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hawaiiansteel
10-09-2010, 02:03 AM
Bye Week Analysis and Future Projections

October 7th, 2010


We have 4 weeks in the books and are now on the bye. I like for the bye to be later in the year so I can get a better assessment before I do this but I will go with what we have.

We started off strong with a 3-1 record even without Ben Roethlisberger and it looks like it is going to be a promising season. The Steelers look like they are headed to the playoffs and could be a Super Bowl contender. The return of Roethlisberger looks to put this team over the top. The defense has played stellar as we are number one against the run and have forced a league leading 12 turnovers. Special Teams has even picked it up from last season. We already have a kick return touchdown and Daniel Sepulveda is looking like a pro bowler.

Though the team seems to be clicking on all cylinders there are some areas we are going to have to shore up going into next season.

Team Needs

Cornerback- Ike is headed to Free Agency and our back up corners look just like what they are back up corners. William Gay has played well in the nickel but that is because that is where he belongs. He is not a shut down type guy. He needs to be protected at all times but he is also a free agent. McFadden will be entrenched as the starter next year but we need a shut down type of guy on the other side of him. Lucky for us the draft is loaded with cornerback talent assuming all of them come out of college early and enter the NFL Draft.

Inside Linebacker- James Farrior has lost a step and he may have one year left in him but we need a replacement for him coming soon. We may have gotten that in Stephenson Sylvester but he may need to put on some pounds before he is ready to become an NFL Middle Linebacker. He does have instincts though that you do not see come around very often. If he is not the answer then we need to pick up someone who will be. Larry Foote could be a stop gap but we are going to need someone in that position sooner than later.

Offensive Line- Right Side mostly. Starks and Kemo can do the job we need them to do. Flozell though is ancient and Willie Colon and Trai Essex are Free Agents at the end of the season. We still do not have a right guard. Doug Legursky is a stop gap but he most likely is not going to be the answer, even though I really like him. We also saw what the addition of Pouncey has done for us so far. Add in some talent and you can improve drastically in a short period of time.

Defensive Line Depth- Keisel, Smith, Hampton, Hoke and Eason can’t play forever and we need to get someone other then Ziggy Hood on the roster who can take over when these guys are gone. We did bring in Al Woods to our practice squad which could payoff later and Steve McClendon hasn’t looked bad in the little bit of work he has had a chance to do but this is going to be a need and it could become a need all at once. This is going to be something people say every year as a need until these guys actually retire. At the level they are playing at though it could be a few years.

Free Agency

The Steelers have a few big guys heading into free agency this season. One of which we cannot lose. LaMarr Woodley is heading into free agency and should be our number one priority going into next offseason. He is going to be the cornerstone of our defense whenever the next wave of Steelers defenders comes in. He is a must keep. We did take away some pressure on next offseason with the trade of Santonio Holmes but this is still a pretty big class. Here is the list of free agents on our team:

LaMarr Woodley
Ike Taylor
Willie Colon
Trai Essex
Chris Hoke
Daniel Sepulveda
Jeff Reed
Dennis Dixon
Mwelde Moore
Matt Spaeth
Keyaron Fox
William Gay

Draft

The draft this year is top heavy and could get lighter as the year goes on and labor peace does not settle in the NFL. Players will choose to stay in college and not lose a year of football experience if talks are not worked out by the signing deadline. This could be a good but not great draft class and it has the potential to only get worse. Last year most of the big talent came out as to beat the rookie cap.

The draft has 2 extremely strong areas. The cornerback class and the defensive end class are two of the strongest in recent memory. There could be upwards of a quarter of the first round spent on Corners and Defensive Ends. If they start a run it could be a long run so no one misses out. Some may get overdrafted and make some of the talent at the other positions fall. If the Steelers stick to their normal strategy of Best Player Available they could steal a pick wherever they end up drafting.

I see this team making a deep run into the playoffs so I do not see them picking any higher than 32 in the draft. With that being said that run on Cornerbacks and Defensive Ends should have already happened. We all know that teams overdraft offensive tackles and there are at least 3 quarterbacks who should go in the first round. This could cause some talent to drop deep into the first round.

Things could change drastically in the next 7 months so I am going to take who I want because anybody minus the top 5 or so guys could switch position. The 5 guys at the top are Andrew Luck, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jake Locker. Everyone else is available on my list.

Round 1 Pick 32

My favorite pick in this years draft is Cameron Heyward but he does not fill an immediate need unless Keisel or Smith retire so I had to cross him out. I went with our biggest need and that is definitely going to be cornerback. I see Taylor leaving for the money. He already has two rings and he is going to go get paid one last time. Someone will give him the money. Thus I am going with:

Round 2 Pick 64

Ras I Dowling, Cornerback, Virginia- Dowling is a Steelers type of corner. He is purely a zone corner. He would struggle in man coverage but could shut down one side of the field in zone. He has great size at almost 6?2, 201 pounds. Dowling is a solid tackler and will step up and make plays against the run. Everything the Steelers look for in a corner. Dowling has one weakness and that could be his straight line speed. This is why he would fit perfectly for the zone scheme of Dick Lebeau. He could step in for Taylor right away. We have tried the 3-6 round pick thing and take a chance on someone who might be able to play. It is time to bring in some talent just like we did with Maurkice Pouncey and the offensive line this year. Just like Pouncey, Dowling has two other advantages to his game. He is very smart and instinctive along with having position flexibility. Many teams think he could be even better at Free Safety then he is at corner.

With the cornerback under our belts now it is time to look to build up that offensive line. The line is getting better with the addition of a whole new right side of the offensive line. Pouncey, Legursky and Adams have helped the line make great strides this season.

There is a chance though that Adams may retire especially if we win the Super Bowl and with Willie Colon possibly leaving via free agency we may need a new Right Tackle. If they stay though Legursky is only a stop gap while we find another right guard. That being the case the perfect prospect for this situation is:

Round 3 Pick 96

Marcus Cannon, RG/RT, TCU- Cannon can play either guard or tackle. If teams portray him as a tackle they may jump to take him much earlier than this spot. He is much better suited to play guard at the next level in my opinion. He has great size at 6?6, 352. Even with that size Cannon has great quickness in a short space. Cannon is actually in my top 5 offensive linemen in this years class. He will be overlooked though if he is slotted to play guard. Other guys who are left tackles or pure tackles will jump ahead of him even though he has the potential to be a better offensive linemen than most of the guys above him. He has not given up a sack in almost a year and a half. He went the whole 2009 season without letting a defender get to the quarterback. He is said to have gotten so much better by facing TCU DE/OLB Jerry Hughes everyday in practice. Sliding him in beside Pouncey on the right side of the line and having Adams come back next season could bolster the line even more than we have this season.

These two additions will help solidify what is already a strong roster. We have a long way to go but I like what I have seen and the future looks bright.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/artic ... ns/3368914 (http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/bye_week_analysis_and_future_projections/3368914)

NJ-STEELER
10-09-2010, 03:23 PM
agreed same needs as last year cept a different position on the OL...RT

i'm no draftnik and i dont know how fast some of these guys will time.
but the WR class looks ridiculously good. julio, aj green, hankerson, the kid from boise state.

big, tall, physical receivers. hines cant play forever, ARE is average, battle prolly below average.... depending on sweed, might be a need there

birtikidis
10-09-2010, 07:24 PM
I think corner first, would love J.Jenkins.. fell like we're gonna get Pouncey though. maybe CB in the 2nd.

focosteeler
10-09-2010, 08:46 PM
I think corner first, would love J.Jenkins.. fell like we're gonna get Pouncey though. maybe CB in the 2nd.

im all for pouncey...he would come in with great chemistry already with his brother and i would hope he would be great like maurkice... then we would have the interior line locked down for 10 years... then i say we try and trade down early into the 2nd to try and get a corner.

thats just me though

birtikidis
10-09-2010, 09:14 PM
I think corner first, would love J.Jenkins.. fell like we're gonna get Pouncey though. maybe CB in the 2nd.

im all for pouncey...he would come in with great chemistry already with his brother and i would hope he would be great like maurkice... then we would have the interior line locked down for 10 years... then i say we try and trade down early into the 2nd to try and get a corner.

thats just me though
well, Jenkins will be a top ten guy, so, I'd rather wait for Pouncey too. not really sure who else is coming out secondary wise...

hawaiiansteel
10-11-2010, 04:41 PM
How The Pittsburgh Steelers Spent Their Bye Week

By Brian Lutz (Correspondent) on October 11, 2010

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/001/047/626/crazy-steelers_original_crop_340x234.jpg?1286813208

SATIRE — Ah, it’s bye week week here in Pittsburgh. A chance for Yinzers everywhere to give their livers a break on Sunday. The Steelers are 3-1, Big Ben is coming back, and Cleveland is in town next week for their annual beat-down. Life is good. But since it’s bye week, you may be wondering: What, exactly, do the players do with their time off?

Glad you asked. Because there are real men underneath those shoulder pads and helmets, leading ordinary lives just like you and me. Except they’re millionaires. (If you’re wondering what they did during last year’s bye week—and really, why shouldn’t you be?—click here.) This year, we had spies all over town to track some of the prominent Steelers players and other local sports and media figures. This is how they spent bye week 2010.

All-world safety Troy Polamalu spent the weekend modeling his million dollar hair on the runway at various fashion shows in Paris, Milan, Seoul, and New York City. Practice squad wideout Tyler Grisham tagged along, and a surreptitious photographer snapped a picture of him making out with Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could not be reached for comment.

Formerly suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a raucous weekend at his offseason home near Milledg—actually…no. That’s not correct. Roethlisberger spent the weekend working out at the team’s South Side practice facility. On Saturday night, he watched game film of the Browns while sipping on soda water, and fell asleep with his playbook in his lap.

Hines Ward embarked on his usual bye week tradition: Running around town with former Steeler Deshea Townsend, who was Ward’s training camp roommate for 11 years. The pair went jewelry shopping, and then caught up on local gossip while getting pedicures at Fahrenheit 212, the salon owned by another former Steeler, Mike Logan.

Long-snapper Greg Warren wore his authentic game jersey to downtown Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon, continuing his five-year quest to get recognized as a real member of the team. Although he wore both of his Super Bowl rings, most people figured he was one of those creepy guys who buys a custom Steelers jersey with his own last name across the back.

Punter Daniel Sepulveda traveled to Los Angeles to attend a publicity event for the Twilight movie series, where he ran into old flame Taylor Swift. It was awkward.

Drinking buddies Jeff Reed and Matt Spaeth had a low-key weekend, spending Saturday night at the Carnegie Library reading books, followed by a trip to Eat n’ Park for some pie and coffee.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden spent the weekend in hiding after giving up a last-minute touchdown in the Baltimore game; rumor has it he may soon be joined by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who spoiled the opening weekend of the Consol Energy Center.

Meanwhile, opposite starting cornerback Ike Taylor vowed to wear pink gloves for the rest of his career, as he credits them for helping him hang onto an interception last week for the first time since in approximately four seasons.

FOX analyst and former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw spent the weekend bashing local legend Bill Mazeroski, saying on the FOX pregame show, “That guy could never have played in today’s major leagues. What is all the fuss about? He made his whole career off of one home run that barely even cleared the fence. If I were running that team, I would’ve traded him years before that.”

It’s no secret that linebacker Lamar Woodley is underpaid, still making a relatively paltry $550k per season under his rookie contract. With the lockout looming next year, he visited several financial analysts in the city, and reports indicate he is in dire straits after investing a large chunk of his money with Lenny Dykstra.

You may think that Vikings versus Jets on Monday Night Football was the biggest showdown of the weekend, but you’d be wrong. Black ‘n’ gold heavyweights Casey Hampton and Flozell Adams engaged in an epic 15-round battle at Ponderosa, which was so compelling that it may soon be airing on ESPN Classic.

A couple of former Steelers were in town, including Willie Parker, whose famous speed is now so far gone that it took him nearly an hour to walk from Mario’s Saloon to Piper’s Pub in the South Side, where he ran into former Penn State running back Larry Johnson.

Speaking of old running backs, former Steeler Duce Staley is now working as a greeter at the Rivers Casino. He reported that Pirates owner Bob Nutting blew over $800k in a weekend-long poker tournament, but Nutting claimed that “most of it” was his own money, and not part the huge profit windfall he makes with the Pirates every year.

Jerome Bettis, another old running back who once shared the backfield with Staley and Parker, was spotted on his laptop at Crazy Mocha on the North Side, working on his Sports Illustrated column. Lesser-known columnist Peter King was at the next booth over, doing the same thing.

Finally, in perhaps the most stunning news story of the weekend, former Pirates manager John Russell was briefly detained in the Allegheny County Jail after he was cited for disturbing the peace. Witnesses reported that Russell was being especially loud, abrasive and obnoxious in a public movie theater, for no apparent reason at all. GM Neal Huntington could not be reached for comment.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/488216-how-the-pittsburgh-steelers-spent-their-bye-week

Djfan
10-11-2010, 11:00 PM
Here is the list of free agents on our team:

LaMarr Woodley - Gotta, gotta, gotta keep him.
Ike Taylor - Would like to keep him but think he's replaceable.
Willie Colon - Might keep him, but hope we find a gem elsewhere.
Trai Essex - See above.
Chris Hoke - Same, but this may be too many line changes.
Daniel Sepulveda - Must keep!
Jeff Reed - Hasn't done his stock too many favors lately.
Dennis Dixon -
Mwelde MooreSign and trade? Don't think we need him.
Matt Spaeth - Adios a few years late IMO.
Keyaron Fox - Very important keep IMO.
William Gay - Really want to keep him unless something else comes along. Don't think it will and like what he is to us.

StarSpangledSteeler
10-12-2010, 12:02 PM
It's early and I may change my mind but i see NT as just as big a priority as OL or CB. We MUST draft Hampton's replacement this year. It appears we could still get a top 3 NT deep into the 2nd round but maybe not.

I would be more inclined to use our 1st rounder on OL (and i mean either RT or LT or RG or LG). We are so, so, so, so weak at OL. Look at what a difference Pouncey has made as a freaking rookie. OL are directly involved in every single offensive play (pass or run) where as CB come into play about 50% of the time on defense, so a solid upgrade at OL gives you a lot more value IMO.

I also think there's a good chance we will re-sign Ike.

Dee Dub
10-12-2010, 12:49 PM
Ras I Dowling, Cornerback, Virginia- Dowling is a Steelers type of corner. He is purely a zone corner. He would struggle in man coverage ...

I dont agree with this. And I would be surprised if Dowling is there at #32 let alone last to the end of the second round. Does this look like someone who struggles in man coverage??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmWJb1gPIEM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VCHpKga ... re=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VCHpKga3kk&feature=related)

Dowling is Antonio Cromartie with physicality. He will knock the snot out of you and he will go up and get the ball at it's highest point.

papillon
10-12-2010, 01:00 PM
Ras I Dowling, Cornerback, Virginia- Dowling is a Steelers type of corner. He is purely a zone corner. He would struggle in man coverage ...

I dont agree with this. And I would be surprised if Dowling is there at #32 let alone last to the end of the second round. Does this look like someone who struggles in man coverage??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmWJb1gPIEM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VCHpKga ... re=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VCHpKga3kk&feature=related)

Dowling is Antonio Cromartie with physicality. He will knock the snot out of you and he will go up and get the ball at it's highest point.

I don't know about his cover skills, but he high points the ball and tackles extremely well. He had receivers blanketed to be sure, but I don't know how good Duke's, Georgia Tech's, East Carolina's and Maryland's receivers are, so, I'll withhold judgment on his cover skills.

But, he certainly looks like he has the making to be a good NFL cornerback.

Pappy

SteelCzar76
10-13-2010, 05:53 PM
After Patrick Peterson and the Prince Kid from Nebraska i'm not really sold on this year's Corner Crop in terms of high 1st round quality guys.

Dowling is solid but is looking pretty average this year. Even with that said, he's still likely to grade out well and probably won't be on the board late in the first. Which is where we will likely be picking as i think that we will go 12-4 and possibly to the big dance. (barring Mark Sanchez having a big day against our Corners and the Jets D causing Ben to melt down in a title game on their Homefield)

And with that said,.. i've got my eye on Stephen Paea DT out of Oregon State in the first round. The kid's strength, athleticism, motor, intelligence and awareness are exceptional. Not to mention he's VERY stout against the run. He's around 310 lbs as of now,.. but get him up to about 320 and i believe we have our future NT.

I could also live with CB's Curtis Brown (Texas) James Dockery (Oregon State) or Jeramy Bryant (Hawaii) as a possible post 1st round selection at Corner.

In terms of WR,.... Niles Paul (Nebraska) kinda reminds me of Hines. Austin Pettis of Boise State could end up being a major steal for someone at the next level. I also like Ronald Johnson (USC) and believe Terrence Toliver of LSU could be a 'sleeper' pick.

Dee Dub
10-13-2010, 06:27 PM
After Patrick Peterson and the Prince Kid from Nebraska i'm not really sold on this year's Corner Crop in terms of high 1st round quality guys.

It's early but I think Dowling will be and also if underclassman Aaron Williams of Texas declares he will be right in the middle of the mix.


Dowling is solid but is looking pretty average this year. Even with that said, he's still likely to grade out well and probably won't be on the board late in the first. Which is where we will likely be picking as i think that we will go 12-4 and possibly to the big dance. (barring Mark Sanchez having a big day against our Corners and the Jets D causing Ben to melt down in a title game on their Homefield)

This is understandable. He has been hampered all season with a hamstring injury. He missed the first couple of games and has yet to be 100%. But when he is, I think he as as good as any of them out there.




...Ronald Johnson (USC) and believe Terrence Toliver of LSU could be a 'sleeper' pick.

Ronald Johnson is far from a sleeper. Everyone who has anything to do with pro or college football knows about Ronald Johnson. He may be the most NFL ready receiver in college football.

SteelCzar76
10-13-2010, 06:30 PM
After Patrick Peterson and the Prince Kid from Nebraska i'm not really sold on this year's Corner Crop in terms of high 1st round quality guys.

It's early but I think Dowling will be and also if underclassman Aaron Williams of Texas declares he will be right in the middle of the mix.


Dowling is solid but is looking pretty average this year. Even with that said, he's still likely to grade out well and probably won't be on the board late in the first. Which is where we will likely be picking as i think that we will go 12-4 and possibly to the big dance. (barring Mark Sanchez having a big day against our Corners and the Jets D causing Ben to melt down in a title game on their Homefield)

This is understandable. He has been hampered all season with a hamstring injury. He missed the first couple of games and has yet to be 100%. But when he is, I think he as as good as any of them out there.




...Ronald Johnson (USC) and believe Terrence Toliver of LSU could be a 'sleeper' pick.

Ronald Johnson is far from a sleeper. Everyone who has anything to do with pro or college football knows about Ronald Johnson. He may be the most NFL ready receiver in college football.

I said i like Ronald Johnson (FIGHT ON) and believe Toliver could be a 'sleeper' Dub. Ronald is lightweight something like Hines with wheels. lol

Would you take Williams over Brown if they were both on the board when we select ? Your right,... Williams would be right there if he declared,...but does he have the same return ability that Brown offers ?

steelerkeylargo
10-13-2010, 08:35 PM
I think out biggest needs next year will be to

1) Find a successor for Casey
2) More high quality O-Linemen
3) Another RB to go with Rashard

having said that this guy needs to be the pick ---Drake Nevis-Man Child

http://thenationalfootballreport.com/?page_id=883