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    Default Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Ken Laird's blog over at the ESPN site....

    Stillers Blog
    September 1, 2010

    For perhaps the final time in NFL history, teams' respective 4th preseason games will be played Thursday evening across the league.

    When the regular season schedule expands in the near future these last exhibitions will be a thing of the past. Who will miss preseason game #4? Only the handful of bubble players on each NFL squad's roster who are desperate for one final chance to make an impression and win a job.

    For the Steelers, here are their bubble guys headed into Thursday night at Heinz Field:

    RB Jonathan Dwyer - If Dwyer is kept on the 53-man roster, he'll be having what amounts to a red-shirt year. He would be a gameday inactive for the entire season, barring injury, protected as a future asset. After coming up injured late in preseason game #1 and not playing game #2, Dwyer's 13 carry, 89 yard performance in Denver gave him a stay of execution. 4th quarter runs of 17 and 40 yards, coupled with a TD scamper, illustrate his ability as a runner. However, Dwyer is not ready to play either special teams or complete enough as a back to be counted on for blitz pickup and assignment-related details. Expect him to get plenty of opportunity Thursday night to prove that last statement wrong.

    Ultimately, is 2nd year RB Frank Summers a better roster choice than Dwyer to help the team in 2010? RB Frank Summers - The "Tank" played in two games for the Steelers varsity last year before being placed on IR with a back injury. To Frank's credit he's worked extremely hard in a year's time to return as a better football player. The real question becomes whether Summers is the team's best lead blocking option (i.e. as close to a fullback as the Arians' offense allows). TE David Johnson, as well as RB Issac Redman and even TE Heath Miller make the need for Summers a question. Expect Frank to get plenty of work early Thursday to show one more time his value.

    KR/PR Stefan Logan - Logan was the Steelers return man for 16-games in 2009, breaking the team record for kickoff return yardage (Ernie Mills had the old mark from 1995). Kick returns of 38, 88, 36, 49, 51, 56, and 40 dotted his resume throughout the year, although he did not take one the distance. His 26.7 KR average was 6th best in the NFL, while his 10.0 PR average was 13th best. This summer, rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have been given a shot to impress, with mixed results. Is Logan, the sure thing specialist, worthy of a roster spot?

    WR Arnaz Battle - With Sanders and Brown seemingly locks to make the team, if Logan makes it a roster spot must be found elsewhere.

    QB Charlie Batch is certainly a cut option, but so may be Battle. Arnaz is a solid veteran backup WR in a pinch, but the 4th WR rarely if ever sees the field for the Steelers as Heath Miller rarely comes out. So like Logan, Battle would really be kept as a specialist, in his case a core special teams coverage man. It certainly helps his old coach Al Everest is the new special teams coach here. And, Battle was guaranteed $975,000 when he signed. Chances are he makes the team, but good special teams work Thursday will go a long way towards securing it.

    OT Tony Hills - A 4th round draft pick from Texas in 2008, Hills has been a two-year redshirt player. Finally, he's started to show a return on that investment this preseason as he's flashed in game action. 6'5, 304 pounders don't grow on trees, and he now should know the Steelers offense thoroughly. However, the free agent pickup of T Jonathan Scott makes it intriguing. Hills would never dress on gameday (Scott will), and in a pinch Ramon Foster can play tackle. So will they keep Hills around again? If the team does keep Hills, C Justin Hartwig is sure to get the axe. What's more important, a veteran backup pivot or a younger, 4th string OT? Probably, the young tackle.

    DE Sunny Harris - The Steelers have drafted several depth defensive ends through the years (Ryan McBean, Orien Harris, Shaun Nua), but few have stuck around. It's a sheer numbers crunch on the defensive side, and Harris could be caught in that again. Last year, the team re-acquired Harris from Carolina (who pilfered him a year ago) when Aaron Smith was injured. But this year, Smith is healthy again, and Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason are solid backups already, so why keep Sunny? The answer is because in two years Smith, Brett Keisel, and Eason could be out of the league. However, keeping Harris means cutting an extra linebacker (Patrick Bailey) or cornerback (Anthony Madison) and I don't see it. Thursday is a big showcase game for Sunny to prove he's worth another redshirt. They'll try to get both Harris and rookie Doug Worthington on the PS.

    LB Stevenson Sylvester - "Sly" has made plays all over the field through the preseason, on special teams and with the regular defense. His technique is not perfect, but his fearlessness and athleticism is tough to ignore. He's a 5th inside linebacker on a team with 4 good ones in front of him, so is he a fit here? Then again, Patrick Bailey has been kept as a core special teamer for 2 years without any plans for him to help the LeBeau 'D.' My hunch is Sly is taxi squad bound, but if Thursday he keeps flashing he could take Bailey's spot on the bomb squad.

    CB Anthony Madison - Every year for about 5 years now, CB Anthony Madison hits the bubble watch in August and the debate ensues. Madison was a key part of the 08 Super Bowl season as a core special teams player, and his cut in 2009 (and eventual re-acquisition) was one of controversy. The Steelers missed him badly on kick coverage. This camp, he's also provided valuable depth at CB with the departure of Deshea Townsend. Madison has to beat out one of the younger guys, either Joe Burnett or rookie Crezdon Butler, not to mention prove more worth than either Sylvester or Harris, to make it. My guess is with a solid performance Thursday night, the Steelers don't make the same mistake twice and Madison stays.

    Ken Laird's bubble ins and outs:

    IN: Stefan Logan, Tony Hills, Frank Summers, Arnaz Battle, Patrick Bailey, Anthony Madison, Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson OUT: Charlie Batch, Justin Hartwig

    PRACTICE SQUAD (Attempted): RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Tyler Grisham, WR Brandon London, CB Crezdon Butler, DE Sunny Harris, LB Stevenson Sylvester, DE Doug Worthington, TE Eugene Bright

    http://stations.espn.go.com/stations...4&post=5519744
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    I met Madison's family down in Bama this week. He's the shizzle down there.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    I met Madison's family down in Bama this week. He's the shizzle down there.
    I hope the man stays... We need him on "coverage detail"....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Everytime I read this guys or that guys projected cuts and keepers, I get more confused.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
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    Everytime I read this guys or that guys projected cuts and keepers, I get more confused.
    ... Best to just close your (and my) ears till Sept 4th (this Saturday), and wait for the final cuts...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... Best to just close your (and my) ears till Sept 4th (this Saturday), and wait for the final cuts...
    That's a good idea. I am perhaps stressing out about it more than I should.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
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    I am perhaps stressing out about it more than I should.
    .... That's why I'm just gonna have some stuffed shrimp and multiple beers the next few days and not worry about it till I read the fallout!...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    .... That's why I'm just gonna have some stuffed shrimp and multiple beers the next few days and not worry about it till I read the fallout!...
    Wow, awesome! Have a beer or two for me and enjoy life!

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    I hope they carry Dwyer on the roster and DE Worthington makes it to the PS.

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    Default Re: Ken's "Stillers Blog"...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Ken Laird's blog over at the ESPN site....

    Stillers Blog
    September 1, 2010

    For perhaps the final time in NFL history, teams' respective 4th preseason games will be played Thursday evening across the league.

    When the regular season schedule expands in the near future these last exhibitions will be a thing of the past. Who will miss preseason game #4? Only the handful of bubble players on each NFL squad's roster who are desperate for one final chance to make an impression and win a job.

    For the Steelers, here are their bubble guys headed into Thursday night at Heinz Field:

    RB Jonathan Dwyer - If Dwyer is kept on the 53-man roster, he'll be having what amounts to a red-shirt year. He would be a gameday inactive for the entire season, barring injury, protected as a future asset. After coming up injured late in preseason game #1 and not playing game #2, Dwyer's 13 carry, 89 yard performance in Denver gave him a stay of execution. 4th quarter runs of 17 and 40 yards, coupled with a TD scamper, illustrate his ability as a runner. However, Dwyer is not ready to play either special teams or complete enough as a back to be counted on for blitz pickup and assignment-related details. Expect him to get plenty of opportunity Thursday night to prove that last statement wrong.

    Ultimately, is 2nd year RB Frank Summers a better roster choice than Dwyer to help the team in 2010? RB Frank Summers - The "Tank" played in two games for the Steelers varsity last year before being placed on IR with a back injury. To Frank's credit he's worked extremely hard in a year's time to return as a better football player. The real question becomes whether Summers is the team's best lead blocking option (i.e. as close to a fullback as the Arians' offense allows). TE David Johnson, as well as RB Issac Redman and even TE Heath Miller make the need for Summers a question. Expect Frank to get plenty of work early Thursday to show one more time his value.

    KR/PR Stefan Logan - Logan was the Steelers return man for 16-games in 2009, breaking the team record for kickoff return yardage (Ernie Mills had the old mark from 1995). Kick returns of 38, 88, 36, 49, 51, 56, and 40 dotted his resume throughout the year, although he did not take one the distance. His 26.7 KR average was 6th best in the NFL, while his 10.0 PR average was 13th best. This summer, rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have been given a shot to impress, with mixed results. Is Logan, the sure thing specialist, worthy of a roster spot?

    WR Arnaz Battle - With Sanders and Brown seemingly locks to make the team, if Logan makes it a roster spot must be found elsewhere.

    QB Charlie Batch is certainly a cut option, but so may be Battle. Arnaz is a solid veteran backup WR in a pinch, but the 4th WR rarely if ever sees the field for the Steelers as Heath Miller rarely comes out. So like Logan, Battle would really be kept as a specialist, in his case a core special teams coverage man. It certainly helps his old coach Al Everest is the new special teams coach here. And, Battle was guaranteed $975,000 when he signed. Chances are he makes the team, but good special teams work Thursday will go a long way towards securing it.

    OT Tony Hills - A 4th round draft pick from Texas in 2008, Hills has been a two-year redshirt player. Finally, he's started to show a return on that investment this preseason as he's flashed in game action. 6'5, 304 pounders don't grow on trees, and he now should know the Steelers offense thoroughly. However, the free agent pickup of T Jonathan Scott makes it intriguing. Hills would never dress on gameday (Scott will), and in a pinch Ramon Foster can play tackle. So will they keep Hills around again? If the team does keep Hills, C Justin Hartwig is sure to get the axe. What's more important, a veteran backup pivot or a younger, 4th string OT? Probably, the young tackle.

    DE Sunny Harris - The Steelers have drafted several depth defensive ends through the years (Ryan McBean, Orien Harris, Shaun Nua), but few have stuck around. It's a sheer numbers crunch on the defensive side, and Harris could be caught in that again. Last year, the team re-acquired Harris from Carolina (who pilfered him a year ago) when Aaron Smith was injured. But this year, Smith is healthy again, and Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason are solid backups already, so why keep Sunny? The answer is because in two years Smith, Brett Keisel, and Eason could be out of the league. However, keeping Harris means cutting an extra linebacker (Patrick Bailey) or cornerback (Anthony Madison) and I don't see it. Thursday is a big showcase game for Sunny to prove he's worth another redshirt. They'll try to get both Harris and rookie Doug Worthington on the PS.

    LB Stevenson Sylvester - "Sly" has made plays all over the field through the preseason, on special teams and with the regular defense. His technique is not perfect, but his fearlessness and athleticism is tough to ignore. He's a 5th inside linebacker on a team with 4 good ones in front of him, so is he a fit here? Then again, Patrick Bailey has been kept as a core special teamer for 2 years without any plans for him to help the LeBeau 'D.' My hunch is Sly is taxi squad bound, but if Thursday he keeps flashing he could take Bailey's spot on the bomb squad.

    CB Anthony Madison - Every year for about 5 years now, CB Anthony Madison hits the bubble watch in August and the debate ensues. Madison was a key part of the 08 Super Bowl season as a core special teams player, and his cut in 2009 (and eventual re-acquisition) was one of controversy. The Steelers missed him badly on kick coverage. This camp, he's also provided valuable depth at CB with the departure of Deshea Townsend. Madison has to beat out one of the younger guys, either Joe Burnett or rookie Crezdon Butler, not to mention prove more worth than either Sylvester or Harris, to make it. My guess is with a solid performance Thursday night, the Steelers don't make the same mistake twice and Madison stays.

    Ken Laird's bubble ins and outs:

    IN: Stefan Logan, Tony Hills, Frank Summers, Arnaz Battle, Patrick Bailey, Anthony Madison, Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson OUT: Charlie Batch, Justin Hartwig

    PRACTICE SQUAD (Attempted): RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Tyler Grisham, [HIGH-LIGHT]WR Brandon London[/HIGH-LIGHT], CB Crezdon Butler, DE Sunny Harris, LB Stevenson Sylvester, DE Doug Worthington, TE Eugene Bright

    http://stations.espn.go.com/stations...4&post=5519744


    UMMMM Kenny I don't think London is Eligible for the Practice Squad


    The Steelers added two more players who will try to compete for a spot on their roster next season: Adam Graessle, who punted at Pitt and signed with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie last year, will provide a second leg for camp to take some of the work off Daniel Sepulveda. Graesssle punted for California in the United Football League last season. Wide receiver Brandon [HIGH-LIGHT]London also was an undrafted rookie when he signed with the New York Giants in 2007[/HIGH-LIGHT], and he appeared in 14 games with the Miami Dolphins in 2008 but was released before the 2009 season.

    UMMMM I might Not be a Mathematician genius like my Father was God Rest His Soul, But that makes it seem like his eligibility is up

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