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SteelCityKid5
03-04-2010, 10:01 AM
Ed: Steelers Miss Out on Palko, May Lose Gay (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5954:ed-steelers-miss-out-on-palko-may-lose-gay&catid=58:steelers&Itemid=155)



(http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php?view=article&catid=58%3Asteelers&id=5954%3Aed-steelers-miss-out-on-palko-may-lose-gay&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=155)
Written by Ed Bouchette (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php?option=com_community&view=profile&userid=71&Itemid=174) Thursday, March 04, 2010 08:39 AM
Good morning,
Before I get into the restricted free agents, I want to tell you that the Steelers were interested in signing former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko but he instead signed with the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Palko, signed late last season after Charlie Batchís wrist injury, wanted to sign with the Steelers except he wanted a chance to compete for the No. 3 job. He knew if they re-signed Batch, he would not win the No. 3 job unless someone got hurt in training camp. Dennis Dixon is going nowhere.
The Steelers would not promise Palko they would not re-sign Batch, so he signed with the Chiefs. Batch becomes an unrestricted free agent Friday but fully expects the Steelers will re-sign him.
Now, on with the restricted free agents.
The Steelers spoke volumes with their four tenders. They want to keep tackle Willie Colon and punter Daniel Sepulveda and they would love for someone to sign tight end Matt Spaeth and cornerback William Gay.
They likely would put in a good word for Spaeth and Gay if another team called for a reference. They would take a third-round pick for Spaeth and a fifth-rounder for Gay. And they figure no one will give up a fourth-rounder for Sepulveda, who has been an average punter for them.
But, as you know, Iíd have second thoughts about letting Gay go. They saw something in him last year to allow Bryant McFadden to get loose in free agency. Gay and McFadden split the left cornerback position during the 2008 Super Bowl year.
Gay was terrible last season; everyone knows that. But do you give up on a guy after one season as a starter when you thought he performed well enough the year previously? Perhaps giving him a fifth-round tender is not really giving up on him, but letís look at it from another perspective. They were willing to use draft picks in the fourth and sixth rounds to draft a punter, Sepulveda. Why wouldnít another team give them a fifth-round draft choice to sign Gay?
Cornerbacks are hard to find and I believe Gay could at least play a nickel cornerback and that would be worth a fifth-round draft pick. Also, at the low tender of $1.101,000 they issued to all but Colon, thatís not bad for a fourth-year cornerback. Gay is precisely the kind of player the Steelers would look for in free agency, so why wouldnít someone else?
The Steelers now face the prospect of losing two of their four starters from their secondary, plus their No. 5 or 6 man, Deshea Townsend. Unless free safety Ryan Clark knuckles under and takes a much lower deal than he wanted by tonight, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Many of you may be saying good to all three of those losses and that itís time to move on. I would agree that you have to know when to fold Ďem, but I think it might be too many and the one I would have kept is William Gay. They could have put the next tender on him at $1,684,000; a team would have to give up a second-round pick for that one, and I believe that would have guaranteed Gay would remain with the Steelers this season. But the Steelers obviously felt that he was not worth it for under $600,000 more. That is what tells you they must hope someone else signs him.
Spaeth was a no-brainer unless they just did not care and issued him nothing. How they have used him has been the surprise. He caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in his second game as a rookie in 2007 and you figured they got exactly what they said they did when they drafted him in the third round from Minnesota Ė a huge 6-foot-7 receiving target for Ben Roethlisberger who would team with Heath Miller to give them a dynamic pass-catching duo at the position.
Instead, Spaeth has been virtually ignored as a receiver. He caught only four more passes as a rookie, although two went for touchdowns. He caught 13 passes in 2008 but dropped back to five last season. Yet he has started a slew of games and plays often because the Steelers use two tight ends so much and mainly use him to block.
Iíve said before, I do not understand that philosophy with him but that is what they do. Itís apparent the Steelers prefer him as a blocker rather than a receiver. Hereís a news flash: Some other team might see this tall tight end as just the right compliment to their passing game and sign him, not as a blocker but as a receiver.
Itís not a stretch. Again, heís the kind of player the Steelers might look for in free agency, a younger player who has talent that is not being used properly by his team. Remember Mike Vrabel? The Steelers could not find a spot for him and he signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots, who found all kinds of positions for the linebacker who then flourished.
A third-round pick might be a tad high for Spaeth, though. If someone does sign him, you can bet itís not to bring him in to block.

Big T
03-04-2010, 11:40 AM
I agree on William Gay...I think he's a good nickel guy and might just not be quite ready for the starting job...

SteelCityKid5
03-04-2010, 11:54 AM
My thoughts exactly

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2010, 12:25 PM
This is a tough situation for us in the secondary. If Clark goes, Townsend goes, and Gay goes we are royally screwed in the secondary for anyone with any solid experience. That really only leaves us with Troy and Ike Taylor back there. I don't care who you are, that's a tall order to fill in just 1 offseason.

Gay was absolutely horrific last season, he got totally owned nearly every Sunday. I would say the best case scenario is probably to see Gay come back as the Nickle back for us, bring back Townsend as a backup, and go out in the draft and get yourself a top flight Corner and resign Clark. Spend a pick in the first 3 rounds on a Safety to groom for the future. Gay could be good as a nickle back because he won't be on an island by himself every play so he won't get picked on as much and help would be readily available especially on the inside.

Do you bank on Burnett or Lewis to be able to step up their game; because we tried that scenario going into 2009 with Gay and it didn't work out so well. It's a tough call.

TampaSteelGirl
03-04-2010, 12:32 PM
I agree with TG here but my question is and don't get me wrong I love Charlie Batch but he's getting older and getting pretty accident prone so why resign him? I think we need to be seriously grooming Dixon more. He's done us some decent service last year and I can see him getting better so IMO he should be Ben's back up unless maybe they are thinking he needs one more year and going to keep Charlie one more year..Charlie would be a great assistant QB coach, Shaq liked him!! :yellowthumb:

tburg68
03-04-2010, 12:36 PM
This is a tough situation for us in the secondary. If Clark goes, Townsend goes, and Gay goes we are royally screwed in the secondary for anyone with any solid experience. That really only leaves us with Troy and Ike Taylor back there. I don't care who you are, that's a tall order to fill in just 1 offseason.

Gay was absolutely horrific last season, he got totally owned nearly every Sunday. I would say the best case scenario is probably to see Gay come back as the Nickle back for us, bring back Townsend as a backup, and go out in the draft and get yourself a top flight Corner and resign Clark. Spend a pick in the first 3 rounds on a Safety to groom for the future. Gay could be good as a nickle back because he won't be on an island by himself every play so he won't get picked on as much and help would be readily available especially on the inside.

Do you bank on Burnett or Lewis to be able to step up their game; because we tried that scenario going into 2009 with Gay and it didn't work out so well. It's a tough call.


I would rather sign Clark and Gay, let Deshea go(love him, but time to move on). Then draft Thomas 1st or Allen 2nd. Let the young CB's play. In our zone defense, I think top flight safeties that are ball hawks are more important than CB's.

--- Added 3/4/2010 at 10:36 AM ---


I agree with TG here but my question is and don't get me wrong I love Charlie Batch but he's getting older and getting pretty accident prone so why resign him? I think we need to be seriously grooming Dixon more. He's done us some decent service last year and I can see him getting better so IMO he should be Ben's back up unless maybe they are thinking he needs one more year and going to keep Charlie one more year..Charlie would be a great assistant QB coach, Shaq liked him!! :yellowthumb:

I would think that Dixon would be #2, and Batch would be #3/Asst. Coach, helping Dennis. I would love this and think it is the best case scenario. Number 3 QB's are usually afterthoughts, Batch would be both capable as a player and most helpful to Dixon as a mentor.

igor0190
03-04-2010, 12:45 PM
This just further supports our need for a first round talent in the secondary. Let's pray Earl Thomas or Haden falls to us! I totally agree that we need another ballhawking player in the secondary.

cmerrifield
03-04-2010, 12:54 PM
Gay's problem is being the starter it seems, or maybe Troy makes more of a difference than anyone realizes considering the whole secondary had an off year. But, maybe he can be the nickel or even split time with someone as the starter, but the reality is with LeBeau's defense, it will be really difficult for somebody to walk in this year and start this year, especially a rookie. I think our hopes have to rest on Burnett or Lewis, Gay and Ike being the three corners that play the most, especially if we lose Clark.

75Steeler
03-04-2010, 01:37 PM
So we are possibly going to lose Clark at safety, and depend on Troy on the other side of the field, who I love but lets face it isn't the picture of knee health. So our Safties corps is weak at best. Then possibly lose Spaeth who needs more opportunities with the ball to prove he can do something other than block. Charlie Batch hasn't been the picture of health of late and he isn't getting any younger. I thought Batch would have made a decent QB coach. Dixon doesn't have enough NFL experience to take on that #2 slot full time or God forbid the #1 slot.

Why does the Steelers staff feel confident in having players at two ends of the spectrum? We have great veterans (but they are older and their health can become an issue at anytime) and we have some decent rookies with little to no experience (who are being developed to take over key positions).

:imho:

K Train
03-04-2010, 02:04 PM
we missed out on palko? lmao

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2010, 02:11 PM
Batch will resign as the 3rd QB and then probably retire after the 2010 season, IMO.

As far as the Secondary, to their credit they have been bringing in some young talent like Burnett and Lewis, but they were counting on Gay to step up and play well. That backfired on them so now they are in a situation where they are going to have to either suck it up and bring back some of the secondary from last year, or let them all go and rebuild this offseason. They would be foolish to let Clark, Gay, Townsend, and Carter all go..you can't replace that many players in 1 offseason and expect any type of good production unless you are going to spend a lot of money. Either that or you resign yourself to the fact that your secondary is in a rebuilding phase and you deal with a potentially bad year from them, again.

Troy coming back, if he can stay healthy, will help ease the situation but we all know you can't count on that right now.

LatrobePA
03-04-2010, 03:05 PM
No worries, we'll be fine...Maybe just maybe we'll dip into the FA market a bit more than in years past....I trust our brass!

xxxsteelernation
03-04-2010, 03:36 PM
i think we should release willimam gay to open up some more funds to sign townsend and clark. and pick up walter thurmond like 6th or 7th in the draft. he is a damn good corner. only reason he's not higher in the draft is a season ending knee injury.

LatrobePA
03-04-2010, 04:03 PM
We have two 2nd year corners that just need more game time, one or both will be good...

tburg68
03-04-2010, 04:07 PM
With all do respect to the player that Deshea WAS, for the FUTURE of the franchise, who would you rather have going forward, Townsend or Gay? I don't think Gay is a savior, but as a nickel back, I would take him over Townsend any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

LatrobePA
03-04-2010, 04:27 PM
Lewis and Burnett were rookies last year...That's who I was talking about, the hell with Gay.

Zachintosh66
03-04-2010, 04:41 PM
we couldnt be so lucky to lose Gay...

xxxsteelernation
03-04-2010, 04:45 PM
I would rather sign Clark and Gay, let Deshea go(love him, but time to move on). Then draft Thomas 1st or Allen 2nd. Let the young CB's play. In our zone defense, I think top flight safeties that are ball hawks are more important than CB's.

--- Added 3/4/2010 at 10:36 AM ---



I would think that Dixon would be #2, and Batch would be #3/Asst. Coach, helping Dennis. I would love this and think it is the best case scenario. Number 3 QB's are usually afterthoughts, Batch would be both capable as a player and most helpful to Dixon as a mentor.

i agree i think dennis does not get to see that much of opposing defenses as a 3rd stringer. dennis was very very good at oregon. and has an x factor that ben does not have. "speed" ben is shifty, dennis is fast. and mixing it up a little with Double D in there might actually save arians job. cause giving ben some time to relax instead of having him play everydown. and putting dennis in there to change up the tempo of the game could only help the offense.

DanRooney
03-04-2010, 11:56 PM
I honestly don't understand how anyone wants to see Gay in the nickel. The guy is a wretched corner. Let him go. He never was good, hence why we drafted him late in the 5th round.

Let Lewis play the #2 CB spot and move Burnett to nickel. I'd rather lose one piece at a time than clear the house all together at one time like the Redskins just did. Farrior should be next, in 2011.

--- Added 3/4/2010 at 09:56 PM ---


With all do respect to the player that Deshea WAS, for the FUTURE of the franchise, who would you rather have going forward, Townsend or Gay? I don't think Gay is a savior, but as a nickel back, I would take him over Townsend any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

It took Townsend 1 start to get the interception that no Steeler CB could get for the entire year. Gay can't cover, can't catch and is a moron. He has no football smarts whatsoever.

Zachintosh66
03-05-2010, 01:16 AM
Gay is trash... not a #2, or #3 CB... #4 Maybe and thats on a good day!

We dont know what lewis can do b/c he was hurt all year. Burrnett may have some tools but who knows. Townsends best days are behind him but, at least he fought his *** off while he was on the field.

I still insist we need to draft a CB top 3 rounds...

DanRooney
03-05-2010, 03:45 AM
Burnett is like 5'9. There's no way he can play at the #2 corner position. He's a nickel guy at best.

Lewis has all the physical tools to be a #2 opposite Ike. I just hope to god he doesn't catch like Ike.

K Train
03-05-2010, 04:19 AM
I honestly don't understand how anyone wants to see Gay in the nickel. The guy is a wretched corner. Let him go. He never was good, hence why we drafted him late in the 5th round.

Let Lewis play the #2 CB spot and move Burnett to nickel. I'd rather lose one piece at a time than clear the house all together at one time like the Redskins just did. Farrior should be next, in 2011.

--- Added 3/4/2010 at 09:56 PM ---



It took Townsend 1 start to get the interception that no Steeler CB could get for the entire year. Gay can't cover, can't catch and is a moron. He has no football smarts whatsoever.

disagree big time....gay had a terrible year. but the year before when he was switchin off and on with mcfadden and playing nickel he allowed a league leading 2.1 yards per reception. he may not be a starting corner but hes a damn good nickel one

K Train
03-05-2010, 04:21 AM
Burnett is like 5'9. There's no way he can play at the #2 corner position. He's a nickel guy at best.

Lewis has all the physical tools to be a #2 opposite Ike. I just hope to god he doesn't catch like Ike.

lewis and burnett both suck as corners....burnett was supposed to be a great return man finishing in the top 10 in both PR and KR and he sucks, hes a fiesty NB, thats great and all but thats all he'll ever be and lewis is SO slow...hes a FS at best and not even a good one.

please draft thomas....please

Stlrs4Life
03-05-2010, 11:22 AM
I'll take my chances with Lewis and Burnett, heck on Gay. I'd resign Deshea first.