Thursday at Steelers camp was the day every football fan was waiting for and the Steelers even pushed back practice in hopes that the new labor agreement would be ratified. The CBA was finally ratified later this afternoon and now hopefully we will have 10 years of labor peace. It should be noted that the Steelers as a team voted against the ratification to make a statement. It was not a majority no vote according to Mark Kaboly, but it goes in books as a team no vote.
David Todd and I recorded a new episode of The Terrible Podcast today and it includes our interview Wednesday with undrafted tight end Weslye Saunders. We talk about the Steelers salary cap situation along with quite a few current topics concerning the Steelers.
Speaking of the salary cap, I posted before the podcast all about where the Steelers stood and why the number that Adam Shefter was tweeting was deceiving.
The Chiefs extended the contract of their franchise tagged linebacker Tamba Hali last night and I posted about how it shouldn\’t affect the Steelers chances of getting LaMarr Woodley extended before the season starts.
Ed Bouchette joined 93.7 The Fan again Thursday to talk about the players’ vote to ratify the the agreement and answered a few questions about the Steelers current depth chart. Bouchette says he is worried about the health of Chris Kemoeatu, Emmanuel Sanders and James Harrison. It is a great 10 minute interview.
Also on 93.7 today are great interviews with Woodley, Troy Polamalu, Carnell Lake and special teams coach Al Everest, who gives an update on the health of Daniel Sepulveda.
Also on 970, Tunch and Wolf had some great Steelers talk and interviews today and I highly suggest you listen to them if you have time. Their podcast are a must for every Steelers fan.
The Nevada Supreme Court decided on Thursday that a civil suit accusing Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault can indeed be tried in the county where it was originally filed. The lawsuit stems from an August 2009 incident in Lake Tahoe when a woman working at Harrah\’s accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her. You may see Roethlisberger just settle out of court on this one to get it behind him. We shall see, but if it was me, I would fight it to clear my name.
The video is up of the interview Teresa Varley of Steelers.com did Wednesday with Steelers legend Joe Greene.
As a little side note as Jets receiver Plaxico Burress tweaked his ankle Wednesday and will be held out of practice for for a few days. I could see some Steeler Nation heads exploding had he signed with us and that had happened.
I mentioned the labor agreement ratification, but it was not completed before the Steelers started their Thursday afternoon practice. Sitting out today were Sanders (foot), Marcus Gilbert (knee), Keenan Lewis (head migraines), Adam Mims (quad), Cortez Allen (hamstring), Crezdon Butler (quad), Mario Harvey and Bryant McFadden (hamstring). Polamalu also did not practice. Kemoeatu (knee), Hines Ward (finger) and Eugene Bright (shoulder) remain on Active PUP, but Ward was catching balls from the juggs machine today.
Released today were tackle Joshua Harrison, quarterback Chris Dieker, long snapper Derek Chard and punter Aaron Bates. Offensive lineman Dorian Brooks was placed on the Exempt/Left Squad list as he has left camp. Linebacker Erik Clanton was placed on the Waived/Injured List. The Steelers also signed offensive lineman John Malecki who had went to Pitt. The Steelers also officially announced all the rest of their free agent signings and made it official.
The post ratification offensive line left to right was: Jonathan Scott, Doug Legursky, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster and Willie Colon. Pouncey looks 100% healthy by all accounts and pounded Ryan Mundy 10 yards down field at the end of practice. Rookie guard Keith Williams was dominant today in drills and Colon threw linebacker Chris Ellis to the ground violently according to Kaboly. Colon said earlier in the day that a move to guard as not been discussed by the coaching staff with him and said his mind is set at tackle. I have suggested a move myself could be in order if Flozell Adams were to return, but we may never know the answer to that question. Chris Scott received work at first team work at right guard after several practices at right tackle. It seems indeed they see him as a right side guy. Kyle Jolly got work at right tackle on the second unit while Tony Hills worked at left tackle. God help us.
William Gay started at left cornerback with McFadden sidelined and Mundy filled in for Polamalu. Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark filled out the secondary. Heath Miller, Armand Robinson and Wes Lyons had early drops and Roethlisberger missed Miller with a pass as Jason Worilds had coverage. Antonio Brown beat Donovan Warren and Mike Tomlin got on Warren for not finishing. In 11 on 11, Roethlisberger hit Tyler Grisham on a long pass with Mundy in coverage. Mike Wallace beat Taylor on a deep ball as well and Brown added a great leaping catch. Limas Sweed had a nice catch in front of Niles Brinkley, but continues to have a drop problem. Dennis Dixon is still trying to run rather than throw.
Nose tackle Anthony Gray continues to show his quickness and Stevenson Sylvester smelled out a dump off to Mewelde Moore nicely. Jonathan Dwyer still seems timid and out of place. Harrison was back after his day off on Wednesday. Aaron Smith continues getting first team reps at left defensive end.
Special teams wise, Swayze Waters missed three kicks in a row from 40 yards out with Tomlin standing five feet from him according to Alby Oxenreiter. Brown continues to get almost all of the reps at punt returner, but when he needed a break Pouncey and Byron Leftwich added some comic relief.