2013 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

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group