Hey there Steeler Nation! Is anyone getting itchy about being away from football for so long? I am. Thank goodness I still have the Pirates to watch! Here are some article you might find interesting.
Of course his most immediate goal is to make the team, but Teresa Varley of Steelers.com posted an article about what makes Steve McLendon tick and what he is focused on. The article talks about how McLendon is aware of how much pressure is on him to step into an unfamiliar position now that Casey Hampton is no longer at Nose Tackle. He is working out with other types of training besides going to the weight room. McLendon discusses how important it is to build strength and flexibility and said that he is back to doing ballet, which helped him in his senior year in college:
Most people don’t look at a guy my size taking ballet, but if you want to achieve greatness, you will do whatever it takes to be great.”
It might seem a bit odd to see a big football player taking ballet, but I’m with McLendon. If it works for you and helps you to achieve your goals, go for it. I’d much rather hear about how the players are approaching their off season training with an eye toward how they can be at their best come regular season than hear about how much they are partying. Go ahead and party, blow off some steam, but I want to hear about the work out regimens.
Our Big Ben Meets the Other Big Ben
Most of you have probably seen the schedule and know that the Steelers are playing in London this year. According to Teresa Varley, Ben Roethlisberger is part of a fan forum trip to the United Kingdom that is in preparation for the Steelers-Vikings game in Wembley Stadium on September 29th. I’m guess we will get some pictures of the two Big Bens together. I’ve been to London a couple of times and even thought our Ben is big, that clock is huge. Should be interesting. Ben will also go to Ireland and help out at Mr. Rooney’s annual July 4th flag football game.
Jarvis Jones Starter Speculation
When the minicamps and OTAs finished up, the word was that Jones still had a lot to do to make the transition from college to the NFL. That has not stopped the speculation about the Steelers first-round draft pick and whether he will start as a rookie this season. Kevin Patra, of NFL.com, quotes another writer Len Pasquarelli of the National Football Post that Jones could overtake Jason Worilds for the starting position. Pasquarelli said that privately Steelers coaches believe they may have a rare thing for the Steelers, a defensive rookie capable of earning a starting position. Patra quotes LeBeau about Jones’ linebacker instincts and he draws his conclusions from there. Obviously the Steelers think Jones has the instincts and the potential or they wouldn’t have drafted him in the first round. However, I do think the Steelers are going to stick to the script and be cautious with their rookies, including Jones. I’m sure they will work him out in preseason and go from there (duh, hello Captain Obvious). However, the Steeler way is not to rush things if they don’t have too. I think that with Jason Worilds on the team, they don’t have to. It’s a lot of pressure on a rookie who showed up to camp with a hamstring injury.
The New-Old Steelers Offensive Line
Dustin Hockensmith, who writes for Pennlive.com, looks at the transition for the Steelers offensive line, which starts with the new position coach, Jack Bicknell, Jr. Four of the expected starters, included Maurkice Pouncey, are under the age of 25. Will this be the year where youth and talent combine to keep injuries at bay and build a strong offensive line that can effectively block for Ben to throw the deep balls when necessary while opening up holes for the running backs on the other plays? I don’t know, but Hockensmith seems encouraged. He puts together a nice rundown of potential starters and other talent for the offensive line. There are no surprising claims in the article but a good one to check out to get familiar with the players. He also puts up a predicted depth chart.
Josh Victorian – Lots of Upside?
One of the writers for Behind the Steeler Curtain blog, put together a fairly long article about Josh Victorian and how much passion he has for playing football. It’s that passion that helps him overcome what some might see as his deficiencies, particularly his size. ”SteelCityRoller” makes some good points about Victorian and that he has a mindset that fits in with the Steelers. The writer acknowledges that it is still up in the air whether or not Victorian can make the training camp cut to earn a spot on the active roster. He suggests that if Victorian does, the Steelers and Steeler Nation won’t be disappointed. I would have to say that Victorian’s play at the end of last season doesn’t give me much confidence in him, but I also think that you can’t judge career potential solely off of a fill-in gig where the player hasn’t built up any chemistry with his teammates. For me, the jury is out, but I have an open mind about him.
What did I miss? What did I get wrong?
That’s it for today. Let me know what you think.