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NorthCoast
12-23-2008, 11:51 AM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 01:19 PM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

The best available will be Jordan Gross of the Panthers. Carolina will not be able to franchise him since that tag will almost assuredly go to Julius Peppers instead. I would be willing to make a huge free agent splash play by throwing big time dollars at Gross(hopefully he is friends with ex-Panther teammate Justin Hartwig, who can convince him that Pittsburgh is a great place to play ball). They are already playing a ton of money to two left tackles, Smith and Starks, right now, but both of their contracts are up after this season. If they let both walk as UFA's, then use the money that we had been spending on Marvel and Max to sign Gross to big time starting LT money and then re-sign Essex to moderate backup money for insurance, I would be a very happy man.

Imagine if that happened, then they took the best guard in the draft (Duke Robinson of Oklahoma) at the end of the 1st round, then traded their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to move up in the 2nd to be able to take the best center in the draft (Alex Mack of Cal). The entire complexion of the offensive line would transform virtually overnight. They could then use the untradeable compensatory pick that they should get for Faneca at the end of the 3rd round to take the best available d-lineman because we need some younger bodies there for depth.

If this happened, I would have one continuous smile on my face from April until training camp opened in July. :D

NW Steeler
12-23-2008, 01:56 PM
I love the way you think Ruthless. I can't believe that Starks got 7 MIL this year. What do you think it will take to sign Gross? And if you put Gross at LT, who is going to replace Colon at RT?

MeetJoeGreene
12-23-2008, 01:56 PM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

The best available will be Jordan Gross of the Panthers. Carolina will not be able to franchise him since that tag will almost assuredly go to Julius Peppers instead. I would be willing to make a huge free agent splash play by throwing big time dollars at Gross(hopefully he is friends with ex-Panther teammate Justin Hartwig, who can convince him that Pittsburgh is a great place to play ball). They are already playing a ton of money to two left tackles, Smith and Starks, right now, but both of their contracts are up after this season. If they let both walk as UFA's, then use the money that we had been spending on Marvel and Max to sign Gross to big time starting LT money and then re-sign Essex to moderate backup money for insurance, I would be a very happy man.

Imagine if that happened, then they took the best guard in the draft (Duke Robinson of Oklahoma) at the end of the 1st round, then traded their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to move up in the 2nd to be able to take the best center in the draft (Alex Mack of Cal). The entire complexion of the offensive line would transform virtually overnight. They could then use the untradeable compensatory pick that they should get for Faneca at the end of the 3rd round to take the best available d-lineman because we need some younger bodies there for depth.

If this happened, I would have one continuous smile on my face from April until training camp opened in July. :D


I love the Gross and Robinson moves.
Not sure about trading a 2nd and 3rd for the center as I believe we will need a CB as well. I wouldn't scream about it though.

NW Steeler
12-23-2008, 02:02 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. If we got Mack in the draft, Hartwig could replace one of our guards. There could be a complete overhaul of our oline in one year.

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 02:11 PM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

The best available will be Jordan Gross of the Panthers. Carolina will not be able to franchise him since that tag will almost assuredly go to Julius Peppers instead. I would be willing to make a huge free agent splash play by throwing big time dollars at Gross(hopefully he is friends with ex-Panther teammate Justin Hartwig, who can convince him that Pittsburgh is a great place to play ball). They are already playing a ton of money to two left tackles, Smith and Starks, right now, but both of their contracts are up after this season. If they let both walk as UFA's, then use the money that we had been spending on Marvel and Max to sign Gross to big time starting LT money and then re-sign Essex to moderate backup money for insurance, I would be a very happy man.

Imagine if that happened, then they took the best guard in the draft (Duke Robinson of Oklahoma) at the end of the 1st round, then traded their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to move up in the 2nd to be able to take the best center in the draft (Alex Mack of Cal). The entire complexion of the offensive line would transform virtually overnight. They could then use the untradeable compensatory pick that they should get for Faneca at the end of the 3rd round to take the best available d-lineman because we need some younger bodies there for depth.

If this happened, I would have one continuous smile on my face from April until training camp opened in July. :D


I love the Gross and Robinson moves.
Not sure about trading a 2nd and 3rd for the center as I believe we will need a CB as well. I wouldn't scream about it though.

I would scream about it. In fact, I would scream "Woooooo!" and "Yes Sir!" over and over again. :mrgreen:

MeetJoeGreene
12-23-2008, 02:28 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. .

Yes it would. However I don't believe that we will re-sign him, sign Gross, and extend Harrsion (which is IMO a must) in the same off-season.

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 02:42 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. .

Yes it would. However I don't believe that we will re-sign him, sign Gross, and extend Harrsion (which is IMO a must) in the same off-season.

Yeah, 2009 is the last year of Harrison's contract. I believe it is the last year of Heath Miller's contract as well. They will want to get both of them extended this off-season if possible to prevent them from ever hitting the FA market, but it is not quite as pressing as McFadden, since 2008 is the last year of his contract, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season. Getting a left tackle and re-signing BMac are our top priorities this off-season. If they can also extend Harrison and/or Miller, great...I think both of those guys want to stay in Pittsburgh. If not, then James and Heath will be our top priorities after next season.

TallyStiller
12-23-2008, 02:50 PM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

The best available will be Jordan Gross of the Panthers. Carolina will not be able to franchise him since that tag will almost assuredly go to Julius Peppers instead. I would be willing to make a huge free agent splash play by throwing big time dollars at Gross(hopefully he is friends with ex-Panther teammate Justin Hartwig, who can convince him that Pittsburgh is a great place to play ball). They are already playing a ton of money to two left tackles, Smith and Starks, right now, but both of their contracts are up after this season. If they let both walk as UFA's, then use the money that we had been spending on Marvel and Max to sign Gross to big time starting LT money and then re-sign Essex to moderate backup money for insurance, I would be a very happy man.

Imagine if that happened, then they took the best guard in the draft (Duke Robinson of Oklahoma) at the end of the 1st round, then traded their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to move up in the 2nd to be able to take the best center in the draft (Alex Mack of Cal). The entire complexion of the offensive line would transform virtually overnight. They could then use the untradeable compensatory pick that they should get for Faneca at the end of the 3rd round to take the best available d-lineman because we need some younger bodies there for depth.

If this happened, I would have one continuous smile on my face from April until training camp opened in July. :D

:Clap :Clap outstanding.

MeetJoeGreene
12-23-2008, 02:50 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. .

Yes it would. However I don't believe that we will re-sign him, sign Gross, and extend Harrsion (which is IMO a must) in the same off-season.

Yeah, 2009 is the last year of Harrison's contract. I believe it is the last year of Heath Miller's contract as well. They will want to get both of them extended this off-season if possible to prevent them from ever hitting the FA market, but it is not quite as pressing as McFadden, since 2008 is the last year of his contract, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season. Getting a left tackle and re-signing BMac are our top priorities this off-season. If they can also extend Harrison and/or Miller, great...I think both of those guys want to stay in Pittsburgh. If not, then James and Heath will be our top priorities after next season.

GULP. I forgot about Heath.

Historically, we re-sign our FA before bringing those in from the outside. So that may very well prohibit them signing Gross.

TallyStiller
12-23-2008, 02:51 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. If we got Mack in the draft, Hartwig could replace one of our guards. There could be a complete overhaul of our oline in one year.

Hartwig requested his release in Carolina because they asked him to move over to guard. Would it be any different here?

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 03:20 PM
Re-signing McFadden would take care of the CB situation. If we got Mack in the draft, Hartwig could replace one of our guards. There could be a complete overhaul of our oline in one year.

Hartwig requested his release in Carolina because they asked him to move over to guard. Would it be any different here?

I think if we got Mack, Hartwig (who we signed to a 2 year deal in the offseason, meaning that '09 is the last year of his contract) would be the stopgap starter for one more year while Mack adjusted to the NFL during his rookie season. When Mack is good to go in 2010, Hartwig will likely move on. It is pretty much the same thing that happened to him in Carolina when they drafted Ryan Kalil in the 2nd round a few years ago.

Steeler Shades
12-23-2008, 03:34 PM
I believe it is the last year of Heath Miller's contract as well. They will want to get both of them extended this off-season if possible to prevent them from ever hitting the FA market, but it is not quite as pressing as McFadden, since 2008 is the last year of his contract, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season.
I know that Heath was a 1st round draft choice but I wonder how much priority his re-signing is for the Steelers. He doesn't block worth a dam and we do have some less expensive alternatives at TE. If the Steelers passed to the TE's more than he would obviously be more valuable, but I think the Steelers may wait until after next season to decide on Miller and spend the money on McFadden now. 8)

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 03:42 PM
I believe it is the last year of Heath Miller's contract as well. They will want to get both of them extended this off-season if possible to prevent them from ever hitting the FA market, but it is not quite as pressing as McFadden, since 2008 is the last year of his contract, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season.
I know that Heath was a 1st round draft choice but I wonder how much priority his re-signing is for the Steelers. He doesn't block worth a dam and we do have some less expensive alternatives at TE. If the Steelers passed to the TE's more than he would obviously be more valuable, but I think the Steelers may wait until after next season to decide on Miller and spend the money on McFadden now. 8)

I agree that McFadden is the more immediate priority, but Miller could possibly be the most well-rounded TE in the NFL if used properly. You cannot let a guy like this get away just because you happen to have an offensive coordinator doesn't have a clue how to use him. This Sunday should not have been his first ever 8 catch game. He should be utilized that much quite often.

ikestops85
12-23-2008, 03:50 PM
I know that Heath was a 1st round draft choice but I wonder how much priority his re-signing is for the Steelers. He doesn't block worth a dam and we do have some less expensive alternatives at TE. If the Steelers passed to the TE's more than he would obviously be more valuable, but I think the Steelers may wait until after next season to decide on Miller and spend the money on McFadden now. 8)
I've always heard that Heath is considered one of the best blocking TEs in the league. Now why do the scouting reports say that but you don't think he blocks worth a damn? http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Confused/confused-8.gif

Jom112
12-23-2008, 03:55 PM
I know that Heath was a 1st round draft choice but I wonder how much priority his re-signing is for the Steelers. He doesn't block worth a dam and we do have some less expensive alternatives at TE. If the Steelers passed to the TE's more than he would obviously be more valuable, but I think the Steelers may wait until after next season to decide on Miller and spend the money on McFadden now. 8)
I've always heard that Heath is considered one of the best blocking TEs in the league. Now why do the scouting reports say that but you don't think he blocks worth a damn? http://www.smileyskit.com/affection/confused.gif

I always thought Miller blocked well. Spaeth not so much but he's still young.

As for you guys getting Alex Mack. All I have to say is if Alex Mack is on the board in the 2nd round when we pick and we let him slide down to you guys (Unless we drafted Max Unger already), I will personally drive to Cincy and smack Mike Brown...

Steeler Shades
12-23-2008, 03:56 PM
I've always heard that Heath is considered one of the best blocking TEs in the league. Now why do the scouting reports say that but you don't think he blocks worth a damn? http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Confused/confused-8.gif
I don't know which scouting reports you are referring to, but watching the ACTUAL games it seems as though he isn't blocking very well. Do you have a link(s) to the NFL scouting reports? 8)

Steeler Shades
12-23-2008, 04:02 PM
I agree that McFadden is the more immediate priority, but Miller could possibly be the most well-rounded TE in the NFL if used properly. You cannot let a guy like this get away just because you happen to have an offensive coordinator doesn't have a clue how to use him. This Sunday should not have been his first ever 8 catch game. He should be utilized that much quite often.
You'll get no argument from me about Miller's receiving potential as a TE if used correctly, but this is the Steelers. How many years have we wasted our TEs potential as receivers? If they are only going to be used (either by design or because Ben is looking farther down field) as another blocking lineman, then lets get the best blocker that we can who can also catch about 30 passes a year. Should be less expensive. Just my opinion...... 8)

RuthlessBurgher
12-23-2008, 04:13 PM
I know that Heath was a 1st round draft choice but I wonder how much priority his re-signing is for the Steelers. He doesn't block worth a dam and we do have some less expensive alternatives at TE. If the Steelers passed to the TE's more than he would obviously be more valuable, but I think the Steelers may wait until after next season to decide on Miller and spend the money on McFadden now. 8)
I've always heard that Heath is considered one of the best blocking TEs in the league. Now why do the scouting reports say that but you don't think he blocks worth a damn? http://www.smileyskit.com/affection/confused.gif

I always thought Miller blocked well. Spaeth not so much but he's still young.

As for you guys getting Alex Mack. All I have to say is if Alex Mack is on the board in the 2nd round when we pick and we let him slide down to you guys (Unless we drafted Max Unger already), I will personally drive to Cincy and smack Mike Brown...

There is no way Mack falls down to where we would be picking in the 2nd. That is why I was advocating trading up in the 2nd to try to get him (that is, if we don't try to trade up in the first to go after, say, a Eugene Monroe)

ikestops85
12-23-2008, 04:30 PM
I've always heard that Heath is considered one of the best blocking TEs in the league. Now why do the scouting reports say that but you don't think he blocks worth a damn? http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Confused/confused-8.gif
I don't know which scouting reports you are referring to, but watching the ACTUAL games it seems as though he isn't blocking very well. Do you have a link(s) to the NFL scouting reports? 8)

From Eagles-Steelers game scouting report (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20080919_Eagles-Steelers_scouting_report.html?viewAll=y)
Eagles: SLB Chris Gocong, who lined up over Jason Witten at Dallas, will have his hands full again with TE Heath Miller, who, like Witten, is an excellent blocking and receiving tight end.

From Giants-Steelers game scouting report (http://gametimeforum.com/?p=3)
Tight end Heath Miller has never missed a game in his four-year career. He is a tough, competitive blocker whose 18 receptions place him third on the team this season.

New Era Scouting on Tight Ends (http://www.newerascouting.com/new_era_scouts/matt_miller/249-scouting-101-how-to-scout-a-tight-end/)
Strength: Even though we are seeing more and more teams use their tight ends as pass catchers first, they are still asked to block on running downs and even some passing situations. A tight end must be strong enough to not only be an effective blocker, but also to be able to release off the line of scrimmage and beat press coverage from a defensive end or linebacker. A tight end’s primary role in the offense is as a do-it all type player. He must be strong enough to be relied upon as a blocker and red-zone receiver.
Scouting Points : This is also tested at the Combine with bench press reps of 225lbs. Strength is not always measured best in pure numbers though. Some players are naturally strong, but cannot bench press well. Other players excel in the weight room, but cannot put that strength to use on the field. The best way to scout strength on a tight end is to watch him closely when blocking. A good indicator of his strength is if the team uses him as a blocker and how they use him. Does the team trust him to handle a defensive end, or is he asked to climb the ladder to a secondary block on every down? A good tight end should be able to block 9 out of 10 defensive ends on his own. You can also watch to see how the tight end does in one-on-one blocking. Does he give up ground or can he hold his own? I also like to watch the tight end release into his routes. If he is jammed at the line of scrimmage, does the tight end fight to get off his man or is he too weak?
Pro Standard: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

I hope this helps

Steeler Shades
12-23-2008, 05:45 PM
From Eagles-Steelers game scouting report (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20080919_Eagles-Steelers_scouting_report.html?viewAll=y)
Eagles: SLB Chris Gocong, who lined up over Jason Witten at Dallas, will have his hands full again with TE Heath Miller, who, like Witten, is an excellent blocking and receiving tight end.
"Offensive line

Eagles: RG Shawn Andrews missed the second half of the Dallas game with back spasms. Not coincidentally, the Eagles' offense, which racked up 14 first downs and 222 net yards in the first half, had just nine and 115 without him. If Andrews' can't play, their screen game won't be nearly as effective.

Steelers: Steelers seem to have survived the loss of All-Pro LG Alan Faneca. His replacement, 350-pound Chris Kemoeatu, is an athletic Shawn Andrews-like wrecking ball who can pull and get to the second level. C Justin Hartwig is an upgrade over '07 starter Sean Mahan.

PICK: EVEN"
According to this expert the Eagles O line and the Steelers are even?

From Giants-Steelers game scouting report (http://gametimeforum.com/?p=3)
Tight end Heath Miller has never missed a game in his four-year career. He is a tough, competitive blocker whose 18 receptions place him third on the team this season.
User created sports news? Did you read about how GREAT the rest of the O-Line is?
"Tight end Heath Miller has never missed a game in his four-year career. He is a tough, competitive blocker whose 18 receptions place him third on the team this season. Backup Max Spaeth has nine career starts, the flexibility to line up all over the formation and the ability to contribute as a blocker and receiver. Sean McHugh can fill in at tight end or fullback.

Center Justin Hartwig, a free agent acquisition from Carolina, anchors the offensive line. The left guard is first-year starter Chris Kemoeatu, who stepped in for Alan Faneca after the latter signed with the Jets. A 345-pounder, Kemoeatu uses his size and explosiveness to create push at the line of scrimmage. With Kendall Simmons on injured reserve, the new right guard is Darnell Stapleton, who has exceptional upper body strength and the alertness to track line tricks and blitzers. Smith is a skilled and experienced left tackle. Max Starks made his first start of the season and the 34th of his career last week in place of Smith. Starks is a road grader in the run game.
Wow!! Kimo is a monster. I guess according to this expert we are set a Guard seeing we have 5 year starter Kimo.

New Era Scouting on Tight Ends (http://www.newerascouting.com/new_era_scouts/matt_miller/249-scouting-101-how-to-scout-a-tight-end/)
Strength: Even though we are seeing more and more teams use their tight ends as pass catchers first, they are still asked to block on running downs and even some passing situations. A tight end must be strong enough to not only be an effective blocker, but also to be able to release off the line of scrimmage and beat press coverage from a defensive end or linebacker. A tight end’s primary role in the offense is as a do-it all type player. He must be strong enough to be relied upon as a blocker and red-zone receiver.
Scouting Points : This is also tested at the Combine with bench press reps of 225lbs. Strength is not always measured best in pure numbers though. Some players are naturally strong, but cannot bench press well. Other players excel in the weight room, but cannot put that strength to use on the field. The best way to scout strength on a tight end is to watch him closely when blocking. A good indicator of his strength is if the team uses him as a blocker and how they use him. Does the team trust him to handle a defensive end, or is he asked to climb the ladder to a secondary block on every down? A good tight end should be able to block 9 out of 10 defensive ends on his own. You can also watch to see how the tight end does in one-on-one blocking. Does he give up ground or can he hold his own? I also like to watch the tight end release into his routes. If he is jammed at the line of scrimmage, does the tight end fight to get off his man or is he too weak?
Pro Standard: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
Here are the Pro Standards for blocking:
Pass Blocking: Not many offenses keep their tight ends back as pass blockers anymore, but this is still a valuable asset in the tight end. If a tight end is kept in on a pass blocking assignment , he is generally going to be asked to do one of two things; he will either be zone-blocking or hinge-blocking. My terminology may be different from what you learned, so I’ll break these down in the next section.
Scouting Points: Zone blocking is becoming more popular with the success of the Denver Broncos and college teams like Florida and Texas. A zone block asks the player to take a 45-degree step to either the strong or weak side (which is called in the play) and fill a “zone” or “gap”. This is a very popular method because it essentially allows you to fill every possible rushing lane and lets you utilize quicker linemen. Hinge blocking incorporates some of the zone theory, but instead the player steps first inside to close down the gap and then opens to the outside to seal off any edge rushers. This is called a hinge block because the player should resemble a door being opened when he steps back and outside. Now that you have a basic understanding of these blocking schemes, you can watch and evaluate how well the tight end is pass blocking. Some things to note in pass blocking are: a) the blocker needs to keep a wide base and use his hands to punch at the defender; b) in pass blocking, you do not want to engage the defender or lock up with him, you want to keep him at bay and punch, only taking him to the ground if he locks up with you; c) most linemen are taught to block inside out, watch for this on film.
Pro Standard: Kyle Brady, New England Patriots

Run Blocking: Run blocking is where tight ends earn their paychecks. Most people look at the red-zone touchdowns as the role of a tight end, but the majority of NFL offenses still teach run blocking over route running. The tight end is the catalyst for most off-tackle and outside runs. Depending on the play called and the blocking scheme, the tight end can be one of the most important people on the field. Run blocking is an unquestioned skill that every tight end must possess or learn immediately. Being an effective run blocker is what keeps most rookies off the field.
Scouting Points: Just as there were a few techniques to look at with pass blocking, there are some with run blocking. I won’t get into steps as much here, but some things to look for follow. The tight end needs to be the first man off the line of scrimmage on every play. He must anticipate the snap count and fire off into his man. Once he has made contact, the blocker must get inside leverage (on the chest plate in most cases) and drive his man in the direction the play calls for. This is where lower-body strength comes into play. The tight end must be strong enough to use his butt and legs to drive the defender. The blocker will take short, choppy steps in an effort to move the defender. This is where the term “rolling your hips” comes from. The blocker should be rolling through his defender by using his legs to drive block.
Pro Standard: Mark Bruener, Houston Texans

I hope this helps
Thanks. Yes it does help. I think I am more comfortable with my own assesment of how Heath is blocking this year, but I do appreciate you taking the time to look up these links from the expert scouts. 8)

SidSmythe
12-23-2008, 06:24 PM
You guys need to get over DUKE ROBINSON on here.

IF he's that good, he won't be around at the end of the 1st just like Branden Albert moved up into the top 15.

ikestops85
12-23-2008, 06:37 PM
From Eagles-Steelers game scouting report (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20080919_Eagles-Steelers_scouting_report.html?viewAll=y)
Eagles: SLB Chris Gocong, who lined up over Jason Witten at Dallas, will have his hands full again with TE Heath Miller, who, like Witten, is an excellent blocking and receiving tight end.
"Offensive line

Eagles: RG Shawn Andrews missed the second half of the Dallas game with back spasms. Not coincidentally, the Eagles' offense, which racked up 14 first downs and 222 net yards in the first half, had just nine and 115 without him. If Andrews' can't play, their screen game won't be nearly as effective.

Steelers: Steelers seem to have survived the loss of All-Pro LG Alan Faneca. His replacement, 350-pound Chris Kemoeatu, is an athletic Shawn Andrews-like wrecking ball who can pull and get to the second level. C Justin Hartwig is an upgrade over '07 starter Sean Mahan.

PICK: EVEN"
According to this expert the Eagles O line and the Steelers are even?

From Giants-Steelers game scouting report (http://gametimeforum.com/?p=3)
Tight end Heath Miller has never missed a game in his four-year career. He is a tough, competitive blocker whose 18 receptions place him third on the team this season.
User created sports news? Did you read about how GREAT the rest of the O-Line is?
"Tight end Heath Miller has never missed a game in his four-year career. He is a tough, competitive blocker whose 18 receptions place him third on the team this season. Backup Max Spaeth has nine career starts, the flexibility to line up all over the formation and the ability to contribute as a blocker and receiver. Sean McHugh can fill in at tight end or fullback.

Center Justin Hartwig, a free agent acquisition from Carolina, anchors the offensive line. The left guard is first-year starter Chris Kemoeatu, who stepped in for Alan Faneca after the latter signed with the Jets. A 345-pounder, Kemoeatu uses his size and explosiveness to create push at the line of scrimmage. With Kendall Simmons on injured reserve, the new right guard is Darnell Stapleton, who has exceptional upper body strength and the alertness to track line tricks and blitzers. Smith is a skilled and experienced left tackle. Max Starks made his first start of the season and the 34th of his career last week in place of Smith. Starks is a road grader in the run game.
Wow!! Kimo is a monster. I guess according to this expert we are set a Guard seeing we have 5 year starter Kimo.

New Era Scouting on Tight Ends (http://www.newerascouting.com/new_era_scouts/matt_miller/249-scouting-101-how-to-scout-a-tight-end/)
Strength: Even though we are seeing more and more teams use their tight ends as pass catchers first, they are still asked to block on running downs and even some passing situations. A tight end must be strong enough to not only be an effective blocker, but also to be able to release off the line of scrimmage and beat press coverage from a defensive end or linebacker. A tight end’s primary role in the offense is as a do-it all type player. He must be strong enough to be relied upon as a blocker and red-zone receiver.
Scouting Points : This is also tested at the Combine with bench press reps of 225lbs. Strength is not always measured best in pure numbers though. Some players are naturally strong, but cannot bench press well. Other players excel in the weight room, but cannot put that strength to use on the field. The best way to scout strength on a tight end is to watch him closely when blocking. A good indicator of his strength is if the team uses him as a blocker and how they use him. Does the team trust him to handle a defensive end, or is he asked to climb the ladder to a secondary block on every down? A good tight end should be able to block 9 out of 10 defensive ends on his own. You can also watch to see how the tight end does in one-on-one blocking. Does he give up ground or can he hold his own? I also like to watch the tight end release into his routes. If he is jammed at the line of scrimmage, does the tight end fight to get off his man or is he too weak?
Pro Standard: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
Here are the Pro Standards for blocking:
Pass Blocking: Not many offenses keep their tight ends back as pass blockers anymore, but this is still a valuable asset in the tight end. If a tight end is kept in on a pass blocking assignment , he is generally going to be asked to do one of two things; he will either be zone-blocking or hinge-blocking. My terminology may be different from what you learned, so I’ll break these down in the next section.
Scouting Points: Zone blocking is becoming more popular with the success of the Denver Broncos and college teams like Florida and Texas. A zone block asks the player to take a 45-degree step to either the strong or weak side (which is called in the play) and fill a “zone” or “gap”. This is a very popular method because it essentially allows you to fill every possible rushing lane and lets you utilize quicker linemen. Hinge blocking incorporates some of the zone theory, but instead the player steps first inside to close down the gap and then opens to the outside to seal off any edge rushers. This is called a hinge block because the player should resemble a door being opened when he steps back and outside. Now that you have a basic understanding of these blocking schemes, you can watch and evaluate how well the tight end is pass blocking. Some things to note in pass blocking are: a) the blocker needs to keep a wide base and use his hands to punch at the defender; b) in pass blocking, you do not want to engage the defender or lock up with him, you want to keep him at bay and punch, only taking him to the ground if he locks up with you; c) most linemen are taught to block inside out, watch for this on film.
Pro Standard: Kyle Brady, New England Patriots

Run Blocking: Run blocking is where tight ends earn their paychecks. Most people look at the red-zone touchdowns as the role of a tight end, but the majority of NFL offenses still teach run blocking over route running. The tight end is the catalyst for most off-tackle and outside runs. Depending on the play called and the blocking scheme, the tight end can be one of the most important people on the field. Run blocking is an unquestioned skill that every tight end must possess or learn immediately. Being an effective run blocker is what keeps most rookies off the field.
Scouting Points: Just as there were a few techniques to look at with pass blocking, there are some with run blocking. I won’t get into steps as much here, but some things to look for follow. The tight end needs to be the first man off the line of scrimmage on every play. He must anticipate the snap count and fire off into his man. Once he has made contact, the blocker must get inside leverage (on the chest plate in most cases) and drive his man in the direction the play calls for. This is where lower-body strength comes into play. The tight end must be strong enough to use his butt and legs to drive the defender. The blocker will take short, choppy steps in an effort to move the defender. This is where the term “rolling your hips” comes from. The blocker should be rolling through his defender by using his legs to drive block.
Pro Standard: Mark Bruener, Houston Texans

I hope this helps
Thanks. Yes it does help. I think I am more comfortable with my own assesment of how Heath is blocking this year, but I do appreciate you taking the time to look up these links from the expert scouts. 8)

No problem ... we aim to please on this site. http://smileyjungle.com/smilies/glasses3.gif

Steelhere10
12-23-2008, 06:42 PM
So guess what the second highest paid position in football is...? CB??? RB???

Nope.

Left tackle. I am starting to wonder what it will take or even if we should resign Starks. Has his play over the last few weeks caused us to think he will need a raise next contract in order to resign him? I still think he is an average left tackle and can be beat by speed rushers. If we can't resign him for reasonable dollars (average left tackle), then I say we bite the bullet and draft for the future. Not sure if there are any FA LTs out there next year but would guess the good ones will cost plenty.

The best available will be Jordan Gross of the Panthers. Carolina will not be able to franchise him since that tag will almost assuredly go to Julius Peppers instead. I would be willing to make a huge free agent splash play by throwing big time dollars at Gross(hopefully he is friends with ex-Panther teammate Justin Hartwig, who can convince him that Pittsburgh is a great place to play ball). They are already playing a ton of money to two left tackles, Smith and Starks, right now, but both of their contracts are up after this season. If they let both walk as UFA's, then use the money that we had been spending on Marvel and Max to sign Gross to big time starting LT money and then re-sign Essex to moderate backup money for insurance, I would be a very happy man.

Imagine if that happened, then they took the best guard in the draft (Duke Robinson of Oklahoma) at the end of the 1st round, then traded their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to move up in the 2nd to be able to take the best center in the draft (Alex Mack of Cal). The entire complexion of the offensive line would transform virtually overnight. They could then use the untradeable compensatory pick that they should get for Faneca at the end of the 3rd round to take the best available d-lineman because we need some younger bodies there for depth.

If this happened, I would have one continuous smile on my face from April until training camp opened in July. :D what age is J Gross, i thought he was up there in age

RuthlessBurgher
12-24-2008, 02:21 AM
what age is J Gross, i thought he was up there in age

He's 28. This is his 6th year in the league. He's in the prime of his career right now. Worthy of a long term deal.

NW Steeler
12-24-2008, 02:56 AM
what age is J Gross, i thought he was up there in age

He's 28. This is his 6th year in the league. He's in the prime of his career right now. Worthy of a long term deal.

Ruthless, you're hired! Colbert is out! I hope you can pull some strings and make that happen!

TallyStiller
12-27-2008, 10:25 AM
Not sure I agree that McFadden is a must have player going forward. He has been unable until quite recently to move DT off the field, plus he will be very expensive. The question I would ask concerns his VOP - value over replacement. Would we be able to get by with Ike, DT, Gay pushing for a second corner spot, a vet like Fernando Bryant in for less $$$ as a security blanket, and a rookie first day pick to compete for PT and return kicks?

I for one believe that this arrangement plus a premier LT makes us a much better team going forward than spending big $$$ on 3 out of the 4 positions in the secondary, which we would be doing if we re - up BMac. I like McFadden - besides being a good corner, he's an ex - 'Nole, but it may not be the most prudent move to resign him.

If we don't, we 1. get our LT (hopefully Gross) 2. re - up Harrison 3. re - up Heath 4. bring back Essex as our 6th lineman 5. (gulp) give the 1st round level tender to Willie the Colon

We let Smith, Starks AND Kemo walk, then draft OL, DL, CB, and a WR in the next draft to rebuild our depth.

Kind of like the Yankees letting all the flotsam and jetsam clogging up their roster (Giambi, Abreu, Pavano, Mussina, Pettite), go, then spending the $$$ on the best 3 FA's out there. Better team, same payroll.

buckeyehoppy
12-27-2008, 01:21 PM
what age is J Gross, i thought he was up there in age

He's 28. This is his 6th year in the league. He's in the prime of his career right now. Worthy of a long term deal.

Ruthless, you're hired! Colbert is out! I hope you can pull some strings and make that happen!

Colbert should be out. And who better to replace him than RB? I say RB gets the gig, too.

RB, get us Jordan Gross. Then, hang the franchise tag on BMac. Perfect!!!

TallyStiller
12-27-2008, 01:33 PM
You guys need to get over DUKE ROBINSON on here.

IF he's that good, he won't be around at the end of the 1st just like Branden Albert moved up into the top 15.

Albert moved up because everybody projected him to LT... which he didn't play in college because Eugene Monroe was there.

Robinson is a pure guard in what promises to be a very deep draft - and would be a steal when we pick at #32! :Beer :tt2 :Beer :tt2

RuthlessBurgher
12-27-2008, 07:36 PM
what age is J Gross, i thought he was up there in age

He's 28. This is his 6th year in the league. He's in the prime of his career right now. Worthy of a long term deal.

Ruthless, you're hired! Colbert is out! I hope you can pull some strings and make that happen!

Colbert should be out. And who better to replace him than RB? I say RB gets the gig, too.

RB, get us Jordan Gross. Then, hang the franchise tag on BMac. Perfect!!!

I already have a private jet waiting to take former Gross' former Carolina Panther teammate Justin Hartwig down to Charlotte immediately after the Cleveland game tomorrow. Since the Steelers already have bye wrapped up, and the Panthers should wrap one up tomorrow with a victory in New Orleans, Hartwig will spend the bye week with Gross, selling him on how folks in Pittsburgh live and die with Steeler football while Carolinians only care about Duke vs. UNC basketball (except for the folks from North Carolina who post on this board, of course!). If that doesn't work, I will have James Harrison enter his Hawaiian hotel room in the middle of the night during Pro Bowl week and threaten to rip him in half and feed him to Joey Porter's dogs if he doesn't sign with the Steelers.

buckeyehoppy
12-27-2008, 07:52 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Chadman
12-27-2008, 09:04 PM
Chadman checked the KFFL site to see the FA's for next season & couldn't see Jordan Gross on the list anywhere. Is everyone SURE Gross is a FA next season?

2 players that did show up as FA's though are Brad Meester of the Jaguars & Russ Hochstein of the Patriots. Both could be good RG's or LG's for the Steelers, suring up the middle of the line- and their price tag is more in keeping with the Steeler FA policy. Also Mike Goff from the Chargers could help too.

As for OT's.....Tra Thomas is a FA too...even if he's old....and Jon Stinchcomb from the Saints is an underrated player that could play both OT positions.