Much of the news for today continues to come from player interviews after training activities. Speculation continues about how the Steelers will fill the positions that were vacated over the off-season. Additionally, there is some other NFL news at the end of the post.
Some Steelers have expressed concern publicly about safety and others feel that Mike Adam’s experience doesn’t change what they already knew. Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, put together a few of the comments from players that shows this. We could dissect this ad nauseam, but I’ll only digress a little. We all know that some young players go for flash and put money in their outer appearance, whether it be jewelry or cars. It can make them a lucrative target. I’m not saying that the Steelers players should not spend the money they earn and I’m not saying they should stay behind locked gates and never enjoy life. I’m not even saying they should change what they are doing day-to-day. Life happens and while you can perhaps put a lot of effort into choosing your company and where you visit more carefully, you can’t predict everything. From what has been released to the public, Mike Adams is lucky to be alive and he was targeted because of his possessions, not because they knew he was a Steeler. I just wonder if any good will come from this. A second suspect is now in custody according to both the PG and the Trib. I’m sure they did not bargain for the notoriety that would come with their crime.
Alan Robinson, of the Tribune Review, looks at Foote’s comments about what the team needs to do to fill in the holes left from the off-season moves. In particular, Foote sees Worilds having the edge to play at James Harrison’s position and not Jarvis Jones, at least not at the start of the season. He cites experience as the main reason. On the surface, that makes sense. Worilds has been on the team long enough and people have wondered why he hasn’t had more of a chance before. Will this be his break-out year? The scrutiny of anyone who steps in to play for the Steelers at this position is going to tough. I think that will be something that whoever it is, Worilds or Jarvis Jones, will have to work to block out and just play.
Mark Karboly has an article about Steve McLendon published on TribLive.com and he looks at McLendon’s determination to make an impact in the 2013. McLendon is quoted as saying that he still wants to be part of the pass rush even though he has moved to nose tackle to replace Casey Hampton. Karboly notes that McLendon has been signed or released 11 times in 18 months with the Steelers. He’s put together a great timeline in his article. What seems clear is that McLendon has the attitude that Steelers fan want from the players: Don’t give up. Don’t whine. Work hard even if it seems you aren’t being recognized right now. Keep your head down, do what is asked of you, and you will get your chance. Well, it seems McLendon may be getting his chance and he’s doing what is asked of him, including learning how to snap the ball. Offensive lineman who can play more than one position would be particularly valuable to the Steelers due to the high rate of injury among those positions. As the season gets closer, I’m rooting for him. I like players who are hungry and appreciate what is around them.
In other NFL news, according to NFL.com, Roger Goodell states the that NFL is planning to add a third game in London. It appears the league is going to continue to push the idea of basing a team in London. The owners don’t seem to be too upset with this plan because I’ve heard very little backlash about it. Goodell has helped the owners make a lot of money and they have rewarded him handsomely. I’m guessing that they are willing to take the baby steps toward this by increasing the number of games each year. I just look at the logistics and the physical toll the travel would take. The London team would always have a minimum of five to six hours travel time for their away games. It’s one of the reasons pro teams have not gotten a foothold in Hawaii. I remain skeptical, but it looks like my opinion, as a fan would can barely afford tickets to a single game and can’t even dream of buying Steelers season tickets (regardless of the waiting list) won’t affect what the NFL is doing.
Today, I’ll finish up by saying R.I.P Deacon Jones. Deacon Jones will remain a legend as long as the sport is played. He lived and breathed football until his passing. If you are interested, NFL.com has a good selection of articles and player stories and quotes about Mr. Jones.
Sound off Steeler Nation. Let me know what I missed or what you disagree with!