Day After: Concerns come out of Sunday night’s game

 

Where are the Playmakers? Concerns at wide receiver — Serious concerns are coming the Steelers way regarding their wide receiver group. Mike Wallace is making strides and showing improvement with his route running but there’s a ton of uncertainty in the top-5. The question around the league is whether this will be the year that Hines Ward finally break down. Some think it will be. The preseason is just a small sampling but Ward is not getting off the line of scrimmage quick enough and looks a step slow in practice. He’s a smart enough player where he’s still going to be productive but the lack of playmakers after Wallace is going to be an obstacle for the Steelers. Antwaan Randle El has looked good in the No. 3 spot but is not the dynamic playmaker he use to be. Rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Anthony Brown can’t be counted onRead More »

Grdnic: Will Allen eyes opportunity to play with the starters Sunday night

 

By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Will Allen originally was signed to the Steelers roster in March to be a backup safety and special-teams ace, but the seven-year NFL veteran should get a rare start against the Broncos Sunday at 8 p.m. in Denver. While it hasn’t been officially noted by the Steelers, it’s highly unlikely that starting free safety Ryan Clark will play the club’s third preseason game due to the altitude level in Denver. Clark played in a game there in 2007 and needed spleen and gall bladder surgery to save his life. Clark missed a Monday night game there last season. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, most definitely,” Allen said Monday. “To roll with the starters, they’re a close-knit group, and I’m new to the team. So, to be able to play with those guys and get an opportunity to play a lot of snaps with them, it’s goingRead More »

Steelers @ Giants: Position battles to watch

 

By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — As the Pittsburgh Steelers get set for their second preseason game with the New York Giants Saturday night, there are several player battles to keep an eye on during this matchup. How each player performs against the Giants could go a long way toward determining their status with the Steelers in the upcoming season. Byron Leftwich-Dennis Dixon What the Steelers must determine doesn’t just concern the opening four games this season, while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is suspended, but who will be his backup for now as well as the near the future. Dixon has one more year on his initial contract, and it’s unlikely that he’ll want to stay with the Steelers as a backup, let alone the No. 3 guy. While the Steelers coaches were thrilled that Dixon improved the past week or so in practice and had a solid opening game, albeitRead More »

Wednesday Afternoon Practice Report: Roethlisberger expected to start vs NYG

 

Practice Highlights: Tomlin talks about camp coming to an end; Down and distance drill analysis, notes; Roethlisberger expected to start vs NYG; 1st team center rotation; Injury Report & More Wednesday Afternoon Practice Report LATROBE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers are nearing the end of their 2010 training camp at Saint Vincent College, as the club went through a final practice in front of the fans Wednesday afternoon. There will be a brief morning workout Thursday before the Steelers head back to Pittsburgh to finish out the preseason. And that was foremost on head coach Mike Tomlin’s mind. “It’s been awesome,” Tomlin said. “There’s no substitute for what we do here. The atmosphere is awesome. We appreciate the fans, the facilities, and it’s been a great experience for us. So, we just want to finish it the way we should. (But) we need to guard against the finality of theRead More »

Grdnic: Pouncey on verge of supplanting Hartwig as 1st team center

 

By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — As the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2010 training camp begins its final week, No. 1 pick Maurkice Pouncey is looking more and more like the team’s center for the present instead of the future. Pouncey, who had been splitting practice time at right offensive guard and center, worked primarily in the middle of the offensive line during Monday afternoon’s practice at Saint Vincent College and could eventually supplant starter Justin Hartwig by the time the regular season begins Sept. 12. “For the short term, he’s going to continue (to split reps),” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We’ll nail down a job for him at some point, but to this juncture he’s been very impressive with how he’s handled the job of playing both. And he’s really playing both very well.” Tomlin added that Pouncey elevated his status at center by the way he played against theRead More »

Breaking down Steelers – Lions: Backups earn high praise in win

 

By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play. Byron Leftwich and Rashard Mendenhall didn’t do much, but the Pittsburgh Steelers played solid defense and got some spectacular performances from backups in a 23-7 win against the hapless Detroit Lions in the preseason opener Saturday night at Heinz Field. The game featured driving, pummeling rain showers and a 73-minute lightning delay that began with 1:31 remaining in the first half. That time was added to the second half, which is when the real fireworks began for the Steelers. While it’s entirely possible that no prospective starter will lose that job for the Steelers, there certainly are some backups to push them pretty hard. Among those players is running back Isaac Redman, who ran 15 times for 60 yards with a 31-yard burst and one short touchdown blast. “That goes to show that they really wanted to take a good lookRead More »

Indepth look at the Steelers defense position-by-position

 

By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — After extensive research and thought, Inside Pittsburgh Sports Friday examined the offensive players on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster and discussed which ones would and should make the club’s final 53-man roster. Today, we look at the defensive side of the ball. Both sides could change if there are some surprises during the preseason games, which begin tonight when the Steelers face the Detroit Lions at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Field, but these choices should be pretty close when the roster is set in three weeks. “We have a lot of talented defensive players, veterans and young guys,” newly-minted Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau said. “We have a lot of work to do over the next few weeks to get this roster finalized, but I enjoy every minute of it. I enjoy the teaching we have to do and the young men that I haveRead More »

DePaoli: Tomlin challenging Lawrence Timmons

 

Tomlin eyeing breakout year from former 1st round pick Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was Mike Tomlin’s first draft pick as Steelers head coach in 2007. The days leading up to the 2007 draft it was long believed that Timmons was Tomlin’s top target and indications are Timmons would have still been the Steelers selection at No. 15, even if the Jets didn’t trade up and select coveted cornerback Darrell Revis with the No. 14 overall selection. The 24 year old linebacker is now entering his fourth NFL season and while Timmons has not been a disappointment by any means, he has had some ups and downs. The Steelers as others do believe Timmons has star potential. He is one of the most talented/dynamic linebackers in the game but just hasn’t been able to put it all together just yet. Tomlin is demanding big things in 2010 from his formerRead More »

Wednesday Morning Practice: Steelers offense preparing for 4-3 defenses

 

By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — The Steel Curtain would be proud. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ revolutionized defenses when they switched to a three-four some two decades ago, but for the first time during this training camp they worked Wednesday against a four-man front like when L.C. Greenwood, Mean Joe Greene, Ernie Holmes and Dwight roamed these practice fields. However, this doesn’t mean the Steelers will be using the alignment often this fall. It’s just that the majority of the NFL uses a four-three defense, including six of the first seven teams on the Steelers’ schedule, starting with a preseason game against the Detroit Lions Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Field. “We’re were going off the cards, giving our offense a look at Detroit’s defense,” defensive captain James Farrior said. “They go against us in the three-four every day in practice, and some other teams are switching to it. “ButRead More »