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  1. #1
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    Post Road Map: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Interesting read:


    NFL Offseason Roadmap: Pittsburgh Steelers

    JJ CooperPosted Jan 22nd 2008 2:37PM by JJ Cooper
    Filed under: Steelers, AFC North, Pittsburgh
    NFL Offseason Roadmap is a series focused on the needs of NFL teams as they begin the offseason.

    1-5. Offensive line. Pittsburgh won't go anywhere in 2008 if they don't fix some Football Outsiders offensive line stats, Pittsburgh was 19th in the league in run blocking and 31st in pass blocking. Things will only get worse when Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca leaves as expected in free agency. Pittsburgh already locked up Simmons to a long-term deal, which means they're likely stuck with starting him, but they go into the offseason seemingly understanding that Mahan has to be replaced. Considering the lack of inexpensive options in free agency, Pittsburgh will likely turn to the draft to pick up a tackle and a guard/center to try to fix a glaring need.


    6. Defensive line depth. Pittsburgh's trio of starters (Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel) are very solid. But the Steelers saw how quickly things could fall apart with an injury when Smith tore a bicep. Without Smith, the Steelers once impervious run defense fell apart. The Steelers' top two defensive end reserves are both free agents, and Smith, Hampton and Keisel will all be on the wrong side of 30 next year, so there's a pretty glaring need for some young reinforcements. Drafting a long-term replacement for Hampton wouldn't be a bad idea either, as the nose tackle's tendency to pack on the pounds is starting to be reflected in his play.

    7. Safety. Troy Polamalu battled a knee injury for most of the season that kept him from being the disruptive force Steelers fans expect him to be, but that should be a problem that an offseason cleanup surgery should fix. Ryan Clark's problem is a little more serious. Clark has proven to be an excellent partner for Polamalu thanks to his steady play and comfort at playing center field. But he's coming back from a spleen injury. He's supposed to be healthy for next season, but he's not a sure thing. With that being the case, Pittsburgh needs to bring in competition for Anthony Smith (too hotheaded and too prone to bite on play action passes) and Tyrone Carter (too small and slow) as a backup free safety.

    8. Backup Taiback. Willie Parker proved again this season that he's a solid starting tailback. He was leading the league in rushing before he broke his leg in Week 15. Parker didn't have the big plays he's had in the past, but he made the best of a difficult situation with a poor offensive line. Najeh Davenport showed he can be an adequate No. 2, but may be better suited to be a No. 3 tailback while the Steelers find a solid young power back who can spell Parker and provide the goal line and short-yardage carries that can wear down a back like Parker.

    9. Wide Receiver. Ben Roethlisberger may be talking about his desire for a tall wide receiver, but the reality is that wide receiver isn't one of the Steelers' big problems. Santonio Holmes is developing into a very solid No. 1 receiver running the deep routes, which allows Hines Ward to fill the role of the underneath receiver who makes the tough catches and blocks everything in sight. Nate Washington may drop more passes than we would like, but he's shown that he can get deep on almost anybody, which is a nice attribute for a No. 3 receiver.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Why don't these media sources just come to us for the info, we've been saying stuff like this all year long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Why don't these media sources just come to us for the info, we've been saying stuff like this all year long.
    I'LL 2ND THAT TOP GUN..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Why don't these media sources just come to us for the info, we've been saying stuff like this all year long.


    Maybe they did TG, and now they are just writing it.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stlrs4Life View Post
    Maybe they did TG, and now they are just writing it.
    Then we deserve credit for telling them how it is !! Where's my attorney's phone number at !!

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    3rd that, Nate is our best deep threat....that brings tears to my eyes!!! He needs competition to drive him to play better or be released cause with wilson behind him he probley isnt feeling pressured to step his game up much!!! So other than his take on our wideouts... i agree with everything said!!!!

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    Nice read,,,,,,,,

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    6. Defensive line depth. Pittsburgh's trio of starters (Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel) are very solid. But the Steelers saw how quickly things could fall apart with an injury when Smith tore a bicep. Without Smith, the Steelers once impervious run defense fell apart. The Steelers' top two defensive end reserves are both free agents, and Smith, Hampton and Keisel will all be on the wrong side of 30 next year, so there's a pretty glaring need for some young reinforcements. Drafting a long-term replacement for Hampton wouldn't be a bad idea either, as the nose tackle's tendency to pack on the pounds is starting to be reflected in his play.
    I don't think our DL is that solid as far as starters go. Hampton (31) is still strong and he can still throw guys around, but he got bigger and slower this past year, which other teams figured out and now he doesn't draw a lot of double teams. Keisel (30) is not a play maker like he was on ST's, he can get a push but he just doesn't get it done. Smith (32) when healthy is an animal. The depth at DL isn't pretty, Kirschke (34) IMO, needs to retire, he's got 10 career sacks in 10+ years, granted hes not a starter but hes not productive either. Eason (28), well he's Eason Hoke (32) has still got a high motor and he doesn't quit on plays, we would've been better served had he played more DE when Smith went down. I'm hoping McBean comes around and shows us something, a whole lot of something. Like the article said, we're on the wrong side of 30. We need a play maker at DE, I would love to see us go after Jared Allen but thats way past wishful thinking, no way we even go after him let alone get him on the roster.
    FA DE's don't look to good, we might try to get a younger serviceable one but thats about it, looks like we need to draft one and not on day 2 IMHO.


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    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
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    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    Lot's of "what if's" right now .... (i.e., what if we do this, what if we do that, what if we get this guy in the draft, what if we bring in this guy from the FA market)

    The sands of the hourglass have run out for Tomlin in terms of getting his "New Guy" free pass. From this point forward, Tomlin will be judged by his actions and his ability to address the weaknesses and the needs.
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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    Greatness has been expected of from day 1. He didn't inherit a team in total disrepair but he did inherit some problems that need addressed. He may not be able to fix them all this offseason but we all expect significant progress to be made this offseason in key areas that have been lacking that we've all been talking about.

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