3rd Version of The Latest TIOPS Steelers Camp Rumblings
— The Mike Wallace holdout has now reached 12 days and it’s reached the point where it’s nothing more than a pride thing for Wallace, at least that’s the way Steelers officials see it. Management hasn’t been in touch with Wallace or his agent directly since the first week of camp and it’s now up to Wallace to swallow his pride. As the Wallace holdout continues, the Steelers are worried that he could become plagued with hamstring and groin injuries early in the season which is common for players who report to camp late.
— Willie Colon has been tremendous at left guard in camp thus far, showing power, nastiness and some quickness. It’s clear that Chicago Bears who offered Colon a 5 year – $32.5 million deal last summer to play guard, saw what the Steelers are seeing from him now at the position.
— Keenan Lewis has had a very tough week in practices as Cortez Allen continues to make an early push for Lewis’ starting cornerback spot opposite Ike Taylor. Antonio Brown victimized him in Thursday’s two-minute drill and Lewis had a rough day on Saturday as Emmanuel Sanders had a field day against him. Lewis hasn’t been the only starting corner to struggle against Brown and Sanders, as Brown has looked like Demaryius Thomas up against Ike Taylor at times in camp.
— There are mixed opinions out there on David DeCastro so far. He is learning the offense quickly but I’m told that if he performs at the inconsistent level he is right now in practice, in the preseason, Ramon Foster who the coaching staff has been very pleased with in camp will hold him off for the starting right guard spot for at least the start of the season.
— The honeymoon is still going on between Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley but when the games start, an intriguing dynamic with the offense to watch is how Haley wants Ben to dump the ball off to the back after his first option is not there. That is not Ben’s game and will never be.
— Mike Adams move up to the depth chart to the starting left tackle spot over Trai Essex was just a matter of time before the first preseason game in Philadelphia. “Mike’s been doing a nice job, ” head coach Mike Tomlin said on Saturday. “He’s earned those snaps and we’ll continue to do that. But again, far from ready, ” Tomlin said of the rookie. Adams has had his ups and down in camp but he hasn’t been going against the likes of James Harrison or even Jason Worilds coming off the edge from the right side. He will get a good dose of premier rushers in the preseason which is what the Steelers want to see against the likes of Trent Cole, Dwight Freeney in the first two preseason games, although the reps against those two might be limited, but in the third preseason game where the first team normally plays the entire first half, Adams and the Steelers go up against an excellent front-seven in the Buffalo Bills. The Steelers better hope he’s ready if Max Starks is not ready for week 1.
— One thing that’s become clear through about 10 practices is that the Steelers don’t have a legitimate receiver to fill the No. 4 receiver spot right now behind Brown, Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery or obviously the No. 5 spot for when Mike Wallace shows up. Derrick Williams does not look like an NFL receiver and Tony Clemons isn’t one right now. Even for when Mike Wallace joins the team, Plaxico Burress makes more and more sense, considering Emmanuel Sanders foot injuries that could very well become a week to week thing.
— Dont write off big running back John Clay just yet who has caught the eye of head coach Mike Tomlin. “He’s playing to his size which is good, ” Tomlin said of Clay following Saturday’s workout. “It’s one thing to be a big back but it’s another thing to play with that demeanor. When given the opportunity he’s shown that he’s playing with that demeanor, which is a good thing not only in the goal line but I thought he did a nice job in short-yardage.”