Countdown to Training Camp

Finally, it is almost here. The inevitable march of time, that double-edged sword that while at the same time erodes hairlines, thickens midriffs and causes things to unfortunately sag, also brings us closer to being able to shut the door on the disappointing end of last season when training camp opens and we can officially begin to look forward to the new year. However, Steeler Nation, we face some questions with the team only a few days out from the official start of camp. When the public is allowed to make the short trek from Pittsburgh to Latrobe, what is it we are going to see? Here are just some of my biggest questions.

Will we see Mike Wallace?
Almost certainly, we will not be seeing Mike Wallace. Not right away anyway. The latest news is the same as the old news. He hasn’t signed his tender, the two sides are far apart, and they are not really talking. The Steelers are reported to be optimistic because they have the history of signing big name players once camp starts. I would imagine they are also optimistic because at some point Wallace has to wake up and smell the coffee. What else is he going to do? Where else is he going to go?

Can the Rest of the Young Money Family Fill the Void?
Without Mike Wallace sightings, those of us who show up at camp will be keeping a close eye on the other Young Money Family members, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Antonio Brown comes into camp with the confidence that being the Steelers MVP for 2011 must give him. I have a personal soft spot for former SMU player Sanders, so I tend to think he is capable of great things. He’ll need to show that my faith is well deserved without Wallace’s height and speed. Brown is 5’ 10”, Sanders has an inch on him, but Wallace is the tallest of the trio, which is the kind of target Big Ben likes. I’ve noticed Steeler fans have been making the case, preparing themselves mentally I think, about Wallace’s shortcomings, but I have to tell you, I for one would rather he be in camp than not in camp.

Will Big Ben and Todd Haley Play Nice?
I would imagine eyes will also be trained on how Haley interacts with the entire offense, including our star quarterback. The vague whining I heard from Big Ben early on seems to have dried up, but then again, he’s off playing golf or whatever it is he’s doing right at the moment, so we’ll see what he says and how he says it once training camp begins and he once more has microphones stuffed in his face for off the cuff comments. A lot of us spent a lot of time reading between the lines of everything he said during the OTA’s. I don’t expect that to change once camp kicks off.

How will Steely McBeam handle the heat?
Face it, it’s an awful job to dress up in however many pounds of dark colored felt from top to bottom and wander around in the normal summer heat and humidity all day. This year, it’s particularly brutal out there. I don’t care if you do get to rub elbows with greats like Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, you could not pay me enough to wear that costume at camp. But I expect him to be there. By now he’s a fixture at any Steeler function. If you see him, be nice to him. He’s probably got to be close to heat exhaustion.

One thing I don’t personally worry about is the defense. They will start this season with the taint of last season still hanging over them. They’ll be playing with chips on their shoulders and out to prove that they have what it takes to carry the mantle of Steeler greatness, which is right where I want them.

Comments

  1. Uh, when did this site turn into a Pittsburgh fan blog? This sucks!

    There’s a huge world outside of Pittsburgh, you dopes.

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