2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Minus Pouncey and Foote, Steelers press on

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-09 16:09

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Maurkice Pouncey limped through the Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility on Monday, the torn ligaments in his knee wrapped in bandages and his season over. The three-time Pro Bowl center remained in high spirits - as always - though he might have been one of the few in the building.

The long road back for Pouncey will begin later this week when he undergoes surgery. The same for linebacker Larry Foote, who is also done for the year after rupturing his right biceps while trying to tackle Tennessee's Chris Johnson in the fourth quarter of a 16-9 loss.

For a team that preaches ``next man up'' when faced with adversity, at the moment ``next man left'' might be more appropriate.

While the Steelers will have somebody snap the ball to Ben Roethlisberger next Monday when they play at Cincinnati, whoever it is will be a significant downgrade over a player considered one of the NFL's elite.

Kelvin Beachum filled in after Pouncey was carted off the field eight plays into the season, the first time in Beachum's football career he's worked at center during an actual game. Though Beachum is arguably the most versatile player left on the line - he saw time at both tackle and guard during the preseason - the Steelers signed veteran Fernando Velasco to a one-year on Monday according to agent Brian Ayrault.

The 28-year-old Velasco started 16 games for Tennessee last season, including 13 at center. He'll be given every opportunity to take over for Pouncey on a line that will try to regroup without its emotional leader.

``It's going to be tough,'' running back Isaac Redman said. ``Pouncey is the heart of our offensive line. We've got to have guys step up.''

Even if Redman isn't one of them. Handed the starting job out of camp after rookie Le'Veon Bell sprained his right foot, Redman fumbled twice - including once into the end zone - and managed just nine yards on eight carries.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin grew so frustrated he sent third-down back LaRod Stephens-Howling into the game, only to have the return specialist tear the ACL in his knee. Like Pouncey, Stephens-Howling is done for the year.

Searching for healthy bodies, the Steelers re-signed Jonathan Dwyer on Monday. Dwyer led Pittsburgh with 623 yards rushing in 2012 before being cut when the roster was trimmed to 53 players. He wasn't picked up after being waived and there appeared to be no hard feelings as he walked into the team's complex.

``Glad to be back home,'' Dwyer tweeted.

Dwyer's face is familiar. Not so much for the man charged with replacing Foote.

Kion Wilson was out of the NFL last year before making the Steelers following a spectacular preseason on special teams. Now he finds himself replacing a 12-veteran who received all the defensive calls from coordinator Dick LeBeau and served as the chatty quarterback of the league's top-ranked defense.

Wilson played sparingly in 2010 with San Diego and in 2011 but will have to get a quick grasp of LeBeau's intricate schemes while Lawrence Timmons takes over Foote's duties as playcaller.

Though Foote will be missed, the Steelers still have a defensive roster filled with players have learned how to cope when things go wrong.

``Larry's a tough guy to replace, but Kion has gone through our camp,'' Timmons said. ``He's picked up our defense, and (linebackers coach Keith) Butler's going to do a good job prepping him for this game. Coach LeBeau's doing this for a while, so he'll have a defense for whoever fills in. He'll be able to run the defense.

The bigger concerns lie on offense after the Steelers managed just 195 total yards, allowed five sacks and turned it over twice.

What Pittsburgh viewed as a strength over the summer now appears to be a question mark with Pouncey out until 2014. Beachum spent a portion of the preseason serving as a third tight end then spent four quarters cradling the ball in his hands and looking across the line of scrimmage at defensive tackles.

``You've got to be a football player at the end of the day,'' Beachum said. ``You're paid to be here, you've got to make it work.''

--

NOTES: The Steelers signed K Shayne Graham on Monday as insurance after K Shaun Suisham sustained a mild hamstring strain during warmups on Sunday. Graham converted 31 of 38 field goals last year for Houston. ... The AFC North is a combined 0-4 after Week 1.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pat DevlinJun 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Pat Devlin, TE Jacob Maxwell and PK Jeremiah Detmer were waived Thursday, June 18.

Dez BryantJun 18 11:42a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant arrived for the final day of minicamp Thursday, June 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group