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steelz09
02-07-2009, 05:35 PM
what do you all think we should do with Max Starks?

I'm torn. On one side, I don't think he should get a long-term deal and I don't think he deserves big money.

Tony Hills is a wild card. Additionally, I think Colon would be a real good guard (considering he is adequate at RT and thats much more difficult). But can we have TWO NEW starters at the tackle position without getting Big Ben killed next season?

I also think Tony Hills was drafted to be a LT even though I hear you all recommending RT. I have never seen him line up at RT nor practice at RT. I've only heard him playing LT. That tells me that RT is not where the coaching staff sees him playing but let me know if I'm wrong :)

So, if we don't resign max starks then Tony Hills is probably the starter. If we want to move Colon inside (recommended) then a first round pick will probably be the starter. That means our starting tackles are Hills and a rookie. While I have faith in Hills, I don't know about starting the season with 2 new tackles.

OR, do we spend money on Starks to be the left tackle and attempt to move Tony Hills to RT. Then, move Colon to left guard. Draft, Alex Mack or Duke Robinson and either at RG. That means our starting o-line would be:

LT: Starks
LG: Colon
C: Hartwig
RG: Duke Robinson / Alex Mack
RT: Tony Hills

I would say thats an immediate upgrade but I still have a hard time giving an adequate (at best) Starks a long-term high paid deal.

Or.. do we see something like this:

LT: Hills
LG: Duke Robinson / Alex Mack
C: Hartwig
RG: Stapleton / Simmons
RT: Colon

I wouldn't be the least big surprised at that starting lineup either considering it minimizes "change". My only problem with that is having two brand new starters on the left side (Ben's blind side0. Perhaps, we would move Stapleton / Simmons to the left side and the rookie to the RT.. i don't know.

There's a lot of options / questions. What do you all think?

williar
02-07-2009, 06:15 PM
Keep him! Max is a great character guy. Good for the locker room. He also seems to be finding his niche as a LT. I know you can't sign everybody, but keep as many pieces that you can from a superbowl winning team.

Steeler Shades
02-07-2009, 06:18 PM
I'm torn. On one side, I don't think he should get a long-term deal and I don't think he deserves big money.
I will agree that Starks should not get a big money long term contract. However, I wouldn't mind signing him to a big money short term contract. He is already getting big money (IMHO) and he is one of (if not the best) O-Linemen we currently have. God knows we need to make changes on that unit and I just think we need to keep Max until we see how all the NEW additions and players playing new (for 2009) positions pan out. 8)

Chadman
02-07-2009, 06:18 PM
If Starks recieves a big money offer....do the Steelers look at re-signing Marvel Smith instead?

Is it even possible that Smith's injuries woes are behind him?

Strange- Smith is a superior player to Starks, yet Starks is the one likely to recieve the big money offer.

If Smith's back checks out, do you give him the 1-year deal & let Hills back him up?

Steeler Shades
02-07-2009, 06:20 PM
Smith is too risky. I wouldn't depend on him to make it through an entire season. Keep Starks (if economically viable). 8)

mshifko
02-07-2009, 06:23 PM
sign him long term...he's came in with ben and his best playing days are ahead of him...he's a big LT, left handed, can handle speed rushers and has the power to fend off 3-4 ends...keep this big fella

get rid of marvel

Flasteel
02-07-2009, 06:58 PM
I've always been on the Max Starks wagon (abeit disappointingly so after 2006 and this year's training camp), so I say sign him long-term. I think he really came into his own as a LT and gave up the least number of sacks on our line this year (granted in only 11 starts). We already know he's a beast in the running game and if he gets on a defender, it's game over for them. Here's a break-down of sacks allowed across the league this year to see how he stacks up and where we could possibly do better...I don't see a whole lot of room for improvement.

LT

1. Ryan Clady (Broncos) 0.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
2. Michael Roos (Titans) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
3. Tra Thomas (Eagles) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
3. Orlando Pace (Rams) 2.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
5. Jake Long (Dolphins) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
6. Jordan Gross (Panthers) 3.0 sacks allowed (15 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
6. Jammal Brown (Saints) 3.0 sacks allowed (15 starts)
6. Jared Gaither (Ravens) 3.0 sacks allowed (15 starts)
6. Marcus McNeill (Chargers) 3.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
6. Tony Ugoh (Colts) 3.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
6. Chris Samuels (Redskins) 3.0 sacks allowed (12 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
6. Todd Weiner (Falcons) 3.0 sacks allowed (11 starts)
13. Walter Jones (Seahawks) 3.5 sacks allowed (12 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
14. D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
14. Bryant McKinnie (Vikings) 4.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
14. Max Starks (Steelers) 4.0 sacks allowed (11 starts)
17. Joe Thomas (Browns) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
17. Branden Albert (Cheifs) 4.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
19. Levi Brown (Bengals) 5.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
20. Mike Gandy (Cardinals) 6.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. David Diehl (Giants) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
22. Flozell Adams (Cowboys) 7.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
23. Khalif Barnes (Jags) 7.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
23. Matt Light (Pats) 7.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
23. Chad Clifton (Packers) 7.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
23. Kwame Harris (Raiders) 7.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
27. Joe Staley (49ers) 8.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
28. Donald Penn (Bucs) 8.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Jeff Backus (Lions) 9.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
30. John St. Clair (Bears) 9.75 sacks allowed (16 starts)
31. Duane Brown (Texans) 11.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
31. Jason Peters (Bills) 11.5 sacks allowed (13 starts) *PRO-BOWL*

LG

1. Kris Dielman (Chargers) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
1. Charlie Johnson (Colts) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. David Baas (49ers) 0 sacks allowed (9 starts)
4. Carl Nicks (Saints) 0.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
5. Todd Herremans (Eagles) 0.75 sacks allowed (15 starts)
6. Brian Waters (Chiefs) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
7. Josh Beekman (Bears) 1.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Robert Gallery (Raiders) 1.75 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Reggie Wells (Cardinals) 1.75 sacks allowed (16 starts)
10. Eugene Amano (Titans) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
10. Chris Chester (Ravens) 2.0 sacks allowed (11 starts)
12. Chester Pitts (Texans) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Ben Hamilton (Broncos) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Travelle Wharton (Panthers) 2.5 sacks allowed (14 starts)
12. Jacob Bell (Rams) 2.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
12. Jeff Smiley (Dolphins) 2.5 sacks allowed (12 starts)
17. Rich Seubert (Giants) 3.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
17. Pete Kendall (Redskins) 3.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
17. Justin Blalock (Falcons) 3.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Eric Steinbach (Browns) 3.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
21. Floyd Womack (Seahawks) 3.5 sacks allowed (14 starts)
22. Edwin Mulitalo (Lions) 4.25 sacks allowed (11 starts)
23. Arron Sears (Bucs) 4.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
23. Uche Nwaneri (Jags) 4.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
23. Cory Procter (Cowboys) 4.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
26. Logan Mankins (Pats) 5.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
26. Andrew Whitworth (Bengals) 5.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)
28. Daryn Colledge (Packers) 6.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Steve Hutchinson (Vikings) 7.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
29. Alan Faneca (Jets) 7.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
31. Chris Kemoeatu (Steelers) 7.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
32. Derrick Dockery (Bills) 8.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)

C

1. Olin Kreutz (Bears) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Todd McClure (Falcons) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Chris Myers (Texans) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Kevin Mawae (Titans) 0 sacks allowed (15 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
1. Ryan Kalil (Panthers) 0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
6. Brad Meester (Jags) 0.25 sacks allowed (10 starts)
7. Lyle Sendlein (Cardinals) 0.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Duke Preston (Bills) 0.75 sacks allowed (11 starts)
9. Casey Wiegmann (Broncos) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jeff Faine (Bucs) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jonathan Goodwin (Saints) 1.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
12. Nick Mangold (Jets) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Andre Gurode (Cowboys) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Shaun O’Hara (Giants) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Matt Birk (Vikings) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Jeff Saturday (Colts) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Dominic Raiola (Lions) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Nick Leckey (Rams) 2.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)
19. Jason Brown (Ravens) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Jamaal Jackson (Eagles) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Hank Fraley (Browns) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Nick Hardwick (Chargers) 2.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
21. Jake Grove (Raiders) 2.5 sacks allowed (12 starts)
21. Chris Spencer (Seahawks) 2.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
25. Rudy Niswanger (Chiefs) 3.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
25. Scott Wells (Packers) 3.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
27. Eric Heitmann (49ers) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Eric Ghaiciuc (Bengals) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Samson Satele (Dolphins) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Dan Koppen (Pats) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
31. Casey Rabach (Redskins) 5.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
32. Justin Harwig (Steelers) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)

RG

1. Chris Kuper (Broncos) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
2. Jake Scott (Titans) 0.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
2. Max Jean-Gilles (Eagles) 0.5 sacks allowed (10 starts)
4. Chris Snee (Giants) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
4. Harvey Dahl (Falcons) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
4. Jason Spitz (Packers) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
4. Ikechuku Ndukwe (Dolphins) 1.0 sacks allowed (15 starts)
4. Brad Butler (Bills) 1.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
4. Davin Joseph (Bucs) 1.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
4. Adrian Jones (Chiefs) 1.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)
11. Rex Hadnot (Browns) 1.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
12. Deuce Lutui (Cardinals) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Brandon Moore (Jets) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Mike Brisiel (Texans) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)…ERFA
12. Jahri Evans (Saints) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)…RFA
12. Mike Pollak (Colts) 2.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
12. Stephen Neal (Pats) 2.0 sacks allowed (9 starts)
18. Roberto Garza (Bears) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Randy Thomas (Redskins) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Robbie Williams (Bengals) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Cooper Carlisle (Raiders) 4.0 sacks allowed (15 starts)
19. Stephen Peterman (Lions) 4.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
19. Tony Wragge (49ers) 4.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)…RFA
24. Leonard Davis (Cowboys) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
24. Mike Goff (Chargers) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
26. Darnell Stapleton (Steelers) 5.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
27. Ben Grubbs (Ravens) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Richie Incognito (Rams) 6.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
29. Dennis Norman (Jags) 7.25 sacks allowed (14 starts)
30. Anthony Herrera (Vikings) 7.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)

RT

1. Ryan Diem (Colts) 1.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Jon Stinchcomb (Saints) 1.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Ray Willis (Seahawks) 1.5 sacks allowed (10 starts)
4. David Stewart (Titans) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
4. Mark Tauscher (Packers) 2.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
6. Ryan Harris (Broncos) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
6. Tyson Clabo (Falcons) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Langston Walker (Bills) 3.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Nick Kaczur (Pats) 3.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
10. Willie Anderson (Ravens) 3.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
11. Kareem McKenzie (Giants) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
11. Vernon Carey (Dolphins) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
11. Kevin Shaffer (Browns) 4.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
14. Jeff Otah (Panthers) 5.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
15. Tony Pashos (Jags) 5.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
15. Marc Colombo (Cowboys) 5.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
17. Willie Colon (Steelers) 5.75 sacks allowed (16 starts)…RFA
18. John Tait (Bears) 6.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
18. Jeremy Trueblood (Bucs) 6.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
18. Ryan Cook (Vikings) 6.0 sacks allowed (14 starts)
18. Gosder Cherilus (Lions) 6.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
22. Damien Woody (Jets) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
22. Jeromey Clary (Chargers) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
22. Jon Jansen (Redskins) 6.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
25. Jon Runyan (Eagles) 7.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
25. Damion McIntosh (Chiefs) 7.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Cornell Green (Raiders) 7.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Alex Barron (Rams) 7.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
29. Eric Winston (Texans) 8.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
30. Stacy Andrews (Bengals) 9.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
31. Adam Snyder (49ers) 9.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
32. Levi Brown (Cardinals) 11.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)

Steeler Shades
02-07-2009, 07:04 PM
Thanks for those numbers Flasteel. Really brings home some of our issues and which players are having the most trouble. If Hartwig was #32 and was an improvement over last year, what was Mahan's rating in 2007? 8)

Chadman
02-07-2009, 07:12 PM
Interesting stats Flasteel.


Chadman is surprised to see Hartwig at the bottom of the pile!!

Re-signing Starks would be great, if he's affordable. You can't just overpay for him though, because soon enough the level of his play will be outweighed by his cost. So as long as the Steelers can get value in the deal, Chadman is all for it.

Looking at those stats, Chadman might need to revise his plans on the OL- maybe keep Starks & Colon at OT & look at the interior OL only early in the draft!

BURGH86STEEL
02-07-2009, 07:24 PM
It will come down to how much money Max wants. If it is mid level range, I say they should try to keep him. Several teams are looking for good LTs so it may be difficult to resign him.

steelz09
02-07-2009, 09:15 PM
It will come down to how much money Max wants. If it is mid level range, I say they should try to keep him. Several teams are looking for good LTs so it may be difficult to resign him.

Interesting stats Flasteel. While I agree the interior of our line is weak, could those sack #'s be a little bit off because the Big Ben always has to step up to avoid the rush from the outside and that leads him right into the defenses interior.

I don't know .. it's tough to say. Our entire o-line isn't very good but Starks at least has proven experience and has done well. It just makes me wonder if he'll let his weight get outta hand, and his work ethic will suffer if he gets that long term deal..

Also, didn't Colbert say last year they weren't going to pay him that 6 mil transition tag amount because they were going to work out a long term contract in the meantime. So, that tells me that they were at least interested in working out something long term. But, why didn't it HAPPEN? Is Starks thinking that he's worth more than what the Steelers think and that's why the deal didn't get done?

BURGH86STEEL
02-07-2009, 10:27 PM
It will come down to how much money Max wants. If it is mid level range, I say they should try to keep him. Several teams are looking for good LTs so it may be difficult to resign him.

Interesting stats Flasteel. While I agree the interior of our line is weak, could those sack #'s be a little bit off because the Big Ben always has to step up to avoid the rush from the outside and that leads him right into the defenses interior.

I don't know .. it's tough to say. Our entire o-line isn't very good but Starks at least has proven experience and has done well. It just makes me wonder if he'll let his weight get outta hand, and his work ethic will suffer if he gets that long term deal..

Also, didn't Colbert say last year they weren't going to pay him that 6 mil transition tag amount because they were going to work out a long term contract in the meantime. So, that tells me that they were at least interested in working out something long term. But, why didn't it HAPPEN? Is Starks thinking that he's worth more than what the Steelers think and that's why the deal didn't get done?

Starks probably thought he was worth more than the Steelers were willing to pay. I think the same was true of Faneca. Starks will probably want to test the market. I cannot blame him.

Lebsteel
02-08-2009, 12:01 AM
Interesting article on Max Starks and Marvel Smith:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_610627.html

The worst thing about the Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII is that their players are likely to be more in demand from other teams looking to sign them as free agents.

There's a very real possibility that either starting left tackle Max Starks or Marvel Smith, who Starks replaced because of injury, may not return in 2009.

It also is possible that both players - who are unrestricted free agents - will bolt.

Starks recently turned 27, making him the only young free-agent offensive lineman currently on the market to win two Super Bowls.

Show Starks the money.

Starks played under a one-year, $6.9-million contract he received as a transition player. He's been a starter on two Super Bowl championship teams - one at left tackle, one at right tackle.

Left tackles protect the quarterback's blind side and are paid more than right tackles. Starks was moved from the right side when Smith suffered a back injury in the fifth game of the season.

Over the past two seasons, multi-year contracts awarded to all offensive linemen averaged $6.5 million a season. Left tackles averaged $7.7 million, right tackles $6.0 million.

Smith, 30, has injury issues, but he's played left tackle his entire career.

Starks probably never will be as highly sought after as he is right now. Even if he doesn't receive the break-the-bank deal he desires from another team, it's unlikely that Starks will return to the Steelers unless they offer him big bucks up front to stay.

The Steelers have until Feb. 27 to re-sign their key unrestricted free agents. It's a lengthy list that includes starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu and third receiver Nate Washington. Smith and Starks are the team's only unsigned left tackles.

Smith has undergone two back surgeries a year apart that caused him to miss 19 games over the past two seasons (including the playoffs). The Steelers placed him on injured reserve in December, making him ineligible for Super Bowl XLIII.

"I'm pretty much back to normal,'' said Smith, a native of Oakland, Calif., who could be a potential free-agent target of the hometown Raiders or the Arizona Cardinals, where former Steelers assistant Russ Grimm is the offensive line coach.

"It's amazing how my rehab and recovery have gone compared to last time. The best thing is they didn't touch anything structurally. I feel like I'm about 2-3 months ahead from last year going through the same process.

"If I could stay here, I would. It's up to them. They know me personally and as a player - my work ethic, what I bring to the table. Physically, they know the aspects of all my rehab, everything I'm doing. If I've got to go anywhere (else), do a workout or physical, I'll be perfectly fine. I don't see that being an issue at all.''

BradshawsHairdresser
02-08-2009, 02:57 AM
Smith, 30, has injury issues, but he's played left tackle his entire career.




Smith was a right tackle for several years with the Steelers before being moved over to left tackle.

BradshawsHairdresser
02-08-2009, 02:58 AM
Smith, 30, has injury issues, but he's played left tackle his entire career.




Smith was a right tackle for several years with the Steelers before being moved over to left tackle.

Flasteel
02-08-2009, 03:06 AM
Okay, here's something I just saw on PFT which might add to our discussion:

STEELERS FACING A RAID ON THEIR OFFENSIVE LINE
Posted by Mike Florio on February 7, 2009, 10:04 p.m.
In free agency, players from teams that win Super Bowls often are more attractive than players from other franchises.

One reason for this could be the benefit of a player who can flash that brand-new Super Bowl ring and motivate his new teammates to attempt to do the same.

Another reason could be the damage that the departure might do to the team that currently is perched at the top of the NFL’s mountain.

This year, the Super Bowl champs face some serious potential losses in free agency. Their biggest area of vulnerability is the offensive line.

Trai Essex, Chris Kemoeatu, Max Starks, and Marvel Smith are all slated to hit the market come February 27.

Smith was a starter until he suffered a back injury that ultimately ended his season. Starks, who played under the transition tag in 2008, improved steadily throughout the year after starting the season on the bench. Kemoeatu was a full-time starter for the first time in his career.

The rest of the free-agent offensive linemen for 2009 can be seen right here.

Or right here:
Tackles
Stacy Andrews (UFA) - Cincinnati
Khalif Barnes (UFA) - Jacksonville
Wesley Britt (RFA) - New England
Rashad Butler (RFA) - Houston
Vernon Carey (UFA) - Miami
Willie Colon (RFA) - Pittsburgh
Damion Cook (UFA) - Detroit
Harvey Dahl (RFA) - Atlanta
Anthony Davis (UFA) - St. Louis
Damane Duckett (UFA) - Philadelphia
Trai Essex (UFA) - Pittsburgh
Daniel Federkeil (RFA) - Indianapolis
George Foster (UFA) - Detroit
Wayne Gandy (UFA) - Atlanta
Adam Goldberg (UFA) - St. Louis
Brandon Gorin (UFA) - St. Louis
Jordan Gross (UFA) - Carolina
Marcus Johnson (UFA) - Minnesota
Daniel Loper (UFA) - Tennessee
James Marten (RFA) - Oakland
Fred Miller (UFA) - Chicago
Frank Omiyale (UFA) - Carolina
Donald Penn (UFA) - Tampa Bay
Jon Runyan (UFA) - Philadelphia
Marvel Smith (UFA) - Pittsburgh
Charles Spencer (RFA) - Jacksonville
John St. Clair (UFA) - Chicago
Max Starks (UFA) - Pittsburgh
Jon Stinchcomb (UFA) - New Orleans
Zach Strief (RFA) - New Orleans
Mark Tauscher (UFA) - Green Bay
Tra Thomas (UFA) - Philadelphia
Ray Willis (UFA) - Seattle
Mark Wilson (RFA) - Oakland

Guards
Joe Berger (UFA) - Dallas
Elton Brown (UFA) - Arizona
Cooper Carlisle (UFA) - Oakland
Kirk Chambers (UFA) - Buffalo
Tyson Clabo (RFA) - Atlanta
Jahri Evans (RFA) - New Orleans
Kynan Forney (UFA) - San Diego
Lennie Friedman (UFA) - Cleveland
Justin Geisinger (RFA) - Washington
Mike Goff (UFA) - San Diego
Russ Hochstein (UFA) - New England
Richie Incognito (RFA) - St. Louis
Adrian Jones (UFA) - Kansas City
Chris Kemoeatu (UFA) - Pittsburgh
Pete Kendall (UFA) - Washington
Seth McKinney (UFA) - Cleveland
Chris Naeole (UFA) - Jacksonville
Stephen Peterman (UFA) - Detroit
Duke Preston (UFA) - Buffalo
Tutan Reyes (UFA) - Jacksonville
Grey Ruegamer (UFA) - NY Giants
Mark Setterstrom (RFA) - St. Louis
Rob Sims (RFA) - Seattle
Jason Whittle (UFA) - Buffalo
Floyd Womack (UFA) - Seattle


Now who on this list of available lineman would you realistically want to target? I really think we need to upgrade our LG position more than any place along the line...Kemo is just way too inconsistent. However looking at that list, there isn't anyone who stands out other than maybe Porkchop or Goff. Maybe the draft is the way to go at guard, or we could also consider Colon there and look for a tackle (how long are we going to keep saying that?).

The list of free agent tackles includes Jordan Gross and Tra Thomas, but I think we can forget about breaking the bank for either one of those guys. I don't see anyone else who you can say provides definitively better play at LT than Starks. On the right side however there are two intriguing prospects. First would have to be Jon Stinchcomb. The guy is relatively young, very durable and only gave up 1.5 sacks last year. The other tackle I might be interested in is Mark Tauscher. He's a few years older, but also very durable and plays at a consistently high level (2 sacks this season).

I think the best plan for our line is to target one of those RTs and draft a guard for the left side. Colon can battle it out whereever the coaches feel he has the best chance.

Oviedo
02-08-2009, 12:28 PM
LT: Resign Max because whoever you try to get at LT is going to be expensive. I was also impressed watching Inside the NFL on Showtime when they were doing the review of the Super Bowl. Max was on the sideline taking charge and getting everyone pumped up. It is the first time I saw that side of what he does. I think Max will only get better.

LG: Let Kemo leave and either move Colon here or draft Mack/Robinson/Loadholdt

C: Hartwig with Stapleton as back up

RG: Hope Simmons can come back at full strength or use Colon/rookie combo

RT: Hills or veteran free agent

I'd resign Essex to back up money because he won't get starters money anywhere else. I'd also resign Marvel Smith to a reasonable vet minimum contract because if healthy he would be a solution for either RT or a back up at both tackle positions.

Flasteel
02-08-2009, 12:34 PM
LT: Resign Max because whoever you try to get at LT is going to be expensive.

LG: Let Kemo leave and either move Colon here or draft Mack/Robinson/Loadholdt

C: Hartwig with Stapleton as back up

RG: Hope Simmons can come back at full strength or use Colon/rookie combo

RT: Hills or veteran free agent

I'd resign Essex to back up money because he won't get starters money anywhere else. I'd also resign Marvel Smith to a reasonable vet minimum contract because if healthy he would be a solution for either RT or a back up at both tackle positions.

I think that jibes with my feelings about our line completely, although I'm not sure about Hills. The coaches know where he's at but I've yet to be impressed with their talent evaluation along the line. I'm hoping we target a RT in FA and draft a guard with one of our first two picks. I agree with re-signing Essex, but I do wonder if Smith will be offered starter-money someplace else. If so, we can't compete with that.

Oviedo
02-08-2009, 12:38 PM
LT: Resign Max because whoever you try to get at LT is going to be expensive.

LG: Let Kemo leave and either move Colon here or draft Mack/Robinson/Loadholdt

C: Hartwig with Stapleton as back up

RG: Hope Simmons can come back at full strength or use Colon/rookie combo

RT: Hills or veteran free agent

I'd resign Essex to back up money because he won't get starters money anywhere else. I'd also resign Marvel Smith to a reasonable vet minimum contract because if healthy he would be a solution for either RT or a back up at both tackle positions.

I think that jibes with my feelings about our line completely, although I'm not sure about Hills. The coaches know where he's at but I've yet to be impressed with their talent evaluation along the line. I'm hoping we target a RT in FA and draft a guard with one of our first two picks. I agree with re-signing Essex, but I do wonder if Smith will be offered starter-money someplace else. If so, we can't compete with that.

If someone offers Smith starters money they need to be fired. Good for him but that would be a terrible risk given his history the last two years. Even if Smith was healthy for the time being I would still resign Starks who I think has a ton of upside and have Smith play RT.

Flasteel
02-08-2009, 12:50 PM
LT: Resign Max because whoever you try to get at LT is going to be expensive.

LG: Let Kemo leave and either move Colon here or draft Mack/Robinson/Loadholdt

C: Hartwig with Stapleton as back up

RG: Hope Simmons can come back at full strength or use Colon/rookie combo

RT: Hills or veteran free agent

I'd resign Essex to back up money because he won't get starters money anywhere else. I'd also resign Marvel Smith to a reasonable vet minimum contract because if healthy he would be a solution for either RT or a back up at both tackle positions.

I think that jibes with my feelings about our line completely, although I'm not sure about Hills. The coaches know where he's at but I've yet to be impressed with their talent evaluation along the line. I'm hoping we target a RT in FA and draft a guard with one of our first two picks. I agree with re-signing Essex, but I do wonder if Smith will be offered starter-money someplace else. If so, we can't compete with that.

If someone offers Smith starters money they need to be fired. Good for him but that would be a terrible risk given his history the last two years. Even if Smith was healthy for the time being I would still resign Starks who I think has a ton of upside and have Smith play RT.

You and I are definitely on the same page with Starks. I also wouldn't consider giving Smith starter-money with the back injury history, but you know how valuable a LT can be on the open market. If you load up a contract with incentive clauses (which for Smith would be not likely to-be-earned incentives and thus count against the cap), I can see him getting a deal some place.

TallyStiller
02-08-2009, 03:55 PM
Interesting stats Flasteel.


Chadman is surprised to see Hartwig at the bottom of the pile!!

Re-signing Starks would be great, if he's affordable. You can't just overpay for him though, because soon enough the level of his play will be outweighed by his cost. So as long as the Steelers can get value in the deal, Chadman is all for it.

Looking at those stats, Chadman might need to revise his plans on the OL- maybe keep Starks & Colon at OT & look at the interior OL only early in the draft!

I quite agree. Starks has been passable outside, and has some upside, having only played there for parts of 2 seasons... and who else is out there who's better? Khalif Barnes and Vernon Carey are the names I keep seeing, and their numbers are no better than Starks'. I believe we franchise him if we can't do a deal.

Colon is an adequate player who will come for a 1st round equivalent RFA tender... probably in the $2mil range - a reasonable price for a starting lineman. Add in an Essex signing to a $2mil per range deal, and we get back enough of the tackle talent on this line that we can concentrate on fixing the interior.

The two guards and the center are where our problems are biggest. I don't think a single run between the tackles produced more than 2 yards in the entire AFCC or SB... the pass blocking numbers are in black and white above... if they can't run block, and they can't pass block, what DO they do well?

Steeler football has always been predicated on the run. We have always had a dominant center and been able to run well between the tackles. That has broken down because of personnel issues recently. It is the number one priority now.With Mendy on board, we need to get guys in here to block for him and add to our ability to control the ball and play to our defense. We draft Duke Robinson or Alex Mack #1 and let the pick fight it out with Hartwig, Simmons, Stapleton, another pick, and perhaps a budget free agent.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-09-2009, 01:41 PM
Sign Starks, Colon, Essex, McFadden, & Washington. They are priority!
Then:
1st-Mack
2nd-Loadholt/Meredith

OL fixed!!! Mack will be starter at LG opening day and the future C in 2010.
Loadholt/Meredith might not start at RT this year but could push Colon inside by 2010.

The biggest question is the G spots. Will they keep Kemo at a reasonable price? I don't think Simmons wins back his starting spot because he won't be 100% of the 75% he was last year!!! Stapleton will grow into a solid OL but he still needs some classroom time and weight room time. It hasn't happened here before but does Loadholt/Meredith play good enough for the Steelers to consider having a rookie LG & RT opening day? That would put Colon at RG and Simmons on the streets. Would be nice if it happened.

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Mack
Hartwig
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Could see this in 2010:
Starks
Stapleton
Mack
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Most likely going to see this:
Starks
Kemo
Hartwig
Rookie(Mack or Robinson)
Colon

calmkiller
02-09-2009, 01:52 PM
Everyone here is saying that we can't afford to sign a starting LT in FA because they demand to much money. Starks just made the same amount of money you are talking about to be a back up. 6.5 million a year or whatever it was. What kind of money do you think he is going to be asking for this year? Honestly if we are going to be spending that much money on a LT I would much rather have a LT that is worth a damn, and that is not Starks. That's just my opinion but I don't like him.

SteelerOfDeVille
02-09-2009, 01:54 PM
Interesting stats Flasteel.


Chadman is surprised to see Hartwig at the bottom of the pile!!

Re-signing Starks would be great, if he's affordable. You can't just overpay for him though, because soon enough the level of his play will be outweighed by his cost. So as long as the Steelers can get value in the deal, Chadman is all for it.

Looking at those stats, Chadman might need to revise his plans on the OL- maybe keep Starks & Colon at OT & look at the interior OL only early in the draft!
Yikes!!!

Personally, I'd still consider Starks a stopgap. I'd shoot for a 3-4 year deal and not anything longer. He couldn't beat out Colon for the RT spot and as soon as the team gets a good tackle, he'll be back on the bench.

Here's to hoping Duke Robinson falls (or for the team to trade up and get him)...

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 01:58 PM
Sign Starks, Colon, Essex, McFadden, & Washington. They are priority!
Then:
1st-Mack
2nd-Loadholt/Meredith

OL fixed!!! Mack will be starter at LG opening day and the future C in 2010.
Loadholt/Meredith might not start at RT this year but could push Colon inside by 2010.

The biggest question is the G spots. Will they keep Kemo at a reasonable price? I don't think Simmons wins back his starting spot because he won't be 100% of the 75% he was last year!!! Stapleton will grow into a solid OL but he still needs some classroom time and weight room time. It hasn't happened here before but does Loadholt/Meredith play good enough for the Steelers to consider having a rookie LG & RT opening day? That would put Colon at RG and Simmons on the streets. Would be nice if it happened.

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Mack
Hartwig
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Could see this in 2010:
Starks
Stapleton
Mack
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Most likely going to see this:
Starks
Kemo
Hartwig
Rookie(Mack or Robinson)
Colon

I honestly think Kemo will be allowed to leave. I really hope so because he was the weakspot in pass blocking all season long.

Like I have said in other posts I really believe our pick at 1.32 will come down to Mack, Robinson or Loadholdt. I think if you move him inside Loadholdt would be the best of the buch plus he would have the "positional flexibility" to fill in at Guard.

In my world I would resign Starks and tender Colon and take Loadholdt at 1.32 and do the following:

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Loadholdt (I'd be OK with Mack or Robinson too)
Hartwig
Colon
Hills

This has the basis for being a very good OL.

papillon
02-09-2009, 02:09 PM
Interesting stats Flasteel.


Chadman is surprised to see Hartwig at the bottom of the pile!!

Re-signing Starks would be great, if he's affordable. You can't just overpay for him though, because soon enough the level of his play will be outweighed by his cost. So as long as the Steelers can get value in the deal, Chadman is all for it.

Looking at those stats, Chadman might need to revise his plans on the OL- maybe keep Starks & Colon at OT & look at the interior OL only early in the draft!
Yikes!!!

Personally, I'd still consider Starks a stopgap. I'd shoot for a 3-4 year deal and not anything longer. He couldn't beat out Colon for the RT spot and as soon as the team gets a good tackle, he'll be back on the bench.

Here's to hoping Duke Robinson falls (or for the team to trade up and get him)...

I think regardless of how Starks started the year he's more than a stopgap. He was the Steelers best offensive lineman this past year in both the run game and pass protection. I would hate to see both Starks and Smith walk and leave the Steelers with Essex or a rookie as the LT starting next season. One of those players needs to play at least next year, IMHO.

Pappy

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 02:14 PM
Interesting stats Flasteel.


Chadman is surprised to see Hartwig at the bottom of the pile!!

Re-signing Starks would be great, if he's affordable. You can't just overpay for him though, because soon enough the level of his play will be outweighed by his cost. So as long as the Steelers can get value in the deal, Chadman is all for it.

Looking at those stats, Chadman might need to revise his plans on the OL- maybe keep Starks & Colon at OT & look at the interior OL only early in the draft!
Yikes!!!

Personally, I'd still consider Starks a stopgap. I'd shoot for a 3-4 year deal and not anything longer. He couldn't beat out Colon for the RT spot and as soon as the team gets a good tackle, he'll be back on the bench.

Here's to hoping Duke Robinson falls (or for the team to trade up and get him)...

I think regardless of how Starks started the year he's more than a stopgap. He was the Steelers best offensive lineman this past year in both the run game and pass protection. I would hate to see both Starks and Smith walk and leave the Steelers with Essex or a rookie as the LT starting next season. One of those players needs to play at least next year, IMHO.

Pappy

:Agree

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-09-2009, 02:34 PM
Sign Starks, Colon, Essex, McFadden, & Washington. They are priority!
Then:
1st-Mack
2nd-Loadholt/Meredith

OL fixed!!! Mack will be starter at LG opening day and the future C in 2010.
Loadholt/Meredith might not start at RT this year but could push Colon inside by 2010.

The biggest question is the G spots. Will they keep Kemo at a reasonable price? I don't think Simmons wins back his starting spot because he won't be 100% of the 75% he was last year!!! Stapleton will grow into a solid OL but he still needs some classroom time and weight room time. It hasn't happened here before but does Loadholt/Meredith play good enough for the Steelers to consider having a rookie LG & RT opening day? That would put Colon at RG and Simmons on the streets. Would be nice if it happened.

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Mack
Hartwig
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Could see this in 2010:
Starks
Stapleton
Mack
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Most likely going to see this:
Starks
Kemo
Hartwig
Rookie(Mack or Robinson)
Colon

I honestly think Kemo will be allowed to leave. I really hope so because he was the weakspot in pass blocking all season long.

Like I have said in other posts I really believe our pick at 1.32 will come down to Mack, Robinson or Loadholdt. I think if you move him inside Loadholdt would be the best of the buch plus he would have the "positional flexibility" to fill in at Guard.

In my world I would resign Starks and tender Colon and take Loadholdt at 1.32 and do the following:

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Loadholdt (I'd be OK with Mack or Robinson too)
Hartwig
Colon
Hills

This has the basis for being a very good OL.

I would have no problem with Kemo leaving. I would also allow him to stay for a reasonable number. He was inconsistent in his first year as a full time starter. That sucks really because he could make big strides in his second year and it could be for another team. Do you think Loadholt's stock will rise after the combine to put him in the 1st round? To me, he is too much of a risk as a 1st rounder just because of his weight. He struggled against some fast pass rushers and I think his ceiling would be early 2nd no matter what he does at the combine. I would love him in the 2nd. He is one of those players where if the light goes on and he works hard you got yourself a franchise RT for 10 years. He could also be the guy who gets the payday and comes to camp 400+ pounds and doesn't make it out of his rookie contract. I think he has more potential than Meredith but Meredith might be a safer pick. I would be happy with either for the RT of the future. I would be concerned about moving Loadholt into G with his size. It could work but the problem with moving a guy 6'5 and above to G is they have to be very sound in their technique. If they are a technician you get something special. If they are sloppy you get a bust...Quickly! Then you chance the "confidence" factor after the move back to OT and things just never seem to recover after that. I think the best/safe pick on the OL at #32 for the Steelers will be Mack, Britten, & Robinson...In that order. I think Loadholt, Beatty, Meredith, & Unger would be a reach @ #32. If they end up going Britten than Colon must move to G. Mack & Robinson could be plugged in a at G immediately. There still is a combine so the names could change but it should still be familiar faces. This all hinges on the Steelers signing Starks too. I would be extremely shocked if Gross became a Steeler. We are talking an 8 mil + number. People will look at that and say Starks will be 6.5 mil but that 1.5 + goes along way to holding on to a McFadden, a Washington, a Miller, etc. I see the Steelers signing their own. If they loose out on McFadden maybe we will see a "Name" CB come here. If they loose Starks, they sign Smith for 1-2 year incentive contract and maybe trade up in Rd 1 for a LT. The Steelers won 2 of the last 4 SB with the same formula and it won't change now!

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 08:06 PM
[quote="JUST-PLAIN-NASTY":2qzwcksk]Sign Starks, Colon, Essex, McFadden, & Washington. They are priority!
Then:
1st-Mack
2nd-Loadholt/Meredith

OL fixed!!! Mack will be starter at LG opening day and the future C in 2010.
Loadholt/Meredith might not start at RT this year but could push Colon inside by 2010.

The biggest question is the G spots. Will they keep Kemo at a reasonable price? I don't think Simmons wins back his starting spot because he won't be 100% of the 75% he was last year!!! Stapleton will grow into a solid OL but he still needs some classroom time and weight room time. It hasn't happened here before but does Loadholt/Meredith play good enough for the Steelers to consider having a rookie LG & RT opening day? That would put Colon at RG and Simmons on the streets. Would be nice if it happened.

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Mack
Hartwig
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Could see this in 2010:
Starks
Stapleton
Mack
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Most likely going to see this:
Starks
Kemo
Hartwig
Rookie(Mack or Robinson)
Colon

I honestly think Kemo will be allowed to leave. I really hope so because he was the weakspot in pass blocking all season long.

Like I have said in other posts I really believe our pick at 1.32 will come down to Mack, Robinson or Loadholdt. I think if you move him inside Loadholdt would be the best of the buch plus he would have the "positional flexibility" to fill in at Guard.

In my world I would resign Starks and tender Colon and take Loadholdt at 1.32 and do the following:

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Loadholdt (I'd be OK with Mack or Robinson too)
Hartwig
Colon
Hills

This has the basis for being a very good OL.

I would have no problem with Kemo leaving. I would also allow him to stay for a reasonable number. He was inconsistent in his first year as a full time starter. That sucks really because he could make big strides in his second year and it could be for another team. Do you think Loadholt's stock will rise after the combine to put him in the 1st round? To me, he is too much of a risk as a 1st rounder just because of his weight. He struggled against some fast pass rushers and I think his ceiling would be early 2nd no matter what he does at the combine. I would love him in the 2nd. He is one of those players where if the light goes on and he works hard you got yourself a franchise RT for 10 years. He could also be the guy who gets the payday and comes to camp 400+ pounds and doesn't make it out of his rookie contract. I think he has more potential than Meredith but Meredith might be a safer pick. I would be happy with either for the RT of the future. I would be concerned about moving Loadholt into G with his size. It could work but the problem with moving a guy 6'5 and above to G is they have to be very sound in their technique. If they are a technician you get something special. If they are sloppy you get a bust...Quickly! Then you chance the "confidence" factor after the move back to OT and things just never seem to recover after that. I think the best/safe pick on the OL at #32 for the Steelers will be Mack, Britten, & Robinson...In that order. I think Loadholt, Beatty, Meredith, & Unger would be a reach @ #32. If they end up going Britten than Colon must move to G. Mack & Robinson could be plugged in a at G immediately. There still is a combine so the names could change but it should still be familiar faces. This all hinges on the Steelers signing Starks too. I would be extremely shocked if Gross became a Steeler. We are talking an 8 mil + number. People will look at that and say Starks will be 6.5 mil but that 1.5 + goes along way to holding on to a McFadden, a Washington, a Miller, etc. I see the Steelers signing their own. If they loose out on McFadden maybe we will see a "Name" CB come here. If they loose Starks, they sign Smith for 1-2 year incentive contract and maybe trade up in Rd 1 for a LT. The Steelers won 2 of the last 4 SB with the same formula and it won't change now![/quote:2qzwcksk]

I predicate taking Loadholdt on the fact that the staff assesses he can successfully move to Guard. I think he is a better Guard than Tackle because speed rushers did cause him problems at the Senior Bowl and at Guard you mitigate that. I like him at Guard because the guy is physically a beast. he is not fat and he is well conditioned from what was shown at the Senior Bowl.

I really don't worry about what round players are ranked for by different services. I think you take a player you like when you know for sure that you can get him versus waiting and losing him.

I would have no problem taking wither Mack or Robinson at 1.32 even though some scouting services have Unger a better pick up there. Britten is the player that I consider the biggest risk. They guy came from no where and is all of a sudden rated late Round 1. I'd be real concerned he is a one year wonder playing in a conference not known for their physical play. I'd be real concerned about his run blocking.

Flasteel
02-09-2009, 09:59 PM
1.32

I really like how that looks.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-10-2009, 10:18 AM
[quote="JUST-PLAIN-NASTY":2iwj1o70]Sign Starks, Colon, Essex, McFadden, & Washington. They are priority!
Then:
1st-Mack
2nd-Loadholt/Meredith

OL fixed!!! Mack will be starter at LG opening day and the future C in 2010.
Loadholt/Meredith might not start at RT this year but could push Colon inside by 2010.

The biggest question is the G spots. Will they keep Kemo at a reasonable price? I don't think Simmons wins back his starting spot because he won't be 100% of the 75% he was last year!!! Stapleton will grow into a solid OL but he still needs some classroom time and weight room time. It hasn't happened here before but does Loadholt/Meredith play good enough for the Steelers to consider having a rookie LG & RT opening day? That would put Colon at RG and Simmons on the streets. Would be nice if it happened.

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Mack
Hartwig
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Could see this in 2010:
Starks
Stapleton
Mack
Colon
Loadholt/Meredith

Most likely going to see this:
Starks
Kemo
Hartwig
Rookie(Mack or Robinson)
Colon

I honestly think Kemo will be allowed to leave. I really hope so because he was the weakspot in pass blocking all season long.

Like I have said in other posts I really believe our pick at 1.32 will come down to Mack, Robinson or Loadholdt. I think if you move him inside Loadholdt would be the best of the buch plus he would have the "positional flexibility" to fill in at Guard.

In my world I would resign Starks and tender Colon and take Loadholdt at 1.32 and do the following:

Could see this in 2009:
Starks
Loadholdt (I'd be OK with Mack or Robinson too)
Hartwig
Colon
Hills

This has the basis for being a very good OL.

I would have no problem with Kemo leaving. I would also allow him to stay for a reasonable number. He was inconsistent in his first year as a full time starter. That sucks really because he could make big strides in his second year and it could be for another team. Do you think Loadholt's stock will rise after the combine to put him in the 1st round? To me, he is too much of a risk as a 1st rounder just because of his weight. He struggled against some fast pass rushers and I think his ceiling would be early 2nd no matter what he does at the combine. I would love him in the 2nd. He is one of those players where if the light goes on and he works hard you got yourself a franchise RT for 10 years. He could also be the guy who gets the payday and comes to camp 400+ pounds and doesn't make it out of his rookie contract. I think he has more potential than Meredith but Meredith might be a safer pick. I would be happy with either for the RT of the future. I would be concerned about moving Loadholt into G with his size. It could work but the problem with moving a guy 6'5 and above to G is they have to be very sound in their technique. If they are a technician you get something special. If they are sloppy you get a bust...Quickly! Then you chance the "confidence" factor after the move back to OT and things just never seem to recover after that. I think the best/safe pick on the OL at #32 for the Steelers will be Mack, Britten, & Robinson...In that order. I think Loadholt, Beatty, Meredith, & Unger would be a reach @ #32. If they end up going Britten than Colon must move to G. Mack & Robinson could be plugged in a at G immediately. There still is a combine so the names could change but it should still be familiar faces. This all hinges on the Steelers signing Starks too. I would be extremely shocked if Gross became a Steeler. We are talking an 8 mil + number. People will look at that and say Starks will be 6.5 mil but that 1.5 + goes along way to holding on to a McFadden, a Washington, a Miller, etc. I see the Steelers signing their own. If they loose out on McFadden maybe we will see a "Name" CB come here. If they loose Starks, they sign Smith for 1-2 year incentive contract and maybe trade up in Rd 1 for a LT. The Steelers won 2 of the last 4 SB with the same formula and it won't change now!

I predicate taking Loadholdt on the fact that the staff assesses he can successfully move to Guard. I think he is a better Guard than Tackle because speed rushers did cause him problems at the Senior Bowl and at Guard you mitigate that. I like him at Guard because the guy is physically a beast. he is not fat and he is well conditioned from what was shown at the Senior Bowl.

I really don't worry about what round players are ranked for by different services. I think you take a player you like when you know for sure that you can get him versus waiting and losing him.

I would have no problem taking wither Mack or Robinson at 1.32 even though some scouting services have Unger a better pick up there. Britten is the player that I consider the biggest risk. They guy came from no where and is all of a sudden rated late Round 1. I'd be real concerned he is a one year wonder playing in a conference not known for their physical play. I'd be real concerned about his run blocking.[/quote:2iwj1o70]

I agree. Loadholt looked good at the Senior bowl. He is a beast. Like I said...He could be the type of guy that the "Light goes on" and he works hard after he gets drafted. Then you get a "franchise OT". I think he will slide to the 2nd because he doesn't have great feet and projects to the right side. His height and his playing upright at times will worry teams about a move to G if he doesn't work at RT. I personally think with coaching on and off the field he could develop good enough feet to play RT in this league at a high level. I have seen enough speculate it might not be athletic ability but over confidence in his physical abilty. Some players coming out of college have this and it gets coached out of them. He just needs to realize at the next level he needs to be a technician to succeed and not rely on his physical abilty. Young players who can physical dominate because of size & strength tend to get "lazy feet". I think this is his case. As of right now, I would rather take Britten @ #32 than Loadholt. Britten looks better in pass protection and shows knee bend. Loadholt looks more dominant in run blocking but Britten isn't far behind. After some cone times at the combine that might change. I think the one thing that Britten has to put him in the late 1st round is he is very intelligent...That goes well with his physical abilities. That being said, an interior OL has a better chance of making an impact on this OL at #32 if Starks is signed. That is why Mack or Robinson is my choice first but I think Britten will grade out higher than Robinson if he is still there.