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View Full Version : Colbert on the upcoming draft & at the combine.....



DIESELMAN
02-21-2008, 06:30 PM
* "This group of offensive tackles, it's the best group I've seen in 24 years. ... I think you can get a tackle in all three rounds."


* "[Running backs are] just like the tackles. I think you can get a running back, in the first three rounds, of good quality."


* "[Jonathan Stewart] is probably a little more well-rounded than [Darren] McFadden at this point. ... All these juniors, they just made this thing so much better from a running back standpoint."


* "I don't adhere to any of that 'Well, you can get another guy (at the position) in the second, third round.' If he's a special player, you take him."


* "Offensive linemen are probably the hardest to acclimate to the NFL, only because they have to become one of five. ... So to think an offensive lineman can come in and have an immediate impact is a bit of a stretch."


* "Ideally, everyone wants the biggest, tallest, best player they can get, and Ben [Roethlisberger] is a tall quarterback so he'd like to have a receiver who's on the same plane as he is, and you understand that. But you can't just make a guy a more valuable prospect than he is just because he's 6-3 or 6-4. Again, if you can find a great receiver who's taller, super. But in the meantime you'd better take the best prospect you can get."


* "If you trade down, as deep as this draft is, you're probably going to benefit."


* "It was an interesting career for Jeff [Otah], because coming out as a JC you heard about him as a junior and you paid attention to him, and his senior year he continued to get better. Jeff's an interesting kid that probably hasn't played his best football yet. ... There's probably a lot of upside left in him."


* "We live by the credo that 80 percent of the evaluation happens from August to December when they play."
Take all this for what its worth......the Steelers have always kept a lid on who they were interested in. I just hope that if someone they want isn't there, they don't reach just to get him.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-21-2008, 06:58 PM
That all sounds well and good and it makes sense. If you're talking about day 1 picks then yeah we normally do pretty well but when you talk day 2 picks we just flat out stink so whatever it takes to get us decent players that actually make the team and contribute; they better do it. We can't afford blown picks on training camp fodder this year on day 2; we need to hit on every draft pick through atleast the 5th round.

DIESELMAN
02-21-2008, 10:22 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert was one of the better interviews of the day. Since the Steelers don't have a chance at landing Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Colbert was pretty forthcoming.

"He's as NFL ready as you can find for the 3-4 [defensive scheme]," said Colbert. "He's the perfect 3-4 defensive end. He could also stand up and be a linebacker. He's rare for a college lineman."

Colbert said teams have already done 80 percent of the work on players before the combine begins. He said quarterback is the most difficult position to judge during drills.

"Their timing is usually off because they're using different receivers, so when a kid looks good, it's a bonus. The majority of them don't throw well. You have to be real careful with the quarterback in these drills."

Colbert recently read an article about how Ben Roethlisberger threw poorly during the combine.
"Honestly I can't remember that," he said.

Colbert said he's most interested in finding out about a player's family during the team interview portion of the combine. Those interviews will begin tonight and last four hours. My guy Martellus Bennett said he had three interviews lined up, but he hasn't been tipped off about which teams he'll be talking to.

Colbert said that coach Mike Tomlin led the interviews, but the club also brings in a psychologist to ask some "different" questions. The psychologist isn't a full-time employee, but the Steelers use him for every combine.

MDSteel15
02-21-2008, 11:53 PM
* "If you trade down, as deep as this draft is, you're probably going to benefit."

This is the statement that is most interesting to me. I can see us doing this with Atlanta for both their 2nd rounders....

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2008, 06:04 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08053/859551-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML

NFL Scouting Combine: Steelers alter their draft approach

Friday, February 22, 2008
By Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Steelers will pick the best player available when it is their turn in April's NFL draft.

That's not exactly a stunning revelation because many teams take the "best player available" approach. But Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said yesterday it is a welcome change in their approach from years past when they went into the draft focused on filling specific needs.

Colbert said the roster is stable and has few, if any, obvious holes at any position, so the Steelers have a lot more flexibility with their pick.

"Right now, other than quarterback and tight end, two positions we're deep and very young, we could really add a player at any position and improve our team," Colbert said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We have 22 guys from last year's team and, though we may lose a couple, we have younger guys ready to step in, so we can fill a number of spots with this draft. And I've said it a number of times -- this is a great draft to do that because there is so much depth at so many spots.

"We do [have the luxury of taking the best player available], and like I said, we're not going to take a quarterback, we're not likely to take a tight end, but we could take a player at just about any other position. We wanted to go into this draft and not be need-specific."

Because the Steelers have the 22nd pick in the draft, Colbert said, it is important for them to be flexible because it is not likely they are going to get one of the players considered a "can't miss" or "immediate impact" prospect.

That doesn't mean there won't be a lot of good players for the Steelers to choose from, particularly at some positions, such as offensive tackle, which is considered to be extremely deep. Colbert also said the Steelers will look at a number of defensive front seven players, but they are only interested in those who can play in the 4-3 and the 3-4.

"We're still committed to the 3-4, but we'll be open to guys who can play in both systems," Colbert said. "But in the short term, they will have a specific role in our current system, but they'd need to be able to make that transition if we ever do transition. We want that flexibility. The guys we want are really not scheme specific, they are good players who can fit in any scheme."

While the draft is on Colbert's mind this week because of the combine, a lot can change between now and late April because the free agent signing period begins next week.

Colbert said the Steelers' main focus now is to evaluate their free agents and decide which they can afford to and need to keep, then to look at free agents from other teams to possibly fill a need. He said the Steelers are unlikely to sign a big name free agent because it is not their way of doing business.

The Steelers began the offseason with nine potential unrestricted free agents and five potential restricted free agents but signed defensive end Travis Kirschke to a two-year deal and designated offensive tackle Max Starks with the "transition" tag.

Colbert said the team had two reasons for designating Starks, who would have become an unrestricted free agent Feb. 29, as the transition player: They have accepted that they are not going to be able to keep Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca (an unrestricted free agent) and need some stability on the offensive line. It also gives them more flexibility on draft day.

Colbert added that Starks was given the transition tag -- which gives the Steelers the right of first refusal if another team tried to sign him -- because the team will have more flexibility in negotiating with him.

The transition player is guaranteed at least a one-year deal at no less than the average salary of the 10 highest-paid players at his position, which in Starks case (offensive tackle) would be about $6.9 million. A franchise player, however, is guaranteed no less than the average salary of the five highest paid at his position, which at tackle would be about $7.5 million.

Colbert insists that the Starks deal was not motivated by left tackle Marvel Smith's back injury and said the Steelers expect Smith to make a full recovery for next season.

"The chances of signing Alan are minimal at this point, so we had to make a decision about who we could sign," Colbert said. "Our situation was clear -- Max was an unrestricted free agent, [tackle] Trai Essex is a free agent, Marvel Smith is coming off back surgery, and we just wanted to protect our interest with Max and we think he wants to stay."

There is one big-money deal the Steelers want to get down this offseason, but it doesn't involve a free agent. The team would like to finalize a long-term contract extension for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger even though he has two years remaining on his original deal. Colbert said that is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

"We are moving along. It is something that is progressing very well and we'd like to be able to finalize it," Colbert said. "But it is a big deal for him and a big deal for us. But all signs are positive that we are going to get it done."


He is right that virtually any position on this team will be improved by adding a good player. What we need more than anything is good quality depth, that's something we've almost always had during the Cowher era but something that the last 5 years has really suffered. This year the depth was tested and largely gets a D- so there is work to be done.

MDSteel15
02-22-2008, 07:11 PM
After our 6 picks are done, we seriously need to bring in a bunch of the Rookie Free Agents to sure up special teams. There are a lot of guys that will be there that will want to prove themselves.

Stlrs4Life
02-22-2008, 07:34 PM
Well we all know that the Steelers should go OL in the 1st round, but I have this sick feeling in my stomach that we will pick some other position.

DIESELMAN
02-22-2008, 08:25 PM
Well we all know that the Steelers should go OL in the 1st round, but I have this sick feeling in my stomach that we will pick some other position.
I get the same feeling but if all the top OT's are gone and there are a couple of stud playmakers on the board...why not? Can't pass that up.....

Black@Gold Forever32
02-22-2008, 08:52 PM
I get the same feeling but if all the top OT's are gone and there are a couple of stud playmakers on the board...why not? Can't pass that up.....

I agree with you Tom, I agree OT is the biggest need on the team but if the top OTs are gone by the time our pick comes around in the first round then no need to reach for one....So I do like the best player available approach......I think the team reached with Timmons last year in the first round...

If Williams, Otah and Cherilus are all gone by the Steelers pick then the Steelers should look at other top players left at other positions...A young stud DL is also a huge need.....PLus Brandon Albert would be another good pick....Or a corner like Talib....Or a RB or WR.....

DIESELMAN
02-22-2008, 09:02 PM
I agree with you Tom, I agree OT is the biggest need on the team but if the top OTs are gone by the time our pick comes around in the first round then no need to reach for one....So I do like the best player available approach......I think the team reached with Timmons last year in the first round...

If Williams, Otah and Cherilus are all gone by the Steelers pick then the Steelers should look at other top players left at other positions...A young stud DL is also a huge need.....PLus Brandon Albert would be another good pick....Or a corner like Talib....Or a RB or WR.....

Exactly....Colbert in this article has even hinted towards best payer available, so we shall see. I also agree Timmons was a reach, hindsight is a mother ****er, Spencer was still on the board when we were picking.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-22-2008, 09:12 PM
Exactly....Colbert in this article has even hinted towards best payer available, so we shall see. I also agree Timmons was a reach, hindsight is a mother ****er, Spencer was still on the board when we were picking.

Spencer was my guy and I would have been happy with the Steelers trading down and drafting Spencer....But getting Woodley in the 2nd round softens that blow....I just hope Timmons works out and gives us a boost at inside LB and at times on the outside......

What really chaps my hide the Steelers could have traded down last year in the early part of the 2nd round and drafted Tony Ugoh and that would have given us that young LT that we need so badly....

DIESELMAN
02-22-2008, 09:27 PM
Spencer was my guy and I would have been happy with the Steelers trading down and drafting Spencer....But getting Woodley in the 2nd round softens that blow....I just hope Timmons works out and gives us a boost at inside LB and at times on the outside......

What really chaps my hide the Steelers could have traded down last year in the early part of the 2nd round and drafted Tony Ugoh and that would have given us that young LT that we need so badly....
I remember you talkin Spencer up, we all jumped on your bandwagon :lol: I think Timmons will come around, he only played 1 year of college ball and now he's got 1 year of NFL experience. He'll wake up and see what it takes to play in the NFL.