Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.

– Semi-Steelers related, but not really. This is exhibit A as to why Ben Roethlisberger shouldn’t have been taking unnecessary snaps behind the second-team offensive line on Saturday night: Eli Manning getting crushed. [Me at FanHouse]

– Speaking of getting crushed, this is a play that probably would have been worth watching. Peter King at Steelers camp on Monday posted the following on Twitter: “Best play I’ve seen in 3 wks on camp trail today in Latrobe: Pit special-teamer James Harrison (yes, playing gunner) blows up punt return.” [Twitter]

– Maurkice Pouncey is getting snaps at center with the first team offense. It’s only a matter of time until he takes over the No. 1 job. [Steel City Insider]

– More calls for Dennis Dixon. [Behind The Steel Curtain]

– And for your random YouTube of the day: Steelers vs. Oilers action from the mid-90′s that includes: Chris Chandler getting sacked by Brenston Buckner, Andre Hastings returning a punt, Bill Cowher chewing out Jason Gildon and saying the words, “I love you, but…” and Kordell Stewart running the option. Oh yes.

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  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    I’ll go ahead and make the following prediction: Byron keeps the starting job, plays like crap against the Falcons, and the torch and pitchfork crowd calls for Dixon to get the gig. Even after one game we’ll hear stuff like, “The season’s already lost!” and “We might as well start planning for the 2011 draft!”

    And I’m pro-Dennis, but just being realistic. Also: I have a time machine. I already know how this all plays out. (Flozell, I got some bad news…)

  • Cols714

    I’m totally down with Pouncey winning the starting center job. Like I’ve said, Hartwig was probably the Steelers’ worst lineman from last year and replacing him will help a lot. Essex was probably the 2nd worst, but at least he’s good at pass protection even if he doesn’t offer much in the running game.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    You know, maybe it’s just the Sean Mahan hangover coupled with the fact that I don’t pay attention to the o-line as closely as others, but I never felt like Hartwig was a huge gaping weakness. I mean, he wasn’t Jeff Hartings, but he also wasn’t so far in the backfield he could hand the ball off to the back, Mahan style. That said, I have no issue with Maurkice getting the job from Week 1.

  • Gretz

    I thought Hartwig was pretty solid in 2008, but declined pretty significantly in 2009. Of course, that’s just my untrained eye for the O-line talking. Honestly, Pouncey would be an upgrade no matter which position he starts at, as I think Hartwig and Essex are the two weak links right now. Well, them, and the inanimate carbon rod playing right tackle.

  • Dean Keaton

    I’ve been wondering why the Steelers felt they had to spend two draft picks on OLB, when they have two Pro Bowl caliber players at the position… I didn’t think of it until seeing the note above from Peter King, but perhaps part of the answer is to have a better rotation of guys so that they can also all contribute on special teams, particularly Harrison.

  • Cols714

    Is Sunny Harris going to make the team? It’d be pretty sweet if both Hood and Harris pan out. Nothing like remaking your DL in one draft.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Cols,

    Great question. Ted thinks Sunny’s on the bubble, although JJ loved his effort against the Lions.