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  1. #1
    Starter DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Re-tooling the roster.....

    Heres another long one....oops.....
    It's that time of year – once a team has been eliminated from the postseason the media dust off the trusty clichés. Usually teams are either "playing for pride" or "playing for their jobs next season." I never got the whole pride thing, but there's certainly some truth to playing for future job considerations.

    With that in mind, here's an incomplete list of players who may not be around in 2007:

    Unrestricted Free Agents
    Rodney Bailey
    Tyrone Carter
    Sean Morey
    Najeh Davenport
    Mike Logan
    Lee Mays
    Barrett Brooks
    Chidi Iwuoma
    Chad Brown
    Brian St. Pierre
    Others
    Jeff Hartings
    Cedrick Wilson
    Chris Gardocki
    Travis Kirshke
    Rodney Bailey
    Verron Haynes
    Jerame Tuman
    That's a lot of bodies. Some, like Brooks, won't be missed. Others, like Iwuoma and even Morey, will be harder to replace should it come to that.
    I think it's pretty obvious that Gardocki's Steelers career has run its course and if it takes a blocked punt to get him out of the league I'd let the Bengals' special teams know that Sunday could be a big day for them. I've already made my views known on the punting situation: Pittsburgh should use a fourth-rounder on the best college punter available. And before you say that a fourth-round pick is too high, just take a moment to think back on recent Steelers' selections: Danny Farmer, Mathias Nkwenti, Fred Gibson. I could go on, but I oppose torture. In the meantime, everybody learn how to correctly pronounce Daniel Sepulveda.

    I'd like to think that Tyrone Carter will be back, but if the Steelers draft another defensive back, and Ricardo Colclough returns from his bout with depression after single-handedly losing the Bengals game neck injury, Carter could be the odd man out. This is assuming that Mike Logan is done in Pittsburgh. However many defensive backs end up making the team, their ability to play special teams should be a pretty high priority. This is a not-so-subtle way of saying keeping Chidi Iwuoma might be a good idea.

    This line of reasoning supports bringing back Sean Morey, too. At this point, I think Morey is more valuable to Pittsburgh than Cedrick Wilson. I want to like Wilson, but he just hasn't done much in two seasons. This preseason, the talk was whether the Steelers would keep seven wideouts. They ended up keeping six and the loss of Quincy Morgan hurt the special teams more than the offense. Now that we know Morey is a really dangerous kick returner, I hope the team doesn't make the same mistake (stifles a giggle).

    ... In Tuesday's column, the Tribune-Review's Mike Prisuta made the following comment:

    Roethlisberger and the Steelers came up short far too many times to take advantage of an open back door to the postseason. They'll recognize that eventually, if they haven't already. The lineup around Roethlisberger will be tweaked, as it always is from one season to the next.
    Adding another big-play receiver, preferably a big one through the draft or free agency, wouldn't hurt. But the biggest change must come from Roethlisberger responding to having been figuratively and literally knocked down.

    Maybe it was just a throwaway line or maybe he really meant it. Either way, if there's one thing the Steelers don't need it's "another big-play receiver." Or, more succinctly, it's not at the top of the off-season to-do list. Currently, the depth chart at wideout looks like this:
    Hines Ward
    Santonio Holmes
    Nate Washington
    Cedrick Wilson
    Willie Reid
    Sean Morey
    Where's the room for another big-play receiver? I love the idea of a healthy Ward and Holmes playing together, as well as Washington, with a full season behind him, as the No. 3. If Wilson hangs around in 2007, he should be used in the Terance Mathis/Chris Doering/Antwaan Randle El trick play role. Reid will basically be a rookie ... again, but hopefully he can manage to make the game-day roster and, if nothing else, return punts.
    Given all of Pittsburgh's other needs, I'd take a pass on drafting a wide receiver. Even Calvin Johnson. That said, I agree when Prisuta writes that "...the lineup around Roethlisberger will be tweaked..." and in Wednesday's column he goes into a little more detail:

    If 2006 is viewed as an aberration, the organizational response figures to be more of a tweak than a shakeup. That's a conclusion that lost some credibility when the Steelers got pummeled for a second consecutive time by the new heavyweight in the AFC North Division, the Baltimore Ravens.
    Still, it's an argument that might be viewed as viable, given the circumstances of Ben Roethlisberger's offseason and preseason and all those turnovers.

    And whether a tweak or a shakeup is needed will be the most discussed topic of the off-season after Bill Cowher let's us know what his future plans include. I'm on record as saying Pittsburgh doesn't need a complete overhaul but some people don't see it that way. I understand the argument, but when you go whole hog on rebuilding, you're basically saying, "alright, it's going to take two or three years to get this thing like we want it, but it's a sacrifice worth making in the long run." I don't think the Steelers are in such a situation and to start making extensive changes seems a little premature.
    Luckily, I don't have to make that decision and the Rooney's have a pretty good personnel track record. I loved this bit from Prisuta's latest:

    In 1969 they hired Chuck Noll, then a defensive coach with Baltimore (there were no such things as coordinators at the time).
    In 1992 they turned to Cowher, then the defensive coordinator in Kansas City. The two first-time head coaches combined to win five Super Bowls and last a combined 37 seasons, giving credence to the theory that being able to identify a rising star in the profession can pay huge dividends.

    Also interviewed, among others, as the search for Noll's successor played out were John Fox (then Noll's defensive backfield coach), Dennis Green, Mike Holmgren and Dave Wannstedt.

    The Steelers knew what they were doing, as far as identifying rising stars in the industry.

    In retrospect, it's pretty amazing to think Cowher got the job over Fox, Green, Holmgren and Wannstedt. I understand that all four coaches were unproven at the time, but what did the Rooneys see in Cowher that made him the favorite? I wonder how things would've worked out if one of the other guys got the job. The best belated Christmas present I can think of is never having to pull for a Mike Holmgren-coached Steelers team. Small mercies, I guess.
    Whatever happens next week, it's reassuring to know that unlike a lot of franchises, the Rooneys know what they're doing. And even if they don't, they're very, very lucky.

    ... Finally, I wanted to point out this Ed Bouchette article from Thursday's Post-Gazette. It's basically 300 words that could be summed up in one sentence: linebacker James Farrior leads the team in tackles with 145, the most by any Steelers' player since Jack Lambert had 159 in 1983. It's not a bad piece, per se, but it could be a hell of a lot better. I can learn who leads the league in tackles by going to NFL.com.

    The question Bouchette should be answering -- or at least asking -- is why is Farrior leading the team in tackles? Is he more mobile than in previous seasons? Are the defensive linemen doing a better job of occupying blockers in front of him? Is he missing more tackles than in previous seasons? Where, in relation to the line of scrimmage, is he making these tackles?

    This is the kind of information that interests fans. I don't yet have the data for 2006, but here's what I wrote last off-season about Farrior:

    Farrior certainly didn't have a bad year [in 2005], it was just a departure from 2004. According to the game-charting data, on passing plays, Farrior made his average stop 6.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, good for 72nd in the league among linebackers. (Note: passing plays also include sacks). On running plays, Farrior made his average stop 2.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, which ranked 12th.
    I'm not saying Bouchette should have access to these numbers but he has something a lot more valuable: access to the coaches who watch the film and see these guys every day for nine months a year. Ask Dick LeBeau or Keith Butler why Farrior's numbers are up this season. To just write that Farrior leads the team in tackles tells only half the story -- the half that isn't interests nobody.
    Come on, throw me a bone.

    By Ryan Wilson
    SteelCityInsider.com
    Posted Dec 29, 2006
    We have a talented group of receivers...Gardocki has got a fork in him and we NEED some LB's.....a little help on the OL, there are several ways we can go with the draft......


    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  2. #2
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Rodney Bailey - Yes
    Tyrone Carter - Yes
    Sean Morey - Yes
    Najeh Davenport - yes
    Mike Logan - Maybe
    Lee Mays - No
    Barrett Brooks - No
    Chidi Iwuoma - YES !
    Chad Brown - No
    Brian St. Pierre - Maybe
    Others
    Jeff Hartings - No
    Cedrick Wilson - No
    Chris Gardocki - No
    Travis Kirshke - Yes
    Rodney Bailey - Maybe
    Verron Haynes - Yes
    Jerame Tuman - Yes

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Yes the Steelers have WR's and I like the core overall. But they don't have a tall physical WR. I like Nate Washington but he seems a alittle soft and Nate proved this year when he took some contact he didn't hold onto the ball most of the time.

    So if Dwayne Jarrett the tall WR from USC is there in the first round when the Steelers pick I wouldn't be against the drafting of Jarrett if he is the best player available. But I think drafting a LB in the first round is a bigger need.

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    Starter DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    Yes the Steelers have WR's and I like the core overall. But they don't have a tall physical WR. I like Nate Washington but he seems a alittle soft and Nate proved this year when he took some contact he didn't hold onto the ball most of the time.

    So if Dwayne Jarrett the tall WR from USC is there in the first round when the Steelers pick I wouldn't be against the drafting of Jarrett if he is the best player available. But I think drafting a LB in the first round is a bigger need.
    I think Jarrett will go to either the Rams or the 49ers or even the Lions(LMAO), I haven't seen much from USC WR's in the NFL lately. The big thing with receivers is a sorta psychic connection with the QB. That takes some time to get a feel for each other. We definitely need LB's, Paul Posluszny is a definite, I like Willis from Ole Miss, Simpson from Alabama and Latimer from Oklahoma.


    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  5. #5
    House of Steel
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    Unrestricted Free Agents
    Rodney Bailey-- No
    Tyrone Carter-- This is an iffy depending on Mike Logan
    Sean Morey --- Well, I don't know.
    Najeh Davenport --- We need to resign him, he did well in the ST role and as a reliever for Willie.
    Mike Logan-- If he retires, we need Carter, if he stays aboard one more season, great.
    Lee Mays --- HELL NO!!!
    Barrett Brooks --- Hmmmmm...maybe.
    Chidi Iwuoma ---- We are NOT making the same mistake twice, GET HIM ON THE ROSTER.
    Chad Brown --- I think he is retiring, but if he plans to come back another season, I would sign him for depth.
    Brian St. Pierre --- Is he getting tired of being the Steelers' Whore yet? Let him go, release the cord.
    Others
    Jeff Hartings --- Retiring, otherwise, he comes back for one season, sign him cheap.
    Cedrick Wilson --- He hasn't proven much, let him go.
    Chris Gardocki --- He needs to retire, getting sick of him myself.
    Travis Kirshke --- Hmmmmm. Don't know.
    Rodney Bailey ---- This is a swing for me.
    Verron Haynes ---- Definitely a signer.
    Jerame Tuman --- Reliable, I would like to keep him.

  6. #6
    Top 30 Aunkster's Avatar
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    I hope in the draft that we can choose another big back like jerome,this way we have a speed back and a power back.

    I also would like to see a couple real good strong safetys.
    and a good linebacker for Joey to take under his wing.

    an offense line person or 2

    possibly a kicker also.

    Just my thoughts.


    If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler." -- Jack Lambert, 1990 HOF Induction Speech

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    SA's Official God steelcurtain09's Avatar
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    1st - LB middle or outside
    2nd - OT
    3rd - power RB
    4th - LB opposite of mid or out from 1st
    5th - P or K
    6th - K or P
    7th - no clue

  8. #8
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    The team will keep Jeff Reed on the roster, but they will bring in another kicket to push him and see how he does in training camp.

    I don't think they'll ever take a kicker and a punter in the draft back to back unless its in the last round with compensatory picks.

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIESELMAN View Post
    I think Jarrett will go to either the Rams or the 49ers or even the Lions(LMAO), I haven't seen much from USC WR's in the NFL lately. The big thing with receivers is a sorta psychic connection with the QB. That takes some time to get a feel for each other. We definitely need LB's, Paul Posluszny is a definite, I like Willis from Ole Miss, Simpson from Alabama and Latimer from Oklahoma.
    I agree LB is a bigger need Diesel. I just like the idea of drafting best player available. If Jarrett is the best available then I think he should be the pick. I like Willis alot but he is a inside LB. I think drafting an OLB is a bigger need. I know Posluszny is an OLB but is he a OLB in a 3-4? Usually a 3-4 OLB in our defense is a converted DE from college. So do you think Posluszny can play OLB in a 3-4? I hope so since I think he would be a great pick and has a Steeler attitude.

    I have no worries about the first round pick. The Steelers have done very well with first round picks the last five years. The Steelers can't waste picks in the later rounds like they have been doing.

  10. #10
    House of Steel
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    We aren't getting a Power RB in the draft, I am sorry to say this. THERE WON'T BE ANOTHER JEROME BETTIS TYPE RB in a long time. We will get a RB in the draft without a doubt, probably not til the 4th or 5th.

    We definitely need a OLB, MLB, or any offensive linemens. That is a major priority. We will probably get a free agent to push Jeff Reed in training camp. Other than that, we don't have much more in needs. We damn well need one more thing, a SPECIAL TEAMER. Reid is good, but we need someone else in case he goes down again.

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