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BlitzburghRockCity
03-12-2007, 12:51 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07070/768625-66.stm


Sunday, March 11, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers certainly did not take the retirement of two-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Hartings sitting down.

After signing free agent offensive lineman Sean Mahan, 26, to a five-year, $17 million contract yesterday, the team is awash in centers.

Mahan, who received a $4 million signing bonus as part of his deal, was told by the coaching staff that he will compete with six-year veteran Chukky Okobi and guard Kendall Simmons to replace Hartings. Marvin Philip, a sixth-round draft choice last year, also is on the roster.

A fifth-round draft pick from Notre Dame in 2003, Mahan (6 feet 3, 301 pounds) started eight games at center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 after a season-ending injury to John Wade. He started 16 games at right guard in 2005 and 12 games at left guard last season.

He is the first unrestricted free agent to sign with the Steelers this year.

The logjam at center could be resolved in any number of ways. Simmons could remain at right guard or, if Simmons wins the job at center, Mahan could play at right guard, a position where other teams wanted him, including the Cleveland Browns.

The future of Okobi also comes into question. He and Hartings both took pay cuts last year to remain on the team and Okobi long has been regarded as the heir apparent at the position.

Okobi is scheduled to make a $2 million salary this season and that would be an unusually high amount for a backup. Even backup quarterback Charlie Batch is set to earn $645,000 less than that.

The signing of Mahan is important to the Steelers in other ways as well. It gives them a young lineman with versatility and experience at three different positions as a starter. And it also gives them some protection as Simmons and All-Pro left guard Alan Faneca enter the final years of their contracts with no progress made toward extensions on either.

New Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was the Buccaneers' secondary coach for all but one of Mahan's seasons there.

"To be honest, I'm not sure when I opened [the Steelers'] eyes," Mahan said. "Talking with their O-line coach, I've obviously known Mike Tomlin for a number of years, him being in Tampa with me. The O-line coach previously had seen me on film back at Notre Dame and Tampa.

"They want me to come in and play center so they've seen [videotape] back to 2004 when I played center. Me playing left guard was because of injuries primarily. Tampa wanted me to play center and then we had injuries on the line so I moved out to left guard, right guard because I'm a versatile player."

One thing's for sure, Mahan will start somewhere after the Steelers paid him that much money.

"I plan on being a starter, so I'm not going to go someplace and not play," he said on Friday.

"We are happy to add Sean to our roster," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said in a statement released by the team. "Having started at both guard and center, he will provide competition through his experience and versatility."


I really like the look of our OL at this point. We have a lot of young talent here. In fact, every active player on our OL at this point in time has less than 6 yrs experience, with the exception of Marvel and Alan. This makes for a lot of good depth and alot of young hungry players who will get their shot at winning a starting job. There's alot of different scenario's that we'll have to watch this camp, but it's going to be fun to watch and hopefully all these guy s will step up and take command of Line and get us a solid group of dominant players.

K Train
03-12-2007, 01:27 AM
amazing how one guy can change your opinion on an entire line lol

BlitzburghNation
03-12-2007, 01:42 AM
Great read TG :clap:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-12-2007, 09:16 AM
amazing how one guy can change your opinion on an entire line lol

Indeed, with Mahan signing it brings more youth and fresh blood to the line which is always good. I still think we MUST address OL in this draft because it's just something we need to do. Grabbing atleast 1 OL in the draft every year is a must because you can never have too much depth at such an important position and you know never know when you might need it.

Captcoolhand
03-12-2007, 09:56 AM
This is definily going to be an interesting Training camp this year with Okobi, Philip, Simmon and Mahan. but IMO,I like to see Philips knock off Chucky and Save 2 Million:yesnod:

Black@Gold Forever32
03-12-2007, 10:54 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07070/768625-66.stm




I really like the look of our OL at this point. We have a lot of young talent here. In fact, every active player on our OL at this point in time has less than 6 yrs experience, with the exception of Marvel and Alan. This makes for a lot of good depth and alot of young hungry players who will get their shot at winning a starting job. There's alot of different scenario's that we'll have to watch this camp, but it's going to be fun to watch and hopefully all these guy s will step up and take command of Line and get us a solid group of dominant players.

Thats why I didn't the Oline was as big of a need as some. Sure its always wise to draft for the Oline. Since its so important. But right now with the Mahan signing maybe the Steelers only need to take an OT prospect in this draft.

I see the center and guards positions stacked right now. I think Willie Colon will win the starting RG spot. They brought Starks back so you would think he takes over the RT spot again. I would imagine Mahan will be the center unless somebody beats him out at center and then you can put Mahan at RG. The left side is set.

DIESELMAN
03-12-2007, 11:26 AM
This signing not only gives us better depth and more versatility but it just changed the way we draft on day 1. Before we needed a OLB/DE and OL help on day 1, now we still need the OLB/DE but we don't need any OL help on day 1. It frees us up to do something else with our 2nd and 3rd pick. CB, WR, RB or best player available.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-12-2007, 11:27 AM
This signing not only gives us better depth and more versatility but it just changed the way we draft on day 1. Before we needed a OLB/DE and OL help on day 1, now we still need the OLB/DE but we don't need any OL help on day 1. It frees us up to do something else with our 2nd and 3rd pick. CB, WR, RB or best player available.

I agree Diesel and good post.:bigthumb:

House of Steel
03-12-2007, 11:31 AM
this is a very nice problem to have you know. That is all I got to say. I agree with Capt on this one, this is going to be a intresting Training Camp, which is why, I would like to attend a couple sessions this summer.

Captcoolhand
03-12-2007, 11:36 AM
LB/DE in round 1 is a must and I would be surprise if they take someone else (position)

BlitzburghRockCity
03-12-2007, 03:23 PM
I still think we need to make sure we address the OL in this draft. History tells us that when you don't take atleast OL prospect in a draft, sooner or later it's going to bite you in the ***.

We don't need one early on day 1, I agree, but I wouldn't be opposed to a 3rd round or early day 2 round OL. If for nothing else than seeing what they can add to the mix at guard or tackle.

K Train
03-12-2007, 09:53 PM
you have to think that with tomlin we will actually see the best player we have for the position win the starting job

BlitzburghRockCity
03-13-2007, 10:27 AM
you have to think that with tomlin we will actually see the best player we have for the position win the starting job

Well that will be nice to see, an open competition where the actual best player is on the field at all times.

DIESELMAN
03-13-2007, 12:31 PM
you have to think that with tomlin we will actually see the best player we have for the position win the starting job

:bigthumb: The adrenalin should be really flowing among all the players. Position battles should be really intense, everyone trying to prove to Tomlin that they deserve to be the starter.

tony hipchest
03-13-2007, 07:48 PM
you have to think that with tomlin we will actually see the best player we have for the position win the starting jobcause we all know "neckbrace" okolbi, or "short rookie" philip shoulda started over hartings last year. :dunno:

K Train
03-13-2007, 08:07 PM
cause we all know "neckbrace" okolbi, or "short rookie" philip shoulda started over hartings last year. :dunno:

okobi has played good for us, and who knows.......cowher had his guys and that wasnt gonna change, i dont know what you saw but i saw a center with 2 bad knees get absolutly manhandled all last year, im not sure who you are to say that he was the better player, he had his years but i dont think he shouldve been starting last year.....NTs had there way with him every game, hes tough as nails but he was over the hill

tony hipchest
03-13-2007, 08:15 PM
okobi has played good for us, and who knows.......cowher had his guys and that wasnt gonna change, i dont know what you saw but i saw a center with 2 bad knees get absolutly manhandled all last year, im not sure who you are to say that he was the better player, he had his years but i dont think he shouldve been starting last year.....NTs had there way with him every game, hes tough as nails but he was over the hillso youre saying "my neck is broke and career may be over" okolbi shoulda started?

or rookie smurf philip?

:hilarious:

i can see it if we drafted n. mangold, but were talking about freaking marvin philip! if he was ready to step in and start for the defending sb champs he wouldnt have fallen as far as he did in the draft.



hartings has had bad knees for 4 years!!!! you wanna bench him for someone with a bad neck? why the deathwish on okolbi?

thats ok. in hindsight i guess you can claim to be SO much smarter than cowher. :dunno:

K Train
03-13-2007, 08:36 PM
why dont you hop off of cowhers dick and realize that he was stubborn and would never give a rookie the chance to step up and make something happen unless he absolutely had to. Cowher loved his guys, especially his vets like Hartings and would never bench them for a rookie, no matter how badly they got raped game after game

tony hipchest
03-13-2007, 08:47 PM
why dont you hop off of cowhers dick and realize that he was stubborn and would never give a rookie the chance to step up and make something happen unless he absolutely had to. Cowher loved his guys, especially his vets like Hartings and would never bench them for a rookie, no matter how badly they got raped game after game:bluelol: ok. i'll hop off cowhers dick when you pull okolbi and philips schlongs out of your mouth and make room for me over on your "side of the fence".

is this how we play here? :yesnod: COOL!

get over it dude. im just pointing out a simple fact that cowher has forgotten more football than you will ever know, and a dude with a broken neck who was a career back up isnt better than a sb champ, pro bowler with some bone on bone cartillage damage in his knees.

simple

btw, instead of resorting to weak assed penis slams you can get to answering my previous post. (thats post #17)

K Train
03-13-2007, 08:53 PM
im not sure where i said okobi and phillips were better than hartings :dunno:.....cowher always played who he liked, since he started coaching, i know you cant think coclough shouldve been returning punts for us last year, but cowher always like him and thats the way it was.....theres no way someone can think the best player was on the feild with the way cowher was and always will be.

tony hipchest
03-13-2007, 09:10 PM
im not sure where i said okobi and phillips were better than hartings :dunno:.....cowher always played who he liked, since he started coaching, i know you cant think coclough shouldve been returning punts for us last year, but cowher always like him and thats the way it was.....theres no way someone can think the best player was on the feild with the way cowher was and always will be.

let me direct you to post #13 then:


Well that will be nice to see, an open competition where the actual best player is on the field at all times.


this is a thread about the logjam at center right? hartings, okolbi, and philip were the centers right. you can change the subject, backtrack or whatever. my point still stands.

any of the 31 other head coaches in the nfl woulda started hartings going into game 1 last year.

SteelersWoman
03-14-2007, 05:07 AM
you have to think that with tomlin we will actually see the best player we have for the position win the starting job


Well that will be nice to see, an open competition where the actual best player is on the field at all times.


:bigthumb: The adrenalin should be really flowing among all the players. Position battles should be really intense, everyone trying to prove to Tomlin that they deserve to be the starter.

Will be great to have a coach with whom there will BE no "heir apparent".