Aug 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (34) runs the ball against New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster (23) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Wow, the summer is winding down quickly, but that just means football season is upon us. In true Steeler Nation fashion, there are a ton of articles dissecting Saturday night’s preseason game. The Steelers are back at camp and (presumably) working on the weaknesses and polishing the strengths. Here is a sampling of what’s out there on the internet:
Yet Another Training Camp Snapshot
It’s another sports reporter’s turn to put a perception of a team’s football training camp out. This time it is Peter Bukowski of Sports Illustrated with a fairly lengthy summary. The article is broken up in sections: Biggest Storyline, Most Intriguing Position Battle, New Place, New Face, Impact Rookie, and Looking at the Schedule. He sees the battle within the division as the hardest part of the schedule this year. Bukowski also lists Le’Veon Bell as the most intriguing rookie. It’s a predictable article with nothing that surprises me, right down to the “loss of the explosive Wallace” comment.
Plax’s Season Over Before It Started
Multiple outlets have reported on Plaxico Burress’ rotor cuff surgery on his 36th birthday and Coach Tomlin’s report that Plax cannot play the rest of the season, including an ESPN update. Personally, I know that he wasn’t going to be the main part of the receiver corp, but I had hoped for a season where his veteran experience helped the younger receivers with maybe a few Red Zone catches. I know it is sentimental, but I love an underdog story. He did a stupid thing, endangered others, and served his time. I like to see people find a way to succeed after hitting bottom. I know he was branching out into other businesses before so I hope those work out for him.
Derek Moye Stands Out
Ray Fittipaldo, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, discussed Derek Moye’s performance in Saturday’s game. He notes Moye’s height (6’5″) which makes him standout no matter what his position is. Moye is a 2012 graduate of Penn State, from Beaver Falls, and is still dealing with the passing of his father a little over a month ago. Richard Mann, the wide receivers coach, didn’t heap a lot of praise on Moye for his speed or technique but said he is doing the little things in practice that will make him a better receiver. Moye might capture the 4th or 5th WR spot when the roster locks down.
Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, looks at the pieces and parts at running back – five RBs and one football with two weeks left to lock down the roster. The running game has to get sorted out and time is growing short. It doesn’t help that Le’Veon Bell didn’t get into the preseason game due to a sore knee. Dwyer and Redman are known entities for the Steelers but what role can LaRod Stephens-Howling consistently play? Will Baron Batch be a contributor? I honestly think his botched exchange with Landry Jones is more on Jones than Batch, but it still looks horrible. One thing that is certain, the Steelers need to sort this out soon.
William Gay’s Capability
Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review looks at William Gay’s perspective following Saturday’s game. Ike Taylor has staunchly defended him, as a teammate should. Carnell Lake speaks highly of him too. Gay, for his part, says the criticism from outside the locker room doesn’t bother him. Well, maybe it doesn’t, but I’ll say it again. The cornerback situation for the Steelers looks like it could be a problem and even though Troy Polamalu took “the blame” for the Victor Cruz touchdown, it all is a team effort. Cruz beat Gay off the line. It may be more about Cruz than Gay, but it’s concerning.
Willie The Intern
Willie Parker returned to camp in the role of an coaching intern to help the running backs. I’ve said before that I love when former Steelers come back into the organization in some way. Steelers.com posted a video of Willie speaking about his experience and how appreciative he is of this experience. It’s about 3 mins long.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put together some odds and ends about the Steelers. The Steelers are still counting on Miller, Spaeth, and David Johnson to be on the roster and don’t plan to put Michael Palmer or Nathan Overbay on the active roster. I think Palmer showed some talent and should be considered if Spaeth’s foot injury takes longer to heal than predicted. However, he may slip through their fingers. Terry Hawthorne, one of the many injured cornerbacks, is returning to practice which is good news.
Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review also put together some notes. He suggests that the Steelers may be looking for offensive line help from outside the organization due to the lackluster performances of Whimper and Batiste. Additionally, Joe Long’s performance got some good attention. Nose Tackle Steve McLendon is out for personal reasons so pregame standout Al Woods will get the reps in his place.
Today’s featured Tweet is from the PPG’s Ed Bouchette, who saw infused some humor into what was probably a down Monday morning around St. Vincent’s in Latrobe:
Well Ed, I hope so.
That’s it for today
Let us know what you liked and what you disagree with. It’s an off day for the Steelers, so no camp today but still plenty to talk about!