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NKySteeler
05-11-2009, 08:48 PM
Dynasties, draft picks, Davis
…just my opinion
by JIM WEXELL

From the notebook of a sportswriter who’s just now wrapping his mind around the fact that this team could become a dynasty:

• That is, if three rings in five years constitutes a dynasty.

• The fourth ring could be dicey, but the stars are aligning for a third, that’s for sure.

• At minimum, this draft class turns up the heat on everyone but the safeties, linebackers, offensive tackles and quarterbacks.

• The best undrafted free agents are tackle Ramon Foster and quarterback Mike Reilly, so that takes us down to safeties and linebackers, particularly inside linebackers.

• It’ll be interesting to see who moves over to inside linebacker to combine with Keyaron Fox as the primary backups, what with Larry Foote gone. At minicamp, I saw Donovan Woods. My first thought was Patrick Bailey.

• All the while, Scott McKillop was hanging from the vine.

• The outside linebackers didn’t need any heat, considering that the third of last year’s lost draft picks — Bruce Davis — isn’t even mentioned in those “lost draft picks” stories. So I’m assuming he’s already turned it up.

• The safety position makes me nervous. Perhaps it was the most underrated part of last year’s team, but Ryan Clark makes me nervous, considering the way he throws his body around the field.

• Who’s the starting free safety in Denver?

• Ryan Mundy looks the part. Don’t know if he can play or not, but he looks the part.

• Now, Tyrone Carter, he doesn’t look the part. But he can play.

• Yet, I wonder if Tyrone Carter is as motivated this year as Brett Keisel, Willie Parker, Willie Colon, Casey Hampton, Matt Spaeth, Deshea Townsend and the lost draft picks. I just don’t know if anyone’s pushing T.C.

• The combination of incoming talent and veteran urgency is what I mean when I say the stars are aligning again for the Steelers.

• Trading up for sure-fire help didn’t work out in the case of Max Unger, but bringing in help at so many positions forces some great competition.

• Someone was talking about going all hands on deck right now, and I wondered if Ziggy Hood could bust wedges for a while.

• I suppose Lawrence Timmons leaves the coverage teams with his new duties. That’s a blow. Or does he follow in the footsteps of his workout partner James Harrison and play all three downs on defense and cover kicks?

• Has a $50 million man ever covered kicks before?

• For the sake of another ring, Mike Tomlin should make sure it happens at least once.

• Rotating Timmons and Harrison on the coverage units seems like a logical compromise.

• After seeing Frank The Tank this spring, my guess is he can’t cover kicks like Carey Davis. Tank needs to lose some of that baby fat.

• Since I was tricked into coaching powder-puff softball this spring, and had to supervise a pair of rainouts over the weekend, I did not see more than one minicamp practice. So I did not see the speed of Mike Wallace, the dazzling receiving by Dallas Baker, or the impressive showing of new slot men Brandon Williams and Shaun McDonald. All of that was reported in one outlet or another. I only saw the first workout and can only remember Limas Sweed’s confidence, Sonny Harris’ quickness, and David Johnson’s big arms.

• I also remember that Wallace looked lost and unsteady as a firstday rookie will. I remember that The Tank looked chubby and very young. I remember that Joe Burnett looked smaller than I had expected, even though I knew he was 5-9, 192.

• Understand, I was a little cranky from supervising rainouts.

• I am excited about the draft. The Steelers ended up with several of the players they had monitored throughout the draft season, and that means something in and of itself.

• If you get a chance, instead of watching an NBA playoff game, watch the ESPN Classic replay of Central Florida-South Florida. It should be called the Joe Burnett Classic replay. He returned two big ones.

• Wallace also had a great Cotton Bowl against Texas Tech. He was the star of the Ole Miss offense. He looked a lot more sure of himself in that game than he did in the minicamp, so I’m projecting improvement.

• Since we’re watching tape, I advise the Frank The Tank hit on YouTube. You’ll know which one when you get there.

• Kraig Urbik might be steady and solid and play right guard for 10 years, but he won’t help the mobility of the offensive line.

• Bruce Arians points to the losses of Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca for the decline in the effectiveness of the screen pass over the years. He called them the best lead/peelback combo he’s ever seen. The team has also lost a pretty mobile tackle in Marvel Smith and a screen specialist in Kendall Simmons.

• Remedying that situation was the allure of Eric Wood or Max Unger.

• A.Q. Shipley can get out and run. It’ll give him a roster shot this year, if not a starting job the next.

• The first practice skirmish of the season? I’ll go with Bruce Davis and Tony Hills from the I’m-going-tofind-a-player-here sweepstakes.

• Chris Kemoeatu and Ziggy Hood are contenders, as are Ike Taylor and Sweed. Those two went at it quite a bit last season.

• You expect the coaches will turn up the heat this summer on this mix of motivated veterans and intriguing rookies. That, and the fact most of these players had their worst season after the last Super Bowl provides the mental mix a champion must have if it hopes to repeat.

SteelCrazy
05-11-2009, 10:57 PM
Good article. Jim made some solid observations and predictions.

costanza2k1
05-11-2009, 11:15 PM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

fordfixer
05-11-2009, 11:51 PM
Limas Sweed’s confidence,


Lets hope that his confidence means less dropped passes through out the season and the playoffs :tt1 :tt1

NKySteeler
05-11-2009, 11:51 PM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

... Just trying to contribute something during the slow off-season.... The "on-line" version of Steelers Digest is a great thing!... :wink: ...You can also go back and review articles up to something like 15 years or so ago...

fordfixer
05-11-2009, 11:55 PM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

... Just trying to contribute something during the slow off-season.... The "on-line" version of Steelers Digest is a great thing!... :wink: ...You can also go back and review articles up to something like 15 years or so ago...


So how long is it going to take you to post all of those past articles. :lol:

NKySteeler
05-11-2009, 11:59 PM
So how long is it going to take you to post all of those past articles. :lol:

...Only when the issue/reason dictates.... :wink: ...Besides, it's a real pain to reformat them into printable form that is easy on the eyes...

fordfixer
05-12-2009, 12:02 AM
So how long is it going to take you to post all of those past articles. :lol:

...Only when the issue/reason dictates.... :wink: ...Besides, it's a real pain to reformat them into printable form that is easy on the eyes...
:lol: :lol: Thanks for sharing :tt1

costanza2k1
05-12-2009, 01:34 AM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

... Just trying to contribute something during the slow off-season.... The "on-line" version of Steelers Digest is a great thing!... :wink: ...You can also go back and review articles up to something like 15 years or so ago...

I agree! The offseason is a rough one at times. This one is ok, I have the entire season on my apple TV and watch games at will.

I didn't realize the online version went that far, that's pretty cool. Thanks again!

Oviedo
05-12-2009, 07:52 AM
"lost draft picks" :wft

phillyesq
05-12-2009, 08:19 AM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

I'll second that -- this was a great read. Thanks!

MeetJoeGreene
05-12-2009, 08:50 AM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

I'll second that -- this was a great read. Thanks!


:Agree

Please keep "lurking" and posting these articles NKY.

RuthlessBurgher
05-12-2009, 01:20 PM
Wexell's "observations" is always one of my favorite parts of the Digest, but I have to wonder about 2 points:


• All the while, Scott McKillop was hanging from the vine.

McKillop was taken with the 10th pick in the 5th round (146 overall) by San Francisco. We didn't have a 4th round pick after trading our 2nd and 4th for Denver's 2 thirds. Is he suggesting that we should have used one of our 3rd round picks on McKillop? I don't recall anyone rating him that high pre-draft (and, actually, I liked a couple of other ILB's that also went in the 5th round better than McKillop anyway...Jason Phillips and Jasper Brinkley).


• Someone was talking about going all hands on deck right now, and I wondered if Ziggy Hood could bust wedges for a while.

Wasn't the wedge formation on kick returns outlawed at the last owners' meeting? I recall that the competition committee was discussing it at the same time they were talking about the "Hines Ward Rule" and I think the owners ratified all of the safety suggestions that the committee put forth this year, if I recall correctly.

grotonsteel
05-12-2009, 09:10 PM
Good article. Tony Hills vs Davis will be interesting.

stlrz d
05-12-2009, 09:30 PM
thanks for posting the articles NKy...

... Just trying to contribute something during the slow off-season.... The "on-line" version of Steelers Digest is a great thing!... :wink: ...You can also go back and review articles up to something like 15 years or so ago...

Did the article about fans traveling to the Burgh for the SB ever make it into the Digest? I was never emailed the story and now I can't even remember the name of the guy who interviewed me.

NKySteeler
05-12-2009, 10:04 PM
Did the article about fans traveling to the Burgh for the SB ever make it into the Digest? I was never emailed the story and now I can't even remember the name of the guy who interviewed me.

That's right... You did ask me to check for that... My apologies for not letting you know.

... Sorry, but it did not make it into the two editions so far since the big game... Your comments to the interviewer probably ended-up on the cutting room floor after they put the issues together.

stlrz d
05-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Did the article about fans traveling to the Burgh for the SB ever make it into the Digest? I was never emailed the story and now I can't even remember the name of the guy who interviewed me.

That's right... You did ask me to check for that... My apologies for not letting you know.

... Sorry, but it did not make it into the two editions so far since the big game... Your comments to the interviewer probably ended-up on the cutting room floor after they put the issues together.

That's alright...it's not like I had anything worthwhile to contribute anyway.

Thanks for looking though. :)

jj28west
05-14-2009, 07:43 PM
Good Stuff,

Thanks