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83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 05:29 AM
Colclough tackles crucial camp

By Joe Rutter
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, August 11, 2006


Ricardo Colclough had enough drops in practice that he may not handle kickoffs in the Steelers' exhibition opener against Arizona. He had enough muffs to keep him off the punt-return unit, too.

While second-year cornerback Bryant McFadden is pushing Deshea Townsend for a starting job, Colclough will head into his third NFL season firmly entrenched as the backup behind left corner Ike Taylor.

So, what was coach Bill Cowher doing praising Colclough and his training-camp contributions Thursday morning?

"He has competed very well, and he has started camp very well," Cowher said. "He obviously put too many balls on the ground catching punts, and I don't like to see that. But I like the way he's been out there. He's had a more consistent camp than he's had in years past.

"I'd like to see that translate into games. That will be a telling sign."

In his first audition Saturday, Colclough apparently will be limited to the defensive backfield. Cowher said yesterday that rookies Willie Reid and Santonio Holmes will be handling kickoff and punt returns.

Colclough returned 48 kickoffs in his first two seasons. He has only one career punt return, but he was the Steelers' first option behind Antwaan Randle El.

This year, it seems, Colclough will be given a chance to embrace a larger role in the Steelers' defense. Last year, he was used occasionally in passing-down packages.

"I'm hoping for better things, but I don't know what the role is for me," Colclough said. "I'll leave that in the hands of the coaches. I know they'll make the right decision."

In 2004, after drafting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first round, the Steelers used their second pick -- the 38th overall selection -- to take Colclough out of tiny Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn.

That was a year after Taylor was drafted in the fourth round out of a similarly small school -- Louisiana-Lafayette -- and a year before the Steelers plucked McFadden out of Florida State.

Taylor earned a starting job in his third season, and McFadden is poised to do it in his second. Colclough remains a backup, although that could change next season if Taylor departs via free agency.

Colclough is aware of what's at stake. He prepped for training camp by working out with a personal trainer in Orlando, Fla.

"That's why I came into this camp trying to position myself for better things," he said. "This is definitely an important year for me. It's my third year, and people are expecting big things from me. So am I. I have to go out there and do the things everyone expects me to do."

Like Cowher, defensive backs coach Darren Perry has also seen Colclough make progress during training camp.

"He has been a lot more consistent," Perry said. "He's still not there yet, and I'm sure he'll be the first to tell you that. But he's made tremendous strides from where he was last year at this point. He knows what we're looking for in terms of consistency, and he's working hard to do that."

Perry rattled off a list of areas in which Colclough has improved.

"Mental preparation, technique, focusing on every snap, finishing plays," he said. "It's attention to detail, the little things and understanding how to be a professional cornerback in this league as far as not breaking a play off and really going after it snap after snap and not having any mental lapses."

Colclough said he has a better grasp of the Steelers' defense than he did during his first two training camps.

"I know it pretty good this year and can concentrate on going out, working on my technique and playing football," he said.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_465620.html

83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 05:37 AM
As Chuck Noll used to say, if a player doesn't step it up by his third year you pretty much lost him. So what do we all think about our past second round pick Mr. Colclough? We tried him on kick returns and he had a very bad tendency of putting the ball on the ground.

With the exception of Cowher's recent comments, I have not heard his name mentioned in camp this year. I'm hoping to see this kid turn it around this year but I'm not holding my breath. He seemed completely lost out there last season. While I'm not ready to throw in the towel on Ricardo, he's going to have to step it up this season in order to prove to me he's worth being on this roster. Praise or no praise from Cowher.

BlackNGold203
08-11-2006, 06:12 AM
Agreed 83...I'm still not totally sold on him....I hope the lights go on and he turns it up this year....

19ward86
08-11-2006, 02:03 PM
ive been a fan of him since college, even if he doesnt become a premier corner in the league like he was supposed to become with his great hands i think he will be an excellent man for the pass defense packages.

83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 02:06 PM
ive been a fan of him since college, even if he doesnt become a premier corner in the league like he was supposed to become with his great hands i think he will be an excellent man for the pass defense packages.

From a second round pick getting paid fairly nice I would expect more than that out of him. I wouldn't be shocked to see him cut after this season if he doesn't step up to the plate and actually prove he can contribute to this team. Up to this point he hasn't shown me (and apparently the Steeler organization) very much if anything at all.

We have other players to pay who are actually stepping up to the plate big time or showing much promise for the future (Ike, McFadden, Ben, Troy, Starks, Williams). He keeps going at this rate, say good-bye to Coke.

floodcitygirl
08-11-2006, 02:14 PM
Excuse me please if this is a dumb question, but why would Cowher be so positive about him if he has played that badly? He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would just put out unearned praise.

83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 02:15 PM
No problem and it's not a dumb question at all. I believe Cowher was referring to how he looks in camp, not when it counts. That's why I stated if he doesn't step it up this season when it actually counts, how much longer do you keep him around?

floodcitygirl
08-11-2006, 02:24 PM
No problem and it's not a dumb question at all. I believe Cowher was referring to how he looks in camp, not when it counts. That's why I stated if he doesn't step it up this season when it actually counts, how much longer do you keep him around?Ok... thanks! I went back and reread it. It actually doesn't sound like he did all that great even in camp. Cowher must see something more in him....

83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 02:26 PM
Cowher must see something more in him....

Here's to hoping he's not seeing Chad Scott. :smile:

SteelCityMan786
08-11-2006, 02:32 PM
Ricardo's big one is here. Step up, or step aside

floodcitygirl
08-11-2006, 02:40 PM
Here's to hoping he's not seeing Chad Scott. :smile:Ok...now I get it! I admit it, I had to google it but I'm trying here folks....be patient with me! :smile:

83-Steelers-43
08-11-2006, 02:43 PM
Ok...now I get it! I admit it, I had to google it but I'm trying here folks....be patient with me! :smile:

When you google Chad Scott, you can either type his name or the word "toast". Both will give you all the information you need to know. :smile:

floodcitygirl
08-11-2006, 02:45 PM
When you google Chad Scott, you can either type his name or the word "toast". Both will give you all the information you need to know. :smile:Now you tell me! (lol)

83-Steelers-43
08-12-2006, 10:14 AM
Unfortunately, eight guys from 2003 have developed as reasonably high quality starters (Newman, Trufant, Tillman, Mathis, Wilson, McGee, Samuel and Taylor). Ricky Manning has started some too, as have Woolfolk, Davis, Asomugha, Florence and Groce. In that set, Taylor was the last drafted. So, as many as 14 starters, tho some haven't proved out. This doesn't count the S, except Wilson (who was a CB prospect). Won't count that spot below either.

7 starters in the class of 2004 including the top 4 drafted (Hall, Robinson, Batman and Gamble), then Spencer, with Vasher and Jason David being it for Day 2. Throw in Ratliff as a part-timer, similar to the 2nd set above. In sum: far less depth in the class of 2004; also, generally, less in size/speed when compared to 2003.

Colcough was the 5th CB drafted, between Gamble and Ratliff/Spencer. So far he's done the least of the top 7. FWIW, IMO, he didn't have a great Combine; not R2 good for sure. Ran around 4.5, jumped well but lifted in single digits, had average agilities and, possibly prefacing Perry's comments in the link, showed a distinctly subpar melon. Plus, the damn Colts drafted Bob Sanders with the pick the PS exchanged to move up for Colclough.

Gee, that went well. The kid has to start showing something this season.