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  • Haley and LeBeau on Steelers vs Ravens

    dick lebeau

    Todd Haley (Thursday) Conference: Steelers vs Ravens


    Re: Martavis Bryant’s production and getting an opportunity:
    I think it is just part of the process. It was clear, and the injury added to it, that he wasn’t ready to go. There is a lot of trust that is placed on a guy that is playing outside in the NFL, specifically between him and the quarterback. But I do think that once he got back in pads and he was working, and he wasn’t getting a helmet, but it was clear to everybody that he was on his stuff and working. And when he got opportunities in practice he was getting the job done the way it is expected to get done. So it was kind of just the process and evolution of a young guy being ready to play, and he stepped in and made plays. He is far from a finished product but he did come in and make some big plays for us.

    Q: This receiving class of the 2014 Draft was highly rated. Do you keep tabs on the other guys that were drafted?
    Sure, I take a great deal of pride in my scouting ability (laughs). I pull the old books out here and there. You just don’t want to do it too quickly, because you can look real smart or real dumb. You kind of watch all the positions, who you graded and who you really liked specifically and how they are doing.

    Re: Talking about players stepping up and then last Sunday the receivers stepped up and complemented Antonio Brown:
    It is a process. It’s a 16-game season. The object is to keep getting better every week and to keep yourself in position to be in there at the end. We’ve had some ups and downs but I think everybody in here that’s been working every day felt confident that we were going to be a good group in the end. We aren’t there yet. We played a great game. I think that’s a testament to each position group playing and executing at a high level. And I think the group we have, when we do that we are going to see good results. Against a good defense on Sunday, each group, starting with the quarterback, and obviously he played a phenomenal game. He was on his game as good as I’ve ever seen anybody be on their game at that position. The offensive line, the receivers, the tight ends and running backs, everybody played at a high level and executed. They made plays for the most part when their numbers were called. And I do think we have the type of group that when we do that, when we go out and execute like that, that we will have good results.

    Re: Bringing along Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Markus Wheaton:
    I’ve said it a number of times, I think that good coaches figure out what their players do well and play to their strengths. We have a pretty diverse group at receiver. Guys like A. Brown can do it all. Then we have some guys that have certain strengths that you want to play to, and it just so happens, and in an effort to get guys that are at the game snaps, you come up with different personnel groups that get different guys on the field. At the same time you are trying to play to their strengths.

    Q: Did the new contact rules help small receivers like A. Brown and others become top players at their position? Many of the top-10 receivers in the NFL are smaller.
    Maybe but I haven’t thought about it. You are definitely seeing a change. Some of those big time big guys have been injured for different reasons and they aren’t in there. I think they are probably up there competing for those top spots. That might be (the case) but I hadn’t put a lot of thought into it.

    Dick LeBeau (Thursday) Conference: Steelers vs Ravens


    Q: What can you carry over from what worked against Andrew Luck to facing Joe Flacco?
    It seems to be that the offense scored a whole lot of points in that game. We were active (there’s) no question about that. We have to do that every week and continue to improve. We have to improve a lot. Our good plays are getting more frequent and our effort has always been pretty consistent so we’re just working to get better. We just need to keep working.

    Q: Do you think the play of your defense was better than what the final numbers suggested?
    We made some impact plays and (there’s) no question about that. We scored a touchdown and got a safety so (we) made some good plays. I thought we had good pressure on a great quarterback and you’re not going to beat him if you don’t do that. Like I’ve said consistently, we have a young club and we’re working to get where we want to be. We’re sure not there yet but I think we’re making progress.

    Q: Did you blitz with five or six players more than usual or was that a by-product of having a big lead?
    It was a condition of the situation of the game. You could predict a little bit more of what they were going to do. You’re going to get more pressures in those situations.

    Q: At what point do you start to get concerned about Cortez Allen’s confidence?
    Well, having been an old corner myself, a corner learns to live alone. He has to believe in himself and just go out there and play and work on everything he’s doing. You have to believe in yourself to play corner and I think Cortez does. I have a lot of confidence in him. He’s just got to produce and get out there and make some plays.

    Re: William Gay struggling in Pittsburgh, leaving to go to Arizona and then comes back to Pittsburgh and is a different player:
    Will Gay has always played pretty well for us here. I don’t know what he did in Arizona. I don’t pay any attention to that. He’s always been a good player for us, a good, smart player. He had a really significant play in that game the other night.

    Q: What does Vince Williams bring?
    He’s a growing, young player. He always has such great spirit (and is) really gaining knowledge of the defense. We trust him to go in there and play any of those inside linebacker positions and play it well.

  • Week Nine: Steelers Friday Injury Report


    There was no shocking news out of the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room following practices this week as to who not be available against the Ravens in week nine.  The only surprise was safety Mike Mitchell who reportedly suffered a groin injury after slipping in practice on Thursday.  Mitchell is listed as probable to suit up against Baltimore on Sunday night.

    Name Position Injury Wed. Thu. Fri. Game Status
    Gilbert, Marcus T Concussion FP FP FP probable
    Keisel, Brett DE Not Injury Related DNP DNP FP probable
    McLendon, Steve NT Shoulder FP FP FP probable
    Miller, Heath TE Not Injury Related - DNP FP probable
    Mitchell, Mike S Groin DNP LP FP probable
    Polamalu, Troy S Not Injury Related DNP DNP FP probable
    Shazier, Ryan LB Knee FP FP FP probable
    Spaeth, Matt TE Hamstring DNP FP FP probable
    Taylor, Ike CB Forearm LP LP LP Out
    Thomas, Shamarko S Hamstring FP FP FP probable
    Ventrone, Ross S Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out

    Baltimore Injury Report

    Name Position Injury Wed. Thu. Fri. Game Status
    Campanaro, Michael WR Thigh DNP DNP DNP Out
    Canty, Chris DL Wrist FP FP FP questionable
    Daniels, Owen TE Knee LP DNP FP questionable
    Forsett, Justin RB Ankle DNP LP FP probable
    Ngata, Haloti DT Shin DNP FP FP probable
    Smith, Jimmy CB Foot DNP DNP DNP Out
    Suggs, Terrell OLB Neck DNP DNP - probable
    Webb, Lardarius CB/RS NIR DNP FP FP probable
    Yanda, Marshal G/T Knee DNP LP FP questionable


  • NFL Week 9: Wednesday’s Steelers Injury Report


    Steelers injury report – Ravens injury report (Week Nine, 2014)  Location: Heinz Field
    Practice Report
    Wednesday WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), RB Justin Forsett (ankle), DT Haloti Ngata (shin), CB Jimmy Smith (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (neck), CB Lardarius Webb (not injury related), G Marshal Yanda (knee)
    Wednesday TE Owen Daniels (knee)
    Wednesday DE Chris Canty (wrist)
    Practice Report
    Wednesday DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), S Michael Mitchell (not injury related), S Troy Polamalu (not injury related), TE Matt Spaeth (hamstring), S Ross Ventrone (hamstring)
    Wednesday CB Ivan Taylor (forearm)
    Wednesday T Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), LB Ryan Shazier (knee), S Shamarko Thomas (hamstring)
  • Breaking Down The Next Three Games For The Pittsburgh Steelers



    The Pittsburgh Steelers have been on a roll the last two weeks, defeating the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts in sound fashion. With the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans on the horizon, (Baltimore this Sunday), the Steelers will be looking to show the NFL they are a force to to watch out for.

    Week 9 – Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens:

    This game looks to be another classic AFC North showdown. Whoever wins this game will at least be in second place in the AFC North. Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco are both on a roll. Both defenses are known for getting consistent pressure on quarterbacks – Pittsburgh did an excellent job on Andrew Luck in week eight. This game will come down to key points such as not committing a crucial mistake late in the game. The Steelers can keep the Ravens defense honest with their run game. Last but not least, the coaching staff that can identify the weakness of the other team and take advantage and adjust should come out on top.


    Week 10 –  Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Jets:

    On paper this, week ten sounds like an easy win for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, with a loss to Tampa Bay and a close win vs the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s safe to say this game could very well be a trap game. The Jets are in store for some major changes in the offseason, so Jets players will be playing to keep their jobs. The Steelers have a chance to improve their offense in this game against a decent Jets defense. The quarterback could be Michael Vick or Geno Smith, both of whom are struggling. Along with consistent pressure from the Steelers defense, it could be a long game for the struggling Jets.


    Week 11 –  Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Tennessee Titans:

    The Steelers will be coming of a bye entering the game against the Titans. Hopefully outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will be back in action. The Titans quarterback could be Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst or even rookie Zach Mettenberger due to inconsistencies and injuries. This game could very well come down to which defense creates more turnovers. Also the special teams unit that can create the most points. History shows that Steelers and Titans games are usually close games that come down to the last drive.

  • Steelers move up in week nine NFL power rankings

    Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

    After their stunning win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers moved up one spot – from 15th to 14th overall – in Week Nine – per SBNation’s NFL Power Rankings.  Some feel it’s a bit of a snub considering the way Pittsburgh dealt with the Colts (who were ranked eighth in week 8).

    The Steelers had been receiving mid-pack ratings ahead of that win and by adding another one against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, perhaps they will been seen in a much more favorable light.

    A team that vaults to 6-3 on the season should see an appropriate rise in ranking, yet the NFL has been such a mixed bag in regards to teams playing consistently from week to week, it’s hard to determine if power rankings are as powerful as many have considered them to be in the past.

    Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Bryant have given performances week to week that helped elevate the overall rating of the team. With rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s last two games, one would think that setting franchise records and even moving on league records would afford the Steelers a higher appraisal.

    Throwing away the power-ranking system for the moment – the Steelers are making pretty loud statements in the llast couple of weeks – perhaps individual performances are becoming more important than team performances in a fantasy-driven sports world today.  Cortez Allen’s play certainly would be an indicator of a minus, but it isn’t clear that is factored into the system or not.

    As one who has never been one to give much credence to such ranking systems due to inconsistency between the different groups that utilize them, I spend more time focused on positives versus negatives of overall team performance from week to week.  Perhaps that is why I have never (admittedly) been particularly good at setting up a fantasy roster from week to week. I have found rankings to be more favorable for week to week picks (team vs team).

    Regardless, it is nice to see that the Steelers are improving as a team and that several individual players on the roster have made critical contributions that secured wins back-to-back in weeks seven and eight.


  • Steelers Injury Report for Tuesday

    NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

    Tuesday Steelers Injury Report (NFL)


    In his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin outlined what players suffered injuries in Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts aand the team’s plans for players on the injury report previously – as to progress.

    Ryan Shazier – The rookie linebacker continues to work into full playing condition with limited snaps and will share time with Sean Spence and Vince Williams.  Don’t be surprised if Williams gets the ‘start’ on Sunday.

    Shamarko Thomas – The rookie safety has been working out with the team while nursing a bad hamstring.  Coach Tomlin indicated that Thomas is healthy enough to play on Sunday against the Ravens.

    Ross Ventrone – As Thomas’ replacement, Ventrone injured his hamstring in the game against the Colts and will likely spend this week rehabbing.

    Marcus Gilbert – Having passed the concussion protocol, Gilbert will get the start over Mike Adams if ready.

    Steve McLendon – Giving his shoulder a chance to rest, McLendon is potentially available for Sunday but will be monitored through this week’s practice.

    Ike Taylor – The veteran cornerback is moving along nicely after having forearm surgery, and will likely see limited practice time again this week.

    The Steelers will practice onWednesday, Thursday and Friday ahead of their Week Nine game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.

  • Is Martavis Bryant The Answer As A Starter

    Martavis Bryant has been very impressive in his past two NFL games. From catching the deep ball, from going up and snatching the ball out of the air in the red zone. With his production in the last two games is it time for Bryant to start?

    Bryant over the last two weeks has scored 3 touchdowns and opened up the offense in a way not seen in quite some time. Bryant has shown a above average ability to beat single coverage off the line of scrimmage and the deep speed to run away from defensive backs playing zone.With the exception of one easy drop Bryant has been very sure handed. Even though Markus Wheaton scored yesterday he has not brought the explosive ability Bryant has brought. However Bryant has produced off the bench so when he comes in defenses don’t pay him the type of attention the starters receive such as Wheaton,and Antonio Brown.

    With Bryant success these last two weeks it’s safe to say Bryant is no longer a secret. Corners will have to figure out if it’s best to play man or zone on Bryant.With Bryant’s presence it has allowed other wide receivers such as Darius Heyward Bey,Lance Moore,and tight end Health Miller to become more involved. Bryant played in the shadow of Sammy Watkins at the University of Clemson but now he is starting to emerge as a noticeable player. This Sunday night game vs rival Baltimore Ravens could very well be Bryant’s coming out game showing the league he is ready to be big time.






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