Steelers notebook: Receivers Moore, Bryant miss practice again
Wide receivers Lance Moore (groin) and Martavis Bryant (shoulder) missed practice again Thursday, decreasing their chances of playing Sunday. Justin Brown — cut last season — likely would replace Moore as the slot receiver. Darrius Heyward-Bey could get more snaps, as might starter Markus Wheaton.
“Maybe I can stay on the field a little more because of it,” Wheaton said.
Also out were CB Brice McCain (groin) and OL Cody Wallace (finger).
• James Harrison, the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, will officially announce his retirement Friday at the Steelers' South Side offices. Harrison, 36, left the Steelers after being unable to renegotiate his contract last year and played in Cincinnati. He recently met with the Arizona Cardinals, but could not work out terms.
• Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is certain the Steelers will see Browns rookie QB Johnny Manziel on Sunday. “It's not a magic wand he's waving. He's creating plays out there,” he said.
• Linebacker Sean Spence “got a little scare” when he bruised a PCL two weeks ago, but he's now healthy and ready to make the NFL debut he has awaited since 2012. He missed two seasons with a major knee injury. “I'm very excited. ... It's a very big deal,” Spence said.
• Offensive coordinator Todd Haley is “excited about the (running backs) group and what they're going to show” — even if they didn't show much during the preseason. The Steelers' 19.5 rushing attempts per game were the fewest in the league. “Le'Veon (Bell) at this time last year wasn't ready. LeGarrette (Blount) has toted the ball for a high average (4.7 ypc) in this league. We're excited for when Dri Archer gets his backfield snaps,” Haley said.
• Mike Mitchell, the safety who specialized in causing turnovers last season in Carolina, said veterans are more than ready for the season to start. He realizes the value of the preseason, but said, “These are the games that count, the games that matter.”
• Like Ben Roethlisberger, Archer played college football at a MAC school (Kent State) in Ohio. But unlike the Ohio-native quarterback, Archer is from Florida, so opposing the Browns in his first NFL game isn't anything special to him. “There are a lot of Browns fans there (in Kent), but that's about it,” he said.
• If there's one gadget play the Steelers never run, it's the fake punt. Since Bobby Joe Green's 37-yarder in 1961, their longest run by a punter was Craig Colquitt's 17-yarder in 1980, according to Pro Football Reference's database. But might it be something to watch for? Brad Wing had a 52-yard fake punt touchdown run against Florida called back by his own taunting penalty as an LSU freshman in 2011. “We'll see, we'll see,” Wing said with a smile when asked Thursday whether he might take off on a fake at some point in the future. This is the second time in three years the Steelers are starting a season with an untested punter. Drew Butler punted in 2012 but was cut last year. For now, fake punts are way in the back of Wing's mind. “I got through it (last weekend's cuts), and I'm still here — and now it's a matter of staying here,” said Wing, a former first-team All-American who averaged almost 45 yards in two LSU seasons. “And doing what's required to make sure I stay here.”
• Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier isn't just an NFL player, he plays one on TV. He appeared in a cameo role on the FXX comedy “The League” on Wednesday, playing himself in a fantasy draft sequence. Teammate Stephon Tuitt and NFL players Taylor Lewan, Carlos Hyde and Mike Evans also were in a segment shot after minicamp ended in June. “It was fun having those guys out there,” Shazier said. “It was pretty cool ... and pretty funny. I watched it, and it's a pretty funny show.” Shazier wouldn't mind doing similar work in the future.
— Alan Robinson
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Blake gets outside shot in nickel
- Rossi: Steelers’ tarnished Bell rings true
- Tomlin gives suggestion Steelers won’t be shy about going for 2
- Steelers’ Brown: Attendance ‘never a doubt’ for offseason workouts
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison open for larger role
- Steelers safety Holliman is real enigma
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Steeler draft analysis: There’s no excuse for no 1st-round cornerback
- Steelers’ Heyward looking to stay for long haul
- Steelers interested in playing internationally again