Once again, a few notes from Dale Lolley's fantastic blog.
* I wish Marvel Smith the very best with the birth of his child. He's been absent from OTAs, spending time with his wife as they prepare for the birth of their child. With him out, Starks has played at LT, with Willie Colon at RT. It's quite possible that Smith could miss time in '08 (even though he's been quite durable for most of his career), so I suppose it never hurts to see this particular combination. But really, I'd like to see Smith back at LT, Starks at RT, which would force the coaching staff to make the correct assesment of who fits best where with the remaining three spots in between.
* Chris Kemoeatu was back doing work at LG, with Sean Mahan getting reps at C. Kendall Simmons, who was present but not participating, watched Darnell Stapelton fill his role at RG. Simmons might want to hustle back and be ready to go when he does, because Lolley is reporting that the coaching staff is quite high on Stapleton:
The coaching staff seems to really like Stapleton and the fact they feel comfortable enough to line the youngster up at guard as well as his regular center position speaks volumes about that.
* Add rookie WR Kevin Marion from Wake Forest to the mix of those battling it out for one of the final WR spots? Perhaps a bit premature to say so, but Lolley says he was fantastic:
Wide receiver Kevin Marion was only signed by the Steelers after Dorian Bryant failed his physical with the team, but the little man from Wake Forest doesn’t look bad out there.
The 5-10, 168-pound speedster catches everything thrown his way and hasn’t looked like a guy who is technically the last player on the roster.
Just goes to show you that all some guys need is a chance.
* And finally, Mr. Smith. Here's the series of events: Charlie Batch throws a sideline pass during a 2-minute drill. Smith jumps the route, and picks it off. Not content with merely handing the ball back to the offense though, Smith was proud of himself:
Smith, of course, couldn’t just pick the pass off, he ran about 10 yards with the ball and then fired it at the fence surrounding the field.
Just when you though the kid might be learning a little something, he goes and does something totally stupid like that.
Lolley's explanation for why he thought it was stupid?
Much like Joey Porter doing a foot-stomp in training camp and injuring his knee after beating a fourth-string tackle for a sack, Smith firing a ball as hard as he can after picking off a pass in practice is totally meaningless.
The only thing that can happen is an injury.
The coaching staff knows you picked off the pass Anthony. You don’t need any of the extracurricular stuff.
I can guarantee that Dick LeBeau never did anything like that after any of his more than 60 career meaningful interceptions.
Hmm. Not sure what to say. On the one hand, I guess I agree, especially about the injury part. Remember when Gus Frerotte got hurt slamming his head in celebration? Just don't risk it Mr. Smith.
On the other hand, I wrote just last week that I was interested in seeing some fire and passion this summer. Lolley said as much that the team was listless following the long weekend and that Smith's display was the lone display of emotion. I can't be too upset by that.