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lamberts-lost-tooth
07-21-2008, 12:39 PM
Steelers will give Holmes a chance as punt returner
Pro football Weekly Whispers — AFC North
July 20, 2008


The Steelers are expected to give WR Santonio Holmes a look as a punt returner, the way we hear it. Rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall and veteran Mewelde Moore will be in the mix to return kickoffs, with second-year RB Gary Russell another potential option if the Steelers want to employ a bigger returner the way they occasionally did with the departed Najeh Davenport. Pittsburgh will have a new look at those positions after releasing RS Allen Rossum in the offseason.

Word from Pittsburgh is that the Steelers have been pleased with the development of reserve DE Ryan McBean, who played in only one game as a rookie and missed spring workouts with a foot injury. If he can return to health, there’s hope he can provide capable help off the bench in his second NFL season.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/The+Way+We+Hear+It/Whispers/2008/afcnorth072008.htm

The Duke
07-21-2008, 12:44 PM
Word from Pittsburgh is that the Steelers have been pleased with the development of reserve DE Ryan McBean,

now THIS is great news! we seriously need the depth. I guess he's not on crutches anymore

not too excited about the holmes thing. let him concentrate at breaking out as WR this season

MACH1
07-21-2008, 12:44 PM
As long as Santo can catch the dang ball back there it would be an improvement. And hopefully the rest of the guys can block somebody for him.

Texasteel
07-21-2008, 12:52 PM
You suppose this spells doom for Willy Reed? He sure hasn't been what most thought he would be, and thats including me.

The news that McBean may have improved, and could see some playing time is very good news for our D-line.

DACEB
07-21-2008, 01:10 PM
Word from Pittsburgh is that the Steelers have been pleased with the development of reserve DE Ryan McBean,

I think this is news we all want to hear, but when exactly did he get off the crutches?

We haven't heard squat about McBean, besides the fact that he was in a boot with crutches. How is it that now he's progressing, while there are no workouts taking place.

I hope he has progressed, and is a big reason the team didn't draft a D-lineman. It would be great if a couple of the young back-ups made an impact. I'm hoping for big things from this kid, but I'm not expecting it.

Carolina Steelers
07-21-2008, 01:24 PM
I dont think I like the idea of Holmes returning punts hes are #2 rec. let him concentrate on that, hate to see him get injured returning punts.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 01:36 PM
Who else is really in the mix on punt returns?? Moore, Bloom, Reid??

If McBean is progressing, I will be so amazed. He seemed to be a bit light and needed a lot of work his rookie year. John Mitchell is the man if he coached him up to contribute this season!!!

SteelMember
07-21-2008, 01:44 PM
As stated in another thread, our depth at DE is slim to none. I would be glad to see someone step in as a legitimate option. I hope he can get healthy and contribute.

I understand what most are saying about Holmes, but if he is the best player for the position, I say let him have the chance. For all we know, he may have asked to do it.:noidea: Woodson was our starting corner, and he was a pretty good returner.

DACEB
07-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Who else is really in the mix on punt returns?? Moore, Bloom, Reid??

I think this goes to show that none of the 'return' guys at WR (Bloom, Reid) have any shot of making the final roster. There is too much talent now at WR to keep a return specialist around. While I agree that Holmes should probably just play WR, the staff might be looking at the talent they have in camp at WR and feel confident in taking the risk with Santo returning.

I think Santo has bulked up quite a bit since his rookie year and would be able to withstand the hits returning. Would it be worth the risk if he excelled in the return game?

In the end, I believe Moore will have the return duties.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 02:06 PM
Daceb, I am with ya on the fact I think Moore will have the return duties. I still dont rule out the possiblity that the Steelers keep 6WR's if one is the full time punt returner.

Ward, Holmes, Washington, Sweed, Baker,(Bloom or Reid?) I think if a returner steps up, then Tomlin is fine with just a "specialist" taking up a roster spot.

DACEB
07-21-2008, 02:15 PM
Daceb, I am with ya on the fact I think Moore will have the return duties. I still dont rule out the possiblity that the Steelers keep 6WR's if one is the full time punt returner.

Ward, Holmes, Washington, Sweed, Baker,(Bloom or Reid?) I think if a returner steps up, then Tomlin is fine with just a "specialist" taking up a roster spot.

I was hoping they learned their lesson last season with Rossum. Personally I was glad we got Rossum because we were so bad, but I don't like 'specialists', versatility is key.

Preacher
07-21-2008, 02:25 PM
A couple things to remember about Holmes as return man.

1. Just because he is back there, doesn't mean he is going to get hit. How many punts end up in a fair catch.

2. He has been in the league a few years, and now knows how hard they hit, how fast the game is, and how fast his reaction time is in relation to the game.


Because of these things, I think it may be ok, though I am STill uncomfortable with my number 2 receiver returning punts.

revefsreleets
07-21-2008, 02:39 PM
Santo was a fine returner at OSU. I think he was bit distracted as a rook, and will be more consistent now. He has also learned how to protect the rock a little better.

What about Dennis Dixon? Dude just gonna burn up a roster spot in a gray sweatsuit and carry the clipboard?

BlastFurnace
07-21-2008, 05:05 PM
I don't like the idea of Holmes returning punts at all. The risk far outweighs the reward on this.

Holmes is our best breakaway WR right now, and might be our best WR right now with Hines getting older. He has already shown to have weak Hammy's and I don't want to risk losing him. The Steelers coaches need to find other options here. Noll was smart enough to get Swann off Punt Returns and Lipps of Punt Returns when he found they were too valuable at WR. Tomlin needs to do the same thing.

As far as I am concerned, I will be happy with just a bunch of Fair Catches and retention of possession on all punts. Based upon the last two seasons, that is good enough for me.

slippy
07-21-2008, 05:05 PM
i like the dixon idea!

i DO NOT want santo returning punts. on a 53 man roster, there must be someone else who can catch a punt and run 10 yards without fumbling. or am i asking for too much?

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 05:07 PM
I am STill uncomfortable with my number 2 receiver returning punts.

Me too!!

xfl2001fan
07-21-2008, 05:20 PM
Holmes returning punts is (potentially) the dumbest thing the Steelers could do. Yes, he was a pretty good return guy at OSU, but playing starting and playing ST is far different in the NFL than it was when he played on Saturdays.

Mendenhall would be a better choice, because as of now, he's not a critical component to your offense.

Still, if you want to risk your #2 reciever, that's fine by me!

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 10:01 PM
I dont think Mendenhall has ever returned punts, so not a great suggestion. Holmes, not my favorite either.

I'm still betting that Mewelde Moore will kind of be like a Brian Mitchell type guy that is the 3rd down back and returns kicks.

43Hitman
07-21-2008, 10:26 PM
I dont think Mendenhall has ever returned punts, so not a great suggestion. Holmes, not my favorite either.

I'm still betting that Mewelde Moore will kind of be like a Brian Mitchell type guy that is the 3rd down back and returns kicks.

Oh man I hope so. He was a beast in his prime.:tt02:

WWIIOwheelz
07-21-2008, 11:34 PM
Najeh certainly had some fantastic returns last year, and I'll bet Mendenhall could too.

Whatever the case, Reid never worked out at all in the return role.

Steelman16
07-22-2008, 01:26 AM
Najeh certainly had some fantastic returns last year, and I'll bet Mendenhall could too.

Whatever the case, Reid never worked out at all in the return role.

Yeah, but Dookie had alot of experience returning kicks...as far as I know (and correct me if I'm wrong) Mendenhall never returned kicks in college.

It'd be nice to know that Santo could back up if needed, but fulltime returner kinda scares me. I have no doubts he couldn't do it, but he's our immediate future at WR and it just seems like a waste.

Galax Steeler
07-22-2008, 03:29 AM
I have to agree with the most of you I do not won't to see Holmes returning punts I would much rather see moore because of a injury to our no.2 reciever.

revefsreleets
07-22-2008, 07:15 AM
We had Woodson back there for awhile, and the same arguments could be made. But Rod was all-World, baby, and him returning punts was part of that. I hated Deion Sanders, but that cat could flat out return punts. He was also probably "too valuable" to be playing ST.

One of the most important stats in all of football is starting field position. Anything that can be done to gain a competitive edge needs to be explored.