Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 11:16 am
I admit, I love rooting for the late round draft picks, who doesn't? Steeler Nation is notorious for it. The two most talked about 2009 draft picks by Steeler fans have been Frank Summers and A.Q. Shipley. Steelers fans have visions of Jerome Bettis or Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala running through their heads when they think about the Tank. The only problem is, it seems the Steeler coaching staff see something different. Summers has been shifted to the fullback position in an already crowded backfield and is now suffering from a hamstring injury and body tightness. Not what you want to happen if you are Read more [...]
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 9:39 am
As I mentioned in my top 10 things to watch pre game analysis of the Washington Redskins game, Stefan Logan needed to impress last night to have any shot of making the roster. The human joystick did just that. Logan was blistering on kickoff returns and showed good hands and vision on the punt returns. Couple that with the fumble by rookie cornerback Joe Burnett on his one return attempt and Logan has securely placed himself just inside the bubble wall. Logan is officially listed as a wide receiver, but can play at running back if needed. The one drawback on Logan is that he likely could not make Read more [...]
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 10:28 pm
There were not too many highlights for the highlight reel on a rainy Saturday night in Washington as the Steelers lost to the Redskins 17-13. The Steeler defense looked lethargic giving up 167 yards rushing, while only allowing 137 yards through the air. The Steelers used mostly the third stringers past halftime to get a good look at the lower end of the roster.
The few bright spots for the Steelers were second year running back Rashard Mendenhall and CFL free agent Stefan Logan. Mendenhall ran for 26 yards on 5 carries and should good vision and balance. Logan who got the majority of the return Read more [...]
Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 10:45 am
The Steelers kick off their second pre-season game Saturday night versus the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Below are 10 things to I believe Steeler fans should look for in the second game.
Essex/Colon vs Haynesworth - Right guard Trai Essex graded out well in the first preseason game versus the Arizona Cardinals according to offensive line coach Larry Zierlein. Saturday will be a test for both Essex and right tackle Willie Colon as Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth hopes to see his first action of the preseason. Look for the Steelers to try to run right at him.
Where Do Hills/Foster Read more [...]
Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 11:45 am
The futher the 2008 draft gets in the rear view mirror, the better the view becomes of the Steelers 2008 draft. As of right the jury is still out, but 2009 should provide the information to make a solid judgment. Let us break down where we are with the draft class.
RB Rashard Mendenhall - There is more that we don't know about Mendenhall than what we do know. If his season had not ended due to injury, we would have a much better idea of where he is at. He had an acceptable 2008 pre season, but showed a fumble problem. Can he run in btween the tackles? Can he get around the end? Can he break Read more [...]
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 11:39 am
Probably the quietest stat from the pre-season opener versus the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday was the 6 catch, 69 yard performance by veteran free agent receiver Shaun McDonald. McDonald is still fairly young at 28 and can play in various positions. He is a solid possession receiver and works well out of the slot. Of his 220 career receptions, 126 have moved the chains. McDonald also adds the element of being able to return punts if needed.
The biggest thing McDonald will add is veteran experience. With Limas Sweed and Mike Wallace on the roster, McDonald will be an experienced presence should Read more [...]
Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 12:02 pm
The Steelers seem to be trying every possible scenario in order to keep second year Tony Hills on the roster. The emergence of rookie undrafted free agent Ramon Foster has Hill clearly on the bubble at this point. In the first pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Steelers lined Foster up at the left guard position and Hills at the left tackle position on the second team line. Foster performed well and while Hill showed some improvement, he is still not where he should be as a second year left tackle.
According to reports, Foster may get some looks at the left tackle spot on Saturday Read more [...]
Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 10:18 am
All of the experts will tell you that running back Carey Davis is a safe bet to make the 53 man roster. But just how safe is that bet? Without a doubt, Davis is a special team warrior, but with the rise of rookie free agent running back, Isaac Redman as a short yardage specialist and the move of 5th round pick, Frank Summers, to fullback, it makes you wonder. Both Redman and Summers are getting work on special teams and Redman may be the Steelers answer to their short yardage woes as well. Summers is not afraid to hit and is doing everything the team has asked in order to make the squad and could Read more [...]
Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 7:37 pm
I have just finished watching the Steelers Cardinals game for the third time. Below is my report card for the first preseason game along with notes I made.
Quarterbacks - Ben Roethlisberger played only two series and Charlie Batch just one. Ben showed he still has his escapability when he was almost sacked for a safety and threw the ball relatively well. Batch under threw Limas Sweed on one of his two passes, but Sweed came back and hauled in the pass. Dennis Dixon got off to shaky start as he was asked to run the two minute offense on his first possession. The more he played, the Read more [...]
Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 11:13 pm
Steelers rookie undrafted free agent running back Isaac Redman and punter Dan Sepulveda stole the show in the preseason opening 20-10 win Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals at Heinz Field. Redman, from Bowie State, ran 10 times for 32 yards and 2 touchdowns in second half action. Redman began his uphill climb to make the Steelers roster as a short yardage specialist. Sepuldva saw his first game action since tearing his ACL last July and punted 6 times for a 43.8 yard average. He is a welcome return to the poor punting game the Steelers had in the 2008 season.
The Steelers starting Read more [...]
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 12:29 pm
The Steelers kick off their pre-season Thursday night versus the Arizona Cardinals at Heinz Field. Below are 10 things to look for in the first game.
Return Game - The Steelers return game ranked 31st in punt return average and 29th in kickoff return average during the 2008 season and is a huge focus this season. Rookie Mike Wallace is a lock to make the roster as a number three or four wide receiver, but more importantly he can help instantly on the kick-off return. Rookie corner Joe Burnett will get some looks as a punt returner and will likely have to shine doing so to make the final 53 man Read more [...]
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 3:30 pm
While Steeler fans everywhere appreciate all the training camp reports they can get, sometimes mis-information is put out. Such is the case with Brian Carson who is handling the CBS Sportsline Rapid Reports for the Steelers. Brian keeps reporting that undrafted free agent tackle Ramon Foster is not practicing, when in fact it is rookie defensive lineman Ra'Shon Harris who is hampered by the groin problem. Both Foster and Harris are wearing #73 in camp. I have tried to email him to let him know to no avail. Perhaps Steeler Nation can help. You can email Brian at the address below. Let him know he Read more [...]
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 12:26 pm
Let's go back in time to September 5th, 2004 when Willie Parker out-dueled Dante Brown for the final running back roster spot of the 2004 season. Parker was buried behind Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley and Verron Haynes at the time and spent most of the 2004 season on the inactive list. Parker continued to work hard and thanks to injuries to both Bettis and Staley, Parker got his shot and opened the 2005 season as the starting running back. Parker never looked back and took the league by storm with his blazing speed. He was living the dream of an undrafted free agent running back that culminated in Read more [...]
Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 at 1:04 pm
With the Steelers 2009 training camp underway, one thing is apparent, the depth of the left side of the offensive line could be a sore spot this season. Both starting left tackle Max Starks and left guard Chris Kemoeatu have new contracts and both will be relied on heavily to protect the blind side of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. While both are not pro bowl caliber at their position, they are capable of getting the job done. The main problem arises if either go down with injuries or need to be spelled for a series or two. Second year tackle Tony Hills and third round draft pick Kraig Urbik have Read more [...]
Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 11:30 am
In order to repeat as Super Bowl champions in 2009, the Steelers must answer these six pressing questions below:
Is Limas Sweed ready to fill the shoes of Nate Washington?
Over the last 3 years, Nate Washington averaged nearly 35 receptions for 568 yards and 4 touchdowns. Pretty big shoes for the second year Sweed to fill. He has the size and speed to get separation, but needs to show consistency to make every catch when called upon. If defenses do not respect him fully, it will cause more attention to be put on both Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. Sweed needs to catch everything in sight Read more [...]
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at 8:00 pm
The Steelers came into the second day of the draft with eight picks to make and I surely did not think they would finish the day with eight players picked. I thought they would package a few to move up earlier in a round. Maybe they tried and just did not have what teams wanted to move up. Regardless, we can now welcome eight additional players to the Steelers fold to join Evander "Ziggy" Hood who was drafted on Saturday.
The Steelers had a busy third round, beginning with offensive linemen Kraig Urbik from Wisconsin. Although listed as a tackle, Urbik is expected to begin working at the right Read more [...]
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 10:09 pm
If ever there was a great year to pick last in every round, this was the year. The 2009 draft class is very thin on blue chip prospects. Sure there will be some great players that contribute for many years and perhaps a future Hall of Famer or two, but as far as the scouts are concerned they are not very identifiable going into the draft.
The Steelers did exactly as they said they would do, wait and let the draft come to them and identify the top 32 players on their board. The most pressing need based on the best player available left on the board was the defensive line position. The current Read more [...]
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 9:15 pm
The Steelers currently have 9 draft picks for this weekends 2009 NFL draft, but do not be surprised if they come out of the draft with only 6 or 7 players. The likelihood of the Steelers trading away a few picks to move up in the early or middle rounds of the draft is a high probability. The Steelers are strapped salary cap wise and do not need the burden of having to sign 9 players. There will likely be a slew of 8 to 10 undrafted players signed after the draft as well. There are always teams willing to trade down in the middle of the first round and other teams like Dallas that want back in round Read more [...]
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Following the upcoming NFL draft the Steelers will begin the process of signing the draft picks. As those draft picks sign, the likelihood of their salary counting against the top 51 salaried players begins. At the current time, the Steelers are right up against the cap limit of $127,000,00.00, thus some players will need to be released that are currently in the top 51 salaries. Below are a few players I think will be released sometime in May.
LS Greg Warren - This grizzly veteran long snapper will save the Steelers around $650,000 in cap money and assuming Jared Retkofsky is fully recovered Read more [...]
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 11:12 am
The buzz around the Steelers draft complex has been heavy this spring with talk about some Ohio State Buckeye draft prospects. The Steelers were front and center for the Buckeye pro day and the Steelers have been successful at robbing the state of Ohio of NFL caliber players over the past few years. Do not be surprised if one or two Buckeye players listed below have their names called by the Steelers this coming weekend. Also do not rule out the smaller colleges like Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Kent State, Miami of Ohio and Ohio. i have listed some of the smaller Ohio school top prospects Read more [...]