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fordfixer
09-05-2009, 03:16 AM
On the Steelers: Roster takes on new shape
Offensive backfield will have different look
Saturday, September 05, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09248/995781-66.stm

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made all his cuts yesterday, but then he did not make any. He said he cut his roster from 75 to 53 and told all those players involved, yet he did not make it official by sending in the paperwork to the NFL. And he certainly did not make it public.

Those requirements come this afternoon.

But the bigger names involved have surfaced, and the Post-Gazette has identified some of them. By looking at those, some conclusions can be drawn:

Three running backs were released, which left them with four, including rookie Frank "The Tank" Summers, who can play fullback as well. That means they will enter the season with one fewer running back, and it likely means they will go with five wide receivers, plus kick-returner Stefan Logan.

Summers replaces veteran Carey Davis, who was waived injured, in that role of fullback and backup tailback. Although it is not known what happened to injured tight end/fullback Sean McHugh, rookie tight end/fullback David Johnson made the team, and he will play the role that McHugh held last season, lining up in the backfield as a lead blocker as well. McHugh was to make $1 million in salary this season on the tender he signed as a restricted free agent and likely also will be waived injured.

Anthony Madison, who did a nice job on special teams the past few years, was done in by two rookies and his own $1 million salary tender. The Steelers drafted cornerbacks Keenan Lewis in the third round and Joe Burnett in the fifth and also like veteran cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, signed as a free agent.

Ryan Mundy of Woodland Hills High, Michigan and West Virginia made the team after failing to do so last season as one of their sixth-round picks. He helped himself with his play Thursday night in Carolina, where he returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown, sacked a quarterback, broke up two passes -- one with a huge hit to jar the ball loose -- and had six tackles.

He and another first-time NFL player, Stefan Logan, nailed down roster spots Thursday they already were favored to get.

"There were some guys who helped their cause, no doubt, and are here today because they put exclamation points, if you will, on their work with their performance," Tomlin said.

"You can say Logan put an exclamation point on stating his case for being here, Ryan Mundy put an exclamation point on stating his case for being here."
Willie Parker is the man

In case there was any doubt, Tomlin erased it when he emphatically declared that Willie Parker again will open the season as the team's prime back.

"Willie Parker's our runner," Tomlin declared.

How Rashard Mendenhall, the No. 1 draft pick last year, might be used was left unsaid.

"Rashard's done a nice job, he'll get his opportunities to get his touches," Tomlin said, and then emphasized, "but more importantly than anything else, Willie Parker is our runner."

With Mewelde Moore holding down the job on third downs, the opportunities for Mendenhall might not come too frequently early in the season.

Tomlin would not say who might be used in short-yardage situations, but that also could be Parker.
Bruce Davis, one and out

Many NFL scouts believe third-round draft picks bring the most value for the price that is paid for them. One who did not is Bruce Davis, told yesterday he will be released today.

Davis was the 88th player drafted in 2008 when the Steelers took him in the third round. He is the third third-round draft choice to wash out from the three drafts of 2006-08. The other two were both drafted in the third round in 2006, wide receiver/kick-returner Willie Reid and safety Anthony Smith.

Davis did not show at outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense what he displayed as a pass-rushing end at UCLA, where he had 25 1/2 sacks in his final two seasons.

The red flag flew last season when Davis could not cut it on special teams. Typically, players drafted as defensive ends with the idea they will make 3-4 linebackers are good special-teams players as rookies. Davis was bypassed by undrafted Patrick Bailey, who was so outstanding on special teams last year he earned the team's rookie of the year award.

It's a waste to cut a third-round draft pick after just one season, but it's a bigger waste to keep him around if he cannot help you now or in the future.
Timmons in doubt

Tomlin declared virtually all his injured players healthy except linebacker Lawrence Timmons.

Timmons has a high ankle sprain from the third preseason game Aug. 29. He walked around their training facility yesterday without the protective boot he wore several days ago and without an apparent limp. Tomlin said he was scheduled to see a doctor yesterday and his status for the regular-season opener Thursday against Tennessee at Heinz Field remains in doubt.

Quarterback Dennis Dixon, though, has improved to the point where he could throw in practice when the Steelers begin preparations for the opener tomorrow. Dixon's shoulder was separated in the second preseason game Aug. 22.

"I think he's looking up," Tomlin said. "I think he'll be cleared to throw this week, which is right on time."
For more on the Steelers, read the new blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on September 5, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09248/99 ... z0QDLA8lOx (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09248/995781-66.stm#ixzz0QDLA8lOx)

NorthCoast
09-05-2009, 04:38 PM
Our Rd 3 picks have really blown lately. It is a good thing the scouts excel at finding undrafted FAs that can pick up the slack.

Glad to see most of the DBs making it....we are preparing for retirement of Townsend and maybe the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

BigLebowski
09-05-2009, 05:49 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

TallyStiller
09-05-2009, 06:22 PM
Clark is steady, but unspectacular, a guy who makes it more on smarts... didn't Mundy play at WVU as a graduate student after graduating early from Michigan, allowing him to transfer without taking a year off? Sounds like a guy with some smarts to me... could work out OK.

Really chaps my hide to see us miss with Davis, when there were players to be had and clear needs on both lines at the time. Very frustrating.

RuthlessBurgher
09-05-2009, 08:02 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).

Oviedo
09-06-2009, 08:25 AM
Clark is steady, but unspectacular, a guy who makes it more on smarts... didn't Mundy play at WVU as a graduate student after graduating early from Michigan, allowing him to transfer without taking a year off? Sounds like a guy with some smarts to me... could work out OK.

Really chaps my hide to see us miss with Davis, when there were players to be had and clear needs on both lines at the time. Very frustrating.

Converting 4-3 DEs to 3-4 OLs is a crap shoot. We do it better than most but even we will miss. That is the risk of running a 3-4 defense. You potentially eliminate half the defensive line talent pool coming out of college because they are conversion jobs with no guarantee of success.

steelsnis
09-06-2009, 08:38 AM
Exactly right. Sometimes it works (Woodley, Porter, Gildon) and sometimes it's a bust (Alonzo Jackson, Bruce Davis).

It's more important than ever to make them stick because the pool of guys who can do it is shrinking with all of the new 3-4 defenses popping up out there these days.

fezziwig
09-06-2009, 09:10 AM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).


Dude, seems like I'm almost always agreeing with you. We will miss Clark if he leaves. It should come to no surprise that our defense jumped up a notch with Clark here. I think he does better than Chris Hope. The offense will have to think twice when they're throwing in Clarks area. Keep the opposing team looking over their shoulders for Clark.

Mundy is a good backup but I doubt he could ever fill Clarks shoes.

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2009, 10:14 AM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).


Dude, seems like I'm almost always agreeing with you. We will miss Clark if he leaves. It should come to no surprise that our defense jumped up a notch with Clark here. I think he does better than Chris Hope. The offense will have to think twice when they're throwing in Clarks area. Keep the opposing team looking over their shoulders for Clark.

Mundy is a good backup but I doubt he could ever fill Clarks shoes.

It is easy to agree with a guy who is always right like me. If you were always agreeing with, say, flippy instead, then I would be worried about you. :lol: Just kidding, flip. As far as you know. :wink:

frankthetank1
09-06-2009, 10:58 AM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).

i will be pissed if they let clark walk. hope was ok but he was no fs. there is no way mundy is a candidate to start next season. i think that would be a very stupid move. clark isnt all that old, maybe a year or two older than troy and he doesnt even make that much money. i was a little supprised that kiesel got a new deal before clark. kiesel is very solid and under rated but the depth at both safety positions are scary and ziggy looks like he is going to be a good player. its amazing to me how under rated ryan clark is. he is such a smart player and he hits like a ton of bricks. he also gives great interviews which is a plus

BigLebowski
09-06-2009, 11:09 AM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I heard Ed Bouchette say on the radio, that he expects Clark to be overpriced in FA and that Tomlin and the Front Office really hoped Mundy showed enough to make the squad because he is the heir apparent.

I also heard Edmund Nelson say the same thing during the Carolina game.

So let's hope it is just Steeler pundit roster fodder and that they re-sign Clark.

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2009, 12:30 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I heard Ed Bouchette say on the radio, that he expects Clark to be overpriced in FA and that Tomlin and the Front Office really hoped Mundy showed enough to make the squad because he is the heir apparent.

I also heard Edmund Nelson say the same thing during the Carolina game.

So let's hope it is just Steeler pundit roster fodder and that they re-sign Clark.

Clark has been around the block and understands the business of the game. He appreciates being a valued member of a winning organization like the Steelers. He was not happy in New York or Washington, but is quite happy here. Guys without perspective sign deals strictly for the money elsewhere. Since he has already been down this road before, he realizes that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, so he is not likely to sign contract somewhere else for a few dollars more. I would only worry about some idiot owner offering something so ridiculous that it is a Godfather style "make him an offer he can't refuse" deal like the Randle El contract a few seasons ago that was so far and above what his true value was.

NC Steeler Fan
09-06-2009, 02:19 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).


Dude, seems like I'm almost always agreeing with you. We will miss Clark if he leaves. It should come to no surprise that our defense jumped up a notch with Clark here. I think he does better than Chris Hope. The offense will have to think twice when they're throwing in Clarks area. Keep the opposing team looking over their shoulders for Clark.

Mundy is a good backup but I doubt he could ever fill Clarks shoes.

Not to just pile on here, but...my thoughts exactly.

I think our D is totally elevated when Clark is in there and I am
surprised at the lack of credit he gets as well.

AngryAsian
09-06-2009, 03:06 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

I think they will try to re-sign Clark after this season. His play at FS allows Troy to be able to freelance like he does. Mundy is merely a backup (and only a moderately adequate one at this point).


Dude, seems like I'm almost always agreeing with you. We will miss Clark if he leaves. It should come to no surprise that our defense jumped up a notch with Clark here. I think he does better than Chris Hope. The offense will have to think twice when they're throwing in Clarks area. Keep the opposing team looking over their shoulders for Clark.

Mundy is a good backup but I doubt he could ever fill Clarks shoes.

Not to just pile on here, but...my thoughts exactly.

I think our D is totally elevated when Clark is in there and I am
surprised at the lack of credit he gets as well.


I don't think its necessarily a lack of credit, NC. I think with the gold standard in our conference playing FS being Ed Reed and playing opposite the other conference gold standard at SS being Troy.... Clark is often overshadowed. The guy is a talent. I think he hits like Ronnie Lott but isn't as much the ball-hawk that Reed is playing the position. I think its also noteworthy that Troy has most definitely reaped the dividends of Clark anchoring the back end so that Troy can freelance. I hope Clark is given a contract extension next season. I think he's worth at least a four year deal, but nothing crazy. This defense has flourished since acquiring him.

fezziwig
09-07-2009, 12:10 PM
I'm glad to read that most of you see the value in Clark. As I said before, " he adds so much to the defense."
I like his interviews and his level headed attitude. His attitude fits very well with the Steeler identity and seems to be something many lack in this day and age.
I hope he does see that the highest contract doesn't always bring happiness. What New York team did he play for ? What round pick was he ?

RuthlessBurgher
09-07-2009, 02:01 PM
I'm glad to read that most of you see the value in Clark. As I said before, " he adds so much to the defense."
I like his interviews and his level headed attitude. His attitude fits very well with the Steeler identity and seems to be something many lack in this day and age.
I hope he does see that the highest contract doesn't always bring happiness. What New York team did he play for ? What round pick was he ?

He was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He played there for 2 seasons (saw action in 22 games with 4 starts) then went to Washington for 2 years (played in 28 games with 24 starts) and this will be his 4th year here (33 games with 32 starts).

fezziwig
09-08-2009, 10:11 AM
Thank You

Oviedo
09-08-2009, 11:21 AM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

Mundy will get a chance, but I fully expect a safety to get drafted early next year. This upcoming draft has some very good safeties in it and they usually last until late in Round 1 where we will be drafting.

RuthlessBurgher
09-08-2009, 12:29 PM
...the departure of Clark (isn't he a FA next season?).

Yes Clark is a free agent, and apparently the Steeler Brass seem to like Mundy to replace him. :wft

Mundy will get a chance, but I fully expect a safety to get drafted early next year. This upcoming draft has some very good safeties in it and they usually last until late in Round 1 where we will be drafting.

I agree that it should be a very good safety draft. In fact, I think that it is so good that the top two safeties, Eric Berry of Tennessee and Taylor Mays of USC, will both get taken in the top half of the first round (possibly even both in the top 10), and therefore well out of our reach at #32 again. :D :tt2 :tt1