NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on Tuesday nights throughout the season from 7 to 9 p.m. on WBGG 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2011
The Hair and the Glare
As I said last week, we got a good look at what the Steelers defense would look like without both Troy Polamalu and James Harrison in 2011 against the Redskins and it wasn't pretty.
Without the Hair and the Glare, the Steelers are going nowhere.
But both will be in the lineup when the Steelers host Philadelphia Thursday and it will be interesting to see them play in game conditions.
Polamalu is, of course, coming off an Achilles' tendon injury that limited him so greatly in 2010 that all he did was win the Defensive Player of Year award. Harrison, meanwhile, had a pair of back surgeries that sapped him of some leg strength.
Neither has gone crazy in training camp, taking things easy. But if they're on the field, even for a preseason game, you can bet they'll be going all out.
© I found it interesting that the Steelers moved defensive lineman Miguel Chavis to tight end.
Chavis made some plays against the Redskins and is very athletic, even at 285 pounds.
It's probable that this is a move made for practice squad purposes - to steal a spot because they're going to have to try to sneak some draft picks onto the squad, ie. a young corner or two – and can save a spot by teaching Chavis to play tight end as well.
© Limas Sweed was a dead man walking and his teammates knew it.
A couple of years ago, you'd see Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes playing jokes on Sweed during practice, yukking it up with him on the sidelines.
This year, it was almost like he was a leper. He moped around the practice field and his teammates seemed to avoid him.
It just goes to show how things can change.
Kevin Colbert will take some heat for cutting loose a former second-round draft pick, but let's be honest, this wasn't Alonzo Jackson-like.
Had the Steelers not taken Sweed in the second round, somebody else would have. Had the Steelers not selected Jackson in the second round, it's likely he would have slipped to the middle rounds.
Sweed may also get an opportunity to play for somebody else in the league, ala. Ricardo Colclough, another former second-round bust.
Colclough was considered a bust with the Steelers, but spent six seasons in the NFL. That's not a bust. He was an NFL player.
Jackson was out of football a year after the Steelers cut him. That, my friends, is a bust.