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Thread: Steelers eye several positions for first-round pick

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Steelers eye several positions for first-round pick

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08015/849244-66.stm

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    The Steelers can use help everywhere and would consider drafting at any position in the first round this year except quarterback and tight end.

    But they won't use free agency as a primary way to restock their roster, following a long-standing philosophy.

    "No, I don't see any reason or any scenario where we wouldn't follow the same path we have," Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said yesterday.

    Colbert said the process and priorities will remain consistent with what they've done before. They will first talk to their own players who can become unrestricted free agents, including guard Alan Faneca, and then to others under contract they would like to extend, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    While the Steelers could put the franchise tag on Faneca and keep him another year, it's not likely they will do so.

    "We haven't closed the door," Colbert said of Faneca. But ... "Again, we know once you get to free agency or are that close to free agency, obviously you're going to have competition. The price most likely has gone up. We haven't closed the door nor will we until we know for sure that we're not going to be in it."

    Faneca and linebacker Clark Haggans are the only starters who can become unrestricted free agents. Former starting tackle Max Starks also can become an unrestricted free agent Feb. 29, when the NFL's new calendar year begins.

    Colbert said he and others in the organization are in the process of determining how much salary cap room they will have in 2008 -- some incentives earned from last season count this year, for example -- and which players they want to keep and which they do not.

    They also will look at free agency; even though they rarely make a splash in free agency, they normally sign a few players, and usually add one starter.

    Starters they've added through free agency in recent years include center Sean Mahan (2007), safety Ryan Clark (2006) and receiver Cedrick Wilson (2005). In this century, they also signed free agents who became Pro Bowlers, linebacker James Farrior in 2002 and center Jeff Hartings in 2001.

    Colbert said Roethlisberger's impending new deal -- which will easily be the most expensive in club history -- has no bearing on the team's approach to free agency this year.

    "Ben is now in that area where he's two years out and that's when we've traditionally addressed the quarterback," Colbert said. "And we will look at guys who are one year out too, in that order."

    Among those with one year left on their contracts are Farrior, Wilson, tackle Marvel Smith, quarterback Charlie Batch, tight end Jerame Tuman, cornerback Bryant McFadden and a handful of players who would become restricted free agents after next season.

    Colbert agreed with coach Mike Tomlin that the team likely will need help in the offensive and defensive lines, but he did not think the offensive line was as big a problem as many make it out to be.

    "Obviously, the sack numbers [47] were something that were up and were unacceptable. But you also have to realize it's the same line that blocked for the league's leading rusher before his injury and it's the same line that allowed the quarterback to have his best year ever.

    "To say you need that position and that it is a glaring need, I don't think it's really fair to that group of guys. That being said, sure you want to add depth -- you realize you can lose two unrestricted free agents, and if you do, maybe that changes your focus as you move forward. But I think you have to keep in mind that group did some good things too."

    Colbert said the Steelers could draft virtually any position in the first round, and that includes a running back. Willie Parker led the NFL in rushing until his right fibula was broken in the 15th game in St. Louis.

    It's not the injury that might prompt them to draft a back -- Colbert said Parker should be as good as new and he would have returned to play in 2007 if the injury came earlier in the season.

    Might they draft a back in the first round?

    "Heck, yeah, absolutely," Colbert said.

    Why?

    "LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner [of San Diego], Kevin Faulk and Laurence Maroney [of New England], Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw [of the New York Giants]. Just looking at the teams that are still successful -- look at what Ryan Grant's doing for the Packers after they lost their guy. Unless you have a superstar, and even in San Diego's case, that's as good as it gets but it's still nice to have another guy."
    A few things that jumped out at me in this article..

    Might they draft a back in the first round?

    "Heck, yeah, absolutely," Colbert said
    .


    So help me God if this team doesn't draft an Offensive Lineman in the first round I'm going to go through the roof. For God sakes don't draft a RB in the first round, you can always find gems later on day 1 or early day 2. If Colbert does this with Tomlin it will be probably the biggest blunder yet. What sets all those teams he mentioned with 2 good backs, apart from everyone else is they all have good OL's too.

    But they won't use free agency as a primary way to restock their roster, following a long-standing philosophy.

    "No, I don't see any reason or any scenario where we wouldn't follow the same path we have," Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said yesterday.


    Same old way of thinking with this team, not using FA to their advantage to fill holes while young guys step up or to tide them over for a couple years till they address problem areas in the draft

    For all the good that the Rooney's are for the city and for the Steelers; my God use the system to your advantage. They act like FA is some sort of curse or a sin! It's there and players would love to come to Pittsburgh. Cowher used it to his advantage many times in his career and we had a lot of great players come in via that route and help us. You can't possibly address every single need at every position on the team in 1 year of the draft; that's why FA is such a useful thing to have. You can bring in players, veterans who know how to play and let them tide you over for 2-3 years while you work on drafting quality players and grooming them to take over. Why in the world is that such a freekin hard concept to understand for this team !!!!!
    Last edited by BlitzburghRockCity; 01-15-2008 at 01:40 AM.

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    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    So I guess we can expect another quiet off season and then see them pick up another 3rd string center and cut every other center then pick up some washed up receivers... let's hope the stars are aligned for the Steelers come draft weekend.

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08015/849244-66.stm



    A few things that jumped out at me in this article..

    Might they draft a back in the first round?

    "Heck, yeah, absolutely," Colbert said
    .


    So help me God if this team doesn't draft an Offensive Lineman in the first round I'm going to go through the roof. For God sakes don't draft a RB in the first round, you can always find gems later on day 1 or early day 2. If Colbert does this with Tomlin it will be probably the biggest blunder yet. What sets all those teams he mentioned with 2 good backs, apart from everyone else is they all have good OL's too.

    But they won't use free agency as a primary way to restock their roster, following a long-standing philosophy.

    "No, I don't see any reason or any scenario where we wouldn't follow the same path we have," Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said yesterday.


    Same old way of thinking with this team, not using FA to their advantage to fill holes while young guys step up or to tide them over for a couple years till they address problem areas in the draft
    I think Colbert needs to take a hike...lol Ok....I know Ben takes some sacks he doesn't need to...But how many did he also escape from this year also?lol Plus the Steelers had no inside push this year among their OL.......Which it was clear Sean Mahan isn't the answer at C.......So if Tomlin/Colbert ignore the OT and C positions in this draft I will be really upset also....

    I think OT,DL are the main positions they should look to draft in round 1...Then if all the top talents from those positions are gone then you start thinking RB,WR,DB or LB.......

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I know right; if Tomlin and Colbert can actually sit there and say that the OL is not a priority then somebody needs to take off the black n gold glasses and stop putting so much of this on Ben. Yeah Ben needs to throw it away more but he would have been sacked atleast 30 more times year if he hadn't been so mobile to avoid the freight train pass rush coming right through our tin foil offensive line this year.

    Get the freekin line fixed and everything else will be that much easier to address. They are wanting to put the cart before the horse here and talk about drafting all these need areas when once again ignoring the offensive line will prove to be our downfall.

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    Ambridge's Avatar
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    Same old way of thinking with this team, not using FA to their advantage to fill holes while young guys step up or to tide them over for a couple years till they address problem areas in the draft
    The Steelers mentality on Free Agency is becoming Antiquated.
    Look at the Pats!! They go out and get Moss, Stallworth and Welker for Brady and drop a nice load of cash in Adalius Thomas's lap to help out on defense.

    The Steelers FO needs to wake-up and get with the times and adjust how they go about conducting their business.
    Last edited by Ambridge; 01-15-2008 at 07:48 AM.



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    Starter steelcitysfinestXL's Avatar
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    I know one thing im not in "TOTAL" disagreement w/ Colbert on the runningback issue!!! I hate to say it but i see no problem w/ adding a running back w/ vision and a lil more power!! A guy like Addai, Maroney or Jackson!!!

    I look in this draft at Chris Jackson from ECU 4.3 40 speed and he runs w/ purpose!!! at 5'10" 200 (at best) he resembles parker and im not sure thats really what we need in a back up running back... be he is a great pass catcher and is a proven kick returner!!! And as much as i hate to say it (gulp) the CB from Troy is a gamer too... big school battle tested 4.3 40 speed and one of the NCAA's top returners!!! A guy that can satisfy multiple needs is the only way i can see us taking a skill position in the 1st!!!

    For the most part i am w/ the majority in believing were 2 stud oline men away form a dynasty!!! (yeah i said it dynasty, LOL) but there is some depth in the draft at OL, and we may get a crack at a gamebreaker in the 1st!!! just a thought!!!!
    Last edited by steelcitysfinestXL; 01-15-2008 at 09:34 AM.

  7. #7
    2nd String memphissteelergirl's Avatar
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    I have to say I am more than a little disappointed about the POV the Colbert has re: free agency. Nowadays you cannot just rely on draft picks to get good players. Not everyone you draft is going to able to contribute right away (well maybe players like Ben, but that's the exception rather than the rule), so why not go after quality players in FA that could be playmakers for you???

    And I also agree that the o-line should be priority in the draft! Geez, after the pathetic blocking up front we all saw this past season that should be obvious!
    "Commitment to the team - there is no such thing as in-between, you are either in or you're out."-Pat Riley

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    K Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcitysfinestXL View Post
    I know one thing im not in "TOTAL" disagreement w/ Colbert on the runningback issue!!! I hate to say it but i see no problem w/ adding a running back w/ vision and a lil more power!! A guy like Addai, Maroney or Jackson!!!

    I look in this draft at Chris Jackson from ECU 4.3 40 speed and he runs w/ purpose!!! at 5'10" 200 (at best) he resembles parker and im not sure thats really what we need in a back up running back... be he is a great pass catcher and is a proven kick returner!!! And as much as i hate to say it (gulp) the CB from Troy is a gamer too... big school battle tested 4.3 40 speed and one of the NCAA's top returners!!! A guy that can satisfy multiple needs is the only way i can see us taking a skill position in the 1st!!!

    For the most part i am w/ the majority in believing were 2 stud oline men away form a dynasty!!! (yeah i said it dynasty, LOL) but there is some depth in the draft at OL, and we may get a crack at a gamebreaker in the 1st!!! just a thought!!!!

    **** mckelvlin, Aqib Talib is the only corner worth a first round pick, no Mcklevlin and not Jenkins.

    IF somehow we didnt draft oline in the first, theres only a handful of guys i would be ok with and Talib is one of them

  9. #9
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    2 answer ur question t.p the rooneys r cheap, man i love the steelers 4 once i would like them 2 get an few fa's n here 4 leadership roles..........they don't have 2 break the bank we need one shut down fa c.b an one 6-5 reciever that's all........................i hope they don't blow that pick in the 1st round on an rb unless he's the best player on the board when they pick........

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    Starter kgreen's Avatar
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    I like our philosophy. Build through the draft and not Free Agency. It is cheap and a more full proof way to build your team. The Pats, who cares what they do? That is there strategy and last time I chaecked teams that win in Free Agency don't normally win on the field. Think of it this way, Cleveland, Washington, Dallas, Arizona and others who generally spend in Free Agency don't produce. Up until this year, NE had built in the draft. We just need to draft smarter.


    "When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die."

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