Mark Kaboly, is a local sportswriter covering the Steelers who has now moved from the Trib to DK on Pittsburgh Sports, a pay-only site run by former Trib and Post-Gazette writer Dejan Kovacevic. Kaboly does a series of Q and As, and in the last one got the following question:
When Shazier or Williams get hurt, who do you see as the number 3 inside linebacker?
Somebody who is not on the roster. And way to be positive there, but I get your point. That’s been the biggest fail by the Steelers in this offseason — depth at ILB.
The final position I’m going to cover in this series is the inside linebackers. In theory I ought to address the tight ends and the kicking team, but the former was at least touched upon in the receivers post and the latter lacks drama at the moment, thank heavens.
One of the biggest questions this off-season, which has now been answered, was what was going to happen with the Lawrence Timmons situation. It’s interesting that I find myself thinking that Timmons to the Dolphins was probably a good outcome for everyone. He gets more money than the Steelers were willing to give him, the Steelers have Vince Williams, who has played reasonably well (or better) when called upon, and there is still the possibility of picking up a young guy to complement Ryan Shazier, who is rapidly becoming a star in the interior. Read more
Continuing with yesterday’s post, here is the information for the second half play. But first, here are the DB snap counts, from Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot:
- Montel Garner: 41 defensive snaps, 3 ST snaps
- Sean Davis: 40 defensive snaps, 10 ST snaps
- Kevin White: 32 defensive snaps, 10 ST snaps
- Al-Hajj Shabazz: 32 defensive snaps, 7 ST snaps
- Shamarko Thomas: 31 defensive snaps, 11 ST snaps
- Donald Washington: 30 defensive snaps, 7 ST snaps
- Doran Grant: 26 defensive snaps, 5 ST snaps
- Jordan Dangerfield: 15 defensive snaps, 12 ST snaps
- Jacob Hagen: 15 defensive snaps, 7 ST snaps
- Robert Golden: 15 defensive snaps, 2 ST snaps
- Mike Mitchell: 15 defensive snaps
- William Gay: 15 defensive snaps
- Ross Cockrell: 14 defensive snaps
- Ray Vinopal: 12 defensive snaps, 4 ST snaps
- Julian Whigham: 12 defensive snaps, 2 ST snaps
That’s a lot of defensive backs. It’s easy to see who the Steelers are envisioning as starters among the vets. And speaking of veteran players, one question I had, since I barely knew some of these names, is who is a vet and who’s a newbie. The answers are:
- Donald Washington: 4 years
- Doran Grant: 2 years (sort of)
- Jordan Dangerfield: 1 year
- Montel Garner: 1 year
- Jacob Hagen: 1 year
- Al-Hajj Shabazz: 1 year
- Ray Vinopal: 1 year
- Kevin White: 1 year
- Julian Whigham: Rookie
Keith Srakocic/AP Photo
Note: the Steelers do not distinguish between inside and outside linebackers on their roster, and I’ve made a few assumptions which may or may not be correct, or current. Hopefully I’ve gotten it right…
The good news is that the Steelers, despite losing Sean Spence and Terence Garvin to free agency, are currently overloaded at the position. This is, of course, the bad news for some guys looking to make the team.
Just when I thought I had gotten over the rookie mistakes, I made one of the biggest ones of all. I got to camp in reasonable time, I had my wet towel for my neck and my bottles of frozen water and my binoculars and not one but two pens, since my pen the other day was getting a bit skippy. I got a seat which was not yet in the shade but soon would be, sat on my cushion (because those bleachers are a challenge even for my well-padded avoirdupois) and settled in to start writing. The only problem was, I had nothing to write upon.
Nothing. I had forgotten to put my legal pad back into the bag after taking it out to write up yesterday’s notes. I had nothing else, not even a few old receipts. Fortunately I remembered that St. Vincent’s hasn’t yet replaced the old-school paper towel dispensers in the women’s bathroom with air dryers, bless them. So I left my cushion there to save my place and rushed into the loo. I managed to extract six sheets (they are the sort that cut off at a certain length), and found a cardboard box in the cleaning cart from which I liberated a flap to write on, and I was back in business. Sort of, anyhow. When I returned to my seat some people had sat down next to it and left only the size of the cushion, a small one at that, at the end of the bleacher, which was a bit tight, but I made it work.
Fortunately the Steelers seemed to have their heads in the game rather better than I did. The players were trickling onto the field about the same time I made it back to my seat, and Ben and Maurkice Pouncey continued their hit-the-crossbar-of-the-uprights competition. Pouncey was still losing, but he doesn’t give up.