IX - One of the more interesting developments of the Steelers training camp this year has been the emergence of Tony Hills. The fourth-round selection out of Texas in '08 has struggled in his first three years, but obviously he has shown enough to warrant keeping him on the fringes of the roster. Still, one had to wonder when the axe would drop on Hills' tenure in Pittsburgh. Sure, he may have looked good enough to keep at the bottom of the depth chart, but even someone like me with a long history of believing in HIlls, had stopped really thinking about him as part of any real intermediate or long-term plan.
Well, apparently this summer was when Hills was ready to take a big step forward and compete for a starting job. That position would be at right guard, where the competition couldn't be more wide open. Also of note in that article was this tidbit:
Rookie outside linebacker Chris Carter, a fifth-round pick from Fresno State, has been a camp standout because of his quickness off the edge. Carter was a defensive end in college, but the Steelers have a history of converting those players into outside linebackers in their 3-4 defense.
There is little room for Carter to play this season because he backs up James Harrison and Jason Worilds on the right side. But he will make the 53-man roster because the team needs depth at the outside position.
"That's all I think about,'' the Steelers veteran receiver said today. "The preseason is good but my mind is focused on one team, that's Baltimore.''
You can say it’s a rivalry if you like, but I really truly feel that for a game to be a rivalry, it doesn’t have to just be physical. I think for something to be a rivalry, both teams have to win equally. I think just the hate between the fans doesn’t make a situation a rivalry.
Now, this could be a classic case of reporters twisting comments. Ward could merely have been asked: 'are you just deadset focused on the season opener and don't put much thought into the preseason at this stage in your career?' (The opener happens to be against the Ravens, so if Ward is saying he's got nothing on his mind but the opener against Baltimore, that must mean...) Nevertheless, even if that's the case, Ward definitely does put more into Ravens Week. He's too hyper-competitive to think of the Steelers' chief rival in the AFC North in any other way.
XIII - Some radio interviews for your listening pleasure:
- Willie Colon with Tunch & Wolf on 970 ESPN
- Antonio Brown & Mewelde Moore with Seibel, Starkey and Miller on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh
- Ryan Mundy with Tunch & Wolf on 970 ESPN
XIV - Some of the opinions I respect most here on BTSC have already said that they felt like Jerricho Cotchery was a great pickup because he was the type of guy who would want to be a part of the family atmosphere that the Steelers organization fosters. Sounds like that's exactly the case.
XL - Ike Taylor will be going under the knife on Tuesday to have his broken left thumb surgically repaired. Taylor is expected to miss the rest of the preseason but also to be healthy enough to play when the Steelers begin the regular season against the rival Ravenes in the second week of September.
XLV - Let's Go! Come on September 11th, hustle up.