Jul 27, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass in drills during training camp at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Hall of Fall Enshrinement
Seven former NFL players (no Steelers this year) were inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted an article from the Associated Press‘ Barry Wilner. It contains a summary of who spoke and some of what they said. Parcells gave a shout-out to the coaches who influences him, including Steelers’ great Chuck Noll. I watched the ceremony and there were some comedic moments and Twitter picked up on everyone of them. Larry Allen’s speech had probably the first reference to a “40-ounce” in Hall of Fame history:
Ramon Foster Entrenched as a Steeler
Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, profiles Ramon Foster who is not only a starter for the Steelers but he displays the “Steeler Way.” He went undrafted, felt the sting of being passed over, and decided to sign with the Steelers after the draft was over from among several teams who offered him a contract. Now, he’s one of the older guys among the line and mentoring others (see Kimmy’s Huddle from Friday). Until this year, he’s always had someone in front of him on the depth chart, but ended up playing in every game in 2012. He may not be splashy but he’s a solid player. I hope he has a healthy productive season.
Competition and Injuries at Cornerback
Ralph Paulk, of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, profiles Josh Victorian and his travels around the league to find a team who can use his talents. Victorian’s story isn’t unusual and he has the drive and passion you want to see. Paulk also notes that there are 10 cornerbacks on the training roster and with the injury rate, the Steelers might just chew through all of them. The injury at this single position during training has been surprising. The Steelers have already had to bring on other CB’s and in the first week of camp:
"• Allen, who had three starts last season, had knee surgery earlier this week.• Curtis Brown limped off the practice field Friday with a heavily wrapped hamstring and was limited in practice Saturday.• DeMarcus Van Dyke has been sideline with a hamstring injury.• Terry Hawthorne, a fifth-round pick from Illinois, injured his knee in OTAs and could miss most of training camp.”"
I had said I thought the Steelers were being cautious with players and paying attention to injuries (terming it discomfort) to see if they could head off the catastrophic, season-ending injuries but that I had to wonder why this one position is suffering so many injuries. Since then the injuries seem to have spread out more, but still, the cornerback position seems to be the unlucky one this year.
Things to Watch For in 2013
Alan Robinson, of the Tribune Review, put together a list of things to watch for and what can’t happen if the Steelers are going to have a successful season. Some of it seems tongue-in-cheek and some seems obvious, but it is a good read. So many of us have high expectations for our Steelers, year in and year out, because of the more recent history of winning. (The first few decades for the Steelers were abysmal.) Robinson lists the three most important games, where wins and timing are key, as well as the three most critical players. It’s no surprise that Roethlisberger is Number 1, but I was surprised to see Marcus Gilbert at number 3, but I guess it makes sense. If Roethlisberger stays upright, he’ll stay in the game. There are several categories, all with the theme of three. As I said before, entertaining read and perhaps a good primer for how to rate the season.
Roethlisberger-Haley Love Fest
Alan Robinson also posted an article the examined how Haley stands with the team in his second year. This isn’t the first article I’ve seen about this in the last month. Last year the press seemed determined to focus on how bad the relationship was. Now, it’s a love fest. Come on. The first year was going to be rough. Change interrupts consistency. Haley was not going to step in and make magical things happen. The Steelers weren’t so poor that any change was going to produce an immediate result. However, the direction they were heading seemed stale and predictable and there were calls for change from Bruce Arians before it got bad. So, the change was painful – similar to ripping off a band-aid instead of soaking it in water to let it loosen. Also, Haley came in with a bit of a bad reputation from Kansas City and probably a chip on his shoulder that matched Roethlisberger’s shoulder chip. Ok, so, things have been worked out. I like that Haley is backing his guy:
"Every year that he gets older, that’s something that’s paramount to him, continuing to get better and continuing to be an elite quarterback — in my opinion, he can be the best quarterback in the league,” Haley said. “He’s got to be out there playing to do that, and for that to happen, we’ve got to keep hits off him, as many as we can. Some of that falls on his shoulders, too.”"
However, I don’t need an article about it every week. These guys are professionals and they have figured out how to move forward to get to the same goal. Let’s see what this produces on the field. I need results guys.
Both the Trib and the PPG post a summary of the bits and pieces that don’t make it into articles. The drills are getting physical, Antonio Brown was showing some attitude, and the Steelers signed D’Anthony Batiste because of Nik Embernate’s injury.
Tweet of the Day:
I’m partial to anything support the military, so I’m putting Mike Tomlin’s tweet with an injured service member in as Tweet of the Day:
That’s it for the day! Let us know what you think.