Jul 23

Steelers’ 2014 Training Camp Battle Report: Offensive Line

David DeCastro has been activated from injured reserve, but should he start?For the first time in many years, the Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a season with an offensive line that has few questions. That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions, it’s just that there are as many as we’ve dealt with in the past.

The starting five appear to be set. Kelvin Beachum will start at left tackle and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. David DeCastro is your right guard and Ramon Foster is your man on the left. The center is the highest paid man at his position and that’s Maurkice Pouncey.

The major question is who are the two guys that Mike Tomlin calls on for the sixth and seventh spots? Tomlin is notorious for making just seven offensive linemen active on the game day roster and I see little reason for that to change. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 23

Steelers Fall Short in Honoring Noll

NollThe Pittsburgh Steelers have never been a franchise known to change much. Compared to most other NFL teams, the Steelers have changed little in the way of their uniform or how they do business in general. The most recent glaring change was the switch to the current number style and away from the block numerals which I miss terribly.

Yesterday the team announced a slight change to their helmet but it’s one I feel falls well short of what it demands. The Steelers will wear the initials of Chuck Noll on the back of their helmets in the upcoming season.

The four-time Super Bowl champion died last month and this is how the front office is choosing to acknowledge him. Seems a bit lacking to me.

Why not honor Noll, the man who completely turned around the fortunes of a floundering franchise with a jersey patch? My suggestion in fact is to alter the current Steelers logo patch the jerseys have with an acknowledgement of Noll. Or take it a step further; replace the logo entirely with a complete patch that honors the coaching legend. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 22

Steel City Blitz on Fancred.com

We at Steel City Blitz are very excited about being the first Steelers’ verified account with sports social media site Fancred.com.

Fancred is what many sports fans have dreamed of… A social media place for just sports, no other nonsense that you might get on other social media sites.

All you need is a Facebook account and you are able to join Fancred.

We are looking forward to this and are grateful for the opportunity presented to us. SCB will continue to pride ourselves on real, honest opinions about the Steelers and now those can be discussed at Fancred as well as here like always.

Marc Uhlmann is a co-owner and writer for steelcityblitz.com.

Jul 22

Steelers’ 2014 Training Camp Battle Report: Punters

PodleshYes, you read that right. I’m breaking down the battle between punters Adam Podlesh and Brad Wing. If you know anything about me then you know how serious I am about special teams.

You also know how below average the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in this department in recent seasons.

Punting has been one of the most glaring problems for the Steelers for some time now as they cannot find stability at the position. A great NFL punter is one that can boom the 65-yarder when needed and can also drop his kicks inside the ten-yard line too.

This offseason, the Steelers signed Brad Wing and Adam Podlesh both in free agency. The bios of the two punters couldn’t be more different.

Wing is from Melbourne, Australia and stands 6’3″ tall. He has never punted in the NFL. Podlesh is from Rochester, New York, stands 5’11″ and has 467 career punts.

Because Wing made some poor choices coming out of LSU where he was an All-American, he went undrafted and did not play in 2013. He averaged over 44 yards per kick while punting for the Tigers in both 2011 and 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20

Steelers’ 2014 Training Camp Battle Report: Running Backs

Le-Veon-Bell-7The biggest question facing the running back position for the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t who is number one and it isn’t who is number two. The question is who fills that third running back spot which will certainly depend on how Mike Tomlin configures his roster.

It’s expected that rookie Dri Archer will be listed as a running back although we expect to see him line up just about every where within the rules of NFL offense.

With Le’Veon Bell entering as the ‘feature’ back of the Steelers and free agent signing LeGarrette Blount fitting perfectly into the role of ‘short-yardage’ guy, do the Steelers need another traditional running back?

Not since Willie Parker have the Steelers entered the season this confident with their running game. We were supposed to feel that way with Rashard Mendenhall but outside of a few flashes we never really got there.

Understand first that Archer isn’t a ‘traditional’ running back. With his small size and stature, he is not going to carry the ball 15-20 per game and expect to find success. It is my hope that Todd Haley uses Archer a hell of a lot better than he did Chris Rainey.

Some will tell you Rainey was used more traditionally due to issues with other running backs but I can only buy that to a certain degree. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 18

Steelers’ 2014 Training Camp Battle Report: Wide Receivers

BrownWe’ve reached the third of our Training Camp Battle installments and today the focus is on the wide receivers. If you missed the first two, click here for the quarterbacks and here for the tight ends.

I feel very confident in telling you the wide receiving corps will be one of two things; it will be boom or it will be bust. I believe this because we know what Antonio Brown can do and we know what Lance Moore can do. The problem is that we really don’t know much beyond those two veterans.

If they come together, it’s ‘boom.’ If they don’t, it’s ‘bust.’

AB is your far and away number one receiver. He more than proved he could be a number one in this league last year despite is size by heading to the Pro Bowl. Moore is a polished vet who knows what being in the NFL means. With the loss of veteran Jerricho Cotchery to Carolina through free agency, Moore’s presence is welcomed and probably needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 17

Steelers’ 2014 Training Camp Battle Report: Tight Ends

MIllerMuch like we could with the report on the quarterback position, we can pretty much pencil in the top two guys at the tight end spot. Heath Miller will be your starter and Matt Spaeth will be his back-up. The only question regarding Miller is whether or not he can return to the form he displayed prior to his severe knee injury late in the 2012 season.

Miller showed flashes at times last year but also looked more pedestrian at times too as he dropped balls that he normally would have caught. With the general rule following severe knee surgery being that a guy doesn’t recover fully for one full year, we’ll go ahead and plan on Miller returning to his old self.

The Steelers have always liked Matt Spaeth and that has far more to do with his blocking than his pass catching. There’s no question the team missed his presence in Todd Haley’s two and three tight end sets. He does an excellent job of setting the edge and controlling his man at the line of scrimmage, but as a receiving threat, he is average at best.  Read the rest of this entry »

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