldn't have surprised Tomlin when camp opened.

    John Harris is a sports writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
    I think Casey may have won the war in his own head, but I think Tomlin showed Casey's teammates that he wasn't going to stand for a player not being a professional. I think he stood up for the ultimate goal. It didn't matter if it was a probowler, he was going to make an example out of Casey, b/c Casey showed that he didn't really care about his team when he was eating twinkees in June.

    I see this totally different from the reporter b/c I think it showed the rest of the team that they need to have responsibility for themselves and their teammates. I think that is why he made such public situation.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    Maybe the solution to both the Casey & Starks situation is to have them switch places...Casey is used to keeping guys tied up & Max has great size for a 3-4 lineman........................YEAH BABY, STARKS FOR DE!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Subplots develop at Camp Tomlin

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Life
    Maybe the solution to both the Casey & Starks situation is to have them switch places...Casey is used to keeping guys tied up & Max has great size for a 3-4 lineman........................YEAH BABY, STARKS FOR DE!

    Still doesn't fix our nose-tackle problem. This Casey mess sucks. He's suppose to be one of the defensive leaders on this squad, but is shaping up to be the next Duce Staley... SUPER-SIZED. Maybe Eason will emerge as a competent player on our front line.

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