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View Full Version : How much risk do we take?



Oviedo
02-06-2009, 05:36 PM
Assuming that James Harriosn is going to get a big pay raise and the FO will try to extend at least Heath and possibly Woodley the available cap dolloars will be dwindling fast.

We have the exclusive rights to talk to Starks before anyone else can. Would you pull out all the stops to sign him before free agency starts? Or do you take a major risk and go after Jordan Gross or another outside LT and run the risk of not getting them and losing Starks too? If that happened we would really be screwed IMO.

Starks may never make a Pro Bowl but this past season proved he can hold down the job and do decently. Many said the decent job he did at the end of 2007 was just him playing on terrible Heinz Field in the mud. Well no mud this year and he held up pretty well and may have actually been one of the two best OL on the line along with Hartwig. There is always the real possibility that he continues to get better.

It is the old adage of "a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush." I expect that the FO will make Starks a priority before Feb 27th. If we don't sign him before then I think we will be left holding the bag with no experienced LT because we won't win a bidding war with the number of teams that have close to $30-40M in cap space. Think this year was bad wait until next year if that happens.

papillon
02-06-2009, 05:58 PM
I'm not sure what they will do, nor do I believe that I have an answer, but, I don't believe that they can win another Superbowl with the O-line in its current condition.

I'd like to get Simmons back to help the run game and keep Kemo. Stapleton can be the versatile interior offensive line backup. Hartwig stays, but, wouldn't mind seeing the heir apparent to him be drafted this year. Sign Starks, release Smith and sign Essex to be a backup. Draft a right tackle that could potentially move to left in the future when Starks runs out of gas. Hopefully, by then Hills is ready to go at RT.

I'm not even sure what to so with Colon, I like him, but, the false start errors were off the charts ridiculous.

Pappy

Oviedo
02-08-2009, 12:15 PM
I'm not sure what they will do, nor do I believe that I have an answer, but, I don't believe that they can win another Superbowl with the O-line in its current condition.

I'd like to get Simmons back to help the run game and keep Kemo. Stapleton can be the versatile interior offensive line backup. Hartwig stays, but, wouldn't mind seeing the heir apparent to him be drafted this year. Sign Starks, release Smith and sign Essex to be a backup. Draft a right tackle that could potentially move to left in the future when Starks runs out of gas. Hopefully, by then Hills is ready to go at RT.

I'm not even sure what to so with Colon, I like him, but, the false start errors were off the charts ridiculous.

Pappy

I really want no parts of Kemo. Way too inconsistent. I'd move Colon inside because I think his false starts are a result of being so overmatched by speed rushers that he needs to cheat. Put him in a "phone booth" on the inside and I think he would be very good.

Simmons is a real wildcard. I've always liked him but he may not be able to perform anymore just like Marvel.

I just don't see an option to resigning Starks to make sure we have at least someone at LT who can do a decent job.

Flasteel
02-08-2009, 12:45 PM
Assuming that James Harriosn is going to get a big pay raise and the FO will try to extend at least Heath and possibly Woodley the available cap dolloars will be dwindling fast.

We have the exclusive rights to talk to Starks before anyone else can. Would you pull out all the stops to sign him before free agency starts? Or do you take a major risk and go after Jordan Gross or another outside LT and run the risk of not getting them and losing Starks too? If that happened we would really be screwed IMO.

Starks may never make a Pro Bowl but this past season proved he can hold down the job and do decently. Many said the decent job he did at the end of 2007 was just him playing on terrible Heinz Field in the mud. Well no mud this year and he held up pretty well and may have actually been one of the two best OL on the line along with Hartwig. There is always the real possibility that he continues to get better.

It is the old adage of "a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush." I expect that the FO will make Starks a priority before Feb 27th. If we don't sign him before then I think we will be left holding the bag with no experienced LT because we won't win a bidding war with the number of teams that have close to $30-40M in cap space. Think this year was bad wait until next year if that happens.

Woodley's not up for an extension, is he?

We have to take care of our core, first and foremost and I don't think it's going to leave a whole lot of room for any splash moves in free agency. Jordan Gross will probably be franchised, but if he hits the market there is no way we will be able to compete.

Re-sign Starks and Essex, let Kemo walk, move Colon inside (like you said, in a phone booth), and entertain a low offer to Smith. Hartwig did a semi-decent job at center, but I thought he was over-matched at times.

DukieBoy
02-08-2009, 12:46 PM
I'm not sure what they will do, nor do I believe that I have an answer, but, I don't believe that they can win another Superbowl with the O-line in its current condition.

I'd like to get Simmons back to help the run game and keep Kemo. Stapleton can be the versatile interior offensive line backup. Hartwig stays, but, wouldn't mind seeing the heir apparent to him be drafted this year. Sign Starks, release Smith and sign Essex to be a backup. Draft a right tackle that could potentially move to left in the future when Starks runs out of gas. Hopefully, by then Hills is ready to go at RT.

I'm not even sure what to so with Colon, I like him, but, the false start errors were off the charts ridiculous.

Pappy

Seemed at times that Willie Colon thought he was to line up as wingback and go in motion prior to the snap. He did not get a penalty in the SB, however, IIRC

AkronSteel
02-08-2009, 01:05 PM
The OL is a complicated subject! All year long most of us on here complained that this unit was terrible and might cost us a chance at the Super Bowl Championship!! Well they didn't...but there still needs to be improvement from this unit moving forward. I think that at least two new starters are needed along the front, a guard and a tackle! Although...I could see a tackle moving into guard to solve part of the problem.

Here is what I would do with the OL!

LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!

LG: Duke Robinson (1st Round Pick) - This would be a major improvement over what we had this year. The guy is a beast in the run game and would substantially improve our situation here! He is adequate in the pass game even though he did not have a very good game in the BCS Championship! Let Kemoeatu go....the guy is terrible in pass protection and his play declined as the season went on which is not really saying much! I was so tired of watching this guy block nothing but air!

C: Hartwig - this is a stop gap move until Antoine Caldwell (3rd Round Pick) is ready to assume the starting role. I think Hartwig was a good improvement over what was here before him and I think alot of the sacks that were credited to him were because Ben was avoiding pressure that was coming off the edge. I thought Justin did a nice job anchoring the line! Caldwell is a versatile player who can play all three interior positions who I believe can develop into a solid center in the future!! He is a very cerebral player!

RG: Colon - move the starting RT into his more natural position of guard! Most of his problems are because he cannot handle the speed rushers from the outside. His skill set is much more accustomed to playing in a phone booth instead of on the edge! Stapleton can be another versatile backup who can play multiple positions! Injury Settlement for Simmons to get his contract off the books would help!

RT: Vernon Carey (free agent) - Carey would be a big time improvement over Colon and would give the team much better situation here! Carey is a very good RT and would very much help pass protection from the right side! Resign Essex to a good back up deal!

So we would have this!

LT: Starks.............Hills
LG: Robinson..........Stapleton
C: Hartwig.............Caldwell
RG: Colon..............Stapleton
RT: Carey..............Essex

I would take these 9 offensive lineman into next year and take my chances!

:2c

Oviedo
02-08-2009, 01:14 PM
The OL is a complicated subject! All year long most of us on here complained that this unit was terrible and might cost us a chance at the Super Bowl Championship!! Well they didn't...but there still needs to be improvement from this unit moving forward. I think that at least two new starters are needed along the front, a guard and a tackle! Although...I could see a tackle moving into guard to solve part of the problem.

Here is what I would do with the OL!

LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!

LG: Duke Robinson (1st Round Pick) - This would be a major improvement over what we had this year. The guy is a beast in the run game and would substantially improve our situation here! He is adequate in the pass game even though he did not have a very good game in the BCS Championship! Let Kemoeatu go....the guy is terrible in pass protection and his play declined as the season went on which is not really saying much! I was so tired of watching this guy block nothing but air!

C: Hartwig - this is a stop gap move until Antoine Caldwell (3rd Round Pick) is ready to assume the starting role. I think Hartwig was a good improvement over what was here before him and I think alot of the sacks that were credited to him were because Ben was avoiding pressure that was coming off the edge. I thought Justin did a nice job anchoring the line! Caldwell is a versatile player who can play all three interior positions who I believe can develop into a solid center in the future!! He is a very cerebral player!

RG: Colon - move the starting RT into his more natural position of guard! Most of his problems are because he cannot handle the speed rushers from the outside. His skill set is much more accustomed to playing in a phone booth instead of on the edge! Stapleton can be another versatile backup who can play multiple positions! Injury Settlement for Simmons to get his contract off the books would help!

RT: Vernon Carey (free agent) - Carey would be a big time improvement over Colon and would give the team much better situation here! Carey is a very good RT and would very much help pass protection from the right side! Resign Essex to a good back up deal!

So we would have this!

LT: Starks.............Hills
LG: Robinson..........Stapleton
C: Hartwig.............Caldwell
RG: Colon..............Stapleton
RT: Carey..............Essex

I would take these 9 offensive lineman into next year and take my chances!

:2c

The problem with the line was the Guards and the RT. I really like the way to have laid out a solution which IMO is the best we can hope for.

Robinson would be a good pick but I would also have to say we need to look at Mack and Loadholdt for that #1 pick. Loadholdt may be the best of the bunch if you move him inside because he played Tackle in college and probably would have better mobility and be a better pass blocker than either Robinson or Mack. Robinson's pass blocking does concern me which seems to be a consistent problem with college interior linemen which is why so many college tackles successfully move inside as IMO their pass blocking techniques seem to be more developed.

AkronSteel
02-08-2009, 01:28 PM
The OL is a complicated subject! All year long most of us on here complained that this unit was terrible and might cost us a chance at the Super Bowl Championship!! Well they didn't...but there still needs to be improvement from this unit moving forward. I think that at least two new starters are needed along the front, a guard and a tackle! Although...I could see a tackle moving into guard to solve part of the problem.

Here is what I would do with the OL!

LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!

LG: Duke Robinson (1st Round Pick) - This would be a major improvement over what we had this year. The guy is a beast in the run game and would substantially improve our situation here! He is adequate in the pass game even though he did not have a very good game in the BCS Championship! Let Kemoeatu go....the guy is terrible in pass protection and his play declined as the season went on which is not really saying much! I was so tired of watching this guy block nothing but air!

C: Hartwig - this is a stop gap move until Antoine Caldwell (3rd Round Pick) is ready to assume the starting role. I think Hartwig was a good improvement over what was here before him and I think alot of the sacks that were credited to him were because Ben was avoiding pressure that was coming off the edge. I thought Justin did a nice job anchoring the line! Caldwell is a versatile player who can play all three interior positions who I believe can develop into a solid center in the future!! He is a very cerebral player!

RG: Colon - move the starting RT into his more natural position of guard! Most of his problems are because he cannot handle the speed rushers from the outside. His skill set is much more accustomed to playing in a phone booth instead of on the edge! Stapleton can be another versatile backup who can play multiple positions! Injury Settlement for Simmons to get his contract off the books would help!

RT: Vernon Carey (free agent) - Carey would be a big time improvement over Colon and would give the team much better situation here! Carey is a very good RT and would very much help pass protection from the right side! Resign Essex to a good back up deal!

So we would have this!

LT: Starks.............Hills
LG: Robinson..........Stapleton
C: Hartwig.............Caldwell
RG: Colon..............Stapleton
RT: Carey..............Essex

I would take these 9 offensive lineman into next year and take my chances!

:2c

The problem with the line was the Guards and the RT. I really like the way to have laid out a solution which IMO is the best we can hope for.

Robinson would be a good pick but I would also have to say we need to look at Mack and Loadholdt for that #1 pick. Loadholdt may be the best of the bunch if you move him inside because he played Tackle in college and probably would have better mobility and be a better pass blocker than either Robinson or Mack. Robinson's pass blocking does concern me which seems to be a consistent problem with college interior linemen which is why so many college tackles successfully move inside as IMO their pass blocking techniques seem to be more developed.

Whoever is the best player to draft at 32 I'm all for as long as it helps with the OL situation! Whether it be Robinson, Loadholt, Mack, Unger...whoever can come in and help the most, I'm all for! I really haven't had a chance to do any scouting yet for the draft! I usually start my process of evaluations the week of the combine! Heck I'm still enjoying last Sunday!!

:tt1 :tt2

RuthlessBurgher
02-08-2009, 05:55 PM
LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!


Max was overpaid making just under $7 million for one year. If we gave a merely adequate LT like Starks $8.5 million per year over 4 years, I think I would change my username to colbertsucks. :wink: You can overpay for elite Pro Bowl players in their prime (I wouldn't mind an 8-figure annual salary for someone like Jordan Gross if Carolina doesn't franchise him) but by no means do you overpay for players who are average at best. That would be like taking the contract that you gave to the average Kendall Simmons, adding another $11 million to it, and giving it to the average Max Starks. Ouch. And what kind of contact would you propose offering Vernon Carey after giving all that cabbage to Max?

100$handshake
02-08-2009, 09:01 PM
I don't know how many people I've read on various message boards have Vernon Carey #1 on their wish lists. But I guarantee you he will not become a Steeler.

AkronSteel
02-08-2009, 09:16 PM
LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!


Max was overpaid making just under $7 million for one year. If we gave a merely adequate LT like Starks $8.5 million per year over 4 years, I think I would change my username to colbertsucks. :wink: You can overpay for elite Pro Bowl players in their prime (I wouldn't mind an 8-figure annual salary for someone like Jordan Gross if Carolina doesn't franchise him) but by no means do you overpay for players who are average at best. That would be like taking the contract that you gave to the average Kendall Simmons, adding another $11 million to it, and giving it to the average Max Starks. Ouch. And what kind of contact would you propose offering Vernon Carey after giving all that cabbage to Max?

Ruthless, it's not as if I really want to give the guy that much cheddar but I am being realistic! LT is the premier position along the OL and usually those guys get paid more than other positions. 8.5 is probably middle of the road as far as contract amounts for tackles in the league at this point and I sure as heck don't wanna go into the season with Hills, Colon, and Essex as my top 3 tackles. I would much rather pay Gross 9-10 million but we all know the Steelers would rather keep their own talent as opposed to getting someone else's. I was just trying to give a realistic overview of what we may be looking at! As for your question I would say that Carey would probably get a 4-5 year deal worth 20-25 million, 6-7 guaranteed!

NorthCoast
02-08-2009, 09:53 PM
Wow, the standards for OL have really dropped in the 'Burgh. Waiting for the return of Simmons, really? Kemo a starter? C'mon, these guys were average at best. Granted we can't afford ProBowl types at every position, but for Ben's longevity, we need upgrades everywhere we can possibly find them. Kemo has not impressed in pass pro (yes, he can be a road-grader on runs). I don't know what Colon's problems are, but the pre-snap penalties seemed to get worse as the season progressed. Anyone waiting for Simmons is dreaming of a guy from several seasons ago, he is not that player now. We need to draft OL in the top five picks.

AkronSteel
02-08-2009, 10:18 PM
Wow, the standards for OL have really dropped in the 'Burgh. Waiting for the return of Simmons, really? Kemo a starter? C'mon, these guys were average at best. Granted we can't afford ProBowl types at every position, but for Ben's longevity, we need upgrades everywhere we can possibly find them. Kemo has not impressed in pass pro (yes, he can be a road-grader on runs). I don't know what Colon's problems are, but the pre-snap penalties seemed to get worse as the season progressed. Anyone waiting for Simmons is dreaming of a guy from several seasons ago, he is not that player now. We need to draft OL in the top five picks.

:Agree

Three of the first 6 picks at least need to be offensive lineman! 1st round, one of the third rounders and a fifth rounder should be spent on this unit alone! Mix in a defensive lineman in the second round, a corner with the other third rounder and a wide receiver/kick returner in the fourth and I will be happy!

TallyStiller
02-08-2009, 10:27 PM
Max Starks > Vernon Carey. We will not sign a premium O Line free agent - our cap won't permit it, given that there are 15 franchises that are $20 + mil under the cap. We will be lucky to keep our own. I believe Max gets franchised again.

Flasteel
02-08-2009, 10:53 PM
LT: Starks - resign him to a 4 year deal worth 34 million! Its a shorter term deal and solidifies the position for the foreseeable future! It won't kill the cap because he was already making 6.95! Give him 12 million guaranteed and then the money is not really that bad! Tony Hills can continue to develop and may eventually challenge for playing time if he turns into the player that most of us hope he will be!


Max was overpaid making just under $7 million for one year. If we gave a merely adequate LT like Starks $8.5 million per year over 4 years, I think I would change my username to colbertsucks. :wink: You can overpay for elite Pro Bowl players in their prime (I wouldn't mind an 8-figure annual salary for someone like Jordan Gross if Carolina doesn't franchise him) but by no means do you overpay for players who are average at best. That would be like taking the contract that you gave to the average Kendall Simmons, adding another $11 million to it, and giving it to the average Max Starks. Ouch. And what kind of contact would you propose offering Vernon Carey after giving all that cabbage to Max?

Sorry brother, but I have to disagree that Starks is merely adequate or average. He's a beast in the running game and only gave up four sacks all season. As the year progressed he seemed to get more comfortable on the left side and I don't believe that we've seen his best yet. Aside from Tra Thomas and Jordan Gross, there isn't another available LT out there who you can say is better than Starks.

Sign him!

papillon
02-08-2009, 10:55 PM
As I mentioned before, I have no idea what is going to happen to the Steelers O-line, but, if they go into next year counting on a rookie at either LT or RT and leave the interior exactly as it is now, the Steelers won't be repeating as SB champs.

It is still amazing that a team could be so inept inside the 5 yard line all year, so inept at 3rd and short and 4th and short all year, have a bottom half of the NFL running game and still win the Superbowl. This tells you all you need to know about Ben and the defense.

I wouldn't want to have to count on near perfection from the defense and for Ben to have to bail out the team 4 or 5 times in the 4th quarter again to get back to the Superbowl. That's what happened this year.

Pappy