PDA

View Full Version : Tomlin knee-deep in offseason



Scorp
02-22-2011, 12:05 AM
By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest
Posted 6 hours ago

Mike Tomlin isnít close to hiring a secondary coach to replace Ray Horton, and heís not really concerned about it. He doesnít necessarily believe the need for a cornerback is any greater than it has been since he took the job in 2007. He hasnít given up on Keenan Lewis, or, for that matter, Limas Sweed. And heís also not a big believer in history being an indicator of the future.

The offseason is underway for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Coach Mike Tomlin has been knee-deep in it for some time, despite the loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV still only a couple of weeks in the rearview mirror, and with an unsettled labor situation on the immediate horizon because of the current CBA carrying an expiration date of March 3.

ďWhen you are in my position, thereís not a lot of time to lick your wounds. There just isnít,Ē said Tomlin from the Steelers practice facility on Monday. ďI am making sure the staff is getting ample time to refresh, but Iíve got to turn the page and catch up to what Kevin Colbert and his group have done and the information they have given me in order to catch up. I enjoy it. Itís new and different for me. Itís a new challenge. This process kind of helps me turn the page.Ē

The process to which Tomlin refers is the NFL Scouting Combine, set to begin on Feb. 23 in Indianapolis, but that doesnít mean heís been living a life of leisure since returning from Dallas on Feb. 7.

ďMore than anything we have been wrapping a bow around the season, reviewing our playerís performances and meeting (as a staff), having interviews with guys, specifically rookies and guys whose contracts are up. I have visited with all those guys,Ē said Tomlin.

During a typical NFL offseason, free agency comes up on the calendar almost two full months before the draft. But this time there will be no free agency until the league and the players come to a labor agreement, and so the process could be reversed this time in terms of how teams are able to go about the process of trying to strengthen their rosters.

The Steelers never have been big players in free agency, but last offseason they were active early. They ended up adding Arnaz Battle and Will Allen, and then brought back former players Antwaan Randle El and Larry Foote.

ďIt could be interesting, and the only reason I say that is because it always is,Ē said Tomlin about what free agency might bring this time around. ďItís just too early in the process of our team-building as we sit here today for me to forecast and speculate the necessary moves that are going to have to happen. Those things are going to occur over the next several weeks to months, particularly when the process is going to happen. Weíll see.Ē

Tomlin also addressed some other issues:

* About hiring a secondary coach to replace Horton: ďIím still in the information gathering process. Iím in no hurry. I want to make sure we hire the right man, and that has no timetable.Ē

* On whether Sweed, who spent 2010 on injured reserve, is still in the teamís plans: ďCertainly. His competition is getting stiff, because I think we have acquired some guys since we acquired him who have proven they are capable of playing NFL football. Iím sure itís not a comfortable situation, but it is a competition.Ē

* On whether the Steelers have an interest in adding help at cornerback: ďNo question we will have an interest in a cornerback. But I donít know if thereís been a year since I have been here that I canít say that.Ē

* On whether Lewis might be a part of the answer at that position: ďProbably more than anything else is that itís opportunity oriented. He didnít get a bunch of opportunities. He did get some down the stretch, in the playoffs, and he did OK with it. By contrast a guy like Ziggy Hood had a big opportunity and got better with snaps. I expect all these guys to improve when given the opportunity. When and how they get that opportunity sometimes is outside of their control. We all acknowledge that itís a part of this business.Ē

* On whether he believes he did the right thing by keeping Aaron Smith on the active roster through what turned out to be a futile attempt to get him back on the field following a torn triceps on Oct. 24: ďYes. Thatís just the level of respect we have for what he is capable of as a player, and probably equally important is what he is as a man and a member of this team. I think thereís an element of value that you canít measure. If I had to do it over, I would do it again. What am I going to do, replace him with a guy who Iím going to have inactive? No, Iím not doing that. If there ever was a situation where I thought someone we acquired had an opportunity to help us and be put in uniform (on game days) I would have considered it. But I wasnít going to put Aaron Smith down for an inactive type.Ē

* And on his reaction to the tough times losers of the Super Bowl have had in the following season: ďI donít care what they say, whoever they are. Our intentions have not and will not change. We have a desire to compete for and win a world championship each and every year. We are going to be unwavering in that pursuit. You tell them that.Ē

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2011, 12:08 PM
Ok, I get the whole "give our young guys a chance" concept, but good grief how can you not realize that we need help at CB. Unless he is just keeping everything on DL, which is entirely possible, there is no way he can't be addressing CB on day 1 this year or atleast day 2.

Rampage
02-22-2011, 12:24 PM
Ok, I get the whole "give our young guys a chance" concept, but good grief how can you not realize that we need help at CB. Unless he is just keeping everything on DL, which is entirely possible, there is no way he can't be addressing CB on day 1 this year or atleast day 2.

I don't know, this team is sometimes very stubborn. I do think that it is time for them to invest a top pick in the secondary (pending the quality available), though.

Since 2003 only one 1st round pick has gone to the secondary (Polamalu) and the second highest have been second rounders on Ricardo Coclough (bust) and Bryant McFadden.

This team has been hitting on linebackers and receivers, but they need to shape up on defensive backs.

coldrolled
02-22-2011, 12:36 PM
I don't know, this team is sometimes very stubborn. I do think that it is time for them to invest a top pick in the secondary (pending the quality available), though.

Since 2003 only one 1st round pick has gone to the secondary (Polamalu) and the second highest have been second rounders on Ricardo Coclough (bust) and Bryant McFadden.

This team has been hitting on linebackers and receivers, but they need to shape up on defensive backs.


I like a Rahim Moore S #1 or even an ILB or TE #1 because they will be the top of the position at #31 or maybe Maurkice tells Mike to limp around a little bit... :grin1: and we draft the #1 G at #31...... Farrior is history soon, Clark is slowing... Troy gets knicked alot. With DL we need good DB's or we are done, seen that last year without Troy. We have Gay, Butler and Lewis we only have mundy and allen...

Rampage
02-22-2011, 12:49 PM
I like a Rahim Moore S #1 or even an ILB or TE #1 because they will be the top of the position at #31 or maybe Maurkice tells Mike to limp around a little bit... :grin1: and we draft the #1 G at #31...... Farrior is history soon, Clark is slowing... Troy gets knicked alot. With DL we need good DB's or we are done, seen that last year without Troy. We have Gay, Butler and Lewis we only have mundy and allen...

I'm not completely sold on Moore, I would rather see this team grab Smith, Williams, or Harris at #31.

I would consider ILB, but who's going to be there to warrant a first rounder? Plus the ILB won't even see the field for a couple years. This team needs to address needs big time.

I don't want to see a tight end. Kyle Rudolph, maybe, but he won't drop that far.

Secondary, offensive line, and defensive line are where I want to see some picks being used. If all the talent is gone, which I doubt, then I wouldn't mind other areas. Hell, this team will probably throw everyone for a loop and draft a WR #1.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2011, 01:32 PM
They've managed to sure up the offensive line with bringing in Flozell and Pouncey, and having Colon available if they want him back. Depth is still needed without a doubt however it was painfully evident this year that they have got to look to the future and get another CB to work opposite Ike. You can't keep hoping somebody will work out and suffer year after year with sub par cornerback play.

pimplydan
02-22-2011, 01:40 PM
No no no , no loop this year, It's going to be a Corner or an Olinemen in round one. take this to the bank .

Who ever is available ;

In this order : Mike Pouncey , Jimmy Smith

Rampage
02-22-2011, 02:10 PM
They've managed to sure up the offensive line with bringing in Flozell and Pouncey, and having Colon available if they want him back. Depth is still needed without a doubt however it was painfully evident this year that they have got to look to the future and get another CB to work opposite Ike. You can't keep hoping somebody will work out and suffer year after year with sub par cornerback play.

I think this team keeps thinking that they hit on the Taylor pick so there are probably a ton of other corners like him in the third through sixth. Instead of wasting so many picks on crappy DBs, they should bite the bullet and take one earlier on.

Now, as far as o-line goes, I hope they ditch Colon. He is going to cost too much, and to put it bluntly, I am completely unimpressed by his play. Couple that with the fact that he supposedly doesn't want to, or can't play at guard, and I think the team and Willie should part ways. I think this team could really use a solid interior offensive lineman or a tackle if one should happen to fall. If Pouncey or one of the top four OTs fall, I would take them, but I feel like a team such as Philly or the Giants will reach for Pouncey and the tackles will grabbed up (maybe not Ijalana or Carimi) early on.

We'll end up a pick or two away from being able to get a solid CB or O-lineman and we'll pull the trigger on another DE that just sits on the bench for another couple years while Ben continues to get little protection and the secondary gets carved up.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2011, 02:35 PM
We can't forget they are going to need some linebacker depth at some point soon too. Potsie won't last forever and we don't know for sure if Foote will be back.

It's been the Steeler mentality for so long now it just drives me nuts. They bring in lower tier draftees and then keep them around waiting and waiting for them to break out and most times from a CB perspective they just don't. Bite the bullet and take the big name in the 1st or 2nd round.

cmerrifield
02-22-2011, 03:03 PM
Why dont we know if Foote will be back?

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2011, 03:13 PM
Assuming he wants to stay (and as far as we know he does), and the Steelers feel his contract will continue to be friendly to their plans then he'll be back. We do have Sylvester and Worilds as the primary backups but with Farrior possibly entering his last year we need to start looking at future reserves.