- Grove City, Pennsylvania


August 11, 2013

STAIRWAY TO SEVEN: Some rookies could have impact for Steelers

OPINION — THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS have been called old for at least a couple seasons now and from the looks of it, they may be getting a much needed infusion of youth.

Rookies have been making their marks after less than a week of practice in pads. Running back Le’Veon Bell appears to be a certain lock to start over Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Bell has been mighty impressive during his first training camp as a pro and will likely make one of the veterans expendable.

Redman and Dwyer are likely battling for one spot, especially after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger singled out veteran free agent signee LaRod Stephens-Howling as being a bright spot and a potential third down back.

Meanwhile, rookie receivers Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown appear to be edging another veteran right off the roster.

Wheaton has been impressive so far despite missing all the team’s offseason practices due to school not being over in time at Oregon State with receivers coach Richard Mann and veteran wide out Jerricho Cotchery getting credit for bringing Wheaton up to speed.

The former Beaver will replace Mike Wallace as the team’s deep threat yet isn’t a ‘one-trick pony’ like the current Miami Dolphin. Wheaton has shown the ability to go over the middle and make tough catches.

Brown, who has special teams abilities, will likely be the player who costs Plaxico Burress his spot.

From all accounts, Brown has been catching nearly everything thrown in his direction.

We’re not even mentioning defensive rookies Jarvis Jones, Shamarko Thomas and Vince Williams all of whom are likely to be on the team’s final 53-man roster in less than a month.

So by my count, that’s six rookies with a realistic chance to impact the Black and Gold this year and for years to come.

ä The one thing that has amazed me over the years is the amount of people that flock to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe to watch the Steelers practice.

Over the years, I have been lucky enough to be granted field credentials for practice dozens of time and have spent just as much time gawking at the fans line the hills that surround Chuck Noll Field as I do watching the Steelers practice.

It’s plain crazy folks.

Fans fill the stands to capacity with thousands of others standing and sitting on the hills just to watch players practice.

Remember when Allen Iverson went crazy over having to report to practice with the 76ers?

Maybe, I’m just jaded after having watched countless Steelers practices and games from field level during my 15-plus years with Allied News, but it’s just practice to me -- nothing to get all worked up over.

Or maybe it’s just my profession considering many of my compatriots with the Pittsburgh media spend most of practice shooting the breeze with others on the sidelines.

Games, on the otherhand?

That’s something I still get excited about even when my buddies would rather watch the game at home with their high def TVs.

I guess that’s what it is for all of us — not being able to get enough of Pittsburgh’s heart and soul.

Agree, disagree or just want to comment? Contact Corey at

Text Only
  • SRU Hall inductee Wise set for SRU Hall

    SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Former Grove City High athletic great Tom Wise has been selected as a 2014 inductee to the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame.
    Wise was former three-time All-American and three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion track and field student-athlete at Slippery Rock.
    As a Rock student-athlete, Wise claimed a fourth-place finish and two sixth-place honors in decathlon competitions at NCAA Division II national championships.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Western Pa.'s Zeigler scores big

    LAST FRIDAY, I headed west to Attica Raceway Park for the FAST “410” Sprint Cars and UMP Late Model “Summer Nationals Hell Tour” along with the first appearance by the UMP (E) Mods.  A great field of 37 Late Models, 28 Sprints, and 23 E-Mods were on hand along with a packed house.  Overcast conditions made for a fast 1/3-mile track that provided great racing all night long. 
    Craig Mintz picked up the win the last time I was at Attica on June 6, but shortly thereafter suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for a month.  On Friday night, Mintz returned and led every lap of the 30-lap Sprint Car feature for his season’s third win.  The Gibsonburg, Ohio driver’s victory was worth $3,000 and had to hold off a last lap slide job by Christopher Bell. 

    July 27, 2014

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman

    LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time.  I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77.  This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway.  I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks.  With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.

    July 21, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide