Positives And Negatives From Steelers Training Camp - By Nick Signorelli
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|Unfortunately for me, at this time of the year anyway, I live in Florida, so I never get to go to Latrobe for training camp. What I do though, is spend countless hours on my computer reading everything I can about every aspect of what happens. Here are the positives and negatives that I am hearing from training camp from the first week of training camp.
Kendall Simmons and Casey Hampton both did very well in the annual run test to open training camp. With two guys, the size of these guys, both coming off knee injuries, to do so well on the run test is a very positive sign for both lines.
All of our draft picks are signed and in camp. From what I hear, Bryant McFadden, if he continues to improve at the pace he is improving at, could push for a starting job. Provided he can get over his hammy tweaking. Heath Miller will probably be the starter on opening day, by default if nothing else.
Cedrick Wilson is getting welcomed to the team, Joey Porter especially. Hopefully, he wont have to get used to trying to fill Hines Wards shoes.
From what I hear, James Harrison is making an impression on everyone at camp. First he roughed up rookie Heath Miller, getting in his face after he put him on his back. Coach Cowher has said James is playing with attitude, which is really great for the Steelers. All of them except Clark Haggans. Haggans better be careful, of he will be watching the defense instead of playing on it.
While the referees at camp were showing the team a video clip of the incident last year between Joey Porter and Browns running back William Green, they were told that taunting is no longer going to be acceptable, especially BEFORE the game! They also were instructing the Steelers on the new ways to pamper, I mean protect the offensive players. No horse collar tackling and hitting with the crown of the helmet. I can see the crown of the helmet, that is how players get paralyzed, but the horse collar thing? Are the offense players going to have to start wearing dresses?
In the goal line scrimmage from the 5 yard line, that is the only live action of training camp (per Steelers.com), the offense scored on two of three plays. Both running plays, both by back up running backs. Verron Haynes, and the second by Willie Parker. Which is kind of good news, bad news. The good news, we ran the ball in on two of three with backups. The bad news? Our defense allowed two back up running backs to score, on three plays.
Hines Ward did in fact hold out. My biggest problem with this is that the Rooney's do not negotiate with players that hold out of camp. The Steelers did offer to make Hines the highest paid Steeler ever. If that isn't showing respect, I don't know what else to call it. What I don't get about him threatening to hold out for the entire year is, he will still owe us another year of service for not playing this year.
Duce Staley is going to have an MRI on his damaged knee. I hope the Bus has a new set of tires ready to go. I for one am beginning that maybe we should have traded a third rounder to Buffalo for Travis Henry.
We are still more than a month away from the games that count. Again, I would like to take this time to say that I am all for making the pre-season shorter.