NFL from the Sidelines

Sunday news, notes

The Steelers' practice was cut short today by thunderstorms, but not before Le'Veon Bell put a scare into the coaching staff by coming off with a sore hamstring.

He was immediately escorted to the training room, but head coach Mike Tomlin said it's not serious.

Rookie receiver Martavis Bryant is also dealing with a slight groin injury that held him out of practice completely. Rookie receiver C.J. Goodwin of California University of Pa. also had to leave after landing hard on his shoulder while trying to make a catch.

Neither of those injuries are considered serious.

Meanwhile, the news for center David Snow wasn't quite as good. He suffered a foot fracture Saturday that will require surgery to repair.

@ During a special teams session, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown went down to one end of field and practiced on their own with Roethlisberger rolling to his left and hitting Brown with a pass at the pylon.

That was a new thing, and it shows that Brown is intent on making himself more of a red zone threat. It also shows that Roethlisberger is cognizant that he won't have Jerricho Cotchery, who caught 10 red zone touchdowns last season, around this year.

@ I'm not sure which looked better, but on one play during team portion, Roethlisberger checked off a pass to his right and hit Danny Coale down the seam.

In coverage was linebacker Lawrence Timmons. It was a perfect throw and hit Coale in stride. But it had to be a perfect throw because Timmons was running with Coale stride for stride.

Timmons said he's dropped down to 242 pounds to improve his speed. It certainly showed there. Coale was a legit 4.4-4.5 guy coming out of college.

@ I've noticed Cam Heyward running around high-fiving guys and making sure he talks to everyone out there on every play. It's interesting to watch a new leader emerge.

@ Ramon Foster is expected to return to practice on Monday after dealing with the unfortunate passing of his mother.

Guy Whimper replaced Foster today after it was Cody Wallace Saturday.

@ Brown caught a ball in the flat that Jarvis Jones nearly knocked free before Brown re-caught it, split a pair of defenders and then raced down the sideline . . . where he was caught 25 yards downfield by rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Now, Shazier had an angle, but you don't usually see linebackers run down receivers.


Read full post: Sunday news, notes

Pouncey talks about lawsuit and other Day 1 notes

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and his brother, Mike, were sued Friday in a Florida court over their alleged involvement in an assault earlier this month.

Here's what Pouncey had to say about the incident and lawsuit on Saturday.

"I'm a man about everything. Y'all know that any time I've made a mistake, I admit to it. For something like this to happen when I had no involvement, it's upsetting. It hurts me. It's on my mind like crazy. Hopefully, it blows over. Our lawyer put out a statement."

Pouncey doesn't expect to be disciplined in regard to the alleged incident.

"No fear at all," said Pouncey. "The only thing that sucks about it is that I tried to keep a clean nose throughout the process this year. Having to deal with this, sucks, it truly does.

"Even for the birthday party, we hired our own retired police officer to go out with us. For something like to this to happen is truly unbelievable. I just want to take the time to apologize to the the fans who take this the wrong way. You guys all know me and know the person I am. For people to say bad things about me, that sucks. But sometimes you've got to deal with bad things in life and move on."

The lawsuit in question now charges that it was Maurkice Pouncey who not only taunted one of the men in the alleged altercation, but that he also punched both him and a woman he was with.

This is a different story than was told when the incident was first alleged to occur. The suit doesn't say how much the alleged victims are seeking from the Pouncey brothers, only that it is in excess of $15,000.

@ Lawrence Timmons, who is listed at 234 pounds, is actually at 242 this season after playing last year at 250.

This is why I have to chuckle every time I see Ryan Shazier talked about as undersized. Anybody who thinks these guys are the actual weights they are listed at is being a little silly.

Take Steve McLendon, for example. I have answered countless questions about his weight, which was listed for a long time at 285 pounds.

That was what McLendon weighed when he first signed with the Steelers and nobody bothered to change it - until last year, when it was adjusted to 320 pounds, which is pretty much what he has weighed the past three years.

Now, I see people saying that McLendon suddenly put on 35 pounds. That is most certainly not the case. He's been carrying 320 for the past three years.

Same thing goes for James Farrior. Farrior played inside linebacker for the Steelers at the 215-220-pound range in his last  few seasons. Same thing goes for Larry Foote.

That's at least 15 pounds lighter than Shazier.

But yeah, Shazier is undersized.

Timmons, by the way, did weigh 234 in his first season with the Steelers. Shazier is listed at 237.

@ The Steelers probably won't say so publicly for a while, but privately, they expect Johnny Manziel to be Cleveland's starting quarterback for the opener Sept. 7.

@ Dri Archer worked as the No. 1 punt return guy today. The Steelers feel he can handle that job and lighten Antonio Brown's workload.

@ Ben Roethlisberger wore Brett Keisel's former number 99 for the position drill portion of practice today before switching over to his more familiar No. 7.

@ There seems to be a feeling that rookie Stephon Tuitt is bright enough and talented enough to win a starting defensive end position.

He drew some praise during position drills today from John Mitchell, which is pretty hard to come by for the young guys.

@ With Ramon Foster dealing with a death in his family, Cody Wallace got first-team snaps with the offense at left guard.

At free safety, it was Will Allen subbing for Mike Mitchell.Read full post: Pouncey talks about lawsuit and other Day 1 notes

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