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Thread: New Steelers Making a Case for Themselves

  1. #1
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    New Steelers Making a Case for Themselves

    • Could this finally be the season Samuels is let go?
    • Interesting happening at left G. Where is Finney? Why no reps?
    • Another nail in Layne's coffin...too many others queued to take his place


    https://www.si.com/nfl/steelers/alls...rce=reddit.com

    From the Notepad: Sleepers Who Are Making a Case for Steelers Roster
    The Pittsburgh Steelers might bounce some veterans for names most haven't heard of this.
    NOAH STRACKBEINJUL 31, 2021
    PITTSBURGH -- It's Week 2 of training camp and the underdogs impressing in Pittsburgh Steelers uniforms have gone from early impressers to real sleepers.

    As the team prepares for the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 5, they'll begin looking at who they want to give an extra shot to. Head coach Mike Tomlin isn't using the extra preseason game to find out what Ben Roethlisberger can do, but rather what the bottom of the roster does in-game situations.

    There are players on this team with a fighting chance to earn a 53-man roster spot. It doesn't guarantee any playing time, but it does change the structure of this team and might force some veterans out the door a little sooner than expected.

    Five players have stood out so far as real contenders to earn a spot.

    Kalen Ballage, Running Back

    Ballage's time to earn his place in Pittsburgh is now. With Jaylen Samuels sidelined with an injury, the running backs coach Eddie Faulkner has four backs to work with, which means more reps for Ballage.

    At first, the efforts of Ballage weren't highlighted as much as the lack of growth from Samuels. Since the team moved to Heinz Field, Ballage has had a few noticeable runs during team drills.

    This one will come down to the Steelers' faith in replacing Samuels. As little of a contribution as he's made in three years, 459 rushing yards, 550 receiving yards and five combined touchdowns, Tomlin and company have trust in the veteran.

    As that fades, Ballage's chances of making this roster grow.

    "He's a veteran and I think that's what's showing," Tomlin said on Ballage. "This guy's been in the league. He's not new to the NFL and training camp-like competition and it shows, particularly with some of the groups that he's working with. We're not surprised by it. As a matter of fact, we expect it, and we looking forward to giving him more reps with of the more senior groups as we proceed through the process."


    Mark Gilbert, Cornerback

    The Steelers are still in search of a second cornerback option behind James Pierre. Justin Layne should've been it. Layne should've also been a better competition as the primary backup on the outside. As of today, he's looking like a third-year player who's proving he isn't built for the NFL.

    Gilbert is doing enough to keep himself relevant. He's running with the second team alongside Layne. He's forcing pass breakups in one-on-ones.

    Gilbert is quiet on the field. He's not making a ton of noise or any read headlines. But he's consistent and carries potential. That might be enough to earn him a spot.

    Rashaad Coward, Left Guard

    As crazy as this will sound, Coward is going to start in the Hall of Fame game.

    With Kevin Dotson still dealing with an injury Tomlin described as a "tweak," Coward has taken every first-team rep. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

    And he's played pretty well. There hasn't been a noticeable miscommunication or a drop-off in protection coming from left guard. Now, that's with Coward working alongside an injury-filled, plug-in offensive line, but still - not getting pulled for B.J. Finney says something.

    The converted defensive tackle will probably be the Steelers depth piece alongside Finney and J.C. Hassenauer. Truthfully, he might push Finney closer to being cut than himself.

    Stephen Denmark, Cornerback

    Thursday and Friday, Denmark was making plays all over the field. Then, after practice on Friday, he was working with the coaches while the rest of the team headed towards the tunnel.

    His extra work shows he's ready to compete. It also shows he believes there's a chance he's capable of making this roster, and knows the coaches might feel the same.


    He's competing with Gilbert, Layne and all the other outside corners who want that last roster spot. Right now, he might be third in that battle, but there's plenty of camp left to move up.

    Shakur Brown, Cornerback

    Brown hasn't done as much as many believed he would heading into camp, but he's making some noise - enough to be competitive.

    There are plenty of times he's a liability in coverage, but truthfully, all three of the nickelbacks lack on-ball skills against receivers. Brown is no less of a risk in the secondary than Antoine Brooks Jr. or Arthur Maulet.

    Brown does blitz well. Inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky went over to congratulate him after back-to-back pressures on Josh Dobbs in team drills Friday. That's newsworthy - I guess.

    Until Brooks or Maulet can convince the Steelers they're the next Mike Hilton - which they won't - Brown is just as much of an option as the rest of them.

    Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    • Could this finally be the season Samuels is let go?
    • Interesting happening at left G. Where is Finney? Why no reps?
    • Another nail in Layne's coffin...too many others queued to take his place


    https://www.si.com/nfl/steelers/alls...rce=reddit.com

    From the Notepad: Sleepers Who Are Making a Case for Steelers Roster
    The Pittsburgh Steelers might bounce some veterans for names most haven't heard of this.
    NOAH STRACKBEINJUL 31, 2021
    PITTSBURGH -- It's Week 2 of training camp and the underdogs impressing in Pittsburgh Steelers uniforms have gone from early impressers to real sleepers.

    As the team prepares for the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 5, they'll begin looking at who they want to give an extra shot to. Head coach Mike Tomlin isn't using the extra preseason game to find out what Ben Roethlisberger can do, but rather what the bottom of the roster does in-game situations.

    There are players on this team with a fighting chance to earn a 53-man roster spot. It doesn't guarantee any playing time, but it does change the structure of this team and might force some veterans out the door a little sooner than expected.

    Five players have stood out so far as real contenders to earn a spot.

    Kalen Ballage, Running Back

    Ballage's time to earn his place in Pittsburgh is now. With Jaylen Samuels sidelined with an injury, the running backs coach Eddie Faulkner has four backs to work with, which means more reps for Ballage.

    At first, the efforts of Ballage weren't highlighted as much as the lack of growth from Samuels. Since the team moved to Heinz Field, Ballage has had a few noticeable runs during team drills.

    This one will come down to the Steelers' faith in replacing Samuels. As little of a contribution as he's made in three years, 459 rushing yards, 550 receiving yards and five combined touchdowns, Tomlin and company have trust in the veteran.

    As that fades, Ballage's chances of making this roster grow.

    "He's a veteran and I think that's what's showing," Tomlin said on Ballage. "This guy's been in the league. He's not new to the NFL and training camp-like competition and it shows, particularly with some of the groups that he's working with. We're not surprised by it. As a matter of fact, we expect it, and we looking forward to giving him more reps with of the more senior groups as we proceed through the process."


    Mark Gilbert, Cornerback

    The Steelers are still in search of a second cornerback option behind James Pierre. Justin Layne should've been it. Layne should've also been a better competition as the primary backup on the outside. As of today, he's looking like a third-year player who's proving he isn't built for the NFL.

    Gilbert is doing enough to keep himself relevant. He's running with the second team alongside Layne. He's forcing pass breakups in one-on-ones.

    Gilbert is quiet on the field. He's not making a ton of noise or any read headlines. But he's consistent and carries potential. That might be enough to earn him a spot.

    Rashaad Coward, Left Guard

    As crazy as this will sound, Coward is going to start in the Hall of Fame game.

    With Kevin Dotson still dealing with an injury Tomlin described as a "tweak," Coward has taken every first-team rep. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

    And he's played pretty well. There hasn't been a noticeable miscommunication or a drop-off in protection coming from left guard. Now, that's with Coward working alongside an injury-filled, plug-in offensive line, but still - not getting pulled for B.J. Finney says something.

    The converted defensive tackle will probably be the Steelers depth piece alongside Finney and J.C. Hassenauer. Truthfully, he might push Finney closer to being cut than himself.

    Stephen Denmark, Cornerback

    Thursday and Friday, Denmark was making plays all over the field. Then, after practice on Friday, he was working with the coaches while the rest of the team headed towards the tunnel.

    His extra work shows he's ready to compete. It also shows he believes there's a chance he's capable of making this roster, and knows the coaches might feel the same.


    He's competing with Gilbert, Layne and all the other outside corners who want that last roster spot. Right now, he might be third in that battle, but there's plenty of camp left to move up.

    Shakur Brown, Cornerback

    Brown hasn't done as much as many believed he would heading into camp, but he's making some noise - enough to be competitive.

    There are plenty of times he's a liability in coverage, but truthfully, all three of the nickelbacks lack on-ball skills against receivers. Brown is no less of a risk in the secondary than Antoine Brooks Jr. or Arthur Maulet.

    Brown does blitz well. Inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky went over to congratulate him after back-to-back pressures on Josh Dobbs in team drills Friday. That's newsworthy - I guess.

    Until Brooks or Maulet can convince the Steelers they're the next Mike Hilton - which they won't - Brown is just as much of an option as the rest of them.

    Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.
    Samurls and Layne should be so done its time to carve those turkeys.

    I hope Gilbert sticks, dude has skills. Sometimes "quiet" means they aren't attacking you much.

    Never heard of Denmark. But looking him up dude is an an athletic FREAK.

    6'3 220 4.4 forty, FORTY THREE inch vertical?

    Dude was a late pick last season, a wr convert with little corner experience, from a small school. That spell raw talent.

    If he is finally making plays now after bouncing around practice squads last year?

    That friends is how steals are born.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Lemming View Post
    Samurls and Layne should be so done its time to carve those turkeys.

    I hope Gilbert sticks, dude has skills. Sometimes "quiet" means they aren't attacking you much.

    Never heard of Denmark. But looking him up dude is an an athletic FREAK.

    6'3 220 4.4 forty, FORTY THREE inch vertical?

    Dude was a late pick last season, a wr convert with little corner experience, from a small school. That spell raw talent.

    If he is finally making plays now after bouncing around practice squads last year?

    That friends is how steals are born.

  4. #4
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    Hoping that Coward pans out.

    And I think this might be the first I've heard from Brown. Hope that means he can make the PS if we cut him and want to keep him around.

  5. #5
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    Denmark is a fascinating developmental project. Converting from WR, he only had one year of DB experience. I mean the guy is bigger and faster than Sherman. From what I'm reading he had horrific cover skills but displayed solid tackling and bump skills. If he can develop he could be very special. Tons of potential.

  6. #6
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    I think Samuels time in the NFL has gone. Last year he looked slower than Betty White running on a beach with Army boots on.

    He had 1 good game against the Pats*** a few years back and that was it. Time to move on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    Denmark is a fascinating developmental project. Converting from WR, he only had one year of DB experience. I mean the guy is bigger and faster than Sherman. From what I'm reading he had horrific cover skills but displayed solid tackling and bump skills. If he can develop he could be very special. Tons of potential.
    It is interesting that word was out we had interest in Denmark before the 2019 draft. Steelers Depot did a write-up on him and coverage skills in college did not seem to be an issue.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/03/20...ephen-denmark/

    I think his newness and weak competition were his issues in college. He was all conference (albeit weak conference) which ain't happening if he was horrific in coverage.

    Perhaps you are talking about struggling in coverage in practice on pro teams he's been on? I would not be surprised if that was the case at all. He would have stuck if he did well. He would need to get used to elite competition.

    Agree though, like a more athletic Sherman...even kinda looks like him dreads and all.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 08-02-2021 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    Denmark is a fascinating developmental project. Converting from WR, he only had one year of DB experience. I mean the guy is bigger and faster than Sherman. From what I'm reading he had horrific cover skills but displayed solid tackling and bump skills. If he can develop he could be very special. Tons of potential.
    I hadn't really looked at him much before this thread.

    Hopefully he can put it together because I think we'll need all the help at CB we can get in the next few years.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucktownsteeler View Post
    I think Samuels time in the NFL has gone. Last year he looked slower than Betty White
    hahahahahaahahahaha...damn!! I guess he is gone then.
    From the 2010-2020 season, (A 10 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís held on to Don Shula for too long for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for too long for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    I hadn't really looked at him much before this thread.

    Hopefully he can put it together because I think we'll need all the help at CB we can get in the next few years.
    You can never have too many good cornerbacks. Worse case scenario you can have too many and the excess can be used as trade bait to address another area of need.
    From the 2010-2020 season, (A 10 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís held on to Don Shula for too long for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for too long for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches.

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