PDA

View Full Version : Steelers not ruling LT in first out



JensK
04-17-2010, 05:55 PM
One of prized left tackles might be Steelers' target
Saturday, April 17, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Scott Boehm/Associated PressOklahoma State tackle Russell Okung is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.Many NFL coaches and scouts believe the second-most vital position on a pro football offense is left tackle. So essential is it that Michael Lewis devoted much of his best-selling book to the position in "The Blind Side." The Steelers, though, have ignored left tackles with their most-coveted draft choices seemingly forever.

They last drafted an offensive tackle in the first round 14 years ago. They last successfully drafted an offensive tackle in the first round 17 years ago. And the last time they drafted a left tackle in the first round, they moved him to guard within weeks at training camp.

The names in order of the above are Jamain Stephens (1996), Leon Searcy (1992) and Tom Ricketts (1989).

Ricketts, despite his failings, remains a footnote for the franchise because since the NFL merger with the AFL in 1970 -- and going back one more year to the arrival of coach Chuck Noll and his first draft in 1969 -- he has been the only left tackle drafted by them in the first round.

After calling Ricketts a "natural left tackle" when drafting him, he is the one they quickly moved to guard and bade goodbye after three frustrating seasons.

Therefore, in what might be called their modern era, the Steelers are 0-for-41 years in successfully drafting a left tackle in the first round.

Might that change Thursday night?

This draft is regarded among the best for quality and quantity at offensive tackle, especially left tackle. As many as five or six tackles could be drafted in the first round, all left tackles. Among them are Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga and Anthony Davis.

"I think it all goes back to the evolution of the passing game in college football, which trickles into the NFL," said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations. "I would say people are developing more offensive linemen, particularly pass-protectors which are usually left-tackle types."

The left tackle protects the "blind side" of a right-handed quarterback and almost always must block the best and most athletic pass rusher the defense can throw at him. The theory goes, if you have a great quarterback, you better protect him or he will not last long, and protecting him starts from his left.

"If your left tackle can handle their best guy one-on-one, you don't have to slide your protection, you don't have to chip him and you can get your back out on a release," explained Gene Smith, general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A weak left tackle needs help -- from a tight end, from a back, from the left guard -- and that can take away from protection elsewhere or keep potential receivers from running routes.

One reason the Steelers might not have selected a good left tackle in the first round is their position in the draft. When a team drafts in the second half or bottom third of the first round, they rarely get a chance at an elite left tackle because the NFL puts such a high priority on such players. Often, they are gone in the top 10 picks. Even drafting at No. 18 this year, the Steelers might not get a chance at the top four left-tackle prospects.

"If you have a good one, you better stay with him," said Tom Marino, a pro scout for 35 years. "The most important thing on a team is quarterback. Beyond that, most teams would say the next thing you better have is a top left tackle."

It's not that the Steelers do not value the left-tackle position. Marvel Smith, drafted by them in the second round in 2000, started there for most of the decade before back problems forced his retirement.

Smith holds the distinction as the only Steelers left tackle to make a Pro Bowl since Noll arrived in 1969, and even before that. Smith made one, after the 2004 season. Noll has said he thought his left tackle during the team's 1970s Super Bowl era, Jon Kolb, did not get the credit he deserved and should be in the Hall of Fame. The fact remains, though, that Kolb did not make a Pro Bowl.

The Steelers have paid attention to the other positions along the line. They drafted two guards in the first round since 1998, Alan Faneca and Kendall Simmons. And they have had a string of great centers through the years, from Mike Webster to Dermontti Dawson to Jeff Hartings.

But their starting offensive line includes no one drafted in either of the first two rounds: left tackle Max Starks (third round), left guard Chris Kemoeatu (sixth), center Hartwig (sixth, by Tennessee), right guard Trai Essex (third) or Ramon Foster (undrafted) and right tackle Willie Colon (fourth).

"But we won with that group,'' Colbert noted.

"Sure, you want high picks if you could have them at every group, but that's not going to happen, especially when you're picking lower as we have over the years."

They might get their chance Thursday with the 18th pick or higher if they decide to trade to move up in the first round. If so, drafting a left tackle at No. 1 would be an historic event for the Steelers.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTES -- All four restricted free agents signed their one-year contract tenders Friday: Willie Colon, William Gay and Matt Spaeth and Daniel Sepulveda, who signed his Friday night. The Steelers have exclusive rights to all four now that the restricted free agency period has ended.



Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10107/1051234-66.stm#ixzz0lOQthE1s

Zachintosh66
04-17-2010, 06:40 PM
At this point anything is possible... Logic says Pouncey, Iupati, A CB or Thomas. But someone will slip as always. I forsee lots of trades throughout the NFL. For once I really dont have a clue whats gonna happen. Im very excited for next week!

Big T
04-17-2010, 06:52 PM
Why would they?

scudmissile29
04-18-2010, 06:12 PM
kyle wilson is where the **** is at

I dont think Thomas will be there (Dolphins) when we pick, we need to deal with denver

nuclearchihuahuas
04-18-2010, 06:40 PM
I too am hoping for Thomas, but Okung would be an excellent pick too!

Zachintosh66
04-18-2010, 07:28 PM
I too am hoping for Thomas, but Okung would be an excellent pick too!

No Chance...

K Train
04-18-2010, 09:16 PM
One of prized left tackles might be Steelers' target
Saturday, April 17, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Scott Boehm/Associated PressOklahoma State tackle Russell Okung is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.Many NFL coaches and scouts believe the second-most vital position on a pro football offense is left tackle. So essential is it that Michael Lewis devoted much of his best-selling book to the position in "The Blind Side." The Steelers, though, have ignored left tackles with their most-coveted draft choices seemingly forever.

They last drafted an offensive tackle in the first round 14 years ago. They last successfully drafted an offensive tackle in the first round 17 years ago. And the last time they drafted a left tackle in the first round, they moved him to guard within weeks at training camp.

The names in order of the above are Jamain Stephens (1996), Leon Searcy (1992) and Tom Ricketts (1989).

Ricketts, despite his failings, remains a footnote for the franchise because since the NFL merger with the AFL in 1970 -- and going back one more year to the arrival of coach Chuck Noll and his first draft in 1969 -- he has been the only left tackle drafted by them in the first round.

After calling Ricketts a "natural left tackle" when drafting him, he is the one they quickly moved to guard and bade goodbye after three frustrating seasons.

Therefore, in what might be called their modern era, the Steelers are 0-for-41 years in successfully drafting a left tackle in the first round.

Might that change Thursday night?

This draft is regarded among the best for quality and quantity at offensive tackle, especially left tackle. As many as five or six tackles could be drafted in the first round, all left tackles. Among them are Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga and Anthony Davis.

"I think it all goes back to the evolution of the passing game in college football, which trickles into the NFL," said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations. "I would say people are developing more offensive linemen, particularly pass-protectors which are usually left-tackle types."

The left tackle protects the "blind side" of a right-handed quarterback and almost always must block the best and most athletic pass rusher the defense can throw at him. The theory goes, if you have a great quarterback, you better protect him or he will not last long, and protecting him starts from his left.

"If your left tackle can handle their best guy one-on-one, you don't have to slide your protection, you don't have to chip him and you can get your back out on a release," explained Gene Smith, general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A weak left tackle needs help -- from a tight end, from a back, from the left guard -- and that can take away from protection elsewhere or keep potential receivers from running routes.

One reason the Steelers might not have selected a good left tackle in the first round is their position in the draft. When a team drafts in the second half or bottom third of the first round, they rarely get a chance at an elite left tackle because the NFL puts such a high priority on such players. Often, they are gone in the top 10 picks. Even drafting at No. 18 this year, the Steelers might not get a chance at the top four left-tackle prospects.

"If you have a good one, you better stay with him," said Tom Marino, a pro scout for 35 years. "The most important thing on a team is quarterback. Beyond that, most teams would say the next thing you better have is a top left tackle."

It's not that the Steelers do not value the left-tackle position. Marvel Smith, drafted by them in the second round in 2000, started there for most of the decade before back problems forced his retirement.

Smith holds the distinction as the only Steelers left tackle to make a Pro Bowl since Noll arrived in 1969, and even before that. Smith made one, after the 2004 season. Noll has said he thought his left tackle during the team's 1970s Super Bowl era, Jon Kolb, did not get the credit he deserved and should be in the Hall of Fame. The fact remains, though, that Kolb did not make a Pro Bowl.

The Steelers have paid attention to the other positions along the line. They drafted two guards in the first round since 1998, Alan Faneca and Kendall Simmons. And they have had a string of great centers through the years, from Mike Webster to Dermontti Dawson to Jeff Hartings.

But their starting offensive line includes no one drafted in either of the first two rounds: left tackle Max Starks (third round), left guard Chris Kemoeatu (sixth), center Hartwig (sixth, by Tennessee), right guard Trai Essex (third) or Ramon Foster (undrafted) and right tackle Willie Colon (fourth).

"But we won with that group,'' Colbert noted.

"Sure, you want high picks if you could have them at every group, but that's not going to happen, especially when you're picking lower as we have over the years."

They might get their chance Thursday with the 18th pick or higher if they decide to trade to move up in the first round. If so, drafting a left tackle at No. 1 would be an historic event for the Steelers.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTES -- All four restricted free agents signed their one-year contract tenders Friday: Willie Colon, William Gay and Matt Spaeth and Daniel Sepulveda, who signed his Friday night. The Steelers have exclusive rights to all four now that the restricted free agency period has ended.



Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10107/1051234-66.stm#ixzz0lOQthE1s

how many times have i said that exact same thing

Real Deal Steel
04-18-2010, 09:18 PM
No way Okung is there. But if he were, we'd be all over him!

scudmissile29
04-18-2010, 10:01 PM
I too am hoping for Thomas, but Okung would be an excellent pick too!

yea but i think the eagles or cowboys trade up for him.

im hoping we do or if he falls to us

nuclearchihuahuas
04-18-2010, 11:25 PM
yea but i think the eagles or cowboys trade up for him.

im hoping we do or if he falls to us

probably right---but I can dream can't I--:cope:

Dobre Shunka
04-19-2010, 01:01 AM
Okung @ 18!!!!!!!!!!!!

That would be the fastest pick ever recorded in draft history.

scudmissile29
04-19-2010, 06:48 AM
probably right---but I can dream can't I--:cope:

yes so can i but then someone like jerry jones or a ****** *** organization has the balls to move up just like 2007, when revis balls was dangling just infront of us, and we didnt ensure selecting him.

i will personally kill mike tomlin if we dont make an effort at least to draft E.T.

cmerrifield
04-19-2010, 07:53 AM
NFL.com's draft where they let sports writers picks has us picking Trent Williams I would be happy with him at 18

JensK
04-19-2010, 09:00 AM
yes so can i but then someone like jerry jones or a ****** *** organization has the balls to move up just like 2007, when revis balls was dangling just infront of us, and we didnt ensure selecting him.

i will personally kill mike tomlin if we dont make an effort at least to draft E.T.

You may as well just start to search for him now... im having a hard time seeing thomas falling past miami. Sure, we could trade for him, but should we do so, Haden would probably be around and they will take Haden over Thomas, simply because he is a better cb, and thats what they need, not a safety who may or may not be able to play cb.

Also, it would be Colbert you should hunt... He is the one who has the final say in both picking and trading.

cmerrifield
04-19-2010, 09:16 AM
I think the resigning of Clark will keep us from moving to get Thomas, and really it would be dumb to go get him, it would cost us too much like 2 round and maybe 3rd. I think if Thomas is still there at 18, he would be an option, but there is no way Thomas is one of the players the Steelers are going to trade for. Sorry man, but you will be disappointed. But would you really give up at least a second round pick for Thomas knowing we have Clark and Troy back there? Clark is not the best safety in the league, but when Troy is back there, Clark/Troy may be one of the best duos in the league.

K Train
04-19-2010, 11:19 AM
steelers like thomas at corner...hes a real possibility, even if he doesnt play safety for a year or 2 he would force clark into being tyrone carters replacement

cmerrifield
04-19-2010, 11:21 AM
steelers like thomas at corner...hes a real possibility, even if he doesnt play safety for a year or 2 he would force clark into being tyrone carters replacement

But you dont think he is someone they would move up for do you?

K Train
04-19-2010, 11:23 AM
no because they thirst for my tears and will probably draft tebow

cmerrifield
04-19-2010, 11:26 AM
no because they thirst for my tears and will probably draft tebow

If they take Tebow in the first, we will all need a case of Kleenex

K Train
04-19-2010, 11:28 AM
if either thomas or haden is there they will take him, no way in hell both are there though.

i couldsee a trade up for haden, not so much thomas though

scudmissile29
04-19-2010, 11:34 AM
You may as well just start to search for him now... im having a hard time seeing thomas falling past miami. Sure, we could trade for him, but should we do so, Haden would probably be around and they will take Haden over Thomas, simply because he is a better cb, and thats what they need, not a safety who may or may not be able to play cb.

Also, it would be Colbert you should hunt... He is the one who has the final say in both picking and trading.

dude haden is overrated. if we draft him, im off to go support the lions. no joke.


I think the resigning of Clark will keep us from moving to get Thomas, and really it would be dumb to go get him, it would cost us too much like 2 round and maybe 3rd. I think if Thomas is still there at 18, he would be an option, but there is no way Thomas is one of the players the Steelers are going to trade for. Sorry man, but you will be disappointed. But would you really give up at least a second round pick for Thomas knowing we have Clark and Troy back there? Clark is not the best safety in the league, but when Troy is back there, Clark/Troy may be one of the best duos in the league.

have you ever heard of versatility. what if troy goes down, what if clark goes down, what if ike goes down.

insert haden, nothing, he can only be a boundary corner, insert wilson, he can play corner but not as good safety.

instert earl thomas and he has the versatility to be corner and safety.

yes i will be dissapointed come draft day because were going to have an absolute ****ing **** draft, just like years before when only 1 or 2 picks of the draft pan out.

overrated drafting we have had in previous years, always will never be like the 70's drafting