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View Full Version : Good read to temper your hysteria



Oviedo
04-18-2009, 10:50 AM
Read this before next Saturday and think before your head explodes when your personal favorites aren't picked



It’s who, not what
Friday, April 17, 2009

By BOB LABRIOLA
Steelers.com
In some mock drafts, they have been linked to defensive linemen because of the age of the current players at the position they have on the roster. In others, they have been linked to offensive linemen because Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 46 times last season. They have been linked to cornerbacks because they lost one in free agency, and they have been linked to wide receivers for the very same reason.

Their fans and other observers of the draft to be held on April 25-26 are trying to figure out who the Steelers will pick based on the positions they play, and on Monday at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex the media will try to get some insight into the Steelers’ plans during the annual pre-draft news conference.

But instead of focusing on players at particular positions, Coach Mike Tomlin and Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert will make decisions based on the kind of people those players are.

To some, it may seem to be a backward approach. But to Tomlin, it’s really the only one that makes any sense.

“I see it with increasing clarity the longer I have my job,” said Tomlin. “I’m looking for guys who are talented and have humility, because the guys who are humble and even-keeled are the guys who will come into this thing and fit in, they’ll continue to grow and get better, they’ll take the criticisms of their game, they’ll be accountable.”

This will be the third draft of the Colbert-Tomlin era, and the players who were added in the first two installments fit the criteria. In 2007, it was Lawrence Timmons on the first round and LaMarr Woodley on the second.

“His football character is what we seek. He is a guy who loves the game,” said Tomlin just minutes after the Steelers picked Timmons. “He has a quiet confidence about him. I mentioned the fact earlier that he was 20, but he presents himself as a mature person, particularly from a football standpoint. He’s a very grounded young man.”

Woodley had led Michigan in sacks in each of his last two seasons there, and on draft day Colbert had said about him, “He’s a man, a very serious player.”

Since then, Timmons and Woodley have done whatever has been asked of them, and by the end of their second NFL seasons both were important contributors on a team that would win Super Bowl XLIII.

One year ago, the Steelers went into the draft with seemingly glaring needs along both lines of scrimmage, but when it came time to make their first two picks they selected a running back and a wide receiver. Not positions, but people.

About Rashard Mendenhall, Tomlin’s first words were, “First and foremost, he’s a quality human being. A very humble, blue-collar worker. Those types of individuals don’t have any problem fitting in. In terms of what he brings to the table – he’s a complete back. He can run inside, he can run outside. He’s a powerful runner. He’s elusive, and of course he has the speed to go the distance. It shouldn’t be too difficult finding ways he can contribute to this football team.”

Receivers typically are the divas of the NFL, but Limas Sweed didn’t project any of that on the day he became the team’s No. 2 pick.

“Whatever coach needs. If he needs me to play a lot or if he doesn’t need me to play a lot,” said Sweed, “I’m going to be the guy to do what he needs.”

Neither of those two played a lot as a rookie. Mendenhall landed on injured reserve after breaking his shoulder in a Sept. 29 game against the Baltimore Ravens, and Sweed never really became more than the No. 4 receiver. But through it all, Mendenhall and Sweed did what they were told and kept their mouths shut. Neither ever made himself a distraction to the team, and both have been regular participants in this offseason program to become the caliber of players the Steelers believed them to be by making them high draft choices.

“The things that helped us win in 2008, the collective personality of our football team in 2008, are some of the characteristics I’m looking for in terms of individuals in the draft,” said Tomlin. “In terms of specific positions, I’m not so concerned about that.”

RuthlessBurgher
04-18-2009, 11:14 AM
All the more reason to draft Alex Mack!

From NFL.com:


Overview

The "poster boy" for the 2009 NFL Draft center class, Mack has been a model of consistency on the field, anchoring the Bears' front wall since taking over for All-Pac-10 Conference center Marvin Phillips as a sophomore. The two-time finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's top center, he has not only excelled on the gridiron, but also in the training room and the classroom. His power clean lift of 374 pounds is a school record for all positions.



Mack was recently awarded the Draddy Trophy, given to college football's top scholar-athlete, an award that also includes a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship. He was named the Pac-10 Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2008, having earned league academic honor roll recognition four times while attending Cal.



As a senior, he was also a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given for academic and athletic accomplishment. In addition, he was named the school's 2008 winner of the Schlessinger Coaches Award, which recognizes outstanding athletic ability, academic success and community service.



Mack's work ethic speaks volumes for the player he has become. "Being a center, there's a lot of thinking that's involved," says Mack. "Before the play, you get the play, you go to the line, you have to remember what the snap count is, you have to call out the front and what everyone's assignment is, tell both the guards what they have to do and then I have to focus on what I have to do."



But such attention to detail goes far beyond game day. Mack is usually the last lineman off the field after practice, always getting in a little extra footwork and hand work while other players grab some Gatorade. For such a large individual, he is surprisingly quick. He can run the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds, a feat only four linemen at the 2008 NFL Combine surpassed. That quickness and Mack's brute strength have terrorized opposing defensive lines.

steelz09
04-18-2009, 11:22 AM
Ruthless,

I agree - I wouldn't hesitate to draft Mack. Seems like a perfect fit for the Steelers and could easily be BPA

I do (like most here) am worried though about our d-line especially though, but I don't think they'll be anyone worth 1.32 when we pick. The nose tackle position is one of the most important positions on our defense, and we won't have our starter starting the 2010 season (i.e. Hampton won't be extended). DE is also a major problem. We have zero depth because Colbert has failed to to "hit" on his mid round DE prospects.

BURGH86STEEL
04-18-2009, 11:35 AM
This is definitely a good approach to have. Do not want to end up drafting guys like Pac Man Jones.

steelcityrules!!
04-18-2009, 12:14 PM
All the more reason to draft Alex Mack!

From NFL.com:


Overview

The "poster boy" for the 2009 NFL Draft center class, Mack has been a model of consistency on the field, anchoring the Bears' front wall since taking over for All-Pac-10 Conference center Marvin Phillips as a sophomore. The two-time finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's top center, he has not only excelled on the gridiron, but also in the training room and the classroom. His power clean lift of 374 pounds is a school record for all positions.



Mack was recently awarded the Draddy Trophy, given to college football's top scholar-athlete, an award that also includes a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship. He was named the Pac-10 Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2008, having earned league academic honor roll recognition four times while attending Cal.



As a senior, he was also a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given for academic and athletic accomplishment. In addition, he was named the school's 2008 winner of the Schlessinger Coaches Award, which recognizes outstanding athletic ability, academic success and community service.



Mack's work ethic speaks volumes for the player he has become. "Being a center, there's a lot of thinking that's involved," says Mack. "Before the play, you get the play, you go to the line, you have to remember what the snap count is, you have to call out the front and what everyone's assignment is, tell both the guards what they have to do and then I have to focus on what I have to do."



But such attention to detail goes far beyond game day. Mack is usually the last lineman off the field after practice, always getting in a little extra footwork and hand work while other players grab some Gatorade. For such a large individual, he is surprisingly quick. He can run the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds, a feat only four linemen at the 2008 NFL Combine surpassed. That quickness and Mack's brute strength have terrorized opposing defensive lines.


he sure sounds like a bona-fide, can't miss guy.
I would be absolutely stunned if he's sitting there at #32.

clock401
04-18-2009, 12:20 PM
This is definitely a good approach to have. Do not want to end up drafting guys like Pac Man Jones.

or Hines Ward, a malcontent holdout.


clock

Mister Pittsburgh
04-18-2009, 12:21 PM
That sounds like the right approach to have but at some point it will screw you. You have to look at both talent and character equally. If a defensive lineman goes down and you didn't draft one because you didn't focus on position, then that leaves you in a real bad position. You either end up throwing a lesser backup or practice squad player in there or someone from a very limited field you have to pick from and you won't really be able to worry about character all that much.

With that said, Mack is the clear choice if he is there at 32. A center to replace Hartwig and our starting right guard this season.

MaxAMillion
04-18-2009, 03:49 PM
I never understood how people can write off draft choices before given a chance. I remember the reaction to the Steelers passing on Lendale White and taking Holmes instead. It was as if people already knew that Holmes was a bust. Same with Timmons, there were plenty of post calling Tomlin an idiot for taking Timmons.

Any draft choice should at least be given two years before writing him off. Sometimes emotion can cause people to lose perspective. No matter what you read, the front office is privy to more information than the general public.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-18-2009, 04:59 PM
I never understood how people can write off draft choices before given a chance. I remember the reaction to the Steelers passing on Lendale White and taking Holmes instead. It was as if people already knew that Holmes was a bust. Same with Timmons, there were plenty of post calling Tomlin an idiot for taking Timmons.

Any draft choice should at least be given two years before writing him off. Sometimes emotion can cause people to lose perspective. No matter what you read, the front office is privy to more information than the general public.

I already wrote Mendenhall & Sweed off. Mendenhall is a fumbler and Sweed can't catch!
:stirpot :lol:

Wolfhound45
04-18-2009, 06:08 PM
he sure sounds like a bona-fide, can't miss guy.
I would be absolutely stunned if he's sitting there at #32.

I would agree. If he falls to the mid to low twenties, I see the Steelers trying to trade up to get him. Definitely a Steelers type of player.

:Steel

mshifko
04-18-2009, 06:39 PM
if he's BPA, then we'll go with mack....if not we'll go elsewhere...we don't have any HUGE needs other than to add depth and maybe look at our OL situation but to me it isn't a massive need, i think if a stud DB drops to us, i'd think we'd go in that direction...gotta go for difference makers

Oviedo
04-19-2009, 01:51 PM
Just need to trust the front office. They usually get it right.

AngryAsian
04-19-2009, 06:37 PM
Just need to trust the front office. They usually get it right.


Not to sound like a blind lemming, but how could anybody be a long time lover of this franchise... see the history, absorb the culture of the city that spawned the team and know the characteristics of the family that has evolved the finished product to its winning tradition... and not have faith.

Besides the championships, what's always given me such pride in being a fan is the approach this team has always taken, without compromising its core values. Regardless of how the game and the league has evolved, the ownership has always given the fans not only wins but teams that merit pride. Our coach's sentiments in this article show that the philosophy hasn't changed and above all things, our team will be built with character individuals. I think our FO has been on point for several years with the draft and this year will be no different.

Oviedo
04-19-2009, 07:37 PM
Not to sound like a blind lemming, but how could anybody be a long time lover of this franchise... see the history, absorb the culture of the city that spawned the team and know the characteristics of the family that has evolved the finished product to its winning tradition... and not have faith.

Because many only care about seeing the team do what they want and can't accept that there are smarter more informed people involved than themselves.