It was another hold onto your keester day at camp, but the hitting matched the weather throughout the afternoon practice.
While watching internal running Maurkice Pouncey pulled down the line from his guard position and trapped the wang-dang-doodle out of some defensive lineman on the far side whose number i couldn’t get. All the elements were there, the low contact point, head inside, driving hamhocks and a determination to finish the block by grounding and pounding the unspecified victim. I like it.
Pouncey followed that up by going mano-y-mano in the pass pro drill with last years number 1 Ziggy Hood. Yesterday Ziggy “Ziggified” Maurkice with a nice outside swim move and blew the doors off Pouncey. Today was another day and this time Hood tried to spin inside on Pouncey, but the rook caught him in the spin and stuffed him. Shows me that Pouncey can bounce back even when he gets embarrassed. Sometimes young bucks lose their cool under the glaring lights of one on ones. Then they resort to forgetting technique and try to maul the other guy. Maurkice pulled it together and did a nice job. This kid is a player.
Brett Keisel over powered Chris Kemoeatu like you will rarely see. The big Tongan is so strong, but “The Deisel” dropped into low gear and had Big Juicy on his heels. You can’t believe the amount of strength it takes to push on a Big Juicy. The next time you run out of gas, lower your hips, get a roll on your car and wish you were “The Deisel.”
The outstanding rush award on both sides of the ball pitted the “Big Legursky” as in Doug, against back-up nosetackle Chris Hoke. It was a battle of two men knowing what they needed to get done and executing their hand techniques like the true pros they are. Both fought hard for the inside hand position, and one (Hokie) feverishly attempted to get the edge on Doug. But Doug used his feet step-sliding like a Broadway tap dancer and kept Hokie from turning the corner on him. Narrow edge to Doug with a big complement to Hokie.
Byron Leftwich has an arm, er…maybe I should say a cannon. During team Byron zipped one into heavy traffic with such velocity Hines Ward caught the ball out of self-defense. The ball traveled maybe 20 yards, but you could use a ruler to track it through space. People around me were amazed, as was I, with the speed of that throw.
One of the big stories going around this week is the development of the second year guys. Everybody knows about Ziggy and Mike Wallace, but another of last years draft class is showing strong in the person of Keenan Lewis. A strapping dude he is, and he’s making plays. If the only time you get noticed at training camp is when the coaches are doing bedcheck, you’re in trouble. Keenan’s not one of them. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the pre-season.
I blew it yesterday when I said Big Ben was a Friday guest, he came into the locker room today, along with Ryan Clark. Tomorrow has Mike Wallace, the legendary Mean Joe Greene, and Fox Fantasy Football Guru Mike Harmon all check in for a little chit-chat. See you then!
Listen to the Tunch and Wolf’s “In the Locker Room” show on Fox Sports Radio 970AM Pittsburgh
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11:00am to 1:00pm
READ Craig’s “Training Camp” blog stories (Link)