PDA

View Full Version : Hartwig seizes starting center job



jpele
08-22-2008, 09:51 PM
The Steelers’ search for a starting center is over, the way we hear it. Sources say Justin Hartwig appears to be the winner of a position battle with Sean Mahan and will top the depth chart in Week One of the regular season. Hartwig, who was released by the Panthers after last season, looks like a stronger, bigger option with a better base. Word is he has a sound understanding of the playbook and has gained the faith of OL coach Larry Zierlein. Center was the only position on the O-line in which there was a battle for a starting role, so Pittsburgh finally can move forward with full knowledge of its front five in the remaining weeks before the season opener. While Mahan is relegated to backup duty for now, it might not be for long. Hartwig battled injuries throughout his two-year stint in Carolina, appearing in just 17 games.

Link (http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/AFC/AFC+North/Pittsburgh/WWHI/2008/wwhi082208.htm)

Guess this just makes it official,rather than news.

AZ_Steeler
08-22-2008, 10:04 PM
two different centers in two years... let's hope the Steelers can start to get some Webster, Dawson and Hartings consistency in the middle of the line! :bigthumb:

Black@Gold Forever32
08-22-2008, 10:19 PM
two different centers in two years... let's hope the Steelers can start to get some Webster, Dawson and Hartings consistency in the middle of the line! :bigthumb:

I think Hartwig is just a stop gap answer at the position...Plus we still don't know if he will be better then Mahan....He can't be any worse....:lol:

The Steelers in the 2009 draft need to select a center on the first day of the draft......

yinzer
08-22-2008, 10:22 PM
two different centers in two years... let's hope the Steelers can start to get some Webster, Dawson and Hartings consistency in the middle of the line! :bigthumb:

:crossfingers:

BlackGold4vr
08-22-2008, 10:26 PM
I think Hartwig is just a stop gap answer at the position...Plus we still don't know if he will be better then Mahan....He can't be any worse....:lol:

The Steelers in the 2009 draft need to select a center on the first day of the draft......


Needing one and having the opportunity to draft a good one are two different stories. IMO there hasn't been a legit center drafted since Nick Mangold by the Jets. The ones who topped the draft boards in this draft were all Mahan protege's (on the light side). :lol:

BRICKTOWN BEAST
08-23-2008, 12:36 AM
Yeah I wish we had a Nick Mangold on our line we should have drafted Samson Satele when we had the chance

K Train
08-23-2008, 12:55 AM
Needing one and having the opportunity to draft a good one are two different stories. IMO there hasn't been a legit center drafted since Nick Mangold by the Jets. The ones who topped the draft boards in this draft were all Mahan protege's (on the light side). :lol:
kalil turned out to be a nice pick for carolina since he made hartwig expendable lol

Black@Gold Forever32
08-23-2008, 09:59 AM
Needing one and having the opportunity to draft a good one are two different stories. IMO there hasn't been a legit center drafted since Nick Mangold by the Jets. The ones who topped the draft boards in this draft were all Mahan protege's (on the light side). :lol:

Alex Mack, Max Unger, and Jonathan Luigs are regarded as the top three centers in 2009.....Steelers should think about drafting one of them....I personally wouldn't mind Unger or Luigs.....

BlackGold4vr
08-23-2008, 10:22 AM
Alex Mack, Max Unger, and Jonathan Luigs are regarded as the top three centers in 2009.....Steelers should think about drafting one of them....I personally wouldn't mind Unger or Luigs.....

Never heard of any of these guys. Do you have any information on them? Who do they play for? Are any of these guys road graters? I miss the days of Webster or Dawson clearing out the middle of the D-line. Why do you think that Doug Legursky never really got a shot at it?

steelerfan11
08-23-2008, 11:11 AM
Alex Mack, Cal 6-4 316

Max Unger, Oregon 6-5 300 (listed as a Tackle on yahoo and espn)

Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas 6-4 314

Black@Gold Forever32
08-23-2008, 01:26 PM
Alex Mack, Cal 6-4 316

Max Unger, Oregon 6-5 300 (listed as a Tackle on yahoo and espn)

Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas 6-4 314

Unger switched to center is regarded as one of the top center prospects heading into 2009....Much can change from now until draft time.....I'm sure there will be risers and fallers like always....

------------------------------------------------------------
[AutoMerged Post Below]
------------------------------------------------------------

Never heard of any of these guys. Do you have any information on them? Who do they play for? Are any of these guys road graters? I miss the days of Webster or Dawson clearing out the middle of the D-line. Why do you think that Doug Legursky never really got a shot at it?

Luigs opened holes for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones at Arkansas....So I like that about him....I will have keep an eye on him this year some to see how he is in pass protection...Still I think he is a player worth taking a look at and maybe spending a draft pick on....

Unger....Has played OT and switched to center....Coach Tomlin is always talking about position flexibility.......So this is a guy perfect for Coach Tomlin.....But really Unger didn't have much of future in the NFL has an OT....Thats the big reason he make the switch....I will be watching him to this year......College football package allows me to keep my scouting eye sharp...:lol:

steelcityrockers
08-23-2008, 05:22 PM
kalil turned out to be a nice pick for carolina since he made hartwig expendable lol

Kalil wasn't bad. He struggled a little sometimes and if I am not mistaken Geoff Hangartner started some games at center last year. Samson Satele played real well for Miami and is already one of the better young centers in the league.

Stairwayto7
08-23-2008, 07:08 PM
I just want the best man for the job, just somebody who can block, for the pass and the run. And smart enough to take control of the line

Captcoolhand
08-23-2008, 07:46 PM
I just want the best man for the job, just somebody who can block, for the pass and the run. And smart enough to take control of the line
:ditto::clap:

steelerschick1220
08-23-2008, 10:14 PM
I pray to God that Hartwig is better then Mahan. I really don't think he could get any worse. At least, I don't think he can.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-24-2008, 05:11 PM
two different centers in two years... let's hope the Steelers can start to get some Webster, Dawson and Hartings consistency in the middle of the line! :bigthumb:

I would kill to have Dawson back now :yesnod:


I think Hartwig is just a stop gap answer at the position...Plus we still don't know if he will be better then Mahan....He can't be any worse....:lol:

The Steelers in the 2009 draft need to select a center on the first day of the draft......

Center and Tackle better be priorities heading into next offseason for sure.

Im glad to see Hartwig win the job; watching that turnstyle last year was enough to make me want to :barf:

BlitzburghRockCity
08-25-2008, 05:47 PM
got the official text from KDKA alittle while ago that Hartwig is now officially the starting Center....maybe now we can stop playing musical chairs at that position and nail it down for awhile...

LatrobePA
08-25-2008, 07:32 PM
got the official text from KDKA alittle while ago that Hartwig is now officially the starting Center....maybe now we can stop playing musical chairs at that position and nail it down for awhile...

:tt02::yellowthumb::tt02:

steelerschick1220
08-25-2008, 07:54 PM
Good to know that the position is Hartwig's. Please do a better job then Mahan!

NOVA STEELERS
08-26-2008, 10:54 AM
http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent//2008/07/29/20/0829_TC_hartwig_92230.jpg

The hottest position battle of training camp came to an end on Monday when head coach Mike Tomlin named Justin Hartwig the team’s starting center.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-27-2008, 06:04 AM
The way I see it, if he can hold his own even 1/3 of the time he'll be an upgrade over Mahan :rolleyes: It is going to take some time though so we shouldn't be surprised to see the running game possibly struggle alittle bit or the protection break down early on as they get used to playing together.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907166-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML


Justin Hartwig is the third starter at center in three seasons for the Steelers. For a franchise that had four centers in the previous four decades, that's quite a change.

For the longest time, the Steelers didn't have to worry about their center. Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and Jeff Hartings manned the position from 1964 until 2006, with each performing at a high level.

But Hartings retired after the 2006 season, and the position has been a source of concern since. The Steelers brought in free agent Sean Mahan to replace Hartings. After Mahan struggled last season, Hartwig was signed as a free agent to replace him.

Having a new starter at such a crucial position is not ideal, especially with the season opener against Houston a little more than a week away. But Hartwig and his new line mates are trying to become accustomed to playing with one another as quickly as possible.

"The thing you have to do is make sure you communicate well," said Kendall Simmons, the starting right guard who also played next to Hartings and Mahan. "That's our plan as a unit. We're completely different from anyone else. We have to talk. It's not an individual-type deal. If we don't work together, it's not going to get done."

Left tackle Marvel Smith said transitioning to Hartwig is going to take time, much in the same way it did with Mahan last season.

"I kind of remember from last year it was a process with everyone, getting on the same page and being comfortable," Smith said. "It will probably be the same type of thing this year.

"It's more communication, especially in our offense. There are a lot of calls predicated upon what the center sees. Everything else is relayed off of that. The center has to be on the same page as everyone else."

In the Steelers' scheme, the center is responsible for calling out defensive fronts as well as the type of coverage in some instances. Hartwig said he has more responsibility than he did previously as the center for the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans.

"The center has a big role in this offense," Hartwig said. "I feel good. The big thing with offensive-line play is repetition and seeing the looks and going out and doing it. You can study so much, but to actually go out there and do it, playing with the guys next to you helps. Every day I feel like I'm getting better."

The starters will get another quarter's worth of work in tomorrow's preseason finale against Carolina before the Sept. 7 opener against Houston at Heinz Field. After a rough outing against Minnesota last week, they're hoping to gain some momentum heading into the regular season.

Against the Vikings, the Steelers' first-team offense gained just 76 yards on seven series in the first half.

"It's one or two missing pieces to the puzzle," running back Willie Parker said. "Once we get on the same page, we'll be all right. Right now, it's one man here or one man there before it will be a 10-yard or 15-yard gain."

Simmons said the only way for the Steelers to gain cohesion is by practicing together.

"It's going to take the reps in practice," he said. "We really have to emphasize talking. If you make a mistake, you have to say, 'Hey, this is where I'm going to be.' When you look at the film, you have to say, 'This is what I was thinking.' That's the only way you can do it when you have a short period of time."

Hartwig will get his third start with the first-team offense against Carolina. He was happy that coach Mike Tomlin made his decision a week early. The extra work with the first-team will be important.

And even though no one would venture a guess as to when the line would become a cohesive unit, Hartwig did say he was pleased with the progress the starters have been making.

"I'm really happy and just relieved that [the competition] is over," Hartwig said. "Now I can focus on getting cohesion with these guys and running this offense smoothly. It's coming along every day. Every day we're learning more about each other. I'm learning more about the offense and all the little intricacies that are in it. It's always going to be a work in progress, but I feel good about where we're at and how we're progressing every day."

Captcoolhand
08-27-2008, 08:21 AM
Good to hear but to bad we havn't got a fresh young player that could be learning for years to come. This is just a temp solution to a problem that is just going to repeat once again in the future.:2cents:

JensK
08-27-2008, 01:06 PM
At least i think its pretty clear that we need to rebuild the o-line next draft. Hopefully we are not to late :/

$teelersRule
08-27-2008, 03:10 PM
Good to hear but to bad we havn't got a fresh young player that could be learning for years to come. This is just a temp solution to a problem that is just going to repeat once again in the future.:2cents:

i have not heard much about stapelton they seemed pretty high on him over the summer its only his second season if im correct, maybe in a year or two he can step in and be a decent center? :dunno:

Dean Denton
08-27-2008, 03:24 PM
I hope someone steps up there. We need that center big time. These 5 guys really need to get it together. The O-Line is the only thing that I'm worried about this year. And last year, and the year before. This shocks me that we even have an issue on the O-line.
I know Tomlin has said its not just the o-line, and that others need to pick up on there blocks, but come on. They got blasted by the Vikings, and were pushed off the line like rag dolls. You cant really expect Willie to stop a 300 pounders if the our own line cant slow them down.

Am I wrong here?

SteelfordWexler
08-27-2008, 05:47 PM
Am I wrong here?

Nope. They look really lost sometimes. Especially in pass protection.

Steelkidd72
08-27-2008, 11:46 PM
I got a awsome feeling about this kid I realy think he is gonna work out lets all hope so he's got some decent size on him self this year plus he even won the job out right...who els thinks this guy is good?:cope:

K Train
08-28-2008, 02:57 AM
hes ok, looks like he can be a solid option....but dont be surprised if hes hurt by week 4