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mesaSteeler
08-13-2009, 08:37 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_638003.html#

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mundy more comfortable in Steelers camp this year

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Safety Ryan Mundy has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game, so he's hardly a veteran. But if the Woodland Hills High graduate feels like one, that's because there's a marked difference between this training camp and his first one with the Steelers a year ago.

"Being a rookie, you don't know which way is up," Mundy said. "I know the guys, I know the playbook. I've just got a good grasp of the defense and what we want to accomplish." Mundy will get a chance to show the coaches how much of a handle he has on the defense today when the Steelers host the Arizona Cardinals in an 8 p.m. exhibition game. Mundy has been working at both safety positions during training camp and has also been a part of the kick and punt coverage and return teams. He sustained a high ankle sprain in the Steelers' preseason opener in 2008, and the injury cost the 6-foot-1, 209-pounder any chance he had of making the team. Mundy, who finished last season on the Steelers' practice squad, said staying healthy during the preseason is his top priority. As for what he needs to do to convince the Steelers that he should make the team, Mundy said, "Just show them I can make plays."

The Cardinals have been called a West Coast version of the Steelers and for good reason. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt is the Steelers' former offensive coordinator, while former Steelers players on the Cardinals' roster include cornerback Bryant McFadden, linebacker Clark Haggans, fullback Dan Kreider, wide receiver Sean Morey, tight end Jerame Tuman, offensive tackle Oliver Ross and quarterback Brian St. Pierre.

The NFL season could change in the coming years, with commissioner Roger Goodell advocating that the regular season be expanded at the expense of preseason games. NFL teams have four preseason games -- two teams play a fifth game every year -- that are critical to the evaluation process of players. The cost of tickets, however, is the same for preseason games as for regular-season contests, and Goodell has said fans should get more for what they are paying. There has been discussion of shortening the preseason to just two games. "I would say three games would be ideal," Steelers defensive tackle Chris Hoke said. Ryan Clark isn't so sure. "You think about it and say 'Yeah, (the exhibition schedule) should be shorter, but what about those 10 guys that are fighting at the end of the depth chart?' " the Steelers' free safety said. "I think as guys get older, they forget about the play they might have made in the third preseason game that got them on the team. I haven't forgot that, so I think those guys deserve that opportunity. That's why we have those preseason game, and so owners can stack their pockets without paying us."

Coach Mike Tomlin said one thing he wants to see out of the Steelers' rookies tonight is how they handle the speed of the NFL game. It is, said one Steeler veteran, nothing like what they have encountered in practice. "The game is a whole different tempo," defensive end Aaron Smith said on what he learned his rookie season. "They would tell me it's going to be fast, and I would go, 'No way. I'm going as fast as I possibly can in practice.' But it goes fast."

Digits

2 -- WPIAL products on the Cardinals' roster.

7 -- Players from Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia on the Cardinals' roster.

19 -- Division titles the Steelers have won since 1970, the most of any AFC team.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Psyychoward86
08-13-2009, 02:33 PM
I think a lot of people including myself have underestimated this kid. Coach Tomlin even said in that interview posted a day or two ago that the Steelers were DEEP at cornerback and safety. Mundy must be part of the reason....?

steelreserve
08-13-2009, 04:51 PM
I think a lot of people including myself have underestimated this kid. Coach Tomlin even said in that interview posted a day or two ago that the Steelers were DEEP at cornerback and safety. Mundy must be part of the reason....?

Something tells me that between Anthony Madison and Tyrone Carter, one of them is going to be left out. Probably Madison because he makes $1 million and Carter had a better season last year. Although I could see it being Carter because of his age. Maybe it'll come down to injuries, who knows. But we do have like 50 DBs on the roster.

Preacher
08-13-2009, 05:07 PM
Something tells me that between Anthony Madison and Tyrone Carter, one of them is going to be left out. Probably Madison because he makes $1 million and Carter had a better season last year. Although I could see it being Carter because of his age. Maybe it'll come down to injuries, who knows. But we do have like 50 DBs on the roster.

I'm thinking Carter, simply because of age. However, he always seems to hang around, and has held down any assignment he was asked to hold down for us (except, if I remember right, one tackle in a playoff game in 2008).

steelreserve
08-13-2009, 06:58 PM
I was honestly a lot more impressed with Carter's play last season than in years past. I used to dread the times when he had to fill in for Hope or Clark, because it seemed like the timing of the whole defensive backfield was off ... Troy had to play straight-up and restrained instead of freelancing, the corners played softer and gave up a lot more of those short and medium pass-at-will type plays -- things like that.

Last season, though, we didn't miss a beat with him in there, and when you heard his name called, it was more often because of a good play, not because he was cleaning up the end of a 12-yard catch-and-run that our starting defenders normally should've blown up.

Anyway, if he can keep that up again, I'd take him this year even though he can't have too many more seasons left in the tank. Madison, I haven't really even seen enough of to have a positive impression, which probably says a lot in itself.