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View Full Version : Five things each AFC North team needs



BlackGold4vr
02-13-2008, 10:44 PM
This is an article from ESPN insider. I won't bother posting the other teams needs because frankly, who gives a **** what the other teams need? Nothing earth shattering here but it does show that we the fans have a pretty good grasp at what our needs are here at SA. From all the draft discussions I have seen here at SA everybody agrees that the O-line and D-lines are top priorities. Fix the O-line and RB's we have could be stars.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Center: The Steelers need to add three serviceable offensive linemen via the draft and free agency. Center is the most pressing need and will be the most difficult to address. Sean Mahan was Pittsburgh's only free-agent signing of note last year, and he was a disaster. This is an organization that has become accustomed to exceptional play at the pivot, going from Ray Mansfield to Mike Webster to Dermontti Dawson to Jeff Hartings to, ahem, Mahan.

Offensive tackle: This is the Steelers' second biggest need because tackles are more difficult to find than guards. LT Marvel Smith is still playing at a high level, but he is up for free agency a year from now and is battling a chronic back issue. Smith might be better off on the right side at this advanced stage of his career. Starting RT Willie Colon has trouble with speed rushers and probably would be better off inside at guard. That leaves tackle as a pressing need that very well could be addressed with Pittsburgh's first-round selection in April.

Defensive end: When Aaron Smith tore his biceps last season, Pittsburgh's run defense completely fell apart. Smith should be back to his outstanding level of play in 2008, but the Steelers desperately need to find a third end for their 3-4 scheme. Brett Keisel is a good player on the opposite side, but he would be far more effective with more rest in the course of a game. This need will not be filled easily. It is very rare for a draft pick to contribute immediately at this position in this scheme because most defensive linemen who are talented enough to play in the NFL are upfield-penetrating types.

Running back: Pittsburgh ran diminutive Willie Parker into the ground last year and, although he should return to full strength, the team needs one of its traditional pile movers. The offense struggled running the ball near the goal line and was more of a finesse group overall last season. That isn't the Steelers' style. In a running-back-rich draft, Pittsburgh should find a suitable powerful backup for Parker with one of its first four selections.

Offensive guard: The Steelers are going to make one more effort to re-sign Alan Faneca, but assuming he takes his services elsewhere, Pittsburgh is thin at guard. If the Steelers can address center and tackle, their need for a guard should fall, but make no mistake -- it is a major need without Faneca. RG Kendall Simmons is a middle-of-the-road starter, and youngster Chris Kemoeatu shows promise as a straight-ahead pile mover but is far from a sure thing as a starter.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-13-2008, 11:06 PM
I agree with those five things....LT and C is such a high need followed by DL.......

I agree the Steelers should look to add a RB in this deep class of RBs....

K Train
02-13-2008, 11:17 PM
im liking me some chris johnson, steve slaton or ray rice in the 3rd.

or possibly dexter jackson for our return man...as a general rule, when you go to appalacian state...you are a badass lol

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2008, 12:19 AM
im liking me some chris johnson, steve slaton or ray rice in the 3rd.

or possibly dexter jackson for our return man...as a general rule, when you go to appalacian state...you are a badass lol

Dude I'm all for the drafting of Chris Johnson...I mentioned him to Dieselman before the Bowl games started as a possible draftee....I don't think he will last to the 3rd though.....Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that but he is a good RB and a elite kick returner...Not Hester class but pretty damn good.......So I don't see him falling to the 3rd....I hope you're right.....:yellowthumb:

Dexter Jackson would be a good pick also....I rather have Rice then Slaton but still Slaton is a good player also...

BlitzburghRockCity
02-14-2008, 06:08 AM
Im not convinced we need a RB this year. We don't know what type of talent we have in Russel yet. The man is bull and runs hard but he just hasn't gotten many opportunities yet. We may have a gem here that we don't even know about yet. Im not opposed to drafting a RB but I don't think it's a high priority this year.

I would add WR to that list. Behind Hines & Santonio we have no proven legit threat. Nate has shown more signs that he's coming along but now that he's made some plays this year the bar is raised and he need to reach for it because his play will be judged with more criticism now.

A local newspaper around here was talking about drafting needs this year and they mentioned Dexter Jackson as someone the Steelers might be interested in.

K Train
02-14-2008, 08:47 AM
Dude I'm all for the drafting of Chris Johnson...I mentioned him to Dieselman before the Bowl games started as a possible draftee....I don't think he will last to the 3rd though.....Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that but he is a good RB and a elite kick returner...Not Hester class but pretty damn good.......So I don't see him falling to the 3rd....I hope you're right.....:yellowthumb:

Dexter Jackson would be a good pick also....I rather have Rice then Slaton but still Slaton is a good player also...

mcfadden, mendehall, stewart, and felix jones are all #1 picks imo, after that i think theres a huge drop off and the next guy is a 3rd round grade, johnson might not be there when we pick in the 3rd but i think hes a third rounder nonetheless

DIESELMAN
02-14-2008, 10:01 AM
Dude I'm all for the drafting of Chris Johnson...I mentioned him to Dieselman before the Bowl games started as a possible draftee....I don't think he will last to the 3rd though.....Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that but he is a good RB and a elite kick returner...Not Hester class but pretty damn good.......So I don't see him falling to the 3rd....I hope you're right.....:yellowthumb:

Dexter Jackson would be a good pick also....I rather have Rice then Slaton but still Slaton is a good player also...
Johnson's stock has been rising, wait for the combines (7 more days), if he blows people away, he might jump into the 1st rd. Theres plenty of teams who need a RB. Strange things happen in the draft.

BlackGold4vr
02-14-2008, 10:10 AM
Johnson's stock has been rising, wait for the combines (7 more days), if he blows people away, he might jump into the 1st rd. Theres plenty of teams who need a RB. Strange things happen in the draft.


Be careful Diesel. I have already been chastised (by MORONS) for suggesting that draft boards are reshuffled as a result of combine performances. Thats why they hold the combines don't ya know! Because they don't mean a thing! :hilarious:

DIESELMAN
02-14-2008, 10:19 AM
Be careful Diesel. I have already been chastised (by MORONS) for suggesting that draft boards are reshuffled as a result of combine performances. Thats why they hold the combines don't ya know! Because they don't mean a thing! :hilarious:
ehh who cares what some people think or say, The combines are there for a reason, to show scouts and coaches a little more on these players. Granted, teams should go by game tapes, thats a better evaluation. Some teams swear by the combines some teams don't, it is what it is. :banana:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-14-2008, 03:56 PM
Yeah players stock can rise and drop big time as a result of combine numbers but the teams who really do their homework on players have watched tape and know what they are capable of or not cabable of. Some players just don't do well in timed tests but their value on the field is still very high. It's always important to have as good a showing as you can though that's for sure because it certainly doesn't hurt ;)

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2008, 06:03 PM
mcfadden, mendehall, stewart, and felix jones are all #1 picks imo, after that i think theres a huge drop off and the next guy is a 3rd round grade, johnson might not be there when we pick in the 3rd but i think hes a third rounder nonetheless

I don't think Johnson falls to the 3rd.....He will go mid to late 2nd.....

I'm a huge fan of Mendehall....But OT or DL is the way to in the first....Mainly OT....But if Williams or Cherilus, Otah are gone then we should take a look at DL.....If there isn't no DL worth taking then players like Mendehall, Jones and Talib should be looked at....

Stlrs4Life
02-14-2008, 10:18 PM
Pretty good read. I still think we go for Fanecas replacement first. And then get a C. I also magree, I don't think Combine results change there order all that much.

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Here's one from Fox Sports:

Pittsburgh (10-7)
Looking back: After a 9-3 start, Mike Tomlin's first season as Pittsburgh's head coach fell apart. The Steelers dropped four of their final five games, including a 31-29 home playoff loss to Jacksonville. Injuries played a key role in Pittsburgh's demise, but Tomlin's troops also lost four road games to non-playoff teams. That inconsistency must stop if Tomlin is to match the success of predecessor Bill Cowher.

Biggest need area: If you ask Ben Roethlisberger, it's adding a taller wide receiver to a smallish unit. Roethlisberger, though, needs better protection after being sacked more times (47) than any other quarterback besides Detroit's Jon Kitna (51). Left tackle Marvel Smith is entering the final year of his contract, The Steelers may want to strongly consider selecting the eight-year veteran's heir apparent early in April's draft.

Player/coach to watch: Left guard Alan Faneca. Keeping with their tendency to not invest heavily in older players, Faneca's magnificent 10-year run with the Steelers is about to end. Coming off his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl season, Faneca will command top dollar in free agency and leave a massive hole that Pittsburgh could struggle to fill.

Projected cap space: $13.5 million. The Steelers don't have the same cap problems that maligned the team in recent years but don't expect wild spending either. The most likely scenario has Pittsburgh signing one big-ticket player and making some less-expensive additions in free agency. Pittsburgh's most positive development last season was Roethlisberger's continued emergence, especially at improvising under pressure. Those strides should help pave the way for a lucrative contract extension.

2008 outlook: Very good. Pittsburgh fielded the NFL's top-ranked defense but the unit never rebounded after being picked apart during a 34-13 December loss to New England. The return of two injured starters (safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Aaron Smith) and projected emergence of second-year linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley should help. With a few other tweaks and a successful comeback by running back Willie Parker, Pittsburgh could be contending for a Super Bowl once again.


Cleveland (10-6)

AFC North off-season outlookBengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
Looking back: During the preseason, the Browns had all the earmarks of a team that would finish in the AFC North basement. Instead, Cleveland far exceeded expectations and was in contention for a playoff spot until late December. The key to success was an offense that flourished under new coordinator Rod Chudzinski.

Biggest need area: Defensive line. Nose tackle Ted Washington (39 years old) and end Orpheus Roye (35) are reaching the end. The Browns haven't used a first-day draft pick on a defensive lineman since Gerard Warren in 2001. That's too long.

Player/coach to watch: Running back Jamal Lewis. After a disappointing 2006 campaign in Baltimore, Lewis signed a one-year contract with Cleveland hoping he could land a better deal down the road. Lewis did his part by rushing for 1,304 yards. But according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Browns aren't willing to make more than a two-season investment, while Lewis wants a three-year commitment. San Diego's Michael Turner could be an intriguing free-agent target if talks with Lewis are unfruitful.

Projected cap space: $25.2 million. The Browns are always active in free agency and that shouldn't change. But Cleveland also has some internal issues to handle. Besides Lewis, tight end Kellen Winslow wants a revamped deal and quarterback Derek Anderson could draw interest elsewhere as a restricted free agent if the Browns can't reach agreement on a long-term extension.

2008 outlook: Good. Cleveland has plenty of offensive talent especially along the line but an aged defense needs upgrading for the Browns to reach the playoffs. Improving the pass rush should be a major priority.


Cincinnati (7-9)
Looking back: The 2007 Bengals had some of the same disturbing traits as other failed Cincinnati teams before coach Marvin Lewis' arrival in 2003. Cincinnati got off to another lousy start (2-6) and had a talented-but-disgruntled player (wide receiver Chad Johnson) become a distraction. The Bengals also fielded the NFL's 27th-ranked defense, which cost coordinator Chuck Bresnahan his job.

Biggest need area: The front seven. Injuries at linebacker forced the Bengals to juggle personnel, including the shift of pass-rushing end Robert Geathers. Cincinnati would get a huge boost if linebackers Odell Thurman (suspension) and David Pollack (neck injury) can return after missing last season. The Bengals may use the franchise tag on end Justin Smith for a second consecutive season. Regardless, adding a big-bodied nose tackle and more line depth are musts.

Player/coach to watch: Johnson. Johnson's recent attempts to talk his way out of Cincinnati would be successful if the Bengals weren't forced to take an $8.03 million salary cap hit by trading him. Johnson and the Bengals have five-plus months to straighten out their issues before the start of training camp. Otherwise, things could get even more interesting than Johnson's recent rants about his situation.

Projected cap space: $26.6 million. Bengals owner/general manager Mike Brown never splurges in free agency, so expect Cincinnati to focus on trying to re-sign its own players or seek lower-cost replacements. Right tackle Stacy Andrews and safety Madieu Williams would be among the most valued players at their respective positions if able to hit the market. The Bengals also have four linebackers (Caleb Miller, Landon Johnson, Dhani Jones and Lemar Marshall) set to become UFAs. Smith would chew up $10.4 million if franchised again.

2008 outlook: Fair. Lewis' achievements as a defensive specialist led to his Bengals hiring, but Cincinnati's units have ranked 20th or worse in four of his five seasons. While showing promise under Lewis two seasons ago, the Bengals still haven't won a playoff game since 1990. Whether Lewis can recapture the momentum he had then could determine whether he returns to Cincinnati in 2009.

Baltimore (5-11)
Looking back: Just one year after a 13-3 campaign, the Brian Billick era came to an end after nine seasons. Billick's offense remained shoddy and he was being tuned out on a team carried by an aging defense.

Biggest need area: Cornerback. When the Ravens couldn't pressure opposing quarterbacks, the secondary was exposed. Starting cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAllister battled injuries and illness throughout 2007. Both are in their 30s and Baltimore has no promising replacements waiting in the wings.

Player/coach to watch: Cam Cameron. Baltimore's new offensive coordinator comes from one quarterback mess (Miami) to another. Steve McNair, who turns 35 on Thursday, missed 10 games last year and his body is battered after 13 NFL seasons. Kyle Boller continues to disappoint and Troy Smith is a project. Because of contractual commitments to McNair and Boller, the Ravens appear willing to have those two compete for a starting spot in training camp. The quarterback position would be hurt even more if future Hall of Fame left tackle Jon Ogden retired.

Projected cap space: $3.5 million, according to the team's Web site. The Ravens will need to clear more space soon to use an $8.1 million franchise tag on linebacker Terrell Suggs and place a high tender offer on standout young guard Jason Brown, a restricted free agent. Seven of the nine players with Baltimore's largest cap numbers are at least 30 years of age.

2008 outlook: Fair. The ability to keep defensive coordinator Rex Ryan will help John Harbaugh's transition as Baltimore's new head coach. With a little more offensive firepower, the Ravens have enough talent to compete for a wild-card spot.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-15-2008, 06:52 AM
With Marvel costing us big against the cap this year watch you would think the Steelers in past would have tried to resign him but based on his recent injuries it's apparent that unless they have a change of heart he'll play out his deal and that will be the end of it. LT, G, C, it's all a need on this team. If we do have options available on the team it's at G but T and C are huge needs. With Starks being a FA, Essex a FA, we need to seriously address this area and Center well that goes without saying.