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hawaiiansteel
09-29-2010, 03:37 PM
Ed: Steelers Have Whole New Outlook

TUESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2010 07:30 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

To borrow a phrase from old friend John Steigerwald, I was going to predict that Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon would lead the Steelers to a 3-0 record three weeks ago. But I forgot.

--- If you watch the replay of Rashard Mendenhall's 3-yard touchdown run off the right side in the second quarter Sunday, you will see on the left side Mike Wallace standing and looking up AT THE SCOREBOARD as the play unfolds, then raise his hands when he sees Mendenhall get into the end zone. Ah, shouldn't Mike at least make it look as though he might be running a pass pattern?

--- They actually debated on PTI last night whether Mike Tomlin would start Ben Roethlisberger when he returns for the fifth game.

--- No, I do not think the Steelers can go 16-0.

--- Upon further review, I believe Charlie Batch knew when he threw that first touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, that Cody Grimm would have no idea where the ball would be, thus was not risking an interception on that play.

--- Tampa's defensive line looked ferocious to start the game and then disappeared. Maybe they had enough of Doug Legursky.

--- The careers of Willie Parker and Justin Hartwig may be over. No one seems interested in Parker and Hartwig supposedly wants to hang them up. Each opened last season as starters Hartwig this training camp and that's just how fast it can go in the NFL. Just ask Trent Edwards. The Packers were interested in Parker before signing a practice squader from Atlanta.

--- Rashard Mendenhall is now on pace for 1,770 yards rushing with an average of slightly more than 110 per game. His average per carry is up to 5.2.

--- Mike Wallace, who led the NFL with a 19.4-yard average per reception last season, has a 26.7-yard average, although he only has seven catches.

--- The Steelers are 8-1 lifetime vs. Tampa Bay, that life beginning in 1976 when the Bucs were born. Their only loss came in the "crying game,'' when Bill Cowher pulled quarterback Kordell Stewart.

-- Flew back with a planeload of Steelers fans from Tampa yesterday. They were surprisingly subdued. All partied out, no doubt.

--- I gave you the Steelers Super Bowl odds at the start of the season. Hope a few of you placed some legal bets.

--- My 11-5 prediction made here the morning of the opener that looked so optimistic then looks a little conservative today. I have them losing to Baltimore in that scenario, but I'm not confident about that pick. I think the Steelers will beat the Ravens to go 4-0.

-- I probably will get more into this later, but free agency and the salary cap, installed in 1993, have been a boon to the success of the Steelers. Who would have thought? They were a small market team and had phenomenal success in the 1970s. But it was their only really successful decade in 60 years of football until the new system was adopted. It was a system Dan Rooney first resisted because of the free agency aspect. I have my reasons why the Steelers have flourished under this system, and I predicted it would happen too. Anyone want to offer their own reasons?

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports-town/steelers/105325-ed-steelers-have-whole-new-outlook

Chavezz
09-29-2010, 08:50 PM
My reasons for success post salary cap?

I say it's do to their fiscally conservative approach to contracts and their "home grown" approach to retooling a team. It's the teams that consistently are big players in FA that don't have the success.

If you are letting players leave that are going into their 3rd BIG MONEY contracts, you don't have to deal with the declined play after 2-3 years into it and are then stuck with a bloated contract.

Also being consistently good means that you aren't getting top ten picks which means you aren't giving out 15-50 million dollar signing bonuses to 21 year old kids that haven't played a single down in the NFL. With a high bust rate and a few bad picks back to back years, you can get behind the eight ball very quickly in the NFL.

If the collective bargaining agreement were to stay status quo for a few more years, I could see it getting to a point where there will be teams that don't WANT the 1st few picks because of the guarenteed money associated with those picks unless the player is a SURE THING.

Gotta little off track there but you picking up what I'm putting down?

Crash
09-29-2010, 09:00 PM
Ed is nothing but a shill. The Steelers for the first 8 years of the "cap era" were a joke in free agency, they didn't spend money, they let guy after guy after guy leave and then finally from 1998-2000 it caught up to them as they had a run of 6 wins and 18 losses in a 24 game stretch.

From 1993-2000, the ONLY TEAM that spent less than the Steelers in signing bonus money, were the then two year old Cleveland Browns.

Things changed once Heinz Field was built, they got new revenues and they spent it.

It's not that hard to figure out people.

Chadman
09-29-2010, 09:03 PM
Chavezz is right on nearly all accounts.

1 thing that might be overlooked a little- the Steelers rarely 'reach' for 'big potential-small output' college guys- particularly in important positions such as QB, RB and on the DL.

These 3 positions are crutial to the success of the Steeler system since FA has been introduced.

They tend to 'play it safe', take the less risky picks, and employ a steady, consistant gameplan. Once in a while they get 'lucky' and spring a Troy or Ben in the draft (lucky not being quite right- more 'well researched'), but most other early picks are all solid college guys who are not always the most talented, but certainly have a much lower 'bust' potential.

This allows the Steelers to continually add new players that will at the very least, compete for playing time without standing out as major weaknesses.

Stewie
09-30-2010, 08:46 AM
My reasons for success post salary cap?

I say it's do to their fiscally conservative approach to contracts and their "home grown" approach to retooling a team. It's the teams that consistently are big players in FA that don't have the success.
If you are letting players leave that are going into their 3rd BIG MONEY contracts, you don't have to deal with the declined play after 2-3 years into it and are then stuck with a bloated contract.

Also being consistently good means that you aren't getting top ten picks which means you aren't giving out 15-50 million dollar signing bonuses to 21 year old kids that haven't played a single down in the NFL. With a high bust rate and a few bad picks back to back years, you can get behind the eight ball very quickly in the NFL.

If the collective bargaining agreement were to stay status quo for a few more years, I could see it getting to a point where there will be teams that don't WANT the 1st few picks because of the guarenteed money associated with those picks unless the player is a SURE THING.

Gotta little off track there but you picking up what I'm putting down?


Not always true. New England seems to have done very well with free agents as have the Jets. That said, I prefer the homegrown approach for several reasons. First it instills team perspectives from the gitgo. Second, it's cheaper. Third, it gives the player a feeling of selection. Selection is always a feature of elite combat units: Seals, Waffen SS, Foreign Legion, Crusaders, etc. Homegrown must be supplemented by free agency, when the draft or UDFAs cannot provide a better player at a particular position. Farrior comes to mind

hawaiiansteel
09-30-2010, 03:06 PM
Ed: Steelers Fans Love to Hate Ray Lewis

WEDNESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2010 13:30 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

http://www2.raisport.rai.it/news/sport/nfl/200002/01/389739d3060a6/RayLewis1.jpg


If this indeed is the NFLs best rivalry, it means it is the most heated and that means most hated. And if there is one player on the Baltimore Ravens Steelers fans love to hate more than them all, it is Ray Lewis.

Steelers fans believe hes gotten away with murder not the case in Atlanta in 2000 but on the field against their own team.

Truth is, if Ray Lewis played for the Steelers hed be the most popular player among the Terrible Towel-swinging set. He plays football the way Steelers fans envision their defenders play hard, brutal and at a high level.

We talked to Lewis on a conference call at 11:30 this morning we just posted something on breaking news about his texting back and forth with suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He was engaging, interesting and we even had him laughing at one point.

He agreed that the rivalry is the best in football and he explained why in simple form the way the teams play, and the fact they win. Of course, playing twice in the same division is also a requirement. The only better rivalry Ive ever seen was the one between the Raiders and Steelers in the 1970s. Even though those teams did not play in the same division, they often played twice a year once in the regular season, once in the post-season.

Through the years, Houston-Pittsburgh was a real good rivalry in the late 1970s and through much of the 1980s and even into the 90s. Cleveland-Pittsburgh was a classic except for one thing, usually when the Browns were great, the Steelers were not and when the Steelers were great, the Browns were not. Nevertheless, it is the closest thing to Steelers-Ravens of today.

What I really like about this game is that kickoff is at 1 p.m. Old fashioned time. I dont quite understand why its not on Sunday or Monday night or at 4 p.m., but Im happy for the early kickoff.

http://ht.ly/19drrv

Crash
09-30-2010, 03:09 PM
I dont quite understand why its not on Sunday or Monday night or at 4 p.m.

No Ben, no prime time. Look at their schedule.

The Ravens also complained to the league about playing regular season prime time games in Pittsburgh and of course Goodell gave in.

Ed should contact me if he needs help in his work.

aggiebones
09-30-2010, 03:10 PM
What have the Jets done in FA other than maybe this offseason, which is still unfinished?

I'm not saying they haven't grabbed a few decent guys, but they normally overpay them. And they end up damaged goods like others assumed, like Kris Jenkins. I respect Jenkins ability, but he's got bad wheels forever.
LT may have some punch now, but what til he pulls up AGAIN come playoff time.
Fanaca was pricey and they let him go after a few years. Just cut him and had noone to put in his place. A draftee from Germany? Really, that guy is better than Fanaca?
They have gotten some mileage out of some geezers, but that's about it. I can't remember if they traded for Edwards or just FA him. But he will be gone before next season.

Here's hoping Holmes works out to some degree cause I got him for nothing in my 2 FF leagues. :)

_______________

The Steelers didn't fair well in the early FA days for sure. They started limited FA in 1989 and that wasn't gonna work for the Steelers. They introduced a salary cap in 1994...the Steelers went to the Super Bowl the next year and had some good seasons around that year, just not Super Bowl wins in the mid to late 90s.

They were miserable in the 80s. Alot of the guys were lingering on in the early 80s and they just weren't very good anymore. Late 80s were just bad. It happens.

They've certainly hit their stride due to understanding the value of home grown talent and keeping the proper guys and letting problems even if talented float away. They make tough calls like Woodson, Vrabel, CBrown and are right often, but when they are wrong, it is a glaring sore spot. But when they are right, people forget. They know what they are doing and are on target more than most teams on how to play the game.