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Old 05-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

Fight for Survival

by Jim Wexell - SteelCityInsider.net
Posted May 25, 2012



Is there light at the end of the tunnel for troubled but talented Steelers tight end Weslye Saunders? He's not sure. He's just fighting for his career right now.

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers filed off the practice field past reporters and into the locker room with the enthusiasm of a group of kids getting out of school for summer.
These guys though were leaving football for a four-day holiday.

One of the big tight ends, Weslye Saunders, heard some jabs. Those were cloaked as paternalistic advice.

“Don’t do anything stupid tonight, Wes,” said one teammate.

“I don’t want to read about you tomorrow morning, Wes,” said another.

Were they parroting something they had just heard? Did Mike Tomlin just give one of his infamous post-practice/pre-holiday lectures? The one in which he warns the whipping boy du jour not to be “that guy”?

Well, Saunders is certainly a whipping boy these days. And he had better not be “that guy.”

“I’m behind the eight-ball more than I was last year,” Saunders said after Thursday’s third OTA at the Steelers’ practice facility.

“This is going to be tougher making the team this year than it was last year.”

Saunders is walking on eggshells right now because he has a four-game suspension hanging over his head at the start of the upcoming season.

Saunders indicated he has appealed the suspension, and can’t talk about the details, but earlier Saunders had tweeted that the suspension is for Adderall, normally used to treat Attentive Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The amphetamine aspect of the drug is also used to treat narcolepsy and to lose weight.

Another tweet by Saunders seemed to indicate the drug was his younger brother’s. But …

“I didn’t get it from my brother,” he said Thursday. “But it was a one-time occurrence. Out of a handful of tests, it was one test. It’s not like I’m a habitual user.”

Saunders was notified by the league about his suspension after the Super Bowl, and the guy who made the 2011 Steelers as an undrafted rookie – after having been forced off his college team – had reason to be gravely concerned about his career.

“Coming from what I came from you never know what people’s perception’s going to be,” Saunders said. “Was that the last straw? Was I out of here? As of right now I still have my job and I’m still working hard. That’s all I can ask for.”

Saunders heard from the Steelers (“they were definitely pissed”) and they told Saunders he had no excuse for not previously notifying the league what he was putting into his body.

“It was a big deal, and I was frustrated not being able to speak on it and everybody thinking it was illegal drugs and ‘this guy is a troublemaker; we should’ve seen this coming.’ It was just unfortunate. I apologize to the Steelers organization for bringing this unwanted attention on. If nothing else, I’m a rookie and this kind of thing will never happen again. Things are still pending right now and hopefully things will turn out my way.”

Saunders is entering his second season, but could've used a true rookie spring and summer last year.

“I’m not going to make excuses, but right now is when the rookies coming in are learning about what you can take and what you can’t take,” Saunders said. “Last year there was the lockout and we came straight from the house to Latrobe pretty much, so there was no real prep in that. But as a grown man I’m supposed to be responsible for everything that goes in my body.”

The 6-foot-5 Saunders is already in playing shape and has again put his deep speed, big body and soft hands on display during this first week of spring practices. His vast potential is the reason the suspension and subsequent place on the team matters in the first place. After all, he only caught 4 passes for 29 yards and 1 touchdown last season.

But now the guy with all of the potential is scared to death that he’s thrown it all away, and is determined to get into the best shape of his life before training camp.

“Oh, it’s about to get ugly soon,” Saunders said of his summer plans. “I want to go to Arizona with Ryan Clark and all those guys. It’s kind of pricey out there. Hopefully they can cut me a deal or something.”

The Steelers appear to be utilizing Saunders this spring as if they have plans for him this coming season. Saunders took that assessment with a look of surprise.

“I can only hope,” he said. “You never know. That’s the thing I learned about this league: You can never be too sure. I don’t want to be the guy who’s relaxing. I know we brought in some other tight ends for a reason and they’re trying to make a statement.”

Saunders gets it. He knows he’s down to his last strike. He knows he can’t be “that guy” again.

http://pit.scout.com/2/1189441.html
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

I like his attitude, I hope he makes the team. The suspension puts him at a disadvantage, but he seems genuine about turning things around

he definitely has the talent to make it. Him and heath in double TE sets has potential to do some real damage
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

Ditto to the above.
He seems to have great agility and feet for his size. His hands looked pretty good too. I hope he makes it. I think he can help us.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

This Todd Haley offense may just keep 3 TEs around now that the H-back in considered a fullback.

It will be a tricky situation with his suspension and Leonard Pope's guaranteed money if he makes the opening day roster. When the 4 games are up who will they cut? They have to cut someone.

If Miller and Saunders are the game day guys does Pope just be an inactive all season at the cost of say another RB or WR?

One thing for sure Saunders better not so much as get a ingrown toenail this summer.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

I wish him all the luck, he seems like a good guy.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

MarkKaboly_Trib “@raydankert via twitter:

"do you think @Wes_Saunders88 will make the team even with his 4 game ban”

"no chance he gets cut. None. zero. Zilch."


http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

I hope he can stick around. If steelers are going to be patient with Adams, I would think they would give Saunders another chance.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

I say he makes the team.He show some glimpses of being a good player last year. Having a full training camp will make him better.

I also see him as a possible replacement for Health in a couple season.Health is a great steeler but is starting to get up in years and has a high salary cap numer (2012 7.07 mil 2013 7.9 mil

While we might not be in as bad salary cap hell next season.We are going to have to clear a good amount of salary cap space to sign some of our player to new contracts and have room for players that redid the contracts this season.Health Miller should be one of the first players the team goes to rework his contract.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

Will Weslye Saunders Get His Suspension Reduced Or Lifted Soon?

Friday, June 1st, 2012 by Dave Bryan

It was reported on Friday by Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News that New York Giants running back Andre Brown had his four-game suspension lifted by the league following his appeal hearing. Brown had been suspended for four games back in March for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, which ended up being Adderall, a prescription medication normally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Brown reportedly had a prescription for the drug, which he said he had taken since entering the league, but that he did not get prior approval before taking it.

In a similar case, Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann had his four-game suspension reduced down to three following his appeal. Hartmann had been suspended for taking Ritalin, which can also be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder like Adderall. Following his suspension being reduced Hartmann said, "It was just for ADD medicine, but now I have approval to take it from our doctors and the NFL doctors. I just made a mistake. Should have got that approved before. Just got to move on. Serve the three game suspension."

Now the question is whether or not Pittsburgh Steelers second year tight end Weslye Saunders will get his four-game suspension reduced or lifted. Saunders has appealed the suspension that was handed out in early February after he tested positive for Adderall. It is unknown if he had a prescription to take the drug and just failed to get it approved by the league like was the case with Brown. If it turns out that Saunders just didn't get the approval of the league, we could see his four-game suspension dismissed entirely.

With training camp just under two months away from getting started, one would think that Saunders should be getting word on his appeal soon. You would think that he wouldn't have appealed it unless he had a prescription, but other factors could possibly play into it as well that we are unaware of. We shall wait and see what the verdict is.

Saunders made the Steelers 53 man roster last year as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina.

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/06...r-lifted-soon/
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Weslye Saunders: Fight for Survival

New York Giants running back Andre Brown has four-game ban lifted

by SI.com
6/1/12



New York Giants back Andre Brown had his four-game ban lifted.

The NFL says that New York Giants running back Andre Brown had his four-game suspension lifted Friday.

The NFL suspended Brown for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Brown appealed the suspension.

“I don’t know what I can and cannot say,” Brown told CBSSports.com last month. “It was something that I’ve been on since I’ve been in the league, which was Adderall. I just forgot to fill out some paperwork and that was it.”

Brown has only carried the ball twice in career for negative-1 yard with the Denver Broncos in 2010. He spent 2011 season on the Giants practice squad and signed a Reserve/Futures contract in February.

http://tracking.si.com/2012/06/01/ne...wn-ban-lifted/
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