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Steelhere10
12-22-2008, 08:59 PM
or signed to another contract, do we keep Hartwig and blow the rest of the line up including Simmons. what would you guys do to fix the line for next year. being realistic on the way the Rooneys operate.

Chadman
12-22-2008, 09:14 PM
Realistically?

Max Starks gets re-signed & inserted in at LT.

Marvel is shipped out.

Essex serves as the back-up LT & also interior OG.

Tony Hills is given a shot a developing.

Kemoeatu gets a cap friendly deal to play/compete for LG.

Hartwig is instilled as OC until further notice.

Stapleton becomes the back-up OC & swing OG.

Simmons returns to battle for RG in camp- most likely wins.

Colon returns to battle for RT in camp- most likely loses- becomes back-up RT & interior OG.

Steelers draft Phil Loadholt to play RT in Round 2ish.

Doug Legursky is brought back into camp to compete for an interior line spot.

Another Interior O-Lineman added in the middle rounds of the draft.

That way you have...

LT- Starks/Essex/Hills
LG- Kemoeatu/Stapleton/Essex
OC- Hartwig/Stapleton/Legursky
RG- Simmons/Stapleton/Colon
RT- Loadholt/Colon/Hills

Chadman believes you need to shore up the leak on the right side with a guy like Loadholt. Cutting Simmons at this point seems unrealistic, but maybe having him beside the rookie is best anyway. Starks has performed no worse than Smith did at LT, is younger, and if the Steelers scrap zone blocking, can be dominant. Kemo....is the question mark. But, with this plan in place, you have Stapleon, Essex & Colon in place to replace Kemo if he continues to struggle.

Then- you commit to running Mendenhall/Parker & take away Ben's 40 pass attempts a game & watch Ben's sack numbers dwindle.

The ball gets turned over less.

The O has the ball longer...

The D is fresh enough to be dominant all game...

TD386Steel
12-22-2008, 09:16 PM
Good question. I'm okay with Starks as our starting left tackle. I'd move or replace the rest. Colon is a guard, simmons is terrrible, and Harttings isnt good enough. I'd fire the offensive line coach as well. Go out find the best and most expensive OL coach and move up in the draft to get the best tackle I can. I'd draft a couple of fullbacks in the later rounds as well.

Steelhere10
12-22-2008, 09:49 PM
what i would do. since Marvell, Starks, Kemo are all free agents i would sign the top 5 LT out there , it is realistic because that is about 14 mill. off the books. i would then sign Trai to a friendly contract and let him Tony H. and a draft choice( round 1-3 ) compete for the RT with the loser being backup RT/LT. I would keep Hartwig and Stapleton and let the winner start the loser be back/og. my top 2 of three picks would be OG , AND i would trade/cut Simmons. I think you can go from the bottom 10 OLINE to top 10.

Starlifter
12-22-2008, 10:39 PM
Realistically?

Max Starks gets re-signed & inserted in at LT.

Marvel is shipped out.

Essex serves as the back-up LT & also interior OG.

Tony Hills is given a shot a developing.

Kemoeatu gets a cap friendly deal to play/compete for LG.

Hartwig is instilled as OC until further notice.

Stapleton becomes the back-up OC & swing OG.

Simmons returns to battle for RG in camp- most likely wins.

Colon returns to battle for RT in camp- most likely loses- becomes back-up RT & interior OG.

Steelers draft Phil Loadholt to play RT in Round 2ish.

Doug Legursky is brought back into camp to compete for an interior line spot.

Another Interior O-Lineman added in the middle rounds of the draft.

That way you have...

LT- Starks/Essex/Hills
LG- Kemoeatu/Stapleton/Essex
OC- Hartwig/Stapleton/Legursky
RG- Simmons/Stapleton/Colon
RT- Loadholt/Colon/Hills

Chadman believes you need to shore up the leak on the right side with a guy like Loadholt. Cutting Simmons at this point seems unrealistic, but maybe having him beside the rookie is best anyway. Starks has performed no worse than Smith did at LT, is younger, and if the Steelers scrap zone blocking, can be dominant. Kemo....is the question mark. But, with this plan in place, you have Stapleon, Essex & Colon in place to replace Kemo if he continues to struggle.

Then- you commit to running Mendenhall/Parker & take away Ben's 40 pass attempts a game & watch Ben's sack numbers dwindle.

The ball gets turned over less.

The O has the ball longer...

The D is fresh enough to be dominant all game...

replacing arians with Hartwig as Offensive Coordinator get's my vote too....... :Bow

Discipline of Steel
12-22-2008, 11:26 PM
Kemo>Stapleton>Simmons
Gross>Starks>Smith>Colon
Hartwig>

phillyesq
12-22-2008, 11:39 PM
Starks and Hartwig have been mediocre. Stapelton has been up and down, and he is a natural center -- I think he might end up at that position, or as a swing guy backing up the inside.

Colon is terrible. Maybe he'll be ok at guard, but so far, terrible.

Kemo started well, but he has really regressed.

Simmons we all know -- and that was before he was hurt.

Smith is capable when healthy, but rarely healthy.

Essex is a mediocre backup.

I think that the Steelers will bring back Starks. I believe that Hartwig has a 2 year deal that is relatively inexpensive. I think that this is his RFA year (I could be wrong), but I bet that Colon comes back on a one year tender. And I bet that it is the middle tender, not the lower tender that most of us would expect.

I really hope that the Steelers use their first round pick on an OT, and that at least one of their next 2 picks is an offensive lineman as well. And, really, they could upgrade any position on the line.

I hope that they use premium picks on lineman. Waiting until the third and 4th round on tackles gives you Essex, Colon and Hills. No thanks. Waiting late on guards gives you Kemo. Tackles in the first and/or second, and an interior guy in the third.

pfelix73
12-22-2008, 11:45 PM
Chadman is right on the money..

The only thing that I would add would be a FB somewhere in the top end of the draft.

A Tackel somewhere in the 1st few rounds to add some depth and competition with Colon on the right side would be in the cards too.

Realistically, this OL will be staying pretty much the same next year. The only possible change could be Simmons at LG if Kemo isn't re-signed and/or Essex at LT or a FA at LT. Some have been saying Gross as a pickup and I'd certainly go along with it IF there's cap space available and Starks walks.

costanza2k1
12-23-2008, 01:14 AM
I would keep Hartwig and Colon (as a guard) flush the toilet on the rest of them. Rookies and people off the street can probably play better than what we have. Since 05 we've substituted crap with crap and ended up with....yup you guessed it crap. Time to format and reinstall.

buckeyehoppy
12-23-2008, 02:18 AM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

steelz09
12-23-2008, 02:46 AM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

:Agree :Agree :Agree

I want Smith, Starks, and Simmons all gone after this year. No way should we have ever signed Simmons to that long-term deal which we are now paying for. He's sucks, and really isn't an upgrade over Kemo or Stapleton IMO.

If Kemo wants big money, he should be let go as well because he's not all that great. Not absolutely horrible, but not great either.

I would like to see the positions "shake out" like this. It's hard to identify the positions with a particular player due to the fact that we don't know the FO / Coaches intentions but here it goes:

LT: FA / Hills / Essex / Rookie
LG: Kemo / Colon
C: Hartwig / Stapleton
RG: Stapleton / Colon
RT: Hills / Essex / Rookie / Colon

The tackle position is wide open IMO. Bring in a veteran FA LT who will have the "upper hand" in training camp. Then let 2 (yes two) rookie LT's battle it out for both the LT and RT positions. If we could get a good rookie LT, then I wouldn't be opposed to that player having an honest competition for the starting LT position. Also throw in Hills to the battle for both LT and RT. Colon, Stapleton, Kemo (if he's around), and/or a rookie will provide good competition for the starting G positions.

I think that people will worry that our 2 tackles could be brand-new "guys" in the starting role but I don't see that as an issue. Can someone honestly say that 2 'new' guys would play any worse than Max Sucks and Willie Colon? Two lawn chairs on the left side of the OL would have the same results as Max Sucks, and Colon is on the ground more than he is standing. Colon is simply garbage at tackle and would definitely be a better guard.

Just my :2c

buckeyehoppy
12-23-2008, 03:07 AM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

:Agree :Agree :Agree

I want Smith, Starks, and Simmons all gone after this year. No way should we have ever signed Simmons to that long-term deal which we are now paying for. He's sucks, and really isn't an upgrade over Kemo or Stapleton IMO.

If Kemo wants big money, he should be let go as well because he's not all that great. Not absolutely horrible, but not great either.

I would like to see the positions "shake out" like this. It's hard to identify the positions with a particular player due to the fact that we don't know the FO / Coaches intentions but here it goes:

LT: FA / Hills / Essex / Rookie
LG: Kemo / Colon
C: Hartwig / Stapleton
RG: Stapleton / Colon
RT: Hills / Essex / Rookie / Colon

The tackle position is wide open IMO. Bring in a veteran FA LT who will have the "upper hand" in training camp. Then let 2 (yes two) rookie LT's battle it out for both the LT and RT positions. If we could get a good rookie LT, then I wouldn't be opposed to that player having an honest competition for the starting LT position. Also throw in Hills to the battle for both LT and RT. Colon, Stapleton, Kemo (if he's around), and/or a rookie will provide good competition for the starting G positions.

I think that people will worry that our 2 tackles could be brand-new "guys" in the starting role but I don't see that as an issue. Can someone honestly say that 2 'new' guys would play any worse than Max Sucks and Willie Colon? Two lawn chairs on the left side of the OL would have the same results as Max Sucks, and Colon is on the ground more than he is standing. Colon is simply garbage at tackle and would definitely be a better guard.

Just my :2c

The very nature of the way the Steelers set up the contracts for the OL suggests that there will be an overhaul. It is too early to say which players will plug in where. You can speculate on FAs, and if the Steelers go into major salary dump mode A list FAs absolutely come into play.

I like the prospect of moving Willie inside to RG. I think that's the place of his best fit currently. The RT experiment with him needs to end ASAP.

I think the Steelers need to go with as many as three picks in the draft devoted exclusively to OT. It seems like a lot, until you consider how the FO has structured the deals for these guys and how much turnover there may be on the line. Outside of Hills and, maybe, Essex, I'm willing to bet that there will be no other returning OTs in 2009.

I think Smith and Simmons are just through, period. If they do sign with other teams, it will likely not be the same for them. I realistically don't see Smith ever playing again past this season and Simmons may well be in the same boat but I think he will go down fighting. For Smith I believe his body is winning his fight, not his will.

Flasteel
12-23-2008, 03:22 AM
Realistically?

Max Starks gets re-signed & inserted in at LT.

Marvel is shipped out.

Essex serves as the back-up LT & also interior OG.

Tony Hills is given a shot a developing.

Kemoeatu gets a cap friendly deal to play/compete for LG.

Hartwig is instilled as OC until further notice.

Stapleton becomes the back-up OC & swing OG.

Simmons returns to battle for RG in camp- most likely wins.

Colon returns to battle for RT in camp- most likely loses- becomes back-up RT & interior OG.

Steelers draft Phil Loadholt to play RT in Round 2ish.

Doug Legursky is brought back into camp to compete for an interior line spot.

Another Interior O-Lineman added in the middle rounds of the draft.

That way you have...

LT- Starks/Essex/Hills
LG- Kemoeatu/Stapleton/Essex
OC- Hartwig/Stapleton/Legursky
RG- Simmons/Stapleton/Colon
RT- Loadholt/Colon/Hills

Chadman believes you need to shore up the leak on the right side with a guy like Loadholt. Cutting Simmons at this point seems unrealistic, but maybe having him beside the rookie is best anyway. Starks has performed no worse than Smith did at LT, is younger, and if the Steelers scrap zone blocking, can be dominant. Kemo....is the question mark. But, with this plan in place, you have Stapleon, Essex & Colon in place to replace Kemo if he continues to struggle.

Then- you commit to running Mendenhall/Parker & take away Ben's 40 pass attempts a game & watch Ben's sack numbers dwindle.

The ball gets turned over less.

The O has the ball longer...

The D is fresh enough to be dominant all game...

I'd agree with all of this Chadman but also add another guard towards the top of the draft. Kemo has not been the force I hoped he'd be in the run game and is the liability I thought he might be in pass protection. Colon has been consistently poor as well and should never line up as our RT again.
Starks has done a very solid job at LT despite what some here are trying to say and Hartwig is deserving of a second season to at least compete with Stapleton at center. Simmons looked horrible before going on IR, but I'm sure he'll compete with Stapleton and maybe even Colon or Kemo at RG.
We need a tackle and guard in the first three picks or get one in free agency and draft one high. I also would love to see the zone blocking scheme go away, get a FB and start getting back to pounding the rock.

kennyes
12-23-2008, 06:04 AM
Good question. I'm okay with Starks as our starting left tackle. I'd move or replace the rest. Colon is a guard, simmons is terrrible, and Harttings isnt good enough. I'd fire the offensive line coach as well. Go out find the best and most expensive OL coach and move up in the draft to get the best tackle I can. I'd draft a couple of fullbacks in the later rounds as well.


Yeah, ever since retirement he's really not been the same...

:P

SuperSize
12-23-2008, 08:02 AM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

You obviously have some kind of personal axe to grind with Starks, because you wouldn't post this based on his play at LT this year. What makes you believe that Jordan Gross and/or Khalif Barnes would be an upgrade?

In my opinion, the OL who has played the worst this year is Kemo. He makes mistakes in recognition and with his footwork every week, and it seems to be getting worse. He may be a physically imposing man, but it doesn't translate into being an NFL lineman.

For you guys who are so down on Starks, can you point to any specific instances THIS YEAR that make you think he is so bad? I am just curious to know if you have a basis for your opinion, or if you are just repeating something that someone has said before.


Pete

frankthetank1
12-23-2008, 09:49 AM
it depends on how much money will keep starks and kemo in pittsburgh. i think they should re-sign both but to resonable contracts. i would keep smith for cheap money as a back up maybe. colon is just awful. hartwig i would keep and i think stapleton deserves to start at guard or a shot at center

Flasteel
12-23-2008, 10:06 AM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

You obviously have some kind of personal axe to grind with Starks, because you wouldn't post this based on his play at LT this year. What makes you believe that Jordan Gross and/or Khalif Barnes would be an upgrade?

In my opinion, the OL who has played the worst this year is Kemo. He makes mistakes in recognition and with his footwork every week, and it seems to be getting worse. He may be a physically imposing man, but it doesn't translate into being an NFL lineman.

For you guys who are so down on Starks, can you point to any specific instances THIS YEAR that make you think he is so bad? I am just curious to know if you have a basis for your opinion, or if you are just repeating something that someone has said before.


Pete

I think you hit the nail on the head with that.

I'd like for anyone to find fault with Starks last year or his play in any other season outside of '06.

ramblinjim
12-23-2008, 10:52 AM
I don't think Max has been a bad LT. I also think that he will demand monster $$$$ in free agency. I think based on from what I've seen that if you have the opportunity to re-sign Max for big $$$ or sign Jordan Gross for big $$$, you sign Jordan Gross.

If Max goes into FA and no one bites with big $$$...we keep him and spend some money elsewhere. Our Dline isn't a bunch of spring chickens either.

Tomlin talks about football being "Violent men, playing a violent game" and nothing from our oline shows any dominance in that regards. That being said Tomlin also talks a great deal about continuity being a big deal so I also don't seem him wanting the entire Oline blown up either.

Here are my thoughts.

LT - Max Starks backed up by Essex
LG - Kemo backed up by Stapleton
C - Hardwig - backed up by Stapleton or draft pick
RG - Stapleton or Simmons backed up by draft pick
RT - Hills - backed up by Essex

I'm guessing Max won't get offered the kind of money that will out price him for us. I'm also guessing Essex and Kemo sign cap friendly deals. Kemo is a first year starter and even though I called him every name in the book on Sunday, I think he gets another chance to get better. Kemo can also bring the violence, he just may not be that bright.

Hardwig has played Ok through all of this. Not great but Ok. Would we grab the best center in the draft if he fell to us in round 2 or 3? I think we would.

Stapleton has played pretty well for us, Simmons has a big $$ contract. I'll guess that if Simmons cannot beat out Stapleton then Simmons will get cut and we eat the cap hit....

Hills has some talent, he's just injury prone and I'm hoping that he takes this year, learns the playbook and gets better. Essex, being the man with the serious "position flexibility" will also be Hills' backup.

steelz09
12-23-2008, 11:06 AM
I could go on all day about Starks ... He's adequate at best.

I can't recall last year so I will stick with this year. Max Starks simply isn't a good left tackle in this league. Look around the league and compare with game tape or just simply watch two games at the same time and watch other teams left tackes and Max Starks.

We have all seen what Max is capable of. He's been on the team for several years and not only did he not WIN the starting job, he lost BOTH starting jobs. He can't beat out Marvel Smith except by default (injury) and he LOST his job to Willie Colon who is absolutely HORRIBLE at LT. So, I ask you ... with that in mind, how does that make him qualified to be the long-term LT answer especially considering the stupid money that he expects.

Let me get a little more specific. I watch our OL pretty closely especially our tackles. Max Starks is too slow, "cement footed", to face the premier pass rushers in this league that come from the RDE/RLB position. Max Starks does fairly decent against the bigger/slower DE/LB's and for the obviously reason... His weakness of being slow is not exposed as much. He has physical attributes (big, tall, long arms) to be a decent LT, but his slowness, feet, and athleticism sucks. On obvious pass rushing downs, Starks CONSTANTLY just backpedals (crosses his feet) to TRY to get in position so Ben doesn't get killed. Kiwanuka, Ware, Freeney will make Starks look stupid out there. Any DE that has a quick step to the outside and then can redirect to the inside will ABSOLUTELY TORCH Starks. He's overcompensates to the outside because he's slow to get there, which exposes himself to a double move to the inside.

Because of Starks backpedaling to the outside, I see NUMEROUS times where he barely touches the DE/LB. It's just that by the time the DE/LB runs around starks Ben has already stepped up into the pocket and got rid of the ball (or sacked). In the last 3 games, I recall several instances where Starks didn't even touch his guy. Ware and the Titans (SECOND STRINGER) DE really made him look bad on several occasions. If we meet Indy in the playoffs, Freeney will eat Starks alive and we don't have Faneca to help him. Why?? Because Freeny has that quick step to the outside and the spin move back to the inside. He will overplay to the outside because he knows he's slow, and then get torched on the inside.

Well... i could go on and on and on about this :)

Oh yea, I quote from Fisher himself:

For the most part, it was four-man pressure," Fisher said. "We got it a lot from the tackles, a lot from the ends."

The Titans, who play a 4-3 defense, were without a pair of starters on their line, including Pro Bowl tackle Albert Haynesworth (knee). Rookie Jason Jones more than compensated for the absence of Haynesworth and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin) as he registered three and a half sacks and three forced fumbles.

Oviedo
12-23-2008, 12:10 PM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

You obviously have some kind of personal axe to grind with Starks, because you wouldn't post this based on his play at LT this year. What makes you believe that Jordan Gross and/or Khalif Barnes would be an upgrade?

In my opinion, the OL who has played the worst this year is Kemo. He makes mistakes in recognition and with his footwork every week, and it seems to be getting worse. He may be a physically imposing man, but it doesn't translate into being an NFL lineman.

For you guys who are so down on Starks, can you point to any specific instances THIS YEAR that make you think he is so bad? I am just curious to know if you have a basis for your opinion, or if you are just repeating something that someone has said before.


Pete

Pap

I sort of agree, but Colon has clearly been the worse OL this year by far. The guy looks completely lost. Kemo is a close second and I think some problems Starks has had is related to Kemo getting beat inside.

While I would like to get Gross or Barnes because I really do think they are both better than Starks I am a realistic and believe that Starks could very well be back. No matter what happens Colon either needs to be a Guard or on the bench.

Steeler Shades
12-23-2008, 12:39 PM
The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.
I would bet money that the Steelers will NOT use their first three draft picks on linemen. I could see one OL out of the first three and a general consensus on this board that the Steelers had no choice but to take the BPA.

I do think the Steelers will break tradition and go after a FA OT this year. Just a feeling though..... 8)

NW Steeler
12-23-2008, 02:06 PM
I agree that this is the year that the Steelers HAVE to get a starting tackle in free agency.

TallyStiller
12-23-2008, 02:35 PM
The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.
I would bet money that the Steelers will NOT use their first three draft picks on linemen. I could see one OL out of the first three and a general consensus on this board that the Steelers had no choice but to take the BPA.

I do think the Steelers will break tradition and go after a FA OT this year. Just a feeling though..... 8)

$$$$$

Before I say anything else, SWEET sig pic.

We have spent $$$ before on the RIGHT FA in the right spot. Hartings, Farrior, Wayne Gandy (a LT, no less) came in as premium free agents. I believe we make a run at Jordan Gross this year.

With Starks/Smith pulling down over $13 mil against the cap this year, the money is there.

Further, we need to upgrade the talent on the O line. Colbert must be aware of this... he has had great success drafting best at position in a weak year late in the 1st round. Santonio, Heath, Troy P, Timmons have all been this type of pick. The problem is, there are certain positions at which this philosophy can't work. We got REAL lucky to get Marvel, the #2 overall tackle in the 1999 draft, at 2/8. Since then, the only time we picked high enough to have a shot at a premier tackle was in '04, and we got our guy at the only higher priority position then (hello, Ben!)

There are going to be numerous top shelf tackles in this draft, just like last year... Andre Smith, Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe, Ciron Black... and, just like last year, they'll all be gone by our pick - Atlanta astutely traded up to 1/21 to get Sam Baker right in front of us. We simply don't get the opportunity to draft these types of players, and with a bigger emphasis on the passing game going forward (think '77 - '79 Steelers with Terry, Swann and Stallworth in their primes), we badly need a premium left tackle who is equally adept at run and pass blocking.

Gross is definitely that guy. Did you see the mauling they put on Tampa Bay a couple of Mondays ago? SERIOUS ground game... 20 TD's this year for DeAngelo Williams! No trouble in the red zone or on 4th and 1 there. But team accomplishments aside, he was a top 15 pick coming out on draft day, meaning that he's got the athleticism that the guys currently on our roster at the position lack... the kind that Marvel had back when he was a Pro Bowl caliber player before the injuries.

Carolina won't be able to afford him, with Julius Peppers and Chris Gamble costing them big $$$ this offseason, and Jeff Otah pulling down top 20 pick $$$ on the roster at the position... Depth in the draft last 2 seasons at LT means fewer teams with need at the position, thinning the number of suitors... I just think this is the right guy, the right situation, and the right time for our FA to step up. I hope, for Ben's health's sake, that I'm right. You gotta protect the franchise, and I think they will. I'll go out on this limb right here and say that come the first of March, '09, Jordan Gross wears the B & G.

Lebsteel
12-23-2008, 05:40 PM
Chadman is right on the money..

The only thing that I would add would be a FB somewhere in the top end of the draft.

A Tackel somewhere in the 1st few rounds to add some depth and competition with Colon on the right side would be in the cards too.

Realistically, this OL will be staying pretty much the same next year. The only possible change could be Simmons at LG if Kemo isn't re-signed and/or Essex at LT or a FA at LT. Some have been saying Gross as a pickup and I'd certainly go along with it IF there's cap space available and Starks walks.

If Starks and Smith are gone, then we should, as mentioned above, have $14 million plus in cap space to spend. I watched Gross against the Giants and he is exactly what we need. A quick, bruising LT that literally imposes his will on the DL. He pushed Kiwanuka and the others around all night. Not sure we could sign him or even if he would want to leave Carolina. If we could get Gross and then draft Duke Robinson, that we be a great place to start in rebuilding the line. I would then draft a RT in Rd. 3 and have him compete with Hills, Capizzi, Essex etc. I think Colon should be gone. I'd like to see Simmons gone also, but maybe he stays for one more year since he would be a big cap hit this year, I think. As for center, Hartwig will do for one more year and then Stapleton could compete with our other 3rd round pick, Luigs from Arkansas or Caldwell from Alabama. So my initial thoughts on the draft would be:

1. OG Duke Robinson
2. DT or DE
3. RT, C
4. S

Steelhere10
12-23-2008, 06:00 PM
I can't fathom Max Sucks being a Steeler past this year.

Throwing the kind of FA $$$ at him that he will demand is like, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, throwing the car keys and the bottle of booze at your teenage son. It's irresponsible and will lead to disastrous results.

Once the Steelers clear the Sucks, Smith and, possibly, Kemo and Kendall's $$$ off the books, they will be able to go after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes in FA. Both are an upgrade over Max Sucks and you don't have to rely on the draft for the need at LT.

Max Sucks needs a fresh start someplace else. perhaps he will prove me wrong and not be the malcontent, loaf of crap, non-mobile, concrete shoe wearing underachiever that he has been in Pittsburgh.

I can see an OL that looks something like this in 2009:

LT-Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes
LG- Perhaps Duke Robinson?
C- Hartwig or Stapleton
RG- Hartwig, Stapleton or Colon (move him to the inside where his natural position is)
RT- Draft Pick or Hills or Essex

Two notes: I really hope that Hills comes through and gives the Steelers quality playing time like Stapleton has this year. And, I'm not really as down on Kemo as most are here. He's been disappointing down the stretch. But having him return at club-friendly terms isn't exactly a hair raising thought either.

The Steelers will need to address the OL with 2 of the first 3 picks in the 2009 Draft. That is nearly a foregone conclusion, with DL being the spot addressed in the middle of those picks.

You obviously have some kind of personal axe to grind with Starks, because you wouldn't post this based on his play at LT this year. What makes you believe that Jordan Gross and/or Khalif Barnes would be an upgrade?

In my opinion, the OL who has played the worst this year is Kemo. He makes mistakes in recognition and with his footwork every week, and it seems to be getting worse. He may be a physically imposing man, but it doesn't translate into being an NFL lineman.

For you guys who are so down on Starks, can you point to any specific instances THIS YEAR that make you think he is so bad? I am just curious to know if you have a basis for your opinion, or if you are just repeating something that someone has said before.


Petei personally DON'T think he's bad, but dollar for performance HE IS TERRIBLE, that's why i think it would be wise to spend 7 mill per year on a Pro Bowler or potential to be one and Starks is not.

True Fan
12-23-2008, 07:42 PM
the realistic steeler way?

let your talent walk if they dont sign for less then fair market value and replace with backups for cheap. tell the fans that we are cap strapped, that things will be better and that continuity is the key.

NW Steeler
12-23-2008, 07:54 PM
the realistic steeler way?

let your talent walk if they dont sign for less then fair market value and replace with backups for cheap. tell the fans that we are cap strapped, that things will be better and that continuity is the key.

In most cases that isn't true. The Steelers almost always re-sign their key guys thru their "second" contract, but not the third. Usually by then they are on the downside of their career and are way overpriced. Usually there is a developing player ready to take their place. Our Oline had no measurable depth, so the issue seems magnified this time. Most of the time, the Steelers have made wise decisions in letting guys walk.

ramblinjim
12-24-2008, 12:07 AM
the realistic steeler way?

let your talent walk if they dont sign for less then fair market value and replace with backups for cheap. tell the fans that we are cap strapped, that things will be better and that continuity is the key.

In most cases that isn't true. The Steelers almost always re-sign their key guys thru their "second" contract, but not the third. Usually by then they are on the downside of their career and are way overpriced. Usually there is a developing player ready to take their place. Our Oline had no measurable depth, so the issue seems magnified this time. Most of the time, the Steelers have made wise decisions in letting guys walk.

:Agree

Everyone has made mistakes with their free agents but I think generally the Steelers do a good job of re-signing their guys and letting go guys that don't have as much left. Porter has had a solid this year, but so has James Harrison. Faneca walked and went to a team that isn't going to the playoffs. He's one that we didn't replace well. RandleEl? He'll be sitting at home this January too. Plexico has caught a lot of passes for the Giants but his off the field issues are just too much of a distraction (and we got to keep Hines Ward)

Im' trying to think of other exhamples of really good players that we let walk and didn't have a plan for and maybe it's late but I can't think of anyone off the top of my head.

NW Steeler
12-24-2008, 02:54 AM
Chad Brown was about the only guy I can think of that had some good years after he left. If he had stayed, he could have stepped into Greene's spot at OLB. I guess Gildon took that spot, but Brown would have been better.

Steel Life
12-24-2008, 08:42 AM
What linemen deserve to stay?...
Hartwig - Solidified the OC position to an above-average level
Stapleton - Has played better than expected for Simmons
Starks - Who here really thought he could play LT well enough for us to be 11-4?
Kemo - I know he's had his troubles, but it's his first year starting

Here's my question...we talk all the time bout how Colon is better suited to RG, but what about Kemo? His footwork isn't the greatest & his recognition is average, so why not put him at RG if you view him as a better player than Colon?

As for FA, we can go on all day about what we think the team should do, but we all know what teams usually does - they'll sign one second-tier FA who's solid but not stellar...so cross Gross off the list. Khalif Barnes may be a target & I'd love it, but it's more likely a guy like Mike Goff or George Foster is targeted.

BTW...anybody notice that former Pitt Panther Charles Spencer (hey...weren't you a 1st round pick?) was waived by the Jags recently? Now how many here wanted him?

RuthlessBurgher
12-24-2008, 11:07 AM
Chad Brown was about the only guy I can think of that had some good years after he left. If he had stayed, he could have stepped into Greene's spot at OLB. I guess Gildon took that spot, but Brown would have been better.

They basically had to choose whether to re-sign Chad Brown or Greg Lloyd that offseason. As the world's biggest Lloyd fan at that time, I certainly could not fault them for the choice they made. They could not have predicted that Lloyd would blow out his patella tendon shortly thereafter and then develop a staph infection in that leg that nearly killed him and essentially killed his career (he did play for another year or two in Carolina, but he was a shell of his former self at that point).

Steelhere10
12-28-2008, 09:10 PM
this might be part of the solution.http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08363/938077-150.stm

buckeyehoppy
12-28-2008, 10:54 PM
I'm impressed with the support Max Sucks is getting here.

He has spent the first 4 1/2 years of his NFL career getting beat out of every starting job he vied for, most recently losing to Willie Colon.

He has only become a starter by default and still doesn't do well enough against speedy DEs to keep his QB fully healthy. He's slow afoot and routinely looks clueless, especially after seeing his QB picking turf out of his facemask.

I'm sure I have no personal ax to grind with him. I'll bet he's a really nice guy. But he makes $7,000,000 to be no better than average. And this is after spending 4 1/2 years "figuring it out".

BTW, he wants another contract...probably involving at least as much $$$. We've seen the Steelers in this position before. The guy's name is Kendall Simmons. I wonder how that's working out?

When Max Sucks gets his "big" contract, the team that signs him will get exactly what they deserve when they go down in flames. I wish him well, but I'm sure I'll be right about Max Sucks.

pittpete
12-28-2008, 11:21 PM
I honestly think Max hasnt done that bad at the toughest position on the line.
We won a SB with him, he filled in adequately for Marvel last year and this year hes been decent. Do we throw a boatload of money at him?
I say no, but Id keep him for the right price.
I still say Colon is banging someones daughter in the Steelers organization or has naked pics of someones wife because last year he gave up 11 sacks and this year hes had a lot of difficulty with rushers off the edge.
I am totally disgusted with Kemos play lately and believe he doesnt know the play half the time. He is to blame for Bens injury today and has had numerous presnap penalties through out the year.
Why do the Steelers hate Essex so much?
Id let Max test the waters and if he gets no offers sign him at a decent price.
Let Kemo walk.(bye u pig)
Hartwig stays and starts.
Stapleton moves to LG.
Colon moves to RG and competes with Simmons for the position. If Simmons doesnt win the battle, cut him.
Sign a FA to play RT(jon Stinchcomb), see if Capizzi can play on the right side and give Trai a shot and let him compete for RT also.
Hills can backup LT. I honestly dont ever see him starting in the NFL.
So
Starks-Stapleton-Hartwig-Colon-Stinchcomb
Backups Hills,Capizzi,Essex

pfelix73
12-29-2008, 12:01 AM
That's crazy.

There is no way they are going to make that many changes to the OL. Just no way.

Stapleton is no way a LG, he's barely holding his own at RG.

In the end, look for a rookie to compete at RT with the hopes of moving that rookie to LT in the future...

Either Starks, Smith, or Essex will play LT next year and IF they don't re-sign Kemo then Simmons or Essex will play LG.

Did any of you see the article about Smith in today's Post Gazette? Smith's back is coming along fine- AGAIN and since he hasn't played all year, he will be cheap to keep.

As someone mentioned earlier on another thread (I agree) we have enough Guards on this team to compete now. We'll need another T and maybe another G if we lose Kemo.

In other words- don't look for a lot of change.

Smith/ Starks/ Hills/ Capizzi
Kemo/ Essex/ Simmons
Hartwig/ Stapleton
Simmons/ Stapleton/ Rookie
Colon/ Hills/ Rookie

MaxAMillion
12-29-2008, 12:17 AM
I would resign Starks and keep Hartwig. I would move Colon to RG. and cut Simmons. Colon is a restricted FA so you can let him go next year if he does not cut it at guard. I would draft Duke Robinson in round 1. I have seen many mock drafts where he is available and I believe he would be an upgrade over Kemo. You can attempt to sign a guy like Runyan for RT (he probably won't cost a lot at his age) or draft a second rookie for the RT position.

I think this team needs to replace Kemo and improve the right side of the OL. Colon is not a RT. He was not projected for that position. He should play guard if anything.

This team also needs to change OC. Arians seems to prefer running without a fullback. That is not Steeler football. I am giving Tomlins the benefit of the doubt because I have read on other Steeler boards that he was going to be the OC under Cowher. Apparently it was agreed upon that Arians would become the OC if that job became available. Tomlin is at a point now where he should be able to dictate who he uses for an OC.

I think our offense and OL will look better with a talent upgrade and a new OC.

SteelStallion
12-29-2008, 12:27 AM
or signed to another contract, do we keep Hartwig and blow the rest of the line up including Simmons. what would you guys do to fix the line for next year. being realistic on the way the Rooneys operate.

I didn't read this whole thread but here's my take:

1. Starks is suprisingly the best of the 5 but I highly doubt they will resign him.

2. The others stink. It starts with a quality center with both immense strength and pulling ability. Hartwig was average at best and wore down to become below average as the year went along. Same goes for the two guards. They're not 'good.' They're not 'okay.' They're not 'servicable.' They're average to below average.

3. Colon is a natural guard. He's not a tackle. I know the fans have beaten that one to death. I don't know that the Steelers are up for that. If yes they could kill two birds with one stone.

4. Yes, I'm saying they need a complete overall. When a guy like Tunch Ilkin who is obviously an expert but also a Steeler homer (buddies with the current players and management and never one to publically criticise) says on his show that they need to spend their first three draft picks on o-line then that, in addition to watching the games allows me to rest my case.

5. A franchise 100mil-qb and no o-line. A twelve win team against the toughest schedule with no o-line. It's time to get serious here IMO. Let's go! :twisted: :tt2

pittpete
12-29-2008, 12:46 AM
You say dont look for a lot of change?

Believe me, after these last 2 seasons do you think Rooney is stupid enough to sign his franchise QB and then let this OL debacle continue.
My friend, you will see big change, write it down.
Guaranteed Kemo,Starks and Simmons wont be on this line next year.

Bandito
12-29-2008, 01:20 AM
Realistically (my opinion):

LT: Smith (Hopefully last loose bone on the nerve)
LG: Kemo/Rookie
C: Hartwig/Stapleton/Rookie
RG: Colon/Simmons/Rookie
RT: Starks

Based on FO history, we'll retain Smith/Starks/Colon and possibly Kemo. I've given up hope on Kemo since he's been with the organization for many years.

Draft Order of Need: OG, OL or DL, OL or DL, C, FB

pittpete
12-29-2008, 01:27 AM
Smith is done, no way we sign him.
2 back surgeries, no way

Bandito
12-29-2008, 01:54 AM
Hi Pittpete!

I was thinking the same until I read this article:

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08363/938079-66.stm

I am hoping it is true and that will be his last (or at least a couple years at earliest) as he wasn't doing bad at all when he was in before the back injury flared up again this season. I would still like Gross but if the news is true, it gives us more flexibility to maybe pursue an OG pending what talent is available and at what price (Or draft).

grotonsteel
12-29-2008, 02:14 AM
Next Year My O-Line would be:

LT - Gross/BArnes/Starks (cap friendly contract)
LG- Rookie
OC- Hartwig
RG - Colon
RT- Rookie/ M Smith

I am hoping OG Duke Robinson from OK falls at 32....we wont get a LT at 32 who can play day 1.

Colon needs to move inside...draft a good Tackle in 2nd and plug him at RT..or make him compete with Marvel for the starting RT spot...

Steelers should sign M Smith for 1 yr deal if that back of his is OK..and make him play at RT. He can atleast be a backup at both tackle position if he loses to a rookie in the camp at RT.

Backup: Hill/Essex/A Caldwell (OC from Bama)/Capizzi

steelz09
12-29-2008, 09:57 AM
Interesting article posted above about Marvel Smith.

I wouldn't mind seeing Smith signed for a 1-year cap friendly deal but I honestly don't see Smith signing that type of deal.

I still think Starks should be let go. I've made this case over and over again. He expects big money and he doesn't play well enough to deserve it. In all honesty though, he has played decent some games, but he does not deserve the 7-mil deal that he got. Thats PRO BOWL type money even at the LT position.

Kemo is 50/50 is my opinion. If they resign Colon, I hope it's because they plan on moving him to LG (or RG) and let Kemo go. If they don't resign Colon then I think Kemo needs to be resigned. I also wish Simmons will get cut after this year. He's overpaid and isn't even adequate. Always has been.

As stated above, Colon should NOT be playing RT. We need some people to step up and be a solid tackle. I'm hoping for a LT free agent and a tackle draft pick. In addition to that, I would love to see us draft a top-notch center.

The Rooney's have to protect their 100-million dollar investment in Ben. They have to see whats going on here. And honestly, it's not just Ben either... our running game has significantly suffered because of the O-Line too.

pittpete
12-29-2008, 11:00 AM
Isnt fate sick
Marvel turned down a contract extension last year to trest the free agent waters :roll:
He must be kicking himself in the ass.
Believe me, Ive had 2 herniated discs operated on in the last 12 years and while Im able to function with minamal pain, just bending over in a 3 pt stance makes me cringe.
I keep myself in good shape, but Marvel being 300+ doesnt help for his NFL future.
No way Marvel signs for vet minimum.
If we sign him or Kemo to any kind of ludicrous contract then Colbert should be hung

MeetJoeGreene
12-29-2008, 11:22 AM
Interesting article posted above about Marvel Smith.

I wouldn't mind seeing Smith signed for a 1-year cap friendly deal but I honestly don't see Smith signing that type of deal.

.

I can actually see Smith signing a ONE year deal to prove he is back and then look for the payday. I can't see him signing a 2-3 year incentive-laden deal as the article proposes.

TallyStiller
12-29-2008, 12:24 PM
I want Duke Robinson. Right now, everybody we're running out there is just a body at his position. I don't care how many guys we've got, if none of them are any good, we keep struggling. One outstanding lineman who is willing to play hard (sorry, crybaby Alan... hope you've got a tee time set up, a*****e) can change an entire line - see Hutchinson, Steve. Draft the premium player at his position, like we've done in years past... grab a center later 1st day. Build from the inside out. It's the Steeler way.

We have survived with mediocre tackles in the past - even spent money on mid grade free agents... Wayne Gandy, Will Wolford spring to mind... if we rebuild the inside, the running game is revitalized, and play action helps keep pass rushes at bay, making what we have here - Smith, Starks OR Essex - more effective.

I know this flies entirely in the face of my previous posts in this particular thread all but guaranteeing a run at Jordan Gross, but what can I say? I love trying to take both sides of an argument and make them work :stirpot

NW Steeler
12-29-2008, 03:36 PM
You say dont look for a lot of change?

Believe me, after these last 2 seasons do you think Rooney is stupid enough to sign his franchise QB and then let this OL debacle continue.
My friend, you will see big change, write it down.
Guaranteed Kemo,Starks and Simmons wont be on this line next year.


I'd say that the sight of watching Ben leave the field, immobilized on a stretcher yesterday may have OL problems at the top of the offseason priority list. I hope you are right.

mshifko
12-29-2008, 03:53 PM
willie colon deserves to leave...if that's what you were asking....

NJ-STEELER
12-29-2008, 06:40 PM
I THINK MAX IS SLOW AS A RT. As a LT, i'd rather spend money on someone with better feet.

if he's sign for under 5 mil to be RT, then i'd sign him.

harwig comes back for another year
marvel-gone
kemo and colon .. are they RFAs. if so, i'd tender them bit be weary of long term deals.


in free agency, i'd go hard after gross. barnes would be a good lower key signing. tra thomas and runyan would also be lower key signings that can be brought in until draft picks mature. they're nearing the end of their careers and might want a better shot at a superbowl. they also might be sick of dropping back 60 times a game and crave for more balance where they get to maul the guys in front of them

at the draft, i would do what the FO did in woodson's draft year when the secondary was considered very weak. 3 of the top 4 picks on 1 unit (woodson, delton hall, T everett) and go OT, OC, OG in the 1st four rounds with a CB or DL mixed in somehwhere after the 2nd round .... preferably in that order but not necessary if stop gaps are brought in.

as a buddy used to say before a night on the town..... you want a sure thing. 'go big and ugly , early' :P