Hey there Steeler Nation! Training camp is officially over and we’re further into the preseason. Anyone looking forward to watching tomorrow night’s game against Washington? I know it’s only preseason, but I’ll watch it anyway. Here’s a sampling of some of the articles floating around the internet in the last 24 hours.
Running Back Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that running backs Isaac Redman and Le’Veon Bell could play against Washington Monday Night. Technically, they haven’t been ruled out. I don’t know what that translates to in Tomlin-speak. Redman probably doesn’t need a lot of snaps at that point but Tomlin may want a series or two to keep the rust off. Bell is the big issue here. He’s been anointed on many of the depth charts and in the picks as a probably starter yet he hasn’t even taken a preseason hand-off. Yes, I know he has talent, but we all know that it usually isn’t an automatic transfer from college play to NFL play and he needs to get in there and show what he has. If neither play, then it’s “next man up,” which puts Jonathon Dwyer into the lime-light. Paul Paulk includes a quick comment about that in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Steelers Notebook. In my opinion, although LaRod Stephens-Howling has already shown a lot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get first-team reps again. There is also the return position to think about – check out Dominic DiTolla’s post about that.
Ziggy Hood’s Uncertain Future
Ed Bouchette, of the Post-Gazette, talks about Hood’s uncertain future in light of his contract status. Bouchette highlights some negative comments about Hood from a football blogging site and asked Hood about it. Hood denied he had seen the criticism and said that it didn’t matter because he is getting positive feedback from his coaches. Bouchette rounds out his article with a quick update on Marcus Wheaton and a few tidbits about the wrap-up of camp. As far as the speculation about Hood goes, I guess it is to be expected with his contract status. I also have a sense that Hood has never been the “dynamic” player that I think many were expecting after his draft. Maybe I’m imagining that, because I also can remember some games were people were singing his praises. NPC’s Nick Kelly also wondered about Hood’s status after this year in a post a couple of weeks ago.
Malecki’s Time to Shine?
Bob Cohn’s of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review posted an article about John Malecki, right now a back-up center and a guard for the Steelers. Malecki’s a home-town product who went to Pitt. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent and has bounced around a bit before making the Steelers practice squad. Malecki’s first appearance for the Steelers late last year was a “personal hat trick:”
He has played at Heinz Field for his high school, Franklin Regional, for Pitt and the Steelers.”
Also according to Cohn, Malecki’s size works against him, but his mother is quoted at how he never gets down and he never gives up. It’s a make or break year for Malecki and his status on the active roster isn’t guaranteed, but Bicknell has some positive things to say about him. In the meantime, it sounds like Malecki is just giving it his all. I’ll be interested to see how much playing time he gets and at what position. Pouncey has had some ankle problems and I think the Steelers are concerned enough that they are spending some time looking for a back-up center. Does Malecki have what it takes?
If you want a summary from the Steeler’s training camp that is more about the light-hearted side of football (if there is one), check out Joe Starkey’s article in the Tribune Review. If you want to know who the most popular rookie was and oddities about some of the coaches such as what the bet game to play with Dick LeBeau is, check out Starkey’s post. I won’t spoil it here.
There are lots of places to find stats on the internet and some have different degrees of accuracy and validity. Personally, I tend to use stats from NFL.com because it is the league’s web page, but I have no idea how well or accurate they are compared to other sites. Ray Fittipaldo does a write-up on an interesting site called ProFootball Focus and talks about how this person who founded this site does his stats. He also summarizes how the site rates the Steelers. There is a lot of information in the article and it’s convincing that this site is worth checking out if you like to track stats. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other yet, but I play to take some time and dig through the site.
The Ice Cream Man
Today’s featured tweet is from LaMarr Woodley who did a little bit of sponsor promotion with Turkey Hill Ice Cream.
— IG:LaMarrWoodley (@LaMarrWoodley) August 18, 2013
The Steelers.com site also have the full video posted. At first people don’t recognize him and when they start to, he plays it off. Looks like Woodley had a bit of a good time with it.
That’s it for today
Let us know what you think!