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Thread: Time running short for rookies Hawthorne, Williams

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Time running short for rookies Hawthorne, Williams

    Time running short for rookies Hawthorne, Williams

    By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    August 15, 2013

    The Steelers' top four draft selections have, at various times in training camp, shown flashes of the promise the team saw in them as college players.

    Le'Veon Bell, a second-round pick out of Michigan State, has done so much that he is the likely starter at running back when the regular season opens. No. 1 pick linebacker Jarvis Jones, receiver Markus Wheaton (third round) and safety Shamarko Thomas (fourth round) have made their mark and figure to contribute in the regular season.

    But, for the rest of this draft class, time is running short to make an impression, especially for two lower-round choices that returned to practice this week after missing most of training camp with injuries.

    Cornerback Terry Hawthorne, a fifth-round selection from Illinois, returned to practice Monday after having right knee surgery this spring. Defensive lineman Nick Williams, a seventh-round pick out of Division I-AA Samford, also returned to practice Monday after sitting out last week with a knee injury.

    Hawthorne was drafted to provide depth in the defensive backfield, but he must demonstrate in short order why he is worthy of a roster spot.

    "On Monday, I pretty much did everything," Hawthorne said. "I went through individual and team [drills] and felt great about it. I'm ready to do some more."

    One way for Hawthorne to get on the 53-man roster is to excel on special teams. Hawthorne said he is not a starter on any of the special-team units, but he will be tried as gunner on the punt team. He also has experience as a returner at Illinois.

    Hawthorne will have his first opportunity to show what he can do in a game Monday night when the Steelers visit the Washington Redskins for the second preseason contest.

    "Everyone still has to show what they can do out there," Hawthorne. "I just have to keep myself in it mentally and stay positive about everything."

    Williams was a long shot to make the team before he was injured. Missing so many practices this summer hurt his chances even more.

    "It's been uneven, but, hey, what can you do?" Williams said of his first training camp. "It's part of the game, getting injured. I'm bouncing back and trying to learn as much as I can right now."

    Unless he wowed them in camp, the Steelers had Williams pegged as a practice-squad candidate because he only started playing football as a senior in high school and did not earn a starting job at Samford until his junior year.

    Williams concentrated on basketball in high school and must learn the nuances of playing in the defensive line.

    Keisel on 'youth juice'

    If veteran defensive end Brett Keisel is slowing down in his 12th NFL season, his teammates haven't noticed.

    Linebacker Lawrence Timmons said Keisel is as feisty as ever in what might be his final season with the Steelers. Keisel is entering the final year of his contract.

    "He hustles hard," Timmons said. "I always see him in the weight room. I don't feel like age is bothering him right now. He has some type of youth juice. He's doing real good for us right now."

    Quick hits

    Reserve guard Justin Cheadle, injured in practice Monday, has what coach Mike Tomlin referred to as a "significant" hamstring injury. He is week to week rather than day to day. ... After allowing a blocked punt, fumbling a punt return and other assorted mistakes against the New York Giants Saturday in the preseason opener, Tomlin continued to stress special-teams work in practice: "It's an emphasis," he said. "Special teams is one thing you don't practice out here full speed. You really don't get a litmus of where you are until you step into a stadium. Obviously, we're not where we need to be, so we work with a different mindset based on the knowledge we acquire from in-stadium work. We'll put guys in better position. Hopefully, guys will make better decisions and play smarter this week."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2c1hDNVDN

  2. #2
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    Shame this kid had to get the knee worked on this spring. I think he had a lot of potential and the Steelers felt as if they'd gotten great value for a 5th round pick. Raw, athletic kid who just needs to be coached up. And CL is the man to do it!

    Carnell Lake on T Hawthorne:

    "He is fast. What I like about Terry is that he has a lot of upside potential that I see in him. I think he has all the physical tools. He is big. He is fast. He doesn't mind tackling, and he can play press coverage well, kind of in the same way as an Ike Taylor."

  3. #3
    Hopefully, Hawthorne can stick and eventually take Ike's place...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    Shame this kid had to get the knee worked on this spring. I think he had a lot of potential and the Steelers felt as if they'd gotten great value for a 5th round pick. Raw, athletic kid who just needs to be coached up. And CL is the man to do it!

    Carnell Lake on T Hawthorne:

    "He is fast. What I like about Terry is that he has a lot of upside potential that I see in him. I think he has all the physical tools. He is big. He is fast. He doesn't mind tackling, and he can play press coverage well, kind of in the same way as an Ike Taylor."
    Positive spin on this:
    5 rounder with potential that showed NOTHING in training camp, likely nothing THIS preseason is an ideal scenario.

    Why? Easily stashed on the practice squad. VERY LITTLE chance we lose him.
    Raw potential is a worthless roster spot being taken up if he flashes his talent and potential in the preseason. We would be forced to use the roster spot on him.

    Now CL CAN do his magic for a guy we have on the cheap, and we keep an additional player of real value THIS SEASON on the regular roster.
    All teams have to judge him on is college and he was a day three pick......low demand.
    He will NEVER be stolen from our practice squad.
    We have corners dropping like flies and obviously have higher regard for him than any other team....we drafted him. If he does not make our roster with our need I guaranty you nobody will touch him.

    Everybody wins.......well except Hawthorne. For now.

    Hey, I got a great idea!!!!
    Can we hire someone to go Tonya Harding on all our low round picks with potential?
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 08-15-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  5. #5
    He was a day three pick because of the knee injury...

    Now that the knee is healed, teams will be aware of whether or not he is on the roster...

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    The guy who's time really should be running out, or should be out right now is Curtis Brown. This dude has not shown one single glimps of anything since we spent a 3rd rounder on him. He got burnt like toast so often at Texas it wasn't even funny.
    I will take Hawthorne over Curtis any day.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    He was a day three pick because of the knee injury...

    Now that the knee is healed, teams will be aware of whether or not he is on the roster...
    .....and a bad senior season.

    Slapstick consider this.
    Typically, good players are stolen from a practice squad when a team is DEEP at a position and cannot keep all their talent.
    We wanted him more than anybody. We have a need at that position. Carnell is excited about his ability! If he cannot make OUR squad, who is gonna value him higher than us?
    Even injuries wont up his demand. Better to sign an experience vet than a raw rookie with questionable technique.

    Anyone who takes him has the same dilemma we have. They need to use a spot on a player who they have no idea can contribute.
    The fact that he cant make a roster THAT NEEDS HELP at that position will certainly affect teams that ALREADY had him rated modestly.

    Only way he moves is if we dont sign him to the practice squad and someone else will SURELY do that.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sedatedsteelerfan View Post
    The guy who's time really should be running out, or should be out right now is Curtis Brown. This dude has not shown one single glimps of anything since we spent a 3rd rounder on him. He got burnt like toast so often at Texas it wasn't even funny.
    I will take Hawthorne over Curtis any day.
    And if Hawthorne does not beat Brown out what does that tell the league?
    Hey, I like Hawthorne over Brown too......long term.

    I have great confidence that nobody touches this guy if he cant made our regular roster.

  9. #9
    Pro Bowler SidSmythe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Lemming View Post
    Positive spin on this:
    5 rounder with potential that showed NOTHING in training camp, likely nothing THIS preseason is an ideal scenario.

    Why? Easily stashed on the practice squad. VERY LITTLE chance we lose him.
    Raw potential is a worthless roster spot being taken up if he flashes his talent and potential in the preseason. We would be forced to use the roster spot on him.

    Now CL CAN do his magic for a guy we have on the cheap, and we keep an additional player of real value THIS SEASON on the regular roster.
    All teams have to judge him on is college and he was a day three pick......low demand.
    He will NEVER be stolen from our practice squad.
    We have corners dropping like flies and obviously have higher regard for him than any other team....we drafted him. If he does not make our roster with our need I guaranty you nobody will touch him.

    Everybody wins.......well except Hawthorne. For now.

    Hey, I got a great idea!!!!
    Can we hire someone to go Tonya Harding on all our low round picks with potential?
    Guys aren't picked up when cut based on their preseason performance. They're picked up b/c they were on someone's draft board and they had interest in them back in April. If a team wanted to pick Hawthorne sees he's been cut, then they'll probably grab him based on their April evaluations.
    Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go...
    Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go...
    Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go...!!!

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    Seven Steelers who need to shine in second preseason matchup with Redskins

    By SteelCityRoller on Aug 15 2013



    A legitimate argument can be made for preseason snaps actually being more important individually than regular season snaps on the behalf of the player. Just ask David Gilreath of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Gilreath seems to have lost some clout with the team this week after muffing a punt against the New York Giants in Week 1 of the preseason. He fell a spot on the receiving depth chart behind rookie Justin Brown, and fell completely off the punt returner's list with another rookie Reggie Dunn taking his place.

    Training camp in Latrobe will break for the season on Saturday. With a limited number of practices and games left to play, these seven players (in no particular order) need to make the most of every opportunity which knocks in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins.

    1. Nicholas Williams - Defensive End

    Williams was a seventh round draft pick in 2013. He was immediately tabbed as a defensive end project most likely destined for the practice squad considering he didn't start playing football until his senior year of high school and didn't land a starting job in college until his junior year. Williams suffered a knee injury in the early stages of camp and only just returned to practice on Monday. Fellow rookie Brian Arnfelt had a strong performance in Williams absence, creating a real battle for possibly just one practice squad spot. Williams will need to make up for missed practice time just like...

    2. Terry Hawthorne - Cornerback

    Hawthorne, a fifth-round 2013 NFL draft selection, was viewed as a diamond in the rough entering the league by secondary coach Carnell Lake. Unfortunately, Hawthorne needed surgery this off-season to remove bone chips from his knee, forcing him to miss most of the team's off-season work until returning to practice on Monday with N. Williams. Josh Victorian and Isaiah Green have been jockeying for depth chart positions while posting positive game film footage. Hawthorne should see action on Monday night barring any setbacks. He needs to make a case for being more than just a practice squad player, as does ...

    3. Joe Long - Left Tackle

    Long, the undrafted brother of St. Louis Rams left tackle Jake Long, has found himself in a dead heat with D'Anthony Batiste on the offensive depth chart. The Steelers have already moved tackle Guy Whimper to guard for the Redskins game making more time for both competitors. With favored ninth offensive lineman Justin Cheadle now out with a significant hamstring injury, the team will be watching this battle closely. The want to insure their depth at the outside positions with Kelvin Beachum the only reserve tackle looking like a lock for the final roster. Long needs to stand out above his veteran counterpart, just like...

    4. Alameda Ta'amu - Nose Tackle

    Ta'amu played his best snaps as a member of the Steelers in the first preseason game against the Giants. He is still listed with the third team behind Hebron Fangupo and starter Steve McLendon. Some view his placement as a message to a player who had a terrible rookie season both on and off the field. He spent time with Cameron Heyward this off-season training and learning how to be a professional. Ta'amu arrived at camp with a sore hammy of his own, but several pounds lighter, fleeter of foot and in better overall physical condition while maintaining his strength. If he can perfect the foreign techniques which differ from what he excelled at in the past, then he just might earn an active roster spot. Same goes for...

    5. Jonathan Dwyer - Running Back

    Dwyer ended the 2012 season as the team's leading rusher, recording two 100+ yard performances against the Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals. However, his limited success came running behind the team's traditional power running scheme. In 2013 with the outside zone philosophy making its debut, Dwyer has quickly fallen to the back of the pack due to a slow transition. Dwyer, like Ta'amu, shed significant weight and trained hard to become 'elite', but he has to prove it with a better performance against the Redskins than his six carry, 15 yard performance against the Giants; or this veteran could find himself unemployed by the start of the season, as could...

    6. Stevenson Sylvester - Inside Linebacker

    Sylvester was lucky his ankle injury wasn't worse after having it rolled by Markus Wheaton during punt coverage, but he was forced to miss the rest of the game. As he sat out the rest of the Giants game, the rest of the inside linebackers stood out. Once deemed a necessary piece because of his position flexibility, Sylvester is finding a bubble swelling beneath career in Pittsburgh. Sylvester needs to remind the team why they re-signed him this off-season, if he wants the team to forgive him for a little bit of bad luck on one special teams play. Sound familiar?

    7. David Gilreath - Wide Receiver

    The Steelers have a deep chart full of young, promising but untested receivers. Gilreath, who was a standout during the preseason in 2012 and saw game time during the regular season, was staying above them based on his experience and ability to contribute to special teams. One muffed punt against the Giants later, and Gilreath has found himself sliding off his own bubble. If Gilreath wants to force the team's rookie class to spend the year on the practice squad, he needs to remind onlookers of his 2012 version and why the team was so high on him in the first place, although he may not see anymore special teams opportunities.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...g-camp-battles

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