PDA

View Full Version : Rookie Safety looks to get more playing time



BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2006, 11:58 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06286/729686-66.stm


Friday, October 13, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
The injured Deshea Townsend leaves big shoes to fill in the Steelers' secondary.

Outside linebacker isn't the only position where injuries will force changes in the Steelers' lineup.

An injury to starting cornerback Deshea Townsend, coupled with the season-ending loss of Ricardo Colclough, could do more than force Bryant McFadden to start at right cornerback against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It could probably mean more playing time for rookie safety Anthony Smith, the team's second pick in the NFL draft.

Smith, a rookie from Syracuse, likely will be the sixth defensive back on the field when the Steelers use their dime defense against the Chiefs.

"I'm excited," Smith said. "I've been waiting my turn and waiting for things to happen. If I get my opportunity, I'm pretty sure the coaches will be pleased with what they see."

The Steelers usually use three safeties (Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Tyrone Carter) and three cornerbacks (Townsend, McFadden, Ike Taylor) in their dime defense. But, if Townsend (hamstring/questionable) cannot play, and with Colclough on injured reserve, the Steelers probably will use Smith rather than rookie cornerback Anthony Madison as the sixth defensive back.

Townsend, who was injured in practice Wednesday, did not practice yesterday. He's usually in the slot when the Steelers use their nickel and dime packages, a position that could be manned by McFadden or Polamalu.

McFadden, a No. 2 pick in 2005, will make his second NFL start if Townsend cannot play. He started last year in the Dec. 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field when the Steelers opened with their nickel defense. This would be his first start as the regular right cornerback in the base defense.

"The most important thing is just try to stay positive and stay focused because you never know when the situation comes when your number is going to be called," McFadden said. "I kind of went through the same thing last year when I was inactive the first couple games and an injury occurred [to Townsend] before the Jacksonville game and I needed to play."


Injury update


In addition to linebacker Joey Porter, return man Willie Reid (foot sprain) also has been ruled out for the Chiefs' game. But, defensive end Brett Keisel (ribs) returned to practice and was upgraded from questionable to probable.

With Reid out, coach Bill Cowher said running back Najeh Davenport will return kickoffs with Santonio Holmes.

Guard Kendall Simmons (foot) missed practice for the second day in a row and remains probable. Simmons received the equivalent of freezer burn -- or frostbite -- on his left foot when he fell asleep wearing a cooling device to treat a heel injury.

Chiefs wide receiver/returner Dante Hall (hip) has been downgraded from probable to questionable.

I can't wait to see what Anthony Smith can do. He's been a demon on ST and he sounds pretty confident, so far he looks like the real deal.

AZ_Steeler
10-13-2006, 12:02 PM
:woot: I really like Smith in the secondary! He was the only bright spot in the preseason with the exception of Reid returning punts!

Najeh to be returning punts? :scratch: isn't there a better option than him? :scratch:

House of Steel
10-13-2006, 12:05 PM
I can't wait til the beast is released in Anthony Smith. We are going to have two of the most dominating Safeties in the NFL with Polamalu mentoring him. OH I AM READY TO ROCK AND ROLL ON THIS RIDE!!!

K Train
10-13-2006, 08:11 PM
Najeh had a hell of a KR last week, that big guy gets some momentum behind him and look out, besides, he has great hands, at least hes reliable enough to catch the damn ball.

AZ_Steeler
10-13-2006, 08:28 PM
Najeh had a hell of a KR last week, that big guy gets some momentum behind him and look out, besides, he has great hands, at least hes reliable enough to catch the damn ball.

Ricardo had a KR for 26 yards as well, I don't see what the big deal is about Najeh :dunno:

K Train
10-13-2006, 08:39 PM
at least hes reliable enough to catch the damn ball.
Right there, hes always had good hands, and it might have been only 26 yards but it went to near midfield if im not mistaking, bad kick...good return.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2006, 11:49 PM
Najeh did a good job in his first PR... he may not be the fastest but he sure is his own wedge buster :yesnod: Besides the fact we don't have many people left to do it besides Holmes.

Steelersfan
10-14-2006, 01:27 AM
How come they haven't used McFadden more in the return game? He has some good speed the only question would be his hands.
Davenport did well in his return last week. Wasn't that the one we got called for holding on?
We really don't have too many other options right now.

augustashark
10-14-2006, 01:47 AM
I agree SF, I would like to see Mcfad get some KR action. I want to see him in space and what he can do with it.

Blitzburgh55
10-14-2006, 09:50 AM
Smith is gonna be a pretty good player i think prolly better than most of are CB

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 06:24 PM
McFadden is the main backup at CB. We can't afford to have him back there returning kicks getting pounded on all day long. With Coc gone, he's our only real other option as a 3rd CB.

AZ_Steeler
10-14-2006, 06:54 PM
McFadden didn't do crap on that reverse play! IMO he should stick to covering receivers :bigthumb:

Steelersfan
10-14-2006, 08:30 PM
McFadden didn't do crap on that reverse play! IMO he should stick to covering receivers :bigthumb:

That wasn't his fault. It was a poor play to begin with not to mention he had no where to go once he got the ball. The play was dead when it started.
Sorry TG. I just get tired of them babying these guys that get paid quite well. To me you put the best team you have on the field no matter what sport it is. I hate seeing guys take up roster spots because they are a "specialists".

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 08:45 PM
I can see both sides of the debate..my only concern with putting McFadden back there is if he gets hurt,we are totally screwed for back CB's. Not that Coc was anything special by any stretch of the imagination but atleast he could kinda sorta play the position alittle bit :lol:

I think if we give Santonio some time and get Reid healthy again we could be set in the return game, but we are going to have to continue to go through the growing pains either way.

We just can't win for losing :lol:

Steelersfan
10-14-2006, 08:50 PM
True and I can see both sides. I look at it like this:

1- We are in a hole
2- We have some key injuries already
3- The ST's have been killing us all year
4- If we don't go with our best players and keep losing what does it matter if someone gets hurt? Not that I want them too. The team needs to put the best players out there to get back into the playoff picture. If we are out it really won't matter then.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 08:55 PM
Ok good point :redcool: ...so what if we put more starters out on the field for special teams, we start getting on a roll and winning games..we make the playoffs and then half our starting lineup is banged up or injured and we get blown out in the first round because half the team is riding the bench ? :lol:

Really though, I don't mind seeing some starters out there on special teams, especially when it's a big play coming up and we gotta have a stop or just to fill in for other players...I just hate to see a position like CB that is already hurting with injuries to key players put in harms way anymore. If we had more depth there at CB, I wouldn't mind as much I don't think.

Steelersfan
10-14-2006, 11:01 PM
Well basically we are hurting everywhere right now....lol And we are 1-3. So either BC "hopes" the new guys will step it up or we start using some startes on ST's. It's a catch-22. A team wants to use the best players they have as much as they can but the more they play the more chance they could get hurt. At the same time though the more chances the team has for those players to make big plays.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 11:14 PM
This whole situation just sux !!! :lol:

SteelCityMan786
10-14-2006, 11:33 PM
:woot: I really like Smith in the secondary! He was the only bright spot in the preseason with the exception of Reid returning punts!

Najeh to be returning punts? :scratch: isn't there a better option than him? :scratch:

Anthony Smith Definantly deserves some playing time. I wonder how he'll respond

Najeh returning punts bugs me a little.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 11:47 PM
Najeh returning punts is definately a bit out of the ordinary but personally I think it's kinda cool. He's not going to outrun too many gunners on a return but he'll definately run a few people over :yesnod:

AZ_Steeler
10-14-2006, 11:49 PM
Najeh returning punts is definately a bit out of the ordinary but personally I think it's kinda cool. He's not going to outrun too many gunners on a return but he'll definately run a few people over :yesnod:

I don't mind him back there I just hope he doesn't pull a Ricardo! As long as he can avoid that then I have fine with him returning punts...

Steelersfan
10-14-2006, 11:51 PM
Put McFadden back there!!!! He's the next Rod Woodson!!!......lol

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 11:53 PM
I don't mind him back there I just hope he doesn't pull a Ricardo! As long as he can avoid that then I have fine with him returning punts...


Oh God, don't jinx him by saying that ! That's all we need is another Coc back there :eek:

AZ_Steeler
10-14-2006, 11:53 PM
Better yet... Make the trade for Moss and put him back there!!! :lol:

House of Steel
10-14-2006, 11:55 PM
No one, I mean No One will ever duplicate what Rod Woodson done for us in Pittsburgh.

Steelersfan
10-15-2006, 12:05 AM
McFadden had the talent. They just need to start using him. I'm all for Holmes and Reid being back there but if Reid can't go get some young fresh legs to help Holmes.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-15-2006, 12:07 AM
I hope Reid gets his *** healthy for next week so we can see what he's got for us. He was a beast in college at it so with some gametime he could be something special along with Holmes.

AZ_Steeler
10-15-2006, 12:09 AM
What is Reids prognosis? How long will he be out?

Prosdo
10-15-2006, 03:20 AM
I can't wait to see Smith play. He looks like the best guy out of our draft.