Here we are the day before the Steelers open the pre-season in Philly. So just some more observations from the past week in camp.
David DeCastro will make his first start against the Eagles. By my count he’s had four very good practice days in a row. David is really starting to flash his skills. He runs much better than i realized and i think he’s on a good track, maybe the Pouncey track. Where i most humbly think David had a little challenge was in the speed and quickness of players (they are all fast at this level) and the angles that he had to take to intercept cut-offs on the backside and getting up to the second level guys. He’s got the mental game down but good. I talked to him yesterday morning and asked him if he was excited. He was, but if you know David, you know by now he’s the master of saying very little, but let me tell you when i got a gander at his eyes, they were fired up. I am really looking forward to seeing this young man play tomorrow night.
While in Latrobe, and if you hit Sharky’s, get the Chicken Diego. The garlic sauce is killer. Don’t expect to get a good nite kiss from the wife though.
Speaking of the Young Guns, Mike Adams has suprised me. He’s feistier than i thought, has a nice fluid athleticism about him, can take guys off the ball and drive block better than i anticipated. The only glaring thing that pops out right now is his habit of getting “Dead-foot-itis” in pass pro. He’s used to dominating college guys and shoving them upfield. But in the pros the quick guys will cut the corner and back door the QB. So he’s got to learn to run the guy around the pocket. Not a problem, just something he has to overcome.
WR Derek Williams seems to be climbing the charts in WR coach Scott Montgomery’s mind. We had Scottie “In the Locker room” and his eyes lit up while talking about Derek and the great job he did in the stalk blocking drills whacking guys.
Last week i happened to be standing by Kevin Colbert when Cortez Allen flashed on the practice field and under cut a route, leaping high to INT the ball. It was an unbelieveable athletic move and i looked at Kevin and gushed “On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the best, what would you rate that?” Kevin, in his usual under-stated way laughed and said, “Real good.”
Rookie OT-G Kelvin Beachum looked good in practice yesterday. He’s got very good feet and uses his hands like a 3rd year pro. While playing OT, and the defense running an E-T (twist stunt with 2 players), Beachum punched the DE flat to the inside, then picked up LB’er Adrian Robinson screaming around the corner, and slammed Robinson, kicking up dirt. The dirt was the exclamation point on a fine body slam.
Ramone Foster will not go “Gently into the night.” As i said the Big Ragu is a fighter and he’s been having an excellent camp. Moving into the LG spot for Willie Colon , Foster is playing well and making the most of his practice reps. As i said, DeCastro will have to earn the RG spot.
Speaking of guys using their practice reps to standout, OLB Chris Carter is having a terriffic camp. He’s playing under control, not near as head-heavy as he was last year and with 8-10 pounds of added size and strength, he’s looked good rushing the passer.
If you hit Dino’s in Latrobe, try the Jumbalaya with rice. New Orleans good!
I didn’t see this but my compadre, Tunch Ilkin, saw James Harrison working out on the treadmill in the weight room in camp. He was wearing a gas mask. I guess it simulates breathing at altitude. Or maybe Tunch had the Jumbalaya….
Best sight in camp; after practice Carnell Lake, Larry Foote, and Ray Jackson ran a couple gassers down the length of the field. Kirby Wilson jumped in and ran with them. A fabulous sight to see to anybody who is a fan and admirer of Steelers RB coach Kirby Wilson, like me.