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    Players to Watch.....

    Preseason games are good for a quarter. At least that's what the common football fan tells us. But the serious football fans want to see all the rookies. Here's the rundown on the Steelers' game tonight against the New Orleans Saints. Stay up late and catch them all.



    Dallas Baker opened this past practice week by running under a long bomb from Charlie Batch, and Baker ended it going way up to high-point and catch a Hail Mary pass in the end zone from the same quarterback.

    The defensive backs weren’t allowed to leap with the receivers as the Steelers practiced their desperation heaves, but it’s unlikely that anyone would’ve jumped with Baker, the 6-foot-3 rookie who gave his best Marques Colston imitation on the play.

    Colston will play Sunday night for the New Orleans Saints after a rookie year in which he caught 70 passes for 1,038 yards. Like Baker, Colston was a seventh-round draft pick without much of a chance. But he’s turning heads lately.
    “It’s coming together, but it’s still difficult,” said Baker. “You know how it is when you’re a rookie, really. It’s always difficult trying to adjust to a new offense.”
    But scouts are saying Baker’s making the adjustment. They’re excited to see him continue his best week with the team tonight in Canton, Ohio. Comparisons to Fred Gibson are scoffed at. Both are big, but one wasn’t smart enough to understand the playbook, while Baker’s coming along.
    “He’s doing well,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “He wants to learn and he wants to be good. He’s making a lot of progress.”

    Baker, No. 81, will be one of the interesting new names to watch tonight.
    On defense, the busiest new name will be second-round draft pick LaMarr Woodley. Because of an injury to James Harrison, Woodley will replace Joey Porter in the front seven, but will line up on the left side. He’ll be wearing Porter’s No. 55.
    Here’s a rundown of the other players who’ll make the second half more enjoyable for serious Steelers fans:

    QUARTERBACK – Bryan Randall (5) has been with a couple of teams and hasn’t shown much accuracy in camp, but he’s an outstanding runner and that’s intriguing Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Brendan Taman of the CFL. He’ll be scouting Randall tonight.
    “He’s at a make-it-or-break-it stage and he’s a guy we like,” Taman told the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday. Randall will either end up with Taman or become a member of the Steelers’ practice squad.

    RUNNING BACK – Najeh Davenport will start, but the player to watch is 230-pounder Carey Davis (38). He’s a fullback/tailback/one-back who’s pushing Verron Haynes for the fourth spot in the backfield. The wildcard on the depth chart is No. 41, undrafted rookie Gary Russell, who does everything well but nothing spectacularly. Kevan Barlow sulked on the practice field Friday as if he’d been told he’s the mop-up back tonight.

    WIDE RECEIVER – After Baker caught his Hail Mary on Friday, undrafted rookie Eric Fowler (82), the star of minicamp, dropped a Hail Mary that hit him in the belly. Fowler has slipped at camp, but has retained favorable status with the scouts. Another newcomer to watch is 5-8 veteran speedster Dan Sheldon (13). Rasheed Marshall (11), the former WVU QB, is coming off his first good week of camp. But, really, the top newcomer to watch is camp sensation Willie Reid (15), who was injured on his only play last season.

    TIGHT END – Third-round pick Matt Spaeth (89) has locked up the No. 2 job. The battle for the third roster spot is said to be between Jerame Tuman and undrafted 6-8 rookie Cody Boyd (48). Jon Dekker (88) is making progress.

    OFFENSIVE LINE – Plenty of intrigue here, and most of it has been beaten to death by camp sportswriters. The undrafted player creating most of the camp buzz so far has been 6-9 left tackle Jason Capizzi (67) of IUP. The speed of the game will increase tonight, but even if Capizzi gets beat every now and then the staff can always consider the big man at right tackle.

    DEFENSIVE LINE – The sixth roster spot was Shaun Nua’s to lose, and he may have this week. Nua needs a good game to regain his status ahead of rookies Ryan McBean (95) and Derrick Jones (67). Both players are in the Steelers’ future plans.

    LINEBACKER – Woodley (55) will play much of the game. He’s a physical player who can rush the passer, but check his ability to drop into coverage. Another interesting rookie is inside linebacker Richard Koonce (46). He sat out a year after no one drafted him out of East Carolina. He stayed in shape, went to Europe and showed the Steelers the physical ability they’ve been hoping to see from Rian Wallace (54). Koonce is the guy with all the hair.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS – Mike Lorello (45) of WVU is the No. 5 safety and the team has kept five in the past. He made a brilliant interception of Roethlisberger in the end zone on Friday. Anthony Smith (27) is always good for one blown up receiver, and he’ll be in a particularly nasty mood coming off the bench. Fifth-round draft pick William Gay (22) doesn’t run well in the 40, but it’s become obvious at camp that he carries his pads well. He’s moved steadily up the depth chart and may even be pushing Ricardo Colclough for a job on the dime defense.

    SPECIALIST – Dan Sepulveda (9) said his leg is feeling better, so look for some rockets off his left foot. Also watch for the “Aussie Roll,” or backwards spin on his pooch punts.

    Jim Wexell
    SteelCityInsiders.com
    5 August 2007
    I won't be able to watch the game So I'm hoping some of you guys come back with some good intel and observations from the game.


    If you don’t 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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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Nice read Diesel.....All the players listed is one I want to see also...I really want to see Carey Davis and Gary Russell........Both sound like they're having great camps and maybe could be a solid RB at the NFL level........

    I liked the Dallas Baker pick when it was made......Thought he could be the Colston of this draft...Not saying he will have a Colston impact or put stats like Colston....But what I meant is Baker being a 7th rounder like Colston and that he could make the team like Colston did.....

    I'm really interested in Matt Spaeth.......Shocked that he has locked up the number 2 TE spot already....I expected him to be number 2 but not this quick.......Especially since Tuman is a vet.......

    Of course the young hogs up front I'm alway interested in........I want to see Colon, Kemoeatu, Phillip and Capazzi.

    On defense of course Woodley.....But I'll keep my eye on that Koonce also......Sounds like the coaches like him some what....

    The secondary I'm going to pay attention to Gay and hope he does push Colclough down the depth chart....I also like Mike Lorello.....I thought Lorello was a darkhorse last year to make the team especially on the kick coverage units....He was a very good safety at West Virginia.......So I'm hoping he can make the team......Only problem the Steelers have 4 good safties already on the roster and I really don't think the Steelers keep 5.....But maybe Lorello unseats Tyrone Carter.....

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    Draft Pick manofsteel's Avatar
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    No Problem Diesel. Im will be ready to watch even an hour early. Ive been reading alot about Cappizzi and will watch for him tonight. YOur right though alot of people dont care about preseason. They say its boring and to the naked eye it might be but im always looking for that good block or tough catch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    Nice read Diesel.....All the players listed is one I want to see also...I really want to see Carey Davis and Gary Russell........Both sound like they're having great camps and maybe could be a solid RB at the NFL level........

    I liked the Dallas Baker pick when it was made......Thought he could be the Colston of this draft...Not saying he will have a Colston impact or put stats like Colston....But what I meant is Baker being a 7th rounder like Colston and that he could make the team like Colston did.....

    I'm really interested in Matt Spaeth.......Shocked that he has locked up the number 2 TE spot already....I expected him to be number 2 but not this quick.......Especially since Tuman is a vet.......

    Of course the young hogs up front I'm alway interested in........I want to see Colon, Kemoeatu, Phillip and Capazzi.

    On defense of course Woodley.....But I'll keep my eye on that Koonce also......Sounds like the coaches like him some what....

    The secondary I'm going to pay attention to Gay and hope he does push Colclough down the depth chart....I also like Mike Lorello.....I thought Lorello was a darkhorse last year to make the team especially on the kick coverage units....He was a very good safety at West Virginia.......So I'm hoping he can make the team......Only problem the Steelers have 4 good safties already on the roster and I really don't think the Steelers keep 5.....But maybe Lorello unseats Tyrone Carter.....
    I'm hoping Baker has at least a Santonio Holmes year, never expect much from rookies but Holmes came on strong last year as did the team as a whole. Most definitely want to know about our RB depth.

    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel
    No Problem Diesel. Im will be ready to watch even an hour early. Ive been reading alot about Cappizzi and will watch for him tonight. YOur right though alot of people dont care about preseason. They say its boring and to the naked eye it might be but im always looking for that good block or tough catch.
    Thanks bro!!


    If you don’t 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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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    I think it might be hard for Baker to catch 49 passes if he makes the team this year.....With Ward, Holmes, Washington as the first three WRs.....Another factor with Ariens suggesting on using the TEs more this year that will hurt Bakers chances for receptions.....All I want to see from Baker is if he can get open at the NFL level and to become a factor in the red zone with his size....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIESELMAN View Post
    I won't be able to watch the game So I'm hoping some of you guys come back with some good intel and observations from the game.

    I will watch and offer some play by play.
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_082009/home.parcoltop11.35513.ImageFile.jpg

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    I'll be watching, it's the only thing on the agenda for this evening ! Steelers football is back baby !!

    Great observations everyone...Im really looking forward to watching the OL, especially after the 1st unit is done because that's when we'll really see what our backups are capable of even if it is against other lesser competition from the Saints as well. I want to see these guys and how they stack up against the ones on the first time tonight.

    Essex and Kemoeatu have been on the roster for awhile now, it's time to have these guys step and be counted on. I don't know how much more of a shot either one has since indications are so far that neither one has really stepped up to the challenge but I'll be watching them none the less.

    I want to see McBean as well; he's got a chance and will probably make the team anyways but I'd like to see if he gets thrown around during the game like he has been at camp so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGold4vr View Post
    I will watch and offer some play by play.
    Good deal!! Post it all up right here.....http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/...ead.php?t=8349


    If you don’t 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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    2nd String steelerfan11's Avatar
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    DIESELMAN, I know its not the same as watching the steelers game but dve covers all the games (i am assuming they are covering the preseason also) so you could go to www.dve.com and listen to the game.

    I always listen to the radio or on my computer and watch the game with the TV muted. I would rather hear the game from then rather then listening to these idiot broadcasters.

  10. #10
    Waterboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Im really looking forward to watching the OL, especially after the 1st unit is done because that's when we'll really see what our backups are capable of even if it is against other lesser competition from the Saints as well. I want to see these guys and how they stack up against the ones on the first time tonight.

    Essex and Kemoeatu have been on the roster for awhile now, it's time to have these guys step and be counted on. I don't know how much more of a shot either one has since indications are so far that neither one has really stepped up to the challenge but I'll be watching them none the less.

    This will be a very interesting matchup. And especially for the starting unit.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07217/807014-66.stm

    Like you said, it's time for some of these guys to step up. Especially our #93 pick in the 2005 draft. ESSEX
    Didn't we trade up for him?

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