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Steelers WR Grisham competes for spot on team

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Friday, Aug. 12, 2011
 

Steelers receiver Tyler Grisham knows that putting together two great weeks of training camp means nothing if he can't transfer that to the field, starting with Friday night's preseason game against Washington.

Grisham, an undrafted rookie free agent from Clemson two years ago, is in a camp battle with veteran Arnaz Battle for the fifth receiver spot. Grisham played in four games as a rookie before spending last year on the practice squad. Grisham caught two passes in four preseason games last year.

"I am trying to prepare myself and visualize myself being in the game and making the same play in game-time situations," Grisham said. "I feel that I don't have to think as much this year."

Grisham also figures he will have to impress coaches on special teams. He is on the kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return teams.

"They probably will say that it is more important for me right now because if I can have a hat on special teams, they would love to have me and use me sparingly for offense," Grisham said.

> > Al Everest enjoys coaching special teams, but he might have a lot less to coach this year. The NFL moved the kickoff up five yards to the 35-yard line, which should result in more touchbacks and, in turn, promote safer play. But that also takes something away from the game, said Everest, who has coached special teams in the NFL for the past 14 years.

"I don't like it," Everest said. "Here is the positive side: You eliminate guys like Brad Smith, Josh Cribbs, Devin Hester."

Last year, 16.4 percent of kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

"I think we will find out a lot during preseason," kicker Shaun Suisham said. "It will be interesting to see if it changes the game."

NEWCOMER WATCH

TERRANCE MCCRAE

Position: Wide receiver

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 194 pounds

College: Ohio University, undrafted rookie free agent

Competition: McCrae, a Connellsville graduate, finds himself in a group of young and talented receivers. With seven receivers on the roster with two years of experience or less, McCrae's best hope is to find a spot on the practice squad.

Camp moment: McCrae had one of his best practices Wednesday. During a third-down drill, McCrae extended his route to the sticks and caught an out-pattern pass above his head for a first down. McCrae later played defender to knock away an interception from William Gay.

Quotable: "Every opportunity I get I take it as a blessing because it is a dream just being out here. Anytime I get an opportunity, I try to take full advantage of it."

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