Another Day At Training Camp
Gotta say, it was much more entertaining with the guys working out in full pads and hitting. Here's some of the tidbits I can remember from yesterday.
1. Shark is going to be good. Really good. He was everywhere. Jamming WRs at the LOS. Making plays on passes downfield. And he's just flat out explosive. He's got an extra gear. And he's physical. He lined up tight on the slot several times and made it very difficult for the Steelers WRs to get off the LOS. He's better in man coverage than most of our CBs.
2. Wheaton was running with the second team this week and his speed and routes stood out even more. He not only looks like a ROY candidate, but he might be our best WR in the long run. He was in the slot a lot and he's really physical for his size. And he's good at fighting to an open zone to get separation. The more I watched him, the more I kept thinking he looks like a lightning fast Hines Ward. And once again everyone was coaching up Wheaton after every play he made. Haley, Ben, Mann. Wheaton seems to be getting more attention after the plays than any other player.
3. It looks like our top 4 WRs are locked in stone - AB, Manny, Cotch, and Wheat. I was trying to gauge who could be our #5, but really am not sure. Dunn and Gilreath were the 2 catching punts with AB and Manny. Maybe that gives Gilreath the edge for the #5 slot even thought he's the one guy smaller than Dunn. JB wasn't catching punts and I didn't notice him working on ST much. Not sure what that means for his chances? Of the guys competing for the #5 spot, he seems to have the best size, speed, athleticism. Moye looked slow and somewhat sloppy/awkward in his routes. But the guy that really stands out even though he might be the longest shot is JD Woods. If I'm picking a guy purely as a WR, I'm going with Woods as my #5. But the #5 guy probably has to contribute on ST.
4. We're gonna be in really good shape long term with Golden and Shark. Golden's another guy that really stood out and was just everywhere the ball was when he was on the field.
5. I was watching from behind the goal post and the Steelers offense was coming toward me. There was a handoff to Bell and he had no room to run whatsoever. But somehow he just barreled through the LOS and came out on the other side running with speed like he was untouched. THere was no room for a tiny guy to get through the nonexistent hole let alone this big back. But somehow he finessed his big body through. This kid might be Eddie George with Bettis' feet.
6. Bruce G must have been a magician as a kid. His handoffs and fakes are really hard to tell apart.
7. Landry has a really weak arm and was really inaccurate in 7 on 7.
8. Our OLine looks like it's coming together nicely now that these guys were banging into one another. At the same time, I'm concerned that maybe our DLine/LBs just aren't able to generate much of a pass rush.
9. Our offense is going to be fine without Miller. Seems like every other play is designed for Paulson or Johnson. And both of those guys look really good. Paulson might even be a little quicker off the LOS than Heath.
10. If you ever have the chance to be a Steeler and want to sneak by the crowds and without being noticed after practice, here's a couple pointers. a. Don't be Troy (I still hear the piercing shriek/screams a day later). b. Take off your jersey before walking up the hill (guys like Woodley and Bell walked by fans without being recognized). c. Be a prima donna and avoid the crowds and go in another direction like Ben, AB, most of the WRs and the coaches. d. Be one of the last guys on the field like Ryan Clark and wait for the crowds to die down.
11. I wonder why the majority of players seem irritated by the fans and seem to want to avoid eye contact with the line of kids at camp? I get that they're probably tired, have to deal with the public every day, and signing autographs is annoying. But at the end of the day, these player's jobs are entertaining the public. And the Steelers are losing when kids walk away from training camp disappointed. I don't have any kids, but the number of kids that seemed unhappy yesterday was hard to not notice. Aside from the guys like JPW who could be cut any day and seems to love the fans, the well known guys that enjoy the fans are really few and far between. I did notice Ryan Clark, Tomlin, and Haley going out of their way to be nice. Haley surprised me. Isn't he supposed to be a jerk. He seems like one of the most mellow coaches on the field and nice guys off the field. Heck, I even noticed him smiling a lot today during practice and talking to lots of folks.
12. Both our punters are mediocre. And we seemed to devote a lot of time to practicing punting after the last game's block. Moorman seems to get slightly better hangtime. Neither kicks very far. And Moorman seemed to tire faster after several punts. I think Moorman has the inside track because Tomlin was talking to him more and joking around a lot while almost never even making eye contact with Butler.
13. I finally saw Hawthorne practice. Meh. Nothing special. Although, maybe he's recovering.
14. Even the Steelers QBs have figured out to always throw to the guy being covered by Gay. Gay is the one played that was getting on my nerves even though it was just practice.