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mesaSteeler
08-19-2009, 10:24 PM
NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rookie class impressing, with one exception
As noted, at least in part, in my last post, the Steelers rookie class is looking like one of its best in quite some time.

It's early, of course, but defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Sonny Harris, wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett, tight end David Johnson and center A.Q. Shipley look like players who from this draft class who can contribute if not immediately, then down the road.

Add in impressive rookie free agent signings Ramon Foster and Isaac Redman, and you have what could be a very strong group.

The one disappointment? Guard Kraig Urbik, a third-round pick.

In the moments following the draft, when the Steelers brass spoke about this draft class, Urbik was the one guy who was pointed to that they felt had a chance to push for a starting job.

Right now, he's barely pushing for a roster spot.

The former Wisconsin star has looked tentative in one-on-one blocking drills. And he didn't seem to get a lot of push in the first preseason game against Arizona.

If Urbik fails to materialize as a player – and I'm not writing him off yet – the Steelers will almost be forced to spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman in 2010.

Of course that was said the past two offseasons as well and the team hasn't made that move yet.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 5:13 PM 6 comments Links to this post

Da Steeler Soprano
08-19-2009, 10:55 PM
Shipley is way better then Urbik ever was and he's proving it again. Start giving A.Q. some looks at Guard.

steelreserve
08-19-2009, 11:04 PM
Ahh well. Even if Urbik turns out to suck, it looks like we're doing pretty well. If Foster or Shipley ends up being a contributor, we still come out ahead on the O-Line front anyway.

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 11:16 PM
while i'd like to hear better about our rookie lineman, fact is even the #1 lineman in every years draft is gonna look sucky going up against the likes of a. smith, hampton and keisel every day in practice.

word is urbick isnt a 1 on 1 drillmeister and looks much better as part of a unit.

im not gonna panic yet. our defenders make cohesive veteran nfl lines look like they suck.

Preacher
08-19-2009, 11:16 PM
Ahh well. Even if Urbik turns out to suck, it looks like we're doing pretty well. If Foster or Shipley ends up being a contributor, we still come out ahead on the O-Line front anyway.

Exactly. Through in Legursky's improvement... and we may be looking pretty dang good.

But again, who knows what the problem is. Urbik could surprise everyone.

#1 Big Ben Fan
08-19-2009, 11:39 PM
I wouldn't bury Urbik just yet. Its a bit pre-mature to declare Shipley the second coming of Mansfield or Webster to.

As for the article even if Urbik pans out and becomes a player. I still hope the Steelers use an early pick on an OL next year.

Yes I understand this unit was good enough for the Steelers to win it all. But put this in perspective.

Starks-3rd round
Kemoeatu-6th round
Hartwig-7th round
Stapleton-undrafted if Essex-3rd round
Colon-4th round

I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.

tony hipchest
08-20-2009, 12:00 AM
I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.[/QUOTE]totally agree with you. its pretty bad when teams trade ahead of us to draft the 5th or 6th LT taken in the 1st round. its even worse when teams are taking 2 centers we are targeting in the 1st on top of the 5 or 6 tackles.

Preacher
08-20-2009, 12:33 AM
I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.totally agree with you. its pretty bad when teams trade ahead of us to draft the 5th or 6th LT taken in the 1st round. its even worse when teams are taking 2 centers we are targeting in the 1st on top of the 5 or 6 tackles.

Yep. funny thing is, supposedly the Browns aren't quite getting what they thought they were getting.

Depending on how this line does this year, I am not sure I want a top round pick going to hte OL next year and I DEFINITELY don't want to lose a pick for it. Consider this. We only have one guy under the age of 30 for the DL... maybe under the age of 33 by this time next year. We have no one that can step up into the LB role now that we have lost foote. I am not comfortable with our backups there. I'd want a decent guy in the 2nd or 3 round there. CB's seem to be pretty good, but we definitely need to develop a new, young safety as well.

So as I see it, it really isn't worth trading a pick, since we are going to have to find talent for those positions....

and don't forget, we MAY lose our FS AND/OR our NT.

MasterOfPuppets
08-20-2009, 01:04 AM
there's no mention of the tank in that article...:noidea:

tony hipchest
08-20-2009, 01:05 AM
We have no one that can step up into the LB role now that we have lost foote. I am not comfortable with our backups there. I'd want a decent guy in the 2nd or 3 round there. you mean a decent guy like bruce davis (3rd round)?

this is EXACTLY what was said when we let go of porter in regards to foote. 1st round pick timmons IS stepping into that role now that we lost foote. in the past 3 years we have spent a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick on lb's (and still have plenty of back up's waiting in the wings).

on the flipside, look at what carolina has done to their offensive line with their top 3 picks in the past few years.

its time to balance things out.

kevin colbert and tomlin seem pretty comfortable with k. fox stepping in if anything happens to an ILB or olb.

Steeldude
08-20-2009, 01:20 AM
the Steelers will almost be forced to spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman in 2010

:rofl: yeah, right. i'll believe it when i see it

Steeldude
08-20-2009, 01:22 AM
Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone.

good point, but it would be nice if they could find a way to trade up :smile:

steelreserve
08-20-2009, 03:12 AM
totally agree with you. its pretty bad when teams trade ahead of us to draft the 5th or 6th LT taken in the 1st round. its even worse when teams are taking 2 centers we are targeting in the 1st on top of the 5 or 6 tackles.

I think in the current environment, we're much better off NOT drafting an OL in the first round. OL, and especially OT, has become so highly bid up by the bottom-feeders that it's not worth drafting for with the way the pricing scheme works. If you want to get a surefire starter, you have to draft at the top of the round and pay $8-10 million a year, which is more than you'd pay on the FA market anyway. If you wait till the bottom of the first round, you're in crapshoot territory already, and you might as well just wait and try your luck in the third or fourth round. When all is said and done, I'm pretty happy with our strategy for replenishing the O-Line recently -- we'll probably get 1-2 adequate players out of Hills/Urbik/Foster/Shipley, we signed an adequate guy in Hartwig, so it's been worth the picks and money.

For next year's pick, I doubt we go with O-Line. I wouldn't be surprised with LB, since it needs to be replenished constantly, or DL, for the same reason as this year. Then S or OL or RB if a really lucky situation arises somehow.

Galax Steeler
08-20-2009, 05:01 AM
I thought that Urbik would be doing much better then what he is. I know it is early but the expectaitons for this guy were high. hopefully with more time he will come around and start playing better.

The Lakelander
08-20-2009, 05:19 AM
It's taken Trai Essex five seasons to earn a starting spot. And it isn't the spot he was projected for when he was drafted.

Urbik, given 3 or 4 years of Steelers strength conditioning, is likely to win a starting job here at some future point. He's not exactly "bad" at this point.

mmalone
08-20-2009, 07:51 AM
Shipley is way better then Urbik ever was and he's proving it again. Start giving A.Q. some looks at Guard.

there were a few blibs about this guard switch happening already in july... they say his arms fit that position better too. the old 4 inches to short deal. i guess 8in in overall wingspan is making a difference from an eric woods to a shipley at center.. which puts him at guard. so be it...

just playing hard is the real factor, look at foster. he hits hard and blocks good. he even sacked dixon when dixon bumped into his tricep in the ariz game....

BlastFurnace
08-20-2009, 08:00 AM
I remember this like it was yesterday. Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest said this about a rookie many years ago after his initial impression of him at Training Camp...."He is not long for this team". Guess who he was talking about....Aaron Smith.

Urbik may surprise us down the road. He has too much potential to let go right now.

revefsreleets
08-20-2009, 10:03 AM
Disappointing to hear he's not doing as well as projected, and I had really high hopes for him especially as a run blocker. I thought he looked good in the game but again, that was second and third tier competition.

This IS mitigated a bit by the fact that Foster supposedly looks really good. It doesn't really matter so much HOW you find 'em as long as you find 'em!

Hotrodder07
08-20-2009, 10:13 AM
Urbik's not impressing? That's no good. I had high hopes for him. I guess it's too early to write him off, but things aren't looking good.

mmalone
08-20-2009, 10:38 AM
I remember this like it was yesterday. Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest said this about a rookie many years ago after his initial impression of him at Training Camp...."He is not long for this team". Guess who he was talking about....Aaron Smith.

Urbik may surprise us down the road. He has too much potential to let go right now.

he has two-three years to prove himself, hes not going anywhere...

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-20-2009, 10:43 AM
word is urbick isnt a 1 on 1 drillmeister and looks much better as part of a unit.
.

Tony that is the exact truth. If anybody watched the preseason game closely they would see that Urbik played quite well in the phonebooth at RG.

I especially saw a pass play where he just stoned his guy at the LOS along with Legursky at center and the pressure came from the left side over Foster. Then on another run play he does a great job of driving his man inside so Shipley can handle him, then scraping to the LB to his right.

IMO, this article is just "sky is falling" crap from a reporter only watching drills.

SteelMember
08-20-2009, 10:44 AM
Here's a list of 3rd round picks since 2000...

Round | Overall | Name | Position | School
3 88 Bruce Davis LB UCLA
3 77 Matt Spaeth TE Minnesota
3 83 Anthony Smith DB Syracuse
3 95 Willie Reid WR Florida State
3 93 Trai Essex T Northwestern
3 75 Max Starks T Florida
3 94 Chris Hope DB Florida State
3 72 Kendrick Clancy NT Mississippi
3 77 Hank Poteat CB Pittsburgh

I'm gonna give the same 3 years for Urbik.

1 Training camp, and 1 pre-season game doesn't a career make or break.

Besides, six out of seven is still pretty good, right?

SteelMember
08-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Tony that is the exact truth. If anybody watched the preseason game closely they would see that Urbik played quite well in the phonebooth at RG.

I especially saw a pass play where he just stoned his guy at the LOS along with Legursky at center and the pressure came from the left side over Foster. Then on another run play he does a great job of driving his man inside so Shipley can handle him, then scraping to the LB to his right.

IMO, this article is just "sky is falling" crap from a reporter only watching drills.

Good point.

I think the guy is a "gamer"!

#1 Big Ben Fan
08-21-2009, 12:07 AM
Urbik was actually very solid in pass-pro against the Cards. Ok it was against 2nd-3rd string guys but he wasn't as terrible as some are making him out to be. He did get knocked on his but twice but he is a rookie and that will happen at times but two times out of 29 snaps isn't bad.

Urbik was consistently driving his man backwards and getting nice push in his run blocking. Rewatch the game if you can and focus on Urbik.

The kid will be alright and I think he will be future starter for this team.

revefsreleets
08-21-2009, 09:22 AM
He reminded me of Faneca...a lot. I didn't THINK my eyes deceived me so dramatically...

Perhaps he's just having a poor camp, as in practice-wise...

Fire Haley
08-21-2009, 09:37 AM
So if he's a bum, cut him and move on.


I got no reason to defend him.

Steel Head
08-21-2009, 09:39 AM
So if he's a bum, cut him and move on.


no way, not a 3rd rounder with high potential

Fire Haley
08-21-2009, 09:47 AM
High potential? What does that even mean?

Potential bust or potential pro-bowler - all draft picks have that potential.

mmalone
08-21-2009, 10:10 AM
High potential? What does that even mean?

Potential bust or potential pro-bowler - all draft picks have that potential.

he forgot the :rolleyes:

Steelerfreak58
08-21-2009, 10:16 AM
He is 22 years old and a third round pick. Did ANYONE believe he was going to be a starter on this team right out of college? He has plenty of time to learn the system and get into a more comfortable role. Why do so many expect these kids to come straight out of college and start contending with proven pro's? Who have the Steelers started in the last 10 years straight out of college? I am betting the list is extremely small. The only one I can think of right now is Miller. Ben got the nod his rookie year but it was because of injuries not because he flat out dazzled anyone.

mmalone
08-21-2009, 10:31 AM
He is 22 years old and a third round pick. Did ANYONE believe he was going to be a starter on this team right out of college? He has plenty of time to learn the system and get into a more comfortable role. Why do so many expect these kids to come straight out of college and start contending with proven pro's? Who have the Steelers started in the last 10 years straight out of college? I am betting the list is extremely small. The only one I can think of right now is Miller. Ben got the nod his rookie year but it was because of injuries not because he flat out dazzled anyone.

it is amazing.... these guys are more brutal than our coaches around here. 5 plays and your out of here.. :banging:

usually the RB's and FB's have the best shot at starting of all rookies players.
Injuries play a big part in most of the other rookie starts.

if the OC really thinks he needs a hole filled, he would get a quality FA veteran in here wouldnt he?

Fire Haley
08-21-2009, 10:39 AM
This is a SB roster of 53 guys - we got no room for "projects" except on the practice squad.

Next.

fansince'76
08-21-2009, 10:40 AM
Why do so many expect these kids to come straight out of college and start contending with proven pro's?

Thank you. And not only are they expected to start, they're expected to play at an all-world/future HoFer level right out of the chute as well, or they're immediately labeled as "busts."

The_WARDen
08-21-2009, 10:59 AM
Even the very good ones have rocky starts sometimes...

Jon Runyan OT for the Titans/Eagles told of his first game action when the Titans threw him in against Simeon Rice in a preseason game.

1st play: Rice bullrushed him and pushed him back into the QB.
2nd play: He planted firm and Rice did a swim move and went right by him.
3rd play: His head was swimming, and Rice went right by him again.
They punted.

On his way to the bench, he said Fisher yelled at him - "Welcome to the NFL!"

Steel Head
08-21-2009, 11:24 AM
High potential? What does that even mean?

Potential bust or potential pro-bowler - all draft picks have that potential.

they aren't going to cut a freakin 3rd round pick

not all draft picks have the that potential. Urbik was drafted high because he has more potential, if he didn't he would have been drafted lower or not drafted

Steel Head
08-21-2009, 11:25 AM
This is a SB roster of 53 guys - we got no room for "projects" except on the practice squad.

Next.

we did last year (Bruce Davis)

X-Terminator
08-21-2009, 11:25 AM
He is 22 years old and a third round pick. Did ANYONE believe he was going to be a starter on this team right out of college? He has plenty of time to learn the system and get into a more comfortable role. Why do so many expect these kids to come straight out of college and start contending with proven pro's? Who have the Steelers started in the last 10 years straight out of college? I am betting the list is extremely small. The only one I can think of right now is Miller. Ben got the nod his rookie year but it was because of injuries not because he flat out dazzled anyone.

You are, of course, correct. But with much of Stiller Nation, patience is NOT a virtue. He's got to be a superstar right away, or he's a bust. Nevermind that he has to adjust to life at the pro level, learn the playbook, adjust to the speed/strength/savvy of established NFL players, etc. Means nothing to them.

Every draft pick, especially a high-round (1-3) pick, should get a mulligan in his first season, whether he ends up playing right away or not. At least, that's the way I feel. His second year should be when you can start to see some signs of improvement and get a little bit of an idea of what you have. The third year is his make-or-break year - either he performs at an acceptable level his talent dictates, or the "B" word starts getting thrown around. I keep bringing up Troy and how many of the fans called him a bust after his rookie season, but I'm going to keep pointing to it as much as I can, because it's a glaring example of how many in The Nation have very little patience with it comes to high draft picks.

Nadroj 20
08-21-2009, 11:33 AM
Just becasue he is a third rounder doesnt mean ANYTHING im not saying he will get cut and im not saying i think he should,,,, but if hes not preforming well and they want to cut him they arent going to say " O WE DRAFTED HIM IN THE 3RD ROUND WE CANT CUT HIM"

Indo
08-21-2009, 11:46 AM
You are, of course, correct. But with much of Stiller Nation, patience is NOT a virtue. He's got to be a superstar right away, or he's a bust. Nevermind that he has to adjust to life at the pro level, learn the playbook, adjust to the speed/strength/savvy of established NFL players, etc. Means nothing to them.

Every draft pick, especially a high-round (1-3) pick, should get a mulligan in his first season, whether he ends up playing right away or not. At least, that's the way I feel. His second year should be when you can start to see some signs of improvement and get a little bit of an idea of what you have. The third year is his make-or-break year - either he performs at an acceptable level his talent dictates, or the "B" word starts getting thrown around. I keep bringing up Troy and how many of the fans called him a bust after his rookie season, but I'm going to keep pointing to it as much as I can, because it's a glaring example of how many in The Nation have very little patience with it comes to high draft picks.

:iagree:

Fire Haley
08-21-2009, 12:41 PM
they aren't going to cut a freakin 3rd round pick



That's what Fred Gibson said too....OK he was a 4th rounder, but it's close.

SteelMember
08-21-2009, 01:08 PM
This is a SB roster of 53 guys - we got no room for "projects" except on the practice squad.

Next.

Are you just pullin' our chain. We carry "projects" every year because you can't "hide" people on the practice squad.

Just because they're not "starters" doesn't mean they're not players. They will all get they're time to prove themselves. Some are just running out. :noidea:

Just a few from last year. Almost 1/5 of the roster.

Dallas Baker
Jason Capizzi
Bruce Davis
Dennis Dixon
Tony Hills
Roy Lewis
Anthony Madison
Jeremy Parquet
Scott Paxson

steelreserve
08-21-2009, 01:12 PM
Are you just pullin' our chain. We carry "projects" every year because you can't "hide" people on the practice squad.

Just because they're not "starters" doesn't mean they're not players. They will all get they're time to prove themselves. Some are just running out. :noidea:

Just a few from last year. Almost 1/5 of the roster.

Dallas Baker
Jason Capizzi
Bruce Davis
Dennis Dixon
Tony Hills
Roy Lewis
Anthony Madison
Jeremy Parquet
Scott Paxson

Yeah, but now most of those guys are still around AND we're trying to fit in a whole new draft class. There aren't enough roster spots for everyone, so something's got to give.

SteelMember
08-21-2009, 02:57 PM
Granted. and that's why I prefaced it by saying time is running out for some. A guy like Baker either shows it this year, or he gets cut. There is always a shuffle of players, but imo they usually get their rookie contract to prove themselves. (i.e. Anthony Smith) I believe Hills has one more year, but a guy like Madison, with the pair of new CB's drafted, may be expendable.

This dicussion started with the seemlingly disappointing camp Urbik has had. I think it's way too early to determine his payoff on the investment. My point was he will get the same oppornitunity as the guys I listed. Don't give up on a guy because of drills and a single pre-season game.

mmalone
08-21-2009, 03:01 PM
Are you just pullin' our chain. We carry "projects" every year because you can't "hide" people on the practice squad.

Just because they're not "starters" doesn't mean they're not players. They will all get they're time to prove themselves. Some are just running out. :noidea:

Just a few from last year. Almost 1/5 of the roster.

Dallas Baker
Jason Capizzi
Bruce Davis
Dennis Dixon
Tony Hills
Roy Lewis
Anthony Madison
Jeremy Parquet
Scott Paxson

out of the 53 are there not some of the 53 that are inactive during a game???

SteelMember
08-21-2009, 03:09 PM
out of the 53 are there not some of the 53 that are inactive during a game???

Yes. 45 for game day.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/24/sports/pro-football-nfl-roster-now-53-45-on-game-day.html

mmalone
08-21-2009, 03:17 PM
Yes. 45 for game day.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/24/sports/pro-football-nfl-roster-now-53-45-on-game-day.html

ok, so we basically carry 8 extra rookies... game in and game out.

steelreserve
08-21-2009, 03:18 PM
Granted. and that's why I prefaced it by saying time is running out for some. A guy like Baker either shows it this year, or he gets cut. There is always a shuffle of players, but imo they usually get their rookie contract to prove themselves. (i.e. Anthony Smith) I believe Hills has one more year, but a guy like Madison, with the pair of new CB's drafted, may be expendable.

This dicussion started with the seemlingly disappointing camp Urbik has had. I think it's way too early to determine his payoff on the investment. My point was he will get the same oppornitunity as the guys I listed. Don't give up on a guy because of drills and a single pre-season game.

I think you pretty much nailed it.

It's pretty rare that you can tell whether a guy is going to be a bust after one season, let alone one game. If it's a sixth- or seventh-round pick, maybe you have to make that decision because the numbers don't let you gamble a roster spot on them ... but you probably weren't counting on those guys too heavily anyway. If we saw something in Urbik (or Hills, Davis, Mendenhall or whoever), I say the longer you can give them to prove or disprove it without, the better. As long as it doesn't drag on so long that they're Duceing a roster spot, it won't hurt us.

SteelMember
08-21-2009, 03:20 PM
ok, so we basically carry 8 extra rookies... game in and game out.

I'm not sure where your going with this, but yes.

Just as there are 8 rookies on the practice squad.
Difference is, another team can't sign a player off your 53 man roster.

and I use the word rookie loosly here. I believe it's about years in the league and game day roster appearances.

Steel Head
08-21-2009, 03:25 PM
ok, so we basically carry 8 extra rookies... game in and game out.

most are rookies not necessarily all 8

that's where Urbik will be stashed and probably Foster too and maybe also whichever center they keep (Legursky / Shipley). They can keep Stapleton active for a backup guard and center and also keep a backup tackle active

mmalone
08-21-2009, 03:27 PM
most are rookies not necessarily all 8

i get it, mostly the 1st year 2nd year and rookies as a reserve...

SteelMember
08-21-2009, 03:31 PM
I needed to check this anyway.

Players Can Prove their Worth on Eight-Man Squad
August 18, 2008
Email to a Friend › | Print page ›

As previously reported, Monday, August 25, 2008, looms large on the calendars of hundreds of players around the league trying to make NFL rosters. This is the date that clubs must reduce their rosters from 80 to 75 players. Four days later, on Sunday, August 30, clubs must reduce their roster yet again to the regular roster limit of 53 players. While many players will surely be disappointed when they learn they’ve been cut, a group of them will be allowed to sign to a club’s practice squad to help their team and hopefully improve their skills to NFL caliber.

On Monday, August 31, the day after the final pre-season cut-down, each club may establish a practice squad of no more than eight players, who are considered free agents. These are players who do not have more than nine games on the active list in a previous season and who have not served on a practice squad more than two previous seasons.

“Practice squads give young players a chance to improve their skill level by practicing against the regular roster players during the regular season,” said NFLPA Staff Counsel and Regional Director Tom DePaso. “They gain valuable experience that may allow them to ultimately make a regular roster later that year or in subsequent years.” As regular roster players become injured during the long NFL season, many clubs call upon their practice squad players to come in and fill the void created by the injured players.

Although they earn less than regular roster players, practice squad players still earn a minimum of $5,200 per week, including the playoff weeks. In addition, a player signed to a practice squad contract with one NFL club is completely free to sign a contract and play on the 53-man active-inactive list of any NFL club, not just his practice squad club. So the player remains a free agent for purposes of signing an NFL contract.

For young players, the practice squad keeps alive their hope of making an NFL roster.

From a pretty good source...
http://www.nflplayers.com/user/content.aspx?fmid=178&lmid=443&pid=1766&type=n&weigh=443,0,1766,n

revefsreleets
08-21-2009, 04:15 PM
Huh...I thought it was six games. And I see they raised the minimum...

pancake
08-21-2009, 04:19 PM
NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rookie class impressing, with one exception
As noted, at least in part, in my last post, the Steelers rookie class is looking like one of its best in quite some time.

It's early, of course, but defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Sonny Harris, wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett, tight end David Johnson and center A.Q. Shipley look like players who from this draft class who can contribute if not immediately, then down the road.

Add in impressive rookie free agent signings Ramon Foster and Isaac Redman, and you have what could be a very strong group.

The one disappointment? Guard Kraig Urbik, a third-round pick.

In the moments following the draft, when the Steelers brass spoke about this draft class, Urbik was the one guy who was pointed to that they felt had a chance to push for a starting job.

Right now, he's barely pushing for a roster spot.

The former Wisconsin star has looked tentative in one-on-one blocking drills. And he didn't seem to get a lot of push in the first preseason game against Arizona.

If Urbik fails to materialize as a player – and I'm not writing him off yet – the Steelers will almost be forced to spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman in 2010.

Of course that was said the past two offseasons as well and the team hasn't made that move yet.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 5:13 PM 6 comments Links to this post

I hope so...

steelreserve
08-21-2009, 04:26 PM
most are rookies not necessarily all 8

that's where Urbik will be stashed and probably Foster too and maybe also whichever center they keep (Legursky / Shipley). They can keep Stapleton active for a backup guard and center and also keep a backup tackle active

I don't know if we could put Urbik there without someone snatching him. I'll bet the list of guys who end up on the practice squad depends a lot on who we think we can get away with putting there without losing them. I'd say for our borderline guys, it's roughly

Safe
Shipley
Legursky
Hills
Redman
D. Johnson
R. Harris
Mundy

Risky
Summers
Urbik
Wallace
Lewis
Burnett

Foster could go in either category depending on how much more buzz he generates. It's probably a moot point, since if he does well enough to be "risky," he'll probably have made the team.

MasterOfPuppets
08-21-2009, 04:26 PM
Huh...I thought it was six games. And I see they raised the minimum...

National Football League

Each NFL team may keep up to eight members on their "practice squad" in addition to their 53-member main roster. They consist mostly of rookies who were cut in training camps and borderline NFL-caliber players. Both rookies and young veterans are eligible for the practice squad. However, a player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons, or if he has accrued a year of NFL experience (six or more games on a club's 53-man active roster or official Injured Reserve list.)

Practice squad players practice alongside regular roster players during the week, but they are not allowed to play in actual games. They can be paid considerably less than active squad players: The minimum salary from 2008 to 2010 is $5,200 per week (2008-2010)[1] for 17 weeks, or $88,400 per season, in comparison to the NFL minimum rookie salary of $285,000. (Some practice squad players are paid considerably more, however. In 2006, the New England Patriots paid third-year player Billy Yates the full $425,000 he would have earned on the active roster.)[2]

Players can be promoted to the active roster of their current team or to that of any other team. They have free agent status and can sign with any team they wish without compensation to the original team. Additionally, the NFL has a program through which foreign players may be assigned to teams' practice squads, called the International Practice Squad Program.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_team

revefsreleets
08-21-2009, 04:31 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_team
I'm going to trust the nfl players site over wikipedia.

MasterOfPuppets
08-21-2009, 04:48 PM
I'm going to trust the nfl players site over wikipedia.good choice...

Back again, for yet another installment of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Today being September 3rd, it only seems right to go over the “practice squad” section, since practice squads were chosen on September 2nd. So, without further adieu, lets cover Article XXXIV of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, entitled “Practice Squads”.

Section 1. Practice Squads:
(a) The League may elect in any League Year in accordance with this Article to establish practice squads not to exceed eight (8) players per Club. The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season.

(b) The League may elect to allow some or all Clubs to add to their practice squads one additional player, who shall not count against the limit above, whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and its Territories (“International Player”). The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season. Such International Players shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment that apply to other practice players except that they (1) may not, during the
term of their practice player contract, negotiate or sign an NFL Player Contract with any Club; and (2) may not practice with any Club following the last Conference Championship Game unless both Conference Championship teams have such a player. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 below, such
International Player shall be eligible to serve on a Practice Squad for three additional seasons after the completion of the player’s year(s) as an International Player. As set forth in Article XXXIV, Section 3, the weekly salary for such international players shall not be included in the employing Club’s Team Salary and shall be deducted from the calculation of the Salary Cap in the same manner as any Player Benefit.

This first section is pretty straightforward. Subsection (a) outlines the maximum number of players allowed to be on an NFL practice squad (8), and states that the number of players chosen to be on a practice squad by the league can very from year to year regardless of what happened the previous year.

Subsection (b) allows a club, if the league has elected to grant this privilege to the clubs, to choose an international player to add to their respective practice squads. These international players, which do not count towards the practice club limit set for the season, are not allowed to sign an NFL player contract with ANY club, and they aren’t allowed to practice past the conference championship game unless both super bowl teams have an international player. Furthermore, any practice squad players that are international players do not lose any of their practice squad eligibility (discussed in section 4), and their weekly salary shall not be included in the club’s team salary.

Section 2. Signing With Other Clubs:
(a) Any player under contract to a Club as a practice squad player shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club at any time during the League Year, to serve as a player on any Club’s Active or Inactive List, and any Club is completely free to negotiate and sign such a Player Contract
with such player, without penalty or restriction, including, but not limited to, Draft Choice Compensation between Clubs or First Refusal Rights of any kind, or any signing period, except that such player shall not be permitted to sign a Player Contract with another Club to serve as a practice squad player while under contract as a practice squad player.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a) above, a practice squad player may not sign an NFL Player Contract with his Club’s next opponent later than 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (except in bye weeks, when the prohibition commences on the tenth day preceding the game).

Subsection (a) allows a practice squad player to sign with any NFL club, without any restrictions, so long as the player is not signed to another club’s practice squad (they must be added to the active or inactive roster).

Notwithstanding subsection (a) above, a practice squad player is not allowed to sign a contract with a club’s next opponent later than 4:00 p.m. New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (note the bye week exception)

Section 3. Salary: Minimum salary for a practice squad player shall be $4,700 per week for the 2006-07 League Years, $5,200 per week for the 2008-10 League Years and the 2011 League Year if it is an Uncapped Year, and $5,700 per week for the 2011 League Year if it is a Capped Year and the 2012 League Year, including postseason weeks in which his Club is in the playoffs.

This section just outlines the salaries for practice squad players.

Section 4. Eligibility:
(a) The practice squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a practice squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.

(b) A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club’s physical and been a member of the club’s Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his
third Practice Squad season. (A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)

Sub-section (a) outlines the type of player that is eligible to become a practice squad player (note: an “accrued season” is a season in which a player is not on (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a non-football injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice or Development Squad, and they are able to receive a salary for at least six (6) regular season games)

Subsection b states the guidelines for determining whether or not a player has served a year as a practice squad player.

Section 5. Active List: If a player on the Practice Squad of one club (Club A) signs an NFL Player Contract with another club (Club B), (1) the player shall receive three weeks salary of his NFL Player Contract at the 53-player Active/Inactive List minimum even if he is terminated by Club B prior to earning that amount, and (2) Club B is required to count the player on its 53-player Active/Inactive List for three games (a bye week counts as a game) even if he is terminated or assigned via waivers to another club or is signed as a free agent to another club’s 53-player roster or another club’s Practice Squad prior to that time. If the player is terminated from Club B’s 53-player roster and signed to Club B’s Practice Squad, he shall continue to count on the club’s 53-player Active/Inactive List but shall not count against the eight-player Practice Squad limit until the three-game requirement has been fulfilled. If a player is terminated prior to the completion of the three-game period and is signed to Club B’s Practice Squad or is signed or assigned to another club’s 53-player roster or Practice Squad, any salary (as that term is defined in Article XXIV, Section 1(c)) that he receives from any NFL club applicable to the three-game period shall be an offset against the three weeks salary that he is entitled to receive from Club B.

Section 5 deals with the treatment of practice squad players that are later signed to an NFL club. If a club (club B) signs a player off of the practice squad of another team (club A) then the player must receive 3 weeks salary and be counted towards club B’s active/inactive 53 man roster even if they’re terminated before the 3 week period has past.

If the player is not terminated, but is instead signed to club B’s practice squad, they will still count towards a club’s active/inactive roster until the 3 week period has past. The last couple of sentences, dealing with salary are just there to ensure that a player that is signed to any NFL club is entitled to receive 3 weeks and only 3 weeks salary, regardless of the team or team(s) it comes from.


http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/sports-agent-news/c838d3924ba74e515047a1f9981bde56

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-21-2009, 05:04 PM
This is SO FUNNY. :rofl: you guys are calling to cut Urbik because of ............Dale Lolley??? :screwy:

Did anybody actually watch Urbik play in the game last week???

The kid started 4 seasons at Wisconsin, so he is no 1 year wonder. He consistently impressed Mike Mayock Senior Bowl week as noted by this quote:

NFL Network analysts Mike Mayock and Charles Davis were asked which players stood out to them, and Urbik was the second player Mayock mentioned. ``I think he's shown well this week,'' Mayock said.
http://www.badgerbeat.com/blog/blog/id/434048

Urbik was stopping Ziggy Hood in senior bowl practice and drew this praise from Walterfootball.com reporting on the event:
In the 1v1 battles going on at the North end zone, Ziggy Hood continued to dominate, but not if Kraig Urbik had anything to say about it. Urbik handled Hood's spin well and stood him up and displayed a nasty demeanor.

The fact that everybody is overreacting about a rookie 3rd rounder not transitioning seamlessly as reported by Dale Lolley is laughable and retarded.

MasterOfPuppets
08-21-2009, 05:13 PM
This is SO FUNNY. :rofl: you guys are calling to cut Urbik because of ............Dale Lolley??? :screwy:

Did anybody actually watch Urbik play in the game last week???

.
there's no way urbik would be cut anyway. .. remember bruce davis didn't exactly impress last year ...guys in the first 3 rds usually get a a mulligan. the only way urbik would get cut is if they feel the the other guys competing for the position are showing too much promise to sacrifice for urbik.

mmalone
08-21-2009, 05:14 PM
Did anybody actually watch Urbik play in the game last week???.


Not sure what some people watch.

i watch the game 4 times..

i paid attention to: Hood for a game, then Lewis and Burnett, madison

then wallace, mcdonald, summers, redman, vincent, mchugh, davis.

4th time i watched shipley alot. he was holding his own.

i didnt watch urbik as close. these are all new guys, i dont know what anyone expects.

like i said before, usually only the RB's and FB's have a good chance at starting in the nfl.

on our team this year it will only be the FB.. honeslty what other position do we have that needs a starter right now. Guard?

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-21-2009, 05:58 PM
there's no way urbik would be cut anyway. .. remember bruce davis didn't exactly impress last year ...guys in the first 3 rds usually get a a mulligan. the only way urbik would get cut is if they feel the the other guys competing for the position are showing too much promise to sacrifice for urbik.

Funny thing is............if anybody watched Urbik play vs the Cardinals and Max Starks play in the same game. They would say Urbik outplayed Starks and Starks should be cut. :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-21-2009, 06:04 PM
Not sure what some people watch.

i watch the game 4 times..

i paid attention to: Hood for a game, then Lewis and Burnett, madison

then wallace, mcdonald, summers, redman, vincent, mchugh, davis.

4th time i watched shipley alot. he was holding his own.

i didnt watch urbik as close. these are all new guys, i dont know what anyone expects.

like i said before, usually only the RB's and FB's have a good chance at starting in the nfl.

on our team this year it will only be the FB.. honeslty what other position do we have that needs a starter right now. Guard?

Malone, I like line play and therefore watched Hood, Harris, McLendon and all of our O linemen quite a bit and rewound it on my DVR. Sonny Harris really impressed me on D.

Of the rookie O linemen, Shipley did what he does, play well against a 4 man front and got to the upfield shoulder of the DT to seal him off. I still want to see Ship against a legit NT.

Urbik did a nice job of recognizing twists and blitzes. He also did a good job with combination blocks where he blocks the DT with Shipley and then leaves that DT for Ship while scraping to the 2nd level to get a LB. He's no where near as bad as Lolley makes him out to be.

Ramon Foster pulled decently and arrives with mass and aggression. Again, he could be another Keydrick Vincent UDFA find and might still make it to the PS if not the 53 man roster, but I think with Stapleton, Essex, Legursky, Urbik......its gonna be tough for him to make it.

Texasteel
08-21-2009, 09:07 PM
Funny thing is............if anybody watched Urbik play vs the Cardinals and Max Starks play in the same game. They would say Urbik outplayed Starks and Starks should be cut. :chuckle:

I think we've been hearing that for a couple years now.

MasterOfPuppets
08-21-2009, 10:15 PM
I think we've been hearing that for a couple years now.
and it still rings true today.....:doh:

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-21-2009, 11:12 PM
I don't know if we could put Urbik there without someone snatching him. I'll bet the list of guys who end up on the practice squad depends a lot on who we think we can get away with putting there without losing them. I'd say for our borderline guys, it's roughly

Safe
Shipley
Legursky
Hills
Redman
D. Johnson
R. Harris
Mundy

Risky
Summers
Urbik
Wallace
Lewis
Burnett

Foster could go in either category depending on how much more buzz he generates. It's probably a moot point, since if he does well enough to be "risky," he'll probably have made the team. That guy has shown way too much to be a possibility for the PS as a ton of teams would put in a waiver request. He's just about locked down a spot on the roster.

devilsdancefloor
08-22-2009, 01:03 AM
wow how long have some of you been fans of the steelers? We ALWAYS keep several "potential" guys around. Im shocked Urbik will be a starter maybe noit this year, but he will. He is a freak road grader and plays with a nasty streak other words like a steeler OL.:tt03::tt03::tt03: