This among other stuff from Bouchette. Also mentioned that the Steelers had Hightower "close" to DeCastro on their board.
Ed: Barron Batch Not Ready to Practice
Friday, 04 May 2012 08:29
Written by Ed Bouchette
Barron Batch will not practice with the rookies and some first-year players over the weekend, even though he is eligible to do so.
Batch isn’t yet ready to practice after having ACL surgery in the middle of August. So, nearly nine months later, he apparently has not been cleared to go.
It’s another reason to believe that Rashard Mendenhall might not play this season. He had surgery in mid-January. If he follows Batch’s schedule, he still won’t be ready to go in mid-October. He’ll open the season on PUP. After six weeks, he can practice for three weeks (or not, if he cannot). After those three weeks, the Steelers would have to decide whether to put him on the 53-man roster, or keep him on PUP for the rest of the season.
That means the Steelers will have the week before their Nov. 18 game against Baltimore to decide whether to activate Mendenhall or put him on the shelf for the season and, if that happens, likely never see him in a Steelers uniform again.
Onto some other stuff:
--- Two quarterbacks will participate in this rookie orientation, neither one a Steelers rookie. One is former Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson, who has not been on a 53-man roster and is considered a first-year player, thus eligible to participate. The other is Darron Thomas, an undrafted, unsigned rookie QB from Oregon who will have a “tryout” this weekend with the Steelers. He’ll also try out with the Arizona Cardinals.
--- Terrell Suggs expects to return to play sometime this season after his achilles tendon was “partially” torn. I don’t think so. Check with Willie Colon and Limas Sweed about that.
--- YOU: Are ther any free agents left that the Steelers are looking at?
ME: I haven’t heard of any, but they said after the draft that they may not be done signing free agents. Of course, that would mean they have already begun. I’ll give them that since they did sign a backup tight end – as well as two backup quarterbacks and a backup offensive lineman who returned to them as free agents.
--- YOU: Would the Steelers share with you their draft board rankings once the draft is complete? It would be interesting to see who they ranked highly and who they didn't.
ME: No, that never has nor will it ever happen. Through the years, various Steelers personnel people or coaches have told me they had this player ahead of this one or vice versa, or that they put a fourth-round grade on someone another team drafted in the first or second. I was told after they drafted David DeCastro that Dont’a Hightower was close, but they never expected DeCastro to fall to No. 24. But see their board or all of their ratings? Never.
--- YOU: I hve a a couple of quick questions for you... What is all this outrage in regards to the Saints players' suspensions? Why is the NFLPA coming out of the woodwork pretending to care of happens to their players, and since when does it matter whether the league has circumstantial evidence or hard core physical evidence to suspend a player? When was the NFLPA when Ben Rothliesberger was handed a 6 game suspension? And where were they when the topic of "Goodell has too much power when it comes to player discipline" cam up during CBA negotiation? Ok... that's more than a couple of questions, but as far as I'm concerned, only one team voted again the ratification of the current CBA because of this issue and only one team has the right to complain... Everyone else should just shut up, including the NFLPA.
ME: First of all, count me among those who believe that “bountygate” has been blown way out of proportion and all of the penalties are too much. Let’s say Greg Williams told his players at that taped meeting to go out and target the ACLs of other players and to chop off the head and the body will die – WITHOUT a bounty being involved. Let’s say they did all those things and no money was offered or passed hands. Guess what? There would be no punishment. I once wrote about Hardy Nickerson’s broken hand in training camp, an injury the Steelers had not revealed. Bill Cowher read me the riot act over that citing as his main reason that opponents would now target that hand. He called me naïve when I said, “really?’’
They also offered bounties for sacks and interceptions, which is also against NFL rules. So they should have been punished but again I think it was too much, especially a year’s suspension for a player and a head coach. I think we all know why the NFL is making a big deal about this and why the punishment is so draconian. It’s because of all those lawsuits filed by former players about the alleged concussions they suffered and the affect they allegedly still have on their lives. I’m not discounting that any of that did not occur, just that the NFL now is trying to close the door on possible future lawsuits, or at least the chance that someone will actually win one.
As for the NFLPA, yes, the union leadership and their players capitulated in the last CBA to management, caved I believe is the word. They got very little out of it and a 10-year deal with no chance to rework it. The Steelers were the only smart ones. However, that doesn’t mean the NFLPA should just throw up its hands in surrender again every time it believes its membership has been dealt with unfairly.
--- YOU: People are saying DeCastro won't be allowed to wear his college #52 with the Steelers, because it was Mike Webster's.
As with most Steelers fans, I loved Iron Mike. But unlike those who argue that no one should wear that number again, I think it would actually be great to see that number on the field again, particularly by someone who appears to be bound for greatness. I see it not as a detriment, but as a tribute to Webster's legacy.
ME: What if DeCastro turns into a bust? How would that honor Webby’s legacy. The Steelers, by the way, haven’t socked away ALL of their great players’ numbers. Here is a list of players who have worn No. 88 since Lynn Swann retired: Craig Dunaway, John Rodgers, Jessie Britt, Joey Clinkscales, Jason Johnson, Chris Calloway, Mark Didio, Andre Hastings, Courtney Hawkins, Tim Baker, Terance Mathis, Matt Kranchick, Jon Dekker and Emmanuel Sanders.
Based on that list, the Steelers actually should open up their other “retired” numbers to new players. What could it hurt?