THURSDAY’S STEELERS BUZZ
Brice McCain worked with the first team today for the second consecutive practice and things will remain status quo Monday night vs the Houston Texans.
McCain will make his first start with the Steelers, 11th of his career, vs his former team on Monday Night Football. The Steelers are planning to remove Cortez Allen out of the starting lineup.
McCain last season made 4 starts for the Texans. On 73 targets, he allowed 46 receptions for 505 yards and 6 touchdowns in coverage. Pro Football Focus graded him out as the worst cornerback in football last season, 110th overall.
The 5-foot-9 McCain does provide some ball skills. He has six career interceptions, including a pick-6 this season in week 5 vs Jacksonville. McCain played just 13 snaps vs Cleveland, after playing 30 snaps the previous week vs Jacksonville.
The Steelers feel that taking Allen out of the starting lineup will be good for him, at least that’s what they claim publicly. In his fourth season, this was suppose to be a breakout year for Allen, who was rewarded with a four year extension worth $26 million, a massive commitment by the Steelers to a unproven player who can’t cover.
“He’s still basically a young player,” Dick LeBeau said of Allen after today’s practice. “He’s at a difficult position. Sometimes there’s ups and downs. I have great confidence he’ll find his way through it.”
TUITT PROJECTS TO SEE INCREASED PLAYING TIME VS HOU
2nd Round Pick Stephon Tuitt has seen limited playing time this season but is expected to see increased playing time vs the Texans. Tuitt has been running exclusively with the first team in Brett Keisel’s absence. Tuitt could start as the sense right now is Keisel will be limited if he’s able to go. Keisel is dealing with a knee injury.
Tuitt who has excellent athleticism, showed great flashes in training camp, though, it’s been a struggle to get on the field. He played just 18 snaps vs Cleveland, surpassing his snap total from the two previous weeks.
ROETHLISBERGER DOESN’T TRUST BRYANT YET
Todd Haley has made Martavis Bryant part of this week’s game plan but will it stay that way by Monday?
Friday’s practice will be telling as today’s practice is more of a Wednesday practice with the game Monday night. Bryant struggled in yesterday’s practice but the real issue for Bryant is Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t trust him.