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|08-24-2009, 04:59 AM||#1|
The Virginia Hillbilly
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Galax Va
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Steelers Team Report
The Steelers have three players they believe are Pro Bowl-caliber, but none of the three are likely to make it anytime soon because their statistics just do not stack up with others at their positions.
They include cornerback Ike Taylor(notes), Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes(notes) and tight end Heath Miller(notes).
Taylor does not have enough interceptions and the other two not enough receptions. Taylor has 11 interceptions in his six-year career, partly because he has had trouble hanging onto the football when he gets his hands on it.
“I’d like to get to the Pro Bowl, at least one time,” said Taylor. “I got two rings and hopefully we can strive for the third one. My personal goal is to catch the ball and go to the Super Bowl.”
The Steelers do not use their tight ends as some teams do, and that hurts Miller in the Pro Bowl balloting. Eric Green(notes) set the record for a Steelers tight end with 63 receptions in 1993. Miller caught 48 passes last season, 47 the year before, and that might be the max for him.
That he is one of the better blockers at his position in the league won’t help him make the Pro Bowl because those spots usually go to the tight ends with the most receptions.
“That’s just kind of what the voting is based on,” Miller said. “I just try to focus on helping this team and being the best player I can.”
The Steelers showed what they think of Miller when they signed him to a six-year, $35.3 million contract the day before they reported to training camp.
For Santonio Holmes, it probably is more likely he would win another Super Bowl MVP before he makes the Pro Bowl. His 55 receptions ranked 29th in the AFC last season. Andre Johnson(notes) of Houston led the NFL with 115.
“He’s hungry,” Taylor said of Holmes. “He wants to be the best. He blocks. He does damn near just as good a job as Hines, just coming back and blocking, but he doesn’t get the credit for it.”
Holmes, Taylor and Miller may be All-Pros to their teammates, but they are not likely to make it official anytime soon.
Those Steelers who have made at least one Pro Bowl are Hines Ward(notes), Willie Parker(notes), Aaron Smith(notes), Ben Roethlisberger(notes), James Harrison(notes), James Farrior(notes), Casey Hampton(notes) and Troy Polamalu(notes).
Camp Calendar: The Steelers broke training camp and will practice at their facility in Pittsburgh, closed to the public.
• Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall(notes) played in their first football game together in 11 months on Saturday night against the Redskins in Washington. Parker was injured in the third game of last season and Mendenhall fractured his shoulder in the fourth game, his last of his rookie season.
It has not yet been determined how they will be used or how many carries each might get this season.
“It is what it is, man,” Parker said. “We’re going to do it, we’re going to do it, so just leave it at that.”
• The final week of training camp looked like a Colbert family reunion in Latrobe, Pa. While the Steelers practiced at Saint Vincent College under the watchful eye of Kevin Colbert, their director of football operations, his brother Bob Colbert was putting the Saint Vincent College Bearcats through drills as their head football coach. His Division III college team’s staff includes brother Bernie Colbert, his defensive coordinator, and Bob’s son Brett Colbert, their receivers coach.
“It’s kind of unique,” said Kevin Colbert. “We’re all in football and all working at the same time on the same campus.”
• Mike Tomlin was among the few sorry to see the Steelers close up shop on another training camp at Saint Vincent College.
“I wouldn’t mind being the Latrobe Steelers; we’ll play the whole season out here,” Tomlin said. “I love it. I don’t have to deal with the problems of life, I don’t have to take my trash out on Tuesdays or anything else. I just have my kids and my wife up a couple days a week and have dinner with them and then get back to business.”
• On the last morning of training camp, before the first of their final two practices that day, the Steelers were overjoyed to see five school buses pull onto campus and park. On past occasions, the sight of buses the day of a scheduled practice often meant the coach was giving them off and taking them to the movies instead.
Not this time. Coach Mike Tomlin ordered the buses, but put his team through practice and sent the buses home empty.
“Just a little mental warfare,” Tomlin said. “Sometimes, people have to be horribly disappointed then asked to perform.”
“That was a very cruel joke,” said tackle Max Starks(notes).
Quote To Note: “Shoot, he did it right, he missed all of training camp. I’m going to try that next year or something.” - Ben Roethlisberger on the comeback of Brett Favre(notes).
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Battle Of The Week: Isaac Redman vs. Frank Summers(notes) for rookie running back roster spot - Summers has been hurt (groin) and did not play in the second game while Redman continues to show he’s pretty good at short yardage, picking up a third-and-one conversion against Washington after making good on all three tries in a live goal-line drill against the first team defense early in the week.
Other Battle Fronts: Veteran Sean McDonald is looking more and more like the fifth wide receiver. … Rookie TE David Johnson(notes) is making his case as a blocker, although it will be hard for them to cut veteran Sean McHugh(notes) as the No. 3 man and the fullback. … OT Tony Hills(notes), trying to become the No. 1 backup, drew two pre-snap penalties Saturday night. … Doug Legursky(notes) vs. rookie A.Q. Shipley(notes) as the backup center/guard. Legursky made his second consecutive start, this time at left guard. He started at center the first game.
Player Of The Week: Tiny Stefan Logan, signed from the CFL, is trying to make the team as a specialist. While listed as a running back, he has to prove himself as a return man and he got that chance in a game for the first time Saturday in Washington and did well. He returned one kick 60 yards and another 45, and he returned four punts for an average of 12 yards.
Rookie Report: DE Ziggy Hood had his third sack in two games, getting two vs. Redskins to go with a tackle for loss and three hurries. … WR Mike Wallace(notes) played with the first team in Washington as the No. 3 receiver and caught two passes, including a big one on third downs. … CB Joe Burnett(notes) allowed a short TD pass over him and lost a fumbled punt. … TE David Johnson got an early chance at fullback and did well. … RB Frank Summers did not play and has not had many goal-line chances. … QB Mike Reilly saw his first game action and did better on the run (two carries, 25 yards) than passing (2 of 5, 17 yards).
Injury Report: The Steelers were concerned about a separated shoulder to No. 3 QB Dennis Dixon(notes) Saturday in Washington … Starting LG Chris Kemoeatu(notes) (ribs) did not play Saturday vs. the Redskins. … QB Ben Roethlisberger (foot) was also held out of the game. Neither injury is serious … G/C Darnell Stapleton(notes) remains out following knee surgery three weeks ago. … RB Mewelde Moore(notes) (hamstring) and RB Frank Summers (groin) did not dress in Washington.
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