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Steel Life
01-24-2009, 11:17 PM
I'm watching with some interest because we obviously won't get any of the top talent & you can see past some of the hype as these guys are strapping it on against guys just as good as they are. Here are my thoughts so far...

1. "With the 32nd pick, the Steelers select...Alex Mack, Cal" - This kid is stoning everyone he faces & is quick to diagnose when to help others - the other OC's aren't close.
2. OT's Oher, Fulton & Beatty were quick to wrap an arm around the quicker DE's rather than move their feet. Honestly, none of the OTs impressed me.
3. BJ Raji (DT, BC) supposedly was dominant all week, I don't think he's made one play so far.
4. Pat White is a football player, not a pro QB...good game aside, he's destined for the slot.
5. I'd take any of the USC LBs - they're that good.
6. Connor Barwin (DE/TE, Cinn) played a good game at both TE & DE...Vrabel anyone?
7. I like what see from Pat Turner (WR, USC) than what I do from Robiskie (WR, OSU).
8. Phil Loadholt is not a LT.
9. Mike Mayock is a know-it-all a$$, some of his criticisms are getting too personal.
10. Kory Sheets (RB, Purdue) has great quickness & was a weapon on the returns.
11. I see tweeners...lots & lots of tweeners.
12. I love the safties Johnson (AL) & Delmas (W. MI).

Lebsteel
01-25-2009, 12:46 AM
Thanks for your thoughts on the game. I agree with Mack. I'm glad to hear he looked impressive tonight.

SMASHMOUTHFOOTBALL
01-25-2009, 01:04 AM
Thanks for your thoughts on the game. I agree with Mack. I'm glad to hear he looked impressive tonight.


Can he play G also--Cause I believe Hartwig will be sufficient for the next couple of years.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-25-2009, 01:22 AM
Thanks for your thoughts on the game. I agree with Mack. I'm glad to hear he looked impressive tonight.


Can he play G also--Cause I believe Hartwig will be sufficient for the next couple of years.

Interesting thought. Start him (Mack) at LG, let Kemo walk or sign Kemo to backup money if he will. Keep Stapleton at RG....not sure what to do with Simmons. Cause I think if you can resign Essex that gives you a solid backup at both G and OT. If releasing Simmons allows you to use his money on McFadden then I would be for it.

Our real issue will be OT. I don't think Starks will sign here and I think Marvell is a major risk. We are F'ed at tackle unless one of our current backups could step in. Tony Hills, Capizzi? Free Agent?

I mean if Starks and Marvell walk that frees up 14 million. Dangle 9 or 10 a year in front of OT Gross from the Panthers. If we win the Superbowl this year it might be nice incentive for a player to maybe take a little hit in the wallet for a shot to come play for a team looking to repeat.

Jooser
01-25-2009, 10:05 AM
A little off topic here because I agree that the OL is the primary concern coming into the draft. However, I can't state enough Pat White's impact on the game. This guy is a competitor and a great athlete and he'll be a contributor in whatever offense he ends up in. Not to mention, he loves the Steelers and wants to be in Pittsburgh. That's all, carry on...

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9976/wvu5jf5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Oviedo
01-25-2009, 10:51 AM
A little off topic here because I agree that the OL is the primary concern coming into the draft. However, I can't state enough Pat White's impact on the game. This guy is a competitor and a great athlete and he'll be a contributor in whatever offense he ends up in. Not to mention, he loves the Steelers and wants to be in Pittsburgh. That's all, carry on...

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9976/wvu5jf5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

I would love to add White as a WR/back up QB but during the interview process he is going to have to embrace that notion. If he insists he is nothing but a QB no team can waste time through mini camp, OTA and training camp on someone who won't play any position other than QB.

Pat White will cost himself lots of money if he maintains the position he is taking. Then again he claims to be a Steelers fan all his life and this may just be a ploy to allow the Steelers to grab him in Round 3 or 4.

steelz09
01-25-2009, 11:16 AM
Alex Mack would definitelybe a good look at the future and hopefully will be able to play immediately at guard.

Althought I really think OT is more of an immediate need because Max Sucks will/should be gone as will Marvel.

I think we draft a RT in round 1. If we don't sign a LT in free agency and don't resign Starks then that means they feel Hills in the future LT of this team. Honestly, I think the Steelers fans are Hills at LT rather than RT.

Steel Life
01-25-2009, 11:59 AM
Thanks for your thoughts on the game. I agree with Mack. I'm glad to hear he looked impressive tonight.
Can he play G also--Cause I believe Hartwig will be sufficient for the next couple of years.
Absolutely, he split time at LG & his results were the same - excellent.

Here's the difference between him & Unger - Mack moves better & held his ground at the point. For example, for most of the night Unger would let the man into him giving ground gradually, where Mack pretty much fought the guy off at the line. There's also the question of recognition...there was a screen play that was blown-up because Unger missed blocking the guy that was right in front of him, within arms reach, because he was looking the wrong way. Another example was where Unger was uncovered at the line but was still late in recognizing the stunt that almost got to the QB.

I think the best scenario to imagine is that the team won't let all their OL FAs go, but they'll need to sign a FA OT (Vernon Carey?), then draft Mack & let him play OG while Hartwig is under contract.

Lebsteel
01-25-2009, 12:13 PM
SL, totally agree with you. From what I have read, and you confirmed it from the game last night, Mack could play LG at least for next year and then be our center for the future if Hartwig is not resigned. I've also read where some "draft experts" think Mack is the best college center in many years and will grade out higher than Mangold. I'd hate for that to mean he will go higher than 32 in the draft.

I'd love for us to sign Gross and have Hills take over at RT. I think that would make a very solid line for a long time....

TallyStiller
01-25-2009, 12:34 PM
I honestly believe that Max Starks is the most viable option for the Steelers at LT going forward. The BEST we could hope for where we pick is the #7 OT. Monroe, Smith, Oher, Smith, Britton and Beatty will all be gone by the time we pick. Carolina will likely franchise Gross if Peppers is (as reported) unhappy and determined to leave. Are Vernon Carey or Khalif Barnes really an upgrade? I think Max is at least as good as either guy. We're sitting at the #7 LT on the board (Troy Kropog from Tulane???) in the draft... no way we get an immediate starter there.

We always tend to draft late, which is why we have typically built our line inside out, by drafting top interior talent. I think we'll do the same this year. With the possible exception of Duke Robinson, we'll have our pick of the interior guys at the end of R1. Thus, I think that Kemo is the guy we let walk. Resign Fat Max (franchise if necessary - might prove a bargain after all these teams with $30 and $40 mil under the cap start bidding up salaries), resign Essex as a super sub or to compete with Simmons (God help Ben) and Stapleton to start at guard, then tender Colon at the 1st round level, so we either keep him or get a #1 for him.

Then, we draft an Alex Mack or (a guy I was impressed with last night) an Antoine Caldwell from 'Bama if we go DE or CB round 1. Later on we grab a guy like Andy Levitre from Oregon State, who has played every place BUT center in college, and use him as we've used Essex, to back up multiple positions. Then, like last year, we send out 9 guys and let the best 5 start.

Oviedo
01-25-2009, 01:12 PM
TS--I think you are right.

Resigning Starks will be Plan A. I think the LT market will be through the roof and Gross, Barnes and Carey will all be demanding more than we will pay. The only advantage we have with Starks is we can sign him before he hits the market.

I know everyone likes what they saw from Mack, but if Mack and Duke Robinson are both available then I'm picking Robinson if we want a Guard and OL is the priority pick (wouldn't be my choice--I'd go DL). I could also see picking UNger over Mack because Unger has played all 5 positions on the OL and that type of versatility seems to be highly valued by Tomlin and his staff.

I still say out Round 1 pick will depend on Bmac. If we can't resign Bmac then I think there is a real possibility we go CB in Round 1 and OL in Round 2. You can't count on Deshea to be the starter next year. The injury bug has already started to bite him. maybe Gay is full time ready but You really need 4 top line CBs in today's NFL.

Steel Life
01-25-2009, 01:31 PM
I honestly believe that Max Starks is the most viable option for the Steelers at LT going forward. The BEST we could hope for where we pick is the #7 OT. Monroe, Smith, Oher, Smith, Britton and Beatty will all be gone by the time we pick. Carolina will likely franchise Gross if Peppers is (as reported) unhappy and determined to leave. Are Vernon Carey or Khalif Barnes really an upgrade? I think Max is at least as good as either guy. We're sitting at the #7 LT on the board (Troy Kropog from Tulane???) in the draft... no way we get an immediate starter there.

We always tend to draft late, which is why we have typically built our line inside out, by drafting top interior talent. I think we'll do the same this year. With the possible exception of Duke Robinson, we'll have our pick of the interior guys at the end of R1. Thus, I think that Kemo is the guy we let walk. Resign Fat Max (franchise if necessary - might prove a bargain after all these teams with $30 and $40 mil under the cap start bidding up salaries), resign Essex as a super sub or to compete with Simmons (God help Ben) and Stapleton to start at guard, then tender Colon at the 1st round level, so we either keep him or get a #1 for him.

Then, we draft an Alex Mack or (a guy I was impressed with last night) an Antoine Caldwell from 'Bama if we go DE or CB round 1. Later on we grab a guy like Andy Levitre from Oregon State, who has played every place BUT center in college, and use him as we've used Essex, to back up multiple positions. Then, like last year, we send out 9 guys and let the best 5 start.
Tally - Good points all around...except for Levitre, the guy got beaten like a rented mule last night & wasn't stout at the POA & we have enough guys like that already. I agree that our best option may be to re-sign most of own (including Essex). The question is though...we have options at guard, but do you re-sign Max or Marvel for the LT?

steelz09
01-25-2009, 01:57 PM
I would take Mack if he was available over a #7 OT and over Duke Robinson.

Let Mack play LG for a year or two then take over for Hartwig. I truly believe that center is probably the most underrated and most important positions on the o-line.

SidSmythe
01-25-2009, 02:06 PM
You guys are assuming the MACK & Robinson will be there at #32.

We thought the same thing about Brandon Albert last year and a lot of the OT's and yet they were gone before we even picked at #23 (or 24 or something like that).

It's way too early to even think about what guys will be available at "#32" B/C if MACK is that good and can play guard, he will probably move up.

BUT it's not too early to say we will be drafting at #32 :tt1

buckeyehoppy
01-25-2009, 02:21 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on the game. I agree with Mack. I'm glad to hear he looked impressive tonight.


Can he play G also--Cause I believe Hartwig will be sufficient for the next couple of years.

Interesting thought. Start him (Mack) at LG, let Kemo walk or sign Kemo to backup money if he will. Keep Stapleton at RG....not sure what to do with Simmons. Cause I think if you can resign Essex that gives you a solid backup at both G and OT. If releasing Simmons allows you to use his money on McFadden then I would be for it.

Our real issue will be OT. I don't think Starks will sign here and I think Marvell is a major risk. We are F'ed at tackle unless one of our current backups could step in. Tony Hills, Capizzi? Free Agent?

I mean if Starks and Marvell walk that frees up 14 million. Dangle 9 or 10 a year in front of OT Gross from the Panthers. If we win the Superbowl this year it might be nice incentive for a player to maybe take a little hit in the wallet for a shot to come play for a team looking to repeat.

I don't think you take the $$$ that you would give Jordan Gross (a Pro Bowl LT) and give it to Max Sucks (a relief pitcher for the last half of this season, at best). Especially when US$14M is on the table. If Carolina doesn't franchise him, he'll be fair game. You sign him and LT becomes a non-issue, overnight. You sign Max Sucks, and you'll wonder whether this guy will earn the $$$ in the new deal.

You may pay more for Gross. But it won't be that much more than the $$$ Max Sucks gets, either with the Steelers or on the open market.

You sign Gross, then let Hills and Capizzi slug it out to start at RT.

Draft Robinson or Mack with that first pick. Let Kemo walk. A first round caliber G or C should be able to start from Day 1. Simmons is still here (unfortunately), so just get him to play RG and let his contract ride. If he's a total abortion, Stapleton plugs back in.

You'll need to draft at least a couple more OL in the draft. Use one of the 3rd Rounders and the 4th Round for that purpose. That way, you use the 2nd and the other 3rd on D...preferably go DL, then CB.

I think you go CB in the 3rd whether BMac splits or not (he will anyway). BMac looks real, but he's probably gone because he'll want an insane pay raise for someone who has only been a spot starter. We aren't talking about the second coming of Rod Woodson where BMac is concerned.

Lebsteel
01-25-2009, 03:10 PM
Hoppy, totally agree with your thoughts. I'd hate to see the Steelers pay $9 mil per year on Starks and have an average to mediocre LT to protect Ben during his prime. I'd much rather see the Steelers pay Gross $12 mil per year and get an All-Pro LT for the next 6 years. He'd be worth it. The times I've watched Gross he has been superb in protection AND in clearing the way for the run.

For those who are "Chemistry" advocates, and there is a lot to be said for that, I'd agree with no changes only if all those guys were signed for the next few years. However, Starks, Smith, Kemo and Colon are all FAs (Colon a RFA), so now is the time to establish a new line that will have that all important chemistry for the next 5-6 years and make it a GREAT line to protect Ben during his prime and clear the way for Parker and our next great RB, Rashard Mendenhall. :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1

buckeyehoppy
01-25-2009, 03:31 PM
Hoppy, totally agree with your thoughts. I'd hate to see the Steelers pay $9 mil per year on Starks and have an average to mediocre LT to protect Ben during his prime. I'd much rather see the Steelers pay Gross $12 mil per year and get an All-Pro LT for the next 6 years. He'd be worth it. The times I've watched Gross he has been superb in protection AND in clearing the way for the run.

For those who are "Chemistry" advocates, and there is a lot to be said for that, I'd agree with no changes only if all those guys were signed for the next few years. However, Starks, Smith, Kemo and Colon are all FAs (Colon a RFA), so now is the time to establish a new line that will have that all important chemistry for the next 5-6 years and make it a GREAT line to protect Ben during his prime and clear the way for Parker and our next great RB, Rashard Mendenhall. :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1

The most obvious need the Steelers will have over the next two seasons will be the OL. The Steelers will need to use at least one first day pick the next two years to reconstruct the line. That's on top of signing the anchor at LT off FA.

We have a QB that is in the fold for six more years. The time to invest $$$ and draft picks in his (and Mendy's) protection was yesterday...but ASAP will do as well.