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    Assistant Coach DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    2008 Steelers OTA's thread

    For those who wanted changes on the offensive line, Tuesday was the day. Because of injuries and absences, the Steelers used only one of last year's first-team starters in his same position.

    Willie Colon lined up at right tackle, but Darnell Stapleton started at right guard and Sean Mahan started at left guard. Free-agent acquisition Justin Hartwig opened at center. Max Starks was the left tackle. Guards Kendall Simmons and Chris Kemoteatu were on the sideline nursing minor injuries while left tackle Marvel Smith was tending to a personal issue. The second-team line, from left to right, was Jason Capizzi, Mahan/Trai Essex, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Jeremy Parquet.

    The receiving corps also missed most of its key players. Hines Ward returned, but Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes were out, replaced by Dallas Baker and Willie Reid. Baker, in particular, had a strong practice.
    TE Matt Spaeth may have made the best catch of the practice, going high to snare a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the back of the end zone. The best catch by a defensive player was made by rookie safety Ryan Mundy, who dove to intercept an overthrown Charlie Batch pass.

    The top defensive play might've been made by undrafted rookie cornerback Travis Williams, who broke up a deep pass intended for Reid.

    By unanimous decree, the top catch on special teams was made by nose tackle Chris Hoke, who made a running, over-the-shoulder catch of a pass off a fake field goal. First-round pick Rashard Mendenhall remains sidelined by a hamstring injury. Also on the injury front, defensive end Ryan McBean is out of his boot and off crutches, but remained sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot.


    Mike Tomlin, post-practice press conference:

    Excited to be here today. Really, what we did today was get started in the final phase of our offseason program, if you will. March 17 started the physical conditioning. We had two Organized Team Activity days prior to the draft, a two-practice block there. We had a five-practice block with minicamp following the draft. And then we go into what is the final phase of our offseason, which is a 12-practice block, three a week over the course of the next month. Enthusiasm was awesome today, a little rust from our last time but thatís to be expected. Weíll continue to move forward. Iíll answer any questions at this time.

    Q: When do you get some of the rookies, who werenít here, in?
    A: Those guys who go quarter schools, they really canít come back until their schools are done.

    Q: So you might not get them at all? A guy like Bruce Davis?
    A: You could very well get very little of that guy, very similar to the Santonio Holmes situation when he came out of Ohio State. Itís an agreement we have with the NCAA, one we respect, so unfortunate for them but itís just short-term misery. Iím sure theyíll be prepared to catch up.

    Q: Who besides Davis has to wait for their graduating class to finish school?
    A: Roy [Lewis], the corner from Washington, and Bruce Davis are the two guys.

    Q: How are the guys coming off injuries?
    A: So far so good. Weíll take it day to day. Of course, weíre erring on the side of caution in some instances like Hines Ward, Aaron Smith. Of course Troy [Polamalu]ís not practicing. Heís just rehabbing. So far so good. The truth about those things is you donít know until they go out and play football. The guyís are progressing well; they feel good about where they are. Itís good to have them back in some capacity or another, but weíll see.

    Q: Howís Rashard Mendenhall?
    A: Heís doing good. Very similar situation to the veteran players we were just talking about. Weíre probably erring on the side of caution because what we donít want to do is have a short-term issue become a long-term issue.

    Q: Why wasnít Marvel Smith here?
    A: Heís got a personal situation and weíre letting him address that. Itís day to day. Weíll see how it sorts out.

    Q: How does missing these practices affect them?
    A: It doesnít at all, to be honest with you. Iím not going to get into attendance and why guys are here and why guys arenít here. Itís funny how mandatory voluntary workouts become. I tend to focus on the guys that are here and be excited about coaching them and getting better that way. If you show up, youíve got a chance to get better. Weíre going to have open arms welcoming these guys. For the most part weíve got great team camaraderie. Weíve got a vast majority of our guys working. Iím not going to worry about the few guys who, for whatever reason Ė legitimate or otherwise Ė arenít here. Iím not going to get into that. Itís not that time of year.

    Q: How is Chris Kemoeatu progressing?
    A: As I get to know him, at least personally, he has a better understanding of whatís going on. He doesnít do a great job of expressing it. He doesnít talk a bunch. But he doesnít make mistakes. Really, [offensive line coach] Larry [Zierlein] is probably in the same comfort zone as I am, just from that standpoint. Just because a guy isnít verbal or a guy doesnít express what it is he does doesnít mean that heís not capable of doing it. The more you watch him the more you realize he doesnít make mistakes. He knows whatís going on. Of course, heís a big, powerful man.

    Q: Coach, because Iím required to by my newsroom, Iím asking everybody in the city about the Penguins. Youíve been to a number of games, what do you think about what theyíre doing and what does it mean?
    A: Itís awesome. Iím like any other emerging hockey fan. My boys and I enjoy going to the games. Theyíve got the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup and Iím excited like everybody else is in Western PA.

    Q: Aaron Smith dressed. Did he practice?
    A: He worked in some capacity. He did basically individual [work].

    Q: Mike, do you concern yourself at all with what the owners did with the CBA? What might happen over the next couple of years?
    A: To me, from my perspective, it seems like theyíre just probably bringing it to a head. I donít think anybody wants a work stoppage, owners and players. But I tend to focus on the 53 that I coach. Iíll let them handle that.

    Q: Is Aaron fully recovered from his biceps injury?
    A: I wouldnít call him fully recovered. Weíre being cautious but he is progressing. Heís hitting the sled, participating in individual. Heís chopping at the bit, if you know Aaron, but weíll exercise a little caution.

    Q: How about Willie Parker?
    A: Willieís taking reps, but if you ask him heís probably a little less than 100 percent.

    Q: And Hines Wardís return. Did he go through the whole practice?
    A: He did but weíre cautious about the number of reps. We rep-counted him a little bit, but thatís part of it.

    Q: Is Chris Hoke emerging as a tight end candidate?
    A: Not hardly. Not hardly. Thatís his five minutes of fame, if you will.

    Q: Whatís Chris Kemoeatuís injury? A: He tweaked his hammy in the conditioning program last week or two weeks ago and heís just marching his way back.
    FYI.....


    If you donít stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  2. #2
    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    NOT what i had in mind for the oline lol

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    That's about the most discombobulated offensive line I've ever seen

    I like that Dallas Baker is looking good early on, I hope he can make the team and fight for a roster spot behind the starting 4.

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    Assistant Coach DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Might as well get a feel for certain lineups now, just in case we have to resort to shuffling again (injuries). Hopefully our starters can stay healthy this year and we get more stability week to week.


    If you donít stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

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    Steel City Mafia # 632
    ItAintEasyBeingPeazy's Avatar
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    good post man...i was looking for some news from the OTA front. I'm sure Mr.T wants to get a look at some of these guys also, so i'm sure there will be all kinds of goofy combinations goin on.

    "He's running around there, running his mouth, doing all that, but if you watch him on film and really look, where was Ray Lewis? He was nowhere to be found. I could have tackled the water boy and had as many tackles as him. He didn't do nothing today. He's all mouth. When you talk like that, that's what happens: You get hit in the mouth. He's over there crying now, thinking about what went wrong. You got your *** whipped, that's what." ~ Peazy

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Im really anxious to see Bruce Davis get with the team and start working..the more I read about this guy the more he could be prove to be a big steal in 3rd round.

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    GO STEELERS BRICKTOWN BEAST's Avatar
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    WHAT! Chris Hoke would definelty make an awesome tight end hahahaha

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    2nd String MDSteel15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    I like that Dallas Baker is looking good early on, I hope he can make the team and fight for a roster spot behind the starting 4.
    Please wake up and make this happen, Dallas! I've got too many rookie cards to have you flop....LOL

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    Waterboy blinkbdj's Avatar
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    1. Santonio Holmes
    2. Hines Ward
    3. Limas Sweed
    4. Nate Washington
    5. Dallas Baker/Willie Reid

    I'm liking our receiving core. I hope Baker gets some split time with Washington at the #4 spot. If Sweed develops into what hes expected to be, we should have one of the best groups of receivers in the league...
    "Can I have a taste of that humble pie now?"

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    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    if sweed turns out to be nasty our WRs are insane. Theres never been a slot guy like ward and santonio is nasty on the outside and i really like what nate brings to the table...but sweed has the ability to make them a special group

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