Hopefully by now you, my loyal readers, know that I'm not going to write full columns on preseason games. I already
have to move heaven and earth to be able to watch every regular-season and playoff game (which is why I'm against an 18-game
schedule, but that's another matter).
But I will take a
little something from the Steelers' 17-13 preseason loss to the Redskins, and I do mean little. I'm going to write something
short and sweet about someone who's short (and I'd rather not know if he's sweet).
No one is more qualified than me to write about Steelers kick returner Stefan Logan. He's 5-foot-6, 180 pounds, and
I'm 5-foot-7, 179 pounds. That means our physiques are just about identical, right? I don't see how they can't be.
During Saturday night's game, Logan totaled 205 return yards, including
157 on four kick returns. Two of those returns went for 60 and 45 yards.
An afterthought before Saturday night, this Canadian Football League import has made a strong case for a spot
on the 53-man roster.
Logan isn't the only new face that's
made an impact during training camp. In fact, it's so cool that not only are the Steelers Super Bowl champions, they also
look like they're getting a healthy infusion of new blood.
draft pick Mike Wallace, a wide receiver, and fifth-round pick Joe Burnett, a cornerback, join Logan in making Steelers kickoff
and punt returns something to see this season. Gary Russell always got it past the 20 and never fumbled on kickoffs last
season, but once in a while the Steelers are going to need points on special teams, and they might get some this season.
Defensive end Ziggy Hood, the Steelers' first-round draft
pick, has three sacks in the preseason. I don't expect him to start, but I have a feeling he'll get on the field a lot when
the games count.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis, another one of the
Steelers' three third-round picks, has done well in training camp. Speaking of cornerbacks, the Steelers are also going to
have to find a roster spot for Keiwan Ratliff, acquired from the Colts in the offseason.
Two undrafted free agents have turned some heads. Isaac Redman looks like he's beating out much ballyhooed
fifth-round draft pick Frank "The Tank" Summers for the job as short-yardage back. (I take the blame for much of
that ballyhooing, by the way.) Ramon Foster appears to have earned a spot as a backup offensive lineman.
Even offensive tackle Tony Hills seems likely to make the 53-man roster. Drafted
in the fourth round in 2008, Hills was invisible last season. If he makes the team, then he will have come a long way.
For a column that was supposed to be short and sweet, it looks like I've gone a long way, just like Stefan Logan.