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Author Topic: Our Offseason....  (Read 1511 times)
vcuram
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« on: Sep 22, 2008 at 01:14 »

Let me start off by saying that I don't judge a team based on one week's performance.  We played fantastic the first two weeks, then looked horrible today (on offense, at least).  I'm not saying the season is a lost cause, but....

The problems with this team (OL play and DL depth) were not addressed at all in the offseason.  Losing Snack and Keisel will magnify our lack of depth on the defensive front.  As for the OL, we all saw how they played today.

I am glad we did draft a RB and WR in the first two rounds this year.  A WR, I might add, that was behind Dallas Baker on the depth chart today (unless Sweed was hurt).

So, we basically have the same team we had last year, plus a more difficult schedule.  Even with the Pats losing Brady, the Chargers and Colts struggling, and the Browns looking like pretenders, I still don't see us as a Super Bowl contender.  Playoff contender....probably .

Oh yeah, Ben is going to get hit as much as last year.  That $100 million investment really needs protection or he won't play 10 games this year.
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 03:54 »

im ready for the steelers to spend money this offseason on a big name O Linemen through free agency even if that means a major cut i.e. ike, FWP, farrior, ect. sorry but this line needs adressed ASAP. mcfadden has proven himself, ike can kiss my ass. sorry i just stopped drinking since the game, 12 hours of drinking and stupid thinking, has me thinking our o line is going to cost ben 3-4 season of his career with all these hits he is taking!
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 11:06 »

There is no excuse for the oline being this poor.  There is no excuse for the FO doing nothing about it in the offseason.

And there is no excuse for BA/Ben not realizing that our oline stinks and making the necessary adjustments.

Arians must have been drinking the Houston/Cleveland koolaid.  Hopefully he now knows what happens to a mediocre oline against a nasty defense.
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jcharding
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 12:36 »

This is why so many people have freaked about the failure to draft offensive lineman in the last two drafts.  Yes, Timmons, Woodley, Mendenhall and Sweed were all probably good value picks, and all made sense (Timmons aside) given the flow of the draft.  The problem is, as we saw with Timmons last year and Mendenhall and Sweed now (and many others before them), is that you cannot expect rookies to come into the NFL and immediately contribute.  It happens sometimes, but that is the exception.  That means there is no solution for the rest of 2008, and even if we draft OL 1&2 next year there probably won't be a solution in 2009 either.

The easy answer then is to throw lots of money at the problem.  I would argue that it produces the same results (but inverted) as what has happened in the draft.  Sure, we would address a need, but the cost it would inflict on the team in other areas may make the answer worse than the problem.  Moreover, we would be paying for past production - kind of what the Jets just did with Faneca - and not what we would actually be receiving.

What this means, at least to me, is that the failure of the draft gods to bless us with the necessary OL draftees means that we will be wasting the next two years (at least) until we are able to fix the problem.  The only ways to avoid this two year downtime is (a) Starks takes a massive step forward; (b) Hills turns into a major draft steal, or © we draft OL in both rounds 1 and 2 next year and one turns into an immediate contributor.  If two of those three things occurs than maybe 2009 will be an improvement. I am not hopeful, you never know.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 14:58 »

...and while we are wishing for a fairy godmother to fix our offensive line with lucky draft picks in the next draft, maybe she can wave her wand and make our defensive line 3 years younger, since we've been ignoring that as well...
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 19:49 »

Correct me if I'm wrong as I'm doing this all from memory...

1st round pick:  0 carries, 1 catch

2nd round pick:  Deactivated

3rd round:  Deactivated

4th round:  Deactivated

5th round:  Deactivated (3rd QB)

6th round picks:  Cut and cut




Damn.....

 
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 22, 2008 at 20:02 »

Biggest disappointment is Bruce Davis...two UDFA LBs have played ahead of him on STs (Woods and Bailey)

Edit:  The Steelers have to make the 3rd and 4th rounders sure things, especially with a likely 3rd round comp for Faneca.  Can't have projects from those rounds next year.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 23, 2008 at 14:21 »

Screw the 3rd rounders...use them to move up in the first, or package to trade for an additional second.

 Normally, I wouldn't lobby to trade picks, but, I'm tired of projects and whims (like punters, return specialists, second TE's). So fuck it, trade up and get solid starter-material for OL/DL. That must be the sole focus in '09, unless some crazy skilled defensive back pops up at our spot.

No more 3rd,4th,5th round OL/DL shitbags who mull around the roster for 2 years, then get cut. We need some horses, dammit.  Dig deep and sign a solid veteran FA (if available), and draft the BAOL or BADL on the board.  
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"Dreith said I hit Sipe too hard. I hit him as hard as I could. Brian has a chance to go out of bounds and he decides not to. He knows I'm going to hit him. And I do. History."
- - - Jack Lambert, after referee Ben Dreith ejected him from a game for knocking out Browns QB Brian Sipe.
vcuram
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 23, 2008 at 21:05 »

I totally agree, Lambert.  Here's a look at our drafts over the past few years:

2008

1    Rashard Mendenhall    Illinois    
2    Limas Sweed    Texas    
3    Bruce Davis    UCLA    
4    Tony Hills    Texas    
5    Dennis Dixon    Oregon    
6    Mike Humpal    Iowa    
6    Ryan Mundy    West Virginia    
 
2007

1    Lawrence Timmons    Florida State    
2    LaMarr Woodley    Michigan    
3    Matt Spaeth    Minnesota    
4    Daniel Sepulveda    Baylor    
4    Ryan McBean    Oklahoma State    
5    Cameron Stephenson    Rutgers    
5    William Gay    Louisville    
7    Dallas Baker    Florida

2006

1 - 25 - 25
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 07:31 »

Quote
That must be the sole focus in '09, unless some crazy skilled defensive back pops up at our spot.

Honestly, I'm not sure that we can even afford to do that.  I feel like we're almost in a position where we may have to reach in R1/R2 because the need is so overwhelming.

But again, I stress:  With our skill players, we have enough to compensate even for this oline.  Defense is a different story, just hope Keisel is a fast healer.
 
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 08:14 »

I agree with the point that our drafting success is overrated. We've had a lot of flat-out busts after round 1.

I, for one, wouldn't be upset if Colbert were replaced.
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 08:34 »

In all fairness, anyone that spends enough time drafting in the NFL will have busts.  Every draft is a crapshoot, with regard to who is available when you are picking, and whether the player picked will perform.  

A 4th or 5th round pick ( on a talented team, mind you)  probably is more likely to fail to make the roster than not.  Which begs the question:  why haven't we tried to dump some of these lower picks in packages to move up in the 2nd or 3rd rounds to get better need players?  

My complaint is less the failures of individual draft picks and more the draft strategies that have been utilized over the past 5 or 6 years. One simply can't continue to ignore the OL and DL in the top 2 rounds and expect that it won't come back to eventually haunt the team.  
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"Dreith said I hit Sipe too hard. I hit him as hard as I could. Brian has a chance to go out of bounds and he decides not to. He knows I'm going to hit him. And I do. History."
- - - Jack Lambert, after referee Ben Dreith ejected him from a game for knocking out Browns QB Brian Sipe.
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 10:01 »

I agree w/Lambert on this: the problem with packaging up picks to move to R2-3 is that EVERYONE wants to move there.  You can't scrape enough value to make that move.

IMO, the aspect that is most irksome aren't the sheer number of picks that fail, comprised as it is of predominantly R4-7 floppers, but the R2-3 guys who fail; recently, Zo and Willie Reid.  Offsetting this, somewhat, is the fact that we seem to do exceptionally well with UDFAs (FWP, Kreider; to a lesser extent lately, Stapleton, Russell, and this year Woods).  

It's a bit early to really judge this year's draft class.  Even the 2007 draft will take a little while to really come into focus, although we did jettison McBean and Stephenson.  Baker has moved up from the PS, and Gay seems to be getting more time, though.

2006 looks like the worst of late:  Holmes was clearly the best WR at that top of that draft class, but A. Smith still has issues, Reid is out, Colon still plays at tackle for some reason, and then 5 following are all gone.

2005 looks solid.  Hard to fault the Miller pick, or McFadden, or Kemo, and even though Essex was drafted too high, he's been a solid role player.  Won't piss about Goo and Nua and Herron.

2004 was bad, aside from Ben and Starks.  But fuck, we got Ben.  How often does that happen?

2003, again, sort of 50/50, getting Troy and Ike.  

It seems that if we get 3 guys out of 6-7, we're OK.  While we could do better, I don't think most NFL teams really do much better than that, either.  If we can find a way to package some R4-7 for another R2-3, cool.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 10:03 »

Well-said, Lambert.
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 13:01 »

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This is why so many people have freaked about the failure to draft offensive lineman in the last two drafts.
I posted this awhile back on ESPN, but it pretty much sums up my feelings on the O-line so I'm pasting here for discussion.  Apologies for duplication.

When they stopped using higher draft picks (i.e. R1, R2) on linemen is pretty much when things started going downhill.  If you look back, they've only done that twice in the last 10 years.  Simmons in '02 (I think) and Smith in '00 (again, I think).  

Since then, it's been a flier on this or that Day Two guy; a pick based on a guy's "potential;" a "dark horse" selection based on whatever report; etc., etc.  I know that with the team's overall success in the last 15 years, they haven't had many high picks, but there's no doubt they've ignored that part of the team in the last half a dozen or so drafts.  Factor in that the last FA OL they brought in (that  was worth anything) in Hartings has retired and well, you can pretty much figure out why that group is struggling.

For awhile there, this team had 3 or 4 top high round selections in their prime on the O-line.  Now, the only ones they''ve got are an aging Smith and an inconsistent guy in Simmons who's had to fight health/injury issues for a good chunk of his career and has never really rebounded to his younger form.

I think next year they need to spend money on a quality FA OL [Jordan Gross], then spend their first 3 draft picks [OL, DL, OL]  to build the quality in the trenches back to where it used to be...on both sides of the ball.
 
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 13:22 »

I remember, somewhere around 2000, arguing that we didn't need to draft OL very high, because you could take just about anyone and turn him into a decent OL.  I can't even begin to tell you how my opinion has changed.  I just assumed we get guys like Bo Lacy, Nkwenti, Okobi, Essex and make men out of them.  It just doesn't work that way.  OL are now required to be athletes, and smart ones at that.

Guess like Essex are fine--they are what they are.  Decent BACKUP material.  But starters need to be prime picks.  
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 14:05 »

Remember when Ben was "asking" for a tall receiving threat?

I wonder which one he'd take today if you gave him the choice of having either a Burress type or one or two quality linemen.  Bet after last week, he'd be begging for the latter.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 14:08 »

Ben just needs to take a page from Mike Tomczak and start throwing passes from his back.
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jasonic
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 24, 2008 at 14:10 »

speaking of backs....how awesome was that when polamalu tackled that dude with his back??
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