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Answering your Steelers training camp questions

-- Photo by Chaz Palla

— Photo by Chaz Palla


Mark Kaboly  | Tribune-Review


It’s a week into training camp so what better time to open the mailbag and answer some Twitter questions?



@Studentschamp asks: How does the defensive line look, specifically Ziggy Hood?

Kaboly answers: It looks OK. Tomlin has kept Brett Keisel sitting out of a lot of individual drills to preserve his body, but I don’t think you have to worry about him much. Ziggy Hood is an athletic freak. The question with him is that can he translate that onto the field? He hasn’t showed that consistently yet so stay tuned. Steve McLendon will be fine and Heyward is looking quick after losing 20 pounds.




@mjp48 asks: Does Mike Golic Jr. make the team?

Kaboly answers: At this point, no. Golic has struggled mightily throughout the first week of camp, and understandably so. He is undersized and he is playing out of position. He played center and guard and Notre Dame and the Steelers have him at tackle. I’d say practice squad would be best option for him as of now.



@MrNegativity75 asks: Can Antonio Brown be a No. 1?

Kaboly answers: Absolutely. Well, I guess what your definition of No. 1 is. Still, AB is the real deal. He can run every route including the 9s. He may be a little undersized, but he has the most talented at the position on the teams.



@Jee2141 asks: Who is the one under-the-radar guy who is having a good camp?

Kaboly answers: That’s hard to pinpoint right now, but I can tell you who seemingly flashes every day: linebacker Alan Baxter, wide receiver Justin Brown, defensive end Brian Arnfelt and linebacker Marshall McFadden. It’s going to be difficult for most of them to make the team because of numbers, but they are looking OK … so far.



@sonicginger asks: You say Le’Veon Bell is the real deal. Technically, what are you see that’s making the difference?

Kaboly answers: He has it all – speed, athleticism, vision, power. I look back on one play during the first live drill the other day that encapsulates Bell. On a stretch run to the left, he made a guy miss, cut back to the right sidelines, outran the defense before finishing off the run by slamming into cornerback Curtis Brown. Honestly, the only thing that will hold him back is his blocking. And if he can just be a little above average with that, he has a legit shot to start right away.



@Caligueri asks: Who is the favorite for the return work.

Kaboly answers: The preseason will work that out but the favorites have to be Antonio Brown on punts and LaRod Stephens-Howling on kicks. Those two have been-there, done-that before. Now, they do have a lot of talent looking to change all that most notably Reggie Dunn, but Dunn is going to have to have a Stefan Logan-like preseason to have any chance of unseating Stephens-Howling.



@Irizzi95 asks: Does coach Tomlin always wear black during practice?

Kaboly answers: Actually wore white on Thursday.



@MikeRossi_ asks: Does David Paulsen have a chance to start at TE?

Kaboly answers: I am not sure about starting, but he is the only viable receiving option the Steelers have at the position right now. Matt Spaeth isn’t a receiving option. My opinion is that I don’t think they are planning on using the tight end very much in the passing game this year.



@PompeySteeler asks: Do you think there is room on the roster for Bell, Redman and Dwyer?

Kaboly answers: Let’s think about this. Bell, Stephens-Howling, Will Johnson are locks leaving Redman, Dwyer and Batch for likely two spots. I believe Batch has too many people to leap over to make the team. But I can make an argument that you want to keep Batch because you are going to lose either Redman, Dwyer or both next year.


Thanks for participating.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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