Speedy rookie Archer dazzles at 1st training camp practice
Inside the ropes: Speedy rookie Archer dazzles at 1st training camp practice
By The Tribune-Review
Saturday, July 26, 2014
• There was plenty of talk over the past three months about the speed of rookie third-round pick Dri Archer. But the question was how the Steelers were going to best use Archer within the scheme of their offense. It didn't take long for them to figure that out. Early during Saturday's first practice of training camp, the Steelers lined up with four wide receivers and put Archer in the slot to the left. The defense had to counter by sliding out inside linebacker Vince Williams on Archer — an obvious mismatch. Rookie quarterback Brendon Kay didn't identify the advantageous matchup and threw the ball to the other side of the formation to tight end Eric Waters, but it was a quick glimpse of how the Steelers plan to use Archer's versatility and speed to their advantage. Archer was busy on the first day as he broke off a couple of long runs including one where he reversed field and was also taking first-team reps on the punt return team.
• Darrius Heyward-Bey is known for dropping passes. However, that didn't stop Ben Roethlisberger from throwing a deep go pattern to the speedy free agent wide receiver during a team period. Heyward-Bey hauled in the pass for a touchdown. He also made a nice diving catch near the sidelines later during practice.
• Cameron Heyward was lined up at right defensive end, taking over the position held by Brett Keisel for nearly a decade. Heyward played left defensive end last year.
• The Steelers want to take advantage of Will Johnson's soft hands for a big man by lining him up at tight end. Johnson took a couple of snaps at his regular position of fullback, but he mostly lined up with the tight ends. The first play of the first team period had the Steelers in a two-tight end set with Johnson catching a pass from Roethlisberger for a positive gain.
• Receiver Justin Brown had a solid spring where he turned enough heads that he ran with the first team. Brown showed on the first day of camp that he wasn't a spring mirage. Brown, a second-year receiver out of Oklahoma, continued to impress with acrobatic and hard-to-make catches. At one point, Roethlisberger praised Brown after adjusting a route to make a catch.
• With Mike Mitchell nursing a hamstring and Ramon Foster mourning the death of his mother, the Steelers replaced the two in the starting lineup with Will Allen at safety and Cody Wallace at left guard.
• The second-team defense had Arthur Moats, Sean Spence, Vince Williams and Chris Carter at linebacker with William Gay at right corner and Antwon Blake at left corner.
• Rookie Jordan Zumwalt, relegated to outside linebacker during the spring, was playing inside linebacker with the third team.
Hall of Famer
Archer dazzled by being on an obvious mismatch that wasn't identified? I understand that having Archer up against a slow LB is a matchup we'd like to have, but I dont find it bedazzling.
But the realization that Haley does, in fact, potentially plan on utilizing Archer elsewhere besides RB and KO/KR is a very good sign.
He will be a miss match for virtually any defense. It will not be about just his ability to make plays with the ball, but also the holes he opens up so that other players can make plays. The screen is gonna be sick this year.
by Dale Lolley
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Day 1 notes
@ Lawrence Timmons, who is listed at 234 pounds, is actually at 242 this season after playing last year at 250.
This is why I have to chuckle every time I see Ryan Shazier talked about as undersized. Anybody who thinks these guys are the actual weights they are listed at is being a little silly.
Take Steve McLendon, for example. I have answered countless questions about his weight, which was listed for a long time at 285 pounds.
That was what McLendon weighed when he first signed with the Steelers and nobody bothered to change it - until last year, when it was adjusted to 320 pounds, which is pretty much what he has weighed the past three years.
Now, I see people saying that McLendon suddenly put on 35 pounds. That is most certainly not the case. He's been carrying 320 for the past three years.
Same thing goes for James Farrior. Farrior played inside linebacker for the Steelers at the 215-220-pound range in his last few seasons. Same thing goes for Larry Foote.
That's at least 15 pounds lighter than Shazier.
But yeah, Shazier is undersized.
Timmons, by the way, did weigh 234 in his first season with the Steelers. Shazier is listed at 237.
@ The Steelers probably won't say so publicly for a while, but privately, they expect Johnny Manziel to be Cleveland's starting quarterback for the opener Sept. 7.
@ Dri Archer worked as the No. 1 punt return guy today. The Steelers feel he can handle that job and lighten Antonio Brown's workload.
@ Ben Roethlisberger wore Brett Keisel's former number 99 for the position drill portion of practice today before switching over to his more familiar No. 7.
@ There seems to be a feeling that rookie Stephon Tuitt is bright enough and talented enough to win a starting defensive end position.
He drew some praise during position drills today from John Mitchell, which is pretty hard to come by for the young guys.
@ With Ramon Foster dealing with a death in his family, Cody Wallace got first-team snaps with the offense at left guard.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! It's difficult to be truly objective during OTA's or camp when it comes to evaluation of performance. That's just a fact of life for most of us. Guys looking impressive in 7 on 7 or playing against air should look good. We are going to read many a article in the next few weeks including my own 2 cents from Latrobe next week but we should take it all in with a grain of salt. I pimped J Brown a year ago based on what I saw including special teams and he didn't make the final 53. The point is all of us as big time fans just need to digest it all and not jump to judge all evaluations as gospel.
Jim Wexell mentioned Archer on his site as well. Said he showed his "faster than Willie Parker" speed on several plays. What does it mean this time of year? Probably nothing, but it's fun to read and see nonetheless.
Originally Posted by SteelCrazy
I mentioned this in another thread as well, but I've now read three different accounts of privately, how excited the Steelers are about Stephon Tuitt. Schefter reported it yesterday, Lolley mentioned that "There seems to be a feeling that rookie Stephon Tuitt is bright enough and talented enough to win a starting defensive end position." and Wexell talked about Tuitt's lightning quick burst and how John Mitchell has been praising the rookie, which is unusual.
If Tuitt can quietly earn a starting DE spot opposite Heyward, it bodes VERY well for this upcoming season.
Mitchell typically hates any young or raw players....so damn...
If Tuitt plays well in training camp and preseason games and avoids giving anyone herpes, throwing anyone out of a moving car, or lighting his bed on fire with someone in it, then he could possibly be a starter at DE opposite Cam Heyward instead of Cam Thomas.
Steelers | Dri Archer lining up everywhere
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:54:58 -0700
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Dri Archer has been lining up at both running back and wide receiver in practice. Archer said he could line up anywhere on the offense except at quarterback.
Great! Maybe we should put him at Left Tackle!!
Look at Mike Sellers with Archer...who gets bigger after football? lol