Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat: 5.15.17
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Ray Fittipaldo
11:51
Welcome to my Steelers chat. Let's get it going.
PGH
11:52
Hi Ray, Clearly the Steelers liked TE Phazan Odom, as they signed him to the 90 man roster, but did any of the other tryout attendees look promising? In the sense that we might see them added down the line if the team needs more bodies this summer?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:53
They also signed former Pitt LB Matt Galambos. I saw the Odom it as well. The Steelers likely will formally announce these moves this afternoon. And yes, even if a tryout guy is not signed to the 90-man roster now if he made a positive impression he could be added later if there are injuries.
Guest
11:54
What do you think of that Keith Kelsey that the Steelers signed as an undrafted free agent? He seems like he has some potential, with some seasoning.
Ray Fittipaldo
11:55
He was one of the guys who reportedly got a $10,000 signing bonus to sign as an undrafted free agent so other teams were after him. The Steelers could use some depth at ILB and maybe he'll be in the competition for a roster spot. But asking me for an impression after rookie minicamp...I don't have one. Have to see these guys in training camp and preseason games, especially ILBs.
FRANK CA
11:55
NOW THAT THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS OF THE ROOKIE CAMP ARE DONE, ARE THERE ANY NAMES OTHER THAN WATT THAT HAVE JUST STOOD OUT OR MAYBE SURPRISED?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:57
I liked what I saw from Cam Sutton. He made some nice plays. Gerry Dulac wrote about Brian Allen today. He made a spectacular interception, one for the highlight reels. JuJu looked good catching the ball. Again, it's hard to draw conclusions from a few practices in shorts, but those were my first impressions of some of the draft picks.
Guest
11:57
What is your take on Francis Kallon?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:58
I'm writing about Kallon now. I'll have a story in the paper and online at post-gazette.com tomorrow. He has an interesting back story.
Guest
11:58
How much do the training camp rookie invitees (unsigned tryout dudes) get paid to show up? Like $10/hr I'd guess.
Ray Fittipaldo
11:58
It's not much. I imagine they get their transportation and hotel plus meals paid for. Not sure after that.
Guest
11:58
I think one of the most underrated additions to this team this offseason is Tyson Alualu. He's a former Top 10 pick who has started for a few years in JAX and he can come in and immediately bring strong rotational support to the DL. Can you say a few words on what a player like that can mean to this defense? Thanks.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:00
Yeah I definitely think he'll be an upgrade over Ricardo Mathews. Alualu is a big strong guy, is solid against the run. I don't think he's shown much in the way of rushing the passer, but he'll be surrounded by quality players in that front seven and might draw some single blocking. Looking forward to seeing what he can do in training camp.
Calvin Reynolds
12:00
Any news on DB Gholston?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:00
You mean Golson, and I understand he'll participate in OTAs next week.
FRANK CA
12:00
I HAD READ AN INTERESTING ARTICLE THE OTHER DAY THAT HAD MENTIONED A POSSIBLE TRADE INVOLVING THE STEELERS AND PANTHERS THAT WOULD SEND SAMMIE COATES TO THE PANTHERS WHO REALLY LACK SOME WR'S AND THE STEELERS WOULD IN RETURN GET A LB OR DB IN RETURN? DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:01
I did not hear about this. Trades are rare this time of the year.
RD
12:01
Ray, if Brian Allen's development continues and shows potential, do the Steelers risk putting him on the practice squad or should they try to find a spot on the roster for him? Given the need for another quality CB on the outside.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
I think he'd have to play really well on special teams to make the 53-man roster. If he shows a lot of promise in preseason games and the Steelers don't want to expose him to other teams they might be able to stash him on injured reserve if he has a camp injury of any significance. And remember, if another teams signs him away from the Steelers' practice squad they have to keep him on their 53-man roster. For someone who has just seven or eight games of starting experience in college that would have to be one desperate team.
Steeltowntim From Tampa
12:03
With regards to the long snapper how hard would it be to have one or two back up offensive lineman practice this and save a roster spot?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
If it was that easy every team would have a lineman do the snapping. It's not easy. It's a skill and only a select few are good at it.
H2P4EVER
12:04
Do you think James Conner immediately takes over as Le'Veon Bells backup, and used on third and short situations?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:04
They used a third-round pick on him so I imagine that is their plan. Of course, he'll have to earn that spot in camp and the preseason games.
FRANK CA
12:04
OF THE BIG NAME FREE AGENT UNSIGNED PLAYERS OUT THERE LIKE GARY BARNIDGE AND ANTONIO CROMARTIE TO NAME A COUPLE, ARE THERE ANY OTHERS THAT STRIKE INTREST FOR THE STEELERS OR MAKE SENSE?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:05
Not for me. Barnidge is 32 and on the back end. Cromartie has seen better days as well.
Guest
12:05
Paul Zeise wrote an outstanding piece on 7th RDer Keion Adams recently that got me really excited to see that young man play this summer in Preseason. What is your take on KA?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:07
I haven't seen enough of him. He has a basketball background so there are those athletic traits NFL teams like. He was bigger than I thought he would be. When I saw his size listed after the draft I was thinking he was another Travis Feeney. He looks like he's put together better than Feeney. He's another strong possibility for the practice squad, or the 53-man roster if he is an ace special teamer.
FRANK CA
12:07
AFTER THE DRAFT, IT SEEMS THAT THE STEELERS ARE STILL TRYING TO ADDRESS THE DB'S AND ILB POSITION. ARE THE STEELERS JUST WAITING TO ADDRESS THIS AS TEAMS TRIM DOWN THEIR ROSTERS AND PICK UP THE BEST AVAILABLE OPTION?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:08
I think you're on right track. They're OK there for now, but if there are injuries I could see them searching the waiver wire in August.
Robert M
12:08
How concerning is it that Villanueva is still not resigned?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:09
Lots of time to get that done.
Guest
12:09
I see that Kraig Urbik has had a good NFL career. What went wrong with him in Pittsburgh? Just not a good fit?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:09
The Steelers liked Ramon Foster a little more. Foster has turned into a quality guard.
alan siegel
12:10
here in Los Angeles when Byron Scott was head coach, he got squered for denying the importance of the use of analytics in player evaluation. he's been since replaced and there's a new focus on the science. using that as analogy - when the steelers play NE and the only success against Brady is pressure and man to man defense, why wouldn't the Steelers make an adjustment? even if their players aren't exactly right to play man to man...they're getting carved up. why not change at halftime? at that point I'm not sure why the coaches don't make adjustments...saying we don't have the players is irrelevant since you can defend in zone. what have you got to lose trying to hold up receivers at the line of scrimage and play man to man? it may not be their defense but i've seen them play man defense...it's like like they can't try it?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:13
In the title game, the Steelers didn't have the personnel to match up with the Pats man to man. Tomlin stated that a day or two after the game when asked about the coverage in that game. They have since addressed that through free agency (Coty Sensabaugh) and the draft (Cam Sutton and Brian Allen). And Senquez Golson, if he is healthy, might be able to play well in man, too. We don't know because he's never had much of a chance to show he can. But he was a second-round pick and you don't invest in a CB that high in the draft without him having some ability to play in all types of coverage. This is the reason I've said Sutton has a chance to start if he learns the system. There is a need for a CB who can play man coverage.
Guest
12:13
Which NFL city is the WORST at supporting its team? Miami?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:13
Maybe Los Angeles, and it now has two teams...
Fredward
12:14
Do you think Brian Allen might be too good to try to sneak onto the practice squad? I see a Wesley Johnson situation playing out if that's the case.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:15
You're right. Wesley Johnson was picked up by the Jets and remained with them. The Steelers really couldn't afford to keep him and develop him. I guess the Jets had fewer quality linemen and decided they could do it. That might happen again. There might be a team that won't be in contention this year and decides to pick someone like Allen up.
Man of Steel in NJ
12:15
Irrelevant question of the day (apologies): Smith-Shuster wore 19 for the rookie weekend after it was announced he'd be wearing 13?
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