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Richmond Rukus
08-05-2009, 02:23 PM
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/08/04/notes-from-the-first-week-of-steelers-camp/

otes From First Week of Steelers' Camp

Posted Aug 04, 2009 8:12PM By JJ Cooper (RSS feed)

The NFL may be worrying about Twitter and most NFL teams treat the simplest news that is bound to get out as if it's a state secret, but with open practices and quality reporters, it's pretty easy to get a good idea of what's going on at training camp.

Between Jim Wexell's tweeting and posts at Steel City Insider, vrabinec's incredibly detailed posts over at draftsteel.com and the rest of the in-person rundowns over at SteelerFury.com and Behind The Steel Curtain, there's a heck of a lot of good information out there.

Here's a summary of some notes culled from the first-person reports.• If there is a undrafted rookie with an inside track on a roster spot, it looks to be offensive lineman Ramon Foster. The Tennessee Volunteer has shown solid strength and pretty good technique. On the other hand, rookie third-round pick Kraig Urbik hasn't looked particularly impressive, as multiple practice observers have said that he's struggled with bull rushes and has appeared to be a ways from being able to compete for a starting job. Now the Steelers have yet to play an actual game, and rookies can make big strides from the start of camp to the end, but the summer prevailing wisdom that Urbik would be starting by early in the season seems to be a unfulfilled wish. Speaking of rookie linemen that got plenty of post-draft hype, center A.Q. Shipley seems to be trailing Doug Legursky (who Jim Wexell says reminds him of a young Hank Fraley) in the battle to be the backup center. And backup left tackle Tony Hills is apparently still a long way away from helping out.

• Ziggy Hood has lived up to every hope the Steelers could have for a young defensive linemen. It's hard for a rookie defensive end to make an instinct impact in Dick LeBeau's defense, but Hood seems to be showing the power and motor that gives him a chance to be something special down the road. As Aaron Smith told Jim Wexell: "He's going to be a good one."

• Seventh-round pick David Johnson (pictured above) isn't an exceptional athlete, but it looks like the tight end can block in individual drills and scrimmages. That's good because the thing the Steelers need in a third tight end more than anything. Backup tight end Matt Spaeth can catch a little bit, but he's not much of a blocker, which was apparent especially in goal line situations. If Johnson can drive some linebackers or defensive ends off the ball, he could play his way into a roster spot.

• Frank "The Tank" Summers hasn't shown himself to be the physical bruiser yet that the Steelers are hoping for in a power back. He needs to run behind his pads, which hopefully is something he'll learn after James Harrison lights him up a couple a times.

• Limas Sweed has apparently looked good in camp, which is good news for him because rookie Mike Wallace is showing blazing speed and a good set of hands that could eventually earn him a larger role if Sweed kept battling the dropsies. The thought of Wallace splitting zone defenses in the same way that Nate Washington did last year has to make Bruce Arians smile.

• Starting guard Darnell Stapleton's knee injury could be bad--Jim Wexell's tweet today says that when Stapleton was asked if he would miss the season he answered "I don't know." If Stapleton is seriously injured, it looks like Trai Essex will replace him. That's bad news because unless Essex becomes a much more physical player, he lacks the functional strength to be a solid run blocker, but he's also the Steelers only veteran backup at tackle. Maybe Jason Capizzi can step up and fill that role, but if not, if Essex starts at guard the Steelers have to shuffle the entire offensive line in case of an injury.

JensK
08-05-2009, 02:56 PM
Essexs looks helluva lot stronger this year than hes ever done

Callax
08-05-2009, 03:42 PM
I hope, considering the depth problem on the OL, Stapleton is not that seriously injured and will recover to be back on the starting line.

It looks like Colon is staying at RT and Urbik is NOT taking over at RG. It is early and things could change..
we shall see

K Train
08-05-2009, 05:19 PM
hmmm, urbik, shipley and summers have all sucked.....thats weird


lol

BR7
08-05-2009, 05:27 PM
Yea, like you called that.. :rolleyes: lol

andyg1984
08-05-2009, 06:08 PM
i was wondering how long it would take for that .. haha

K Train
08-05-2009, 06:19 PM
im just saying....i knew urbik was terrible and hes showing nothing, i knew shipley was going to be awful most of the time, i knew summers just is fat and sucks and will most likely not be in the nfl in 3 years. Meanwhile the guys i kinda liked are showing skills....wallace, burnett and lewis.

and everyone calls sweed and mendenhall a bust, i keep saying they will start to take over the world and damnit they are turning heads

LatrobePA
08-05-2009, 06:32 PM
im just saying....i knew urbik was terrible and hes showing nothing, i knew shipley was going to be awful most of the time, i knew summers just is fat and sucks and will most likely not be in the nfl in 3 years. Meanwhile the guys i kinda liked are showing skills....wallace, burnett and lewis.

and everyone calls sweed and mendenhall a bust, i keep saying they will start to take over the world and damnit they are turning heads

I was on Summers nuts, and you're prolly right, dude has shown 0 ability!!

K Train
08-05-2009, 06:35 PM
i am extremely disappointed in hills though

K Train
08-05-2009, 06:38 PM
I was on Summers nuts, and you're prolly right, dude has shown 0 ability!!

youtube sensation and thats it....reminds me of nate ilaoa from a few years ago....made an awesome bruising highlight real but was terrible when he got drafted

i guarantee mendenhall is the main short yardage (among other plays) this year

LatrobePA
08-05-2009, 06:47 PM
Redman has sounded up to the challenge too??

andyg1984
08-05-2009, 08:29 PM
i am not going to give up on Urbik yet, but cheez and crackers the last thing this guy was supposed to have trouble with is being bull-rushed .. he has had a flash or two where he looked decent (perhaps flash is probably not the right word) .. dang wishful thinking .. from what i saw in short yard situations he was gonna be good ... stupid bills had to go and screw everything up for us by taking wood and i will not stop complaining about missing Duke Robinson despite his questionable intangibles ..

K Train
08-05-2009, 08:32 PM
i am not going to give up on Urbik yet, but cheez and crackers the last thing this guy was supposed to have trouble with is being bull-rushed .. he has had a flash or two where he looked decent (perhaps flash is probably not the right word) .. dang wishful thinking .. from what i saw in short yard situations he was gonna be good ... stupid bills had to go and screw everything up for us by taking wood and i will not stop complaining about missing Duke Robinson despite his questionable intangibles ..

how about not making a move and letting the ravens get oher.....thats gonna hurt for a while

urbik has been exactly what i thought he would be, heavy on his feet, terrible footwork, slow and missing assignments, i know hes a rookie but people think he can start right away in the run game and hes getting blown off the ball by backups

andyg1984
08-05-2009, 08:36 PM
one more thing .. did any1 else hear about Tomlin getting on Urbik hard core ? Like i heard Tomlin almost made him cry ... cant find the link right now but i read something where a reporter asked ziggy if he thought he embarrassed Urbik in a one on one drill to which Ziggy replied with something like "I would not call it that, but I got the best of him on one play and he got the best of me on the other" .. do not mean to post w/ out citation - just cannot find article now

LatrobePA
08-05-2009, 08:40 PM
I think we will sign some FA OL'men come cut time...

andyg1984
08-05-2009, 08:41 PM
how about not making a move and letting the ravens get oher.....thats gonna hurt for a while

urbik has been exactly what i thought he would be, heavy on his feet, terrible footwork, slow and missing assignments, i know hes a rookie but people think he can start right away in the run game and hes getting blown off the ball by backups

we are definitely on the same page w/ Oher as my previous posts will indicate .. out of all the teams in the league- why the Ravens? I was cussing Ozzie Newsome for a few weeks that clever b@sta@rd!

K Train
08-05-2009, 08:45 PM
i hear from mulitple sources urbik has been tomlins whipping boy and hood is showing exactly why he wont contribute this year

Black@Gold Forever32
08-05-2009, 09:21 PM
I never called Mendenhall or Sweed a bust........I also hated Tony Hills but I started to listen to you Ktrain about Hills....lol I'm not giving up on Hills yet but he needs to at least start showing something.......I have heard/read mixed things about Ziggy Hood.....

K Train
08-05-2009, 09:50 PM
im almost willing to concede defeat on hills, i had high hopes but i can admit when i was wrong.

hopefully he gets his head out of his *** though

and i know you didnt call sweed or mendenhall a bust, those who did know who they are

Black@Gold Forever32
08-05-2009, 10:13 PM
im almost willing to concede defeat on hills, i had high hopes but i can admit when i was wrong.

hopefully he gets his head out of his *** though

and i know you didnt call sweed or mendenhall a bust, those who did know who they are

We're all wrong from time to time......I mean I don't care I look like a total chump after the season Troy had last year........I called out Troy in 2007 and ranted and raved about him all off-season 2008 ....I expect Troy to be a force and pick off 7 passes like he did last year and not the 0 he had in 2007.....Finally Troy was used in more coverage instead of playing close to the line of scrimmage most of the time...Troy still plays close to the line but he does drop a ton more in coverage now....

The thing with Tony Hills is we need him to show something...this team has no OT depth at all.......

Sweed and Mendenhall are both going to break out this year and then all of Stiller Nation will be ball washing them...lol

Dude487
08-05-2009, 10:53 PM
youtube sensation and thats it....reminds me of nate ilaoa from a few years ago....made an awesome bruising highlight real but was terrible when he got drafted

i guarantee mendenhall is the main short yardage (among other plays) this year

I still disagree with you on Urbik and Hood, especially since Hood is our 1st round pick and he will be given time to improve. But you just named the exact same player summers reminded me of- Ilaoa. Summers seemed better than him actually, but still nothing impressive

It's funny people actually saw a new bettis in him. Like I said after bettis retired- there will be no "new" bettis, ever. Not even something similar

Iron City South
08-06-2009, 12:03 AM
how about not making a move and letting the ravens get oher.....thats gonna hurt for a while

urbik has been exactly what i thought he would be, heavy on his feet, terrible footwork, slow and missing assignments, i know hes a rookie but people think he can start right away in the run game and hes getting blown off the ball by backups

I've been at camp all week ... just got back home tonight and all I can say after reading this thread is that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. :evilshake:

$teelersRule
08-06-2009, 02:40 AM
I've been at camp all week ... just got back home tonight and all I can say after reading this thread is that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. :evilshake:

care to elaborate for those of us who have not been at camp all week? haha. I just went the first day

K Train
08-06-2009, 04:57 AM
I've been at camp all week ... just got back home tonight and all I can say after reading this thread is that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. :evilshake:

sure....

believe it or not i keep up with it even though i cant actually go

Iron City South
08-06-2009, 09:43 AM
believe it or not i keep up with it even though i cant actually go

In other words, "I don't know JACK SQUAT! .... I rely on what others say allbeit right or wrong."

Summers is gettting tons of work and looks good. I found it interesting that he's on nearly all of the Special Teams packages. Urbik is doing as good, if not better, than any 1st year o-lineman can be expected to perform (better than any O-lineman draft picks that I've seen in a long time). He's been nothing short of stout on his run blocking, but his pass blocking needs some work which is what camp is for. Some of it is technique, some of it is just not knowing the playbook yet which is to be expected from a rook.

Shipley has been working daily with Dirt Dawson. I get the sense that they want Shipley to make this team. we'll see ....

Sweed has looked better than last year, there's no doubt about that. But I'll be quite honest and say I've seen just as much from Martin Nance this week as Ben seems to be giving him a ton of looks. Nance came up BIG with a few grabs on Wednesday.

Mike Wallace has potential to be a very good player in this league.

JensK
08-06-2009, 12:47 PM
Havnt been there, but everybody but ICS is saying that Urbik have been aweful, and so has Summers, at least as a RB. He is not running as physical as they thought he would so far. Urbik is just getting run over - He is very physical but seem to lack speed and technique. I know i havnt been there, but all the so called experts are all saying the same thing

Iron City South
08-06-2009, 01:29 PM
Havnt been there, but everybody but ICS is saying that Urbik have been aweful, and so has Summers, at least as a RB. He is not running as physical as they thought he would so far. Urbik is just getting run over - He is very physical but seem to lack speed and technique. I know i havnt been there, but all the so called experts are all saying the same thing

"Experts" ... are they really "experts"? .... the same "experts" that predict the draft every year? ... The same "experts" that attempt to pick winners each week and fail miserably at not only the outcome, but even in their weekly analysis on key matchups?

Yeah, I trust "experts" about as much as I trust the Internal Revenue Service. :2cents:


Urbik had 1 bad day at camp and what they didn't say is who he was getting smoked by .... he happened to be immedialy thrown against the 1st team defense ... .primarly Harrison and Woodley who beat him soundly with speed in pass-pro.

ejsteeler
08-06-2009, 01:58 PM
I'm getting texts telling me Stefan Logan is looking like a returner that can make things happen. He was described as a "Randel-El with speed". :crossfingers:

Richmond Rukus
08-06-2009, 01:59 PM
A couple quotes from vrabs camp notes. This is not a so-called expert, but a steelers fan who has been posting these year after year, and has proven himself to give good, reliable information. I wasn't there, so I can't discount what you are saying, but it definitely contradicts everything else I have heard from Vrab and others at camp.

--Urbik shows decent feet sliding side to side, but Essex pushes him around with ease when he goes at him straight forward. He bends Urbik over backward. Zirlein comes over and tells Urbik to keep his head up, that he’s got his head down and he’s leaning, which makes it Easy for Essex to pull him forward and then quickly push him back. They try again, and it’s no better. It’s early in the practice, but I’d say Urbik is weak in the lower torso, the butt, the thighs and the calves. And his technique is terrible. Anyone who thought he might be an immediate help to the line can pretty much forget that. He needs a year in the gym and to work on his technique. Seems like a decent athlete, and he’s not as bad as Hills was last year, but I doubt he makes any significant contribution this year.

-Hood puts Urbik on roller skates and drives him way into the backfield. -They try again, and Urbik gets rolled again. Tomlin steps in and tells Urbik to “have some dignity” (not a good sign for Urbik, IMO)

-Reffert shoves Urbik into the backfield.

-Hood uses the long arms to swat better this time and gets right past Urbik. -They try again, and his time Urbik does better. He still gets drive back too much, but he doesn’t get beat.

-Rookie guard Kriag Urbik also got schooled a number of times with head coach Mike Tomlin finally yelling at him to show a little self-respect. The rookie's not going to unseat Darnell Stapleton at right guard. (obviously before Stapleton was injured)

and this statement really stands out as it seems Urbik can't stop the bull rush

-Hood shoves Urbik into the backfield. (They’re obviously just going to run bull rushes at Urbik until he stops them. They’re not even bothering with any side moves at this point.)

K Train
08-06-2009, 02:08 PM
ICS thinks urbik is the lines savior cause hes a "farm boy" and a "hard worker" so im not surprised hes licking his balls despite all the bad things being said. he wont do a dmn thing this year and wont see the field

K Train
08-06-2009, 02:19 PM
I'm getting texts telling me Stefan Logan is looking like a returner that can make things happen. He was described as a "Randel-El with speed". :crossfingers:

logan reminds me of lorenzo booker who was amazing in eagles camp last year and **** the bed when the season started.....i dont think he'll contribute much

K Train
08-06-2009, 02:21 PM
A couple quotes from vrabs camp notes. This is not a so-called expert, but a steelers fan who has been posting these year after year, and has proven himself to give good, reliable information. I wasn't there, so I can't discount what you are saying, but it definitely contradicts everything else I have heard from Vrab and others at camp.

--Urbik shows decent feet sliding side to side, but Essex pushes him around with ease when he goes at him straight forward. He bends Urbik over backward. Zirlein comes over and tells Urbik to keep his head up, that he’s got his head down and he’s leaning, which makes it Easy for Essex to pull him forward and then quickly push him back. They try again, and it’s no better. It’s early in the practice, but I’d say Urbik is weak in the lower torso, the butt, the thighs and the calves. And his technique is terrible. Anyone who thought he might be an immediate help to the line can pretty much forget that. He needs a year in the gym and to work on his technique. Seems like a decent athlete, and he’s not as bad as Hills was last year, but I doubt he makes any significant contribution this year.

-Hood puts Urbik on roller skates and drives him way into the backfield. -They try again, and Urbik gets rolled again. Tomlin steps in and tells Urbik to “have some dignity” (not a good sign for Urbik, IMO)

-Reffert shoves Urbik into the backfield.

-Hood uses the long arms to swat better this time and gets right past Urbik. -They try again, and his time Urbik does better. He still gets drive back too much, but he doesn’t get beat.

-Rookie guard Kriag Urbik also got schooled a number of times with head coach Mike Tomlin finally yelling at him to show a little self-respect. The rookie's not going to unseat Darnell Stapleton at right guard. (obviously before Stapleton was injured)

and this statement really stands out as it seems Urbik can't stop the bull rush

-Hood shoves Urbik into the backfield. (They’re obviously just going to run bull rushes at Urbik until he stops them. They’re not even bothering with any side moves at this point.)
i do enjoy vrabs notes, great detail and no bias to them, ive been checking in regularly thanks for keeping them posted

Iron City South
08-06-2009, 03:31 PM
ICS thinks urbik is the lines savior cause hes a "farm boy" and a "hard worker" so im not surprised hes licking his balls despite all the bad things being said. he wont do a dmn thing this year and wont see the field


Nobody is "licking balls" KTrain. You said Urbik was a wash the day we drafted him (along with your negativity towards Woods ... which I laugh at :lol: ) and i called "bullshit" on you. I said that within 3 years he could be one of the best O-lineman we ever drafted and I stand by my words. There's not a person out there that didn't realize that he would need some coaching to get him where he needs to be.

Those that want to throw **** on the kid after the 1st week of camp will end up eating feces in the long run, I'm just setting the table for you bro .... :poopfan:

K Train
08-06-2009, 03:37 PM
Nobody is "licking balls" KTrain. You said Urbik was a wash the day we drafted him (along with your negativity towards Woods ... which I laugh at :lol: ) and i called "bullshit" on you. I said that within 3 years he could be one of the best O-lineman we ever drafted and I stand by my words. There's not a person out there that didn't realize that he would need some coaching to get him where he needs to be.

Those that want to throw **** on the kid after the 1st week of camp will end up eating feces in the long run, I'm just setting the table for you bro .... :poopfan:

urbik will be another mid round failure and hood will be nothing special at all, i stand by those statements. i hope they prove me wrong but you and i vary an awful lot when it comes to urbik, hood is more of a terrible fit than a bad talent, hes got great potential just not for our scheme but urbik is just up and down awful...he might have played LT at wisconsin but no one is confusing him for joe thomas and even though hes bumping inside to guard i have zero faith in him to ever contribute

Iron City South
08-06-2009, 03:52 PM
Urbik will be another mid round failure

and Hood will be nothing special at all,

i stand by those statements. :lol:





http://stillers-forums.com/forums/images/smilies/****.gif Need some milk with that?

:bwah:

DanRooney
08-06-2009, 05:51 PM
I'm getting texts telling me Stefan Logan is looking like a returner that can make things happen. He was described as a "Randel-El with speed". :crossfingers:

He's being described as an overrated WR that runs backwards during returns? :yellowthumb:

andyg1984
08-06-2009, 06:23 PM
burnett on punts and wallace/burnett returning kicks over logan- if not based on pure talent then by virtue of the depth they can provide to get a RS

K Train
08-07-2009, 05:41 AM
this is from wexell, whos stuff i do like most of the time


Ramon Foster is a better player than Kraig Urbik. Urbik, frankly, is too soft. And I'm stunned.

urbik is absolute ****, just like ive said from day one.

he also says legursky makes the team at this point and shipley goes on the practice squad (which is where he'll stay until hes no longer eligible....then he can put that degree to work)

BlitzburghRockCity
08-07-2009, 09:40 AM
Wasn't Hills fighting an injury even when he got drafted? So they knew he was going to be a project when he came on board. Assuming he's healthy and ready to go I don't see any reason he shouldn't be competing at Tackle and if he's called upon he's going to have to step up. Damn, this offensive line in general is just so far below anything close to what used to be the norm in Pittsburgh, it sucks! :evilshake:

Here we are cheering for players to be able to atleast stand up to a bullrush, or hoping that 2nd tier FA's don't turn out to be busts when we're banking so much on them. Our entire line is 2nd rate at best with really no top notch prospects to look forward too. It used to be we had solid, veteran guys on the line and you knew coming into camp that even if we had WR's that sucked or a QB like Maddox or even Kent Graham that our OL was going to kick ***.

Richmond Rukus
08-07-2009, 10:58 AM
[QUOTE=K Train;300905]Ramon Foster is a better player than Kraig Urbik. Urbik, frankly, is too soft. And I'm stunned [/QUOTE

I've heard Foster, as well as Capizzi, have been better than expected in camp so far.

steelcitysfinestXL
08-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Ktrain is right, he was right from the begining and he'll be right in the end. The rest of us are dumbasses who know nothing. Our ignorance of the Steelers, or football in general offends him... we're sorry K!

Its the first week of training camp... everybody get a "effin" grip! Lets dicuss what we read and see and not comdemn a player to life on the practice squad or Selling Auto insurance after one week of camp!

igor0190
08-07-2009, 12:50 PM
Time to push the panic button on the O-Line. Get a couple free agents, unsigned guys who are nasty to smack some guys in the face. Something to stir it up.

Callax
08-07-2009, 01:00 PM
Yes, it looks like the O Line will be our weakness (AGAIN) and it won't get much better, if any!!
unless Essex and Colon make a incredible jump in their on field play
Looks like Big Ben will be getting beat up again and getting a great view of that city's skyline
as he picks himself off the field of play after ANOTHER sack!!

ejsteeler
08-07-2009, 02:43 PM
To me, it's way too early to hit the panic button (he says with concern in his voice). But, let's hope they gleaned some intelligent tips from Dermonti while he was there. :yesnod:

Dude487
08-07-2009, 02:50 PM
Ktrain is right, he was right from the begining and he'll be right in the end. The rest of us are dumbasses who know nothing. Our ignorance of the Steelers, or football in general offends him... we're sorry K!

Its the first week of training camp... everybody get a "effin" grip! Lets dicuss what we read and see and not comdemn a player to life on the practice squad or Selling Auto insurance after one week of camp!

I agree

For all we know players like wallace who have been amazing so far could flop over the next few weeks. And players struggling like urbik can suddenly "get it"

Still think Summers has been overrated by fans though....

Black@Gold Forever32
08-07-2009, 03:04 PM
Its way to early to get excited or disappointed by any of the rookies....Only one week of camp has passed....About Frank Summers....I had no problems with him since he was 5th round pick.....I thought it was worth a shot in the 5th to add another RB...If he ends up sucking oh well since it was only a 5th round pick...lol

Zachintosh66
08-08-2009, 07:16 PM
Steelers practice notes
August 8, 2009 5:59 PM
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

LATROBE, Pa.--The Pittsburgh Steelers just wrapped up their second practice of two-a-days Saturday evening.

Here are some personal notes and observations:

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked sharper Saturday. He probably had his best practice in the evening session that I've witnessed since arriving to camp several days ago. Roethlisberger made some nice deep and intermediate throws to receivers Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and tight end Heath Miller in team and 7-on-7 drills that he struggled with the previous few days. Perhaps it's a good sign that Roethlisberger is starting to regain his form after admitting his arm wasn't strong at the beginning of camp.

Speaking of quarterbacks, backup Charlie Batch looks much better now than he did in spring minicamps. Batch suffered a season-ending collarbone injury last season and appeared rusty earlier this offseason. But he has made plenty of good reads this summer. Batch's best throw Saturday was a beautiful deep ball to rookie receiver Tyler Grisham for a long gain.

Starting safety Ryan Clark looks healthy and excited to be back on the field. There were several opportunities to make big hits Saturday where Clark got antsy but had to let up because the team wasn't in full pads. He won't have to pass up those opportunities in game situations.

On the injury front, key players who sat out Saturday were running back Willie Parker, who had some back spasm, and rookie receiver Mike Wallace (groin).
As mentioned earlier, the play of the day came from Roethlisberger with his deep connection to Ward in team drills. Ward made a tough catch after running a deep in across the middle. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu had a good read on the play, which forced Ward to adjust and jump in front of Polamalu to make the catch. It's was a unique battle between Ward and Polamalu that people would never get to see in a real game.

Finally, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin warned that the famous "goal-line drill" will make its 2009 training camp debut on Sunday. The drill is super physical and a personal favorite of the AFC North blog.

Big T
08-10-2009, 03:06 AM
Mike Wallace = Impressive
Joe Burnett = Impressive
Keenan Lewis = Impressive
Ziggy Hood = eh
Frank Summers = :(
A.Q. Shipley = :(
Craig Urbik = ****!!!

those are my observations about how the rookies have looked through the first week of camp. I was in Latrobe Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and I just want to point out two things. one, Mike Wallace has been a monster for sure. He's looked just as good if not better than Limas. And two, Kraig Urbik has been complete ****. Now I understand it's only ben a little over a week of camp but I'm just stating what I've seen.

K Train
08-10-2009, 04:08 AM
Mike Wallace = Impressive
Joe Burnett = Impressive
Keenan Lewis = Impressive
Ziggy Hood = eh
Frank Summers = :(
A.Q. Shipley = :(
Craig Urbik = ****!!!

those are my observations about how the rookies have looked through the first week of camp. I was in Latrobe Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and I just want to point out two things. one, Mike Wallace has been a monster for sure. He's looked just as good if not better than Limas. And two, Kraig Urbik has been complete ****. Now I understand it's only ben a little over a week of camp but I'm just stating what I've seen.

perfect....absolutely perfect. not only is this 100% right, no one wants to admit it but this is exactly what i said was gonna happen

DanRooney
08-10-2009, 05:22 AM
A few days ago we unveiled our first “Steelers Stock Report” by giving you a breakdown of the WR battle after a week of training camp. Today we take a look at the Offensive Line. Once again, this is not a look at who is better than whom. We are simply tracking “camp buzz” and who is rising or falling in the eyes of the media, fans, and coaching staff.

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2736/olweek1arrows.jpg

Trai Essex: Who woulda thunk it? Weeks ago we were debating the Urbik vs. Stapleton battle at RG and here we are with Trai Essex as our new starter on the OL. Is the OLine taking a step back, is Essex an upgrade, or are we status quo? We won’t have answers to those questions until the end of the preseason most likely. Sure Essex has seen time at G and T over the past few years in spot duty but until we see him at Guard with the starting group for any length of time, we just can’t draw any conclusions. After a week of camp, Essex is getting nice props from the coaching staff and the media for his ability in 11-on-11 and in blocking drills. I’ll go out on a limb and predict Essex turns out to be an upgrade over Stapleton (Darnell gave up 4 sacks in the playoffs, maybe that limb isn’t all that long). He is bigger, stronger, has good feet (used to be a TE) and should fit into the Steelers scheme. Think about it….he is good enough to play Tackle in the NFL so he must be able to handle interior DL/DT guys in pass protection, right? In the running game, the Steelers ask their Guards to pull quite frequently and he has shown nice footwork and movement in the past. Could work out for the best; we’re pulling for the guy.

Kraig Urbik: Well, well, well. After getting drafted relatively early in this year’s draft, Urbik got Steeler Nation’s hopes up and we all envisioned him replacing Stapleton as the starting RG. Not so fast my friend. By all accounts, Urbik has looked below average in just about every practice/drill he has participated in since arriving in Latrobe. That’s not to say he is going to be a bust, I just think he is going to have to take a year or two to improve his game before we can expect him to start for us. He seems to be on the Chris Kemoeatu timetable.

Darnell Stapleton: Nothing personal here with the “trending down” arrow but what’s the saying? “You can’t make the club from the tub.” Of course he won’t get cut but can he really win the starting job when he’s not even on the field? The initial prognosis on Stapleton is that he will be out for 4 weeks. He started last season so he really doesn’t need to worry about finding cohesion with his teammates on the OL but getting into the groove of football season would be nice. I’ll throw a scenario out for you: Trai Essex looks great during 3 preseason games, he impresses the coaches all summer in Latrobe, and he is temporarily pegged in as the starting RG. Stapleton returns from injury and then what? Who is your Week 1 starter and why?

A. Q. Shipley: We heard rumblings on some Steeler sites and message boards that A.Q. Shipley (despite having extremely short arms for the position) could develop into a future starter at Center. Some were even hypothesizing that he could

Doug Legursky: This guy is ahead of Shipley on the depth chart and due to the injury situation on the OL, he could possibly land a spot on the team. It’s a longshot but if Stapleton’s injury is worse than we think….the Steelers would be desperate for additional OL help. We’ll admit we don’t know much about this guy and the reports out of training camp about him are pretty general and vague, but he came to Latrobe as a “nobody” and right now he is a “somebody.” At least for the next few weeks.

Tony Hills: Steeler Nation gave up on this guy last year. He supposedly had an awful camp in 2008, looked incredibly slow, and was over matched all summer. Fast-forward to 2009 and the coaches are talking about how much he has improved and how he is not to be written off as quickly as we once thought. Bruce Arians answered a few questions about Hills this week and went out of his way to talk about how much he has improved, how happy the organization was that he has stepped his game up, and that they are looking forward to watching him this preseason. The next guy on our list may keep Tony from making the 53 man roster but it’s nice to hear he has improved drastically over the last 12 months.

Ramon Foster: The Steelers signed this guy as an Undrafted Free Agent after the draft and nobody noticed. Sure, he’s huge, has a cool name, and went to a good SEC football program but really….who in the world is Ramon Foster? Apparently he’s a pretty good OT and according to most, is one of the most impressive young guys in camp. With Essex moving to Guard, Stapleton getting his knee scoped, and overall depth on the OL somewhat thin, Foster seems to have a decent shot at winning a job. He has the body of a Tackle but he has also played some Guard. According to the Steelers, Foster would have been drafted if not for a HORRIBLE workout at his combine/pro-day. We haven’t seen him play yet vs live bullets but all reports out of camp are positive. We say BUY LOW on this guy while he is still relatively unknown; he is trending up in a big way after 1 week.

Willie Colon: Here, choke down this huge grain of salt before reading further. According to reports from the media attending Steelers training camp, members of the Steelers staff and other NFL “insiders” are referring to Willie Colon as one of the best Tackles in the NFL. The Steelers also believe that he is their #1 Offensive Lineman and will be a priority when it comes to handing out contract extensions. I never thought I’d see the day where there is some weird league inner-circle that thinks Willie Colon is one of the best run-blocking/pass-protecting packages in the league. Sure he has improved since unfairly ripping the starting RT job away from Max Starks a few years ago but come on. He gave up 6 sacks last year (2nd most on the team)…. but…. on the other hand the Steelers were most successful on the ground when they ran behing Willie Colon’s blocks. Either way, I’m not ready to take my first sip of the Willie Colon Kool-Aid just yet, but maybe we need to look at this guy through a different lens after these comments have surfaced.

Remember when Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick said this back in December: “The offensive line is good, the right tackle, [Willie] Colon, is an excellent player. He’s been a real good addition to their offensive line. I think he’s one of the better tackles that we’ve seen this year, especially in the running game.”

Maybe he wasn’t trying to pull some Jedi-mind-trick like we all thought he was. All of this new attention and hype help Colon pull down 3 Green Arrows (gotta come up with a better name for the three green arrows symbol) this week and obviously we give him a STRONG BUY rating. Sounds like a great time to get in on Willie, right? Buy him now while half of Steeler Nation thinks he stinks yet half of the NFL think’s he’s on his way to the Pro Bowl.

cmerrifield
08-10-2009, 08:39 AM
Great post, thanks. Essex said he was going to work hard this offseason to make the starting lineup this year, so we will see. If Colon is that good, then hopefully Hills will develop this year, I dont think we can afford Colon.

K Train
08-10-2009, 01:43 PM
excellent **** no gravity