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Old 07-26-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: ST's get new voice &attention

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"Coach Tomlin talked last night how special teams played a big part in the success of the Chicago Bears last year," linebacker Clark Haggans said. "That's why we had practice today. Special teams determines the outcome of two, three, four games that could get you in the playoffs or a playoff win or could get you to the Super Bowl."
im glad somebody has recognized this. i was hoping we could hire the bears ST coach after last season.

theres nothing like watching brian urlacher blaze past a returner and blow up a special team defender on a record setting return. (n. vasher- 108 yd return vs sf)
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: ST's get new voice &attention

Okay...

Tomlin is STILL doing everything right as far as I am concerned.

I LOVE the dedication to special teams. I can think of a game or two that we lost in playoffs because of special teams.

Remember that block that the Patriots picked up and ran the ball back for a TD?

Remember missed field goal against the Titans, when we ran into the kicker?
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Everyone, please Keep all Steelers Notebook Threads from Training Camp in this thread for discussion. Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Steelers Notebook: Holmes aching to get back to practice
Friday, July 27, 2007

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward knows all about missing portions of training camp with an injury. It happened to him last year when he injured his hamstring during camp and didn't play in any of the preseason games.

After a slow start to the regular season in which he caught 18 passes in the first five games, Ward said it wasn't until Week 6 in Atlanta that he started feeling fully healthy and ready to play at his four-time Pro Bowl level again.,

That's why he's hoping wide receiver Santonio Holmes, last year's No. 1 pick, out with an undisclosed injury, doesn't miss too much of training camp.

"It was difficult for me, the time I missed," Ward said. "This is where all the timing is developed, the regimen we're going through with two-a-days to get your body in shape. Last year, when I missed all of camp, my body never got going till right before the Atlanta game."

Holmes has not practiced since the start of camp because he is recovering from an undisclosed procedure that is non-football related. Yesterday, he stood in one spot of the practice field and caught one-handed passes with each hand from one of the conditioning coaches.

Afterward, he said he has "no idea" when he will return to practice, only that he has to "listen to the doctors, and if they say take time off, I have to take time off."

Holmes added, "It's very frustrating, knowing I have to sit out and can't help the team right now."

Big things are expected of Holmes this season after the way he finished 2006. In his final four games, he caught 16 passes for 320 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown pass in the season finale in Cincinnati. He also returned a punt 67 yards for a score against Carolina. By the end of the season, Holmes was splitting time with the team's starting split end, Cedrick Wilson.

"I'm more excited about getting more opportunities to help the team this year," Holmes said

Asked if the injury is a setback, he said, "I don't think so. I don't think having to sit out a couple days, a week, however many days it is, will set me back."

Imposter reaction

Tight end Jerame Tuman said he did not take any pleasure in seeing the man who impersonated him and several other Steelers players get sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation. But he is at least glad the ordeal is over.

Brian Jackson, 33, of Brentwood, pleaded guilty in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to one count of theft by deception and one count of identity theft after he impersonated Tuman and asked a woman to loan him $3,200 last year. In the past, Jackson has also passed himself off as Ben Roethlisberger and Brian St. Pierre.

"It's a shame," Tuman said. "If you ask me if I'm happy he went to jail, I don't know if I'm happy. But, hopefully, he gets on the right path."

Tuman, 31, said he was aware of two other incidents in which a person -- believed to be Jackson -- impersonated him, once at a South Side restaurant, another time in a leather shop. But, when he received a letter at training camp last year, saying he owed a woman $3,200, Tuman reported the matter to the team's head of security.

"That kinda caught me off guard," Tuman said. "It had no effect on me personally, other than the few places where he used my name."

Drill time

The Steelers have historically used a training-camp drill called backers on backers, where the running backs try to block rushing linebackers in one-on-one drills. But coach Mike Tomlin introduced a new version of the drill yesterday in which cornerbacks and safeties try to beat the running backs in one-on-one blocking drills.

"I play inside and I get to blitz a lot, so it's very beneficial for me," said cornerback Deshea Townsend, who plays nickel back in the team's sub packages. "I did all right. You win some, you lose some, but a lot of times you just try to get to the edge and apply pressure and force the quarterback to step up."

That, though, didn't stop Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu from plowing into fullback Dan Kreider and knocking him back into the "quarterback" in the best collision of the morning.

Some of the other standouts: S Anthony Smith twice beat RB Kevan Barlow before getting stood up by RB Willie Parker; Parker also popped Townsend before he could get to the edge; RB Najeh Davenport stuffed CB Bryant McFadden.

First-year free-agent RB Carey Davis, who is with his fifth NFL team in four years, performed so well in the drill that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians yelled after the drill, "He's 5-0."

Several players, such as CB Ike Taylor and FS Ryan Clark, did not participate in the drill because they rarely, if ever, blitz the quarterback in the team's defensive schemes.

"It lets them compete, see what some of those guys are made of," Tomlin said. "It presents a different challenge for the running backs than blocking linebackers. The linebackers are more power to speed. These guys are speed to power."

Quick hits

Right tackle Max Starks had the best stymie in the afternoon, twice stuffing rookie LB LaMarr Woodley on plays in the one-on-one pass-rush drill.

Davenport got behind LB Rian Wallace and caught a deep pass from Roethlisberger in the 11-on-11 drill.

The best hit of the afternoon belonged to Anthony Smith, who flattened WR Willie Reid after a catch on a slant pass. Reid held on to the ball.

The Steelers will hold two practices again today. The second will be 7 p.m. at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. A fireworks show presented by Zambelli International will follow at 9:20 p.m. Admission is $3 adults, $1 for seniors and children ages 12 to 17. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by a parent.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07208/804870-66.stm
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

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Right tackle Max Starks had the best stymie in the afternoon, twice stuffing rookie LB LaMarr Woodley on plays in the one-on-one pass-rush drill.
Nice to hear about Starks. Somebody who I'm not exactly comfortable with at RT, this news is better than no news at all. Hopefully he won't look like a cardboard cut out like much of last year.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Inside the ropes
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 27, 2007

Exploring all options

The Steelers didn't sign veteran quarterback Aaron Brooks, but management still sent a strong message to the players that no job is safe.

With the quarterback situation apparently set in stone with starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Charlie Batch, the Steelers still explored the possibility of bringing in Brooks, who played most recently with Oakland.

Although Brooks struggled with the Raiders and was known for his inconsistency when he played for New Orleans, the mere fact that the Steelers were even considering him is newsworthy.

With his long track record as a starter, there's no way that Brooks would have agreed to join the Steelers as the No. 3 quarterback (Brian St. Pierre currently holds that spot). Brooks would have wanted an opportunity to be the starter or at the very least the backup.

Knowing that, the Steelers still checked Brooks out. Either they really believed they had a chance of signing Brooks and that he could enhance their quarterback situation, or else they wanted to let their players know that they will continue to look to upgrade the roster.

Score one for Steelers management.

Back in the day

Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton and new quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson have a long history together. They were teammates with the Cincinnati Bengals in the early 1980s and were later assistant coaches together in Cincinnati. Now they're reunited with the Steelers.

"We've been together a long time. We played a couple of years, then we coached,'' said Horton, who is in his first season as Steelers defensive backs coach after serving the previous three seasons as assistant defensive backs coach. "This isn't anything new.''

In Cincinnati, Horton played defensive back. Anderson was the quarterback.

"It's so nice to have somebody that you're good friends with that's on the same staff,'' said Anderson, who's in his first season with the Steelers. "When you make a move, the football part's the easy part. The other part -- where am I going to live, how do I get around? -- that becomes the difficult part. To have a guy like Ray that you can lean on a little bit sure helps.''

Center stage

Coach Mike Tomlin said free agent Sean Mahan will compete with veteran Chukky Okobi at center, but Okobi continues to line up with the first team.

Despite the search for a replacement for the retired Jeff Hartings, agent Joe Linta believes Okobi will beat out Mahan. If he doesn't, Linta said, it won't be because Okobi, who is scheduled to earn around $2 million this season, makes too much money.

"The Steelers aren't that stupid. From a cap perspective, it's ridiculous,'' Linta said Thursday. "Together, Chukky and Mahan will earn less than what Hartings made last season. The Steelers can keep two quality centers for a lower cap number than last year.

"The Steelers will not cut Chukky Okobi for cap reasons. If he gets a fair shot, it's going to be very difficult to take him out of the starting lineup.''

Daily gems

Second-year safety Anthony Smith continued to impress yesterday. Smith was all but unstoppable during a morning blocking drill featuring defensive backs and running backs. In the afternoon, Smith blasted wide receiver Willie Reid to the turf following a reception. Even though defenders aren't supposed to tackle in 11-on-11 drills, Tomlin said he loves Smith's aggressiveness. ... Running back Carey Davis, who was impressive during morning blocking drills, is on the No. 1 punt coverage team. ... Before re-injuring his groin, rookie linebacker Lawrence Timmons made a diving, juggling interception against Batch.

He said it

Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker on improving his pass blocking: "That's something I'm really anticipating, blocking and being in more on third-down packages. That's what I trained myself for this offseason. That's what I'm going to do.''

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_519235.html
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Willie Reid is turning into a monster. That'll get in the heads of opposing WRs on slants & over the middle. Guy can hit! Needs to control his celebrations, though
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

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Willie Reid is turning into a monster. That'll get in the heads of opposing WRs on slants & over the middle. Guy can hit! Needs to control his celebrations, though
You mean Anthony Smith?

Speak of Reid, hats off to him for holding on to the ball. We saw what Smith did to Henry and Johnson last season. Good job by Reid. Hopefully he can stay healthy this year.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:13 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

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Nice to hear about Starks. Somebody who I'm not exactly comfortable with at RT, this news is better than no news at all. Hopefully he won't look like a cardboard cut out like much of last year.
i also read how he showed up to camp having lost alot of weight. seems him, okolbi, or simmons arent gonna just hand over their jobs.

how dare ed bouchette not inform us that ray horton was a bungle. you mean we had a bungle on the coaching staff all this time? bastard! im still not over k. anderson being hired

who is this care davis? i know nothing about him other than he is the next jerome bettis and better than john kuhn.

willie talks a good talk about having back up running backs in there to help carry the load, yet he still fights the fight to keep all of them off the field. (to me that is the most impressive thing so far in camp). willie will not give in, and desperately wants to be an elite 3 down back.

anthony smith... the steelers might as well give him a 6 year extension tomorrow. clark and hope are players that good teams like the cowboys and patriots would love to have. somebody like a. smith makes them expendable. amazing that clark could probably start on 25 other teams and may get pushed to the bench. could it possibly be like having lohn lynch in his prime in the same backfield as polamalu? sick.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:39 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Seems good we can keep both Okobi and Mahan, either can be a great backup, and Mahan could even be a backup on guard. Anthony Smith is getting lots of attention from Tomlin ,I can't wait till he names him the starter, I just hope he doesn't kill Willie Reid, we need him on the returns, and if he can really catch well we may have a good #5 receiver or something like that.
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