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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Kemoeatu glad he stayed

    Steelers guard Kemoeatu glad he stayed

    By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    In hindsight, it was a relatively easy decision for Steelers starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu.

    Earn more money with the New York Jets -- give or take a couple of million dollars -- and rejoin former Steelers teammate and mentor Alan Faneca, or stick with what he knows.

    Kemoeatu chose familiarity and the opportunity to win another Super Bowl when he agreed to a five-year, $20 million contract that included a $3.885 million signing bonus to remain with the Steelers.

    "I talked to all of them. They said it was my decision, but they wanted me to stay," Kemoeatu said of his fellow Steelers offensive linemen. "Alan Faneca even called, and I talked to him. He wanted me to come out there. He said he would make sure he helped me learn just like when he was over here.

    "I'm glad I made the decision to stay here and be with the guys. It's exciting going into a new season. Hopefully, we can get a back-to-back (Super Bowls wins)."

    Kemoeatu said the Steelers' offensive line is among the closest units on the team. The players worked out together in Pittsburgh during the offseason, and they socialize away from the field.

    They also take criticism personally, said Kemoeatu, who indicated the constant media carping about the unit's pass blocking, in particular, is a sore spot.

    "The media is always talking about the run game and sacks. We've definitely got a chip on our shoulder," said Kemoeatu, who started every game last season. "Last year, it was five new guys up front starting. Nobody ever played next to each other before.

    "I think we're doing a better job this year than we did coming in last year. We know how to play next to each other a little better.

    "Being a good offensive line is not just being close on the field, but off the field. You play for each other -- not individually just to get paid, for a coach. When you're out there, you want to know the guy next to you is going just as hard as you are, and you're going just as hard as the guy next to you."

    Personally, Kemoeatu, who's a strong run blocker, wants to become a better pass blocker.

    "Everything's technique," he said. "I'm getting better moving my inside hand in and moving my feet. That's the biggest thing -- moving my feet."

    Kemoeatu reported to training camp in excellent shape. His awareness of the value of conditioning increased noticeably when his brother, Maake, the Carolina Panthers' starting nose tackle, tore his Achilles tendon in the first practice of training camp and was lost for the season.

    "When he first got hurt, he felt like he let his teammates down, he let the coaches down. He also felt like he let us down -- his family," Kemoeatu said of his older brother. "I think this was like a wake-up call for him to be a little more serious about working out in the summer and getting his weight down."

    Inside the Ropes

    LOOK OUT: Steelers linebacker James Harrison has done a good job of holding back from delivering some potentially devastating hits during training camp. On Tuesday, however, Harrison flattened running back Rashard Mendenhall as soon as he caught a screen pass. On the previous play, Harrison blew up a run in the backfield, grabbing Mendenhall from behind and not letting him loose, even though Mendenhall continued pumping his legs.

    TOUGH IN THE TRENCHES: Defensive end Nick Eason suffered a left calf strain yesterday afternoon when he got tangled up with tackle Jason Capizzi during 11-on-11 drills. Eason participated in another play before walking off the field and being checked by trainers. He left the field in a cart.

    DOING IT ALL: Rookie Mike Wallace has blazing speed and the ability to get behind secondaries, but he's proving he can do more. Yesterday, Wallace ran some smooth sideline routes in front of coverage. And in last week's preseason opener, Wallace displayed the ability to catch the ball over the middle in tight spaces.

    SCANNING THE FIELD: Because he's seeing the field better, second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon is making throws he wouldn't have attempted a year ago. Scrambling and trying to make a play yesterday, Dixon rolled to his left and somehow flipped a short pass over defensive end Brett Keisel to rookie running back Isaac Redman.

    DO THE HUSTLE: Battling for a roster spot at wide receiver, Martin Nance tried to help his cause by hustling to make a nice special teams play. Tracking down Daniel Sepulveda's punt inside the 10, Nance appeared to reach the ball before it crossed the goal line and knocked it back on the field where it was downed at the 1.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_638936.html

    I'm A "Champion"

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    Starter Blazedby92's Avatar
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    I think we are all glad he stayed.
    "Without ME, it's just AWESO"
    and
    "To all the virgins, thanks for nothing"

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    Starter Callax's Avatar
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    He was a "need" re-signing.... We do not have alot of great quality depth on the OL and resigning a decent player was very much a requirement or we would have to sign someone in F/A and a higher price... He had some good moments as a 1st year starter replacing a 7 time Pro Bowler!!!!!
    I hope he will improve and do better this year and maybe make a Pro Bowl as an alternate...Thast would be really nice!!
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    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    i would have preferred he was a jet right now

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    Starter Callax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    i would have preferred he was a jet right now

    And who would be playing LG.....
    Urbik??
    Colon??? (and RT if Colon is LG)
    Essex???
    Capizzi???
    Oakland, Where Careers Go To Die!!!!!



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    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    maybe at that point they would have found it necessary to move up and grab oher, or at the very least wood rather than reaching for a bum like urbik...alot of things would be different if kemo was a jet

    starks, colon, stapleton, essex, oher would be beast

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    Starter igor0190's Avatar
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    They STILL should have felt the need to move up and grab Oher regardless if they signed Kemo or not. Or Eric Wood.

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    Essex is going to take over Stapleton's job and so far in camp he's been doing a real solid job there. Until this team feels it needs to make a big move to fix the OL we are going to be stuck with who we have so we might as well get used to it. Perhaps this offseason of the guys hanging out together will do them good, we will see.

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    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    but until then i will continue to dwell on what could have been lol

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    Starter Blazedby92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Essex is going to take over Stapleton's job and so far in camp he's been doing a real solid job there. Until this team feels it needs to make a big move to fix the OL we are going to be stuck with who we have so we might as well get used to it. Perhaps this offseason of the guys hanging out together will do them good, we will see.
    I agree top gun. They did try and move up to get wood but wasn't successful and how are we to sit behind a computer and say what they should have done because it might be me but I think they have been on top for a reason and it isn't because they listen to us and get what the fans want, I am proud of the Scout team especially on the undrafted rookies. I wish for different things to but I am pretty happy with our draft.
    "Without ME, it's just AWESO"
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