A couple of quick notes and links while we wait for the morning practice report.
*Hines Ward is one of the primary reasons why I believe the Steelers have a legitimate shot at repeating in 2006. His work ethic could not be any more impressive. His resume includes 4 Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl MVP, and over 7,000 yards receiving, but he continues to set lofty goals and remains hungry. Even though he's been injured the past several days, he has stayed late every day of this camp to work with rookies Santonio Holmes and Willie Reed. Nobody in the locker room commands more respect from Ward, even if he isn't mentioned frequently enough in discussions about the game's best receivers>
"I asked him the other day why he takes so many plays," said newcomer Ryan Clark. "I mean, he's already a superstar receiver. But he said he still has to work, still has to make the team every year. "When you see a guy like that," Clark continued, "a veteran leader, a Super Bowl MVP, there's no reason why a free agent or a young guy can't work hard every day. That's what leading by example means."*Chidi Iwuoma and Sean Morey were co-captains of the special teams unit last year, but are surprisingly no guarantee to make this year's squad. The final roster only has room for 53 guys, and the receiving position is awfully deep. I'd think Iwuoma has a better shot than Morey simply beacuse our receiving corps this year is remarkably deep and competitive, more so than our defensive backs.
"Yeah, it's competitive," said Morey. "I just wrote a letter to an old coach of mine. I'd mentioned that this is probably the most competitive receiving corps I've been in camp with, and it's funny because every year you feel like, wow, this is the most competitive, and then the next year this is the most competitive. I really, truly believe there are guys on this team that not only can play on other teams but will play on other teams once we make the final cuts."Special teams Coach Spencer explained the competition this way:
"It's too early to panic," said Spencer. "I think it's a good deal that we've got a lot of competition. We're pretty thick at a couple positions so it's going to be a dogfight to get those few spots. I just don't worry about it. Those guys know they're probably on a yearly basis. They're always fighting for their lives anyway. That's just the way it is."Iwuoma came up pretty big late last year. Against the Lions in the final game of the regular season, he forced a fumble near the goal line to help seal the win and the playoff berth. Morey's no slouch either, although his contributions have been relegated more exclusively to special teams. With Nate Washington, Quincy Morgan, Willie Reed, Santonio Holmes, and Cedrick Wilson all healthy and vying for the #2-4 slots on the depth chart, it's going to be awfully tough for Morey. At the end of the day though, I think he'll make the team. Thoughts?