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Author Topic: Blow Up the Steelers  (Read 2976 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Dec 09, 2013 at 11:26 »

We can bitch and moan about the state of the Steelers, but what would you do to fix them?  And I'm not talking about dwelling in fantasy land, either (e.g., Trade Ben for 5 first round picks!).  In fact, might as well not bother to suggest firing Tomlin and all the assistants and Colbert - we know that's not happening.  There may be some heat under Tomlin's and Colbert's seats, but it's highly unlikely either are going anywhere.  Far more likely are a few sacrificial lamb firings: Haley is the obvious choice; Danny Smith, STs?  It's hard to see where the FO would cut.

So the more likely gambit is to address players.

Here are the big 10, in terms of average salary:


Player, POS, Age, Contract Terms, Avg. Salary, Guaranteed, Free Agent


Ben Roethlisberger QB 31 8 yr $102,000,000 $12,750,000 $33,200,000 2016 
LaMarr Woodley OLB, LB 29 6 yr $61,500,000 $10,250,000 $22,500,000 2017 
Troy Polamalu S 32 4 yr $36,500,000 $9,125,000 $10,550,000 2015 
Lawrence Timmons ILB, LB 27 6 yr $50,000,000 $8,333,333 $11,000,000 2017 
Antonio Brown WR 25 6 yr $43,040,000 $7,173,333 $8,500,000 2018 
Ike Taylor CB 33 4 yr $28,000,000 $7,000,000 $8,000,000 2015 
Heath Miller TE 31 6 yr $35,300,000 $5,883,333 $12,500,000 2015 
Brett Keisel DE 35 5 yr $18,885,000 $3,777,000 $5,000,000 2014 
Maurkice Pouncey C 24 5 yr $17,960,000 $3,592,000 $10,350,000 2015
Ryan Clark S 34 4 yr $14,000,000 $3,500,000 $5,000,000 2014 

Right off, I don't think Clark or Keisel should be invited back, unless they're playing for ~ vet minimum and in backup roles.  Clark has fallen off the cliff.  Keisel's age has caught up. 

If I could trade Woodley, I'd dump that fat contract.  Worilds is showing he is nearly as disruptive, and Woodley is always hurt, out of condition, and he's almost 30.  (Can't see cutting him though, with $14M+ in dead money.)  Taylor's in a contract year, but his play is also going downhill.  Unfortunately, the Steelers (who could have drafted Xavier Rhodes instead of Jarvis Jones) have too many guys at OLB and not enough quality CBs.  Ike's a $5M dead money cut, so he plays out his final year and does not get an extension.

The big money, of course, is at QB.  I'd extend Ben to 2018, front-loading bonus money and back-loading salary.  Have some numbers to share later,  but comparable to Flacco in SB/year and comparable to Eli in salary/year.  It would save us almost $8M in 2014 & 2015.  I'd look at hammering out new deals with Heyward, Maclendon (replacing Hood), and Beachum.

Polamalu is the toughest call.  He's in a contract year, but his play has been patchy: brilliant, stupid guess, brilliant, missed tackle; repeat.  Almost $11M in cap hit for 2014, but no dead money if cut. 

The more I think about it, the more I think we need to bolster the D-side via the draft, and maybe give Ben one superior playmaker as well (Sanders, goodbye).
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 12:03 »

Also, sign Velasco to 4 years.
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aj_law
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 15:06 »

Yeah, haven't looked much in detail at the future yet, but as mentioned in some other thread I can't remember...I wouldn't mind if Pittsburgh went all defense in the draft with the exception of a big WR/TE type receiving target for the offense.

Some help via FA (HA!) would be nice too.  If not a guy like Raji, maybe follow the approach employed by a team like Seattle and look to some reasonably priced, quality veteran help in the form of 1 year contract deals for guys looking to score that last big contract the following year.

Get this shit turned around...like yesterday.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 15:48 »

BTW, Raji is still under contract w/GB in 2014.
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scballersc
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 19:18 »

Louis Nix in R2.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 20:16 »

Louis Nix in R2.

Mocks I'm seeing have him top 20.

Couple of behemoths:  RaShede Hageman (6'6", 311#, Minnesota) if he's there in R2, and Daniel McCullers (6'6", 351#, Tenn) in R3 - I'm not a fan of too-tall-types at NT, but these guys interest me.  Need to see the workout numbers for all NT candidates.
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Merman1983
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 09, 2013 at 20:43 »

Cut Woodley.  I don't care how much dead money you have to eat next year, that contract is an albatross and if we're gonna extend Ben it needs to go.  Extending Heyward would be my next priority, Worilds if possible.  Mclendon to end, as a kind of Kimo V2.0.  Mac signed a 3 year extension last offseason, so he's playing somewhere.

Agree Clark needs to go.  He toast.  Agree Keisel has to go to, unfortunately, as the injuries are piling up.

I'd draft heavy on defense focusing on CB, playmaking S or an elite NT.  I'd go almost all defense unless an elite playmaker (see big WR) is available.  For as big of a clusterfuck as the offense is at times, they've shown this season they can put up points and there is some promise there with Brown and Bell, and hopefully Wheaton.  Not thrilled with Bell so far as he seems to lack elite speed and burst but he at least seems like a guy who can churn out yards.

Hopefully we can hold onto some of the young defensive players, sprinkle in whoever we can't afford to cut, and infuse some speed and talent at a few positions.  


I do think next year is going to be ugly though.  

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« Reply #7 on: Dec 10, 2013 at 10:19 »

There needs to be some changes in the coaching staff.  The likely hood of any of the Coordinators on up being changed is unlikely.  Our offensive is not the number one problem and I doubt they do any major changes on that side of the ball.  Mr. Lebeau will and should stay for as long he cares to but he needs some serious help.  I really think that they should, and may, let John Mitchell go.  Not sure when or how he got promoted to Assistant Head Coach but he is a big part of the problem.  He has been provided top draft choices and has done little with them.  Heyward is just now starting to show some impact.  I believe that the biggest problem with our LB’s is the line is not taking care of the blockers in either run or passing situations.  I know he has been here forever but it’s time to let him go.  And it’s time to start grooming Lebeau’s replacement.  Not sure if that guy is currently on payroll, Lake??  I would also let Butler go as well.  The LB group has no personality (no good personality) and that falls to Butler.  Again he has been around forever but he needs to go for the same reason.  And of course Danny Smith needs to be punted!
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 2013 at 12:48 »

I love LeBeau, but the recent D-side trend has been 1) lack of turnovers, 2) inability to keep pace with the NFL passing trends, including 2a) continued use of playing corners 10 yards off their man.  This year, I would add 3) an unstoppable diarrhea of giving up big plays (Pryor... Tannehill...). 

I wish LeBeau would take an advisory position and we had a more forward-thinking DC.

Not sure about the problem with the DL.  We didn't draft well in a couple of spots:  from the get-go I said Hood looked like a 4-3 player; same with Ta'amu Alameda.  I liked Heyward, but he was mired in the rotation.  I liked Fangupo better than Alameda, but considered him an older-aged prospect who was more of a project, which he's turned out to be.  We got Mac for nothing, but either switch to a 40 front, or move Mac to end and bring in a true NT.  I think a lot of us had questions about Jarvis, but also going back to Tomlin's first ever pick, it was CLEAR that he was no OLB, he would have to play ILB.

Would firing Mitch help us draft better?

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« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 2013 at 14:55 »

Agree that this needs to be a mostly defensive draft.

Is is possible for Jarvis Jones to play ILB? Is that feasible?

I doubt the team can afford Worilds now, which sucks.  I think he gets paid -- there are sooo many more 3-4 schemes than in years past. So we better all pray that Jarvis comes in next year and is a force.

Won't be sorry to see Hood go. I note that he's barely been mentioned by any of you in future Steeler plans, for good reason. It's confounding that the guy isn't more of a force, since he seems to have the physical tools.  What a wasted pick.

Also, it's obvious (and sad) that Ike is nearly done. The problem is that he has never really struck fear in opposing QB's.  He was just a brick (handed) wall that prevented completions. Now that he can't cover, there is zero risk throwing to his side. He sure as shit isn't going to pick anyone off. Thus, I'm not certain of his value even as a #2 corner. He probably plays out his contract (the cap hit and lack of depth), but it's almost over. That said, I just don't think that it is wise to spend a high pick on a single corner -- most teams need to trot out 3 guys that can cover.  So, maybe better to draft a couple of CB's after other needs addressed and see if one or both sticks. Guess Gay will have another year in Pittsburgh.

I think the team needs to let both Troy AND Clark go. I think we need to let Will Allen and Shamarko be the new tandem, though I'd hope we add a better centerfielder with one of our first 3 picks.

Still think we need a NT and ILB in rounds 1 and 2 (if there is by some miracle value there). It would be nice if Spence could be an impact player.  I doubt he even makes the team, though.

The only offensive position I think the team has to address is TE. I'm assuming that they let Sanders walk (good riddance), resing Cotchery, and Wheaton moves up.
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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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