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 Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers

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Hawaii 5-0

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PostSubject: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:55 pm

Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers

By F. Dale Lolley
August 9, 2016

LATROBE – At a recent Steelers practice at Saint Vincent College, head coach Mike Tomlin asked a rhetorical question.

“Can anybody block Chickillo?” Tomlin yelled during the backs-on-backers drill.

As it turned out, tight end David Johnson held his own against the second-year outside linebacker on the next play, drawing a thanks from Tomlin.

The early returns on Chickillo in his second season are positive as player after player had issues stopping the outside linebacker from getting to the quarterback.

“(Chickillo) is a guy who has been making a hell of a stride and I think he’s going to be another good football player for us,” said Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter. “We have some young good ones. I feel real confident in those guys. I feel real confident that whoever we put in there will do good.”

That wasn’t always the case, particularly for Chickillo.

The former defensive lineman at Miami flashed early in training camp last season. But the sixth-round draft pick’s play faltered as camp progressed. Though he made the initial roster, he was quickly released, along with rookie corner Doran Grant, to make room for defensive end Caushaud Lyons and cornerback Ross Cockrell, two days later.

Though Chickillo and Grant were signed to the practice squad and later to the 53-man roster, the sting of being released stuck with Chickillo through the offseason.

He worked hard to cut weight after playing in college as heavy as 280 pounds and showing up for training camp at 267 last season. He’s now listed at a leaner 255 pounds. The weight loss and time to work on his technique have dramatically improved his pass rushing skills.

He can now beat opponents in a variety of ways.

“I would say I just feel a lot more comfortable,” Chickillo said. “You know what to expect each day and you know what to expect coming into camp, what you’re going to get. I was learning a new position last year, so it was a big transition for me.”

Chickillo always felt comfortable moving forward. It was the other things the Steelers ask of their linebackers, such as dropping into coverage.

But he has veteran players such as Porter and fellow linebacker James Harrison to learn from. They both made the transition from being a down lineman in college to linebacker in the NFL and Chickillo is all ears when they give him pointers.

“I just try to go hard. If you go hard, people take notice,” Chickillo said. “I go hard every play and no matter what I do, I do it at 100 percent.”

That’s one of the reasons why his teammates don’t relish going against him in blocking drills.

In another recent training camp drill, Tomlin gave an offensive player the choice of trying to block Chickillo or inside linebacker Vince Williams, another high-effort explosive player. The offensive player chose Williams as the lesser of two evils, much to the delight of Tomlin.

Now, the question remains if Chickillo can carry that play from training camp to the preseason games and beyond. If so, he could force the Steelers to keep him this season, despite having Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Harrison and Arthur Moats entrenched at the outside linebacker position.

to read rest of article:

http://www.observer-reporter.com/20160809/steelersx2019_chickillo_leaves_mark_on_opposing_blockers#.V6s0EboXltk.twitter

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BlackAndGold

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:11 pm

Chris Adamski ‏@C_AdamskiTrib
Alejandro Villanueva said Anthony Chickillo has "one of the fastest (passrush) get-offs I have ever seen." Says he's made big strides in Yr2

https://twitter.com/C_AdamskiTrib/status/763391583223939072
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Hawaii 5-0

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:12 pm

Alex Kozora ‏@Alex_Kozora

Anthony Chickillo on first team punt return. Assuming he stays on kick coverage, he's been a four phase ST'er.

https://twitter.com/Alex_Kozora?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:16 am

@BlackAndGold wrote:
Chris Adamski ‏@C_AdamskiTrib
Alejandro Villanueva said Anthony Chickillo has "one of the fastest (passrush) get-offs I have ever seen." Says he's made big strides in Yr2

https://twitter.com/C_AdamskiTrib/status/763391583223939072

If anybody watched Chickillo in the Shrine game, they would know he has one of the quickest get offs in the draft that year. Also, he was one of the fastest first 10 yards in his position group at the combine.

I said it last year, when he gets down to OLB weight and learns to play without a hand in the dirt, he could be one of the great steals of the draft. Just has a motor. Would not be surprised if he and Dupree are starting next season.
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BlackAndGold

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:35 am

@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@BlackAndGold wrote:
Chris Adamski ‏@C_AdamskiTrib
Alejandro Villanueva said Anthony Chickillo has "one of the fastest (passrush) get-offs I have ever seen." Says he's made big strides in Yr2

https://twitter.com/C_AdamskiTrib/status/763391583223939072

If anybody watched Chickillo in the Shrine game, they would know he has one of the quickest get offs in the draft that year.  Also, he was one of the fastest first 10 yards in his position group at the combine.

I said it last year, when he gets down to OLB weight and learns to play without a hand in the dirt, he could be one of the great steals of the draft.  Just has a motor.  Would not be surprised if he and Dupree are starting next season.

Which is scary since he now at a lighter weight. Dupree also is down to 250lb(was 270)

Yea I remember you saying that, Teegre also said that Chickillo & Dupree would be the starting OLB's in 2017, so far, its seems you two will be right.
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Master_Of_Puppets



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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:30 am

c'mon...you guys know how the steelers operate. they like to go with the guy with more experience over the guy who's better at the position. jones and dupree will get the start by default no matter what happens before the season starts.
we'll see who gets the first team reps in preseason.
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:59 am

If Chickillo's noticeable improvement and accolades don't light a fire under Jarvis Jones' ass, nothing will.
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solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:05 am

@Master_Of_Puppets wrote:
c'mon...you guys know how the steelers operate. they like to go with the guy with more experience over the guy who's better at the position. jones and dupree will get the start by default no matter what happens before the season starts.
we'll see who gets the first team reps in preseason.

Maybe not. Jones has started slow. We'll have to see about Chickillo. If he's better I'd sure like to see him out there. With Golson out for probably the whole year we (once again) have question marks in the secondary. We will need pressure from the front seven coupled with the ability to stop the run.
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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers’ Chickillo leaves mark on opposing blockers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:43 am

@Master_Of_Puppets wrote:
c'mon...you guys know how the steelers operate. they like to go with the guy with more experience over the guy who's better at the position. jones and dupree will get the start by default no matter what happens before the season starts.
we'll see who gets the first team reps in preseason.

I still don't think that Chickillo is near a finished product. The guy was playing a 3-4 DE at Miami and he's only now starting to fee comfortable as an OLB. Sure, Jones will get the starts...Harrison and Moats will get reps when Jones is subbed out, but Chickillo will be the #5 OLB and maybe get some situational snaps. Considering that this will likely be the final season for Jones and Harrison, its good to see Chickillo showing progress.
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