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stlrz d
03-17-2009, 01:57 PM
reportedly re-signed by Steelers.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2009, 02:02 PM
Post-Gazette too.


Steelers sign OL Essex to 2-year deal
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers signed veteran offensive lineman Trai Essex today to a two-year contract.

Essex, who will enter his fifth season with the Steelers, will receive a signing bonus of $500,000 on a total contract worth nearly $2 million.

His signing means the Steelers have been able to keep all four of their free agent offensive linemen. They previously signed Chris Kemoeatu to a three-year deal and have tackles Willie Colon and Max Starks under one-year contracts.

Essex had become an unrestricted free agent Feb. 27.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2009, 02:06 PM
Right now, until we can draft reinforcements, it looks like Essex is the top backup at all of the o-line positions since he is a better option than Hills, Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky right now (well, he wouldn't be the backup center per se, but if Hartwig goes down, Stapleton likely moves over to center and Essex gets inserted at RG, so essentially, he would be the next guy in from the o-line on-deck-circle no matter what happens). A good utility lineman to have, but I still want to draft a couple of guys along the o-line early to reinforce that meager depth.

Oviedo
03-17-2009, 02:18 PM
This is great news. We can focus on DL in Round 1 now and get Tyson Jackson or Ron Brace and use Round 2, 3 or 4 to pick up two OL.

The way I'd play it:

Round 1: Tyson Jackson or Ron Brace
Round 2: Kraig Urbik or Phil Loadholdt
Round 3a: CB
Round 3b: DL
Round 4: OL

Lebsteel
03-17-2009, 02:31 PM
Right now, until we can draft reinforcements, it looks like Essex is the top backup at all of the o-line positions since he is a better option than Hills, Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky right now (well, he wouldn't be the backup center per se, but if Hartwig goes down, Stapleton likely moves over to center and Essex gets inserted at RG, so essentially, he would be the next guy in from the o-line on-deck-circle no matter what happens). A good utility lineman to have, but I still want to draft a couple of guys along the o-line early to reinforce that meager depth.

Hmmm.....does this tell us anything about the future of Hills, Capizzi, Legursky etc...? If we draft OL in Rd. 1 and Rd. 3, I think one or two of those guys will be gone. Since Capizzi and Legursky were UDFA, I guess that isn't much of a surprise. I'm really hoping that Hills is good enough to at least be our future RT.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2009, 02:38 PM
Right now, until we can draft reinforcements, it looks like Essex is the top backup at all of the o-line positions since he is a better option than Hills, Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky right now (well, he wouldn't be the backup center per se, but if Hartwig goes down, Stapleton likely moves over to center and Essex gets inserted at RG, so essentially, he would be the next guy in from the o-line on-deck-circle no matter what happens). A good utility lineman to have, but I still want to draft a couple of guys along the o-line early to reinforce that meager depth.

Hmmm.....does this tell us anything about the future of Hills, Capizzi, Legursky etc...? If we draft OL in Rd. 1 and Rd. 3, I think one or two of those guys will be gone. Since Capizzi and Legursky were UDFA, I guess that isn't much of a surprise. I'm really hoping that Hills is good enough to at least be our future RT.

Legursky or Capizzi seeing the field would be a worst case scenario in my mind. That is why I want to draft a few big uglies for quality depth to assure that doesn't happen.

WoodleyofTroy
03-17-2009, 02:45 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

steelz09
03-17-2009, 02:50 PM
Right now, until we can draft reinforcements, it looks like Essex is the top backup at all of the o-line positions since he is a better option than Hills, Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky right now (well, he wouldn't be the backup center per se, but if Hartwig goes down, Stapleton likely moves over to center and Essex gets inserted at RG, so essentially, he would be the next guy in from the o-line on-deck-circle no matter what happens). A good utility lineman to have, but I still want to draft a couple of guys along the o-line early to reinforce that meager depth.

Hmmm.....does this tell us anything about the future of Hills, Capizzi, Legursky etc...? If we draft OL in Rd. 1 and Rd. 3, I think one or two of those guys will be gone. Since Capizzi and Legursky were UDFA, I guess that isn't much of a surprise. I'm really hoping that Hills is good enough to at least be our future RT.

I guarantee Hills is the backup next year at LT. If he was our RT future, wouldn't we have seen him practice and/or play at RT?

It's way to early to give up on Hills IMO. He has 1 year of experience and was coming off of a major injury. The guy started at LT for powerhouse Texas his entire college career and did well. Injuries was his problem. In watching his limited playing, in preseason last year, I wasn't disappointed. If he makes strides his second year, you may see him as the starter in 2010.

ikestops85
03-17-2009, 03:12 PM
Right now, until we can draft reinforcements, it looks like Essex is the top backup at all of the o-line positions since he is a better option than Hills, Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky right now (well, he wouldn't be the backup center per se, but if Hartwig goes down, Stapleton likely moves over to center and Essex gets inserted at RG, so essentially, he would be the next guy in from the o-line on-deck-circle no matter what happens). A good utility lineman to have, but I still want to draft a couple of guys along the o-line early to reinforce that meager depth.

Hmmm.....does this tell us anything about the future of Hills, Capizzi, Legursky etc...? If we draft OL in Rd. 1 and Rd. 3, I think one or two of those guys will be gone. Since Capizzi and Legursky were UDFA, I guess that isn't much of a surprise. I'm really hoping that Hills is good enough to at least be our future RT.

I guarantee Hills is the backup next year at LT. If he was our RT future, wouldn't we have seen him practice and/or play at RT?

It's way to early to give up on Hills IMO. He has 1 year of experience and was coming off of a major injury. The guy started at LT for powerhouse Texas his entire college career and did well. Injuries was his problem. In watching his limited playing, in preseason last year, I wasn't disappointed. If he makes strides his second year, you may see him as the starter in 2010.

I gotta agree about Hills. If I remember right the guy was considered 1st or 2nd round talent until his injury. Give him a chance and I think he will surprise some people.

SteelBucks
03-17-2009, 03:23 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

After the recent signings (Kemo, Starks, Essex) and listening to Colbert yesterday on the radio, I'm starting to get the feeling they will either go CB, DL, or even WR in the first round. I'm not sure if it's going to pan out that way but it seems they are content with having the same OL as last season.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2009, 03:41 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

After the recent signings (Kemo, Starks, Essex) and listening to Colbert yesterday on the radio, I'm starting to get the feeling they will either go CB, DL, or even WR in the first round. I'm not sure if it's going to pan out that way but it seems they are content with having the same OL as last season.

I think the starters likely will be the same as last year for continuity's sake and the fact that this group improved together throughout last season (with the only possible exception being if a top rookie beats out Stapleton for RG), but we do need to build quality depth behind these guys via the draft, particularly since the contracts of the 3 starters at the 3 most difficult positions to fill along the o-line, LT, C, RT, will have their contracts expiring after this season. Although I would greatly prefer a big ugly fella to play in the trenches on either side of the line with our first pick, Colbert will likely go with the best player available at OL, DL, CB, or even WR.

grotonsteel
03-17-2009, 04:00 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

I would like Steelers take a flyer on lydon Murtha of Nebraska in 6th or 7th Rd..He could be a great fit in ZBS... :2c

WoodleyofTroy
03-17-2009, 04:30 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

I would like Steelers take a flyer on lydon Murtha of Nebraska in 6th or 7th Rd..He could be a great fit in ZBS... :2c

Well guys like Murtha could be BPA. That's fine. I just meant not passing up a talented guy (most likely it being a RB/WR/QB a skill position that we could always end up trading if need be) for a project Lineman, because they are looking for depth on the OL and DL which happens to be a bigger need. When guys like Marion Barber and Michael Bush are still floating around, it just doesn't make sense. Patriots took a QB in the 3rd with Brady still on the roster. No it's not the one they traded (Cassel was a 7th), but they're still walking away with the #34 pick in the draft because of it.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2009, 04:41 PM
I like it. And the only thing it changes in the draft, is now we don't have to waste a late pick on the OL who won't be on the roster anyways.

It looks like there might be some quality late round d-line prospects to take fliers on when day 2 rolls around, though.

SidSmythe
03-17-2009, 06:08 PM
I like this signing b/c of Essex's versatility . . . he's a good backup and is adequate if he needs to start a game or two.

Jooser
03-17-2009, 07:38 PM
I had high hopes for Legursky (sp?). The guy was a real player at Marshall. I guess we'll see, I know we signed him back on the cheap at the end of the season....

Chadman
03-17-2009, 09:23 PM
I had high hopes for Legursky (sp?). The guy was a real player at Marshall. I guess we'll see, I know we signed him back on the cheap at the end of the season....

The Steelers signed him to a 2-year deal as well...interesting?

Chadman liked Legursky coming out of college too- tough guy that used to be a wrestler from memory. Probably can scrap him as a CENTER, but as a GUARD? Quite possibly...

Chadman
03-17-2009, 09:26 PM
Chadman likes the re-signing of Essex, it takes away the 'need' to reach for an OT in the draft- very typical of the Steelers pre-draft. It's not to say they WON'T draft an OT, just now they don't NEED to.

As for Tony Hills- this guy was a top 2 round pick before breaking his leg. Even after that, he was rated a top-10 OT talent in the last draft- a draft heavy on quality OT's. (On the first 4 draft sites Chadman checked to confirm this- Hills was rated 9th on all of these sites.). He's at least worthy of a decent LOOK at LT this season- one reason Chadman has doubts the Steelers will draft OT early.

WoodleyofTroy
03-17-2009, 09:37 PM
Lots of problems solved if Tony Hiills turns into something special. But I have a feeling once he does, he'll end up like Simmons and Marvel with all those injuries.

Oviedo
03-18-2009, 07:47 AM
Chadman likes the re-signing of Essex, it takes away the 'need' to reach for an OT in the draft- very typical of the Steelers pre-draft. It's not to say they WON'T draft an OT, just now they don't NEED to.

As for Tony Hills- this guy was a top 2 round pick before breaking his leg. Even after that, he was rated a top-10 OT talent in the last draft- a draft heavy on quality OT's. (On the first 4 draft sites Chadman checked to confirm this- Hills was rated 9th on all of these sites.). He's at least worthy of a decent LOOK at LT this season- one reason Chadman has doubts the Steelers will draft OT early.

I totally agree. If Hills plays up to his pre-draft ranking we have a real find. He could settle into the RT slot for a year and then move to LT. I know we have never seen him play RT but that doesn't mean that they weren't evaluating him at LT last preseason knowing he was going to get a "redshirt" year in 2008.

Remember, Marvel OJT'd at RT before moving to LT.

Oviedo
03-18-2009, 07:52 AM
Maybe another offensive lineman to find out more about


Finally, Ed Thompson of Scout.com tells me that the Steelers (and Packers) stayed late after the March 12 Kent State Pro Day to talk with All-MAC left tackle Gus Parrish. At the combine, Parrish measured 6-4, 302, with long 35-inch arms. He ran a 5.39 40 and pushed the bar up 19 times. He's considered a third-round prospect who may have to move inside to play guard, but loves the game and is a hard worker.

Enjoy the day, and try to stay sober ... until lunch anyway.

frankthetank1
03-18-2009, 08:10 AM
this is very good news. he costs nothing and provides depth. i must of missed something. did the steelers franchise starks for another year? i thought a team could franchise the same player for only one year. how did i miss this?

RuthlessBurgher
03-18-2009, 09:45 AM
Maybe another offensive lineman to find out more about


Finally, Ed Thompson of Scout.com tells me that the Steelers (and Packers) stayed late after the March 12 Kent State Pro Day to talk with All-MAC left tackle Gus Parrish. At the combine, Parrish measured 6-4, 302, with long 35-inch arms. He ran a 5.39 40 and pushed the bar up 19 times. He's considered a third-round prospect who may have to move inside to play guard, but loves the game and is a hard worker.

Enjoy the day, and try to stay sober ... until lunch anyway.



I had Parrish in my first mock, actually:

http://www.planetsteelers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5505

1. Alex Mack, C
2. Jarron Gilbert, DE
3a. Kraig Urbik, G
3b. Augustus Parrish, T
4. Sammie Lee Hill, NT
5. Joe Burnett, CB
6. Quan Cosby, WR
7a. Quinn Johnson, FB
7b. Everette Pendescleaux, DE

RuthlessBurgher
03-18-2009, 09:48 AM
this is very good news. he costs nothing and provides depth. i must of missed something. did the steelers franchise starks for another year? i thought a team could franchise the same player for only one year. how did i miss this?

You can franchise players more than once. You just need to give him a 20% raise on his salary from the first franchise season to the next. However, this is not the case with Starks. He got the transition tag last year, and the franchise tag this year. I don't know how you missed that. :wink:

frankthetank1
03-18-2009, 04:35 PM
this is very good news. he costs nothing and provides depth. i must of missed something. did the steelers franchise starks for another year? i thought a team could franchise the same player for only one year. how did i miss this?

You can franchise players more than once. You just need to give him a 20% raise on his salary from the first franchise season to the next. However, this is not the case with Starks. He got the transition tag last year, and the franchise tag this year. I don't know how you missed that. :wink:

neither do i. so what is the reasoning for franchising him for another year? would he really command 5-8 mil a year for a long term deal?