Post-Cleveland Judgements

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers chances of earning a playoff berth took another serious blow Thursday night as the Steelers lost their 5th straight game in what has become a stunning collapse for a team that had the look of being another Super Bowl contender, through the first eight weeks of the season. The AFC playoff picture is bunched up and even if the Steelers found a way to turn things around and win out, which appears very unlikely, their conference losses (6) has them needing Jacksonville to lose 3 games, Baltimore to lose 2 games and the Jets losing 2 games for a chance to clinch the 6th seed. JAX 7-5 (Miami, Indy, at New England, at Cleveland) BAL 6-6 (Detroit, Chicago, at PIT, Oakland) Miami 6-6 (at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, Houston, PIT) NY Jets 6-6 (at Tampa Bay, Atlanta, at Indy, Cincinnati) PIT 6-7 ( Green Bay, Baltimore, at Miami)Read More »

Wednesday Afternoon Practice: Latest Buzz

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers will go through their final practice on Thursday as the team will break camp this week. The defending Super Bowl Champions had one practice on Wednesday which showed a strong emphasis on their two minute drill execution. Ben Roethlisberger and Dennis Dixon each got reps in the drill and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had the clock set at 2:37. “We wanted to work in a vertical field,” said Tomlin. “I put 2:37 on the clock and put the ball minus-18 – that may sound familiar to some of you guys. I think those were the circumstances that we had in Florida a few months back.” Dixon worked with the second team and performed well, completing a touchdown pass to Tight End Sean McHugh in a 4th and goal situation. “He [Dennis Dixon] did pretty well,” said Tomlin. “Of course you saw him move the offense down theRead More »

The Latest From Latrobe

 

There has been a growing sense that if Limas Sweed wins the #3 receiver spot, it is a foregone conclusion that Hines Ward would be moved to the slot during three receiver sets. That may not be the case as Sweed continues to get reps in the slot. Sweed will be an asset to the Steelers on the outside but just because he’s 6-foot-4, doesn’t mean the Steelers don’t plan on using him in the slot at times this season. Sweed has had a very strong camp as he was the star of Sunday’s practice and made a few more tough grabs on Monday. Sweed has an early edge on Shaun McDonald for the #3 spot. *Linebacker Bruce Davis (2008, 3rd round pick) will have to make his mark on special teams if he’s going to earn a roster spot. For now, he remains on the 3rd team kick coverage.Read More »

Essex a darkhorse to win the starting RG job

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers open training camp on Friday and they return 21 of 22 starters from their Super Bowl winning team. There will be few position battles in camp but one situation to keep an eye on is the right guard position. Current starter Darnell Stapleton enters his first training camp as a starter and the starting right job position is his to lose. Stapleton, 23, (6-3, 305lbs) started 14 games for the Steelers in 2008 and head coach Mike Tomlin is a big believer in Stapleton. Stapleton is versatile and can also play center, his natural position. Despite the coaching staff being very high on Stapleton, the organization would like to get bigger on their interior line. The Steelers drafted offensive guard Kraig Urbik (6-5, 323lbs) in the third round. Urbik will be the teams starting right guard at somepoint in the near future, maybe even this season, butRead More »

Urbik’s primary goal at OTA’s: Learn the Steelers offense

 

By Mike Bires On the day the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Kraig Urbik, the big guy out of Wisconsin was immediately penciled in for a battle to determine the starting job at right guard. So proclaimed Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator. Well, Urbik may eventually get the chance to challenge incumbent Darnell Stapleton once training camp begins. But for the time being, Urbik just wants to learn offensive line play Steelers’ style. Depending on which O-linemen take part in organized team activities which resumed Tuesday, Urbik is second-team or third-team on the depth chart. When reminded of what Arians said five weeks ago, Urbik put a halt to any discussion about landing a starting job. “I’m not looking past tonight,” he said. “I’m not looking past our next meeting and our next practice. Right now, I’m just trying to learn the offense. “The first thing you have to know is whatRead More »

Reflections From Mini Camp

 

By Mike Bires PITTSBURGH – Publicly, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says we shouldn’t get too excited about off-season workouts. “It’s football in shorts,” he likes to say. By that, Tomlin insinuates that the real test begins in late July when the Steelers report to Latrobe for the dog days of training camp. That’s when pads go on and hitting begins. That’s when “real” football begins. Still, Tomlin loves the mandatory three-day minicamp held May 1-3 and the 14 sessions called organized team activities. It’s a chance to see all the new guys, particularly the 2009 draft picks. It’s also a chance to see a cast of returnees who have something to prove this season in more ways than one. With that in mind, here’s a look back at some hot topics from minicamp and a look ahead to the 12 remaining OTAs which resume May 19:

Day 2 NFL Draft Updates

 

(79) The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Wisconsin offensive guard Kraig Urbik with the 15th selection in the third round. (84) The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mississippi WR/KR Mike Wallace with the 20th pick in the third round. (96) The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Oregon State cornerback Keenan Lewis with 32nd selection in the third round. (168) The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Central Florida cornerback Joe Burnett in the 5th round. (169)¬† The Steelers have selected UNLV running back Frank Summers in the 5th round. The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Oregon DT Ra’shon Harris in the 6th round. The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Penn State center A.Q. Shipley in the 7th round. (241) The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Arkansas St Tight¬†End David Johnson. * UNLV running back Frank Summers has been on the Steelers radar since March, and the Steelers thought they could get Summers in the 5th round ever since they released GaryRead More »