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Old 07-22-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?
July 21, 2012 11:57 pm
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
What Mike Tomlin sees at Saint Vincent College this time around will be markedly different from the past.

What Mike Tomlin sees at Saint Vincent College this time around will be markedly different from the past.

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

So, the Steelers have a new offense, a new line, and a new running back. They purged themselves of longtime stars Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith and several other mortal players.

The question in this year of transition, their most significant since Mike Tomlin became their coach in 2007, then becomes, will they regress, improve or stay on the road competitively they've followed for most of this century as annual division and Super Bowl contenders?

Their Pro Bowl wide receiver skipped all of their spring activities because he has not signed his $2.742 million one-year contract offered to him as a restricted free agent. He wants a multiple-year deal for much more money and the Steelers want to give him one. The two sides just have not been able to settle on compensation and unless they do, or until he signs the one-year deal, he cannot participate.

Beyond Wallace, the Steelers have other issues to begin solving in Tomlin's sixth training camp. They must show a mastery of Todd Haley's offense and that it can be effective. They must find a new left cornerback. They must determine if their top two rookies, guard David DeCastro (still unsigned) and tackle Mike Adams, can handle starting in that revamped offensive line. They must sort out their running backs behind Isaac Redman as Rashard Mendenhall's ACL continues to heal.
PG graphic: What to watch at camp
(Click image for larger version)
»Fan guide
»A look at the players

But the Steelers, who made the 2011 playoffs as a wild-card team after tying AFC North Division champ Baltimore with a 12-4 record, still have plenty going for them.

They return the No. 1 defense against points, total yards and passing yards. That defense lost Farrior, Smith and starting cornerback William Gay, but Farrior split time with renewed starter Larry Foote, Smith again missed most of the season with an injury, and the Steelers believe they have young cornerbacks good enough for improvement at the position on the left side.

They also don't expect to lose LaMarr Woodley for half the season. Woodley was making his case for NFL defensive player of the year with nine sacks in the first eight games when a hamstring issue practically wiped out the second half of the season for him. They also lost James Harrison for five games with an eye injury and one-game suspension. Harrison tied Woodley for the team lead with nine sacks.

Another former multi-Pro Bowler, nose tackle Casey Hampton, could open the season on the physically unable to perform list as he recuperates from January ACL surgery. The Steelers, though, do not expect him to take long to return to the lineup. In the meantime, they drafted Alameda Ta'amu at the position and believe Steve McLendon can handle it as well.

The high drama could occur on offense this summer and perhaps into the season. Haley, a former Steelers ballboy and son of their longtime personnel director, threw out a playbook that was familiar to them for more than a decade. He is the first outside hire as offensive coordinator since Kevin Gilbride came aboard in 1999 for two forgettable seasons.

Players in the spring noted the difficulty learning the new terminology, but generally liked the philosophy on offense despite a few remarks by Ben Roethlisberger that seemed at times to question it. It has multiple goals that include a) committing more effort to the ground game, although not necessarily running it more often; b) using more high-percentage passes that include check-downs to running backs and allowing receivers such as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders to use their abilities to pick up yards after catching the ball; c) protecting Roethlisberger, something team president Art Rooney mentioned in January would be a priority; d) improving their success inside the opponent's 20.

Whether the offense can accomplish much of that or whether players struggle to adapt sets up the drama.

And for the first time since Mendenhall replaced Willie Parker, the Steelers will have a new starter at halfback. Redman has a different style than Mendenhall, resembling more Barry Foster than the sleek, cutting style of their 2008 No. 1 draft pick. Redman rose from undrafted rookie in 2009 from little-known Bowie State to become a reliable backup to where he gained 479 yards last season and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. He still must show if he can carry 20 times a week.

Wallace's decision, of course, will affect what happens at wide receiver. Brown showed he can be his equal last season, albeit with a different style. Sanders finished strong after shaking off foot and then knee injuries, and veteran Jerricho Cotchery fulfilled the Ward role nicely in the second half of 2011.

The Steelers hope for an offensive line that looks like this: LT Adams, LG Willie Colon, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG DeCastro, RT Marcus Gilbert. After ignoring linemen in the top two picks in the draft for nearly a decade, that would give them two first-rounders and two second-rounders in the starting lineup, along with Colon. They re-signed Max Starks Tuesday in case Adams cannot handle the job immediately on the left side. That avoids them having to move Gilbert there, which they did not want to do. Oh, and Haley re-installed a position on offense, a fullback. Former tight end David Johnson moved their full time.

So while these are not quite the same old Steelers that have been so successful in this century, they enter training camp with the chance to at least keep the ball rolling.

First Published July 22, 2012 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz21JyE2w1z
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Hasn't this article already been posted three times?
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardisimo View Post
Hasn't this article already been posted three times?
Then why don't you fix your PRIMITIVE search routines? I just checked using the article title using YOUR search functions, as I did before I posted the article, and got the reply
"The following errors occurred with your search:

Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.

The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : Oct, Still, the, same, ol', Still, the, same, ol'"


Don't blame me for the fact the search routines on this site DO NOT WORK!
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Then why don't you fix your PRIMITIVE search routines? I just checked using the article title using YOUR search functions, as I did before I posted the article, and got the reply
"The following errors occurred with your search:

Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.

The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : Oct, Still, the, same, ol', Still, the, same, ol'"


Don't blame me for the fact the search routines on this site DO NOT WORK!
mesa is correct, the search function is not very good.

in fact, I don't even use it anymore, I just search through the actual pages of threads themselves which can be very time-consuming and if the article is embedded within a thread I most likely won't be able to catch or find it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Could have saved a lot of ink and just said, "Same ole Steelers, you know they will compete, because that's just what they do". OUT!
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

The Pittsburgh Steelers Head to Training Camp

July 23, 2012 By Ed Smallwood



After an offseason of veteran purging and offensive line revamping, the 2012 version of the Pittsburgh Steelers heads to training camp in Latrobe on Wednesday. Gone are familiar faces such as Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Chris Kemeoatu, William Gay, and Chris Hoke, all jettisoned in the offseason as part of a salary cap-induced youth movement. Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians “retired” and was replaced by Todd Haley, and the Steelers welcome a highly-regarded draft class to assume many of the roles previously manned by now-departed veterans. A look at what to watch for as the Steelers hit the ground at Latrobe:

1. Ben Roethlisberger, meet Todd Haley. Ben Roethlisberger’s buddy Steelers’ offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was forced to retire (quickly un-retiring to be the Colts’ offensive coordinator) this offseason and was replaced by Todd Haley. Ben has been engaging in his usual dramatic antics, suggesting that Haley’s playbook is tough to learn and lamenting the fact that Haley hadn’t reached out to him more quickly after being hired. At the end of the day, however, Ben is a competitor and once he gets his “Bruce Arians Memorial Whining” out of the way, he and Haley figure to work together effectively. With the Steelers’ top 4 WR’s returning, as well as a rebuilt and improved offensive line, the Steelers’ offense figures to improve on its 2011 performance in which the Steelers finished tied for 21st in scoring.

2. A revamped offensive line. There will be no bigger change on the Pittsburgh Steelers this year than on the offensive line. Chris Kemeoatu was cut in the offseason, Willie Colon returns from his second straight lost season and has been moved inside to LG, and the Steelers’ top two draft choices, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, will be in the mix to start and/or receive immediate playing time at RG and LT, respectively. Max Starks was resigned last week to play LT in the event that Adams does not win the job in camp. When the Steelers start the season back in Denver this September, the offensive line will look like this:

Starks/Adams-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro/Foster-Gilbert

I anticipate that Starks will be the LT, at least to start the season, and that DeCastro will start from day one. The offensive line has been somewhere between shaky and horrendous for the past five years, but the return of Colon and the drafting of DeCastro and Adams give the Steelers optimism that a long-time weakness will become a strenght.

3. Running back by committee. With Rashard Mendenhall almost certain to start the season on the PUP-list (which would knock him out for the first six games), the question of who will carry the ball for the Steelers becomes decision number one for Haley. Isaac Redman figures to get the bulk of the carries in Mendenhall’s absence. Redman is a solid backup who is a strong runner with who gives great effort, but he is limited, lacking top end speed and elusiveness. Chris Rainey, the Steelers’ 5th round draft choice out of Florida, is the exact opposite of Redman, operating best in space and who figures to be used very similarly to how Dexter McCluster was used by Haley in Kansas City. Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay also return, likely battling for one spot on the roster. Dwyer showed flashes in 2011, including a 107-yard performance in Week 5 against Tennessee, but his conditioning, dedication, and ability to stay healthy are always question marks. Last year’s training camp sensation, Baron Batch, looks to replace Mewelde Moore as the 3rd down back, and as long as his surgically-repaired ACL holds up, Batch will have every chance to be the 3rd down back and in the mix for carries.

4. Will Mike Wallace sign? After releasing Jonathan Scott last week, the Steelers are approximately $6 million under the salary cap. This includes the $2.74 million tender given to Wallace, thus the Steelers have, in essence, $8.75 million to use for the 2012 season. Some of this space will go to David DeCastro (terms of his contract are still unknown), but even with that deal the Steelers should be able to absord a cap hit of $5-6 million for Wallace. Given the creativity of Steelers’ capologist Omar Khan, and given the manner by which cap hits can be manipulated through the use of roster bonuses, the Steelers have the cap space to give Wallace a large chunk of up-front, guaranteed money that’s cap hit is spread over several years. Wallace received no offers as an RFA, thus he lacks any real leverage to hold out into the 2012 season. Mike Wallace will be a Steeler in 2012. The only question is whether he is locked up on a longterm contract or if he signs his one-year tender and plays out his contract and becomes a UFA after the season. Given the Steelers’ propensity for locking up core players longterm, the smart money is on Wallace being a Steeler for a long time.

5. CB position available. With the departures of William Gay and Bryant McFadden, the Steelers have an opening at LCB. Keenan Lewis heads into camp as the favorite for the spot, as he bounced back from two disappointing seasons to play well as the 3rd CB in 2011. Lewis has started only one game in the NFL, but has the size and man coverage skills the Steelers prefer in the corners, but he’s not particularly fast for the position and can be inconsistent. Last year’s 4th round pick out of The Citadel, Cortez Allen, will challenge Lewis for the starting spot. Allen lacks experience playing against top competition, but he possesses excellent cover skills, good speed, and possesses good size for the position. Curtis Brown will also be in the mix, but he is likely behind both Lewis and Allen.

6. Replacing James Farrior. With James Farrior now retired, Larry Foote will likely assume Farrior’s role at the BUCK linebacker spot in Dick LeBeau’s defense. Foote has played in the Steelers’ defense for 9 of his 10 NFL seasons and is well-schooled in the complex schemes of the defense. Foote is solid against the run but struggles in coverage, a skill not improving as he enters his 11th NFL season. Stevenson Sylvester will compete with Foote for the spot. Sylvester has played less than 50 real snaps as an NFL linebacker, so it’s difficult to assess his chances, but he’s better than Foote in coverage but less stout at the point of attack. Mortty Ivy and Brandon Johnson will also figure to get looks at the spot as camp unfolds.

It’s been a strange summer in Pittsburgh. Between the resurgence of the Pirates, the scandal at Penn State, and the Penguins’ failed pursuit of Zach Parise, the Steelers have been something of an afterthought since the draft. This all will change starting on Wednesday, and we will keep you informed of what matters as the Steelers get ready for the 2012 season.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar..._camp/11279128
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

I think it's pretty clear Starks is going to start the season on PUP, so I'm not sure where this guy is coming from.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Then why don't you fix your PRIMITIVE search routines? I just checked using the article title using YOUR search functions, as I did before I posted the article, and got the reply
"The following errors occurred with your search:

Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.

The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : Oct, Still, the, same, ol', Still, the, same, ol'"


Don't blame me for the fact the search routines on this site DO NOT WORK!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaii 5-0 View Post
mesa is correct, the search function is not very good.

in fact, I don't even use it anymore, I just search through the actual pages of threads themselves which can be very time-consuming and if the article is embedded within a thread I most likely won't be able to catch or find it.
I asked a question, that's all. I'm sorry I asked it. I'll look into the search engine thing. Not quite sure what sort of options vBulletin gives us.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Then why don't you fix your PRIMITIVE search routines? I just checked using the article title using YOUR search functions, as I did before I posted the article, and got the reply
"The following errors occurred with your search:

Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.

The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : Oct, Still, the, same, ol', Still, the, same, ol'"


Don't blame me for the fact the search routines on this site DO NOT WORK!
Mesa,

In Ricardo's defense, he asked a simple question, and to my knowledge, this is first time someone's complained of search function problems. I've just attempted to search myself, and it brought up a internal 500 error, so i'll pass that on to technical support.

Sometimes, when articles are similar, they're posted by members within the related threads. This isn't asked, they just do it out of courtesy. When the search function is working properly, you can select "Search Posts" instead of "Search Threads" to find these, but honestly, if you post it in it's own thread, it's not really a big deal. The season is picking up again, and more threads isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but we can obviously only fix things once we're made aware it's non-functioning, and this is the first we've been notified.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Training Camp: Better? Worse? Still the same ol' contender?

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Originally Posted by Bayz101 View Post
Mesa,

In Ricardo's defense, he asked a simple question, and to my knowledge, this is first time someone's complained of search function problems. I've just attempted to search myself, and it brought up a internal 500 error, so i'll pass that on to technical support.

Sometimes, when articles are similar, they're posted by members within the related threads. This isn't asked, they just do it out of courtesy. When the search function is working properly, you can select "Search Posts" instead of "Search Threads" to find these, but honestly, if you post it in it's own thread, it's not really a big deal. The season is picking up again, and more threads isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but we can obviously only fix things once we're made aware it's non-functioning, and this is the first we've been notified.
With all due respect I've complained about the useless search routines on this web site multiple times over the years. Of course since the routines don't work I can't use them to prove my point but I have talked about this in the past at least three times.

I already have tried searching on posts vs threads and that doesn't work either! Worse yet there is an imposed 30 second delay between searches. It take enough my time already, which I am not compensated for in any way, to find, cut, paste, edit, and put in the URL for an article with me having to manually look through multiple treads for an article to see if has been posted or not. I don't have time to do multiple searches with the imposed thirty second delay "feature".

I consider the idea of just using one thread to post multiple articles be stupid and impractical just to prevent forum "clutter" what ever the hell that is. One article per thread with the thread title the same as the article title makes it simple to scan the thread titles and make sure it has not been posted before. If someone thinks an article is to similar judging by the title to another article they have already read then they simply don't have to open it.

I've better things to do with my uncompensated time than read that someone is whining yet again because of one article may be to similar to another article in one person's opinion when the next post to the article is someone thanking me for posting it. This is in spite of my best efforts to make sure duplicate posting don't happen.

I tried to bring this point up before but got shut down immediately. Since I keep running into so much hassle here yinz can try posting your own articles and see how much it time it really does take. Then yinz can enjoy yourselves by spend endless hours bickering with each other over that one article has been duplicated or that it is to similar to another.

I'm fed up with all of this so I will simply move on to other Steeler web sites where I have been invited to by former disgruntled users of this one. I now completely understand their frustration so I will take my time and money elsewhere.
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