View Full Version : Notebook: McFadden moved in the nickel..and othe news

08-28-2006, 12:06 AM

By The Tribune-Review
Monday, August 28, 2006

Second-year cornerback Bryant McFadden didn't get the start at cornerback against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he did line up inside in the Steelers' nickel defensive package. That was a departure from last season, when McFadden was used on the outside in such situations. McFadden said he was used inside because of cornerback Deshea Townsend's injury. If Townsend remains sidelined, McFadden could start Thursday against Carolina. Ricardo Colclough started ahead of McFadden last week, but the two alternated every other series.
Tackle Max Starks wasn't worried about breakdowns in the running game against the Eagles.

"We were working against a base defense, and they were bringing an all-out blitz package," Starks said. "When they're bringing more guys than we can put a hat on, that's when it gets tough."

If it were a regular season game, Starks said the Steelers would have been prepared for the Eagles' strategy.

It didn't surprisecoach Bill Cowher when rookie third-round draft pick Anthony Smith flattened Eagles punt returner J. R. Reed, who had to be helped from the field after the jarring collision.

"I think he has the ability to be a good football player," Cowher said. "I really do. He's getting better every day." Smith will provide depth at free safety behind Tyrone Carter and Ryan Clark, who are vying for the starting job.

Starks was impressed with guard Kendall Simmons' debut at center. Simmons took 13 snaps at center during three drives in the second quarter. Simmons was used in the hurry-up offense when the Steelers scored their only touchdown and had to make several snaps with quarterback Charlie Batch in the shotgun formation.

"He did a good job of communicating, and I didn't hear anything from the quarterback about any of his snaps," Starks said. "He looked pretty good out there."

The Steelers have 85 players remaining on the roster, but that number must be reduced to 75 before 4 p.m. Tuesday. The 53-man roster must be set by Saturday, and eight players may be added to the practice squad the next day.

Max makes a good point about the OL being in a base type offense so they weren't as prepared to handle the blitz..however wouldnt you want to practice in game time situations, especially the starters, on picking up the blitz instead of just a base alignment ?

08-28-2006, 12:32 AM
You make a good BRC about picking up the blitzes. Maybe that is something they will be able to work on against Carolina and if not then, the Steelers D would be a good pratctive during the week. Dick vs. Whiz ... I would pay to see that matchup!

I'm glad to see McFadden moving even, and maybe even ahead of Ricardo. Ricardo seems to be getting worse the more he plays. Maybe they should let Ricardo field some punts and send Smith on the gunner and maybe he could knock some sense into Ricardo.

Smith has been awesome this preseason! I really like the tings he's doing a nd what he brings to the Steeler D. Once he moves into the starting role he and Troy are giong to be a dynamic duo that will be feared around the league!

08-28-2006, 12:46 AM
I am loving Anthony Smith. That guy seems like he is something special. I am going to be very interested to see the cuts that are made.

08-28-2006, 10:40 AM
I am loving Anthony Smith. That guy seems like he is something special. I am going to be very interested to see the cuts that are made.

You said exactly what I was gonna say Prosdo!.....lol
I'm interested in who will get cut and who will stay.

I think we have been pretty plain this preseason on offense with the exception of the no huddle. Maybe that's part of the plan, to not show anything until the season starts but who knows. I would still like to think they would at least try and pick up the blitz during a preseason game.

08-28-2006, 03:34 PM
:iagree: Preseason game plans are always vanilla; nothing special; however picking up the blitz is a very important thing that you need to get down because your QB's life depends on it !

Simmons could make a viable option at center. He's stoudt, with long arms, strong upper body, good feet. Definate things you want in a center.