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View Full Version : The Steelers upcoming generation change



Oviedo
02-22-2009, 12:37 PM
To all of us who are experiencing middle age we all know that there are things that you just can't do as well as you use to. The difference in most of our worlds is that professionally you typically increase your earning potential as you gain experience. Not so in the NFL.

The salary cap forces hard decisions and in the next couple of season many of our favorite long term players will have to be pushed aside to resign some emerging talents.

Players that will soon have to be "put out to pasture" to save cap space because they are among the best paid on the team are: Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, Brett Kiesel, Casey Hampton, Larry Foote and James Farrior. To a lesser extent Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark. That is a lot of cap space.

The emerging stars who will be demanding their pieces of the salary cap puzzle are: Lamar Woodley, Santonio Holmes and Lawrence Timmons. None of these three will be inexpensive to resign and with continued stellar performances over the next couple of years they may be unsignable unless we blow up the roster and go through a mini rebuild.

The question I have is are we as Steelers fans mentally prepared to have a couple of off seasons to get the cap right and make sure we retain this young talent. I really don't see how you do that without cutting adrift still solid contributors. No where is that more evident than on the DL where we have no youth or talent ready to step up.

Your thoughts?

WoodleyofTroy
02-22-2009, 12:52 PM
I go through this all the time in losing players. I hate when they get older. But then I realize, there will always be guys that take their place. Like losing Hartings, Bettis, Faneca, Porter, Von Oelhoffen, etc.....Hampton, Farrior, Foote, Keisel are next, and yet the Steelers still find a way to bring in players that keep it going. That next group of players that I'd hate to lose.

I don't see any consistent down years when you have a Franchise QB either. Like the Colts and Peyton Manning. Just continue to build around Ben and we'll be fine for the most part, in my opinion.

And with the way the Steelers have picked in the first round since 2003, I don't think they set themselves up anything short of that. Can't say the same for the other teams out there that have 1st round busts.

Discipline of Steel
02-22-2009, 12:54 PM
Steelers have been masters of managing these situations and still fielding a competitive team year after year. I know 'rebuilding year' is not a part of the Rooney lexicon.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-22-2009, 01:06 PM
I would throw Heath into one of the emerging stars we have to pay. I don't want to lose him as a weapon.

I think as long as we have Ben on offense (without an OC getting in his way) and run a top 5 defense we will have a shot at winning most games.

Oviedo
02-22-2009, 01:33 PM
I would throw Heath into one of the emerging stars we have to pay. I don't want to lose him as a weapon.

I think as long as we have Ben on offense (without an OC getting in his way) and run a top 5 defense we will have a shot at winning most games.

Good catch. Heath needs to be extended now because he could be the one player that Ben needs the most going forward.

Unless we get well on the DL real soon I'm not sure we can stay top 5 in defense.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-22-2009, 01:41 PM
Would love to land a stud NT early in the draft. I think Keisel and Smith can each play at least another 2 years. Don't feel the same way about Casey Hampton. He isn't the same guy he used to be where I think Keisel is still on the rise, and Smith seems to be as solid as ever.

Any sleeper NT type guys you know of?

papillon
02-22-2009, 10:59 PM
To all of us who are experiencing middle age we all know that there are things that you just can't do as well as you use to. The difference in most of our worlds is that professionally you typically increase your earning potential as you gain experience. Not so in the NFL.

The salary cap forces hard decisions and in the next couple of season many of our favorite long term players will have to be pushed aside to resign some emerging talents.

Players that will soon have to be "put out to pasture" to save cap space because they are among the best paid on the team are: Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, Brett Kiesel, Casey Hampton, Larry Foote and James Farrior. To a lesser extent Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark. That is a lot of cap space.

The emerging stars who will be demanding their pieces of the salary cap puzzle are: Lamar Woodley, Santonio Holmes and Lawrence Timmons. None of these three will be inexpensive to resign and with continued stellar performances over the next couple of years they may be unsignable unless we blow up the roster and go through a mini rebuild.

The question I have is are we as Steelers fans mentally prepared to have a couple of off seasons to get the cap right and make sure we retain this young talent. I really don't see how you do that without cutting adrift still solid contributors. No where is that more evident than on the DL where we have no youth or talent ready to step up.

Your thoughts?

This is why the draft is so important. Smith, Kiesel and Hampton are the three that make me nervous, since, the Steelers haven't drafted replacements for any of them in the past few years. Yes, players were drafted, but, they didn't work out and right now the Steelers are sitting with a generation change for the entire d-line.

A solid draft this year with a couple players that get some playing time while learning will go a long way to being able to allow veterans to walk, retire or be released. I'm hoping that one or maybe two of those three will see the writing on the wall and sign for backup money and retire Steelers. Highly unlikely, but, that's what I hope for. The Steelers are almost always fair with their vets as well, releasing with enough time to seek employment elsewhere in the NFL.

Ward's replacement was drafted this year past year and the Steelers look pretty solid at linebacker. This year really needs to be about the d-line, so that, they begin the grooming process for the replacements to Kiesel, Snack and Smith.

Papillon

BURGH86STEEL
02-22-2009, 11:26 PM
This is the way the NFL landscape is designed with winning and free agency. People continue to bash the organization for a lack of talent a long the Oline. One reason for that is because the amount of winning this team does. They have rarely been in a position to draft elite talent a long the Oline. If they cannot get the players necessary to make the Oline a position of strength, they try to make other areas on the team stronger to off set areas of weakness. They try to prepare for the future but a lot of that depends on what players other teams draft, who comes out of college, & there is some luck involved. It is also more difficult to have quality backups backing up the starters for long periods. If those backups are quality, they want their opportunity to make more money and start.

People want a replacement for Hampton. Steelers will probably have a more difficult time finding a player to replace him now than in 2001. They were pretty lucky that year for 2 reasons I can think of. Several teams drafted DTs before Hampton & I think less teams ran the 3-4 back in 2001. Hampton played will this year. He may be have a solid 2 or 3 years left. A lot could depend on how much money he wants.

Fans want replacements but there are no easy solutions to replace high quality starters.

Oviedo
02-23-2009, 11:33 AM
This is the way the NFL landscape is designed with winning and free agency. People continue to bash the organization for a lack of talent a long the Oline. One reason for that is because the amount of winning this team does. They have rarely been in a position to draft elite talent a long the Oline. If they cannot get the players necessary to make the Oline a position of strength, they try to make other areas on the team stronger to off set areas of weakness. They try to prepare for the future but a lot of that depends on what players other teams draft, who comes out of college, & there is some luck involved. It is also more difficult to have quality backups backing up the starters for long periods. If those backups are quality, they want their opportunity to make more money and start.

People want a replacement for Hampton. Steelers will probably have a more difficult time finding a player to replace him now than in 2001. They were pretty lucky that year for 2 reasons I can think of. Several teams drafted DTs before Hampton & I think less teams ran the 3-4 back in 2001. Hampton played will this year. He may be have a solid 2 or 3 years left. A lot could depend on how much money he wants.

Fans want replacements but there are no easy solutions to replace high quality starters.

I saw something over the weekend that at least 11 teams are now running the 3-4 defense. That means they are competing for the same assets we are and they have the advantage of drafting higher because we are consistently good. The number of teams that use the 3-4 will be why BJ Raji and Ron Brace are drafted much earlier than they probably should. It also means that we probably have to go after players a round earlier than we probably would like because they won't last until the end of the round. I have no problem with that because you have to get them when you can get them and ignore the subjective rankings.