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Author Topic: 2013 Steelers forecast  (Read 4248 times)
SCacalaki
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 02, 2013 at 15:12 »

He and Lacy need to read the MGS Get Healthy 2013 thread
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 03, 2013 at 12:16 »

It's weird I fell better about this season because I haven't seen many pick us better than 3rd in the division.  Usually the type of year we sneak up on everyone.

Definitely put up or shut up time for alot of people (Hi Heyward, Ziggy!)

295 is insane.  Just insane.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 05, 2013 at 18:09 »

295, so the sloth wasn't imaginary.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 09, 2013 at 08:25 »

Tomlin looked a tad porky as well last year.  I think the whole team fell back on its usual cycle of going flabby after tasting success.   Seems like an institutional cycle, since this occurred under Cowher as well.

If Tomlin looks crisp, I think it will mean the whole team is hungry.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 14, 2013 at 11:21 »

Here are my evolving 2013 final roster predictions, after the first preseason game.  Locks in black.  In, but still questionable, in italics.  Out, but making a good case, in green.  Long shots in red.  25 on offense, 25 on defense, 3 specialists.

Quarterback (3).
Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones, John Parker Wilson.
Gradkowski will be fine as backup, but QB3 is looking pretty bleak.  Landry Jones will likely stick because we spent a R4 on him, and JP Wilson has been inconsistent.  God help us if Ben and Bruce are both hurt though, because right now Landry looks like a complete turd, and I don’t see that improving much over the preseason at least.  I would definitely check the waiver wire and consider stashing him on the practice squad, but that won’t happen.

Running backs (5).
LeVeon Bell, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Will Johnson (FB/TE) Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch, Alvester Alexander.
We haven’t seen Bell yet, but reports are glowing.  Coach Kirby says Bell has been mistake free, something he cannot remember from a rookie.  He’s apparently improving his blocking, cutting well, and showing good hands in the passing game.  I think Bell will in fact be the first RB to start his first regular season game since Tim Worley in 1989.  Even though Isaac Redman was not able to assert himself as a starter in Mendenhall’s absence (mostly due to nagging injuries), he remains a very capable guy as a backup or fill-in starter, able to bull his way through tough yardage in crunch situations.  LSH showed he has the speed and vision to be an absolute free agent steal as a change of pace back.  And Will Johnson was solid if unspectacular last year, chipping in 157 yards receiving as a FB/TE.  I look for Johnson’s role to expand as he may have to fill in at TE while Miller and Spaeth recover, and reports have it that he’s catching the ball well in traffic.

Jonathan Dwyer is rather maddening.  He plays too well to cut, but not well enough consistently enough to promote.  My pet theory for months has been that he’s 1) insurance in case one of the other RBs gets hurt, and barring that 2) trade bait for an area of need (CB, OL).  If that does not happen, I think he beats out Baron Batch for the final RB spot.  Batch has not shown enough skill as a runner, but remains in the mix due to superior blocking and STs skills.  That may also force the issue of what to do with Dwyer.  Alexander has a shot at the practice squad.

Wide receivers (5).
Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jericho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton, Justin Brown, JD Woods, Reggie Dunn, Derek Moye, David Gilreath, Kashif Moore, Tyler Shaw.
I think the Steelers keep five here.  I also think Sanders will have a better season than Brown, and that Wheaton will be WR3 by the mid-season.  WR5 has some interesting candidates, but Justin Brown is catching well, has KR/PR possibilities, and plus size (6’3”).  JD Woods made a pretty good case for himself against the Giants, showing outstanding body control.  If Reggie Dunn can ever get a chance to showcase his speed and even show minimal competency as a WR, he could be in.  And Derek Moye has plus size as well (6’5”) as a RZ target. 

David Gilreath shat the bed, but has more familiarity with the system than Moore or Shaw, who appear to be camp bodies.  If Brown makes the final cut, I’d love to see Dunn and Woods on the practice squad.

Tight ends (3).
Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson, Jamie McCoy, Michael Palmer, Peter Tuitupou, Nathan Overbay.
There is the possibility that if Miller and Spaeth are out for the first few games, a fourth TE could stick, preferably a blocking end.  But I think the Steelers will roll with Paulson and Will Johnson until Miller comes back, and then be four deep when Spaeth returns.  McCoy or Palmer appear the closest to having a shot, but I don’t believe that will happen, especially if Miller is looking close to returning by the opener.  Paulson is also having a good camp, showing more as a receiver and having gotten a year in with strength and conditioning, so don’t be surprised if Miller Lite and Will Johnson are clutch receiving options over the middle this year.  In fact, I predict the two will combine for around 400 yards receiving this season, most of it tough yardage.  If David Johnson comes back, I think he still loses the job to Will Johnson.

Offensive line (9).
Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, John Malecki, Guy Whimper, Justin Cheadle, Joe Long, Mike Golic, Joe Madsen, Mike Farrell, Chris Hubbard, D’Anthony Batiste.
The first six are obvious, with Beachum the four-position swing man.  Malecki can man the IOL and appears to be better than Legursky in that role.  After that it gets dodgy.  Whimper sucks, but may stick just based on the fact that he’s a vet (albeit a terrible one) and worked with Bicknell before (although his work was shoddy).  I do not like Whimper.  I do not like him, Sam I Am.  Cheadle looked to be getting the most IOL backup work before suffering a knee injury, so depending on how that shakes out, Long or Golic could be considered for some more reps.  I found it curious that Long, who also appears to be a four-position swing man, was shut out of the preseason game against the Giants.  Not much of a fan of Golic’s, but we’ll see.  Madsen is a scrapper who may go to the practice squad, and the rest are what they are.  Don’t be surprised if we’re scouting the waiver wire for someone to fill the ninth spot.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 14, 2013 at 11:21 »

Nose tackle (2).
Steve McLendon,Alameda Ta’amu, Hebron Fangupo .
The Big Mac era begins.  Not the anchor Big Snack was, but more mobile in getting upfield.  I was not a fan of the Ta’amu pick, especially after the shit with the DUI, but he appears to be improving and showing enough to stick as backup.  Al Woods looks like a capable NT3 if necessary, although I think he’ll primarily be a DE backup.  Loni Fangupo was a guy I actually liked better than Ta’amu in the draft, and he’s been solid but I don’t think he’s going to leapfrog his way in.  I believe he has practice squad eligibility, so that’s a possibility.  He’s a quality character guy, but he’s also 28, which may ding his chances somewhat.

Defensive ends (4).
Ziggy Hood, Brett Keisel, Cameron Heyward, Al Woods, Brian Arnfelt, Nick Williams.
Although fans are hoping Ziggy and Cam step up this year, there’s little question they are locks.  Al Woods looks to have really stepped up his game, after a circuitous path to the Steelers (Saints, Steelers, Bucs, Seahawks, Steelers, all in 4 years).  Although the Steelers drafted Nick Williams, he looks like a project, albeit an interesting one, so no doubt he’s a priority practice squad player.  The real tickler here is Arnfelt, who was a UDFA out of Northwestern.  His workout numbers (38 reps, 31” VJ, 9’ 1” BJ, 78 KEI) suggest that he is exactly the kind of player you want to kick the tires on as a UDFA, and he played extremely well against the Giants, showing good speed and the ability to sort through trash adroitly.  He’s had a solid camp, and could push to be the fifth DE.  But at this point I think we stick with 6 DL, since Woods can be backup DE or NT3.

Outside linebackers (4).
Lamarr Woodley, Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Adrian Robinson, Chris Carter, Alan Baxter.
Hard to tell if the Steelers will keep 4 or 5, which basically means do you keep Adrian Robinson or Chris Carter?  Or both?  With Jones in the mix, I think we drop one, and Robinson at least has speed as a rusher.  Carter was a guy I was high on, but it hasn’t translated.  Baxter has gotten good mention from the coaches, and could push Carter if the Steelers keep 5, but I don’t see that.

 Inside linebackers (5).
Lawrence Timmons, Larry Foote, Stevenson Sylvester, Marshall McFadden, Vince Williams, Kion Wilson, Brian Rolle, Terence Garvin.
This is gonna be one interesting fucking battle, my friends.  Stevenson Sylvester has the experience, and has been practicing at ILB and OLB, which bodes well.  He was also allowed to test the market and did not appear to be a priority re-signing, and he is another guy with experience who needs to make it happen now.  Marshall McFadden is back after a spin on the practice squad, 53-man roster, and being cut to make room for Plax.  He’s showing improvement and may be ahead of Sly at this point.  Vince Williams has shown good leadership as a rookie, and may be ahead of the other two as a long-term investment, but it’s really close.  Kion Wilson has bounced from the Chargers to the Panthers to the Steelers, and been relegated to practice squad duty and trying to bounce back from injuries.  He showed a lot of energy in his preseason game, and could be in the mix.  Brian Rolle also showed well, and was a guy I liked in the draft a couple years ago despite height limitations.  Rolle especially looks good in coverage.  All in all, a nice competition.  Terence Garvin, male prostitute, is odd man out here.

Cornerbacks (6).
Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Terry Hawthorn, Isaiah Green, Ryan Steed, Devin Smith, Ross Ventrone.
Curtis Brown also needs to step up, but I think he’s basically a lock when you look at the players behind him.  Josh Victorian saw some playing time last year, and hopefully learned from it, and has the best shot at CB5 right now.  Then it gets chippier, with speedster Van Dyke trying to erase memories of ST gaffes and get some playing time, and rookie prospect Hawthorn also battling injuries.  If he’s not on the field soon, his best shot will be the practice squad.  I don’t think any of the rest have a legit shot, especially since coaches think S Shamarko Thomas may be able to flex to CB in some situations.

Safeties (4)
Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Damon Cromartie-Smith.
Rookie Thomas is still finding his way, but I expect to see him progress really nicely through the preseason.  If he does, the Steelers might keep four safeties, with Golden having the edge.  He’s shown solid play and DCS whiffed badly on the blocked kick in the Giants game.  Still, DCS has a real shot as a security blanket if the Steelers keep 5.  I think that would mean we’d keep 5 CB and 5 S, so the question is whether DCS is a better addition than Van Dyke or Hawthorn, which will be something to watch.  That ST gaffe may come back to haunt him.

Specialists.
Shaun Suisham (PK), Greg Warren (LS), Drew Butler (P), Brian Moorman (P), Danny Hrapmann.
No real drama here unless Moorman can translate his superior hang time into decent gametime production.

Practice squad.
WR JD Woods, OT/OG Joe Long, NT Loni Fangupo, DE Nick Williams, DE Brian Arnfelt, CB Terry Hawthorn; 3 waiver wire adds with PS eligibility at LB, QB, S.
« Last Edit: Aug 14, 2013 at 11:34 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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aj_law
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 14, 2013 at 13:23 »

I think Bell will in fact be the first RB to start his first regular season game since Tim Worley in 1989.

*shudder*

Cornerback depth gives me the shits.
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 14, 2013 at 13:42 »

I think Bell will in fact be the first RB to start his first regular season game since Tim Worley in 1989.

*shudder*

Cornerback depth gives me the shits.

SING MITT WORLEY@!@!!!

Yeah, not very happy with the CB depth, although I do hope we see something from Hawthorn.  Beyond that, wretched, IMO.  And even though we're good 6-7 deep on OL, it seems we burn down to some of those 8s and 9s every year.  That's why I'd like to see us move Dwyer if our backs make it through healthy, get something in return.
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aj_law
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 14, 2013 at 14:57 »

Would feel 1000x better going into this season if that list looked like:  Taylor/Allen/Lewis/Brown

*sigh*

Who's got the police tape?
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 21, 2013 at 12:38 »

Updated, for the post-Redskins suckfest:

Quarterback (3).
Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones, John Parker Wilson.
Outside of the long throw to Wheaton, Jones has still looked like the rookie caught in the headlights.  But it looks like he’s in and Wilson is out.

Running backs (5).
LeVeon Bell, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Will Johnson (FB/TE) Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch, Alvester Alexander.
Dwyer showed that he can be a contributor as a depth back, and put up some decent yardage totals.  He also showed some maddening hesitation when given a cutback, and had a stupid fumble.  Batch was better this time around and again, STs and blocking ability may be the difference for him.  Alexander looks like a PS guy at best.

 Wide receivers (5).
Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jericho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton, Reggie Dunn, Justin Brown, JD Woods,  Derek Moye, David Gilreath, Kashif Moore, Tyler Shaw.
On the basis of receiving skills, the WR5 job looks like a dead heat between Brown, Moye, and possibly Woods.  But I’ve bumped Dunn to the head of the class because he’s shown remarkable zip in KR/PR situations, and hasn’t muffed any kicks.  In fact, his hands look pretty decent.  If he can add receiving to his repertoire, he’s in.

Tight ends (3).
Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson,David Johnson Jamie McCoy, Michael Palmer, Peter Tuitupou, Nathan Overbay.
Johnson’s return couldn’t come at a better time.  David Paulson’s glowing camp reports were not backed up on the field, especially as a blocker.  Johnson can block, and like Will Johnson as some TE/FB versatility as well.  Jamie McCoy showed nice toughness and some real wiggle to get YAC, although it may not be enough to make the 53.

Offensive line (9).
Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, John Malecki, Joe Long, Guy Whimper, Justin Cheadle, Mike Golic, Joe Madsen, Mike Farrell, Chris Hubbard, D’Anthony Batiste.
Well, fuck.  Past Malecki, this squad is a big shit pile.  Long may have the best shot here, and that’s not saying much.  Whimper is garbage, pure horseshit.  Cheadle’s mysterious injury looks serious.  The rest of these guys are names on paper.

We had better scan waivers for OL8 and OL9, because this group is a world of suck.
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