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5 to watch against the Eagles


Training camp is in the rearview mirror but there are still more than two weeks -– and three preseason games — before the Steelers set their 53-man roster. That said, here are five players to watch Thursday night when the Steelers play the Eagles at Heinz Field.

— Jonathan Dwyer: Second-year running back put himself in an early hole by showing up to camp overweight. Baron Batch’s knee injury threw Dwyer a lifeline, and the latter finally appears to have his weight under control.
Now it’s time to produce on the field, and Dwyer leads an underwhelming group of players vying for the No. 4 spot at running back.

— Curtis Brown: The rookie cornerback has been impressive when he has practiced, something he didn’t do a whole lot of at St Vincent College because of a hamstring injury.
The third-round pick looks like he has the physical skills to help the Steelers this season, and the team badly needs one of its young cornerbacks to emerge.

— Tony Hills: The fourth-year man is part of the right guard carousel, and his work at the position in the preseason opener earned him a start against the Eagles.
Hills is in the best shape of his career, having added 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason while lowering his body fat.
He is not lacking for confidence either as he makes a push for a starting job.

— Jerricho Cotchery: Cotchery looked every bit the seasoned veteran during his first week of practice with the Steelers. The former Jets wide receiver seemed to pick things up quickly, and it will be interesting to see what role Cotchery carves out for himself.
The Steelers are expecting a significant contribution from Cotchery even though Hines Ward and Mike Wallace are entrenched as the starters and Antonio Brown has been putting a stranglehold on the No. 3 job.
Ward said that Cotchery “will win a game” for the Steelers this season.

— Jason Worilds: Worilds, starting for James Harrison at right outside linebacker last Friday, struggled in the Steelers’ preseason opener.
The coaches badly want the Steelers’ 2010 second-round pick to assume a more prominent role this season. But Worilds is going to have to show more before the Steelers are confident he can spell Harrison and left outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley or play for either in case of an injury.



  1. Clarence says:

    All of a sudden we seem kinda thing at LB. I do hope Worilds pans out because he’s got that bust thing written all over him at the moment. Hills is the surprise of the preseason so far, we’ll see how that works out for us and I would have preferred we kept Frank Summers than deal with this mess with Dwyer. He better come correct or just go home. Let Clay have a shot!

  2. Scott P says:

    The saving grace at LB is Larry Foote. In the case of an injury to Harrison, or Woodley, the Steelers can put Timmons outside and play Foote inside.

    The emergence of at least one of the young corners is critical for 2011, and the future of the team.

  3. Paul Raspa says:

    II think Worilds will be fine!! The kid is from NJ and he knows he has alot of eyes on him. Jason, just play your game. The real people we need to be worried about are the T position and CB position.
    At Tackle– all of a sudden Jonathan Scott is everybody’s baby — Last Year he was rough but played well the last 5 games.. This whole line needs to stay lower, they are way too high on their blocks!! Last Years Super Bowl when Ben was intercepted only happened because Komeatu was too high and was getting MANHANDLED and pushed back into BEN!!. Everybody needs to play like they were Legurskey’s Height!!

    At CB, we need people to step up but we need to play closer to the line… Teams are doing 5 yd doink passes and when you are 10 yds of the WR, WE do not have a Defense for that. Teams will not run, they will throw the out’s against us!!

    And I hope CLAY from Wisconsin get’s a look!!! The guy ran like a beast at the college level and I believe he can bring it!!!

  4. Don Lewis says:

    Don Lewis

    Notwithstanding what teh coaches say, I’m not satisfied with the personnel on the offensive line. First, Legurski should be starting at guard. Like Paul said, the blocks were too high last year and they all should block like Legurski. Well Legurski blocks that way and he is very bright, less inclined to false starts. There are two O-linemen out there in free agency we could use: Brian Walker, an all-pro RG and Nick Kaczur a monster OT. Both could be had for one year contracts. Whatever we do, we’d better come up with some combination the coaches like before the beginning of the season. Baltimore isn’t going to wait around while we get our act together.

  5. Ollie says:

    I know what I will watch for. Watch and hope that the Offensive line can play like they deserve to be NFL players! The Steelers, except for Pouncy, have egnored this unit for too long. I hate to be critical because I love this team, but Ben needs to be protected and holes need to be opened for the running game.

  6. mac says:

    First of, the Ravens are gonna stink. 9-7 is very possible cause they leader on defense is 37 years old. He and Mr. Ed look very old. He got beat bad on a fly pattern vs Eagles last week. There CB may be the worse in the division, yes worse than ours. The Ravens are also going to struggle scoring points. Rookie WR’s arent goingto make an impact with no off season and since when did the wr they drafted become prolific even in college. Bottomline if Steelers get thru 1st 4 games unscaved, they’ll run away with the division. I think the Browns will be the 2nd best team by midseason. Flacco will fall this year and Ravens will be looking for another QB again. Should of never let Bulger retire, he was the best QB they had last year and he collected dust and knew he was better than Flacco.

  7. Scott P says:

    I believe Flozell Adams will be back on the roster soon. The starting 5 will be;

    Flozell – Kemeotu – Pouncy – Legursky – Colon.

  8. David says:

    Kemeotu should be let go. I hate the late penalties he draws for mental mistakes on his part . The Ravens will be dog fighters this year because Cleveland will be a much improved team so the division will fi down to the last week of the season and a tie breaker could determine the division champs. Well on to the Steagles game tonight.

  9. David says:

    The bengals will be lucky if they win a game this year. Everybody wants out of the jungle now. Lol. Predicted north finish 1 Steelers 2 Cleveland 3 Ravens 4 bengals

  10. Harold says:

    My main concern is that we score more points than the other team. When playing teams like Green Bay, New England who run up and down the field on us score points which will happen. Then we need to use our weapons all of them, open up our offense and go score. I love our defense and always have but lets take the pressure off them for a change and make the offense score in bunches. Give our D a nice cushion and watch them really excel.

  11. Steelbrads says:

    I am a long time Steeler fan, but Ward needs to shut his trap and play. I am tired of all the talk. I am excited we have almost all of our starters back, but we seem think everywhere but WR. Onee serious injury and it will be tough.

    And there is no way Cleveland finishes 2nd. Nice wishful thinking, but that is not going to happen and we all know it!!

  12. Paul Raspa says:

    I thought the Steelers played pretty well. Ben looked good,The backfield ran with a purpose and the D confused an OVER-RATED Vick.Some things to look at again will be the O-LINE —- I am not a fan of the tackles Backing Up 3-5 yards before 1st contact because we have a QB that seems to always be moving because of the pressure from other area’s. Look at the game against New England last year and their O-LINE was hitting us right at the Line of Scrimmage..CADENCE —– This is on BEN— CHANGE it up Buddy because if you don’t by the time you hit 50 you might be eating thru a STRAW!!!!!!!!!!!!! COTCHERY WILL FIT IN VERY NICELY TOO!!!!

  13. David says:

    I did not like how Cock went to the knees of Troy after he intercepted his pass. Wasn’t to thrilled about no flag being thrown on that cheap shot , also am I the only one who noticed all the no calls on all the holding the Eagles were doing late in the 4th these refs need to wake up, or did they go on strike and these are scab refs were watching. Also on that last touchdown, his hand lands on the ground out of bounds before the ball hits the pilon and over the endzone line. Not a touchdown in my book. We also left 13 points out there. Just my take, on otherwise a stellar performance by the team overall.

  14. David says:

    I apologize for that , my spell check did not work that word should have been Vick,

  15. DaveB says:

    Nice game, but I would not get too excited yet. It was fairly obvious that the Philly D is working on some schematic issues ( a lot of blown coverages last night) with the new players and will settle into a top flight defense as the year goes on. We certainly took advantage of that.

    The oline will be fine. Kuggler is a great coach. Anybody that can perform the reclaimation projects he’s done with Hills & J Scott, has got to be the best position coach on the staff, if not the best line coach in the game.

    As for the no calls at the end of the game, I think the ref’s, and the network felt there was a better use of their time than to watch a bunch of future unemployed players slugging it out. JMO.

  16. Scott P says:

    I just read Mark Kaboly’s piece about the running game. He specifically mentioned the liberal use of a fullback. Let’s not be fooled people. Arians used the fullback a ton last summer. Then on the eve of the regular season opener, they cut Frank the Tank Summers who had manned the position through 4 pre-season games. The fullback disappeared until last night. I did not understand the concept of practicing something that you had no intention of using once the games started to count in the standings.

    My guess is the same “strategy” is in play this year. Let’s waste all of our tune up games perfecting the execution of plays that will be thrown in the dumpster on the morning of Sept 11th. BRILLIANT!!!

  17. David says:

    this version of the Dream Team will wake up like the Miami Heat, dazed and confused by all the smoke they created,,, hahaha, lol….

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