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mesaSteeler
06-08-2012, 06:40 PM
Ed: No Hope for Steelers
Friday, 08 June 2012 16:31
Written by Ed Bouchette
http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/116679-ed-no-hope-for-steelers

Good morning,
Some stuff as we close the books until training camp:

--- There have been a few “phenoms” during these OTAs, players such as rookies Sean Spence, Chris Rainey and Marquis Maze. Let’s remember what these spring practices are, however. There have been such spring hits in the past – Mr. May, I would call them – only to disappear in August. However, that does not take away from what they have done and they may well continue doing it in August and beyond. But way too much emphasis has been put on these practices by, yes, us, who at times became all aTwitter over the smallest nuggets from these drills in shorts.

--- The same rules apply for minicamp practices as they do for OTAs, except they are permitted to have two each next Tuesday and Wednesday. No pads, no contact, shorts again.

--- Sean Kugler wants to keep Marucs Gilbert at right tackle and not have to go to him in the middle of training camp and tell him he’s now a left tackle. That will depend on two things: If rookie Mike Adams can show immediately that he belongs at left tackle and if not, then if Max Starks is ready and available by then. If neither of those work, then Gilbert will play left tackle and a reason they put him there at times this spring.
--- I was assured again yesterday that the deal with No. 1 pick David DeCastro will get done. There’s a logjam around the low to mid 20s from the draft order as agents try to get more money guaranteed. It’s virtually the only thing they have to haggle over. DeCastro will be here Monday to start minicamp Tuesday and he will be signed long before the start of training camp.

--- Troy Smith brought his Heisman Trophy to the facility the other day. It’s heavier than I thought it would be. Yes, I lifted it and someone managed to take a photo of me doing so. It will go next to the one of me at the White House.

--- Dick LeBeau on the injuries to outside linebackers James Harrison (he says a muscle, Keith Butler said fluid on the knee) and Jason Worilds (left wrist that Worilds said had “cleanup” surgery): “I’m not concerned because there’s nothing serious. I would be concerned if it might be but I think they’ll all be up and ready to go in training camp. We can use them here now but we can sure use them there a lot more.”

--- LeBeau mentioned the two draft picks from last season at cornerback, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen yesterday when I asked him about the competition at left cornerback. He even mentioned other “young” cornerbacks, although not by name. He did not refer to Keenan Lewis. I don’t know what that means, maybe nothing because he wasn’t asked directly about Lewis. Anyway, LeBeau revealed what he thinks about spring practices when I asked him if he would rotate the candidates at corner during training camp:

“We’ll wait until we get there to see if it merits rotation. If one guy is establishing himself, he’ll be the guy. But they’ll all actually be getting a lot of snaps. I don’t think you can do that in a coaching session, although I’ve been pleased with our young corners and the way they’re handling our defense.”

--- Keith Butler reminded us of something when he spoke yesterday, that he’s never had a rookie start since he’s been coaching the Steelers linebackers. Butler came here in 2003. The last rookie linebacker to start? Kendrell Bell, 2001. All he did was earn NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and then flame out.

--- Thank you for all your contributions for our Guest Slogs. We will try to run all of them between now and training camp. Those will not be the only items that appear here this summer, though. Staff contributions, including ones from Gerry Dulac starting next week, will be prevalent.

--- YOU: You’ve mentioned repeatedly that you expect Cameron Heyward to push for the starting job, particularly Ziggy Hood’s spot. Are the Steeler’s disappointed with Hoods progress or does Heyward possess more natural ability?

ME: As No. 1 draft picks with one starting job open, they will put the best man there. Heyward is the more natural defensive end at 6 feet 5 compared to the 6-3 Hood. They will lean on performance, however, and ultimately both look like bookend starters because Brett Keisel, who turns 34 Sept. 19, cannot play forever.

--- YOU: We keep hearing how impressed the coaches are with various players (C. Allen, C. Brown, S. Spence and C. Rainey) during OTA’s. Aren’t the coaches usually more reserved in praising young players during “Football in Shorts Workouts”, aka OTAs? Since the organization/coaches are being less reserved when commenting about various players during OTA’s, does this indicate a heightened expectation on the part of the coaches about the ability of the various players mentioned?

ME: Mike Tomlin is the one who usually is reserved and we don’t hear as much from the assistants anymore because there seems an effort to keep their comments as few as possible, which is working. (It still amazes me that Chuck Noll was able to lead his team to four Super Bowls while allowing his assistant coaches to speak freely whenever they wished.) I don’t know that anyone has gone overboard with praise for the young players. For example, when he was asked about Rainey on Wednesday, Todd Haley gave a virtual nod and then went on to talk about other players, even though Rainey has been one of the hits of this spring. But Dick LeBeau and Keith Butler did throw some praise to some young players yesterday without apparently worrying it would go to their heads and they would crumble under the weight of all those expectations.

--- YOU: Is there any chance that the Steelers could/would bring back safety Chris Hope at the minimum veteran salary[I always liked his play] or did he burn his bridges when he left?

ME: No bridges burned, but I think they are happy with what they have at safety. He is 31 and a free agent. He last played for the Steelers seven years ago and they have not had great success bringing former players back recently other than Larry Foote.So, let's say Nope to Hope.

--- In closing, for entertainment purposes only:
Las Vegas, Nevada (June 5, 2012) - from RJ Bell of Pregame.com
Current Vegas odds – Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl odds: 18 to 1 ($100 wins $1,800)
Tied for 7th best odds (Packers favored at 6 to 1)
Click here to see complete list of Super Bowl odds

AFC Conference Title odds: 9.5 to 1 ($100 wins $950)
Ranked 5th best odds (Patriots favored at 3 to 1)

AFC North odds: 1.5 to 1 ($100 wins $150)
(Ravens favored at $100 to win $120)

Season Wins:

How many games will Steelers win this season?
You can bet over/under: 10.5 wins

Steelers are currently favored in 12 games.
(Steelers are NOT favored by over a touchdown in any game)

Spreads on individual Steelers games:
WEEK #1 Pittsburgh Steelers (+2) at Denver Broncos
WEEK #2 New York Jets (+4.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #3 Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Oakland Raiders
WEEK #4 BYE
WEEK #5 Philadelphia Eagles (+1) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #6 Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) at Tennessee Titans
WEEK #7 Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
WEEK #8 Washington Redskins (+7) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #9 Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at New York Giants
WEEK #10 Kansas City Chiefs (+7) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #11 Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #12 Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) at Cleveland Browns
WEEK #13 Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at Baltimore Ravens
WEEK #14 San Diego Chargers (+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #15 Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5) at Dallas Cowboys
WEEK #16 Cincinnati Bengals (+6) at Pittsburgh Steelers
WEEK #17 Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers No Line

steeltheone
06-09-2012, 01:12 AM
Heywood is need to spell keisel ....K is still awesome but very injury prone....The 3 make a great rotation.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-09-2012, 11:51 AM
Heywood is need to spell keisel ....K is still awesome but very injury prone....The 3 make a great rotation.

I think its going to be tough to keep Heyward off the field this season. Did you see the mention of the 6'5" Heyward being a more natural DE than the 6'3" Hood??......watch the "Sean Spence = the next Ray Lewis" fans come out of the woodwork in 3...2...1.....

Kingmagyar
06-10-2012, 11:51 AM
I think its going to be tough to keep Heyward off the field this season. Did you see the mention of the 6'5" Heyward being a more natural DE than the 6'3" Hood??......watch the "Sean Spence = the next Ray Lewis" fans come out of the woodwork in 3...2...1.....

Yeah but we are going to see the new and improved Ziggy this year based on what I'm hearing about his massive transformation. I am curious to see how he will do this year with the increased size and strength.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-10-2012, 06:13 PM
Yeah but we are going to see the new and improved Ziggy this year based on what I'm hearing about his massive transformation. I am curious to see how he will do this year with the increased size and strength.

Nothing like being in your contract year, with a 2nd year challenger for your position to motivate your offseason training.

If Hood turns out to be nothing more than a solid 2 gap DE, that will be fine. I do think Heyward will show he is better than Hood. The challenge is keeping them both around for several years under contract.