Steelers 2013 Training Camp – Day Fourteen Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at again on Thursday and below is a recap of all the main nuggets from around the world wide interwebs.

Unfortunately, veteran wide receiver Plaxico Burress tops the news as he reportedly tore his rotator cuff during practice. If it ends his season, Justin Brown, Derek Moye and David Gilreath will all likely be in the race for the fifth wide receiver spot on the roster if another veteran is not brought in.

Sitting out practice on Thursday were Cortez Allen (knee), Curtis Brown (ankle), Terry Hawthorne (knee), Matt Spaeth (foot), DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring), Nick Williams (knee), Cameron Heyward (unknown) and Emmanuel Sanders (unknown). Spaeth was in Pittsburgh Thursday getting his foot evaluated, but there has been no word as to how long he will be sidelined. Sanders apparently was given the day off to rest his feet.

With Spaeth down, the Steelers added two more tight ends to the roster as Michael Palmer was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and free agent Nathan Overbay was signed. To make room for both players, undrafted free agent Mike Farrell and tight end John Rabe were waived.

Tackle Guy Whimper was carted off with an undisclosed injury Thursday, but Bob Labriola thinks it could have just been heat related.

According to Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer, rookie draft picks Shamarko Thomas and Markus Wheaton worked as gunners Thursday on punts. Lolley notes how much speed the two showed so this will certainly be something to look for Saturday night. Lolley also notes that Wheaton was scolded by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for not knowing his hot route on one particular play. Despite that demerit the third-round draft pick looked good otherwise. As far as the tackle situation goes Lolley says Kelvin Beachum replaced the struggling Marcus Gilbert at right tackle during the final portion of practice. I sure hope Gilbert hasn\’t lost his motivation following him losing the left tackle job to Mike Adams recently.

According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baron Batch not only got an earful from running backs coach Kirby Wilson for bouncing a run outside instead of hitting the hole, he also drew the ire of special teams coach Danny Smith for failing to get back to the huddle during a punt drill. Batch really hasn\’t improved his stock so far during training camp and appears to be drifting further and further away from outside the bubble. He really needs to show something during the preseason or he can forget about making the 53 man roster. Lucky for him, it\’s still real early.

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote on Twitter that the aforementioned Moye, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester and cornerback Isaiah Green are three under-the-radar players to watch closely right now. Moye will likely see an increase in reps along with rookie J. Brown now that Burress is out. Green is obviously benefiting from all of the cornerbacks being out injured right now and he should get quite a bit of playing time Saturday night because of that. Also according to Kaboly, tackle Joe Long is having a good camp in his eyes. Depending on whether or not Whimper is able to play Saturday night, the Wayne State product might just get some extra playing time against the Giants at both tackle spots.

In Kaboly\’s Inside the Ropes report, he notes the personnel packages the offense used during their no-huddle session and the three wide group included Jerricho Cotchery in the slot and LaRod Stephens-Howling at running back. Kaboly also notes punter Brian Moorman as having some nice hang times Thursday as he is attempting to knock off Drew Butler for the punting job. Tomlin said Thursday during his press conference that both will likely split halves Saturday night.

Will Graves of the Associated Press noted on Twitter that rehabbing linebacker Sean Spence doesn\’t look to him like a player that will be out for the season judging by the hard work he put in during his agility drills. Can Spence indeed make it back by the end of the PUP cut off date? We have a long wait until we find out, so keep your fingers crossed as he looked very promising last year during the preseason prior to getting injured. Graves of course isn\’t a doctor, but maybe he stayed in the Latrobe Holiday Inn Express last night.

That\’s it for the Thursday tidbits.

  • dgh57

    Good choice of Wheaton and Thomas as gunners on the punt team. Nice to see Joe Long is showing something as we need someone to step up to provide depth on the o-line.

  • Tom

    Nice to read the positive assessment on Spence.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I really hope Joe Long seizes this opportunity.

  • Rob H

    When you play with Big Ben, you better know your hot routes.

    I can’t think of a person I’ve rooted for more than Sean Spence, I really hope we end up seeing a bunch of those “human interest pieces” about his miraculous recovery and overcoming the odds on the road to becoming an NFL starter.

  • Dan Sunseri

    Sad end for Plax if indeed he is out. Tough call between Moye and Brown. You would think Brown mighr have thw edge with his height and PR skills. But he is also pract squad eligible.

  • Paul

    Rooting for Moye over Brown, bigger, faster and local

  • 2443scott

    i am thinking of picking wheaton up in my fantasy ..i got a feeling he might just play alot more games then expected this year …..

  • Thomas Rancy

    brown now makes roster easilly, and Batch could very well be out the door. I didn’t think the steelers would keep 2 third down backs. who does that? who dresses 2 third down backs? specially if Redman and Le’veon are capable at it?

    And, if spence comes back and end up active…goodbye silvester…

  • Dan Sunseri

    Would not touch him until weeek 3-4. Dont see him as a fantasy player. YET!!!

  • steeltown

    2nd that

  • James Kling

    Batch looks like a future Cardinal!

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    News on Wheaton has truly been encouraging.. and Isaiah Green is definitely one of my sleepers.. I’ll be watching him

  • Shannon Stephenson

    thats funny

  • Shannon Stephenson

    agreed…he is a encouragement to all

  • dgh57

    Would be nice if he turned out to be the next Ramon Foster at OT.

  • patrick Mayfield

    taller but much more slight. Moye is like a young Burress with worse hands.

    At least in the PSU tape of them both, Brown has much better hands. Moye could get open more but he dropped about a third of the balls thrown at him.

    As a #5 receiver it might come down to ST play. A young Burress much like an old Burress probably won’t contribute on ST so Brown seems like he might be the better fit.

  • Dan

    It’s a bit hard to imagine him making the roster with this. I’d suspect we just reach an injury settlement with him and put our focus on the young guys. If he does heal fast and we need another WR later in the year, it is pretty likely he’d be available and near the phone. Lotta tough breaks in the NFL world…but can’t help but think he’d be in a better position if he hadn’t taken an unpermitted pistol in to a night club.

  • Dan Sunseri

    Man that is good!!!!

  • Milliken Steeler

    My issue with Gilbert is his lack of off season conditioning. First it was the conditioning test. Again, the conditioning test where he pretty much died crossing the finish line and was carted off the field. lol but it was cramps in his legs. wink wink. Then he looks horrible in blocking drills and gets moved back over to the other side where he is failing miserably.

    My point is Mike Adams was stabbed and out for a nice chunk of time and comes right into camp looking great. Someone put in some time and worked hard in the off season and someone didn’t. I don’t want Ben getting killed by Gilbert or have Gilbert diving or getting beat badly again and taking out one of our lineman like he has done twice now. smh

    I really like how our Steelers are looking despite some bumps and bruises but Gilbert? C;mon man. lol

  • John Hinton

    Agreed…very encouraging.

  • Bob Graff

    Well not even 1 preseason game yet and the same injury parade seems to keep going. Is it fate who knows! What i like so far is that it seems the running backs are in shape this year, Ben appears to be healthy, Troy also and the WR position isn’t really in that bad of shape. What i feel is our biggest concern is the offensive line. I think it has been sold as an upgrade when in fact there is no indications that this is so.When looking at this team not as a fan i would see this a great weakness and take full advantage of it’s short comings[they can’t block]. I hope i’m wrong but these are the same guys who couldn’t block last year.

  • alex

    less our TE blockers, it makes the OL and tackle positions that much more of a concern…we so need Gilbert to get his head straight…