Stuff From Training Camp

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After 3 “Show Pony” days where the Steelers ran and practiced in shorts followed by 2 days in pads, here’s just some thoughts and observations;

I wish i had these CBA rules back in the day. Would’ve extended the career by a few years and the damage points would have been less.

Keenan Lewis has looked good early on in the CB derby with Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. Now with a doinked shoulder that might set him back some, Cortez and Curtis get more of a look. Hope the shoulder is nothing serious.

The salad bar up at the training hall in Saint Vincent is terriffic. Can’t believe i’m talking about the salad bar.

Willie Colon is the leader of that offensive line. When team period started on saturday, the very first play was a running play and Willie and the Law Dawg (Lawrence Timmons) had a little pugilistic set-to. So the next day i sidle up to Willie while he was in individual period, because i suspected that Willie might have had a little pre-meditation going into the team period to mix it up with somebody to set the tone. The conversation went like this;

Me: Willie, did you plan to whack somebody going into team yesterday to put’em on notice?

Willie: No.

Me: Are you lying to me?

Willie: No.

Okay. So much for pre-meditation and sending a message. But i still love the way Willie leads by example and believe you me the rest of the guys are responding.

The first Backs on ‘Backers drill;

Worst Runover: Stevenson Sylvestor running over Wesley Saunders, ouch…

Best Stuff on a defensive rusher: David Johnson on someone who i can’t remember

Consistently good overall: Johnathan Dwyer and Baron Batch.

Most pressure: Ike Redman who was called out by RB coach Kirby Wilson who said “Ike can’t lose!” Mike Tomlin responded by matching Ike up against Lawrence Timmons and Lamar Woodley. Ike held his own against Lamar.

Speaking of Kirby Wilson, he is the most inspirational man in camp. I can’t tell you the respect that i have for this man after suffering through what he has. Ike Redman, who is coached by Kirby put it this way on our radio show when he came on as a guest, “I can’t complain about anything that hurts.”

Rookie OT Mike Adams is more athletic than i thought he was. His ability tomove his feet in the one-on-one’s suprised me. He’s not a “thunder foot” like most guys his size.

Ramone Foster is not going to give up his starting RG job willingly. The “Big Ragu” is a junkyard dog when it comes to the trenches. Foster isn’t going to wilt from the pressure behind him. David DeCastro will have to fight for it.

BTW, the Big Ragu loves vintage NFL blankets that the producer of our radio show, Tad, had on his bed in the dorms where all the media stay. We had to do our show in Tad’s room because of some technical gargonzola with the radio stuff, so we went indoors to Tad’s room. If was like a Tunch and Wolf meet Wayne’s World. Anyhow, Foster took a picture of Tad’s blanket and sent it to his brother. Ramone and his brother had blankets like that growing up. An NFL “Woobie.”

Steve McClendon is a lot bigger than the 280 lbs they have him listed at on the roster. He told me that he weighed 325. A very impressive 325 i might add. And he ran well on the run test, which rookie NT Alameda Ta’amu did not.

I saw Casey Hampton in the lunch hall and he was wearing a bag of ice wrapped around his elbow. Casey, who is on the PUP list, has not been practicing with the team. So i said, “Casey you hurt that elbow from all the leaning you been doing?” Casey as always, just takes it in stride. He’s a great guy. I hope he gets back by the September 9th Denver game that he says he’s intending to make.

The hardest working man in camp is Antonio Brown. If you get a chance to watch him during the individual period where WR coach Scottie Montgomery puts them through their fundamentals, watch the intensity with which Brown goes about his business. It’s a lesson to anybody who seeks to achieve greatness.

A guy that i’m starting to notice. OLB Adrian Robinson from Temple. He’s got something cooking in the kitchen. Can get after it on the pass rush.

The best eating in Latrobe? The Touchdown Club. Try the Crabcakes, Chicken Tempura and the Chilean Sea Bass.  Outt’a sight.

Newest factoid i didn’t know is that punter Jeremy Kapinos was a soccer “goon.” Back in High School, i think it was, he would be brought in to whack guys. A punter….go figure.

Another guy starting to show up on the radar is linebacker Mortty Ivy. He picks his way throught the crosstown traffic on the inside pretty good.

Mike Tomlin held rookie RB Chris Rainey out of the Backs on Backers drill for a good reason. Since the coaches allow no cutting in the drill, Rainey is at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to size. The backs work on a giant heavy bag that the incredible Hulk could use if he was ever training for a fight. It’s the heaviest heavy bag i’ve ever seen. It must weigh close to 300 lbs.  The coach swings the bag and the backs have to step up and hit it like they would if a backer was blitzing. When Chris Rainey, the “Amish running back” as we like to call him (because of his Amish style beard he wears) took his turn with the monster bag it knocked him outt’a the box like a pinball.

Safety Ryan Mundy is in the best shape in the history of his life. He’s also a new husband and proud papa after this off-season. look for him to continue that nice upward curve he’s on.