Gerry: Where are the players?
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:11
Written by Gerry Dulac
Well, it was an uneventful morning here at the Steelers offices, despite all the buzz about the lockout being lifted. Only two players reported for work, Ryan Clark and Charlie Batch, and they had good reason: Clark is the player rep and Batch is a member of the NFLPAís executive committee.
Clark stayed for about an hour, chatted with Coach Mike Tomlin, and left. Batch almost met with Tomlin and stayed a little longer, but that was it.
So much for Clark calling and texting players last night, urging them to report for work this morning.
Clark and Batch did not work out and team president Art Rooney II told me that the league has instructed teams to not conduct business as usual with the players
Some other thoughts:
If you ask me, any of the players who received a text message from Clark probably didnít like it. The last thing they want to do in April is report for work. Quietly, most hope the lockout in reinstated and lasts a lot longer.
For that reason, most of the players arenít in any hurry to get a settlement with the owners. Once they get closer to training camp, or even get to miss a week or two of camp, a deal will be done in a hurry.
Donít be surprised if the Steelers trade out of the first round to get another second-round pick and move up from No. 62. Two of the positions the team wants to identify in the draft Ė cornerback and offensive tackle Ė have players who might not be first-round picks but could go in the second round.
The Steelers wonít draft Pittís Jonathan Baldwin. They donít like him because he canít block.
The team wonít draft a wide receiver, something they always covet, until at least the third round. After Julio Jones and A.J. Green, the coaches think there is a big dropoff in talent at that position. They like Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, but, if they donít move up in the second, they donít think he will be available at No. 62.
I think the Steelers will take a tackle before a guard, despite what youíre hearing from draft experts and mock drafts. The team loves Florida C/G Mike Pouncey, but they think he will be long gone. And Baylor G Danny Watkins interests them, too. But they would rather have a tackle to provide depth for now.
BTW, don't forget today's chat at 1:30 p.m. EST. And you can also follow me on twitter @gerrydulac.