Camp Update � Jul. 20th
Conrad Reeks; Burress Signs
According to Steeler Digest, a quick recap of camp from July 20th:
"Kris Farris was OK. He also needs work on technique, and he needs to take advantage of his assets more. For example, Farris has really long arms, and that would enable him to get his hands on the rusher right away and stone him almost before he gets out of his stance. Farris doesn't do that yet.
Marvel Smith did pretty well, but he needs to work on his technique. Where he got himself into trouble was on the secondary move by the rusher. He was OK in stopping the first move, but he had a tendency to lose his man after that.
Chris Conrad was terrible. Everyone who went against him beat him, and Chris Combs and Ernie Brown both looked like Bruce Smith when they faced off opposite Conrad.
On defense, Ernie Brown wasn't bad; Combs was OK, but both of those have to
be tempered by them going against Conrad. Jeremy Staat was tough to handle, but Aaron Smith wasn't able to make anything happen."
Almost seems like the Digest staff has been using their free time wisely, and has been reading my Pre-Camp Outlook, in which I wrote:
- "Chris "The Upright Alligator" Conrad, who last season looked as pitiful as 1-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, is also around. With any bit of smarts, he�ll be among the 1st to be released."
- "Keys to Look For as You Watch the Preseason Games:
1. Offensive Tackle : The keys to playing tackle are footwork, and arm EXTENSION. Clumsy footwork is terrible for an OT. Furthermore, arm extension is the critical element to keep a pass rusher at bay. For whatever reason, Christina Conrad loved to keep his arms in tight as his side, thus allowing him about 10 inches of arm extension, which is the same as an alligator. A solid tackle will get nearly a yard of extension out of his arms, thus warding off the passrusher. Watch Ferris and Smitty as they vie for the RT job."
What I described in my camp outlook, in terms of the OT situation, has already begun. Keep your eyes peeled on this as you watch preseason.
Also, as you've seen, Burress is signed and is in camp. Coach Cowher, in his infinite wisdom, declared that Burress is "probably more ready, more football-ready," than Troy Edwards, the 1999 No. 1 pick, was a year ago. Yes, indeed. Troy was soccer ready, and basketball ready --- he just wasn't football ready, especially with a perennial pro bowler in front of him on the depth chart, Lil' Courtney Hawkins. Thank you, Bill Cowhead, for providing keen insight on why Troy Edwards sat behind Lil' Courtney Hawkins the 1st 11 games of the '99 season. Cowher, of course, has to be outraged that Burress signed and is in camp already. This obviously negates Cowher's easy excuse to bench Burress and start his favorite receiver, Lil' Courtney. Now, all Cowher's left with, are his old saws of "Plexico doesn't yet have a feel for what we are doing�.he hasn't mastered our offense yet�..he's still trying to get a rapport with our QBs�..he's still learning all his patterns�."
The Still Mill