Latest Steelers Buzz

Insider Only Steelers – Eagles Pre-Game Buzz; Brown, Cotchery among tonight’s Players to Watch

Latest Steelers Buzz

— The release of Limas Sweed on Wednesday was the best move for both sides.
Things were just never going to work out and Sweed had to get out there. Something was always missing with him but he was a good guy and the Steelers like a lot of people are hoping that he gets another chance and they believe he will.
A good landing spot for Sweed could be in Chicago where he would be reunited with Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake who is close to Sweed and recruited him to Texas.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh had a trade in place for Sweed prior to the 2010 NFL Draft but the deal fell through. They have been mentioned as a possible suitor.
Sweed will go down as one of the Steelers worst second round picks and he was the 5th wide receiver since 1980 that the team drafted in the second round. The others were Antwaan Randle El, 2002, Will Blackwell, 1997, Jeff Graham, 1991, and Wayne Capers, 1983.
Graham and Randle El had solid careers with the Steelers, while Blackwell (47 GP – 67 REC – 682 Yards – 2 TD’s in 5 seasons) and Capers (17 GP – 17 REC – 266 Yards – 1 TD in 2 seasons) were busts.
— The Steelers were busy yesterday with the release of Sweed and Eugene Bright and the signings of cornerbacks Kevin Dockery and Macho Harris. Most players signed at this point are just bodies but the Steelers were a team that had Anthony Madison as their No. 4 cornerback in the Super Bowl and no young player has yet to step, so you never know. There isn’t much hope with Harris but Dockery could be a guy who finds a role on the team.
— Yesterday, Pittsburgh put a waiver claim in on former 2010 4th round pick Thaddeus Gibson who made the team out of camp last season, but was released in mid-season. The Redskins were awarded the claim.

Steelers – Eagles Pre-Game Buzz

— The Steelers first team secondary that is missing Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden, will be getting a big test against Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles explosive offense.
The one benefit of the McFadden, Taylor injuries is that the Steelers are getting to find out about Keenan Lewis who has showed some flashes in camp but continues to struggles with his reads.
Speaking of Vick, he told the associated press that commissioneer Rodger Goodell persuaded him not to sign with the Cincinatti Bengals or Buffalo Bills in 2009. I’m sure Bills fans are loving that news.
— Some first team starters will play around 20-25 snaps at the max, most notably the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall.
Troy Polamalu and James Harrison are expected to play tonight. Both will surely fall into the 20-25 snaps category.
Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward are likely to start at left and right defensive end, respectively, with Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel both banged up.
— Seven Players already declared out are Ike Taylor, Chris Kemoeatu, Bryant McFadden, Cortez Allen, Crezdon Butler, Emmanuel Sanders, and Mario Harvey.
— Cornerback Macho Harris will wear No. 31, Kevin Dockery will be No. 37.
— The offense line was shaky in picking up blitzes against the Washington Redskins, giving up 3 sacks and 8 quarterback hits. The first-team O-line will see another shakeup tonight, as Tony Hills gets the start at right guard.

Players to Watch

CB Curtis Brown – In his limited practice time, Curtis Brown has the look of a player who has the best ball skills of any cornerback on the Steelers roster. He had a strong week of practice and he’s a player the coaching staff has felt could help in a nickle back role this season, of course depending on whether he can learned the defense quickly as a rookie. I like his game much better than Keenan Lewis. He will see his first action tonight.
LB Mortty Ivy – The Steelers have approximately two linebacker spots up for grabs and Ivy has done his part so far to earn one of them. Ivy who can play both linebacker positions, has been a playmaker in camp and argubably was the Steelers best linebacker last Friday night against the Redskins, collecting 6 solo tackles.
LT Tony Hills – The Steelers know what they have in Ramon Foster at right guard (who I still believe will be starter in week 1) and the team is doing their due dilligence on other candidates for the starting right guard job. Tonight it will be 4th year left tackle Tony Hills who had a strong game at tackle on Friday.
WR Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery caught the eye of several observers this week in practice and he will push others for playing time in the top-4. A smart player, Cotchery has learned the offense quickly and has the look of one of the best bargains on a one year deal worth $810,000.
WR Antonio Brown – Nobody, including the Redskins last week has been able to cover the emerging wide receiver who has shown excellent playmaking and route running ability in his second camp. Tonight in the first quarter, he should see several reps against one of the best secondary’s in the NFL.
OLB Jason Worilds – The second year linebacker got the start at ROLB and was overmatched against the Redskins, getting pushed back consistently on running plays. His strong suit though is rushing the passer, where he has the speed and strength to be a situational pass rusher this season. At least that’s the hope the coaching staff has for him.
TE Miguel Chavis – Defensive ends turned tight ends rarely work but the Steelers gave an extensive look at Chavis this week, including in spots as the primary blocking tight end. The team continues to search for a player to emerge as a viable No. 2 tight end.
G/T Chris Scott – Scott was overwhelmed in his first start at right guard, struggling with his reads and blitz pickups. It should not have been a surprise as he saw no NFL action last season due to a broken foot. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds tonight as he should see time at tackle and right guard.
Other Players to Watch: Cameron Heyward, Marcus Gilbert, Jonathan Dwyer

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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