LATEST STEELERS RUMBLINGS
1. Don’t buy into talk that Jonathan Dwyer’s emergence is going to lead to Rashard Mendenhall taking a backseat when he returns to full health (should return next week) or even the end to his Steelers career (Mendenhall a Free Agency in 2013). Word out of the organization is that If Dwyer continues to run the ball well, his emergence is going to phase out Isaac Redman in the rotation not Mendenhall. The coaching staff, most notably Mike Tomlin still view Mendenhall as the team’s best overall back and the staff still doesn’t trust Dwyer being a full-time starter yet. Dwyer still has a lot to prove but the Steelers see a lot of upside in a 1-2 punch with Mendenhall and Dwyer for this season and the next couple years, sources tell me. Regarding Mendenhall’s long-term future, the team won’t throw huge money at him this off-season but he’s just 25 years old, doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear and the organization views him as having at least another three to four years left in him to play at a high level. We have to see how things go for him health wise the rest of the season, but he’s a player the Steelers want to keep around past this season.
2. Some are calling LaMarr Woodley’s constant hamstring issues freak occurrences but there are whispers in the organization that a coach or two feel Woodley has been “too heavy” since the 2011 lockout.
3. There’s always been this notion that Bruce Arians didn’t get Heath Miller involved enough in the offense and Miller’s hot start with 35 receptions for 380 yards and 6 touchdowns has garnered offensive coordinator Todd Haley high praise and Haley has been excellent at utlizing Miller more in the redzone than Arians but it’s a myth that Arians didn’t get Miller involved enough. Miller’s fast start this season is not the best of his career as in 2009 he had 40 receptions through his first seven games, en route to a career high 76 catch season.
4. David DeCastro is without a doubt the Steelers long-term right guard but as one Steelers official told me this week, it’s hard to imagine DeCastro playing at a higher level than Ramon Foster has so far this season. The Steelers have been very pleased with Foster’s play and he’s starting to make a name for himself where NFL sources believe he could price himself out of the Steelers range to keep around as a reserve player next season behind DeCastro and Colon at the guard spots.
5. There is growing momentum that Mike Adams has a very good chance to run away with the starting right tackle job over the next couple weeks if his play continues on the upswing. The Steelers aren’t that down on Marcus Gilbert (Out another few weeks) but boy the Steelers have been so impressed with Adams. His mobility is one area which Steelers officials are raving about.