Bumped from the diaries. Hat tip again to datruth4life for the thoughtful breakdown.
Steelers Nation, my thoughts on the Steelers-Eagles game and a new final 53-man squad:
-Dan Kreider, you just stopped all of the talk about the FB position. You stay and so does Davis. Davis might be this team's best special teams player and could be the team's short-yardage/goal line back. Willie Parker went into the line standing straight up and should've been lit up. I don't think Tomlin will panic, but if Willie keeps putting it on the ground down there, Davenport or Davis will get that job.
-Don't sweat Barlow getting those early carries. Tomlin likes Russell. Also, Russell hustling down on kickoff coverage and making a tackle didn't hurt his cause either. The five RBs will be Parker, Kreider, Davenport, Davis, and Russell, with the first four being active on game days. I'm for Russell or Davis as my goal-line back.
-Willie Reid, you are blowing a grand opportunity. You will make the squad, but you might have lost the punt returning job to Cedric Wilson. You still have the kickoff return gig, but you haven't looked special in that category either. Reid is essentially a rookie, having only played about a few snaps in one game this past year.
He seems like he is in a hurry every time he goes back to field (muff?) a punt. He needs to relax a little bit and just play.
-I can't comment on if Okobi is the steelers best center. I didn't watch the center blocking during the game. I did watch Capizzi and Essex. Essex didn't stand out, which is a good thing for him. Capizzi still looks impressive. Did I tell you guys before that I hope Capizzi makes this squad?
-I think Coclough coming into the game when Taylor got hurt lets you know that he has this team made. Gay has been the team's best defensive playmaker in preseason. That means Chidi will get sent packing, unless they want to keep ten DBs, which I don't see happening.
-If Marvin Philips can play guard as well as center, then I don't think Okobi will be around. If their play is near even, and Philips can play two positions where Okobi can only play one, plus you can save the bosses $2 million, then Okobi is history. Sorry Adamg. You can check out your boy on the Cardinals this year. If Cowher were here, Okobi would stay. But there is a new sheriff in town who doesn't really care about what you have done in the past. By the way, what has Okobi done in the past?
-Ben, Ben, Ben. Just throw it out of bounds if no one is open. Please, just throw it out of bounds. Are you guys as thankful for having Charlie Batch as I am?
-Timmons looked like a 21-year-old rookie linebacker that has missed most of the preseason and offseason who was getting his first extensive action at OLB. He did a lot of running around with very little to show for it. Woodley, on the other hand, looks like he's ready to start. J. Harrison hasn't made any plays yet in games and Woodley is a better pass rusher now than either Haggans or J. Harrison.
-By the way, if Capizzi is kept along with Russell and the six other rookies (Timmons, Woodley, Spaeth, Sepulvada, Gay, McBean), this will be Kevin Colbert's best rookie class ever. We'll just have to wait 3 years to see that. I just let all of you know a little bit early, that's all.
-That sixth DL line spot is still up for grabs. It could go to either Eason, McBean or Kimo (he's about to get cut from the Jets).
-Have you guys seen anybody that you would rather keep around as an extra position player other than Capizzi? I haven't. He could be the team's heir apparent at LT, or at worst, could move to right tackle next year and allow Willie Colon to move to his most natural position of guard.
-What happened to Walter Young? Has he even gotten on the field the past two games. He would have caught that pass that Dallas Baker let go through his hands. If I was St. Pierre, I wouldn't throw to Baker anymore. He's making it harder for St. Pierre to make this team.
-St. Pierre has this team made, though. For those that need convincing, just check out the 3rd string QBs on other teams during other preseason games, and you'll see that the Steelers would be smart to hang on to him.
-The most improved area on the team so far is probably the secondary. Ike and Townsend are playing well, McFadden didn't look good against Washington but he is a player and Coclough looks much improved (he is at least looking for the ball now in deep coverage instead of having his back turned all the time. Now, he needs to cut down on his cushion and stopping giving up so many outs). Gay is going to push somebody to get on the field. He has looked like a playmaker thus far. Adamg, you still think Gay won't make this team? Clark is steady and A. Smith is coming on fast.
-Sepulvada, we don't need any explanation. Just don't let it happen again.
-So far, Kiesel hasn't looked like Adalius Thomas. He's looked more like Frank Thomas.
-It shouldn't be hard to get to 75 with this team. Just cut everyone on the Steelers 3rd-team defense (Timmons stays, but he didn't play like it last night). This group is pretty brutal.
-This is my quick shake down of the roster going into the last game:
3 Quarterbacks - Roethlisberger, Batch, St. Pierre.
5 Running backs - Parker, Kreider, Davenport, Davis, Russell
5 Wide Receivers - Ward, Holmes, Wilson, Reid, N. Washington
3 Tight Ends - Miller, Spaeth, Tuman
10 Offensive Lineman - Smith, Fanacea, Mahan, Simmons, Colon, Starks, Essex, Kemeatou, M. Philips, Jason Capizzi
7 Defensive Lineman - Smith, Hampton, Kiesel, Kirschke, Hoke, Eason, McBean.
8 linebackers - J. Harrison, Farrior, Foote, Haggans, Woodley, A. Harrison, Kriewaldt, Timmons -
9 defensive backs - Taylor, Palomula, Townsend, Clark, A. Smith, McFadden, Carter, Gay, Coclough
3 specialists - Warren, Sepulvada, Reed