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View Full Version : Planning for a future with Faneca and Starks.....



DIESELMAN
01-04-2008, 09:19 PM
The Pittsburgh Steelers understand what it takes to remain an elite team, so they're not about to let Alan Faneca and Max Starks walk out the door without trying to keep them. Read what the front office has in mind.

PITTSBURGH – The Steelers don’t expect the season to end for another month, but the front office is prepared to plow ahead with an off-season plan that involves competitive contract offers to both Alan Faneca and Max Starks.

“We’re going to take a run at both of them,” said a high-level source with the team.


When asked to assess the possibility the Steelers can sign either player, the source said: “Fifty-fifty on each.”


The Steelers have found themselves in dire straits along the offensive line with the recent back problems being endured by left tackle Marvel Smith.
Smith was replaced ably by Starks, who came off the bench the last month of the season and showed how well he can play when his weight’s under control. But Starks injured the meniscus cartilage in his left knee and was put on injured reserve this week.


The Steelers don’t expect the recent surgery to impede the progress Starks has made, thus the renewed interest in the 6-foot-8 tackle.
As for Faneca and his perception of his Steelers career, Faneca said only two days ago: “I go with the assumption it’s over.”


He might be right, considering the Steelers normally wouldn’t pay a 31-year-old guard the exorbitant salary it’ll take to keep him. But Faneca, who made his 96th consecutive regular-season start last week and his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl three weeks ago, hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.


And then there was this comment from Larry Zierlein earlier this week:
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alan finish his career as a center because he’s just so smart,” said the Steelers’ offensive line coach.


After a season of inconsistent play at that position, the Steelers would no doubt like to do with Faneca what they should’ve done to keep Rod Woodson: Offer the big contract with the caveat of the player moving to another position as he slows down.


Woodson did, in fact, finish his career as a free safety. He left the Steelers following the 1996 season and didn’t retire until the end of the 2003 season.
Faneca was asked about the prospect of finishing his career as the Steelers’ next great center.


“I’d be open to listening,” he said. “I’m not saying I would do that or be against it. I’d definitely be open-minded and talk about it with whomever.”
The Steelers also believe Faneca might give them a slight break, or “hometown discount,” because of his wife Julie’s affinity for Pittsburgh.
“We made lots of great friends here,” Faneca admitted. “No one ever said it would be easy.”


But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. The front office watched quarterback Ben Roethlisberger absorb 47 sacks this season and realizes that losing two of the team’s best linemen is not the proper direction to take. And with a reported $18.6 million available under the projected 2008 salary cap, the Steelers have the means to take whatever direction they wish.


By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
4 Jan 2008

If this were to happen, our OL problems would drastically change for the better. Come draft day we could concentrate on other needs, specifically our DL on day 1 instead of trying to find 2 lineman on day 1.

BlackGold4vr
01-04-2008, 10:59 PM
I would love to see this happen. Faneca could easily make a wicked center. Mahan is not cutting it. For some reason Mahan gets abused regularly and pushed back into Ben or Willie's running lanes. I am not even sure if Mahan makes a good guard. Which part of the line is acceptable to cave in on a regular basis? The man needs to get bigger, get stronger or be gone! Starks can leave. He is big and slow and too nice, needs to get a mean streak.


There are some quality O-lineman out there.


79 Sam Baker OL 6-5 305 05/30/1985 SR* USC
77 Gosder Cherilus OL 6-7 319 06/28/1984 SR* Boston College
54 Quentin Groves DE 6-3 254 07/05/1984 SR Auburn
96 Lawrence Jackson DE 6-5 265 08/30/1985 SR* USC
77 Jake Long OT 6-7 313 05/09/1985 SR* Michigan
75 Mike McGlynn OL 6-5 315 03/08/1985 SR* Pittsburgh
79 Barry Richardson OT 6-7 330 05/16/1986 SR Clemson
74 Chris Williams OT 6-6 320 08/26/1985 SR* Vanderbilt
54 Eric Young OG 6-4 305 11/22/1983 SR Tennessee


These are amongst some of the top names on my "Hot List" at SCI. I would still like 2 O-lineman and another bad-*** tweener on day 1.

BlitzburghNation
01-04-2008, 10:59 PM
That would be great,,,,,,,,,,,Would love to keep both if possible :crossfingers:

BlitzburghRockCity
01-04-2008, 11:07 PM
It's going to be easier to resign Starks than it will be Faneca. Teams will shy away from Max because of his injury so he won't have as high a value on the market this year which means they'll have a good chance to land him if he wants to stay here.

I hadn't considered Faneca at Center before although if any lineman could make the transition it would be him. One thing is for sure, IF that did happen he'd be a far cry better than Mahan but then again that isn't saying much.

Koopa
01-04-2008, 11:11 PM
actually now round 1 and 2 are the only rounds that will be on day 1 (just thought i'd bring it up lol)

also **** faneca, it's time for some youth to be injected in our oline, we need more tomlin guys, no more ppl that slobbed on grimms and cowhers nuts lol

not sure if i like starks, this could be him just playing good in a contract year and then he might go back to his old sucky self when he gets his money

and i want a true center, no more experimenting with guards moving there.....lets just draft one in the 3rd round

BlackGold4vr
01-04-2008, 11:21 PM
This next draft still needs to be all about the O-line and maybe another day 1 linebacker (we are still thin at LB after the starters). I think that if we had a better O-line we already have plenty of skill position players to compete at a high level. We're set at TE. RB's can be had late in the draft and are a dime a dozen. If you have a good run blocking O-line any back can run behind it. Steeler and Bronco teams of recent past have proven that theory. With a great O-line its plug and play with the RB's. We also need more depth at DE. The loss of Aaron Smith has really hurt us. Travis Kirske and Nick Eason have not impressed and have really showed us how great Smith really is! :2cents:

K Train
01-04-2008, 11:25 PM
i hope you all watched faneca play this year....theres a reason why they wont pay him, hes way over the hill and has reached bum status, he will never play another down for us after this week and its for the better. I would like to keep starks and i hope mahan dies in a fire.....him leaving made the bucs line badass.

Lets watch essex for any talent tomorrow...a possible move to guard for him in possible and he might be able to dominate there

Black@Gold Forever32
01-05-2008, 01:42 AM
actually now round 1 and 2 are the only rounds that will be on day 1 (just thought i'd bring it up lol)

also **** faneca, it's time for some youth to be injected in our oline, we need more tomlin guys, no more ppl that slobbed on grimms and cowhers nuts lol

not sure if i like starks, this could be him just playing good in a contract year and then he might go back to his old sucky self when he gets his money

and i want a true center, no more experimenting with guards moving there.....lets just draft one in the 3rd round

Yea moving a OG to center never works out.... lol Oh Jeff Hartings was an all-pro OG with the Lions...Made the switch to center with no problem...Now about Faneca....Noway I want him resigned...He is past his prime.....Not worth the money he will receive as a FA.....The Steelers need to draft a center though big time...I agree......But still you can look at OG that potentially can play center in the draft........Dermontti Dawson who is regarded as one of the best centers of all time played OG at Kentucky......So OG can make the switch to center the trick is finding a player that can make that transition...Which is were scouting comes into play......

I don't care who the Steelers draft a OG that can play center or a true center just as long as the player can play center better then Sean Mahan....lol

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i hope you all watched faneca play this year....theres a reason why they wont pay him, hes way over the hill and has reached bum status, he will never play another down for us after this week and its for the better. I would like to keep starks and i hope mahan dies in a fire.....him leaving made the bucs line badass.

Lets watch essex for any talent tomorrow...a possible move to guard for him in possible and he might be able to dominate there

Trai Essex will in the spot light no doubt....I'm looking forward to seeing him play.....Hopefully he holds his own.....Interesting that he can maybe move to OG.....We both think Colon can move to OG also....Seems this team might have a bunch of OGs in place for next year.....

Koopa
01-05-2008, 02:02 AM
Yea moving a OG to center never works out.... lol Oh Jeff Hartings was an all-pro OG with the Lions...Made the switch to center with no problem...Now about Faneca....Noway I want him resigned...He is past his prime.....Not worth the money he will receive as a FA.....The Steelers need to draft a center though big time...I agree......But still you can look at OG that potentially can play center in the draft........Dermontti Dawson who is regarded as one of the best centers of all time played OG at Kentucky......So OG can make the switch to center the trick is finding a player that can make that transition...Which is were scouting comes into play......

I don't care who the Steelers draft a OG that can play center or a true center just as long as the player can play center better then Sean Mahan....lol

i never said it didn't work, i'm referring to the experiments we got going now with mahan and when we were trying to make simmons on in the preseason.........that's what i'm saying i want to stop, that's why i want a dude that has produced at center in college that has what it takes in the nfl to be a good center, and i'm sure there is some that we can draft in the 3rd that can be good for us

Black@Gold Forever32
01-05-2008, 02:07 AM
i never said it didn't work, i'm referring to the experiments we got going now with mahan and when we were trying to make simmons on in the preseason.........that's what i'm saying i want to stop, that's why i want a dude that has produced at center in college that has what it takes in the nfl to be a good center, and i'm sure there is some that we can draft in the 3rd that can be good for us

Well playing Simmons at center is retarded and Mahan just sucks....So I agree the Steelers need a center...If they draft a true center then fine...Just saying I would also look at some of OGs in the draft that could play center......The Steelers need to explore all options in improving the center position......Like I said I don't care if they draft an OG or an OT that can switch to center...Just as long as that player is better then Mahan...lol

BlitzburghRockCity
01-05-2008, 06:13 AM
There's no reason to think Faneca would actually move to Center; it just an option that was explored in the article but the team has never given any indication that they were headed in that direction. Let's not forget this is the guy who up until last year when the whole team stunk; actually earned every one of those pro bowl trips and everybody was singing his praises as one of the best OL in Steelers history, etc. I don't believe he suddenly started sucking but I do think his contract status this year has affected his play. At this point if they were able to resign him for a reasonable amount I would say keep him and but still draft an OG this year to take his place and be ready to go in the next couple years.

Mahan needs to go, he's worthless..draft a Center that we can have around here for as long as we had Webster, Dawson, or Hartings.

Simmons, the jury is still out; I think he's production is directly affected by the lack of production from the players on his right and left. They get overpowered and then he's left getting overpowered as well. He's got a big deal so he'll be back next year.

Colon, I think the Jury is still out on him as well but like BG32 has said before he may be better suited at Guard. Either way I still think that Tomlin needs to hold an open competition at Tackle next year on both ends of the line. On that note as far as Starks goes I think he will probably come back; I don't know how good he's going to be but I think he's got potential if they can just make up their mind where they are going to put him and leave him there. It wouldn't surprise me to see him not come back next year though because as Koopa mentioned we could use serious injection of Youth and dominance on the line this year.

Marvel, we have to wait and see how his back goes this offseason but still he is getting older and a dominant LT should be drafted. Again this depends on if they think Starks can take over at LT. Right now there are a lot of questions surrounding the line but if nothing else please draft a Center and then let's see how things shake out.

JensK
01-05-2008, 08:33 AM
I wouldnt mind having Faneca for another season... Sure, we need to find a new young player who can step in for Feneca, but with the upcomming 08 season it seems like we are going to need all the experiance we can get. Its not exactly a walkinthepatheticpark schedule. Faneca knows what he is doing and i believe he could help the Steelers a lot if he stayed another season. This dosnt mean we shouldnt draft a stand-in for him when times come. Actually having Faneca and a new young player sounds like a good plan to me, since we get injuries and a year where he can learn and get some experiance would be to prefer in my opinion...

Stlrs4Life
01-05-2008, 10:05 AM
If this were to happen, our OL problems would drastically change for the better. Come draft day we could concentrate on other needs, specifically our DL on day 1 instead of trying to find 2 lineman on day 1.


Even if this does happen, we need to draft the best available OL, and get some in FA if possible.

Iron City South
01-05-2008, 10:29 AM
Let's clear the air and set a few things straight:

Fact #1 - Faneca can still play this game at a very high level. He's still considered in the "elite" class as far as players in his positions go. He had at least 2 bad games this year that I know of which could be largely attruibuted to the stiffs he's playing along side of. (Smith = back problems and Mayhan planted on his face). Sorry, Faneca can't help everybody regardless of how good he is.

Fact #2 - - Faneca is not too old contrary to the homespun fables the naysayers are trying to sell. He's currently in great health and has never had a history of injuries that tend to return and linger in older veterans. He's strong and has good legs and back which are both critical because they're both usually the first to break-down in vets.

Fact #3 - Steelers will not be able to fortify their OL issues within a year if they let both Faneca and Starks walk knowing Smith may have re-occuring back problems and knowing Mahan isn't the answer at Center. You can't expect this team to be good with 4 or 5 new guys up front .... it's just not realistic. The Steelers know this which is why they will probably try to get both to sign no less than a 3 year deal. Starks may be offered a 5 year deal considering his age. I believe the first to sign will get the deal and I also believe they'd rather it be Faneca than Starks ... but they know they need to sign at least one of 'em.

DIESELMAN
01-05-2008, 11:03 AM
Fact #1 - Faneca can still play this game at a very high level. He's still considered in the "elite" class as far as players in his positions go. He had at least 2 bad games this year that I know of which could be largely attruibuted to the stiffs he's playing along side of. (Smith = back problems and Mahan planted on his face). Sorry, Faneca can't help everybody regardless of how good he is.



:plus1: Yeah theres definitely got to be cohesiveness and especially trust in the guy next to you to do his part. Mahan couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-05-2008, 11:21 AM
That's why they are making a run at both of them, if they don't get both their chances are good at getting atleast 1 of them. I'm not convinced Faneca really wants to come back anymore because he feels slighted by the team that he gave his career too. As far as Simmons goes he has never been the same since he blew out his knee but he did show signs of coming back to form last year and this year has been up and down with the rest of the OL.

Tha'ts precisely what I was talking about with Faneca and what could also be the case with Simmons as well. Both of them are stuck working beside a terrible Center in Mahan which makes their jobs even harder. Faneca has had off games this year and I think he's been distracted by his contract situation which as affected his play IMO at times but overall he's still the best OL we got (which may not be saying much but still...LOL).

BlackGold4vr
01-05-2008, 11:25 AM
Let's clear the air and set a few things straight:

Fact #1 - Faneca can still play this game at a very high level. He's still considered in the "elite" class as far as players in his positions go. He had at least 2 bad games this year that I know of which could be largely attruibuted to the stiffs he's playing along side of. (Smith = back problems and Mayhan planted on his face). Sorry, Faneca can't help everybody regardless of how good he is.

Fact #2 - - Faneca is not too old contrary to the homespun fables the naysayers are trying to sell. He's currently in great health and has never had a history of injuries that tend to return and linger in older veterans. He's strong and has good legs and back which are both critical because they're both usually the first to break-down in vets.

Fact #3 - Steelers will not be able to fortify their OL issues within a year if they let both Faneca and Starks walk knowing Smith may have re-occuring back problems and knowing Mahan isn't the answer at Center. You can't expect this team to be good with 4 or 5 new guys up front .... it's just not realistic. The Steelers know this which is why they will probably try to get both to sign no less than a 3 year deal. Starks may be offered a 5 year deal considering his age. I believe the first to sign will get the deal and I also believe they'd rather it be Faneca than Starks ... but they know they need to sign at least one of 'em.

:iagree:

I would still love to see Faneca return! And moving him to center could be an idea that warrants some exploration if they can indeed resign him. Mahan folds like a lawnchair on a pretty regular basis. Gee, I wonder why the Bucs let him go? I have a nickname for Mahan.....TS (turnstile). I still like Capizzi and I hope he sticks around. I think Simmons is salvageable at RG and could also be an option at center. Colon can still play but he needs to improve in both run blocking and pass blocking techniques. Trai Essex is not so good and is expendible along with Starks IMO. I also like Chris Kemoeatu and think he could find his way into next years starting lineup. Adding a first round O-lineman will open up a plethora of options in next years training camp. Most of the first and second round O-lineman drafted last year either started or made significant contributions to their teams this year! I am not an advocate of the 3 to 4 year seasoning regimen that many on this site seem to believe in. Football is not rocket science. It's a mans game and either you can play or you can't.

Bottom line: keep Faneca, dump (TS) Mahan, draft O-lineman and infuse some young talented drafthorses into the mix and we will be just fine next year. :yesnod:

BlitzburghRockCity
01-05-2008, 11:50 AM
My only problem with Kemoeatu is that there was an open competition at RG this year and he couldn't get it done. I liked him ever since we got him and I think he played well last year in his time on the field but Im not sure he's still worth investing money into at this point. We probably won't know too much of how things will shake out in FA hits and we see if they are able to resign Starks or Faneca, that will go a long way to show how much they will make OL a priority in the 2008 draft IMO.


If this team doesn't take OL on Day 1 of the draft I'm going to throw a fit ! :nonod:

Iron City South
01-05-2008, 12:12 PM
I'm not convinced Faneca really wants to come back anymore because he feels slighted by the team that he gave his career too.


I actually think Starks is the one who already has his mind made up that he would like to return to his home state of Arizona. When you read things like this:


“I’d be open to listening,” he said. “I’m not saying I would do that or be against it. I’d definitely be open-minded and talk about it with whomever.”
The Steelers also believe Faneca might give them a slight break, or “hometown discount,” because of his wife Julie’s affinity for Pittsburgh.
“We made lots of great friends here,” Faneca admitted. “No one ever said it would be easy.”

I tend to believe Faneca and his wife consider Pittsburgh home and would like to stay if a "fair market" deal can be worked out. It's much easier to move around when you're younger (in your 20's), but when you hit 30, football player or not, it becomes much more difficult. Older guys don't want to move around, especially if they're entrenched in the area with family and a social network of friends.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-05-2008, 12:30 PM
I don't know, I do think Max would like to go back West but at the same time he's on a championship caliber team and if the team gives him a real good deal he might stay. Im sure Whiz will make a nice run at him if he gets the chance.

As far as Alan goes, he's been saying since the offseason that he felt his time was up and he was preparing for that so unless the Steelers really give him a deal comparable to what he thinks he's worth I don't think he'll stay. He's already said before in an interview on KDKA that there is no hometown discount for him, he wants what he thinks he's worth based on the market value for his talent and he said all the offers so far weren't anywhere close to what he thinks he needs. His belief of "fair market value" vs what it really is may be largely different :dunno:

BlitzburghRockCity
01-06-2008, 12:19 AM
FSN just talked with Faneca and asked him, "is this your last time in a Steeler uniform?"

Faneca: "It certainly feels like my last time"

FSN: How tough is this moment for you?

Faneca: It's tough, Im going to miss the guys in the locker room, and miss the atmosphere...

Just listening to the players talk about Alan after the game, they all will miss him.

Make no mistake about it this team loves Faneca and they believe in him. Najeh, Ben, Santonio, Trai, all of them talked very highly of Faneca. Regardless of what you think of him this team loves and appreciates him.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-06-2008, 12:49 AM
Colon, Polamalu, Ben, all of them believe Faneca is a heart beat of this team and they all really want him back. Troy said he would lobby to bring back Faneca and all of them said they want him back...but yet Faneca seems to be resigned to the fact that it's over. Talk at the end of an emotional game like this is always interesting from both ends of the spectrum.