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BlackGold4vr
03-01-2007, 07:33 AM
Who might be coming to town: Defensive look

By Dale Lolley
For SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Mar 1, 2007

With free agency starting Friday, here's a look at some defensive players who may interest the Steelers.

Now that it appears that the Pittsburgh Steelers will cut ties with linebacker Joey Porter, the team’s depth at the position – already a weak point – looks as if it will be even thinner.

The problem is that the pickings are pretty thin in this year’s free agent linebacking field when the market opens Friday. And you can bet that players such as Chicago’s Lance Briggs and Baltimore’s Adalius Thomas are going to command top dollar, something the Steelers will be unwilling to pay. In fact, Porter is also likely to draw big money on the free agent market, though probably not as much as $4.5-million base salary he was scheduled to earn with the Steelers.

So if the Steelers are still planning on running a 3-4 defense, they’ll probably want to add at least one veteran linebacker in free agency in addition to selecting one in the first few rounds of the draft.

The top two mid-level outside linebackers available who fit into the 3-4 defense are New England’s Tully Banta-Cain and Houston’s Antwan Peek.

The 6-2, 250-pound Banta-Cain is coming off the best of his four NFL seasons having recorded 43 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season for the Patriots. Considered a smart overachiever, the 26-year-old Banta-Cain may just be coming into his own.

Peek, a 6-3, 250-pound converted college defensive end is well-known to new head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin was an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati when Peek was a standout defensive end there.

Peek lost playing time in 2006 after the Texans switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, but in 2005 he managed 46 tackles and six sacks.

Two other linebackers who are well-known to Tomlin are the Minnesota duo of Napoleon Harris and E.J. Henderson.

The 6-2, 255-pound Harris is versatile enough to play inside or outside. Harris had 59 tackles, 2.5 sacks and three interceptions starting at middle linebacker last season in Tomlin’s only year as Minnesota’s defensive coordinator.

The 6-1, 245-pound Henderson, who was Tomlin's weakside linebacker in 2006, had his best season, recording 109 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions with one touchdown.

Another player who is well known to the Steelers’ coaching staff is Cincinnati’s Brian Simmons, who was released Wednesday in a cost-cutting move. A nine-year NFL veteran, Simmons played under current Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau when he was Cincinnati’s head coach.

Like Harris, Simmons is a player who can play inside or outside. The 6-3, 240-pounder excels in pass coverage, having recorded at least two interceptions in each of the past four seasons. He played inside and outside in 2006 to help ease the loss of O’Dell Thurman to suspension and had 60 tackles and two interceptions in 11 games. He recorded 83 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions playing on the outside in 2005.

Tennessee’s Peter Sirmon is another possibility the Steelers may look at. The 6-3, 236-pound Sirmon had 88 tackles, .5 sacks and an interception in 2006.

It’s a good thing this is a strong defensive line draft because there isn’t much second-level talent available at that position. Kansas City’s Jared Allen, Atlanta’s Patrick Kearney and Chicago’s Ian Scott figure to garner the most interest on the free agent market and will be out of Pittsburgh’s price range.

A cheaper alternative at end could be Tampa Bay’s Dewayne White, another player Tomlin knows well from his days as a secondary coach for the Buccaneers.

The 6-2, 273-pound White has recorded 11 sacks in the past two seasons and is well-suited to a 4-3 defense, something Tomlin has said the Steelers could shift to at times. At worst, he could offer the Steelers a pass-rushing specialist opposite Brett Keisel in the nickel and dime defense.

If the Steelers are looking to add more beef up front, Tennessee’s Robaire Smith and Denver’s Michael Meyers could help out.

A 10-year NFL veteran, the 6-3, 300-pound Meyers had a career-best 57 tackles to go with two sacks in 2006 playing for a Broncos’ defense that proved difficult to run the ball against.

Smith (6-4, 310) has experience in both the 4-3 as a tackle and in the 3-4 as an end from his playing days in Houston. He had 44 tackles and half a sack last season with Tennessee after recorded a career-high 68 tackles to go with 1.5 sacks playing 3-4 end for Houston the year before.

Given the young talent the Steelers have at cornerback and safety, it’s unlikely they will make any free agent moves at either of those positions.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


What sucks about all these FA suggestions is that none of them measure up to Joey Porter! Cut a star and bring in a has been? :scratch:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-01-2007, 09:05 AM
What sucks about all these FA suggestions is that none of them measure up to Joey Porter! Cut a star and bring in a has been? :scratch:


thank you ! I agree 100% !

don't be suprised if we see atleast one of the vikings come here because Tomlin knows them and they want to continue to play for him. Those guys are alright but none of them are anything spectacular that I'd take of Joey or anybody else in our LB corp presently.

I still don't see the logic in not giving Joey his 1 million dollar bonus this year and then trying to sign him long term after that at some point between now and 2008. That would help us alot and give us time to get our draft pics at LB some playing time to take over in 2008 if we cant resign him.

PsychoWard
03-01-2007, 09:24 AM
What sucks about all these FA suggestions is that none of them measure up to Joey Porter! Cut a star and bring in a has been? :scratch:

man i couldn't agree more just doesn't make sense!

BlackGold4vr
03-01-2007, 09:40 AM
thank you ! I agree 100% !

don't be suprised if we see atleast one of the vikings come here because Tomlin knows them and they want to continue to play for him. Those guys are alright but none of them are anything spectacular that I'd take of Joey or anybody else in our LB corp presently.

I still don't see the logic in not giving Joey his 1 million dollar bonus this year and then trying to sign him long term after that at some point between now and 2008. That would help us alot and give us time to get our draft pics at LB some playing time to take over in 2008 if we cant resign him.


I hope that they have a better plan to replace Porters presence than to just fill his roster spot with a has been! I would rather them fill his spot and Haggans with rookies! I know you (TG) are one who thinks that rookies cannot be counted on.......I disagree with you there! After a rookie plays just a few games they are no longer a rookie! Sitting on a bench and playing special teams for a couple years like J. Harrison has, only stunts the developement into a reliable starter IMO. Only position that I think benefits from some time on the bench is the QB since he has so much responsibility in running the offense. Hard to be a field general when you don't know the playbook or the weapons! Other than that the list is miles long of rookies who have stepped in and provided pro-bowl caliber play! As far as linebackers go its not that complicated! Learn your responsibilities in the different play sets, run, tackle! I think most star players can play from jump street and I also think that most teams back-ups remain back-ups and eventually get cut before ever getting a chance to start. If they weren't an upgrade at their position from the start.....why would aging on the bench enhance their inferior skills? Look at at the talk we have about drafting positions we feel are weakest and in every case there is a player on last years roster who was backing up that position. By the (sitting on the bench provides a player valuable seasoning assumption) we should't be worried at all. But I think that lots of back-up players are just not good enough and never will be to start in the NFL! Thats why we draft stars and not just middle of the pack blue collar players. We need Spencers and Okoyes and players like that who can start right out of the gate! On-the-Job-Training!
We get 2 picks in the top 50 players (15 & 47). I am now hoping they use both of those picks on the defensive side of the ball! We have a reputation to uphold in Pittsburgh for having a nasty defense.......don't want to see that change! :wtf:

SteelersfaninPhilly
03-01-2007, 09:45 AM
Dollars and sense.

K Train
03-01-2007, 11:19 AM
Banta Cain might not be a bad pickup :dunno:

AZ_Steeler
03-01-2007, 11:24 AM
Wasn't Napoleon Harris suppose to be a superstar when he came into the league?? or am I getting him confused with someone else? :dunno:

House of Steel
03-01-2007, 11:35 AM
Napoleon Kaufmann maybe? He was a beast running for the Raiders.

K Train
03-01-2007, 11:35 AM
who did minnesota draft last year....Greenway? he could come play for us lol

AZ_Steeler
03-01-2007, 11:43 AM
Napoleon Kaufmann maybe? He was a beast running for the Raiders.

Nope... I think it was Harris because he was drafted in the first round by the Raiders in 02 and started all but like 3 or 4 games as a Rookie before being traded to the Vikings where he hasn't really ever lived up to the hype. Which could be because the Vikings have never really had a good defense until last year, but then again it was only the run D that was any good! I don't know... this could be a pretty good pickup :dunno:

House of Steel
03-01-2007, 11:59 AM
I remember Napoleon Kauffman the running back of the Raiders, he used to be a major pain in the *** for the defenses. I wouldn't mind Harris. I DON'T WANT ANY PATRIOTS BY PRODUCTS.

K Train
03-01-2007, 12:26 PM
why, i would love to steal up and coming players from NE, they get our rejects all the time lol

Black@Gold Forever32
03-01-2007, 01:20 PM
Banta Cain might not be a bad pickup :dunno:

I'm with you on Banta Cain.:bigthumb: He seems like a solid player and is still coming into his own. I also wouldn't mind taking a shot at Peek. Sometimes it just takes more time for players to develop. The Steelers still need to draft an OLB but bringing in Banta Cain or Peek would wise especially since Joey the Mouth will be cut.

K Train
03-01-2007, 01:23 PM
Banta Cain seemed to step up for the dirtbags last year, hes on he rise....Kinda in the middle of his career, but i like what he brings to the table

House of Steel
03-01-2007, 01:28 PM
I wonder if we sign Banta-Cain, how would he do facing his former team? Would he dominate em?

Black@Gold Forever32
03-01-2007, 01:29 PM
I wonder if we sign Banta-Cain, how would he do facing his former team? Would he dominate em?

I would hope he sacks Brady 5 times and kicks the **** out of him.:bluelol:

House of Steel
03-01-2007, 01:30 PM
Yeah, and then when Bellichek comes to congrats him, to spit in his damn face and tell him what a real *** he is.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-01-2007, 01:33 PM
Yeah, and then when Bellichek comes to congrats him, to spit in his damn face and tell him what a real *** he is.

Now that would be funny.:bluelol:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-01-2007, 02:37 PM
Let's just go raid the Lions, they always do it to us :lol:

SteelersWoman
03-01-2007, 03:50 PM
Yeah, and then when Bellichek comes to congrats him...

Belichick's not real good at GIVing congrats, he prefers to get it lol

BB2W
03-03-2007, 12:49 PM
Banta Cain might not be a bad pickup :dunno:
He's on their radar...


Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain visited with the Rams yesterday and may be a goner.

“They need a pass-rusher, that’s no secret,” said agent James Sims. “And (coach Jim) Haslett’s a hell of a defensive mind. He’d really be able to utilize Tully’s versatility to play in 4-3 and the 3-4. Plus, it’s a team that will contend.”

Banta-Cain has also heard from the Steelers, Ravens, 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Dolphins, Browns, Jets and Giants.

“It’s totally new to him,” Sims said. “I don’t think he’s engaging in it in the sense of taking too many trips. He wants to hone in on the best opportunity and match that with the financial package.”

link: http://patriots.bostonherald.com/patriots/view.bg?articleid=186131&format=&page=2

SteelerFan87
03-04-2007, 09:22 PM
Eh, from what I've heard of TBC, he's an ***. And even Pats fans don't think he's that good.

I am interested by Peek and the 2 Vikings guys. I think they have the potential to be solid LBs in a system like the Steelers. Plus, who thought James Farrior would turn out as well as he did?

tony hipchest
03-04-2007, 11:33 PM
Eh, from what I've heard of TBC, he's an ***. And even Pats fans don't think he's that good.

I am interested by Peek and the 2 Vikings guys. I think they have the potential to be solid LBs in a system like the Steelers. Plus, who thought James Farrior would turn out as well as he did?i did. he was a very high 1st round draft pick by the jets and i believe led the league in tackles a year or 2 before coming over to pittsburgh. he was always a top tackler for the jets.

i was suprised he was straight up cut and even more suprised he initially signed with the steelers for pennies. i'd hate to waste money on kunta kinte errr.... bunta cain

SteelerFan87
03-05-2007, 03:34 PM
i'd hate to waste money on kunta kinte errr.... bunta cain

:lol:

Anyway, I thought I just heard recently that Peek was signed by someone? If so, scratch him off the list, but there's still those 2 Vikings guys. I think they're worth a look.

BlackGold4vr
03-05-2007, 04:14 PM
OLB 1 Adalius Thomas UFA 7 6-2/270 Southern Miss Baltimore New England
OLB 2 Lance Briggs Fran. 4 6-0/242 Arizona Chicago
OLB 3 Cato June UFA 4 6-0/227 Michigan Indianapolis
OLB 4 Caleb Miller RFA 3 6-3/225 Arkansas Cincinnati
OLB 5 Shantee Orr RFA 4 6-0/250 Michigan Houston
OLB 6 Gilbert Gardner RFA 3 6-1/228 Purdue Indianapolis
OLB 7 Reggie Torbor RFA 3 6-2/254 Auburn NY Giants
OLB 8 Shaun Phillips RFA 3 6-3/255 Purdue San Diego
OLB NR Hannibal Navies UFA 8 6-3/249 Colorado Cincinnati
OLB NR Antwan Peek UFA 4 6-3/250 Cincinnati Houston Cleveland
OLB NR Shawn Barber UFA 9 6-2/240 Richmond Philadelphia
OLB NR Tommy Polley UFA 5 6-3/240 Florida State New Orleans
OLB NR Na'il Diggs UFA 7 6-4/239 Ohio State Carolina Carolina
OLB NR Alshermond Singleton UFA 10 6-2/236 Temple Dallas
OLB NR Tully Banta-Cain UFA 4 6-2/250 California New England
OLB NR Donnie Spragan UFA 6 6-3/242 Stanford Miami
OLB NR Jorge Cordova RFA 3 6-1/241 Nevada Jacksonville
OLB NR Brandon Chillar RFA 3 6-3/234 North Texas St. Louis
OLB NR Colby Bockwoldt RFA 3 6-1/237 BYU New Orleans
OLB NR Tracy White UFA 4 6-0/236 Howard Green Bay
OLB NR Keith Adams UFA 6 -/- Clemson Miami
OLB NR Isaiah Kacyvenski UFA 7 6-1/250 Harvard Seattle
OLB NR Wesly Mallard UFA 5 6-2/230 Oregon Tampa Bay
OLB NR James Allen UFA 5 6-2/245 Oregon State New Orleans
OLB NR Jamal Brooks UFA 6 6-2/238 Hampton St. Louis
OLB NR Patrick Chukwurah UFA 6 6-1/250 Wyoming Denver Tampa Bay
OLB NR Robert Reynolds RFA 3 6-3/242 Ohio State Tennessee
OLB NR James Darling UFA 10 6-1/247 Washington State Arizona
OLB NR Don Davis UFA 11 6-2/234 Kansas New England
OLB NR Tony Gilbert UFA 4 6-1/244 Georgia Jacksonville
OLB NR Grant Irons UFA 5 6-5/285 Notre Dame Oakland
OLB NR Louis Green RFA 5 6-3/228 Alcorn State Denver
OLB NR Charlie Anderson RFA 3 6-4/243 Mississippi Houston
OLB NR Warrick Holdman UFA 9 6-1/235 Texas A&M Washington
OLB NR Tim Johnson UFA 5 6-0/245 Youngstown State Baltimore
OLB NR Carlos Polk UFA 6 6-2/262 Nebraska San Diego
OLB NR Terrence Melton RFA 3 6-1/235 Rice New Orleans
OLB NR Jeff Posey UFA 9 -/- Southern Miss Washington
OLB NR Scott Shanle UFA 4 -/- Nebraska New Orleans
OLB NR Raonall Smith UFA 5 6-2/241 Washington State St. Louis
OLB NR Marcus Wilkins UFA 5 6-2/230 Texas Cincinnati Atlanta
OLB NR LeVar Woods UFA 6 6-2/241 Iowa Detroit
OLB NR Jay Foreman UFA 8 6-1/240 Nebraska New Orleans
OLB NR Rocky Boiman UFA 5 6-4/236 Notre Dame Indianapolis
OLB NR Chad Brown UFA 14 6-2/245 Colorado Pittsburgh
OLB NR Danny Clark UFA 7 6-2/245 Illinois Oakland
OLB NR Jason Glenn UFA 5 6-0/231 Texas A&M Minnesota
OLB NR Joe Odom UFA 4 6-1/235 Purdue Chicago
OLB NR Brandon Short UFA 7 6-3/253 Penn State NY Giants
OLB NR Anthony Simmons UFA 9 6-0/242 Clemson New Orleans

Other than the top 3 names (none of which we could afford to pay) I don't see anybody that would be a better alternative to James Harrison/Anthony Spencer. Briggs is looking for 7+ million per year! Not in Pittsburgh! :nahnah: