Steelers Morning Huddle 7/18/13


Nov 25, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) blocks for tight end Heath Miller (83) on a pass play in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

We are inching closer to training camp and there seems to be a slight uptick in interesting articles about the Steelers.  Here are a few you might want to read.

Preseason Rankings

Mike Florio, of NBC’s Pro Football Talk, listed the Steelers at No 15 in his preseason power rankings.  Even before I read the article I wasn’t surprised nor did I think he was underrating the Steelers.  Florio establishes his “cred” to talk about the Steelers by saying he has lived most of his live in or near the Pittsburgh area.   OK, that means you understand the Steelers organization maybe better than some.  So, on to the article.  The rankings are the consensus of a team at PFT.  Under strengths, they list Roethlisberger but he states that Roethlisberger needs to do less with a better balance with the run and the pass.  He sees a battle at the running back position and that Jarvis Jones will give Jason Worilds a run for his money.  I liked how Florio summed up his article:

"But the Steelers have a way of finding their groove when they’re being doubted, and it should surprise no one if coach Mike Tomlin wills the team toward postseason contention.”"

The Steelers always seem to do better when they are the underdog.

Shamarko Thomas Expecting Fines

Steelers Depot writer Dave Bryan quotes an interview that Thomas recently had with Tom Robinson of The Virginian-Pilot where he said that even though the coaches are stressing proper hitting techniques and procedures that he still expects to be fined because of the way he plays.  I agree with Bryan that even if Thomas is joking it probably isn’t the best thing to put into print these days.  One thing based on everything I have seen about Shamarko Thomas is that he has a lot of drive and passion to play the game.  His personal story is remarkable.  The violence and poverty in his life is, unfortunately, not too uncommon, but he seems to have a good outlook.  I hope that is true and he shines as a Steelers.

Will Lawrence Timmons Make an Impact in 2013?

Steve Kimbell of Steelers N Stuff contends that Timmons was one of the more consistent Steelers in 2012.  He put together several quotes from articles over the last few month and see the Steelers making Timmons one of the go-to players on the field.  Kimbell sums up his article that his may be the year that Timmons goes from being a good linebacker to being a great one.   I’ll say this, I hope to see a defense that has more interceptions or at least interrupted passes.  Maybe Timmons has the speed and agility to contribute there.

Sanders Due to Breakout in 2013’s Chris Wessling is part of the Around the League’s profiling of “The Top 40 Players Making the Leap in 2013” and Emmanuel Sanders came in at number 15.   Wessling said the main reason Sanders is behind Antonio Brown in status is because of injuries in 2011.  He sees Sanders main issue as one of playing time.  He also includes a video clip of one of Sanders remarkable plays.  Wessling said there are expectations this year:

"Now that Sanders is slated to start opposite Brown, the Steelers have told him they expect 70 receptions and 1,000 yards this season. “And that’s the same thing that I expect for myself,” Sanders added.”"

I hope the push to keep him ends up being the right call.   Sanders has the talent and I think you have to look at the game plan more than Sanders not performing well.  I’m sure you can point to some problems, but I hope he makes the most of this opportunity.  Maybe the Steelers will then want to keep him beyond this year.

That’s it for today

Let me know what I missed or what I got wrong.