Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Mike Wallace Sighting, David Gilreath Looks Inviting

Stop me if you've heard this one.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat reporter Ed Bouchette and Beaver County Times reporter Mike Bires wrote Tuesday that the Steelers expect wide receiver Mike Wallace is in town and is expected to sign his tender soon. Possibly after the Steelers play the Buffalo Bills in Saturday's third preseason game.

If so, Wallace would have two weeks of practice before the Steelers play the Broncos in the Sunday night season opener, and it has people talking. - http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/53068/video-discussing-wallaces-return-to-steelers?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Note, though, that I wrote "if."

Until Wallace joins the team, Wallace hasn't joined the team. It is, though, good news if true.

While it would avail Wallace of some action in the team's last preseason game on August 30th at the Carolina Panthers, more importantly it would give Wallace and the Steelers time to resume negotiations for a long-term contract. As we've written before, the Steelers don't negotiate unless a player with the team.

Then again...

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review beat reporter Mark Kaboly posted to Twitter some time after that: "For what it is worth, Ike says Mike Wallace isn't in town."

It's appropriate that all of this is happening in the month of Elvis' death because only he's had more unconfirmed sightings than Wallace.

Per CBS Sports, Mike Tomlin echoes that sentiment saying on: "Like I said from day one (when) I reported to training camp, I'll see him when he arrives."

Mark Kaboly came back again with a reassuring vote of...confidence(?) from Ike Taylor, saying: "We are going to shoot to Davios as soon as he touches down and I'm going to tweet you as soon as they give us our tab."

Bottom line: when Mike Wallace gets here is when he'll get here. Until then, what's a Zoltan?


This was my reply to a Steelers fan and gentleman who goes by @ScottsdaleSteve on Twitter when he suggested that Jason Ford and David Gilreath, among others were doing very well and would all make the team: "Gilreath and Ford are camp bodies only. Dwyer and Rainey may cause Batch to be on the practice squad, though." 

As Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend. It looks like I was wrong about one of those. 

Wide receiver David Gilreath, who's 5’10" and 170 pounds soaking wet and carrying a brick, is a product out of Wisconsin who's been on the practice squads of three teams, Indianapolis, Buffalo and St. Louis. He may have done enough against the Colts to move himself into candidacy for the fifth WR spot. He's a special teams guy as well and could easily round out the receiver corps. - http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/blog-n-gold/35115-gilreath-makes-case-for-final-wr-spot?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Neal Coolong of BehindTheSteelCurtain.com agrees and tweeted this on his personal Twitter account: "We've officially got our Training Camp Darling...congratulations David Gilreath. You are the front-runner for the 5WR position.” 

So, that may create a solution for figuring out the 53-man roster. With Gilreath emerging, that means listing Chris Rainey as a running back, though it might be at the expense of Baron Batch. 

Listing Rainey as a PR/KR for specials teams would, yes, still allow him to be used in different spots of the offense, but the same could be said of listing him as a RB. He can easily line in the slot as well.

We at If It Ain't Steel had suggested a few times he be used not only as a receiver, but listed as one also. Coolong, though, made a good point about that in a discussion we had recently. He pointed out that since "RBs can't go on the [line of scrimmage] and WRs can't line up in the backfield w/o reporting as eligible." 

Very true. A great offensive coordinator, though, can scheme ways to get Rainey his touches. Just, as Coolong, "don't get cute and list him as something he isn't. He'll def play in the slot, but you want him out backfield too” 

Fair enough. Maybe not the listing, but definitely the utilization. Remember those Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs played all the positions on the baseball field? "Bugs Bunny, shortstop. Bugs Bunny, left field. Bugs Bunny, centerfield. Bugs Bunny, right field...." That'll be Chris Rainey. He just can't get knocked out by a wide receiver on kick returns like in his first return of the game. He needs to remember the words of ol' crackhead Ezal from the movie Friday, "You shoulda been bobbin' and weavin'!"