After probing the internet for the latest news on your Pittsburgh Steelers as they return back from their CBA-mandated off-day, here’s what’s being talked about.
Latrobe High School night practice moved
The Steelers will not hold their annual highly-anticipated events of training camp, the night practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium, this Friday. Instead, they will hold the night practice at St. Vincent in the late afternoon. Apparently the grass at Latrobe Memorial Stadium has suffered an “unexpected disease” and the team would rather move the practice, than jeopardize the playing surface for the Latrobe High School football team. According to GM Kevin Colbert, this is just a temporary move this year and the team expects to return to Latrobe Memorial next year as usual. You can find the details of the event at St. Vincent’s here. The event is free and it’s turned into a whole day event complete with Zambelli fireworks at the end.
Offensive Lineman in the zone…blocking
Ed Bouchette of the PPG reports how the offensive line is doing so far at adapting to new Offensive Line Coach Jack Bicknell’s zone-blocking scheme the team will implement this year. Previously, the Steelers have used a power-blocking scheme with double teams and specific holes. Now, the linemen will block a zone but the Steelers will reportedly keep the power-blocking on hand as needed for double-teams. The zone-blocking is ideal for running backs, and that could be just what the Steelers need to turn around the running game, which last year finished as one of the all-time worst in franchise history. If all you knew about offensive blocking before reading this was that our fat guys block the other team’s fat guys and then hopefully the running back gets through; you’ve just learned something. Good for you, take a sip of coffee and try to work this into a conversation in the break room today. Guard Ramon Foster seems to be a fan of the new scheme already.
“It adds a dynamic to us. When you’re doing power plays the entire game and they know what’s coming, they can stack the box or anchor down. With this outside zone, it keeps them on their toes, keeps them honest, and it opens up what we can do best. We’re still a power team, it’s just the outside zone caters to what we do most.”
Battle at Tight End heating up
While the wide receiving corps tries to replace the speed lost by the departure of Mike Wallace, the tight end corps is trying to replace another high-impact player in Heath Miller. While Heath enters training camp on the PUP list after recovering from knee surgery, the Steelers must prepare to start the season without one of their most productive pass catchers. There’s no denying that Miller has been one of Ben’s favorite targets since the first time Ben realized that Miller basically lives wide open in the back of the end zone and if he can get it to him, it means 7 on the board. The Steelers brought in Matt Spaeth, who spent two seasons playing in Chicago after he left Pittsburgh the first time, to compete against second year player David Paulson. It would be wise for either of these guys to not go out and try to be Heath Miller, in my opinion. Heath is one of those players that you just don’t replace exactly without any noticeable difference. Last season Heath caught 71 passes before going out with a knee injury in Week 16. Last season Spaeth and Paulson caught a combined 13 passes. Ralph N. Paulk of the Trib points out that not only are these two guys battling for a position spot, they also have to battle to gain Ben’s confidence.