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Thread: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

      
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    Default Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    On the Steelers: No. 1 draft pick Pouncey escapes serious injury

    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette






    Steeler offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey has injured his left toe examined by assistant athletic trainer Ariko Iso during Wednesday's practice.


    No contact is supposed to take place in NFL spring practices, yet try telling that to rookie Maurkice Pouncey's big left toe.

    Guard Trai Essex stomped on it early in practice Wednesday, and Pouncey yelped in pain as trainers rushed to check the damage.

    An injury to the first-round draft choice who has not yet signed a contract in a non-contact spring drill may not rank up there with losing your starting quarterback to suspension for the first four games, but it is not a good thing, either.

    "Oh, man, 330 pounds on a toe!" Pouncey exclaimed long after the pain subsided and it was determined no serious injury had occurred. After trainers inspected and wiggled his big piggy for several minutes, Pouncey bounced back up and completed the drill.

    "I felt it a little bit at first, but I got back in there and couldn't let the guys down."

    The interesting part of that drill was the position Pouncey played -- center. Starting center Justin Hartwig has been limited in practice because he had shoulder surgery after the season, and Doug Legursky, who has been running as the No. 1 center, had a minor issue and watched practice.

    So Pouncey and Kraig Urbik played center Wednesday. Pouncey is a past and future center who Steelers coaches said would play right guard this season. Urbik was drafted as a guard last year, but is trying to add to his repertoire after mostly watching games in street clothes as a rookie in 2009.

    "Nowadays in the NFL most teams dress seven linemen on gameday," said new offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who coached the Buffalo Bills' offensive linemen last season. "So, if you're not in the starting five and you are one of the backups, you have to play two positions."

    Pouncey is competing against Essex, Urbik and Ramon Foster to start at right guard, which belonged to the now-departed Darnell Stapleton a year ago before he buckled to knee surgery in August. Essex took over from there.

    Pouncey not only is trying to compete at a new position for a starting job, he also is trying to get up to snuff with playing center in the pros. The Steelers wanted Pouncey to concentrate on playing right guard as a rookie, but it seems that already is out the window.

    Kugler also said something interesting when asked whether the competition at right guard would continue through training camp.

    "There will be competition across the line, and I think the competition with the players we added and players on the roster will only make us better."

    Perhaps right guard is not the only starting job up for grabs, and maybe Pouncey will not be limited to competing at just one position.

    "We've been working him at center and guard," Kugler said.

    "He's been taking reps at two different groups. Today, he worked mainly at center. That will be the plan with Maurkice, continue to work him at guard and center. He's a player we feel can play both."

    Mendenhall prefers fullback

    Add Rashard Mendenhall to the lengthy list of running backs who, given their choice, would opt for a true fullback to block for them vs. all other alternatives.

    "As a running back, you want a fullback," Mendenhall said Wednesday. "A fullback is another set of eyes in the backfield, they kind of read and feel through things that receivers and tight ends don't normally do, so, as a running back, you want that."

    The Steelers' offense under coordinator Bruce Arians rarely has used a true fullback, preferring to go with a tight end (Sean McHugh or David Johnson) in the backfield or no other back at all. Frank Summers, drafted last year as a halfback, has been learning the fullback position and so has 270-pound rookie Demetrius Taylor, a defensive tackle at Virginia Tech and a running back in high school.

    Mendenhall listed some of the advantages of having a fullback blocking for him instead of a tight end either on the line or in the backfield.

    "A fullback in the backfield, they can kind of see a lot of things a tight end probably couldn't, being so tight. And them being ballcarriers, they know what you're trying to do, they know where you're trying to go and they can get there before you. So, a lot of times, say the point of attack is one place, the fullback and you will end up in same place after reading out of a play."

    Mendenhall said it is too early to tell if there is a renewed commitment to the ground game. Naturally, he said, all backs want a commitment to the run.

    "As a running back, you want the ball in your hands, you want to run the ball. That doesn't seem to be our focus, you know what I mean? But whatever's called to do, however this offense is formed and shaped, we'll be willing to do that."



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10147/10 ... z0pAQAUErK

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Mendenhall prefers fullback? Well I guess he's in the majority...now if we can only get BA on board!

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    Mendenhall prefers fullback? Well I guess he's in the majority...now if we can only get BA on board!
    Here Here, the last thing we need is a banged up RB half way through the season. The running game can compliment the passing game perfectly but they need the FB to keep it fresh. The redzone is a major concern for me. Mendy can't be expected to pound his way for 4 four quarters without a FB.

    The 4th quarter was the killer last year. Fair enough its was mostly on the D, but the running game got stale late in the 3rd. I can't help think it was up to fatigue and some of the God awful play-calls.

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    The redzone has been a problem since #36 retired!!! I remember a play, last season, (inside the 5 yd line), I think it was against Minnesota (correct me if I'm wrong)...but either way, Mendy went airborn at (like) the ****ing 4 yd line and fumbled at the goal line in mid air!....PATHETIC!!! If we had a solid FB to blow up a LB at the point of attack....he would've "glided" in for a TD! Instead, he took to the air 4 yds off of the goal line... Chances of scoring in that situation...????

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Id like to see Foster at RT.

    We do need to find a fullback...someone who can be a strong lead blocker. However, taking a big runningback and putting him at FB is not the way to go (ala Summers, Davis etc...)
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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Id like to see Foster at RT.

    We do need to find a fullback...someone who can be a strong lead blocker. However, taking a big runningback and putting him at FB is not the way to go (ala Summers, Davis etc...)
    I feel ya! No need to force it if it aint there...I long for the days of a no-nonsense FB (big or small)...just a solid scheme blocker with a good football sense...in the mold of Kreider, Witman, and/or Lester!

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    We may not be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense anymore, but to be able to run out the clock and pound it in from inside the 5, requires a true FB. It is time to bring one back bruce.
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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    We may not be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense anymore, but to be able to run out the clock and pound it in from inside the 5, requires a true FB. It is time to bring one back bruce.
    The funny thing is that BA just is completely idiotic. We have had "fullbacks" in recent years...they are converted runningbacks. The thought was that they were athletic, could run the ball, catch some out of the backfield.........and guess what? That never happened...they never utilized their athleticism.

    So we're not going to have fullbacks who can block b/c we need them to be athletic, but we're not going to use their athleticism...great plan.
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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    We may not be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense anymore, but to be able to run out the clock and pound it in from inside the 5, requires a true FB. It is time to bring one back bruce.

    Bruce Arians:

    "I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one."

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    Bruce Arians:

    "I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one."
    I believe this quote...but am curious where it's from (source)? Perhaps ol' BA needs to take a look back at the success of "Steelers Football"...and try to make room! If not for nothing, maybe on first and second down! I think the rest of the league is "on" to our WR slip-screen game out of the spread...

    What's wrong with putting a hat on a hat and demoralizing your opponent at the point of attack...by running the rock down their ****ING THROAT???????????

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Oh yeah...and I think that we have the tools (Mendy) to accomplish that goal!!!

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I believe this quote...but am curious where it's from (source)? Perhaps ol' BA needs to take a look back at the success of "Steelers Football"...and try to make room! If not for nothing, maybe on first and second down! I think the rest of the league is "on" to our WR slip-screen game out of the spread...

    What's wrong with putting a hat on a hat and demoralizing your opponent at the point of attack...by running the rock down their ****ING THROAT???????????

    Steelers Minicamp: There's a fullback on the roster

    Sunday, May 02, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    No rookie on the Steelers' 90-man minicamp roster faces the dichotomy that confronts Demetrius Taylor, an undrafted defensive tackle from Virginia Tech.

    Taylor is the only fullback listed on the Steelers' 90-man roster, a position he has never played and which the team's coordinator says will never exist in his offense.

    "There's not a fullback on the roster," Bruce Arians declared three days before the Steelers opened the 2009 season. "There's a running back who plays fullback, a tight end who plays fullback. I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one."


    In this minicamp there is one, precisely one. Taylor actually played fullback one year -- as a high school freshman. He then moved to running back and linebacker, went to Virginia Tech as a linebacker and moved to defensive tackle. At 6 feet, 270-something, he is not big enough to play that position in the pros.

    Nevertheless, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin saw something during the Virginia Tech pro workout day and asked Taylor if he thought he could play fullback.

    "He had the explosive, fullback-type movements," Tomlin said. "He ran a 4.70 in the 40, he had a 9-something broad jump, he kind of looked like a fullback. I asked him if he had a [running-back] background. He said he did, he was one in high school, he was recruited as one."

    He has been recruited as one again, the only listed fullback on a team that supposedly will try to run the ball more consistently (per Steelers president Art Rooney's instructions). Other players have lined up at the position in games, but only Taylor is listed as a fullback. Tight ends David Johnson and Sean McHugh and running back Frank Summers have played fullback, and the Steelers are taking a look at running back Isaac Redman there as well.

    Arians was declared off-limits on the topic this weekend, and Tomlin scoffed at what his coordinator said last September about the fullback position.

    "We got fullbacks. You guys take him too literally sometimes," said Tomlin.

    Last season, before the Steelers let him go as a free agent without making an offer, halfback Willie Parker talked about how much better it was for him and others to run behind a true fullback. He decried the loss of it in the Steelers' offense.

    Tomlin said those types of pure fullbacks are tough to find.

    "Those high school fullbacks are playing different positions on college football teams because very few teams employ a fullback," Tomlin said. "So you have to turn over a stone or two and find out who is that kind of animal."

    Tomlin turned a 270-pound stone over to discover Taylor.

    "He has nice quick-twitch," Tomlin explained. "We won't know until we know, that's the reality of it. We were excited to give him an opportunity."

    If Taylor can pull it off, he would not become the first to do so, but would join the few.

    "When I was in Detroit, we had a defensive lineman come in and convert to fullback and did well, Jon Bradley," said McHugh, a Lion before he became a Steeler.

    Indeed, Bradley played defensive tackle for Tampa Bay from 2004 through 2006 (Tomlin being on that staff for two of those years) before he went to Detroit and switched to fullback. He played fullback for the Lions in 2007, listed as 6 feet 1, 301 pounds. He played in 15 games that season, started six.

    Defensive lineman Dan Klecko also has played some spot fullback for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.

    So, why not Demetrius Taylor?

    "I was pretty good," Taylor said, recalling the one year he played the position. "I could go out there and make some big-time blocks."

    The Steelers will need some of those to get their running game in gear.

    NOTES -- Quarterback Byron Leftwich continued to run with the first team. ... Bryant McFadden promised to remunerate Keenan Lewis for giving him his No. 20 back, but neither will say how much it cost him. Lewis switched to No. 23. ... Rookie C Maurkice Pouncey, now wearing No. 53, is trying to convince linebacker Patrick Bailey to give him his No 55. ... Don Henderson, the agent for kicker Jeff Reed, will arrive here this week to try to move negotiations along with Kevin Colbert for a contract extension. Reed signed his one-year tender as the team's franchise player.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10122/1054921-66.stm

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    Default Re: Pouncey escapes serious injury, Mendy prefers FB

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Id like to see Foster at RT.

    We do need to find a fullback...someone who can be a strong lead blocker. However, taking a big runningback and putting him at FB is not the way to go (ala Summers, Davis etc...)
    Why Foster? Is he even still with the team? I like Pouncy and Legursky over there with Leg as back up to where he can come in on pulling situations or FB like they did last year. I think it is a 3 way battle with them and Essex and I hope Essex is the one packing his bags. I think the only way we get a full time fullback again is when Arian's gets his pink slip tbh. I think summers has the stuff to be a FB tho. I know he was real bad last year but I am not ready to give up on him.

    Edit - just read the article lol is Leg not playing any guard at all or maybe they would like him to back up the left side and center?
    Last edited by Beezy; May-27-2010 at 09:32 PM.

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