Thursday, August 9, 2007

Steelers' Training Camp Report

Yesterday, 3 out of 4 members of Doubt About It made a trek out to Latrobe to see first hand how the team was looking under Coach Tomlin. PiSoNC, stuck in the monotony of a 9-5 job, was unable to attend, but as you will see he was there in spirit. Here are our thoughts:

-The practice goes extremely quick and did not appear overwhelmingly taxing. I know they conduct two-a-days, so obviously they can't be running at full speed the whole time, especially in this heat wave, but the entire practice did not appear to be that grueling. And even when there were drills that required all-out effort, only 1/3 of the team was usually participating in them at the moment. I know, easy for me to say. But Herb Brooks pre-olympic training it was not.

-No big hits. No big fights. In terms of controversy and news, this was not the day to attend. Then again, Sean Mahan returned while Chucki Akobi left the field with an undisclosed injury. From people that I've talked to, it seems that Mahan is the popular choice to succeed Hartings, so this could be a blessing in disguise.

-It was bad enough that the Steelers created a mascot. But did the name really have to be Steely McBeam? What mascot has a last name? If it was simply Steely I would find myself apathetic about the entire issue, but the addition of McBeam makes no sense. It plays on some sort of Irish or Scott-Irish theme, but, with no disrespect to the Irish, I do not think Irish or any specific people when I think of Pittsburgh. If this was Boston this would make sense. If I had to pick a nationality I would say, rather generically, Eastern European. Steely Beamasnki, Beamko, or Beamarik seem to fit the region a bit better. The last name just shouldn't be there, though. Then again, neither should the mascot.

-Mullets galore! I thought there was a guy and a girl in this picture, but I've been told they were both guys. What do you think?

-Jeff Reed's hair did not look as energetic as it usually does, such as when he's on the South Side.

-There is a Mike Tomlin impersonator at camp. He looks similar enough to fool you during quick glances, especially when wearing all black, but the irregularly long goatee gives him away. He looks young though, as young as Tomlin or younger, but none of the Steelers' coaches fit this description. Any idea who this is?

The actual Tomlin right behind Reed (Notice the stuff around his neck...confirmed on the PG website)

-While you are not allowed to have camcorders there, they didn't ban digital cameras with video taking capabilities. Thus, we caught some stuff on tape. In the first scene we caught up with Kendall Simmons and asked him if he was aware of his physical similarities with rapper Rick Ross brought to our attention by PiSoNC. His answer is in the video, along with a comment to Jeff Reed who at the very last moment seems to react. Not exactly an Oscar winning film, but still entertaining.

The other guys have some more stories to share, along with actual player impressions. Be sure to check back later. And if you have not seen it yet, be sure to read Pat's article on the Penguins' championship movie "Against All Odds". If you've seen this movie it is a must read.
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