Here we are three days into training camp and although there has not been much to report on, I figured I would take this time to give a few of my own thoughts of early camp happenings.
I am not hopping on the John Clay bandwagon until I see him attempt to do the little things needed to contribute. There is plenty of film on him running through big holes and some more of him fumbling, but there is not much else. He looks like a one dimensional back right now and until I see that he can pick up a blitz or carry out assignments without the ball, I am with holding judgment. Of course if he picks up 5 yards or more every time he carries the ball, I will be persuaded much quicker. lol Let\’s not compare him to Jerome Bettis just yet in the mean time.
Speaking of running backs, Jonathan Dwyer has to pick it up soon. The same reports about him are coming out like last year and that is that he lacks motivation and is not in the best of shape. The early preseason games will be a quick measuring stick of where he is at. He can run the ball, but that is all I have seen thus far. As a 6th round pick, he is very cuttable.
It looks as if the Steelers are giving Baron Batch every opportunity to win the 3rd down running back job. Sure it has only been one and a half practices, but unlike Clay, there is plenty of film on him doing the little things. He showed some of those little things Saturday. These first few days could decide if the Steelers need to re-sign Mewelde Moore or another veteran type 3rd down back so he needs to impress early. He is a smart kid and I think he knows the job is there for the taking.
I do not have a good read on the Plaxico Burress situation, but I found myself actually getting excited today and caught up in Plax Watch. Hopefully there is nothing to the Emmanuel Sanders foot discomfort from two offseason surgeries on both of his feet, but it very well could be why the Steelers are pushing hard for Burress. They might be worried that Sanders might not hold up. If that indeed is the case, I give my blessing to them signing Burress. We should know soon.
It is not good that Antonio Brown needed to be told by Ben Roethlisberger where to line up at a couple of times on Saturday. I can stomach that out of rookies, but this should not be a problem for Brown. I could be overreacting and hopefully that is the last time we hear that.
The pads will be popping on Sunday and I bet the linebackers can\’t wait to hit. Stevenson Sylvester is reportedly in great shape and I can\’t wait to see him in preseason. In addition, the undrafted Mario Harvey is known as a thumper too and that should make for some great back on backer drills.
Keep your eyes peeled for safety Da\’Mon Cromartie-Smith, as I think he might turn a few heads in camp. He was on the practice squad all last season and did not look too terribly bad last preseason. He had a tipped ball interception on Saturday and he is not afraid to come up and hit. He will not be confused for Troy Polamalu, but this is a big camp for him.
I think there very well could be one more surprise cut coming by Thursday, but I just can\’t put my finger on who it will be. It probably will be on the defensive side of the ball though.
The re-signing of Daniel Sepulveda was a bit of a surprise to me. The Steelers really must not like what they have seen out of Jeremy Kapinos last year and they must be satisfied with the ACL repair again. Sepulveda is a serviceable punter, when he is healthy.
The last thing Limas Sweed is a hamstring injury at the start of camp. It could give big boy Wes Lyons a tiny shot at a roster spot if Burress is not signed. Lyons is raw and cheap and if he shows some future, he might be a great practice squad guy at worst. Around 6 foot 8? Are you kidding me?
Tight end Daniel Graham was in for a visit Saturday and he fits the mold of what the Steelers need. He is reportedly a high character guy and a team leader as well. I am not saying they will sign him, but he is a fit.
Chris Kemoeatu started the season on the active PUP with knee swelling and that is not what you want to hear. This guy must stay healthy and he needs to get to work soon to get back in the groove.
It looks like the speculation that Crezdon Butler might be a candidate for a move to free safety can be dismissed as he is getting looks at the nickel corner role. He will be another one to watch early in preseason.
It looks as if the Steelers consider Chris Scott a right side tackle. There where questions about where he might line up in his first training camp after being out last year and I think we got our answer. I wonder if he will get right guard snaps in the preseason as well. That might be something to look for.
Cameron Heyward really seems like a smart kid and I think he will pick up the defense quicker than Ziggy Hood did as Hood was more of a defensive tackle type and had to learn a little more about the nuances of the 5 technique than Heyward will after he played in a similar scheme at Ohio State.
Long snapper? Anyone, anyone? It\’s not going to be Derek Chard and Greg Warren is going to be expensive to re-sign due to his accrued years. He might be a necessity again.
That\’s all I got this go around!