June 15, 2007

At Ease Soldiers....

The line up is set, and there are really no surprises...yet. As of the first day of training camp '07 (July 23), here's what a few, previously questionable positions, will look like:

  • Most importantly, at Center we will feature Chukky "My Time Has Finally Come" Okobi. The long time incumbent behind Jeff Hartings will at least start out as the Number One option over Sean Mahan or any of the other 8 guys Tomlin tried at the position (yes I know it wasn't really 8, I'm exaggerating).

  • Starting Corners will continue to be Deshea "Spud Webb" Townsend on the right and "Face Me" Ike Taylor on the left. Despite a continually strong showing from Bryant McFadden, nothing will change just yet. I'm a bit disappointed, because I'm somewhat skeptical about Deshea's ability to cover receivers that are increasingly in the 6'3" -6'5" height range, but I'm sure if Tomlin is confident in Deshea to get the job done, he will...he better!

  • Ryan Clark will continue at Free Safety over promising young 2nd year guy Anthony Smith. I think this is the right decision. Clark's play was pretty solid last year, and all I keep thinking about with Smith is that showboating after his interception against Carolina. Clearly he's got some maturing to do and someone should really teach him the value of modesty. Still, I love his skills...he'll see some significant playing time soon enough.

  • Max Starks retains his right tackle spot over another promising 2nd year guy, Willie Colon. I know we're all eager to trot Colon out on to the field, but I agree that Starks should at least begin as the starter. He's being paid to be a starter and deserves a second (third?) chance to prove he can be the guy at right tackle before we unload him on someone else. That said, Max Starks - listen man, we've come to a crossroads. It's time to shit or get off the pot. Just make it happen dude...make it happen!

  • And finally, in a shocker, Ben Roethlisberger will be this year's starter at QB...yeah...as if there were any doubt. I like how Ed Bouchette wryly injects a little humor there. Touche Bouchette!

Other tidbits gleaned from Bouchette's article -
1. The Steelers will have more two-a-days than they've had in the past under Cowher...so someone go call MTV.

2. Willie Colon is becoming the football equivalent of a utility-man, being groomed at almost all positions on the offensive line. Because you never know when you'll need a guy to step in there...good thinking Tomlin (seriously).

3. Similar idea - guys are being moved around all over the place to learn how to play unfamiliar positions at different times. I heard Timmons even got a turn at Safety?
Anyways, I'm chomping at the bit for some training camp action, as I'm sure you all are. So we'll see how it all shapes up after July 23. But for now, it's the status quo in Pittsburgh. Cheers!

PS - This top 50 players list is a disgrace. Not one Steeler! Polamalu and Casey Hampton earn honorable mentions but no Big Ben, no Heath Miller, no Hines Ward...eh, I wash my hands of CBS Sportsline.



Black n Gold said...

Timmons didn't truly get a chance at safety (at least I don't think so) because he hasn't even practiced yet. He still has the nagging groin. What was said is that in the dime package where we use 3 CBs and 3 safeties, he'd be a "safety," but I see that essentially being a safety that blitzes from a dime package. It'd be something to use against 3-WR offenses, not 4 or 5-WRs.

Also, isn't Troy the strong safety? Simply by definition of the free and strong positions, isn't the SS the guy who dows more run supporting and blitzing? Clark and Smith battled for FREE safety.

Cotter said...

Yeah, I didn't really read the whole story that mentioned Timmons playing "safety", but like you said, it does make a lot of sense blitzing him out of that package...

And yeah, Troy is the Strong Safety...I need more time to proof my posts before they go up...this having a full time job and blog thing is hard to juggle sometimes. Maybe you should be my designated editor!