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    Kevin Colbert media sitdown

    Between now and the March 11 start of free agency in the NFL, the Steelers “have some work to do to be in compliance” with the salary cap that could include contract “terminations, restructures and extensions” along with players taking pay cuts, general manager Kevin Colbert said.

    “We think everything will be manageable,” said Colbert, speaking Wednesday to a handful of writers at the team’s offices on the South Side.

    Some of that could be painful as veteran players are released while under contract or not re-signed when their contracts expire March 11, as the Steelers have done the past few years with notoriety.

    However, Colbert said they are in discussions with some of their own impending free agents to see if they can sign them to new contracts.

    “It’s safe to say we’re exploring different ideas with different players,” Colbert said, adding that there is a “distinct possibility” they could sign some before they would become free agents.

    One of those high on their list is Jason Worilds, although Colbert did not single him out. Previously, team president Art Rooney II mentioned Worilds as one the team would like to keep.

    There has been a debate whether the team would keep Worilds or 29-year-old LaMarr Woodley, who lost his longtime position at left outside linebacker to the younger player during the 2013 season. Asked if both could be kept, Colbert answered, “Could we? Yes.”

    However, Colbert acknowledged Woodley’s injuries that have caused him to miss 14 full games and parts of others over the past three seasons are a concern.

    “LaMarr has had some durability concerns over the past couple of seasons. They have been legitimate injuries. I think any time a player has an injury, if it extends beyond the season, I think it does become a concern. It has to be, because if the player is not on the field he isn’t helping us.”

    Colbert cited safety Troy Polamalu, who missed all but seven games in 2012 only to play every snap in 2013, as the “perfect example of someone who changed his [training] regimen with positive results.”

    The Steelers are encouraged by linebacker Sean Spence’s potential to overcome his devastating knee injury as a rookie in the 2012 preseason, especially after he had “one great day of practice” while still on the physically unable to perform list last fall. Colbert said it would be naive to think Spence has gotten over the hump and will make it all the way back to playing again, but he will get the chance to show what he can do at least through training camp.


    “Maybe the small sample he gave us [in practice] will show he can recover from his injury.”

    Among other points Colbert made:

    • The organization recognizes that Ben Roethlisberger, who turns 32 on March 2, has “only so many snaps left” and “we have to surround him with talent.”

    “You’re fortunate to have a franchise quarterback,” Colbert said. “There’s nobody we’d rather have than Ben. We realize he doesn’t have 10 years left. … Hopefully, he stays healthy and we get the maximum number of years out of him.

    “We have to make the most of those years we have left with our franchise quarterback.”

    • The Steelers are “never going to say, ‘OK, we’re not going to be a contender, let’s gut this thing and start over.’ … I never want to see that day.”

    • Joey Porter, added to the coaching staff on Tuesday, should help Jarvis Jones at right outside linebacker, where Porter excelled in his playing days with the Steelers.

    • The Steelers’ situation at safety and cornerback is “probably not as deep as we’d like to be at either” and that “it depends on who leaves or who stays, that depth will change.”

    • On the team’s second consecutive 8-8 record, Colbert feels, as does Art Rooney II, that the end of the 2013 season was more encouraging than a year previously.

    “You can’t minimize the job coach Tomlin and the players did after an 0-4 start … but that doesn’t override the fact that we still weren’t good enough. Like I said, if we don’t accept the fact that we were 8-8, we’re going to mislead ourselves and we can’t do that.”

    • The group of prospects available in the May draft is “as deep across the board as any draft I’ve seen in 30 years.” But Colbert is concerned that many in the record number of underclassmen opting for the draft will not be ready for the next step, thus the group “has a bigger chance of failing.”

    • The Steelers do not plan to use the franchise or transition designations on any of their players. “They are always available to us. But, at this stage, I would say they would be doubtful.”

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...s/201402120149

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    “LaMarr has had some durability concerns over the past couple of seasons. They have been legitimate injuries. I think any time a player has an injury, if it extends beyond the season, I think it does become a concern. It has to be, because if the player is not on the field he isn’t helping us.”

    Posturing much? I like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by questforSB7 View Post
    And I have EVERY Steelers game on tape going back 20 years BEFORE Terry Bradshaw even picked up a football.

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    Assistant Coach Real Deal Steel's Avatar
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    All that sounds good but if the O-line doesn't come together, then we're just pissing in a breeze that's blowing back in our face.
    The Steeler way...is the only way.

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    Veteran TarlsQtr's Avatar
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    Kevin Colbert media sitdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Real Deal Steel View Post
    All that sounds good but if the O-line doesn't come together, then we're just pissing in a breeze that's blowing back in our face.
    At least there should be no excuses this year. With Munchak, we will know what we have one way or the other by December. If he cannot fix the unit, it is the players.
    "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

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TarlsQtr View Post
    At least there should be no excuses this year. With Munchak, we will know what we have one way or the other by December. If he cannot fix the unit, it is the players.
    The OL staying healthy would be very nice for a change....Its like every year the OL battles injury after injury.....I know injuries are part of the game but it seems are OL has been snake bitten with injuries the last few years....

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    Chuck's Place ChucktownSteeler's Avatar
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    I am happy Munchak was hired. Looking forward to some positive results.

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    Assistant Coach Real Deal Steel's Avatar
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    Munchak may be the biggest "get" we find this whole off-season. Love the fact that he's here.
    The Steeler way...is the only way.

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    Nice read. I just don't quite get the hoopla about salary cap and all the behind the scenes work that is done around it. We hear these stories every year, not only for the Steelers but for several teams, and quite frankly I don't remember seeing a team suffer terribly because of it. Granted, I may not know how to identify it if it did happen but it just seems like much ado about nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarlsQtr View Post
    At least there should be no excuses this year. With Munchak, we will know what we have one way or the other by December. If he cannot fix the unit, it is the players.
    Valid point. How long will it take before we see the ultimate result of his methodology?

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    Veteran TarlsQtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Valid point. How long will it take before we see the ultimate result of his methodology?
    Well, unfortunately people here freak out if they are not playing great football in the preseason. I am no offensive line guru but the zone scheme is pretty complex. I would not be surprised if there are some early season struggles. If these players are good enough to benefit from Munchak's system (the two biggest question marks are the tackles), they should improve a lot over the course of the season.
    "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

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