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Stlrs4Life
07-31-2007, 07:18 PM
Steelers' O-line issues resolving themselves

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

He didn't have as far to go this time, which may explain why Alan Faneca took it upon himself to block two guys.

Defensive end Brett Keisel and linebacker Larry Foote felt Faneca's wrath in succession during a goal-line drill on Sunday.

Running back Willie Parker jogged into the end zone.

So much for Faneca's being disgruntled over his contract status becoming a distraction.

"I just happened to catch those two guys," Faneca said. "I think Keisel had somebody actually hanging on him a little bit, so he probably wasn't even worried about me."

Keisel might also have been more than a little bit surprised to see Faneca heading in the direction he was heading.

For years, the Steelers have pulled Faneca from left to right in such situations.

They used to have so much faith in a play called "Boss 38" (the "Boss" standing for "back on strong safety" in honor of Jerome Bettis) that they once moved Faneca from left tackle to left guard for a critical two-point conversion in Denver. So convinced were the Steelers that Faneca would get The Bus into the end zone that they apparently didn't care if the Broncos knew what was coming.

Now, the Steelers are becoming adept at running to either side (running behind Faneca remains the constant).

It's all a part of a training camp that has been characterized in part by an offensive line that's "doing a great job," in Keisel's estimation.

"He's being generous," Faneca said. "But we're probably starting out a little better than we have in the past. Normally, it takes a little time before we start to mesh."

Cohesion has been quickly achieved, at least in part because of consistency.

The center, right guard and right tackle positions were considered up for grabs when camp began.

But once again on Monday the starting five remained unchanged.

Head coach Mike Tomlin continues to maintain that the Steelers will experiment eventually.

But unless something changes drastically in the exhibition games, the questions have been all but answered.

Max Starks, a mess in minicamp, has slimmed down, stepped up and is going to be difficult if not impossible for Willie Colon to move from right tackle. Colon's having a good camp, but Starks is having a better one.

At right guard, Kendall Simmons is resurrecting his game and Chris Kemoeatu isn't offering much of a challenge.

Even if free-agent addition Sean Mahan eventually wrestles the starting center position away from Chukky Okobi as expected, the offensive line will experience a transition rather than an upheaval.

Once center is settled, the only lingering issue will involve whether Faneca will make good on his threat to "think about" playing through injuries he's played through previously.

When healthy, Big Red is still motivated enough to get 'em blocked two at a time.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_519799.html




Well, sounds good so far. We'll see when they actually block a defense from another team.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-31-2007, 07:35 PM
I was really hoping Chris K would step up and take that job from Simmons. Kendall has been so inconsistent since he blew out his knee and something tells me he'll end up that way again before this season is done.

Atleast Colon is having a good camp and should slide right into the RT spot next year when Starks will probably leave. It's in Max's best interest to have a stellar camp to make more money next year in the free agent market.

BlitzburghNation
07-31-2007, 07:42 PM
Sounds like our O-Line's getting back to superbowl form ~~~ :tt02:

Black@Gold Forever32
07-31-2007, 07:46 PM
I was really hoping Chris K would step up and take that job from Simmons. Kendall has been so inconsistent since he blew out his knee and something tells me he'll end up that way again before this season is done.

Atleast Colon is having a good camp and should slide right into the RT spot next year when Starks will probably leave. It's in Max's best interest to have a stellar camp to make more money next year in the free agent market.

By all accounts Simmons is having a great camp....He has lost some weight and has looked really solid this training camp so far...So maybe since he is healthy he might be on his way back......:bigthumb: I have been hard on Simmons the past few years but I like what I'm hearing about him this training camp......

I still think Colon should be starting at RT but it sounds Starks is having a great camp....He has lost weight as well....I think Larry Zeirlein and teaching fundamentals is going to help this group of lineman....

DIESELMAN
07-31-2007, 09:44 PM
They need to hang this picture up in the locker room, so the OL doesn't ever forget how ****** they did play. The Ravens D had 14 sacks between the 2 games.....Plus that pic should **** everybody off and want to kick everybody's *** on their schedule.....

http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/38/380914.jpg

Black@Gold Forever32
07-31-2007, 10:03 PM
Good idea Diesel.....Plus if I were Tomlin I would show video of both Ravens game to the Olineman and show them how they were owned by the Ravens front 7......

BlitzburghRockCity
07-31-2007, 11:30 PM
You got that right, every motivational tool they can get their hands on can be used this year. You can look at 2/3 of the games last year and find more than enough poor play to make anyone sick.

If Simmons can turn it around then Im all for him kickin *** for us at RG for a long time to come, lets hope his good camp continues.

One thing that is a bit discouraging though is seeing Chris K and Essex not stepping up and trying to take those open spots away. They've been on the team for awhile and I was really hoping to see them step up.

floodcitygirl
08-01-2007, 01:16 AM
I only got to read a partial of a Sports Illustrated article on hard hits. That hit on Ben was one of them. It seemed like Scott was not only bragging about how hard he could hit him but was almost hoping he was hurt....had to leave right when it was getting to his comments. If that was the case, I sure hope everybody remembers...should make for some good incentive.