It was a slow news day for Pittsburgh sports. Mostly there is a rehash of the same stories and the anguish over the Penguins quick exit from the championship. The Pirates continue to make fans hold their breath. Overall in the NFL, Tebowmania has firmly taken hold again with most of the ESPN shows ramping up their coverage.
Steelers May Have Unconventional Plans for Will Johnson
Will Johnson has a Cinderella-like NFL story, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. During the OTA’s, the Steelers have been adding some tight end-type of plays for Johnson to try. Johnson sounds excited to expand his training and remains grateful to have unexpectedly made the team last season in what Kaboly portrays as Johnson being in the right place at the right time. I’m all for anything that helps the Steeler players expand their abilities. Johnson was successful last year and it makes sense to see what they can do to continue his training. I would hope that they recognize which players can expand successfully and which one are better in a specialized role. Johnson is saying all the right things about working hard and understand that these opportunities are fleeting.
Burress continues to be in the spotlight
Several articles have been posted about Plaxico Burress and his hopes and expectations for the upcoming season. Teresa Varley, of Steelers.com, adds to the mix. Burress is happy to be able to attend the OTAs and camps this year because he believes it will give him a better chance to contribute. You can work out all you want on your own, but it’s hard to be in football shape until you are practicing with a team. Burress clearly understands where he is with his pro-football career in terms of age and physical ability. He seems to be embracing the veteran label and knows his remaining time could be short. I said it last week and I’m saying it again. Burress is worth the look. If he brings locker room leadership to the WRs, then he adds an intangible.
Steelers Charity Work
Steelers.com has highlighted several Steeler appearances around the local area. Bruce Gradkowski threw out the first pitch at a Wild Things baseball game, which is a Frontier League baseball team based in Washington, PA. Of note, Gradkowski has started his own charitable foundation, which is admirable now that he is back in his hometown area. Perhaps he is taking a note out of Charlie Batch’s playbook.
Ryan Clark and Louis Lipps with chair the 25th Annual Gatorade/Steelers 5K Race, Fitness Walk and Kids’ Kickoff Run on Saturday, August 31, at 9 a.m. at Heinz Field. This event benefits the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund. The fund supports a $12,000 scholarship for a local high-school graduate.
Tebow to the Patriots
Last week, Joe Starkey, a writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, decided it would be good to ask some of the Steelers if thought Tim Tebow belonged in the NFL. He found some who agreed and some who didn’t. At the time, I had hoped it would be the last time I had to address Tim Tebow, but it was an unrealistic hope. I think that if there is any NFL organization that can deal with the crush of media that comes with Tebow, it would be the Patriots. I also think that Belichick will either prove or disprove whether Tebow belongs in the the league. Tebow is either going to come out of this with a seal of approval or he will definitely be done.
That’s all for today. Let me know what I missed or what I got wrong!