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BlackGold4vr
07-28-2008, 01:13 PM
July 28, A.M. Practice Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers held their first practice of the 2008 training camp and it was not without some drama.

The Pittsburgh Steelers held their first practice of the 2008 training camp and it was not without some drama.

Early in the 11-on-11 portion of practice, wide receiver Willie Reid caught a pass over the middle and was promptly blasted off his feet by safety Anthony Smith. Reid popped up off the ground and fired a perfect spiral right at Smith, with a shoving match ensuing before the two could be separated by teammates.

It was a replay of training camp last season when Smith blasted Reid on several occasions. Neither man will say that there are any hard feelings between the two - in fact, their lockers are next to each other at the teamís facility Ė but Reid obviously didnít appreciate the hit in what is supposed to be a non-contact drill.

Later in practice, Reid cracked back to block linebacker Andre Frazier on a run by Rashard Mendenhall and those two locked up and had to be separated by teammates.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a long talk with Reid after practice. I overheard him telling Reid to let that stuff go and let the defensive coaches handle Smith.

Reid, who is clearly on the bubble in this camp, apparently isnít going down without a fight.

With nose tackle Casey Hampton, left guard Chris Kemoeatu and safety Troy Polamalu on the PUP, the starters at their positions were Chris Hoke (no surprise), Trai Essex (something of a surprise) and Tyrone Carter (no surprise).

That would suggest that Essex has an inside shot at being one of the main backups this season because he plays both tackle and guard Ė despite the teamís drafting of Tony Hills and Max Starksí huge contract.

Hampton spent the practice working with conditioning assistant Marcel Pastoor, walking, doing some light jogging and then riding a stationary bike.

Sean Mahan opened with the first team at center, with Justin Hartwig working with the second team for most of practice. Late in the 11-on-11, Hartwig saw some time with the first team.

With Essex working with the first team, Hills was the second-team left tackle. Darnell Stapleton and Matt Lentz were the second team guards.

Scott Paxson was the second team nose tackle.

Jeremy Bloom, Santonio Holmes, Travis Williams and Reid worked as the punt returners. Iím not sure why Mewelde Moore wasnít in the mix, but weíll keep an eye on that situation as it unfolds.


No doubt Reid's inability to secure the punt return duties has contributed greatly to his job insecurity. That was the main purpose in drafting him and he just hasn't got it done. With the additions of Mewelde Moore and Limas Sweed his usefulness to the team is definitely being threatened. Gotta love Anthony Smiths love for plastering people. If only he played smarter and recognized what offenses were doing to get him out of position. Hopefully he learned from last years embarassing performances and studied lots of film in the offseason. :clap:

Steelersfan
07-28-2008, 01:59 PM
Nice to see Reid with some attitude! Got to like guys that play that way.

Not so sure I like this though....


Sean Mahan opened with the first team at center, with Justin Hartwig working with the second team for most of practice. Late in the 11-on-11, Hartwig saw some time with the first team.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2008, 02:14 PM
I like that fighting spirit in camp, both guys coming out and giving it their all trying to make a statement and impress the coaches. Obviously Smith's place on the roster is more secure than Reid's is but props to them both for going full bore right out of the gate.

As far as Mahan goes I wouldn't worry about it too much; he's going to be a backup at Center so they still want to get him some reps while Hartwig learns the offense..plus Stapleton will be getting reps too.

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
07-28-2008, 02:31 PM
Great read man :yellowthumb: Been looking for some camp updates.

steelcitysfinestXL
07-28-2008, 02:49 PM
Willie Ried should pray Ant lights him up once a practice. If he can show he is willing to go across the middle, make the tough catch all while taking a big hit... it will show he is of SOME use to this team. As far as Mahan, its day one! Like Tomlin said, no job is won or lost until the pads go on. Hartwig wasnt gonna be the starting center today unless Mahan was hurt!

BlackGold4vr
07-28-2008, 02:54 PM
Great read man :yellowthumb: Been looking for some camp updates.


Don't like to pimp other sites but SteelCityInsider.com is an excellent source for news. It is a paysite, but when you subscribe it includes a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I throw most of the magazines in the trash without even reading them but the website is that good that it is worth the price of admission by itself. I know there are others here on this site that belong because I have recognized some posts from that site posted by others. Another benefit to being a paid member to that site is that it also gives you access to all the other teams "Insider" sites as well. If you can afford it is worth paying for. :yesnod:

K Train
07-28-2008, 03:11 PM
ive said essex should be a guard for years now

steelerfan11
07-28-2008, 03:49 PM
Don't like to pimp other sites but SteelCityInsider.com is an excellent source for news. It is a paysite, but when you subscribe it includes a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I throw most of the magazines in the trash without even reading them but the website is that good that it is worth the price of admission by itself. I know there are others here on this site that belong because I have recognized some posts from that site posted by others. Another benefit to being a paid member to that site is that it also gives you access to all the other teams "Insider" sites as well. If you can afford it is worth paying for. :yesnod:

http://www.theinsideronpittsburghsports.com/ is a free site that also gives info on all pittsburgh sports.

Troyisabeast_43
07-28-2008, 07:56 PM
Going to be hard for Willie Reid to have a role on this team in any capacity seeing that they drafted Limas Sweed and they acquired Mewelde Moore and he is most likely going to be handling a lot of punts and kickoffs along with Mendenhall something Reid has failed miserably in doing so when he has gotten a chance. At best he has a chance to be the 5th wide receiver on the team but Id say right now he is walking a fine line doing that. I dont see him having a chance at beating out guys such as Dallas Baker or even Jeremy Bloom for that 5th wideout spot. Time will tell but Reid is really going to have to show a lot in preseason if he hopes to have any shot to make this roster.

steelcityrockers
07-29-2008, 12:25 AM
ive said essex should be a guard for years now

Wasn't he a guard at Northwestern?

Koopa
07-29-2008, 01:22 AM
willie reid is a bum, he is smith's bitch, it was like this last year, once he gets in a real game he sucks, just cut his *** already

steelcitysfinestXL
07-29-2008, 12:34 PM
willie reid is a bum, he is smith's bitch, it was like this last year, once he gets in a real game he sucks, just cut his *** already
:plus1: I have been a fan of Willies since he took one to the house untouched against Penn State in the Orange bowl his senior year. He showed great speed and awareness, something we havent seen at all since he was signed! I really think with MeMo, Bloom, Mende and the like lining up to return kicks this camp reid is done for!

SteelerSteve
07-29-2008, 07:46 PM
Yeah, the main thing I'm taking out of this story is the ferocity of Anthony Smith, dudes an animal.:helmet:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2008, 08:50 PM
Tomlin's live show on sportsbeat the other night he said that while he's not ruling anything out, there are no immediate plans to move Colon to Guard although he did mention Essex's versatility to play both Guard and Tackle which is a real plus.

Captcoolhand
07-30-2008, 12:11 AM
Reid was all over the place and eating guys alive on day 1

STEEL CITY TANK
07-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Reid is going to get cut, he'll never show as much intensity during game day.

steelcityrockers
07-30-2008, 11:06 PM
For whatever reason, I remeber him tearing it up all through Agust. Then he struggled to see the field. He still has potential, but it is kinda between him and Bloom for the final receiver spot (Holmes, Ward, Washington, Sweed, Baker, Bloom/Reid- In that order). Whoever shows more on Special Teams will get the spot. Micah Rucker could push for a spot, but he is too much of a project this year imo. Next year he could surprise.