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flippy
12-23-2008, 05:48 PM
Any chance we put in Trai Essex at LG?

Kemo got schooled last week. And he's just not quick enough to be an effective pass blocked imho.

Essex has pretty good feet and more natural talent as a blocker.

I'm curious why he's not getting a shot. Is it his position flexibility that's keeping him as a backup to multiple positions?

Is there a point where that's less important than starting your 5 best linemen?

SidSmythe
12-23-2008, 06:21 PM
I think continuity is huge on the O-Line and a lot of times that trumps everything.

I like ESSEX ...everytime he's had to step up, he's done it.
Kinda like OKOBI ... don't know what happened to him but he always played well when called upon BUT then he couldn't beat out Mahan.

Do you think contracts come into play too much when it comes to decision making in the NFL??? Seems like the only reason MAHAN beat out OKOBI last year was b/c he had the contract ... OKOBI outplayed him in preseason and then was gone.

I might take some flack for talkin' highly about OKOBI, but that's how i saw it.

NW Steeler
12-23-2008, 08:01 PM
I thought that Trai was drafted as a tackle, and I know they have said he can backup at guard as well, but why in the hell isn't he being played in Colon's spot? Maybe he's not as talented as some think, or Colon is not as bad as we think? Personally, I think that ANYONE on that line could be replaced, but it can't all be done in one year. It would be nice not to be dead last in the league in 3rd & 4th and short conversions.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
12-25-2008, 09:32 AM
I don't like some of the decisions that have been made on the line so far, but this late I can't see them making any changes. We'd better hope that the likes of Kemo and Colon are ready to play playoff football.

Steeler Shades
12-25-2008, 10:21 AM
Seems like the only reason MAHAN beat out OKOBI last year was b/c he had the contract ... OKOBI outplayed him in preseason and then was gone.

I might take some flack for talkin' highly about OKOBI, but that's how i saw it.
You may take some flack for talking highly about Okobi, but you won't for talking badly about Mahan. If we has a worse center in recent memory I can't remember her. Anyway, I think you are at least partially correct about Mahan having the contract. The other part my have been egos and face saving in the FO. 8)

TallyStiller
12-26-2008, 04:36 PM
Isn't Okobi out of the league now? If he was any good, wouldn't SOMEBODY have picked him up? Teams are forever picking over our waiver wire... I've got a buddy who refers to the Jags as the "Island of Misfit Steelers" because they used to take so many of our rejects when Coughlin was there. If he was any good, he'd be on a roster somewhere.

I wonder about Essex myself. He came in with a rep as a raw, very athletic guy who needed some work on technique. He was recruited to Northwestern as a tight end, but grew. We drafted another, similar guy right after Okobi in the same draft... Matthias Nkwenti out of Temple. That guy was a project LT and he just disappeared, too. Are we ever going to hit on a guy good enough to turn into one of those second day finds on the O Line? Other teams seem to. Why can't we?

RuthlessBurgher
12-26-2008, 04:44 PM
Isn't Okobi out of the league now? If he was any good, wouldn't SOMEBODY have picked him up? Teams are forever picking over our waiver wire... I've got a buddy who refers to the Jags as the "Island of Misfit Steelers" because they used to take so many of our rejects when Coughlin was there. If he was any good, he'd be on a roster somewhere.

I wonder about Essex myself. He came in with a rep as a raw, very athletic guy who needed some work on technique. He was recruited to Northwestern as a tight end, but grew. We drafted another, similar guy right after Okobi in the same draft... Matthias Nkwenti out of Temple. That guy was a project LT and he just disappeared, too. Are we ever going to hit on a guy good enough to turn into one of those second day finds on the O Line? Other teams seem to. Why can't we?

Nkwenti and Okobi were in the same draft in '01, but Matthias was selected first (4th round) and Chukki second (5th round). If you take project tackles like this, you better have a heck of a o-line coach to develop those raw skills. I always got the impression that Grimm worked well with established veteran o-lineman like Hartings, Faneca, Marvel, etc., but he never seemed to develop any young prospects into legit NFL starters. And don't get me started with Zeirlein now...

NorthCoast
12-26-2008, 05:01 PM
Next to BA, I hope Zeirlieng is with BA on the chopping block.

pittpete
12-28-2008, 12:06 AM
BTW, we are right
Colon is that bad

pfelix73
12-28-2008, 12:25 AM
Wolfley has always mentioned nothing but good things about Essex, and I believe he works out with him on occasion- from what I've heard....

Guess who is next in line to be our LT? Essex. Unless they either re-sign Starks or another FA, Essex will be in there in 2009. I agree that he should have replaced Colon at RT somewhere around mid-season. Zierlein is doing a bang-up job.......

MeetJoeGreene
12-28-2008, 09:25 AM
It really bums me out that none of these late round projects for the OL have materialized. NONE. Used to be we could count on a couple of those.

ramblinjim
12-28-2008, 06:55 PM
Wolfley has always mentioned nothing but good things about Essex, and I believe he works out with him on occasion- from what I've heard....

Guess who is next in line to be our LT? Essex. Unless they either re-sign Starks or another FA, Essex will be in there in 2009. I agree that he should have replaced Colon at RT somewhere around mid-season. Zierlein is doing a bang-up job.......


I think Essex is an UFA too. So he could be out of the mix too.
Zierline is doing......well he's banged up....

MaxAMillion
12-29-2008, 12:30 AM
It really bums me out that none of these late round projects for the OL have materialized. NONE. Used to be we could count on a couple of those.

The best teams in the league have spent resources on their OL. Teams like the Giants and Titans have at least 1 first round pick on their OL and they are not afraid to spend FA money on the OL. What the Steelers have done is try to build an OL on the cheap and it has not worked. The problem is not the late round projects. The problem is that there is no Alan Faneca (first round pick) to build around. The Colts would never ask Manning to play behind an OL like the Steelers have now. It is absurd for the Steelers to have their high priced QB playing behind mediocre talent.

SteelStallion
12-29-2008, 12:35 AM
Any chance we put in Trai Essex at LG?

Kemo got schooled last week. And he's just not quick enough to be an effective pass blocked imho.

Essex has pretty good feet and more natural talent as a blocker.

I'm curious why he's not getting a shot. Is it his position flexibility that's keeping him as a backup to multiple positions?

Is there a point where that's less important than starting your 5 best linemen?

I'd say he's a flexible backup but nothing more- certainly not the answer to all their problems.

Ghost
12-29-2008, 11:38 AM
It really bums me out that none of these late round projects for the OL have materialized. NONE. Used to be we could count on a couple of those.

The best teams in the league have spent resources on their OL. Teams like the Giants and Titans have at least 1 first round pick on their OL and they are not afraid to spend FA money on the OL. What the Steelers have done is try to build an OL on the cheap and it has not worked. The problem is not the late round projects. The problem is that there is no Alan Faneca (first round pick) to build around. The Colts would never ask Manning to play behind an OL like the Steelers have now. It is absurd for the Steelers to have their high priced QB playing behind mediocre talent.

I agree. The Steelers spent $100 million on the QB and then put him behind the $2.95, blue-plate special line. I posted this on the old Trib board but I really do think the Rooney's underestimate what the true value of linemen are in the NFL and what they cost these days. While I admire there being frugal, this seems to be the one area where they have not come into reality (or the current times) about what linemen salaries.

And Okobi SUCKED!!! Hell, he couldn't even play for the Cardinals last season with Whiz and Grimm as coaches and the Cards with multiple injuries to the line. Every team in the NFL is looking for o-line, at least as back-ups and certainly ones who've been in th NFL. The fact that Okobi can't even stick as a back-up screams volumes about what a losuy player he was.

pfelix73
12-29-2008, 12:07 PM
The Rooneys don't underestimate the value of an OL or DL. Just not so. AF WAS a 1st round pick, but he's gone now, and Simmons was a 1st round pick and he's on IR.

We'll probably use a 1st rounder this year on an OL, but don't expect him to start in 2009.

TallyStiller
12-29-2008, 12:43 PM
The '05 SB Champs had 3 first rounders, a #2 and a #3 on the O Line. Hartings was a #1 for Detroit, Faneca and Simmons were also #1's. Smith was taken 8th pick 2nd round after Plax, and Starks was a 3. They spend plenty on the O line historically, just not now.

MaxAMillion
12-29-2008, 01:23 PM
The Rooneys don't underestimate the value of an OL or DL. Just not so. AF WAS a 1st round pick, but he's gone now, and Simmons was a 1st round pick and he's on IR.

We'll probably use a 1st rounder this year on an OL, but don't expect him to start in 2009.

You just named two OL in a ten year period. That isn't good enough. The Steelers are trying to get by with mid and low level draft choices along the OL. All the best OL in the league have first day draft picks and/or FA signings along the OL. They are not playing guys out of position like the Steelers are doing (Colon).