Sunday, April 22, 2007

Best. Minicamp. Ever.

Huh. I thought I was being original when I selected Marcus McNeill with my modified first-round pick. Uh, nope. Anyway, here were my selections:
1 - Marcus McNeill, LT
2 - Gerris Wilkinson, LB
3 - Michael Robinson, RB/KR
4 - Dawan Landry, S
5 - Mark Anderson, DE
6 - Bruce Gradkowski, QB
7 - Greg Eslinger, C
8 - Ethan Kilmer, ST
9 - Marques Colston, WR
Obviously, this draft trumps the Steelers' actual draft, but hindsight if funny like that. Of course, this means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things, but it makes me feel smart, so that counts for something.


Alrighty, the Steelers made it through training camp and even though some people didn't show, the guys who were there didn't get hurt. In my mind, that makes for a successful camp. Seriously, is there too much else to get excited about? I know, I know, Alan Faneca wasn't around, apparently because of money, but here's the glass-is-half-full perspective: he didn't get hurt either.

I wrote about Faneca and Roethlisberger's Cowher comments for AOL, but I suppose it's worth repeating: Minicamp isn't mandatory so for me, it's not that big a deal. Plus, it's minicamp. Ultimately, if Faneca wants more money and the Steelers don't give it to him ... well, I wish him luck wherever he ends up. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge players for wanted to get paid -- especially when Leonard Davis just got a ridiculous deal -- but I won't lose any sleep over it. Now Ben or Troy ... that's a different story. Both guys still haven't hit their prime and it's a lot hard to replace a 30-year-old guard (even if he is an All Pro) than a franchise quarterback or a franchise safety (can you have a franchise safety?).

Concerning Roethlisberger's comments: after seeing the interview with my own two eyeballs, I'll just mark it up to "the media being the media." Somebody asked Ben a question and he answered it. He didn't seem angry about it; very matter of fact, actually. Whatever, it's not something I'm worried about.

And this segues nicely into something else I wanted to mention -- DJ's comment from this weekend:
The Steelers aren't going to trade Faneca, and he's going to get paid just fine. The FO's focus isn't going to be on re-signing guys until after training camp starts. That's always the case.

The real question we have is: Is AOL Sports Blogs becoming the new PFT in terms of BS rumors with no basis in reality?

What do you guys think?
I don't know if DJ wrote this tongue-in-cheek or if he was being serious. I'll take it as the latter because, well, I think it's an important question. In fact, it's something that concerns me personally. One of the not-so-good things about the internets -- at least as it relates to sports -- is that it's really easy to make stuff up, or report something that isn't confirmed.

Now, I don't have a problem with wondering if the team might trade Faneca -- like somebody mentioned in the comments, it's something we'd do here. But I do have a problem with baseless speculation, especially about a players' personal life. And I've made a concerted effort to get away from that type of stuff on AOL.

(And no, this doesn't count. Anyone who doesn't understand that (a) I like the guy, and (b) I was joking is an idiot; and I wasn't speculating about anything, just regurgitating something I read in a Florida paper. Still, I'll probably shy away from similar stuff in the future ... even though over 50,000 people read it in just a few hours this weekend.)

The problem, of course, is that the majority internets readers don't care about nuanced football discussions; they care about Tom Brady freeing willy (and honestly, I love reading about that stuff too ... in People, not a sports site -- but that's just me). And that's not a problem here, but it does become an issue when you're talking about guys writing for a living. Either way, I don't want to be that dude. The good news is that I'm sure somebody here would let me know ... very loudly. And I'm fine with that.

Oh, by the way, I just heard that Troy Polamalu is also holding out. If you want to believe he was on some "retreat," well, go right ahead. Just remember that you heard it here first. And if it proves to be untrue, just forget you ever read this.