Tag Archives: Excitement

Swift concert brings excitement, business to city

For Steelers’ long snapper Greg Warren being on the Heinz Field turf is nothing new. And under normal circumstances, when he is on the field, fans are cheering for him and his Steelers’ teammates……

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

Swift concert brings excitement, business to city

For Steelers’ long snapper Greg Warren being on the Heinz Field turf is nothing new. And under normal circumstances, when he is on the field, fans are cheering for him and his Steelers’ teammates……

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

Steelers 2012 OTA First Week Brings Excitement for 2012 Season


We’ve seen a few storylines emerge as the Steelers powered through the first week of Phase 3 OTAs. Some good things, some bad things, and a lot to look forward to starting with the next set of three OTA sessions beginning May 29.

Johnson vs. Johnson

The conversion of David Johnson to fullback and his subsequent battle with rookie UDFA Will Johnson, the Workout Warrior of West Virginia, is something that may heat up quickly from minicamp straight to training camp.

It’s hard not to love Will Johnson’s attitude. After having gone undrafted in 2011, and the lockout-induced chaos the league went through, he wasn’t able to land on a roster. The Steelers signed him after a workout they watched in March. His strength, size and speed could give him an advantage over the athletically limited David Johnson, but his lack of experience will hinder him this year.

David Johnson has positional flexibility over Will Johnson. He’s heavier, and is going to be the more polished blocker of the two from an inline perspective. David Johnson gives the Steelers all three positions – fullback, H-back and tight end.

Redman, Rainey and Mendenhall

The Steelers’ running back corps will be deep this year, and the current group they have (Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Rainey, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay and Baron Batch) aren’t all going to make the team, especially with the alleged intention to keep a fullback on the roster.

Even the release of a tight end upon TE Weslye Saunders’ return to the lineup after Week 4 doesn’t seem to benefit the backs. Mendenhall is rehabbing but doesn’t appear to be near a return (read: after Week 1 at the earliest). Redman will continue filling in as the feature back, something he’s looking forward to, per the Erie Times-News.

Also mentioned in that article was rookie Chris Rainey flying down the sideline to haul in a “rainbow” pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger. RB fly patterns…remember that.

Gilbert has no intentions of letting go of left tackle spot

The Steelers prepared this offseason with Marcus Gilbert penciled in at left tackle. That changed as soon as they selected Mike Adams in the second round. But Gilbert got the benefit of playing on the left side while Adams’ college class finished up their course work this past week.

Adams is said to be given the first crack at it, but with veterans Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex waiting in the wings should he falter, it seems Gilbert is pretty much a certainty to start on the right side.

Corners preparing for battle

We’ve heard from Keenan Lewis and we’ve written on Cortez Allen. Lewis has Pro Bowl aspirations after putting his time in the Steelers’ system. Allen is physically gifted and probably well ahead of schedule in his second year. What about Brown? He figures to be a lock for special teams stardom this year, and, due to him being arguably the best athlete of his cornerback brethren, still could surprise in training camp. His progress from Year 1 to Year 2 will be intriguing to watch, to say the least.

Roethlisberger’s grasp of the offense

For whatever he says, Roethlisberger is a seasoned professional, and he’ll eventually understand the Rosetta Stone. While it may be better overall for him to stop lofting softballs at the media and at least try to mention something he likes about the offense, what matters is his preparation on the field.

Whether it’s him griping about a lack of perceived deeper pass opportunities, or him feeling like he’s being targeted for the team’s offensive slump in 2011, he has ample opportunity to learn the offense (doesn’t have to be done in one day, mind you) and be the same highly productive player he is.

Maybe he’s just letting off steam. We’ll give him that, and hope he continues to do whatever he needs to do to enable him to lead this offense.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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The Season of Hope: April Brings With It Excitement for the Future

*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***



If you are a generic baseball fan this is the best time of the year. While you are reading this the games have begun. And even a Pirates fan can dream that someway, somehow things will be different this year; a competitive year, even a playoff run. Those dreams may likely be dead by June, maybe as early as May and almost certainly by August. But in April there is hope. The Pens begin their playoff run soon. Could Sidney and the boys hoist another Stanley Cup in a couple of months?

In April you can hope.

At least with baseball, basketball and hockey you don’t have to wait too long in the suspended animation of hope; football is another matter.

This is the time of the year when a football fan is sustained by vapors, fumes. Hope is sustenance, the only available currency at a time when we are so far removed from the reality and rhythms of the game that we can barely recall what it is really like. The leaves are the fresh light green of renewal, not the blazing orange, yellows and red of decline. The airwaves are full of talk concerning the Masters, season openers, the Cup, the Frozen Four, the NBA playoffs, London and other spring rituals. These, along with the just completed March Madness provide a smorgasbord for the devotees of other sports. In the meantime we munch on stale crackers; celebrating the small, the fantasy, the insignificant as a substitute for the real.

As I write this the league and the Steelers have released their preseason schedules for the 2012. So, I am reduced to poring over a list of glorified scrimmages, most of which will be forgotten long before Columbus Day unless there is some disaster like a major injury. The preseason opener is Pittsburgh at Philadelphia. If you are forgetful enough you may find yourself fantasizing about Ben vs. Michael Vick before you are reminded that for a first preseason game it will be, at most, one or two series for the top tier guys before they yield to the wannabes.

Not that there isn’t a certain amount of intrigue in the wannabes. But in the end we’re just talking about a better quality of cracker. Then again there may be also some interest in watching the new Haley offense, but how much do you show to a team that you will be meeting in the regular season? Yet I am certain that I will be scouring the NFL Network schedule for a viewing time which is likely to be three in the morning in order to absorb every detail of this and the other two preseason games that are only televised locally in Pittsburgh. The one nationally televised game is against the Colts. Why? To hear them boo Bruce Arians at Heinz? Or, that will be the coming out event for Oliver Luck (or RG3?).

Yesterday it was the new uniforms by Nike. Would we be mistaking the Steelers for the Oregon Ducks? Thankfully, no. Now we can wait for the unveiling of the new throwbacks in celebration of the 80th Anniversary. Another cracker.

So how do we keep hope alive over the intervening days and weeks? Many will continue to immerse themselves in mock drafts. Who will be the next Maurkice, or Limas? Some ambitious types will speculate who we should pluck from the available pool of free agents. And you can always peruse the list of prospects invited to the Southside for interviews and then research them mercilessly.

In two weeks things open up a bit. Players are allowed to begin workout programs on the 16th. Four days later the free agent signing period ends and with it the Wallace Watch. A week later tea leaves give way to reality as they conduct the real draft. Right after that the signing of UDFAs.

In May the bird food diet of hope can give way to some major league dreaming. The roster of prospects will be largely set. Unless the team is really unlucky, the hope will not be dampened by injuries, subpar performances, and there are no games to lose or other disappointments. We can dine on the OTAs and try to read between the lines as Tomlin and other team representatives creatively say nothing. We will still be three months from any real football, but we will have something to talk about. And for all but the chronically pessimistic it will be mostly positive.

But for now, pass the crackers.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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