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Author Topic: Why will we be better next year?  (Read 2303 times)
Brinker
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 03, 2009 at 20:47 »

Acoording to the Professor Clayton...

Pittsburgh Steelers: The champions have a chance to repeat because they'll play an easy schedule next season. That's a rare circumstance for defending champions. The Steelers entered the 2008 season with a .598 strength of schedule that decreased to a still-tough .525 when the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars had down seasons. In addition to playing AFC North teams, the Steelers will play AFC West and NFC North teams in 2009. Those future opponents combined for a .434 winning percentage this past season, so the Steelers will play the fourth-easiest schedule in the league. Their biggest shakeout of players will be along the offensive line. Guard Chris Kemoeatu and offensive tackles Marvel Smith, Max Starks and Trai Essex are unrestricted free agents.


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« Reply #21 on: Feb 03, 2009 at 21:05 »

After watching the replays of the second half, I'm questioning whether or not we should re-sing Kemo.  Dude made some terrible plays Sunday night, and has looked lost in several games this year.  We'll sing Essex because he's cheap depth.  Not great depth, but cheap depth.  I'll be shocked if Smith doesn't retire, and will be even more shocked if we sing Starks for anything higher than a modest contract.  We'll have to do work in FA and the draft to put a line together.
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 06:51 »

After watching the replays of the second half, I'm questioning whether or not we should re-sing Kemo.  Dude made some terrible plays Sunday night, and has looked lost in several games this year.  We'll sing Essex because he's cheap depth.  Not great depth, but cheap depth.  I'll be shocked if Smith doesn't retire, and will be even more shocked if we sing Starks for anything higher than a modest contract.  We'll have to do work in FA and the draft to put a line together.

I thought the same thing. In fact, I think Kemo and Stapleton got eaten alive in that game. I am praying that we don't re-sign Kemo. Spend the money signing a veteran OG, or sign Starks to play RT and move Colon back to G.

I never thought I'd miss Kendall Simmons, but he's way better than either Kemo or Stapleton. (I do think Stapleton could still improve, but I think we've seen the best we're gonna get out of Kemo, haven't we?)
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 08:27 »

I wasn't too impressed with Hartwig in the SB, either. He might or might not have held on that safety, but he definitely got run over.
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 09:25 »

The Steelers should not resign Kemo. He is one of the worst guards in the league. The Super Bowl affirmed that. He has terrible technique and cannot do anything on doubles and blitzes. I am questioning his football IQ. Stapleton was way more consistent and should be starting next year. He makes few mistakes per game. He did a fine job with the exception of 2 series in the fourth quarter on Dockett. Hartwig is solid and his bad plays are basically a product of having no help from Kemo. He is a giant upgrade over Mahan.

In my opinion they should let Kemo and Starks walk. Draft a guard, pick up a T in free agency and resign Colon to a low tender.

Kemo should be playing defense.
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aj_law
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 11:40 »

We said it ad nauseum before Kemo got the starting LG spot...he's a road grader, not a pass blocker.  Get a good LT on his wing that's good and I think he'll be OK.  Not great, but OK.

I still say that between Stapleton, Colon and Kemo, they can find two guys that can do a decent job playing inside.  Sign a LT, draft a RT in R1.  DL in R2.  OC or OG in R3.  Cut Simmons and reap a nice cap savings.  With the Fanny R3 (assumably) comp, look for value at CB, WR, or S.
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« Reply #26 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 11:58 »

Simmons won't be cut, no way... large cap hit in 10.  We don't know the details of the Mahan trade, but that's why it was a trade and not an outright release.

What the heck was with Max this playoffs?  I thought he was very slow getting off the ball against speed rushers.

DON'T be surprised if we resign Marvel Smith with an incentive laden contract.

I'm OK w/ Kemo at LG, Hartwig at Center.  We'll have to live with Simmons at RG.  The tackles are the question mark, presuming Colon will be tendered.
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« Reply #27 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 12:09 »

AJ, I disagree on some of that.  Kemo may be big is an ox, but he's not all that adept a run-blocker.  We should be getting a much better push to that side, and I don't think it's just a matter of overcompensation for the LT, as Starks is a decent sized run blocker, too.  Kemo's main problem is that he's slow to read and react, and that won't change.  He's a backup here, if anything.  

Same goes for Stapleton, who increasingly looked overwhelmed by rush schemes.  So, he played over his head for a half a year; kudos.

Hartwig had some shitty play at times, but was more serviceable than either Staples or Kemo.  So if we opt to skip a guy like Mack, we can develop a R3-5 guy.  If Mack is as good as the hype, we still have 'Wig as depth/mentor, maybe until Stapleton takes over for C depth.

We won't be buying a LT in FA.  Sorry.  We just won't.  Just please bury that notion right now.  There aren't many good ones out there, and they'll get more money than we will spend.

One solution for RT/OG, as mentioned here a Brazilian times, is moving the short (and short-armed) Colon inside, where he would be a natural at OG.  And not have to cheat off the line to compensate for speed rushers.  And could utilize more his brute strength.  Etc.  Since this idea has not occurred to BA or LZ in two years, I find it unlikely that it will suddenly dawn now, unless Colbert greenlights the exodus of Kemo.

The nauseating thought occurs that some may be of the mindset that Simmons may somehow be an ace in the hole.

I don't know exactly how it all shakes out, but the first several (4? 5?) rounds should all be OL/DL, with heavy emphasis on OL.

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« Reply #28 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 12:31 »

Simmons won't be cut, no way... large cap hit in 10.  We don't know the details of the Mahan trade, but that's why it was a trade and not an outright release.

What the heck was with Max this playoffs?  I thought he was very slow getting off the ball against speed rushers.

DON'T be surprised if we resign Marvel Smith with an incentive laden contract.

I'm OK w/ Kemo at LG, Hartwig at Center.  We'll have to live with Simmons at RG.  The tackles are the question mark, presuming Colon will be tendered.

Simmons won't be cut, judging by FO MO, but should be. 

Quote
Simmons, the Steelers' starting right guard since he was drafted in the first round in 2002, signed on for four more years.

The four-year extension was worth $23.1 million and his five-year contract totals $24 million, plus another $1 million in incentives. He has guaranteed money of $8.5 million with a $7.85 million signing bonus, among the handful of largest in Steelers history.

The first three years are worth $15 million. The deal was negotiated by Omar Kahn of the Steelers and Eric Metz, a Monroeville native.

Not sure how all that breaks out, but the guaranteed money, if split over 4, is $2.125M per.  If the first 3 years (incl. '09) sum to $15M, then the '10 salary is $5.975M: insane, when combined with $2.125M guaranteed.  The salaries from '07-'09 are prorated, likely, but average $2.875.  If the '09 is slightly higher, say, $3M, then cutting Simmons would wipe about $800K off this year's books, and about $3.8M off next year's.  That tells me that it's a "wait and see year," as they won't likely find anyone of worth for $800K (a push).  Of course, what Simmons is really worth we already know.

Starks is who we thought he was.  Slow off the edge, but overall fairly solid.  Not a franchise LT by any stretch, and not worth throwing big money at.

Marvel's worth would only be in anchoring LT until a rook/2nd year guy could step in, but I'm not convinced he can last even half a year.  He's just not worth any kind of contract.

I'm OK with 'Wig playing out his deal, and keeping Kemo ONLY as a backup for backup money.  IMO, Essex actually is a guy who would be worth retaining, as he's almost as good as Starks at LT, and can play some guard, if only as a stopgap measure.  Cheap depth, in other words.

At the end of R1, I think our best bets might be one of the two value tackles (Britton, Beatty), neither of whom will be ready right away, or Mack, whom some think is a "once in a decade" center.  We'll see.  At the end of R2, my gut says best value might be Loadholt for RT, or Ronnie Brace for NT.  Sure to be some value in R3-R4 for OG/C.

So, off the cuff:

LT - Essex/Hills, Beatty
LG - Simmons, Kemo/Urbik
C - Hartwig, Stapleton
RG - Colon, Kemo/Urbik
RT - Essex/Hills, Fenoki

At least to start.  Beatty would need a year, so Essex v. Hills for '09, with some hope Hills could do it.  Simmons at LG looks better than Simmons at RG, and at least we could have Kemo v. Simmons there.  Center, maybe Hartwig lets us wait a year.  Colon at RG.  Fenoki would displace the presumptive RT sooner than later, as he's a beast.  Same would hold true if we landed Loadholt at RT earlier.  Next year with Beatty, Urbik, 'Wig, Colon, Fenoki across the front would be solid, IMO.
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jonzr
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« Reply #29 on: Feb 04, 2009 at 12:42 »

Let's see, a "once in a decade center" plus the mammoth Loadholt on day one?

:treeness:
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