View Full Version : Steelers victims of their own success (drafting defense)

10-21-2012, 12:42 AM
The Steelers kick off Sunday at Cincinnati in the midst of a 2-3 start with a lot of blame to go around.

But their precarious positioning in the AFC North — they trail the Ravens by 21⁄2 games — can be traced to, of all things, success on the field and recent failure in the draft, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Since 2008, the Steelers have drafted 19 defensive players. Only one, 2009 first-round pick Ziggy Hood, is a starter. Eight are no longer with the team, one is injured and one is suspended. The remaining eight players have a combined 23 NFL starts.

Of the Steelers’ 18 overall picks in 2008 and ’09, only five remain on the roster.

“You are always drafting for the future,” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said. “For most teams, the future is now, but some rely on those guys to become players later. What has happened with the Steelers was, where do you put these guys?”

Translation: The Steelers’ defensive successes have caused their current problems.

The team finished with the No. 1 overall defense three times in the past five years and has sent 15 defensive players to the Pro Bowl.

Over that span, they’ve had virtually the same starting defensive lineup.

Now the Steelers have seven starters older than 30: defensive end Brett Keisel (34), nose tackle Casey Hampton (35), linebackers James Harrison (34) and Larry Foote (32), cornerback Ike Taylor (32) and safeties Ryan Clark (33) and Troy Polamalu (31).

Hampton’s and Foote’s contracts are up after this season; Clark’s and Keisel’s after 2013. The deals for Taylor, Harrison and Polamalu expire after 2014. That means major turnover is inevitable.

But who is going to replace them?

Rest at Trib Live

10-21-2012, 12:45 AM
I admit I'm not much of a Kaboly fan in general but he hits this one dead on. The lack of good drafting, and player development, and hanging onto veterans too long is costing this team more each year.

The next few drafts need to concentrate mainly on getting quality players and development of that talent. We really can't afford to miss on any picks in the first 4 rounds coming up in the next several drafts IMHO.

Raleigh Steel
10-21-2012, 07:06 AM
This, and we need to use FA a bit more to solidify the defense faster than waiting for the draft.

10-21-2012, 08:52 AM
I disagree to to an extent .I agree having to same starters for a long time without rotation is what is killing the development of players.It is like being a shortstop drafted by the Yankees noway are you ever going to see the field.The Steelers need to rotate the younger players into the games.The perfect example is Ike Taylor how many times does Ike have to be smoked before they give Curtis Brown a shot. His college teammate Aaron Williams is a solid starting corner and many people thought Brown was better.So i agree that "we" hang on to players too long but i disagree that we drafted players that are not talented.

10-21-2012, 10:08 AM
Maybe they are starting to come around now, with letting all those players go last year. This year and the year after need to have outstanding draft classes or this team is going to go downhill in a hurry.

10-21-2012, 12:33 PM
It is like being a shortstop drafted by the Yankees noway are you ever going to see the field.

I get the point, but it's a bad analogy. You cannot pull a baseball player off the field to give someone a couple innings or an at bat or two. You can, however, put Worilds in for Harrison 5-10 plays a game (out of 60ish) just to get him some reps and to keep Harrison fresh. That kind of thing is not possible in baseball.

With regards for drafting, and free agency, it's something I've been saying a while. The drafts have been poor, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Ziggy Hood is decent, but he's not first round talent. Who knows about Cam; he can't get on the field enough to find out. You have to go back to the Woodley/Timmons draft to get one that was better than decent at best (not saying Woodley/Timmons was decent at best, but all the ones that followed were.)

As for free agency, I realize we're not able to go after a Mario Williams, but we should be able to get another Clark or Farrior type to help fill a huge gap.

I like Spence, and I think he's got a lot of promise, but other than him, I'm not sure who there is to get excited about with regards to recent defensive picks.

Real Deal Steel
10-21-2012, 12:39 PM
It's easy to recognize when a player DOESN'T have it. But the trick is finding the good gems in the draft.

With that Said, our GM and scouting dept. needs to be held accountable for the misses we've had in the draft. We can bash Tomlin, Le Beau and everyone coaching but if the GM and scouting dept. are inept, then we are dead in the water before a training camp even opens. Again I ask, when is Colbert and his staff going to be held responsible for this crappy secondary, O-line??

10-21-2012, 12:41 PM
steelers dont let the younger guys play enough. victims of there own success, hardly. This isn't the 1980's. There is free agency and other means to solidify things, which the Steelers refuse to use. Yes i agree there were some busts in the draft.

10-21-2012, 01:02 PM
The defense is getting old and does lack talent. If any of the backups were so talented they would see the field. Plain and simple.

10-21-2012, 02:59 PM
Not drafting order thats the problem. Hasn't been an issue in the past. Need better draftpicks!