Day 9 of Steelers training camp got off to a great start when it was announced that LaMarr Woodely had signed a 6-year, $61 million dollar extension. Woodley was currently carrying the franchise tag that was set to pay him $10 million plus in 2011. The extension now means he is under contract through the 2016 season and he know will count around $6.35 million against the Steelers 2011 salary cap.
Woodley talked about his new contract this morning and you can read about it on Steelers.com.
Now that Woodley is locked up, I posted my thoughts on who the Steelers may turn their attention to. Next up will likely be either Troy Polamalu or Lawrence Timmons as they both are entering their final year under contract. I think there is an outside shot that both could be extended, but would not be surprised if it was just one of them and my best guess is that it will be Polamalu.
Ed Bouchette posted on his blog that he thinks the Woodley extension will be the only one done for a little while as the Steelers still have about 5 weeks to get things done. Bouchette notes that they could be watching the waiver wire to see if there is a low profile free agent that can help the team this year and notes that Flozell Adams could still be an option if he were to lower his asking price.
Several Steelers players will be used as extras in the new Batman movie and will likely be suited up for the Gotham City Rogues as filming takes play Saturday at Heinz Field.
Some great interviews are up on DVE today that include talks with Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Hoke, Dick LeBeau, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, James Farrior and Kevin Colbert.
Tonight was the annual Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium with a smaller crowd than usual there to watch. Below are reports from practice compiled from Twitter and phone in report of a friend who was at practice tonight. Contributing on Twitter were Mark Kaboly, Scott Brown, Dale Lolley, Zach Kwasnicka and Bill Phillips. Bruce Richards called in a brief report as well after practice was over.
Emmanuel Sanders, Bryant McFadden, Crezdon Butler, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Mario Harvey and Marcus Gilbert all sat out again tonight. Not what you want to see from your cornerback group. On a high note Polamalu was suited up after being given off the last few days. It should noted that Sanders is no longer in his walking boot and Butler appears close to returning as he was running sprints on far side of the field. John Clay injured his foot during practice, but returned after getting it taped up. Maurkice Pouncey twisted an ankle and it is not deemed serious.
The linebackers dominated the running backs and tight ends for the most part in drills according to reports, but Baron Batch, Jamie McCoy and Mewelde Moore did have bright spots in the drill and Moore was noted as being the best on the night. Batch and McCoy received extra attention in the drill and Mike Tomlin made sure both drew Timmons.
This is not the first time McCoy has had his name mentioned as of late and he will be one to watch in the first preseason game against the Redskins. Jonathan Dwyer still lacks effort in the drill and he is inching himself even closer to being part of the first wave of cuts. Stevenson Sylvester has clearly made the jump and looks ready to contribute. Jason Worilds did not flash tonight, but was termed not awful. Chris Carter looked good in line drills and he looks to be setting in now. Tony Hills is a few weeks away from being unemployed. Baraka Atkins also made an impression tonight.
Antonio Brown is really making strides now and seems to be on the same page with Roethlisberger. Arnaz Battle continues to be consistent. Brown was reportedly head and shoulders above all tonight, but the undrafted Adam Mims looks really quick and fluid out of his cuts during his reps.
Keenan Lewis had a good night in his return to practice with some good coverage at times on Mike Wallace and Limas Sweed. Weslye Saunders fumbled a screen near the end zone for a defensive touchdown and he needs improvement on his blocking. David Johnson did not have the best of nights according to reports.
The starting offensive line tonight was left to right Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Pouncey, Doug Legursky and Willie Colon. Chris Scott also received time at right guard. Colon is moving well and showing no signs of his Achilles injury from last offseason. On the defensive line Anthony Gray continues to shine, but remember the quality of talent he his going against. He too will be one to watch against the Redskins.
Tomlin was asked about Batch again after practice and once again noted he is a rookie. That\’s high praise for Tomlin. He called it a good, productive practice.