Posts by Lady Steel

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    this is by no way a vote of confidence for Jones , but if you can not handle snaps from center in practice you have sealed your own fate ( and that is what Boyd did )

    Noooooo! You don't say! Geesh, I don't know how a lil 'ol wimmins like me would know that if you can't handle snaps from center in practice you have sealed your own fate. I'm sure glad I have you here to set me straight.

    They still could have put Boyd in for some pre-season experience. It's not like the games count. Just sayin'.

    Ugh! I just knew they were going to stick with Landry Jones when they weren't putting Boyd in for even a quarter or so this pre-season.

    So, we're stuck Cheesy Moustache. :brickwall:

    Now that Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers have landed long-term contract extensions, the attention turns to another highly decorated member of the 2004 quarterback draft class.

    Although the New York Giants hope to sign Eli Manning to a new deal by the start of the season, a "significant gap" remains in negotiations, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday's edition of NFL Total Access.

    That gap is unlikely to close anytime soon, as Manning is pushing to become the game's highest-paid player, per Rapoport.

    Manning isn't a top-five NFL quarterback, much less on par with 2014 Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers, who currently ranks as the league's highest-paid quarterback.

    That said, agent Tom Condon believes Manning is "uniquely suited" to be the Giants' quarterback because he's proven unflappable in the media spotlight.

    Condon and Manning also realize they are headed for a $25 million payday in 2016 if the Giants are forced to utilize the exclusive franchise tag.

    Even if the G-Men dig in their heels and refuse to bypass Rodgers' annual figure of $22 million, they might be able to find common ground by front-loading the contract with guarantees in excess ofRivers' $65 million -- which is several million more than Rodgers pocketed in 2013.…-nfl?campaign=Twitter_atn

    Some quarterbacks are at their best when their uniforms are cleanest. That's not Ben Roethlisberger.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback recently sat down with FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer's DraftKings Bus Tour for a one-on-one chat in which Roethlisberger talked, among other things, about how he seems to play better when he's getting knocked around.

    How do you train for that?, Glazer asked, then offered to help by putting Roethlisberger together with former UFC champ Chuck Liddell, who could punch him in the face and body. Roethlisberger pointed at his nose and said: "Haloti Ngata (former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle) has already done that."

    Roethlisberger also addressed wide receiver Antonio Brown's toughness, turnover of the Steelers' roster and his relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

    Watch Glazer's interview with Big Ben

    :laughing: @ Ben's statement about Haloti Ngata.

    Steelers notebook: Gradkowski feeling blessed entering his 10th NFL season

    Shoulder pain and fatigue forced backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to the physically unable to perform list for the first three weeks of training camp. That down time gave him the opportunity to reflect on his NFL journey.

    “I’m very thankful to be playing this game, going into my 10th year,” said Gradkowski, who grew up in Green Tree and Dormont. “I’m just trying to enjoy it. There is nothing like being out here with the guys and trying to get ready for the season. It’s truly a blessing. I try to thank God every day. I never would have imagined I’d be going into my 10th year in the NFL. I just want to take advantage of that and have fun while I’m playing. Who knows how long I’ll play? You have to take advantage of that.”

    Gradkowski has been eased back into practice the past two days. Coach Mike Tomlin has not announced the quarterback rotation for the third preseason game Sunday afternoon against the Green Bay Packers, but Gradkowski has said his goal is to play in the fourth preseason game the following week at Buffalo.

    Gradkowski said three weeks is plenty of time to get ready for the season.

    “It’s great to be on the practice field now,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll take me long to get back into a rhythm with the receivers.”

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    Safeties Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas seek cohesion, consistency

    The Steelers had their 16th training camp practice Monday afternoon. For the second consecutive day, starting safeties Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas took part in the workout.

    That doesn’t sound like much, but with both players battling nagging injuries in the first three weeks of camp it was an important milestone for defensive coordinator Keith Butler as he tries to improve a unit that ranked near the bottom of the league in pass coverage in 2014.

    Butler has to feel a bit like a mechanic this summer. He has had more moving parts than a car engine in his secondary.

    In addition to the injuries that kept Mitchell and Thomas in and out of practice for three weeks, the Steelers traded for cornerback Brandon Boykin seven days into camp because second-round draft choice Senquez Golson has been shelved with a shoulder injury. The Steelers were hoping Golson would challenge for playing time.

    Butler and defensive backfield coach Carnell Lake are sorting out their nickel personnel, but this week is especially important for the safeties, Butler said.

    “It’s easy to draw it up on the board and stuff like that. We have to get out there when things are happening fast. They need that experience,” he said. “This is Mike’s second year in the system. The first year you’re kind of looking around and trying to figure out what’s going on. This year he should grow in that aspect, in what we’re doing and what offenses are trying to do to us. We need for them to be out there on the field and practicing and getting the experience with the guys who are out there so they get a feel for each other.”

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    When Larry Foote was lost for the year less than four quarters into the 2013 season, the Steelers had no reliable, proven commodity to replace him at inside linebacker.

    Two years later — when and if healthy, at least — they will seemingly have too many players at the position to know what to do with.

    The Steelers last year drafted Ryan Shazier in the first round to replace Foote. But the emergence of Sean Spence and Vince Williams has made inside linebacker such a deep position.

    Spence and Williams have combined for 22 starts and 1,168 snaps over the past two seasons — their first NFL action — with each taking a year as a de facto starter next to Pro Bowler Lawrence Timmons.

    Add to that group a player who has grown into a special teams standout (Terence Garvin) and a player who was well-regarded when drafted by the Steelers 15 months ago (Jordan Zumwalt), and you have a position that quickly has gone from one lacking depth into one that's considered arguably the deepest on the team.

    “Coach (Mike) Tomlin teases me a lot. He says, ‘It's your first year, we've got five guys who were on an NFL team last year and a sixth guy we drafted who we think could be pretty good,' ” inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky said. “I don't want to say it makes my job easy ... but it makes for a really good atmosphere.”

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    Todd Haley's job is to nitpick.

    That's what offensive coordinators do, especially during a four-week training camp in which practices are scripted, watched, critiqued and then watched and critiqued some more in the film room.

    Through all of that, Haley has been hard-pressed to come up with something Ben Roethlisberger has not done well through three of four weeks of training camp at St. Vincent College.

    Yes, Roethlisberger has been that good — at least in Haley's estimation.

    “He's the best he's been to this point since I have been here,” Haley said. “You can see that he has reached deep and turned it up another notch even though these are easy days not to be into it, but he has kept his focus, which is a lot of work when you have a lot of young people around you.”

    Roethlisberger, who signed a five-year deal in March that can be worth as much as $108 million, has been in the league for 12 years. He is the third-oldest player on the roster after linebacker James Harrison and long snapper Greg Warren. Roethlisberger has been in Haley's system for four years.

    Coming off a Pro Bowl year in which he passed for 4,952 yards, 32 touchdowns — including two six-touchdown games — and nine 300-yard passing games could have easily resulted in complacency for Roethlisberger, especially during the final days of training camp.

    That hasn't been the case.

    “He stays after practice and throws to us every day,” receiver Markus Wheaton said.

    During practice, Roethlisberger rarely misses a series, let alone an entire practice. Roethlisberger has been given coach Mike Tomlin's “veteran's day off” only once in three weeks. He wraps his knee in ice after every practice.

    Still, his high level of play never wanes.

    “This is what you come to expect,” tight end Heath Miller said. “You expect it because you have seen it year in and year out.”

    Roethlisberger has morphed into one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He went from a rookie in 2004 who was asked to manage a game who now takes over games — and wins them.

    “I don't know if I have been around anybody who can do everything like him,” Haley said.

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    LATROBE, Pa. -- From the let-me-stop-what-I'm-doing-and-listen department, ESPN's Louis Riddick was talking about his impressions from the preseason on Ryan Russillo Show this week, and Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Bud Dupree's name came up.

    Frank Clark, Randy Gregory and Shane Ray instantly jumped out to Riddick as true pass-rushers. Bud Dupree has not.

    "I think that’s a real concern," Riddick said. "I know it’s early. I know they’ve only played two preseason games. Bud looked no different against Jacksonville than he did against Minnesota in the Hall of Fame game. This is a guy who was a combine workout warrior."

    Riddick went on to say Dupree's performance in the first two preseason games was similar to his Kentucky production. Dupree never recorded more than 7.5 sacks in a season while in Lexington. Kentucky's scheme (asking Dupree to drop back into coverage often) and minor injuries account for Dupree's numbers.

    Riddick's stance seems to be this: With natural pass-rushers, you know fairly quickly whether they have the goods. Dupree doesn't have that jump-off-the-film dynamic.

    Here are a few thoughts. Dupree has raw athleticism, but he's also fairly raw as a pass-rusher. The Steelers drafted him, I believe, knowing a reasonable amount of patience is required with his development. He's had a few moments where he stands out, using his burst to get into the backfield in a hurry. But that usually comes when he's got a free lane or beats the tackle with raw speed. What I still need to see is feel for the game, instincts, counter moves to get loose.

    Dupree appeared to over-pursue a passing lane when he could have sat back and eliminated Blake Bortles' screen pass. Those are moments the Steelers can live with (for now).
    Make no mistake, the team wants Dupree to take ownership of a starting job. That he hasn't yet isn't alarming. At some point during the season, though, he'll have to find a rhythm.…more-explosion-vs-packers

    Training camp in Richmond came to a close this weekend, and before Robert Griffin III left, he sat down with WJLA’s Alex Parker for a discussion about where he is as a player and a person. This preseason hasn’t been without marginal controversy for the quarterback, with some fans wondering if his father — an ever-present identity at practice — is there too much.

    He also showed a side that clearly has been affected since he first came into the league. Instead of the upstart friendly face who just wants to compete, being a dad and quarterback in the spotlight have changed his vision on just what being a professional athlete is all about.

    “It’s not the game you thought it was when you were a kid and you were dreaming of playing and being a professional athlete,” Griffin said. “There’s more business that goes into it, there’s more ruthlessness, backstabbing than you would expect. But at the end of the day when you put your helmet on your shoulder pads and your pants, your cleats and you get to go out there and run around on the field, it’s still that same game that you played as a kid.

    “So when I look at it that way, I’m like, man, it’s an honor, it’s a blessing to be at this level, to be able to go out here with 90 guys and truly enjoy, truly enjoy this process. So that’s where I look at it now. I didn’t expect the other stuff, but I think God’s helped me grow through everything that I’ve had to go through here in Washington and it’ll make me better for the future.”

    As for his ability on the field, he’s as confident as ever. In a comment that could be seen as either harmless hyperbole or incredible overconfidence, he said that there’s no real competition at the position, in his mind.

    “I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that,” he said. “Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be. There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But, I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.”

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    LATROBE – Entering training camp, it was widely accepted that the Steelers defense would be a work in progress with a new defensive coordinator and a number of new faces in prominent roles.

    At the start of the team’s fourth and final week here at Saint Vincent College, new defensive coordinator Keith Butler is still waiting to get a good look at what his defense might look like when the Steelers open the regular season Sept. 10 at New England.

    No fewer than eight of the 11 players listed at the top of the defensive depth chart have missed a significant amount of time already because of injury or rest. Head coach Mike Tomlin vowed to take care of older players in the team’s lengthiest training camp in years.

    In some areas, it hasn’t been a problem because the team wanted to look at some younger players. But in others, particularly at safety, it’s becoming an issue.

    Strong safety Shamarko Thomas and free safety Mike Mitchell have both missed extensive practice time, Thomas with a shoulder injury and Mitchell with a hamstring issue.

    Both were finally on the field together Sunday for the first time since the opening practice, much to the relief of Butler and Tomlin.

    “Pretty big,” said Tomlin when asked how important it was for that to happen.

    Butler agreed.

    “It’s extremely important for those guys to get out there,” Butler said. “It’s easy to sit back there and draw it up on the board and stuff like that. When you get out there and things are happening fast, they need the experience of doing that. This is (Mitchell’s) second year in the system. First year, you’re kind of looking around, figuring out what’s going on. This year, he should grow in the aspect of knowing what we’re doing and what offenses are trying to do to us.”

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    Ben Roethlisberger was out there for the crisp, workmanlike clinic of an opening drive the Steelers scored on during Friday's preseason game at Jacksonville.

    Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Maurkice Pouncey were out there, too.

    It appeared to be a tiny, seven-snap appetizer of what to expect, personnel-wise, from the offense when the regular season opens four weeks later: All of the returnees from the NFL's No. 2 offense of a year ago.

    The Steelers' 2014 starters… and Roosevelt Nix?


    “Pouncey and Ben and all those guys, you see them on TV growing up and you always dreamed of being out here,” Nix said. “I was blessed for that opportunity, but you've got to quickly let that settle in and know that you have a job to do out there and make the most of the opportunities you get.”

    On face value, the opportunity for Nix to make the Steelers' roster appears to be a long shot. After all, he lasted less than two weeks in the Falcons' camp last season after going undrafted.

    And he's playing a position that is trending toward extinction in the NFL: fullback.

    The position is so new to him it's on a different side of the ball than what he played in college.

    “I'm definitely learning something new about the position everyday,” said Nix, who was a four-time all-conference defensive lineman at Kent State. “I'm just trying to take it slow and make sure that I completely understand everything as I move on. I didn't really get that much practice at it last year — this year, I'm getting a lot of chances.”

    Even in games — and with high-profile personnel.

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    Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who began training camp on the physically unable to perform list with an injury to his throwing shoulder, was activated Sunday. Gradkowski served as Ben Roethlisberger's backup the past two seasons. Gradkowski appears certain to hold onto his job, in part, because third-year quarterback Landry Jones hasn't performed well enough in the preseason to push him. “Bruce had been working quite bit at the end of last week,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “The reason we didn't bring him back last week because it was a short week.” Gradkowski played in two games last season — including the AFC wild-card game against rival Baltimore in which he completed 2 of 3 passes for 22 yards. Gradkowski's return could signal the departure of either Tajh Boyd or Tyler Murphy. Boyd has yet to take a snap in preseason losses to Minnesota and Jacksonville.

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