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Old 08-21-2007, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

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Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis

PITTSBURGH - The starting fullback last Saturday in Washington was rookie Matt Spaeth.

Spaeth, of course, a tight end, and that coincides with the direction new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians's is taking his offense.

However, Spaeth is not the reason eight-year veteran Dan Kreider is in danger of losing his roster spot.

Instead, the player threatening Kreider's job is Carey Davis.

A fullback who caught 114 passes in college, and who briefly held roster spots with Indianapolis and Atlanta, Davis has impressed the coaching staff with his running ability, special-teams play and most importantly his lead blocking. Team officials say he's now No. 1 on the depth chart at the position.

Of course, the fullback position "has kind of been a dying breed in football," according to Coach Mike Tomlin. "But the reality is situational football is big. Goal line and short yardage is where games are won and lost. ... Invariably, when the rubber meets the road - third-down-and-one and goal-to-go - people got fullbacks in the game and they better have a good one."

If the 26-year-old Davis can lead first-team backs through the hole the way he's led second-teamers, the Steelers may have one more fullback than they need.

Free safety emerging?

With two preseason games remaining, coaches don't want to go on record with any official proclamations, but it appears Ryan Clark is in the process of nailing down the starting free safety position.

Clark has started two of the three preseason games, and could be in line for a third start Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tomlin called the position open, but said a frontrunner "is becoming crystal clear."

Clark's competition, Anthony Smith, did not play last week because of an abdominal injury.

The Timmons review

First-round draft pick Lawrence Timmons received 11 to 12 snaps Saturday, according to Tomlin, and the coach liked what he saw from the outside linebacker.

"He has shown us splashes of what he is capable of, but this is the first time out for him and we are looking for him to take a big step this week," Tomlin said. "He showed us something when he came off the edge. We saw the explosion and things that we are interested in. But he just got his feet wet."

Timmons was used as a third-down pass-rusher, but was also moved around at times. On one play, he lined up as a cornerback.

"Yeah, that was a little bit of a situational defense where he walks out and is removed on the one wide, gets after him and stays underneath him," Tomlin said. "But that's his skill set. This guy is a talented guy. He can do a lot of things. That's why we drafted him where we drafted him. He can play out in space against some skilled athletes and hold his own; he can play on the second level as a linebacker, which is what he did in the sub-package; and he can also apply pressure off the edge. All of those things we saw on tape. All of it was attractive to us. But he's got to continue to progress and put it together here on the professional level."

Injury report

Brett Keisel, Jerame Tuman and Darnell Stapleton missed Monday's practice as Chris Hoke, Chukky Okobi and Derrick Jones returned.

Stapleton (knee) is close to returning, perhaps as early as today. Tuman is experiencing back pain and Keisel suffered minor bumps and bruises in the game.

Quotable

Tomlin on his first-team offense, which was held to three first-half points Saturday:

"It's not necessarily the case because of Bruce (Arians)'s wrinkles, it's just the nature of football. Defenses generally progress better than offenses. It takes offenses a little longer to get a rhythm. It's not an excuse, just the facts."


Updated 08/21/2007 11:04:02 AM EDT
?The Herald Standard 2007
wwwDOTheraldstandardDOTcom/site/news.cfm?newsid=18729732&BRD=2280&PAG=461&dept_id=468632&rfi=6
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

I can see this happening to Kreider if the Steelers keep:

Parker / Davenport / Haynes / Davis / Russell

Haynes can play fullback as well, giving the Steelers a viable option if Davis were to go down. Risky though...no doubt. Kredier would probably end up in Arizona with Whiz blocking for James.

Until I have a reason not to, I am going to trust Tomlin. The one I am not sure I trust yet is Arians.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

As if that would ever happen! Dan the man would be a starter for any team at any age. He is arguably the best blocking FB in the game.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

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As if that would ever happen! Dan the man would be a starter for any team at any age. He is arguably the best blocking FB in the game.

But Dan's game unfortunately may not be the one the Steelers are playing anymore if they switch from an I-back to a H-back scheme. Sort of like being a passt rushing DE who cannot drop into coverage or stuff the run if a defense switches from a 4-3 to 3-4 scheme.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

Dan is a little older now and has some knee issues.

As far as I'm concerned Davis is making the team along with Parker, Davenport and probably Haynes. The question in my mind is do they keep Krieder or Russell.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

I hate to see Dan go. I think we would miss him on short yardage. That said, the Steelers have been swapping younger fullbacks for veterens for years now - just ask Jerome Bettis. Hey, Davis didn't go to the same college as our running backs coach, did he?

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Old 08-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

I think the point isn't that Davis is that much BETTER than Kreider, but that if he is just as good, he can be both the fullback AND a backup halfback, along with being a special teams demon. He'll fill two positions with one roster spot.

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Old 08-21-2007, 02:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

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As if that would ever happen! Dan the man would be a starter for any team at any age. He is arguably the best blocking FB in the game.
Most definitely he is. I don't see him going anywhere - at least not this season.

From Tomlin's lips . . .

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Don't dismiss fullback

Tomlin is not ready to discard the role of the fullback in his offense.

"The fullback has been a dying breed in football, but the reality is situational football is big -- goal-line and short-yardage [situations] where games are won and lost, it's always been big."
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07233/811014-66.stm
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

Agree with coach Tomlin about the fullback. Krieder is a beast in goal-line siuations. Now, the siuation I would like to see Tomlin figure out is how to sneek 58 guys onto a 53 man roster.

come on you can do it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dan Kreider in danger of losing his roster spot to Carey Davis?

Get rid of Barlow for a start!
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