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Old 06-18-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default McDonald in the mix

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McDonald in the mix


Posted June 15, 2009 2 :10 PM

The pass sailed down the middle of the field and looked like it would fall harmlessly to the turf.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Shaun McDonald made a diving, one-handed catch, turning in perhaps the most spectacular play of the practices that the Steelers wrapped up last week.

"If I'm going to make this team," McDonald said, "I've got to make a lot more of those."

Indeed, a position that appeared to be lacking in depth at one point during the offseason will have a bit of a crowd at it when the Steelers open training camp at the end of July.

Among those vying for a spot in the rotation behind starters Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes is McDonald, a seventh-year veteran who nearly had a 1,000-yard receiving season in 2007.

McDonald's numbers dropped considerably last season he had just 35 catches for 332 yards and part of that can be attributed to a strained tendon in his foot that hampered his ability to run and sidelined him for four games.

The Lions, who are in rebuilding mode, cut McDonald after the season, and now the Steelers are hoping they do as well with another Detroit cast-off as they did a year ago with fullback/tight end Sean McHugh.

McDonald, who is generously listed at 5-10, bears a strong physical resemblance to former Steelers wideout Cedrick Wilson. And he looks like he could be an effective slot receiver when the Steelers use three- and four-receiver sets.

Of course, the competition for playing time or even a roster spot will be intense. Among those also in the mix at wide receiver are second-year man Limas Sweed, 2009 third-round draft pick Mike Wallace and Dallas Baker.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the spots behind Ward and Holmes will be wide open when the team starts training camp.

"They didn't tell me what my role is going to be," said McDonald, who signed with the Steelers prior to the start of mini camp in May. "We're all competing."

McDonald hasn't been with the Steelers long but he said he has noticed one notable difference between his new team and his former one.

"Just the players around here, they're a lot more confident," he said. "You can feel it. It's a confident group and they come out and get the work done."

And for McDonald, the work starts in earnest at the end of July.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

I am not sure who is going to end up with the no.3 spot. I was thinking Sweed but it apears that McDonald is showing that he can be the man.

I see Baker being cut because I don't think he will beat out Wallace. I know I haven't see him play yet but if he has some good hands he has the speed to go with it. So who knows who it will be McDonald, Sweed are Wallace.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

Having your name mentioned in the same sentence as Cedric Wilson is never a good thing.

Holmes
Ward
Sweed
McDonald
Practice Squad Wallace
Cut Dallas Baker
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post



"If I'm going to make this team," McDonald said, "I've got to make a lot more of those."
Now this is the right attitude no matter who you are.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

Quote:
"Just the players around here, they're a lot more confident," he said. "You can feel it. It's a confident group and they come out and get the work done."
Winning the Super Bowl last year, and 2 of the last 4 might have something to do with the confidence. If this team didn't have more confidence than the Lions, something would be wrong.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Definiti0n View Post
Having your name mentioned in the same sentence as Cedric Wilson is never a good thing.

Holmes
Ward
Sweed
McDonald
Practice Squad Wallace
Cut Dallas Baker
If Wallace can return kicks, he will make the team not the practice squad.

In fact, he would be snatched up quick if they put him on the practice squad. He will most likely make the team
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

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Originally Posted by Steel Head View Post
If Wallace can return kicks, he will make the team not the practice squad.

In fact, he would be snatched up quick if they put him on the practice squad. He will most likely make the team
I totally agree! also I think that McDonald will make a solid slot reciever for us at #3 or at the #4 spot.I really like the depth and competition at the wr position we have!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

I really like this McDonald signing. I believe it is a prime example of our success. He's a 7th year guy. Probably knows he's entering the final years of his playing career. He now hooks up with a World Class organization being pimped as Super Bowl contenders. You've got a probable Hall of Famer throwing to you for a number of years. He probably comes cheap.

Who wouldn't work their ass off for a chance like this? It's a win/win for both sides.

I'm expecting maybe not big things, but a reliable slot receiver that moves the chains.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

Its nice to see him working so hard but I'm not falling in love with anyone new until the 53 man roster is posted.

Sweed is making the team, 2nd round pick, so its between wallace, shaun and baker really for the 4th and 5th spot. I tend to lean toward Baker getting cut. I loved the kid in college but he just doesn't seem to be able to adjust to playing on Sundays.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: McDonald in the mix

I like the kid, but if he keeps getting compared to Cedrick, im going to be a little worried. Not that I think he's a girlfriend-slapping-psychopath
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