The Morning Cup of Black & Gold

Here is Saturday’s Morning Cup.

Next week ESPN will continue its Power Ranking series, and up next is linebackers.  This one is sure to stir up controversy as rating inside vs outside linebackers is very different (as James Walker indicates).  James Harrison will certainly be a part of that list, but where will the Panel of 8 rank him?  Harrison finished 3rd for NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year (second to fellow OLB Clay Matthews).  Will they take that into consideration?  Will Harrison’s bad wrap on illegal hits hurt his position?  I look for Harrison to place in the top 3.  With Sando part of this panel he could drop to top 5.

ESPN’s James Walker lists five underrated players in the AFC North and names RB Iasaac Redman as one of them.  Built very similarly to fellow back, Mendenhall, Redman has a different style of running that does add an advantage to the Steelers running game.  Where Mendenhall is more of an outside the tackle kind of runner because of his explosive speed, Redman is more of a between the tackle with his ability to lower the shoulder.  I’ll admit there are times that both of these guys make me long for the days of Bettis, but they do get the job done.  I’m not so sure Walker is correct when he says that Redman will be used more in 2011 to keep Mendenhall fresh – especially if Ed Bouchette is right in portraying coach Mike Tomlin as someone who will grind Mendenhall to a pulp.

And finally this morning, it’s Eat Sleep and Dance for Hines Ward.

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