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Prosdo
11-28-2006, 12:10 PM
So, we know our playoff hopes were pretty much killed on Sunday. I think we have a good base to our team with a lot of talent. The question is where do we go from here? How do we improve this team for the next season?

My first thing is Cowher needs to decide what he wants. If your heart is not 100% with this team then retire. The coaching situation for next year will be interesting. In a way I can't see Cowher settling for this as his last season. On the other hand I think he is completely burned out.

My next issue is at running back. Duce Staley needs to be gone. He is taking up a roster spot for no reason at all besides to be the highest paid cheerleader in football. We should be good with Willie Parker, but I think the Steelers should draft a powerback to help give them the 1-2 punch they had with Bettis and Willie.

Wide Receivers, the core started off good and has potential. Ward of course will be back with Holmes and Reid. I'm not sure Cedric will be back though. I think they will keep Nate around because he does have potential. My thing is there is no big guy to stretch the field. Last year I thought instead of Holmes we would have went with someone tall and fast. I would like to see the Steelers bring in veteran WR or possibly draft a young guy who is above 5'11 lol.

The offensive line has to be my biggest gripe this year. Marvel Smith and Max Starks seem to be getting beat quite a bit. I like the potential in Kemoeatu. I think he could do well in the league. Trai Essex is still there. I think we need to draft for some depth. Because Max and Marvel don't seem to be getting it done.

Linebackers? Where have the linebackers been? Joey Porter and James Farrior are coming towards the end of their careers. You have a great young LB in James Harrison and Larry Foote is solid. I do think we need to find some depth for this position.

What do you guys think?

AZ_Steeler
11-28-2006, 12:29 PM
That's a really good write up.. you ought to send that over to the FO as a blueprint for 07!

Duce definitely needs to go... I think a lot of it has to do with what he did last year for the Bus, so now the Steelers feel like they owe him one :dunno:

As for a WR... Holmes and Reid could be used to stretch the field because they have the speed. The big issue is hight because all of the WR's are a little on the small size so the Steelers can't implement the fade route to the corner of the endzone.

My officemate was looking into the Campbell Soup jinx yesterday and I out O-line is doomed as well as the backups!!! He found that being on the commercial hasn't only effected the person starring in the commercial but their backups as well! One notable on the list was Bettis and Fu in 2001... the offensive line is going to be replaced along with all their backups :D That is probably a huge stretch but I think it's time to Gandy Smith or Starks and bring in the youth and get ready for the next run.

Porter has a few more years left of some good football, it's just a matter if he want s to stick around and give it all he has because he his definitely having a down year! I'm not concerned about the LB's just because the Steelers always do an outstanding job of replenishing them! :bigthumb:

Prosdo
11-28-2006, 12:32 PM
I would like to see them put Essex and Kemoeatu in some during this last few stretch of games to get some more experience. I agree AZ the Steelers are really good at finding young LBs. No doubt they will do that again.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-28-2006, 12:42 PM
Basically I say that every single position is up for grabs come next training camp. Nobody is safe, nobody has a guaranteed job, and make the players work for every snap they get on the field.

Talk about making a team hungry again, that would do it. Porter, Hampton, Faneca, Ward, Ben, everybody. Obviously we know certain players will ultimately keep their spots like Troy, Ben, Ward, etc...but making them all fight for their jobs come hell or high water will make these guys realize you can't take for granted anything that you're given these days. You have to work for it.

Duce...gone

Hartings...retire or go to backup and let Okobi take over, he's earned it and is healthier and younger.

Simmons..he needs to be in an all out battle with Kemoeatu for that starting position because he's clearly not playing well this year.

Starks and Smith need to go into an all out battle against Essex and Colon for those starting jobs. The competition would do them all well.

Wilson...gone, he's done nothing this year and didn't do anything last year until our stretch run.

Secondary...we're stuck with this group and I still think they can be good but it all depends on the pass rush for one thing but also depends on these guys getting and staying focused. We have enough good players and depth here for now but they need to step up.

D Line...This group will stay intact most likely but I'd like to see us draft a top notch DL to push the starters and keep some fresh blood mixing in throughout the game.

LB's..this group has been together for years so I think some tweaking needs done here. Farrior's play has dropped off dramatically this year, basically all of them has. Porter is the emotional leader and our defense clearly suffers when he's not on the field. Haggans shows spots of brilliance but is far too inconsistent. James Harrison and Clark Haggans & Arnold Harrison need to have an all out battle to see who gets the starting spot. Rian Wallace needs to get into an all out battle against Farrior and Foote to see who can win and we need to draft depth at ILB because Kriedwalt is mainly a special teams guy.

Prosdo
11-28-2006, 12:46 PM
The secondary has a lot of potential. I think like you said it's a matter of keeping them focused. Good point about the D-Line. A young D-linemen would not be a bad idea. Smith is 30 I believe and Hampton is approaching 30. Throwing in a young guy for some competition would work.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-28-2006, 12:49 PM
Keisel has a big upside too. He's quick and strong and has shown that he can do some good things this year but the same 6 DL have been together largely too long so some fresh, young, and hungry talent will push all of them.

SteelerFan87
11-28-2006, 03:17 PM
I think our WR corps will be very good next year. Hines is always dependable, and I think Santonio, who is making alot of progress this year, will be able to step up and be the #2 guy. And he can be a deep threat because he is very fast. I see Nate continuing to be a solid #3 WR. Cedrick may or may not be back. If he is, it will probably be mostly for depth and to have another experienced WR on the roster.

With the O-line, I'm confident that either the current starters (who were dominant last year) will regain their 2005 form, or the young guys will be able to step up and replace them. But it couldn't hurt to draft another lineman in the middle rounds.

I can see maybe using a pick from the 2-4th rounds on a D lineman. I thought they should have drafted a LB last year, so this year they definitely need to do so. I'm thinking Paul Pozlusny or HB Blades would be nice. And I think we should draft a power back early in the draft too. I have my eye on Brian Leonard from Rutgers.

BlacknGold Bleeder
11-28-2006, 09:44 PM
Great write up !!:bigthumb: :clap:

Agreed about Cowher ,IMHO he will be back,I just don't believe he will go out on a season like this.

Is Douche still on the team?? no way he is still around next year. I think Najeh is going to help the running back situation. Young blood should also be added to this group.

I love Hines, he is getting old though. Reid have to wait and see, Holmes ,I'll believe when he can hold the ball. Nate looks good in the slot or back up.Wilson gone, we can get a rookie to do his job. Also agree with taller receiver, one who can jump, not another Plexiglass.

I don't believe th O-line needs an overhaul, just need to play to their ability.Marvel may be a weak spot but with who we have in wings this group is O.K.

Defense, we need some people who can wreak havoc when rushing. When we are blitzing no one is getting to the QB quick enough.Bottom line is front 7 need to improve. Farrior may be older but I love his consistency he will always be in the right spot at the time, ala Ham or Russell, sorry guys went back to my youth. If Joey wants top pay ,it's time to put up or shutup. If we get better pressure then the DB's will take care of themselves, though a taller one or two is definitely suggested.

ST , oh forget it I've already rambled on too long...:2cents:

Iron City South
11-28-2006, 10:54 PM
One has to ask how this team can erode .... decline so fast. Here are some thoughts ...


Coaching.
So Cowher decided to retire after the Super Bowl. That's fine. I understand. But knowing he was already him-hawing on a decision to stay or go, the Steelers should have iimmediately hired a replacement. Chuck Noll once said, "The moment you begin to think about retirement, you've already retired." Boy, how prophetic is that? It's nice they're trying to honor their legendary coach this season by placing a cardboard cutout of Cowher on the sidelines in memoriam, but the team has obviously suffered because of it. And, really, the cardboard-cutout Cowher that I see on the sideline this year is not a very good representation of the man who stalked the Steelers' sideline for 14 years with spittle flying everywhere. He comes across stowic and expressionless. He has no passion. He appears unaffected by what happens on the field. And heck -- the Steelers could have at least hooked up a $10 garden hose to the cardboard Cowher's mouth with some duct tape so they could make it spit sometimes, you know? A little effort would be nice. Obviously, the cardboard coach of this year hasn't been teaching proper blocking schemes to Steelers line either.

Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger made playing quarterback in the NFL look easy during his first two seasons. This year? Not so much. What's worse is that it is unclear why he's struggling. And while I hate to resort to clichés and conventional wisdom, you almost wonder if an old, well-known football saying applies here: "It's tough to play well when you've been hit by a car, had abdominal surgery and been the recipient of a concussion all within a few months." Of course, another well-known saying could be at play here, too: "Act like a tool in a Fathead commercial and karma will get you."

Leadership.
Jerome Bettis' on-field performance last season was overrated. But the Steelers ABSOLUTELY miss Bettis' presence in the locker room. That's all you have to do is plop in your "Road to Super Bowl XL" CD to see that Bettis commanded respect from his teammates. They hung on every word he said in the locker room and in the huddle. He led them with his physical style of play and amped up attitude. He led them emotionally. And he led them to the postgame spread, often leaving no food for anyone else. That kept his teammates slim, fit and hungry -- all elements Pittsburgh is lacking this season.

Defense.
Pittsburgh befuddled opponents last season with its trademark zone blitz defense, regularly overwhelming and confusing opposing quarterbacks with pressure coming from all directions. But apparently the Steelers decided to change things up this season -- the idea being that other teams would prepare all offseason for that sort of pressure and be ready for it. So now when the Steelers blitz they simply run right at the opponent's line and dance around for five seconds or so, never bothering to reach the quarterback. And while this is no doubt confusing to watch, it has been much less effective than last year's scheme.

Offensive line.
As much as the Steelers have struggled this year, they have had success throwing screen passes to running back Willie Parker. This is because Pittsburgh's offensive linemen practice blocking for a screen pass on almost every play by regularly allowing opposing defenders to run right past them.

Special teams.
Kick returners Ricardo Colclough and Santonio Holmes almost single-handedly lost the Steelers several games this season with their inability to catch or secure the football. The position has been solidified ever since Najeh Davenport was given the kick returning duties, however. But anyone familiar with Davenport's background won't be surprised if he suddenly is exposed and drops one on the carpet.

Motivation.
The Steelers organization spent 26 years going after "One for the thumb." So there was bound to be a bit of a letdown after that goal was finally achieved. We just didn't expect to see it this fast. Plus, where is the next one supposed to go? On the other thumb? Or do you start on the pinkie and finish with the thumb? And if it's the pinkie, how do you get 53 football players motivated by a pinkie ring? And if you are able to get them motivated by a pinkie ring, haven't they all lost already? Until the Steelers can answer these important questions they will continue to flounder as a result of a lack of hunger and identity.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-28-2006, 11:01 PM
Motivation and Leadership are the areas this team is lacking in so badly and if those 2 are regained the entire makeup of these 53 guys could do a 180 turn in a very quick fashion. Without leadership and motivation even the best bought Daniel Snyder team is what it is, as we see year in and out with him.