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DIESELMAN
06-06-2007, 11:04 AM
It was Sean Mahan’s turn to climb into the center of action
Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Steelers continued their OTAs here at the South Side practice facility.

http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/40/408934.jpg


Mahan, the Steelers’ biggest offseason free agent acquisition,
not only lined up with the first team at the center position, he did
so with the second team as well as the team continues its search to
figure out who will replace retired Pro Bowler Jeff Hartings.

“Right now is the time the coaching staff is just looking at all
kind of combinations out there trying to figure out who can play and
who is versatile,” said Mahan, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “No
positions are won or lost right now. That won’t happen until we put
the pads on.”

But Mahan wasn’t signed to a 5-year, $17-million contract to be a
backup. And Tuesday was a big step for him as the team closes in on
wrapping up its optional practice sessions at the end of next week.

“I’m probably more naturally a center,” said Mahan, who started at
both guard and center for Tampa Bay. “But I’ve taken more game reps
at guard in my career. But I feel like I can play it all, wherever the
team needs me.”

What about tackle?

“No tackle, but you never know,” Mahan said with a laugh.

In fact, right tackle Max Starks taking a day off may have
precipitated Mahan’s move to the first-team center spot a little
earlier than the Steelers would have liked.

With Starks sitting out Tuesday, Willie Colon, who had been running with the first team at center Monday, moved over to right tackle.
But instead of moving Chukky Okobi and Marvin Philip into the
first-team line, the team went with Mahan, with Okobi and Philip
lining up at guard next to Mahan on the second team unit.

“This is especially important for a guy like me who is coming in
and trying to learn a new system,” said Mahan. “I’m getting a lot of
attention from the coaches and I’m getting a feel for the guys I’m
going to line up next to.”

Could Trai Essex be eating himself out of the league?

Essex looks heavy right now, heavier, in fact, than he has ever
looked before.

Considering he’s in his early 20s, the team has to be concerned
about Essex in the long term.

One of his strong points coming out of college was his quick feet.
But one has to wonder how quick those feet will be - and if he’ll
still be able to handle left tackle - if he can’t control his weight.

Once again, the Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller hookup looks to be working well as the two connected on a number of nice plays
Tuesday.

If Miller doesn’t have to stay in and block as much as he did last
season, he could be primed for a big year.

New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has gone on record as
saying that the tight ends will combine for 90 catches this season. The way
things look now, Miller could be good for 60 of those catches.

Special teams practice still takes up a large portion of the
drills now. One has to wonder if that will continue into training
camp?

The Steelers will have two-a-days nearly every day in camp this
year – a change from the past – so new head coach Mike Tomlin may
want
to really hammer the offense and defense once the pads go on.

Chidi Iwuoma is working with a cast on his right hand. So much
for non-contact drills.

On one kickoff coverage play, defensive end Ryan McBean came
charging down as a wedge buster and not only accomplished that feat,
but also had the ballcarrier squarely lined up before pulling up.

McBean does not look or run like a 290-pound man.

LaMarr Woodley appears noticeably thinner already, looking a lot
more like a linebacker now than a defensive end.

With the added pounds gone, Woodley should be much lighter on his
feet.

By Dale Lolley
SteelCityInsider
Posted 6 June 2007


Woodley looking more like a LB? I like it, also like what Arians is predicting for our TE's.

Iron City South
06-06-2007, 11:34 AM
I've been telling you all .... all along ... this guy was ripe for the picking. I think he's going to be better than most expected.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-06-2007, 12:14 PM
But Mahan wasn’t signed to a 5-year, $17-million contract to be a
backup. And Tuesday was a big step for him as the team closes in on
wrapping up its optional practice sessions at the end of next week.

that's exactly right, if we didn't think he was starter material he wouldn't have signed him that much. I think he'll work out well for us.

At this point I still think Okobi is the odd man out now unless something really changes.

AZ_Steeler
06-06-2007, 12:51 PM
It's still mini-camp so the staff is still trying to find that person to replace Hartings. Mahan might be that guy but it is still just mini camp and everyone is getting a good look.

BRICKTOWN BEAST
06-06-2007, 03:36 PM
Steelers always had great centers. Im not seeing that Mahan is going to be the next Webster but The organization knows what thier doing when the signed him to a 5-year deal

Black@Gold Forever32
06-06-2007, 03:46 PM
I like the fact Ben to Heath are building that chemistry together....I loved hearing how McBean looks to be a player on the special teams already...He doesn't run or look like a 290 pound man...Thats good to hear and I think he is going to be a player down the road....

Great to hear Woodley dropping some pound to gain some quickness.....

BlitzburghRockCity
06-06-2007, 06:21 PM
The more Ben & Heath work together now the more it's going to help us in the regular season. Those 2 can be a lethal combination if things go right.

Stlrs4Life
06-06-2007, 07:09 PM
Like seeing Miller getting some catches, this is a good sign.

RckyMtnStlrFan
06-06-2007, 11:57 PM
Ben to miller is gonna be huge! I like how they are working on the chemistry. Last year I took Heath for my first TE in my fantasy league (most of the big names were gone) I thought it was gonna work out and I got burned. If I can, I'm going to do it again. This is gonna be a big year for heath:markit:

I also like to hear Woodley is trimmin' up. The faster he is the less time the opposing QB has. Watch out Palmer, here comes Woodley!:bluelol::tt02:

SteelerSal
06-07-2007, 10:03 AM
The more Ben & Heath work together now the more it's going to help us in the regular season. Those 2 can be a lethal combination if things go right.

There is no reason that Millers named should not be mentioned with the likes of Gates, Crumpler and Gonzalez when there is talk about the top TE's around the league. As we all know a presense of a receiving threat, with the TE, opens up every other aspect of the offense.