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hawaiiansteel
04-09-2010, 02:59 PM
Eason Signing Fills Another Steelers' Roster Need


If the Steelers sign a couple of more players, they can take the third day of this year's draft off.

The Steelers re-signed defensive end Nick Eason on Thursday, bringing back a veteran who is coming off of one of his most productive seasons. It's the kind of move that's hard not to like--Eason is a solid backup who will likely be the team's No. 4 defensive end and his price (although not yet disclosed) is sure to pretty cheap by NFL standards.

But it also means that Pittsburgh has checked another position off its list of potential draftees. Unless Pittsburgh wants to go with the misguided approach of drafting for the practice squad, the Steelers have no reason to draft a defensive end--Aaron Smith and Brett Kiesel are the starters, 2009 first-rounder Ziggy Hood is the primary backup, Eason is the No. 4 DE while Sunny Harris, a relatively promising rookie last year, will be hoping the team decides to keep five defensive ends.

There are a lot of other positions where the Steelers are in a similar situation. At tight end, Pittsburgh has four veterans coming back to battle for three spots. At wide receiver, Pittsburgh has a set top three (Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace), two veterans (Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El), a troubled if still talented third-year pro (Limas Sweed) and the best kick returner Pittsburgh has had in two decades (Stefan Logan). For all those players, Pittsburgh is likely to keep only five receivers and six at most.

At inside linebacker Pittsburgh has three starters on the roster (Larry Foote, James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons) plus a solid backup who is also one of the team's best special team's player (Keyaron Fox). Since the team usually keeps four inside linebackers, it seems unlikely that they will be drafting an inside linebacker.

Pittsburgh also has three solid quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon) on the roster and is set at kicker (Jeff Reed), punter (Daniel Sepulveda) and long snapper (Greg Warren).

So where can Pittsburgh draft players with a legitimate chance to make the team?

They could draft one safety (to possibly replace No. 4 safety Ryan Mundy). They have room to draft at least one tailback (to replace Willie Parker), but probably not two (since Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman and Tank Summers are on the current roster). They could take one offensive linemen and possibly two. If Pittsburgh drafts a nose tackle, he could battle Sunny Harris for the final defensive line roster spot. If Pittsburgh wanted to completely overhaul its backup outside linebackers it could draft a pair of edge rushers and there's a spot for one cornerback, although with Ike Taylor, William Gay, Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis back (and the chance that Deshea Townsend could return if Pittsburgh wants him) it's hard to see how two drafted corners could make the team.

Even if the Steelers do all that, we're talking about nine picks and several of those (the second outside linebacker pick, the nose tackle, the second offensive lineman and a second running back) would be 50-50 shots to make the team. Pittsburgh currently has 10 picks in the 2010 draft with three of them (two fifth-round and one seventh-round compensatory pick) that they aren't allowed to trade. So if you're wondering whether the Steelers will be making some deals, one can only hope that they'll package some picks to trade up this year or swap a couple of this year's picks for better picks innext year's draft.

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/08/easo ... ster-spot/ (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/08/eason-signing-fills-another-steelers-roster-spot/)

hawaiiansteel
04-09-2010, 03:33 PM
below is the list of official visits so far, looks like WR, OL, OLB and CB are definitely positions being targeted




RB
LaGarrette Blount

WR
Joe Webb
Golden Tate
Dez Bryant
Carlton Mitchell
Arrelious Benn
Emmanuel Sanders

TE
Rob Gronkowski
Dorin Dickerson (local)
Nate Byham (local))

OL
Chris DeGeare
Rodger Saffold
Jacques McClendon
Bryan Bulaga
Mike Iupati
Maurkice Pouncey

DL
Mike Neal
Clifton Geathers
Linval Joseph

LB
Navorro Bowman
Albert McClellan
Eric Norwood
Koa Misi
Adrian Tracy

CB
Kyle Wilson
Kareem Jackson
Nolan Carroll
Brandon Ghee
Terrance Johnson (local)

S
Darrell Stuckey
Earl Thomas

hawaiiansteel
04-10-2010, 06:46 PM
March 9, 2010, 2:49 PM
State of the Steelers: What the 2009 Film Revealed


Offense

No quarterback has better physical tools than Ben Roethlisberger (assuming he will be allowed to play next season). Heís known for his sandlot skills, but last season Roethlisberger also proved sharp in the presnap game. What really stood out was his chemistry with the smooth tight end Heath Miller and the wide receiving corps. Hines Ward was his usual self. Santonio Holmes was arguably the best route runner in football (noteworthy considering how flawed he was in this department as a rookie and sophomore). Mike Wallace showed star potential. So did running back Rashard Mendenhall, with his fluid yet powerful downhill burst. The offensive line was spectacular at times and seemingly absent-minded at others. RT Willie Colon was the most reliable all-around blocker. Power from mobility made LG Chris Kemoeatu the teamís most valuable lineman.

Defense

The loss of Troy Polamalu meant everything. Without him, the secondary was no longer adept at disguising coverages or cloaking unfavorable matchups. Also, the run defense became overly reliant on the inside linebackers, which isnít the worst thing but, as Pittsburgh discovered, isnít ideal. Casey Hampton was a monster. Few nose tackles have his lateral quickness and leverage. LaMarr Woodley was a first-class star, even though he didnít draw the attention that James Harrison did. Both players were dominant against the run. Still, it wasnít enough to compensate for the secondaryís crippling inconsistencies.


Top 5 Needs

1. Cornerback

Ike Taylor is fantastic, but heís it. William Gay is a liability as a starter, and nickel back Deshea Townsend should only be re-signed as a last resort.


2. Outside Linebacker

Woodley and Harrison are top five OLBs, but their backups, Andre Frazier and Patrick Bailey, are undrafted young veterans with minimal experience.

3. Safety

The speedy Ryan Clark was granted his wish to return, but the versatile Tyrone Carter will probably leave. That leaves the third-year pro Ryan Mundy as the primary backup. Anyone who saw the Raider game last season knows Mundy isnít ready. He lacks elite athleticism anyway. The newcomer Will Allen was signed primarily for special teams.

4. Offensive Lineman

The starting five is set, but with last yearís third-round rookie Kraig Urbik being a disappointment, depth is a question.

5. Defensive End

The free agent Travis Kirschke is probably gone. Last yearís first-round pick Ziggy Hood is raw but can replace him. Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel are in their 30s, but neither is slowing down (assuming Smith is healthy). That said, depth could be an issue, and the future must be planned at some point.

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010 ... -revealed/ (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/state-of-the-steelers-what-the-2009-film-revealed/)