Thoughts On The Steelers As They Reach The Halfway Point Of Training Camp – Part 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers are off from practice on Tuesday and they will resume their training camp practices on Wednesday. With camp now at the halfway point, here are a few more of my thoughts that are running around in my ever so cluttered head. If you missed part one, you can read it here.

Like many of you, I questioned the Steelers using a fourth-round draft pick on a quarterback. I had no issues with the team drafting a quarterback, mind you, but figured if they did it would happen in the sixth or seventh round. As we sit here halfway through training camp, John Parker Wilson is making it known that he is not just a camp arm. His football career lays in the balance of this training camp, and evidently he is practicing like it. While it is way too early to give up on Landry Jones, it would be nice to start hearing about him at least pushing the former Alabama quarterback. He figures to get plenty of playing time Saturday night against the New York Giants, so we\’ll see firsthand where he is at in his development. Should Parker Wilson severely outplay the Oklahoma product during the preseason, the Steelers could be forced to keep him instead of their draft pick. I\’m not saying that will ultimately happen, but if it does, we might be talking about a few players the Steelers could have had in the fourth round instead of Jones a few years from now, and his selection will forever go down as a red demerit in the history of Steelers drafts.

We haven\’t heard the name of outside linebacker Chris Carter very much so far during training camp, but that\’s not necessarily a bad thing. At least he is on the field getting reps and not in the training room getting treatment. This is Carter\’s third year in the league, and he should fully understand the Steelers defense by now. His showing last year as a starter at the beginning of last season was not good at all, so these first few preseason games will be a perfect opportunity for him to show he has improved. Being as he likely will be playing against the Giants backups, he needs to dominate with his pass rush and perhaps more importantly, show he can defend the run.

Guard Justin Cheadle figures to be an offensive lineman to watch very closely on Saturday against the Giants. Should the Steelers choose to keep nine offensive linemen on the 53 man roster out of training camp, he very well might be the ninth. Cheadle, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs in training camp last year, should have a good understanding of what new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr. expects, being as the two are pretty familiar with each other. Now that Nik Embernate has been lost for the season, Cheadle has the inside track for a spot on the practice squad at the very least.

Keeping with the offensive linemen theme, is it possible that we see Kelvin Beachum play all five positions Saturday night? Probably not, but what about at least three positions? We know he will get some time at center and tackle, but don\’t rule out him playing at least one of the guard spots as well. Last year during the preseason, Beachum looked like he would be lucky to make the 53 man roster, but now, one year later, he\’s considered the Swiss army knife on the offensive line. Where he lines up at on Saturday night will likely drive my offensive game charter crazy.

I have been banging the drum for Marshall McFadden for quite some time now, and he will get a chance to pick up where he left off last year in the preseason when he plays Saturday night. According to linebackers coach Keith Butler, McFadden and Kion Wilson have a pretty good battle going on right now, so I expect the South Carolina State product to separate himself from Wilson against the Giants.

OK, now it\’s your turn. Fire away in the comments below.

  • steeltown

    Im glad you are bringing up Cheadle… with Embernate injured and being that Golic Jr was used primarily at Tackle up until this past week, Cheadle has a chance to be that #9 or atleast a good shot at making the PS

    Also really excited to see M.Mcfadden, V.Williams and T.Garvin, haven’t heard a lick of Kion Wilson or Brian Rolle this offseason

  • Andrew

    In addition to Chris Carter, I’m very interested to watch Adrian Robinson whom also hasn’t been talked about much.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Still no update on both back-up safeties? There’s not one noise from one of any safeties, should I consider this as a good thing or..? If Troy Polamalu is resting due to “contrusion to his birth certificate” can it be that they want safeties to get more reps or because they liked what they saw? Let me know if there’s any news!

  • Dom

    It’s time for football baby, Pittsburgh style.

  • dgh57

    I would like to see D. Paulson & J. Brown to continue their improvement.

  • Matt Searls

    M really excited to see what Justin brown and Derek moye can do

  • Matt Searls

    Robinson hasn’t been doing too hot. He got chewed out a couple times

  • Mike.H

    Cue Psy music, “O-pa Pittsburgh Style”!… physical brand of football.

  • Alberto

    If Landry Jones is the successor to Ben in a couple years, we will be in trouble, he is not a nfl starter. If he is a career backup, he was picked too high…so we can already say the pick was a bad one. No sense making things worse by letting him occupy a spot in the 53 with so many promising players at other positions. Landry should be cut…let him get claimed by the cowboys where he belongs.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I can’t remember specifics, but I’ve read good things about the top 3 backups (including DaMon Cromartie-Smith, who’s been first off the bench it seems). Only negative I’ve read was from Mark Kaboly noting on Twitter that he seemed the be the only one who felt Shamarko Thomas underperformed during his first week of camp.

  • Matthew Marczi

    As am I.

  • westcoasteeler

    I’m looking forward to seeing who backs up SMcLendon @ NT. Hope Shamarko does well too.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I hoping to see Wheaton destroy the Giants secondary. I want to see Victorian hold his own against the Giants starting WR’s. I like to see Bell bring it with pop and lastly the chatter of Baxter has me excited. When Colbert said he needs to go back and see more tape tells you that you are doing something for him to say so.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He was considered a 1st rounder till his average Senior season. He maybe a career back up but that is what you get for a 4th round QB. Most all QB’s are 1st rounders with a sprinkle of 2nd rounders. Very very few start beyond that round.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Yeah- I heard Shamarko is doing very well in box but way opposite in coverage (this is expected) but other than that, been very quiet. Any improvement for DSC or and Robert Golden? What did the coaches said? That kind of stuff you know?

  • Steve

    Fang and Al Woods have been backing up MAC. Fang was repremanded and pulled aside by coach LeBeau.

  • Steve

    Of what I read John Parker Wilson may be backing up Ben. Talk is that Landy needs more arm strength. If Landry went to the Cryboys he may start, sorry Romo is too hot and cold, no consistancy.

  • Bell Cow

    I feel pretty good about the roster, but our offensive line depth scares me. Hopefully some of these rookies such as Long, Cheadle, and Golic Jr. can play well enough to be considered solid back ups because I really do not want Guy Whimper or Bastilie on this team.

    I’m also a little concerned about our depth at NT. It’ll be interesting to see who wins the battle as the back up. Perhaps Casey Hampton will ultimately be called upon?

    As far as the Landry Jones vs. John Parker-Wilson battle is concerned, I think ultimately Jones will win that roster spot. I just can’t envision Colbert and company pulling the trigger on Jones in year 1.