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Author Topic: Looking ahead  (Read 745 times)
msdmnr2002
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« on: Feb 06, 2011 at 21:44 »

Feel pretty optimistic.  We had a tough year with injuries and suspensions, but still made it to the SB.  I feel like we still have some time left, and really have a good blend of experience and youth so we aren't looking at a major retooling anytime soon.  Our old guys aren't dead yet; I don't see any of them on the precipice of a major dropoff, although someone probably will.  Would be tough to expect another year that good out of Flozell, for example.

If we can shore up the secondary and of course Oline, we should be in good shape next year.
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 06, 2011 at 22:01 »

I think there's always reason for optimisim, just because the Steelers are such a good organization. They clearly know what they're doing. But I don't see us contending for the Super Bowl in 2011. Here's why:

--We're going to lose Ike Taylor. He's become our best cover guy, and the reason that #1 WRs do so little damage against us. Someone is going to make him a rich man this offseason. (I do think we'll keep Woodley, though.) This means we need not one, but two starting-quality CBs asap, or teams like New England and Green Bay will carve us up again. And it will take two offseasons, at least (and if we're lucky), before we land two good cover corners.

--Ward looks finished to me. Even if he comes back, I think his drop-off in effectiveness is significant, but he'll be one of those guys who doesn't get kicked off the starting lineup without a lot of fuss. And if he doesn't come back, I don't see the guy on our team who's going to take the role of tough over-the-middle guy. Sanders, Brown, and Wallace seem a little too slender for that.

--I love Troy Polamalu. He's great. But he's turning 30. My faith that he will ever finish a season as an effective playmaker is diminishing rapidly. But I think we can't invest highly in a backup should he go down, plus a lot of what we do on defense is predicated on his skill set.

--Age on the D-line is a slight worry, but I agree with you that Hampton, Hoke, Keisel, and the half-season we get out of Aaron Smith, will be quality players in 2011.

--It will be interesting to see what they do with the O Line. I hope they won't think "Well, we get Starks and Colon back, we'll be fine."






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« Reply #2 on: Feb 07, 2011 at 07:20 »

The emergence of Ziggy Hood has at least addressed the age factor for one of the DE spots, although with Smith returning, it will be interesting to see what they do with those 3. (Keisel, Smith & Hood)  
Hampton is getting up there. Replacing him will be an issue soon.

Farrior is a freak of nature that I keep expecting to retire but he's still very good.  But it can't be much longer before he retires.

I hate the thought of losing Ike because CB is already an area that needs to be addressed even WITH Ike on the team.

I agree that they will probably view the O-line situation like, "Well, Starks & Colon will be back so we're good there."

I still like our chances again next year.
The Jets have a LOT of FA's, and I believe NE does too.




« Last Edit: Feb 07, 2011 at 07:33 by I Steel Believe » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 07, 2011 at 08:55 »

Yes, there's always next season.  And now it's time for Finny's Draft Coverage to really kick into gear.  Let's give him the rest of the week off for mourning though.

This was a wacky season from start to finish.  At no point was I expecting a Super Bowl appearance, at least not until the Patsies took it on the chin in the playoffs.  Meh.

Looking ahead though, yes, I think it's promising.  They'll never have a Pro Bowler at every position but man, they sure do get the most out of what they have.  Hopefully Big Ben will continue his growth process, maybe add "throwing it out of bounds" to his repertoire and remove "forcing it down field" from it.
 
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msdmnr2002
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 07, 2011 at 18:11 »

Quote
--We're going to lose Ike Taylor. He's become our best cover guy, and the reason that #1 WRs do so little damage against us. Someone is going to make him a rich man this offseason. (I do think we'll keep Woodley, though.) This means we need not one, but two starting-quality CBs asap, or teams like New England and Green Bay will carve us up again. And it will take two offseasons, at least (and if we're lucky), before we land two good cover corners.


That would be a blow.  As much as he gets ragged on for dropped INTs, he is the best cover guy in a secondary without many of those.  No chance we resign him?  If not, have to find a solid FA if we want to contend, maybe two.  And even then, they have to learn the system.

Quote
--Ward looks finished to me. Even if he comes back, I think his drop-off in effectiveness is significant, but he'll be one of those guys who doesn't get kicked off the starting lineup without a lot of fuss. And if he doesn't come back, I don't see the guy on our team who's going to take the role of tough over-the-middle guy. Sanders, Brown, and Wallace seem a little too slender for that.



I agree he won't be the go to guy any more, but he doesn't meed to be.  His game is on craftiness and toughness, not speed.  He could still be an effective 4th wideout, give us 30-40 catches with the occasional clutch game.  Young guys will have to make the leap and step up, and Heath can take over more of Ward's role if they ever let him.

Quote
--I love Troy Polamalu. He's great. But he's turning 30. My faith that he will ever finish a season as an effective playmaker is diminishing rapidly. But I think we can't invest highly in a backup should he go down, plus a lot of what we do on defense is predicated on his skill set.


DPOY  agree injuries are a concern, but he's got to have a couple good years left.

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« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 2011 at 11:39 »

OL could be a quick fix.  1) Draft a LT, swing Starks to RT, Colon to RG, Legursky to LG.  2) Draft a RT, keep Starks at LT another year.

DBs need help.  I think we keep Ike because starting CBs are valuable FA commodities, older ones not so much.  The rest of the CBs need thrown the fuck out, IMO.  And we need a S that can play either spot, because when 43 is out, Clark isn't as good either, and Clark's no spring chicken.

Overall, agree with msdmnr.  I think we exceeded preseason expectations, and we can bounce back soon.
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 08, 2011 at 20:12 »

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I think we exceeded preseason expectations

It would be interesting to go back and see how many analysts had the Steelers not winning the division or not making the playoffs at all.

Gay is a serviceable reserve/nickel/dime guy, but he's no starter.  McFadden's skills seem to have just dropped off the charts.  Don't know if Madison is worthy of any PT, but there isn't much else back there.  This may be a greater need than DL at this point.
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 09, 2011 at 08:01 »

I agree. The lack of depth at DB and the inability to replenish it with our few past drafts has become frightening.

If we have no Ike next year, I can't see how this team will move forward.  I almost feel like we would be better off with the same patchwork O-line if we are able to get a couple legit DB's in the first 2 rounds.
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2011 at 14:04 »

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--Ward looks finished to me. Even if he comes back, I think his drop-off in effectiveness is significant, but he'll be one of those guys who doesn't get kicked off the starting lineup without a lot of fuss.


Hines isn't going anywhere and I'm glad to hear it, he's still got game.

http://postgazette.com/pg/11040/1123988-66.stm
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