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BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 12:22 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07121/782339-66.stm

It's not a question of Matt Spaeth's talent or production or character, but what in the world the Steelers were doing drafting another tight end on the first day?


This is a team that has relied on its ground game more than any team in the NFL the past three decades, that has a new coach who said his primary goals are to win by attrition (to run and stop the run), one that drafted a pretty fair tight end in the first round just two years ago, and hasn't drafted a running back in the top three rounds in this century.

None of that mattered when it came the Steelers' turn to pick 13th in the third round and saw Spaeth sticking out like a 6-foot-7 tight end in a dwindling crowd. Spaeth's credentials include winning the Mackey Award as the college football's best tight end, an honor that also went to Heath Miller, drafted by the Steelers in 2005.

"We were ecstatic that he fell to us," said the new impresario of the Steelers' offense, Bruce Arians. "We had three names; they were popping off like firecrackers right there and we just held our breath that he'd stay there."

Fans and other draft experts have said more things under their breath ever since. But, of course, the Steelers did have their reasons for drafting another tight end. And, upon closer look, some of them even make sense:

It may have been a draft deep in wide receivers, but none at that point whom the Steelers felt were any better than their top four and none with the value they put on Spaeth.

Same with the running backs. The Steelers did not like what they saw at that point.

Arians wants to use more tight ends and wide receivers in various formations and more one-back schemes.

Tight ends are getting harder and harder to find as teams go more to spread offenses.

Also, at 6 feet 7, Spaeth runs a 4.85 in the 40 and should be able to run down the middle and drag a linebacker and maybe a safety with him. In theory, that would open things up more for other receivers, including Heath Miller, and also for halfback Willie Parker.

"He is big, tall and fast," Arians said. "He can block. He is an outstanding, prototypical tight end. At 6-7, he can help stretch the field and he can also handle the point of attack.

"He gives us good flexibility to take Heath and move him around a lot more. Also ... I like having three tight ends on the field a lot of times."

Spaeth, a four-year starter at Minnesota and first team All-Big Ten the past two years, becomes the tallest target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and certainly not his most humble.

"I'm a physical, blocking tight end," Spaeth said. "I can run routes, catch the ball. I'm a four-down guy. I can stay on the field and we don't have to make a sub for a running down or a passing down."

He and the Steelers believe he slipped a little in the draft because of a shoulder injury last year that has since healed. The Steelers felt the same way when they drafted Miller near the end of the first round in 2005 after he had surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Spaeth caught 47 passes for 564 yards last season. He started 45 games in four years and caught 109 passes for 1,291 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"Like Heath, I think he slid because of not being able to work out until late, missing most of the combine," Arians said. "And when he did work out, he got back pretty early. I think we got a steal."

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 12:27 AM
All indications were that we could have taken him in the 4th round without much of a problem..maybe used some of day 2 picks to move up and get him and possibly have taken McBean in the 3rd but it's water under the bridge now.

So in a draft that was "deep" at WR there wasn't anyone in the 3rd round better than our starting 4 on the roster as of right now so which means they are pretty happy with Ward, Holmes, Wilson, Washington & Reid at this point. I just hope this guy pans out and it doesn't turn out to be wasted pick.

okiesteeler
05-01-2007, 12:32 AM
Let's hope the Steelers got a steal and will make use of him. I hate to think that we would fall back into the same ol pattern of wasting draft picks on players that we have no intention in using

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 12:36 AM
That's my worry too, all I keep hoping is that Arians will actually stick to his bold words and we'll use Heath more and actually see what he can really do. Now tith Spaeth on the team that's 3 TE's that we'll be keeping around and obviously they all can't get the ball all the time so something tells me we'll still see them getting under used. Worst case scenario is that we have better blocking for the running game now and that's a good thing for sure !

okiesteeler
05-01-2007, 12:50 AM
well to fix that, lets trade Tuman and pick up another RB. The Seahawks are in drastic need of a TE now.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 12:54 AM
Tuman is fairly inexpensive so Im not sure they'd get rid of him. He's not your protypical TE but he learned from the best in Mark Bruener so he's definitely able to hold his own. If he wants to run any 3 TE sets or have someone in reserve in case of injury I'd think we'll probably keep him, but time will tell.

Koopa
05-01-2007, 12:58 AM
i hate that, when they say all indications are they could've taken him later, tomlin and colbert have to have heard something to make them jump on him...... the same **** was said about essex a few years ago, it's easy for ppl to say that, but only tomlin and colbert know what was really up, and they were probably told he was gonna get drafted soon so they had to jump on it........at first i hated the pick, but i forgot that the steelers are changing for the better and we will be using more tight ends, and **** of that nature.......

okiesteeler
05-01-2007, 01:00 AM
The only reason i say to trade Tuman is if by keeping Tuman this is a wasted draft pick, and if this guy is supposed to be bigger and better why keep him around, if one of them get hurt then we go back to a one TE set until they are healthy. or put Tuman on specail teams or something, but use Spaeth

Koopa
05-01-2007, 01:03 AM
The only reason i say to trade Tuman is if by keeping Tuman this is a wasted draft pick, and if this guy is supposed to be bigger and better why keep him around, if one of them get hurt then we go back to a one TE set until they are healthy. or put Tuman on specail teams or something, but use Spaeth

because arians said he likes to use a lot of 3 te sets, so that's why they won't get rid of tuman, because all 3 will be on the field

okiesteeler
05-01-2007, 01:17 AM
I understand that part. However in earlier posting there was talk of the TE's being under used if getting rid of Tuman could help fix that problem then by all means lets do so. Don't get me wrong I like Tuman and think that Tomlin and Arians know what they are doing, but I just want to see our players used to their potential. And if we can get rid of Tuman and pick up another player to help us then lets do it.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 01:27 AM
I guess it really all depends on how Arians will back up this talk of using the TE more, and how much of a steal Spaeth was, how they rated him so high, etc. It stands to reason that Heath will get the bulk of the receptions, Spaeth will be the main blocker and get some catches and Tuman would probably be the odd man out unless an injury occurs.

Im all for anything at this point that lets us get Heath involved more, the dude is money every time he touches the ball.

DIESELMAN
05-01-2007, 01:33 AM
Just remember this isn't the Cowher age anymore. Cowher is the one who drafted Miller and hardly used his potential the way it should've been used. With Tomlin and Co. on board we all need to change our way of thinking and give Tomlin's draft picks a chance before we resort to the Cowher rules and think none of his picks will pan out.

DIESELMAN
05-01-2007, 01:35 AM
We also picked up a UDFA in Cody Boyd 6-8 264lbs. He was used on ST's and could be used in other ways also, hes a very physical player also.

tony hipchest
05-01-2007, 01:37 AM
i wanted m. bush for his tremendous upside in the 3rd. t. hunt woulda been nice but he was nothing more than a typical 3rd rounder going into the draft.

steelers mgmt obviously felt this TE would help-

the 5 o-linemen with protection
ben with protection and in the passing game
willie parker in the running game
and the wr's get open in the passing game.

obviously he is thought to help the WHOLE OFFENSE. if he does alot of little things to help the whole team, then he is definitely worth the pick.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 01:41 AM
Just remember this isn't the Cowher age anymore. Cowher is the one who drafted Miller and hardly used his potential the way it should've been used. With Tomlin and Co. on board we all need to change our way of thinking and give Tomlin's draft picks a chance before we resort to the Cowher rules and think none of his picks will pan out.

Old habits die hard huh :lol: I agree Tomlin's picks should be given every chance to prove themselves, and with the competition that Mike is preaching about going into camp, Im sure they'll get that chance. Obviously certain positions will be already spoken for by the vets but there's enough opportunity for the young guys to get some playing time especially with Tomlin talking about using alot of different sets and rotating starters in and out to keep them fresh.

Assuming he follows through on all of these we should do well with many of our young guys if they are up to the challenge.

tony hipchest
05-01-2007, 01:56 AM
I understand that part. However in earlier posting there was talk of the TE's being under used if getting rid of Tuman could help fix that problem then by all means lets do so. Don't get me wrong I like Tuman and think that Tomlin and Arians know what they are doing, but I just want to see our players used to their potential. And if we can get rid of Tuman and pick up another player to help us then lets do it.http://nfl.com/news/story/9444769 warning: this link may be deep and and more informational than a 3 line post on a typical messageboard but will go a long way in explaining why the steelers might want to utilize a 3te set.

again i warn you- this link contains x's and o's, and may take more than 3 minutes to read.

DIESELMAN
05-01-2007, 04:44 AM
i wanted m. bush for his tremendous upside in the 3rd. t. hunt woulda been nice but he was nothing more than a typical 3rd rounder going into the draft.

steelers mgmt obviously felt this TE would help-

the 5 o-linemen with protection
ben with protection and in the passing game
willie parker in the running game
and the wr's get open in the passing game.

obviously he is thought to help the WHOLE OFFENSE. if he does alot of little things to help the whole team, then he is definitely worth the pick.

Bush definitely has potential, Hunt from what I read Arians saying is hes slow and doesn't fit our O, so I'm happy we passed on him. That was one of the things Miller was asked to do more of last year...pass block. With the addition of this huge mother ****er, Miller will be free to do more in the passing game. When we get our OL back working as one unit, then we can utilize this huge mother ****er in the passing game also.

SteelerSal
05-01-2007, 09:40 AM
http://nfl.com/news/story/9444769 warning: this link may be deep and and more informational than a 3 line post on a typical messageboard but will go a long way in explaining why the steelers might want to utilize a 3te set.

again i warn you- this link contains x's and o's, and may take more than 3 minutes to read.


:plus1:

ARKIESTEEL
05-01-2007, 10:08 AM
Tuman is fairly inexpensive so Im not sure they'd get rid of him. He's not your protypical TE but he learned from the best in Mark Bruener so he's definitely able to hold his own. If he wants to run any 3 TE sets or have someone in reserve in case of injury I'd think we'll probably keep him, but time will tell.



There was talk of running Brett Keisel in on 3 TE sets:dunno:

Prosdo
05-01-2007, 10:24 AM
I'm anxious to see some of the plays this guy is involved in. Sounds like he could really open things up for Ben.


Woohoo post 3000! :thewave:

BlitzburghRockCity
05-01-2007, 11:49 AM
There was talk of running Brett Keisel in on 3 TE sets:dunno:

There's talk of using him as OLB too in certain situations too. He'd be a good option as a 3rd TE in a jumbo goal line package, just put him along side Marvel or Max and run right through to daylight :bluelol:

I wouldn't think we'd use him in that role now since they got Spaeth but you never know.

25MVPKing
05-01-2007, 11:55 AM
I think Tuman can teach Spaeth a lot during camp. I wouldn't be concerned with having 3 TEs, especially since Miller is a beast. If Speath is anything like Miller, we have a winner. Arians has sayed he wants to run lots of 4WR sets. Well, having a two TE set allows you to easily have as many as 4 WRs (or more) for a passing play with the a guy in the backfield to block. Of course, that means, 2 TE sets can be great for the run game (play action or great blocking).

If we utilize the talent we have, Spaeth learns from Tuman & Miller, and Spaeth develops nicely, 2 and 3 TE sets can work really well for both our ground attack and passing game.

SteelersWoman
05-01-2007, 12:27 PM
...Tomlin's picks should be given every chance to prove themselves, ... Obviously certain positions will be already spoken for by the vets....

Agreed--we have no real way of knowing how a guy's gonna pan out. It seems that (at times) what guys did in college doesn't translate well to the NFL. Look at the players who made the top 15 list of worst first round draft picks...who would've ever thought that ANYone in that round could be a bust?

What I'm saying is, that Mike (and staff) will probably be just like everybody else and call them wrong at times--just hopefully they're more right than wrong! :greengrin:


And I gotta tell ya TG--I sure hope no one's on that field for us this year just because they're vets--I want them to be there because they proved in mini-camp that they earned the right to be there. That's really the only way we'll have a chance at winning consistently.