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View Full Version : How do the Steelers fix their O-line?



STEELER 4 LIFE
02-05-2009, 01:26 AM
Just wanted to hear some ideas on fixing our O-line. 1st round has to be O-line,
but are there going to be any good FA's out there.

Zachintosh66
02-05-2009, 02:02 AM
at least one Draft Pick and FA...

K Train
02-05-2009, 02:07 AM
its not exactly broken, it just needs at least one upgrade

jpele
02-05-2009, 10:31 AM
Kemo and Starks will be big questions money wise. M.Smith is done unless he takes a paycut and is willing to play a backup role.

greennick
02-05-2009, 11:08 AM
Exactly what positions in the O line do people think we need to change?

Dean Denton
02-05-2009, 11:57 AM
What the hell should we fix? They look great to me. We just won the superbowl. They could do some more push ups to increase that run blocking maybe hit the stair stepper to help stamina for pass blocking. Other then that, just win baby.....

Zachintosh66
02-05-2009, 12:47 PM
Exactly what positions in the O line do people think we need to change?

IMHO, here is the way i see things. OL i think there will be plenty of turnover.

Super Bowl Starters :
OT- 78 Max Starks (UFA)
OG- 68 Chris Kemoeatu (UFA)
C- 62 Justin Hartwig
OG- 72 Darnell Stapleton
OT- 74 Willie Colon (RFA)

Backups:
79 Trai Essex (UFA)
69 Jason Capizzi
66 Tony Hills
65 Jeremy Parquet
77 Mavel Smith *IR (UFA)
73 Kendall Simmons *IR

Total: 11

RFA- Colon will stay on more than likely. Smith is UFA, but career is prolly over. It prolly depends on how much Kemo and Staks ask for. They will prolly resign the cheaper. Still have Capizzi and Hills develop at OT. Essex is can play either G or T, id say his return is 50/50. Simmons is coming back which is an upgrade over "swinging gate" Stapleton. Hartwig will still be a C with Stapleton behind him.

"Option A" 09 Opening Day:
OT- Rookie and/or FA, (Hills v Capizzi)
OG- Kemo, (Stapleton v Parquet)
C- Hartwig, Stapleton
OG- Simmons, (Stapleton v Parquet)
OT- Colon, (Hills v Capizzi)

Total: 10 (bubble Essex)

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 12:49 PM
What the hell should we fix? They look great to me. We just won the superbowl. They could do some more push ups to increase that run blocking maybe hit the stair stepper to help stamina for pass blocking. Other then that, just win baby.....


The O-line has been the weak link all year. What do you think caused the Steelers to faulter on goal line situations all year? It isn't because we don't have good running backs. We need quality tackles......2 of them. Colon is not a good tackle. Perhaps he could be a better guard but he sucks at tackle. Running to his side of the line this year has been futile. Hartwig did a decent job at center when compared to Mahan but that isn't setting the bar very high. Starks and Smith are both unrestricted free agents. Starks could be worth keeping if he is willing to play for less but he might not be willing to take a pay cut. Smith has missed portions of the last couple seasons with recurring back problems and should be released to pursue whatever it is he wants to pursue (but with someone else). When we have played the teams with great defenses our offensive line has really struggled badly. This years team was able to win in spite of the problems. We have three 6th rounders, an undrafted free agent, and a 3rd rounder as our starting 5. If some of you think that we can't improve upon that then I'm sorry to see your standards have sunk so low. The 05 team had three 1st rounders, a 2nd rounder, and a 3rd rounder. The highest drafted player on this years line was the lowest drafted player on the 05 line. This line can be improved at every position. Rome wasn't built in a day and our line cannot be completely rebuilt in a year either. But we need to start upgrading this year with 1st day draft picks.

For those who think everything is hunky dory watch the probowl this year and do some google searches of the starting O-lineman to see where these guys were drafted. Please let me know how many 6th rounders or undrafted free agents you find......:thinking:

Dean Denton
02-05-2009, 01:33 PM
Like I said. They need to work out more, get stronger, and learn to become 1. 5 guys need to play as 1 unit. They can do it. The only changes that will be made this off season will be depth. Plus a couple of the guys that were hurt should return.

TampaSteelGirl
02-05-2009, 01:42 PM
its not exactly broken, it just needs at least one upgrade

Agree! :yellowthumb:

As Ben said they were a group of guys some new thrown together, they needed to learn how to mesh and trust one another, they came together at the right time, I can only see them getting better...yes we should draft 1 or 2 but I see them meshing much better next year and giving Ben some great coverage....I love when Ben said "Who's laughing now Oline?" at Super Bowl!!!! Awesome!

BlitzburghRockCity
02-05-2009, 02:05 PM
Honestly at this point if any of the UFA's want to leave we shouldn't break the bank on any of them. This upcoming draft has a good group of Guards that we could certainly take a look at especially in rounds 2-4. Hartwig did a good job for us, Im content with him in the lineup but other than that Im open to any changes the coaches can put forth.

I wish to God they hadn't given Simmons that extention last offseason, he's overrated and hasn't consistently produced since he blew out his knee 3 years ago I think it was.

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 02:17 PM
Like I said. They need to work out more, get stronger, and learn to become 1. 5 guys need to play as 1 unit. They can do it. The only changes that will be made this off season will be depth. Plus a couple of the guys that were hurt should return.


So according to your logic 6th round players and undrafted free agents usually mature into star pro-bowlers. Please find me some examples of this. You people are not using logic and common sense here. Our offense was not even in the top half of the league in rushing or in pass protection. You are dreaming if you think this group of guys will somehow outperform lines put together with 1st and 2nd round picks. Teams NEVER stay the same from year to year. You either improve or regress. I commend this group for not screwing up our chances to win this SB. That doesn't mean that we can't improve drastically by replacing some of these guys!

Point In Case: Clarke Haggans was a part of the 05 SB team. To not recognize that Lamar Woodley was a HUGE upgrade at the position is just plain ignorant!

There used to be a day when teams knew we were going to run the ball and they were powerless to stop it. That was not because of the running backs we had but because of the O-line we had. They were horses and could plain move people out of the way. These guys can't do that! There is a reason that 7 offensive tackles were taken before the 23rd pick last year (where we drafted). Games are won and lost in the trenches. Our defense dominates in the trenches and that is why we are #1. Our offensive line gets dominated in the trenches which is why they were ranked 23rd in rushing and 17th in passing. Both of those rankings are in the BOTTOM half! Yes, there is much room for improvement at every position! :yesnod:

HUNT4SEVEN
02-05-2009, 05:37 PM
First of all we need an real O-Line coach:yesnod: Then we need to get an quality L.T either through F.A or the draft an we need an quality R.T.

Dean Denton
02-05-2009, 05:57 PM
So according to your logic 6th round players and undrafted free agents usually mature into star pro-bowlers. Please find me some examples of this. You people are not using logic and common sense here. Our offense was not even in the top half of the league in rushing or in pass protection. You are dreaming if you think this group of guys will somehow outperform lines put together with 1st and 2nd round picks. Teams NEVER stay the same from year to year. You either improve or regress. I commend this group for not screwing up our chances to win this SB. That doesn't mean that we can't improve drastically by replacing some of these guys!

Point In Case: Clarke Haggans was a part of the 05 SB team. To not recognize that Lamar Woodley was a HUGE upgrade at the position is just plain ignorant!

There used to be a day when teams knew we were going to run the ball and they were powerless to stop it. That was not because of the running backs we had but because of the O-line we had. They were horses and could plain move people out of the way. These guys can't do that! There is a reason that 7 offensive tackles were taken before the 23rd pick last year (where we drafted). Games are won and lost in the trenches. Our defense dominates in the trenches and that is why we are #1. Our offensive line gets dominated in the trenches which is why they were ranked 23rd in rushing and 17th in passing. Both of those rankings are in the BOTTOM half! Yes, there is much room for improvement at every position! :yesnod: Couple things. We had Faneca and we still sucked last year and he's a 8 time probowler. I'm pretty sure the Giants dont have any 1st rounders on their line, and they are pretty good. 1st round draft picks on the OL end up being more of a bust then anything else. So yes, history has proven that the best OL men come in the latter rounds of the draft. We are talking about 300 lbs guys here. They can all play. Some better then others, but they all need to learn to play together. No one guy except the center can change the world. We might take a center with that 32nd pick, but if there is a better player on the board he will be selected.

Troyisabeast_43
02-05-2009, 06:15 PM
All I have to say is OFFENSIVE LINE WHO'S LAUGHING NOW O-LINE...lol

BlitzburghRockCity
02-05-2009, 06:19 PM
Faneca was the strongest player on the line, without him we'd have sucked even worse. Hell he wasn't even playing at his best last year either. The entire OL has been a patchwork group that somehow pulled it together in the end but still even in the Super Bowl you could see them struggling in key situations late in the game. Tomlin knows this group isn't going to stay together next year, we need to infuse that position with stud talent and let these guys get back to being the asset we need to be instead of hinderance they were for the first 3/4 of the year.

You can say what you want about the Cowher era but there was rarely a time when we didn't have a top notch OL. That tradition needs to be top priority from now till training camp. Do whatever it takes because we've got the skill position players on offense, we have the defense, and our ST coverage is great. Fix the OL, Get us a KO returner, and we'll be set!

Dean Denton
02-05-2009, 06:25 PM
Faneca was the strongest player on the line, without him we'd have sucked even worse. Hell he wasn't even playing at his best last year either. The entire OL has been a patchwork group that somehow pulled it together in the end but still even in the Super Bowl you could see them struggling in key situations late in the game. Tomlin knows this group isn't going to stay together next year, we need to infuse that position with stud talent and let these guys get back to being the asset we need to be instead of hinderance they were for the first 3/4 of the year.

You can say what you want about the Cowher era but there was rarely a time when we didn't have a top notch OL. That tradition needs to be top priority from now till training camp. Do whatever it takes because we've got the skill position players on offense, we have the defense, and our ST coverage is great. Fix the OL, Get us a KO returner, and we'll be set!This group has been sad for sure, and it will get fixed no doubt. I cant even think of a time that it was ever even close to being like this. We did have a make shift group in there this year, and I thought they came together when they needed it most. But you are right, they blew it a few times big this playoff season. Not sure about the holding call for a saftey, but without that, the game is over.

Troyisabeast_43
02-05-2009, 06:27 PM
Honestly at this point if any of the UFA's want to leave we shouldn't break the bank on any of them. This upcoming draft has a good group of Guards that we could certainly take a look at especially in rounds 2-4. Hartwig did a good job for us, Im content with him in the lineup but other than that Im open to any changes the coaches can put forth.

I wish to God they hadn't given Simmons that extention last offseason, he's overrated and hasn't consistently produced since he blew out his knee 3 years ago I think it was.

I agree TG I think Simmons is a huge weak link on the O-line and if anybody noticed that once he got hurt in the Ravens Monday night game in September and was done for the season the line got a lot better with Darnell Stapleton filling in. Personally, I think Simmons along with Marvel Smith both are completely expendable, and the Steelers can do themselves a huge favor cap wise and can take a big step toward keeping a lot of these guys that have one year left on their contract like Harrison and Miller by cutting ties with Kendall Simmons and his big overpaid contract.

jpele
02-05-2009, 07:23 PM
Its not wonder our line is in the shape its in,here's what we have done this decade:

rd.....Player....................................Y r.

4- Tony Hills - T.............................2008
5- Cameron Stephenson - G.............2007
4 Willie Colon - OT..................... .. 2006
6 - 32 - 201 – Marvin Philip - C........2006
3 Trai Essex - T ..........................2005
6 – Chris Kemoeatu - G................. 2005
3 – Max Starks - T........................2004
5 – Bo Lacy - T............................2004
7 – Drew Caylor - C.......................2004
1 - Kendall Simmons - OT............2002
4 - Mathias Nkwenti - OT..............2001
5 - Chukky Okobi - C....................2001
2 - Marvel Smith - OT....................2000

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 07:59 PM
Couple things. We had Faneca and we still sucked last year and he's a 8 time probowler. I'm pretty sure the Giants dont have any 1st rounders on their line, and they are pretty good. 1st round draft picks on the OL end up being more of a bust then anything else. So yes, history has proven that the best OL men come in the latter rounds of the draft. We are talking about 300 lbs guys here. They can all play. Some better then others, but they all need to learn to play together. No one guy except the center can change the world. We might take a center with that 32nd pick, but if there is a better player on the board he will be selected.


You are on crack! I will put together a table in a later post that will point out where the starting O-lineman for both conferences were drafted for this years pro-bowl roster. I don't even know where they were drafted at this point but I'm quite certain that when I research it you will be proven wrong. Most stud O-lineman are drafted in the first 3 rounds. Yes, occassionally you can pick someone at any position who can turn out to be a bust. But overall I would say that O-lineman are one of your safest picks in the first couple rounds. I know this because I see all the studs the Steelers have passed on the last few years starting and playing well on other teams all over the league. We have made other positions a priority and that is okay because those players are now some of our best on our defense. But now its time to make the O-line priority #1. Turn our weakest unit into one of our strongest. I will be back in a few with the pro-bowl roster and where they were drafted. :yellowthumb:

Starters
team | player | rd | overall
Carolina | Jordan Gross | 1 | 8
Seattle | Walter Jones | 1 | 6
Minnesota | Steve Hutchinson | 1 | 17
NYG | Chris Snee | 2 | 34
Dallas | Andre Gurode | 2 | 37
Cleveland | Joe Thomas | 1 | 3
Buffalo | Jason Peters | UFA | 256
NYJ | Alan Faneca | 1 | 26
San Diego | Kris Dielman | UFA | 256
Tennessee | Kevin Mawae | 2 | 36

Backups
team | player | rd | overall
Tennessee | Michael Roos | 2 | 41
Miami | Jake Long | 1 | 1
NYJ | Nick Mangold | 1 | 29
Washington |Chris Samuals | 1 | 3
Dallas | Flozell Adams | 2 | 38
New Orleans | Jammal Brown | 1 | 13
Dallas | Leonard Davis | 1 | 2
Tampa Bay | Davin Joseph | 1 | 23
NYG | Shaun O'Hara | UFA | 256
Denver | Casey Wiegmann | UFA | 256
Kansas City | Brian Waters | UFA | 256

Summary: 1st rounders = 11 | 2nd rounders = 5 | 3rd/4th/5th/6th rounders = 0
UFA's = 5

76% of pro-bowl offensive lineman drafted in the first 2 rounds. What a surprise!


M. Starks | C. Kemoeatu | J. Hartwig | D. Stapleton | W. Colon
3-75 | 6-204 | 6-187 | U-256 | 4-131


How many of those do we have? "0" interesting......


Do a little research before you make such ignorant statements.

Zachintosh66
02-05-2009, 10:05 PM
line got a lot better with Darnell Stapleton filling in.

WOW! Have you been watching the same games I have? Stapleton is a scrub, plain and simple. Week and week out. Darnell "swinging gate" Stapleton. THE ONLY PLUS SIDE was that he had less penalties called on him then Colon and Simmons. Now im not saying Simmons is much better. But OL upgrade is very important. Think Ben can withstand another beating like he did this year. We got lucky he only missed one game and was only carried off on a stretcher once. Thank god Ben is mobile and a tough guy. How long do you think Tommy Maddox would of lasted with this group?

Do we have the defense to repeat? Yes
Do we have the offensive weapons to repeat? Yes
Do we have the special teams to Reppeat? With D-sep back, Yes
Do we have a good enuff QB? Hell yea
Do we have a good enuff OL to repeat?
Do we have a OL capable of getting us 3and short or 4th and 1?

Ill let you answer the last 2 b/c we all know the answer...

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 10:40 PM
We got a lot of crackheads on this site Z66. They aint watchin the same games we are and they think these scrubs are quality O-lineman. Their claim to fame is they didn't blow it for us.

23rd in rushing - something that used to be our strength.
17th in passing - only because Ben is a tough dude. Most QB's couldn't endure the punishment Ben takes.

Both of these numbers are in the BOTTOM half of the league. Even diamonds have flaws. Ours is our scrapheap O-line. Its time to upgrade! :lol:

Black@Gold Forever32
02-05-2009, 10:43 PM
I like how the OL improved over the year.....But this group is far from a stellar unit.....The proof is in the pudding as 4vr pointed out.....I'm expecting change anyway since Marvel Smith, Chirs Kemoeatu, Max Starks, Trai Essex are all FA's......I also would cut Kendall Simmons if the cap hit isn't to bad....I'm sorry he is average at best and is coming off a serious knee injury....

I would like the Steelers to sign some FA offensive lineman but that won't happen since you have to pay a king's ransom to sign an elite OL in free agency.....The best way to add elite talent along the OL is through the draft.......The Steelers have ignored the OL for way to long on the first day of the draft.....Its time to start adding some....I wouldn't mind two picks along the OL on the first and maybe a couple more on the 2nd day......I would like to see at least three OL drafted in this class period....

Callax
02-05-2009, 10:45 PM
The Steelers Need to Upgrade their Offensive Line...PERIOD!!!!!
Drop M Smith, (regretably, put Starks on LT, resign kemoautu 1 yr tender RG
keep Hartwig @ C, put simmons on bench (where he belongs <overrated>)
put Colon @ RG or draft Pick, then Essex or draft pick @ RT, start drafting to rebuild O-Line, right side, then left side

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 10:53 PM
I believe we will see that this year. There is NO WAY that the FO and the coaches can get together for this years draft without making the emphasis upgrading our crappy O-line.

I saw a mock on yahoo that had us taking Beatty (OT) in the first and Wood (C) in the second. They could cap that off with Tyronne Green (OG) in the 6th and that would be a good start. Even if all these guys can't win the starting jobs out of camp they could work themselves into the lineup. I am also hoping Hills will make some noise in camp. If they resign anybody Starks is the only one that has shown some promise.

I am still hoping that if the Steelers see one of those top 4 tackles slip into the 20's that they pull the trigger and make a deal to move up and grab whoever it is. I would gladly take any of the top 4 tackles without hesitation.

Michael Oher
Andre Smith
Eugene Monroe
Jason Smith

all 4 graded out as 5 star tackles on scout .com

Loadholt
Britton
Beatty

These guys are just a cut below those top 4 but I would welcome any of these guys to our roster.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-05-2009, 11:19 PM
I'm praying that Oher falls to the 20s and I hope the Steelers would trade up to get him.....I really like Britton after the top four OTs.......Beatty is very good at pass protection but can improve his run blocking....But UConn did have a very good running game this season so Beatty was a part of that.....I wouldn't take him in the first round....But I do think some team will over draft him and he could sneak into the first.....

Wood is my favorite center in this draft....But I just read that the Steelers singed Doug Legursky to a 2 year contract.....So I doubt a center will be drafted.....I also like Legursky and still think he could be a player.....A two year contract suggests that he will be given a chance to make the team as a backup and maybe even compete for a starters role....

BlackGold4vr
02-05-2009, 11:34 PM
I would love to see us steal Jordan Gross from the Panthers! He is starting in the pro-bowl this year and he is still young. Then we could go after a guard and center. Just dreamin out loud. :lol:

Zachintosh66
02-06-2009, 09:32 AM
I would love to see us steal Jordan Gross


hell yeah, dude is a beast. but gonna get mad $$. maybe hartwig can help recruit him :lol: