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Oviedo
10-06-2008, 04:00 PM
© Interesting that when Marvel Smith went down in the second half with cramps, he was replaced by Trai Essex, not Max Starks.

It really makes you wonder if the team is going to be willing to make the move of bumping right tackle Willie Colon – who’s really struggling – to right guard and inserting Starks at right tackle.

I can't really tell what position he is advocating, but I really hope Colon moves inside during this two week break. Colon just does not seem able to handle outside speed rushers.

SteelTorch
10-06-2008, 04:02 PM
© Interesting that when Marvel Smith went down in the second half with cramps, he was replaced by Trai Essex, not Max Starks.

It really makes you wonder if the team is going to be willing to make the move of bumping right tackle Willie Colon – who’s really struggling – to right guard and inserting Starks at right tackle.

I can't really tell what position he is advocating, but I really hope Colon moves inside during this two week break. Colon just does not seem able to handle outside speed rushers.
I say let Colon and Stapleton duke it out for guard, and insert Starks' fat ass at RT.

The only thing I have against putting Colon at RG is how well he'd be able to pull-block.

Oviedo
10-06-2008, 04:07 PM
© Interesting that when Marvel Smith went down in the second half with cramps, he was replaced by Trai Essex, not Max Starks.

It really makes you wonder if the team is going to be willing to make the move of bumping right tackle Willie Colon – who’s really struggling – to right guard and inserting Starks at right tackle.

I can't really tell what position he is advocating, but I really hope Colon moves inside during this two week break. Colon just does not seem able to handle outside speed rushers.
I say let Colon and Stapleton duke it out for guard, and insert Starks' fat bad word at RT.

The only thing I have against putting Colon at RG is how well he'd be able to pull-block.

:Agree

papillon
10-06-2008, 04:07 PM
© Interesting that when Marvel Smith went down in the second half with cramps, he was replaced by Trai Essex, not Max Starks.

It really makes you wonder if the team is going to be willing to make the move of bumping right tackle Willie Colon – who’s really struggling – to right guard and inserting Starks at right tackle.

I can't really tell what position he is advocating, but I really hope Colon moves inside during this two week break. Colon just does not seem able to handle outside speed rushers.
I say let Colon and Stapleton duke it out for guard, and insert Starks' fat bad word at RT.

The only thing I have against putting Colon at RG is how well he'd be able to pull-block.

Stapleton played fine. Why punish him? Let Starks and Colon duke it out for RT; I believe that Stapleton may have a future with this team. Get him the reps and work over the next two weeks and lets see what happens against Cincy.

Starks is the one in the doghouse and colon is the one getting beat like a rented mule. Let them battle for a job.

Pappy

Shawn
10-06-2008, 04:13 PM
Personally, I really like Essex. I think he would be an improvement over Colon at RT. I really think you should let Colon, Stapleton and Kemo battle it out for the two guard spots...start Essex at RT...then next season draft a center and a LT in the first three rounds.

I would really like to see the Steelers draft like this next season.

1) LT
2) NT
3) C
4) DE

Oviedo
10-06-2008, 04:25 PM
Personally, I really like Essex. I think he would be an improvement over Colon at RT. I really think you should let Colon, Stapleton and Kemo battle it out for the two guard spots...start Essex at RT...then next season draft a center and a LT in the first three rounds.

I would really like to see the Steelers draft like this next season.

1) LT
2) NT
3) C
4) DE

Almost agree with you except I would franchise Smith to buy us another year and then draft:

1: DE or NT
2: OT or C
3: OT or C depending on previous pick
3 Comp (for Faneca): CB
4: DT/NT

Shawn
10-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Personally, I really like Essex. I think he would be an improvement over Colon at RT. I really think you should let Colon, Stapleton and Kemo battle it out for the two guard spots...start Essex at RT...then next season draft a center and a LT in the first three rounds.

I would really like to see the Steelers draft like this next season.

1) LT
2) NT
3) C
4) DE

Almost agree with you except I would franchise Smith to buy us another year and then draft:

1: DE or NT
2: OT or C
3: OT or C depending on previous pick
3 Comp (for Faneca): CB
4: DT/NT

I would certainly be ok with that.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-06-2008, 04:54 PM
I am by no means a technorati (-um?), especially when it comes to the line, but from what I saw last night Essex played like he deserved his nick name (Essucks). He was getting beaten by the DE on JUST ABOUT EVERY PLAY, and the only reason Ben didn't go down like a sack of bricks in 1.2 seconds is because the 2nd guy they kept back there (RB, TE?) slowed him down.

A lot of those Houdini escapes Ben made were a direct result of Essex letting his man through. Yeah, they turned out OK (assuming the shoulder isn't trashed), but it's not something to game plan on.

Don't know much about Essex except what I saw last night, but it wasn't something that would make me want to give him more time on the line than I absolutely had to.

Shawn
10-06-2008, 05:19 PM
I am by no means a technorati (-um?), especially when it comes to the line, but from what I saw last night Essex played like he deserved his nick name (Essucks). He was getting beaten by the DE on JUST ABOUT EVERY PLAY, and the only reason Ben didn't go down like a sack of bricks in 1.2 seconds is because the 2nd guy they kept back there (RB, TE?) slowed him down.

A lot of those Houdini escapes Ben made were a direct result of Essex letting his man through. Yeah, they turned out OK (assuming the shoulder isn't trashed), but it's not something to game plan on.

Don't know much about Essex except what I saw last night, but it wasn't something that would make me want to give him more time on the line than I absolutely had to.

I always find it amazing that two people can watch the same game and see the exact opposite thing.

steelernation77
10-06-2008, 05:23 PM
I wasn't very impressed from what I saw of Essex.

As far as moving Colon to OG and Starks to RT, yes it sounds great, but if Starks could not get on the field when Smith went down, I find it unlikely they'll want to put him in to the starting lineup.

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 07:01 PM
I am by no means a technorati (-um?), especially when it comes to the line, but from what I saw last night Essex played like he deserved his nick name (Essucks). He was getting beaten by the DE on JUST ABOUT EVERY PLAY, and the only reason Ben didn't go down like a sack of bricks in 1.2 seconds is because the 2nd guy they kept back there (RB, TE?) slowed him down.

A lot of those Houdini escapes Ben made were a direct result of Essex letting his man through. Yeah, they turned out OK (assuming the shoulder isn't trashed), but it's not something to game plan on.

Don't know much about Essex except what I saw last night, but it wasn't something that would make me want to give him more time on the line than I absolutely had to.

I always find it amazing that two people can watch the same game and see the exact opposite thing.

Essex's FIRST snap of the game he gave up a sack.

How'd you miss that one?!

stlrz d
10-06-2008, 07:57 PM
Stapleton looked good...leave him in there!

buckeyehoppy
10-06-2008, 11:06 PM
Stapleton played fine. Why punish him? Let Starks and Colon duke it out for RT; I believe that Stapleton may have a future with this team. Get him the reps and work over the next two weeks and lets see what happens against Cincy.

Starks is the one in the doghouse and Colon is the one getting beat like a rented mule. Let them battle for a job.

Pappy

Exactly!!!

Right now, Darnell is head and shoulders above both of those guys and it seems like the Steelers are able to run their short game more effectively with him than even with KSimm.

At this point, they are welcome to challenge Darnell with Willie. But I still think that Darnell would win the challenge. I'm pretty sure that Darnell will be the starting RG the rest of the season and if he plays well enough he could be around for a while. That would be a bonus for a guy like him to take a golden opportunity and run with it.

As for Willie v. Max Sucks, Willie has beaten him out twice for the same job. Max Sucks might play better than he practices. But, if that's the case, then that means he's an unprofessional pile of dog dirt and really shouldn't be around. If the Steelers have to limp with Willie at RT for the duration, then so be it.

If the Steelers really want to move heaven and earth with a roster move during the bye week that is addition by subtraction, I say cut losses with the money and launch Max Sucks. The guy hasn't played more than a handful of downs this year and he is obviously not part of the team's future. He is a waste of a roster spot and if the Steelers can bring in anyone who is able to make even a meager contribution to this team, that would be an improvement over this pile of doo-doo.

buckeyehoppy
10-07-2008, 12:02 AM
Personally, I really like Essex. I think he would be an improvement over Colon at RT. I really think you should let Colon, Stapleton and Kemo battle it out for the two guard spots...start Essex at RT...then next season draft a center and a LT in the first three rounds.

I would really like to see the Steelers draft like this next season.

1) LT
2) NT
3) C
4) DE

Almost agree with you except I would franchise Smith to buy us another year and then draft:

1: DE or NT
2: OT or C
3: OT or C depending on previous pick
3 Comp (for Faneca): CB
4: DT/NT

I'm going to say this as often as I need to, and I don't care who thinks what...

...even if the Steelers have to move up to do it they will be drafting a LT with their first pick in the 2009 Player Entry Draft.

There, I said it...again.

Look, I don't have a problem with drafting a DL in the second. In fact, I think it would be wise if they used that pick on a DT because Hampton isn't dependable at this juncture of his career and it would help to get some new blood and some depth to that spot. And I know that Hoke has done well. I've been impressed with his play in relief of Hampton. But let's see where Hoke is if he has to continue to relieve the Fat Snack. All the more reason it's necessary to draft a DT with the second pick.

But that first pick must be used to shore up the OT position. Even if Smith is franchised, let's look at the rest of the possible candidates for the OT position for the 2009 Steelers:

Willie Colon: Regressing at the T position. Better suited for G where he could have a job, but he'll have to fight for it. A player in possible limbo.

Trai Essex: An UFA. Should only be back at the Steelers price. Too inconsistent to be considered as anything but a reliever and a backup at this point in his career.

Tony Hills: A project that has just as much chance to fail as it has to succeed. If it succeeds, the Steelers might nip the need for a LT in the bud. But early indications suggest that this project might well fail, dropping the Steelers back to square one to try and find a LT.

Max Sucks: Are you kidding me??? :lol: :lol: :lol: He's gone like a fart in the wind.

That brings us to Marvel. I'm just guessing, but it's safe to say that he'll be franchised.

It might also be safe to say that the Steelers will be in play for the best available FA LT in the off-season if they wish to go with a proven vet at that spot. If this happens, two new things come into play:

*It gives the Steelers the flexibility to move Marvel to RT. Of course, that assumes they would want to franchise him if they sign a high profile FA.

*It takes the pressure off of drafting a LT in the first round.

Knowing Colbert's inherent inability to evaluate OL talent, entrusting him with the prospect of drafting a LT in the first round brings visions of Jamain Stephens dancing into my head.

Signing a FA LT is a pretty inexact way of doing it, but it might be preferable to bringing back Marvel if they can find a model with less mileage and more durability at LT. Marvel has hardly been the picture of consistency this year so far and if he gets worse, what happens if the Steelers are saddled with him at the franchise price?

The rest of the draft after the second round can be BPA, but with a mind toward shoring the trenches.

The Steelers will need to come away with two drafted OTs in the 2009 Draft at minimum, if for no other reason than to bring in fresh blood to a unit that has been a red-headed step child to the rest of the units that resemble super models by comparison.

Chadman
10-07-2008, 02:51 AM
Ok, Chadman's take on the future of the O-Line...

LT- Franchising Marvel makes sense. It gets the Steelers an extra year of preparation. Let's face it- Marvel isn't the big weakness at LT. Trai Essex isn't a 'star', but as a career back-up & ALSO as a back-up at OG, he's good value to keep around. There have been worse LT's in Pittsburgh...

LG- Kemo has worked in admirably- so much so that there is no noticable drop-off from A.Faneca this season. If Kemo holds LG, and Essex can be a back-up OG, then this position is sound.

OC- Hartwig has been pretty decent. At worst, he's servicable. Stapleton is a good back-up for OC too.

RG- Stapleton could easily be the answer here. Kendall could be expendable. Essex could be a servicable back-up, as can Willie Colon.

RT- Colon is the 'encumbant', but needs some competition. Tony Hills gets very little love on here, but coming into the draft, he was at times mentioned as a possible 1st round pick before his leg injury. If he can have a solid off-season of work & come in next season fit, he's a good chance at RT. Remember- Hills was a very good O-Lineman on a good team, with a strong running culture. There is some pedigree there for him to succeed.

So, what's required?

A future LT for sure. Essex should be a back-up, and Smith only gets Franchised- not extended. Draft a LT to learn for a year & step in the following season.

After that, possibly a RT too. Colon looks like he'd be better used inside, so outside of Hills, RT looks weak. So an genuine RT is required, if only to push Hills/Colon into action.

The interior line looks solid. Chadman sees no need to draft interior lineman.

This leads Chadman to thinking about what rounds the Steelers should be looking for the future O-Line. LT's are generally only 1st or 2nd round worthy if they are any good- any later & they are 'projects'- no project needed here. So definately the first 2 rounds. Unlike many, Chadman is comfortable with picking up LT's in Round 2. As for RT, Chadman still stands by his call for selecting Kirk Barton last draft. This is the sort of player needed in Pittsburgh- a physical over-achiever. RT's of this nature can be selected in the late 3rd, or 4th/5th rounds & still be effective.

So O-Line in Rounds 2 & 4 (for arguments sake)

This would leave a 1st round pick for a DE & a 3rd round pick for a wide-load NT to back up Casey Hampton.

So there you have it- Chadman's early draft plan

Round 1- DE
Round 2- LT
Round 3- NT
Round 4- RT

Oviedo
10-07-2008, 07:57 AM
Ok, Chadman's take on the future of the O-Line...

LT- Franchising Marvel makes sense. It gets the Steelers an extra year of preparation. Let's face it- Marvel isn't the big weakness at LT. Trai Essex isn't a 'star', but as a career back-up & ALSO as a back-up at OG, he's good value to keep around. There have been worse LT's in Pittsburgh...

LG- Kemo has worked in admirably- so much so that there is no noticable drop-off from A.Faneca this season. If Kemo holds LG, and Essex can be a back-up OG, then this position is sound.

OC- Hartwig has been pretty decent. At worst, he's servicable. Stapleton is a good back-up for OC too.

RG- Stapleton could easily be the answer here. Kendall could be expendable. Essex could be a servicable back-up, as can Willie Colon.

RT- Colon is the 'encumbant', but needs some competition. Tony Hills gets very little love on here, but coming into the draft, he was at times mentioned as a possible 1st round pick before his leg injury. If he can have a solid off-season of work & come in next season fit, he's a good chance at RT. Remember- Hills was a very good O-Lineman on a good team, with a strong running culture. There is some pedigree there for him to succeed.

So, what's required?

A future LT for sure. Essex should be a back-up, and Smith only gets Franchised- not extended. Draft a LT to learn for a year & step in the following season.

After that, possibly a RT too. Colon looks like he'd be better used inside, so outside of Hills, RT looks weak. So an genuine RT is required, if only to push Hills/Colon into action.

The interior line looks solid. Chadman sees no need to draft interior lineman.

This leads Chadman to thinking about what rounds the Steelers should be looking for the future O-Line. LT's are generally only 1st or 2nd round worthy if they are any good- any later & they are 'projects'- no project needed here. So definately the first 2 rounds. Unlike many, Chadman is comfortable with picking up LT's in Round 2. As for RT, Chadman still stands by his call for selecting Kirk Barton last draft. This is the sort of player needed in Pittsburgh- a physical over-achiever. RT's of this nature can be selected in the late 3rd, or 4th/5th rounds & still be effective.

So O-Line in Rounds 2 & 4 (for arguments sake)

This would leave a 1st round pick for a DE & a 3rd round pick for a wide-load NT to back up Casey Hampton.

So there you have it- Chadman's early draft plan

Round 1- DE
Round 2- LT
Round 3- NT
Round 4- RT

Chadman--I share your feelings about the interior of the line. We have much more depth there, but remember that Kemo is a UFA and we have to resign him. We should be able to at a good value because even with a good season the rest of league sees him as a one year starter. I do think that we need to grab another Center soon. We will have Hartwig through 2010 and maybe Stapleton can do the job but it would nice to have a dominant 10 year player like dawson or webster.

I wholeheartedly endorse you draft sequence. In Round 1 I would go for the best DT/DE on the board. We can't dodge the age bullet of the DL forever.

frankthetank1
10-07-2008, 08:00 AM
© Interesting that when Marvel Smith went down in the second half with cramps, he was replaced by Trai Essex, not Max Starks.

It really makes you wonder if the team is going to be willing to make the move of bumping right tackle Willie Colon – who’s really struggling – to right guard and inserting Starks at right tackle.

I can't really tell what position he is advocating, but I really hope Colon moves inside during this two week break. Colon just does not seem able to handle outside speed rushers.
I say let Colon and Stapleton duke it out for guard, and insert Starks' fat bad word at RT.

The only thing I have against putting Colon at RG is how well he'd be able to pull-block.

Stapleton played fine. Why punish him? Let Starks and Colon duke it out for RT; I believe that Stapleton may have a future with this team. Get him the reps and work over the next two weeks and lets see what happens against Cincy.

Starks is the one in the doghouse and colon is the one getting beat like a rented mule. Let them battle for a job.

Pappy

thats how i feel. stapleton so far has earned a spot on the o-line. he has looked very good. colon has played a lot worse then he did last year so he can compete with maxipad. i honestly believe the o-line should stay the way it is, as bad as colon has been i think starks is worse

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-07-2008, 08:53 AM
I have been wanting Colon moved down to RG since the season start. He has good enough feet to play there. Colon is a very good run blocker. Colon's struggles in pass blocking are from his short arms. Whenever he gets caught looking at the blitz and recognizing his assignment the defender is already in his body. He is opening himself up to many moves especially a rip to the outside. We have seen him get beat many times this way. Colon has better feet than Starks and is a better run blocker but Starks build makes him a better choice at RT. I do believe Starks is a better pass blocker than Colon but he is more suited for LT. The advantage of having long arms as a OT is something you can't really explain unless you play OL. When you could "punch" a DL and keep him off your body while you quickly observe the defense to recognize your assignment, you are keeping the defender at a stalemate. If he ends up being the guy you stay with you really are starting from that stalemate upon recognition. We have seen Colon many times look confused for a split second and then try to engage the defender. The defender is already into his body and ripping past him. The "confusion" you see is Colon evaluating who he needs to block and then engaging. You are supposed to try to get your hand on the guy and read through him. For that split second, your eyes are off the defender and he gains an advantage to your body. With long arms you could get to him sooner and keep him off your body while you read. I feel Colon brings more to this OL than Starks but for where the Steelers are struggling the move might make sense.

However, Stapleton played himself into an opportunity now. He had a solid game and showed the ability to get out in space in block. He could develop into a very solid OL and unseat Simmons with his play by years end. The chemistry of an OL is more important than experimenting. It is early in the season and the OL is lacking the chemistry because of new faces and injury. 3 of the 5 starters now have 2 years or less of starting experience. Kemo & Stapleton are in their 1st years of full time starters. They need to build chemistry for the playoff run. Thinking like a coach, unless Stapleton struggles at RG I don't see them making a change. Stapleton played well against some top DL against the Jags and held his own. They might have Colon practice at RG because of the depth problems. I don't see Stapleton struggling so the only other way is if Colon really starts giving up multiple sacks a game. They might give Starks & Essex an opportunity at RT
and have Colon & Stapleton battle it out at RG. Colon might be a better RG than Stapleton at this point. Don't root for any of this because if they start playing "musical chairs" on the OL more bad than good will come from it. Root for Stapleton to quickly grow and Colon get more comfortable on the edge.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
10-07-2008, 12:03 PM
Rant on:

I have no idea how Max Starks has gotten to where he is. I know that his contract is ridiculous, but why was he barely allowed to compete at RT? To put it into perspective, Sean Mahan was given more of an opportunity at C than Starks was at RT. Colon was named the starter about a week into camp!!

It is not like Colon is a world beater either. He has been awful IMO both this year and last. With Simmons out he will be exposed now worse than ever. Stapleton looked pretty good on Sunday night, but we still saw the pre-requisite false start/sack allowed combo that we get out of him every week.

I think that Starks is an upgrade, especially in the running game. IMO Smith/Kemo/Hartwig/Stapleton/Starks presents us with an acceptable O line. We would have upgraded our two weakest positions in the span of three weeks. Not bad as we come out of the bye.

dcsteelerfan
10-07-2008, 04:35 PM
Rant on:

It is not like Colon is a world beater either.
That is an understatement to say the least. Beaten is a better description for him, though I recall him saying that according to the coaches the Oline graded out pretty well against the Eagles - just some communication issues to iron out. :wft I hope I never see the day that the Oline gets poor grades.