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View Full Version : Is the praise for Sean Spence also a knock on Stevenson Sylvester?



BlitzburghRockCity
06-08-2012, 08:40 AM
The voluntary OTA's have wrapped up now for the Steelers, with only the mandatory team workouts next week left before training camp starts.

Keith Butler and Dick Lebeau were talking to the media after the workouts yesterday, and among the people they talked about were Sean Spence and how well he's coming along.

My question to you all; with that praise coming and nothing being mentioned of Sylvester, does that mean Spence might have the inside track to moving up the depth chart quicker than maybe Sylvester does?

IMO Spence is going to see a lot of special teams work this year they may use him in combination with Sylvester to spell Foote or Timmons but neither of the young guys will be a significant contributor on defense unless injuries force them into duty.

But Butler seemed pleased with what he has seen thus far in some junior members of the linebacker corps, with one caveat: "Here's the deal -- they all look good in shorts. Its almost like a beauty contest. But, when the hittin' starts, we'll find out about 'em."

He has found out, however, that third-round pick Sean Spence -- who made an eye-catching interception in drills yesterday -- is a quick study and likely will see game action this season.

"He's coming along well. A very sharp young man. He's picking up our system as good as anybody has at this point," Butler said.

"He's showed me some things ... I wouldn't say he's not going to play. The fact of the matter is, since I've been here, we've never had a rookie start for us -- not Lawrence Timmons, not LaMarr Woodley, not anybody. So we'll see with him. He may not start, but he's probably going to get some playing time."

Butler also singled out second-year man Chris Carter as well as undrafted free agents Adrian Robinson and Brandon Hicks for their good showing in OTAs..


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/butler-replacing-farrior-isnt-easy-639474/#ixzz1xCl8w84M

K Train
06-08-2012, 09:15 AM
i do believe sly bulked up to become more effective as a LB and not just a STer, but im afraid his bulking may have really hindered his coverage skill...hes too stiff. Spence is the anti sly, and i really like sly its just do or die for him to make any kind of impact in a package on defense

The Lakelander
06-08-2012, 09:16 AM
Carter flashed enough last year for me to be hopeful of him ...

I got a really strong hunch about Spence ... I think he's going to be too good to keep off the field ... the inside backers (Timmons and Spence) with their speed and quickness on the same field is a delicious notion ... I'd love to see more impact plays from our inside backers ... more INT's ... more forced fumbles ... more tipped passes ...

Big T
06-08-2012, 11:01 AM
Put 10, maybe 15 lbs on Spence and he'll be good to go. I'm pretty excited about his abilities.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-08-2012, 11:24 AM
I really like his his speed, Spence. We've been slow on the inside for far too long and have payed the price for it. Foote will do nicely, especially in a leadership role getting the defense set, but Spence could be a long term steal. He and Sly battling it out should be a good one to watch.

If Sly has bulked up too much, could they consider putting him on the outside at some point? It's possible.

Real Deal Steel
06-08-2012, 12:05 PM
Wow...

Isn't this a pleasant problem? :) Having two good linebackers and trying to figure which would be better.

With the game being what it is today (linebackers having to cover the Gronkowski's and Hernandez's TE in the league) Spence probably provides the better coverage because of his speed. But we have to stop the run too.

Really, really tough call. And it's something that will be worked out in camp no doubt. But this is a pleasant problem because regardless, I think we will be okay.

KemoTherapy
06-08-2012, 01:34 PM
Sylvester is going to have to show me that he has more than a catchy nickname to deserve being on the field. Time will tell.

SteelCityKid5
06-08-2012, 09:32 PM
I like Sly a lot (hence my avatar) and I'll admit it's time for him to step up. I like "no name" players. Back in 05, Larry Foote was my guy until he left for Detroit then my favorite was Fox then when he left I turned to Sly. I am currently crushing on Spence. I like our linebackers and think they are very talented but someone is going to have to step up.

BlacknGoldHaze
06-08-2012, 10:41 PM
Unless Sly makes some major strides this year he'll be relegated to special teams again.....where he is an absolute beast!

Zachintosh66
06-09-2012, 06:08 AM
anyone but Foote...

scudmissile29
06-09-2012, 06:59 AM
spence is a 3rd round draft pick

sylvester was a much later pick...

With spence drafter earlier, it means he should be ahead of sylvester since he is suppose to have better talent.




Put 10, maybe 15 lbs on Spence and he'll be good to go. I'm pretty excited about his abilities.



that would be a terrible idea he would lose some of his speed

BlitzburghRockCity
06-09-2012, 09:50 AM
Sly has been behind the 8 ball pretty much since he got here. No matter good he was, there was no way he was going to unseat Potsie or Foote. Watching him in pre season last year was pretty rough and he only got spot duty the rest of the season but this year is huge for him. Didn't we hear him say last year that he was getting more comfortable making calls in the huddle with the defense? He'll have to prove that this year.

connecticutsteel
06-09-2012, 12:22 PM
Fox is unsigned this year but we don't need him everyone will get ample oppertunity to make there mark

steelchamp204
06-09-2012, 02:16 PM
It motivates Sly, which it could. How can this hurt the LB group?

Nolrog
06-09-2012, 04:42 PM
I don't believe by saying anyone has done well or exceeded expectations reflects on anyone but him. Hopefully, it will light a fire under Sly's ***, but other than that, it's no reflection on him.

SteelDad
06-10-2012, 06:45 PM
Competition usually breeds better, more effective players. The knock on Sly has been his over-aggressiveness. He overruns plays and creates holes and gaps for ball carriers to get through. This may sound like a small thing but in the 3-4, responsibility like this is paramount and LeBeau wont tolerate these types of mistakes.
I like Sly a lot and have hope that he can still become an inside force. This is a make or break year for him in Pittsburgh.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

cbrunn
06-10-2012, 06:47 PM
i don't feel this is a make or break year for Sly ... maybe for a starter... but i don't see any reason to release him or anything like that... he'll be a Ace on ST for us for years and can be a solid back up... and from a 5th round pick, that's great

Big T
06-11-2012, 01:20 AM
that would be a terrible idea he would lose some of his speed

Just like drafting Maurkice Pouncey was a terrible idea right? The FO should've listened to you and drafted your boy Kyle Wilson. Dudes been tearing it up in NY.

Anyway...Spence is athletic enough to put on 10 pounds and still retain his speed. Your acting like I said 30 lbs. I guarantee you he will eventually put on some weight. And it'll be beneficial.

SteelDad
06-11-2012, 02:38 PM
i don't feel this is a make or break year for Sly ... maybe for a starter... but i don't see any reason to release him or anything like that... he'll be a Ace on ST for us for years and can be a solid back up... and from a 5th round pick, that's great

I say 'make or break' not in terms of his ability but in terms of contractual obligations. What price will he be worth after this year good or bad?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

scudmissile29
06-11-2012, 05:58 PM
Just like drafting Maurkice Pouncey was a terrible idea right? The FO should've listened to you and drafted your boy Kyle Wilson. Dudes been tearing it up in NY.

Anyway...Spence is athletic enough to put on 10 pounds and still retain his speed. Your acting like I said 30 lbs. I guarantee you he will eventually put on some weight. And it'll be beneficial.

You're mistaken, I wanted Earl Thomas.

And he would of made the secondary much better, pouncey has made the front line much better, still would of preferred thomas.

He's already 235 lbs, thats fine weight, he doesn't need a pound more, times are changing, leave the bigger back to be tackeld by someone bigger, he can go chase around the tight end and running back who goes into a receiver option.

SuperSteelers
06-11-2012, 07:27 PM
anyone but Foote...

Amen brotha

Big T
06-11-2012, 10:27 PM
You're mistaken, I wanted Earl Thomas.

And he would of made the secondary much better, pouncey has made the front line much better, still would of preferred thomas.

He's already 235 lbs, thats fine weight, he doesn't need a pound more, times are changing, leave the bigger back to be tackeld by someone bigger, he can go chase around the tight end and running back who goes into a receiver option.

We all wanted Earl Thomas. But we knew he wouldn't fall to us. I wasn't wrong, you wanted Wilson over Pouncey. That's fine, everyone has their preferences. Just saying. I'm sure we can find your posts. Or maybe K Train can verify ;)

scudmissile29
06-12-2012, 05:21 AM
I wanted any cornerback that draft.

And I also will think our secondary will still be poor, if LeBeau doesn't stop his pass defense crap we will be shredded again and again, especially with Lewis as the starter, I'm not sold on him yet.

Just because we were #1 pass defense and total defense didn't mean anything, that Tebow game just raised up doubt again.

coldrolled
06-12-2012, 07:56 AM
I wanted any cornerback that draft.

And I also will think our secondary will still be poor, if LeBeau doesn't stop his pass defense crap we will be shredded again and again, especially with Lewis as the starter, I'm not sold on him yet.

Just because we were #1 pass defense and total defense didn't mean anything, that Tebow game just raised up doubt again.

DL was listening to the media and everyone else. That Tebow cant throw.. When Tebow was in Gator land here he threw pretty good and one some huge games.. Won some nice titles.. For a guy who cant throw..

DL played the whole game wrong...
Tebow made him pay.

FeelSteel
06-12-2012, 08:20 AM
Spence or Sylvester.... may the best man win. If Spence is beating out Sylvester so far then that's great news for the Steelers. Why? cause that means a better talent is coming along and Sylvester hasn't improved his game. I just want the best 53 men on the field no matter who it is.

K Train
06-12-2012, 08:52 AM
both players will be ST studs this year, that much i think we can all agree.

as for earl thomas, i loved him....but i loved and still love pouncey too. the secondary will be fine, especially with allen and brown replacing gay and getting to show what they got (both imo are gonna out play keenan lewis) and clark being pulled more and more (and it all starts with someone stepping up at FS in denver to assure that happens, i hope allen gets a lot of looks there over mundy personally

cbrunn
06-12-2012, 09:05 AM
i always thought Brown was more of a FS then Allen ... but that was just my opinion when they both got drafted

K Train
06-12-2012, 09:09 AM
i always thought Brown was more of a FS then Allen ... but that was just my opinion when they both got drafted

no way, hes a prototype NB with good outside potential. Great hips, excellent ball skills and good recovery speed. When evaluating the 3 corners from texas last year i said aaron williams is the best DB out of the group (would have to play safety for some teams imo), curtis brown is the best CB out of the group, and chykie brown was the best athlete of the group and so far im gonna stick to that

BlitzburghRockCity
06-12-2012, 11:29 AM
The DB's are better when there's a pass rush, it's always been that way. When the Steelers are getting after the QB the secondary has a much easier job and isn't nearly as exposed as they are when the linebackers can't get after the passer. I think finally though we have a group of young guys at CB that can pick up the slack and stay with their man rather than always having to recover because they couldn't hold their coverage long enough.

steelcitysfinestXL
06-12-2012, 01:17 PM
The DB's are better when there's a pass rush, it's always been that way. When the Steelers are getting after the QB the secondary has a much easier job and isn't nearly as exposed as they are when the linebackers can't get after the passer. I think finally though we have a group of young guys at CB that can pick up the slack and stay with their man rather than always having to recover because they couldn't hold their coverage long enough.

While this is football101, its a great post. And, also the reason i believe we havent, nor will we see a CB taken in the first round until this team goes into complete rebuild mode. I honestly think the "traditional" CB is the LEAST valued position on this defense. They value CB's who can be physical, tackle well and can contribute on ST's.

Spence, while one of my least favortie picks this draft, has the added value of being able to match up with alot of NFL players in the middle of our pass coverage. He's has an NFL ready mind and the speed to go with it. Aslong as he doesnt get washed out in the run game i think he will contribute early on defense, as well as ST's.

K Train
06-12-2012, 01:21 PM
this team will not be in "complete rebuild mode" until ben is long gone, everyone wants to prematurely put them in that category but they just keep on contending.

steelcitysfinestXL
06-12-2012, 01:29 PM
this team will not be in "complete rebuild mode" until ben is long gone, everyone wants to prematurely put them in that category but they just keep on contending.

Thats about the time i was thinking K! lol

SteelCurtainYinzer
06-12-2012, 01:44 PM
What really made me excited about Spence wasn't the fact that he was a standout in Miami who played undersized but more recently how this guy was doing all the right things at OTA's, including studying his playbook and asking the right questions. The fact he is able to apply that to the field and is standing out, to me is most impressive. I don't think it's a knock on Sylvester as it is Spence being a better player now and perhaps starting week 1.

Real Deal Steel
06-12-2012, 04:16 PM
Man, you guys are getting me more and more fired up for camp! :)

The Lakelander
06-12-2012, 08:40 PM
Spence is listed just 3 pounds lighter than Timmons on the Steelers official team roster ... and he's also 2 inches shorter, so he is pound for pound every bit as physically structured as Timmons is ... THREE POUNDS! ... that's a burger or a good **** lighter ...

K Train
06-13-2012, 01:18 AM
timmons has at least 15-20 pounds on him now, he bulked up a ton 2 years ago

ChucktownSteeler
06-13-2012, 06:31 AM
I always thought Jerry O was a bit undersized for his position, but he played like a bulldog.

C-town

JensK
06-13-2012, 06:46 AM
Well one thing is how you play. You might play and hit like a guy who are 20-30lb heavier than yourself. There are plenty of those players. It is as much, if not more, about durability. Those guys at ILB are taking a beating on most snaps, and they need to be padded accordingly.

scudmissile29
06-13-2012, 09:52 AM
all we need is for timmons to knock ray rice out of the game and for spence to pick off a choking flacco pass to seal us the division.

As for Lewis, This is a make or break year for him, he's finally a starter, lets see what he can do.

BubbyBlister
06-13-2012, 11:10 AM
Spence is listed just 3 pounds lighter than Timmons on the Steelers official team roster ... and he's also 2 inches shorter, so he is pound for pound every bit as physically structured as Timmons is ... THREE POUNDS! ... that's a burger or a good **** lighter ... Update from Ed Bouchette- Spence was spoted last night at Five Guys and Fries ordering a bacon cheseburger and cajun fries. Sources said he was mumbling something about gaining 3 pounds to please a internet forum.

The Lakelander
06-13-2012, 11:44 AM
Update from Ed Bouchette- Spence was spoted last night at Five Guys and Fries ordering a bacon cheseburger and cajun fries. Sources said he was mumbling something about gaining 3 pounds to please a internet forum.

:lol: ... exactly. This whole matter will be put to it's grave soon when Spence lays a hit on somebody.

BubbyBlister
06-13-2012, 11:51 AM
:lol: ... exactly. This whole matter will be put to it's grave soon when Spence lays a hit on somebody. True! Update from Ed Bouchette - Emanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown was also spotted at Five Guys and Fries eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor.

K Train
06-13-2012, 11:55 AM
its not about 3 pounds, hes just traditionally a weakside LB in a 43, a guy that uses his speed and gets to stay relatively untouched. Now as an inside backer in a 34 he has to take on and shed blockers. Timmons was a WILL backer too, probably would have been a probowler from day one as a WILL but he had to grow into the position which took him about 15 pounds and completely changing his game. Anyone remember how AWFUL timmons used to be against the run before he went into beast bulking mode? There was a site that had a video of frank summers falling on his face every time he attempted a block and a video of timmons just being manhandled in the run game.

I believe spence will have a role, but hes not a good fit right now and will likely be a nickel linebacker and a special teamer

scudmissile29
06-13-2012, 04:15 PM
timmons was a bust until the 2010 season, and 2011 wasn't exactly his highlight season.

Spence will be fine in the middle, he comes from Miami, every player that comes out there and goes to a good football team finds success

K Train
06-13-2012, 04:21 PM
timmons was a bust until the 2010 season, and 2011 wasn't exactly his highlight season.

Spence will be fine in the middle, he comes from Miami, every player that comes out there and goes to a good football team finds success

timmons was never a bust, he had a groin injury as a rookie where he didnt play much anyway and he was undersized for the position. i expect spence to go through a lot of the same problems timmons did while taking on and shedding blockers.

and miami doesnt just equal success, thats idiotic.

scudmissile29
06-13-2012, 10:31 PM
Timmons was bust...

2007 NFL Draft.

Willis #11
Timmons #15
Beason #25
Spencer #26
Posluszny #34
David Harris #47
Justin Durant #48

Patrick Willis performed better than Lawrence Timmons
Timmons has performed better than Anthony Spencer
Beason has performed better than Lawrence Timmons
Paul Posluszny did perform better than Lawrence Timmons whilst he was in Buffalo for the first couple of years (and comparing him nowadays, Posluszny was a beast on a crappy Bills defense)
David Harris has performed better than Lawrence Timmons
Lawrence Timmons has performed better than Justin Durant

So he's about middle in the pack for me. I preferred David Harris over Timmons.

and the Miami alumni is very strong.

santana moss, bryant mckinnie, ed reed, jeremy shockey, clinton portis, willis mcgahee, andre johnson, sean taylor, jonathan vilma, d.j. williams, vince wilfork, antrel rolle, frank gore, chris myers, devin hester, brandon meriweather, jon beason, greg olsen, kenny phillips, calais campbell, jimmy graham.

And surprise, surprise, if you pull out the bigger names, they all were at strong teams. Pittsburgh is a strong team and Spence will do more than just fine.

I don't expect Spence to go through the same problems, because he will be a better linebacker than Timmons, and Timmons wasn't worth the extension, Woodley was, Timmons only had 1 great season... he needs 2 more solid seasons before he has underperformed to me.

Of course I will use Willis and Benson as measuring sticks here, and for the earlier, well it's Timmons fault, he should of come out a year earlier so I can compare him to his buddy Ernie, who is not out of the league, but did have a very solid start to his career.

K Train
06-14-2012, 12:35 AM
if timmons played in the same system beason played in he would have been a pro bowler from day one, his "busting" was because he was an ok fit for outside (right after joey porter left and harrison was still unknown) and he was a terrible fit for inside in a 34....he grew into the position, but you put him at WILL from day one and he would have been a monster he was born to play that position

The Lakelander
06-14-2012, 01:28 AM
RILB in the Steelers scheme is a tough gig ... we're lucky the last 3 players to play it have been all pretty solid ...

scudmissile29
06-14-2012, 07:12 AM
if timmons played in the same system beason played in he would have been a pro bowler from day one, his "busting" was because he was an ok fit for outside (right after joey porter left and harrison was still unknown) and he was a terrible fit for inside in a 34....he grew into the position, but you put him at WILL from day one and he would have been a monster he was born to play that position

that's just playing the what if game, he was made into a m linebacker, you can't be a great player if you are not flexible at the position, I guarantee you if Willis was to play on the outside he would be a beast, if James Harrison played mlb: beast, Mario Williams was also a beast at his new position, but his season was cut short.

K Train
06-14-2012, 09:21 AM
that's just playing the what if game, he was made into a m linebacker, you can't be a great player if you are not flexible at the position, I guarantee you if Willis was to play on the outside he would be a beast, if James Harrison played mlb: beast, Mario Williams was also a beast at his new position, but his season was cut short.

patrick willis was a phenom and had the size to play all 4 spots. Mario williams was a freak of nature, james harrison is better suited for the middle to begin with, your arguments are nonsense.

He was drafted as an OLB in a 34 to replace porter, which was a new spot for him regardless and then they changed him to the middle. If he was a WILL backer he would have been everything ernie simms, aaron curry, AJ Hawk...ect should have been. Making a transition isnt busting

scudmissile29
06-14-2012, 11:39 AM
whats the difference between willis and timmons, (saying one phenom, means he's a great player, Timmons isn't) you avoided that question and just called Willis a phenom to get out of the question. When your a top 15 draft pick, expect high expectations and you will have to put them up.

He was porus last season, we will see if brings 2010 or 11 with him.

How can you say Harrison is suited for the middle he's been outside all his career, if he made such a smooth transition to the outside and was undrafted why can't a first rounder do the same but to the middle.

He's played 5 seasons now, and the last 4 he has been on the field a lot of plays, the transitioning should of been over after the first season, whens the "transition" going to be complete? after season 8

He is a bust in his draft class, no way was he worth the #15 selection and should of gone for someone like Leon Hall.

And yes he would of been a good OLB, but he isn't an olb, he's an MLB, that's like saying if Jerry Rice could of been the best cornerback in history because he had amazing hands.

Just because Timmons has speed doesn't mean anything right now, he clearly hasn't been consistent with his play and therefore has underachieved so far.

K Train
06-14-2012, 11:51 AM
whats the difference between willis and timmons, (saying one phenom, means he's a great player, Timmons isn't) you avoided that question and just called Willis a phenom to get out of the question. When your a top 15 draft pick, expect high expectations and you will have to put them up.

He was porus last season, we will see if brings 2010 or 11 with him.

How can you say Harrison is suited for the middle he's been outside all his career, if he made such a smooth transition to the outside and was undrafted why can't a first rounder do the same but to the middle.

He's played 5 seasons now, and the last 4 he has been on the field a lot of plays, the transitioning should of been over after the first season, whens the "transition" going to be complete? after season 8

He is a bust in his draft class, no way was he worth the #15 selection and should of gone for someone like Leon Hall.

And yes he would of been a good OLB, but he isn't an olb, he's an MLB, that's like saying if Jerry Rice could of been the best cornerback in history because he had amazing hands.

Just because Timmons has speed doesn't mean anything right now, he clearly hasn't been consistent with his play and therefore has underachieved so far.

willis was a freak of nature, and DID have the size to play inside...not to mention at his size running a 4.4, that not normal.

harrison was the MLB backup and with his block shedding ability and how he excels against the run, hes definitely better at inside....hes good outside, actually great...hes an overall LB but thats because of freakish power. Timmons has excellent speed but what made him a special prospect was his lateral movement and ability in pursuit, everyting a WILL needs.

he had a poor year last season, but was asked to play outside and even when he played inside he had to deal with not having woodley and harrison on the field which makes any MLBs job harder. Hes an excellent interior blitzer and great in coverage and has really grown into a man against the run where he struggled early. i get that your a spence fanboy, but he is almost certainly gonna have similar growing pains.

and timmons was worth 15 overall, would be so much more clear if he played in a 43, but he doesnt....luckily woodley turned out to be everything anthony spencer was supposed to be maybe those top 2 picks very effective ones

ChucktownSteeler
06-14-2012, 12:32 PM
How many different positions did Timmons play last season? How many different LB combinations? How many changes to the DL?

C-town

BlitzburghRockCity
06-14-2012, 04:43 PM
Timmon's had a good year in 2010 and actually 2011 was a good year from the standpoint that he stayed healthy and played every LB position on the team, sometimes switching up in mid game.


You can't have that kind of discord and expect anyone to be effective on a regular basis. He's got some serious natural pass rushing skills but he's been bred to take over and be the man in the middle. Plus his build, quickness, and height make him a good fit in the middle.

scudmissile29
06-14-2012, 05:14 PM
I will hold judgement until the end of the season, hopefully i'm wrong.

I was bashing Timmons in the summer of 2010, he had an amazing 2010 season.

I'm bashing him in the summer of 2012, hopefully he has an amazing 2012 season.

But I still think down the road, Spence will be better.