View Full Version : And now...The Most Indispensable Steelers

06-29-2011, 05:27 PM
Guest slog: And now...The Most Indispensable Steelers

By James Cole

Stow, Ohio

Yesterday's list was the most dispensable and included some heartbreaking decisions. I still feel bad about listing Aaron Smith, Hines Ward and James Farrior but they have replacements in the wings and they aren't going to play forever. Today's list is the most indispensable Steelers, in reverse order.

12. DE Brett Keisel. There is youth there, with Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward. There is also Aaron Smith. If Brett went down, the standard could remain the standard.

11. LB Lawrence Timmons. This would be rough but Larry Foote is around. Maybe the kid from Virginia tech could step in and James Harrison could move to the middle. It would hurt, but the team could move forward.

10. TE Heath Miller. Heath would be a huge loss and there is no one behind him. But the next nine guys are really good.

9. CB Ike Taylor. The only decent CB could not hang on to a ball if you handed it to him. On this team, that is enough of a weakness to drop him to nine on this list.

8. RB Rashard Mendenhall. There is no one behind him but there are so many examples of RBs coming in off the street. This is getting tough.

7. NT Casey Hampton. Maybe I'm not giving Chris Hoke enough credit, but Casey is the linchpin. If you can't hold the point, you can't run the 3-4. Stay well, Big Snack.

6. LB Lamar Woodley. The Steelers' defense was pretty good with Clark Haggans and Donte' Jones. So, I guess they could survive with only one stud outside'backer, but I don't want to see it.

5. C Maurkice Pouncey. Boy did he make a difference, but they almost won the Super Bowl without him.

4. WR Mike Wallace. There is no replacement for what he brings, but they were pretty successful before he got here.

3. LB James Harrison. My favorite player, but there are two others who are harder to replace.

2. QB Ben Roethlisberger. Maybe he shouldn't be this high. They did got 3-1 without him. Kidding; just kidding.

1. S Troy Polamalu. You may have heard of him, he was the defensive player of the year. With him at 100%, this defense isn't even fair.

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06-29-2011, 08:38 PM
5 Maurkice Pouncey- sure they almost won the super bowl with out him, but they would have won it with him. Think Ben gets hit as he's throwing that pick 6... my opinion.. no.

Discipline of Steel
06-30-2011, 12:04 AM
Ben will be around a lot longer than Troy.

06-30-2011, 10:42 AM
Not sure how indispensable Troy is with the significant time he has missed the past few years and the team still wins. He is, when healthy, the best player on the team but Ben is much more important.

06-30-2011, 10:44 AM
This is really hard to rank logically.

I think most important is Ben followed by the whole DLine.

The offense is as good as Ben and the Defense is as good as the DLine.

After that, the other pieces are debatable.

Troy, Deebo, Ike, and Timmons are freaks that I'd probably have next.

Followed closely by Heath Miller, Woodley, and Farrior.

Then the OLine who can make Ben better. But he's won with a subpar group and Ben lessens the value of the OLine a bit.

WRs and RBs are a dime a dozen, so I'd have these guys last.

Wallace has freakish speed and that wouldn't be easy to replace. The rest, eh?

Hines probably deserves to be in the mix here for his attitude and approach to the game.

06-30-2011, 11:00 AM
What's with the Larry Foote love? Did i read this and the other one wrong? Since when is "Larry ready to step in." Into what?

07-01-2011, 03:01 AM
Who Should Be Top Free Agenty Priority For Steelers -- Ike Taylor or LaMarr Woodley?

by Michael Bean on Jun 29, 2011


Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

The title of this post suggests that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be forced to choose either Ike Taylor or LaMarr Woodley but not both, when deciding which marquee free agents are worth investing in to substantial multi-year contracts. Taylor, of course, is not currently under contract and will be a free agent when the NFL Lockout is finally lifted and a new set of rules governing free agency are agreed upon and put in place. Woodley meanwhile is currently designated to play the 2011 season under the 'Franchise Tag'. (It's not yet clear whether there will be Tags in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that the current Franchise Tags will be honored for the 2011 season even if Franchise and Transition Tags are modified or abolished altogether for 2012 and beyond.)

So, let's assume that the Steelers don't technically have to make a final decision about Woodley until next winter when the 2012 offseason begins. (They could also opt to re-sign him to a long-term deal sometime during this season once some semblance of stability is reintroduced to the league). Even if they did decide to wait until the end of the 2011 season before making a final determination on Woodley, it's not like these decision aren't extremely interconnected. In other words, any decision concerning Taylor will definitely have strong implications on what's possible financially with Woodley. And vice versa.

If so, it's perhaps not so unreasonable to then ask: 'Who should be bigger free agent priority, Ike Taylor or LaMarr Woodley?'

I'm curious to hear your opinions, but I would just encourage you to dig deeper than simply saying 'of course, Woodley. He'll be 27 this season; Taylor turned 31 last month.'

That's one factor, but there's more to consider than just that. Think three years down the line; consider the window of opportunity to win Super Bowls now; consider their positions, and the respective depth charts at each; etc.


Who Should Be Top Free Agenty Priority For Steelers -- Ike Taylor or LaMarr Woodley?

564 votes

197 votes

Total: 761 votes


07-01-2011, 10:04 AM
And we'll have the same question next year, when we'll need to re-sign a 31 year old Troy Polamalu and a 26 year old Lawrence Timmons in the same offseason.

07-01-2011, 03:17 PM
And we'll have the same question next year, when we'll need to re-sign a 31 year old Troy Polamalu and a 26 year old Lawrence Timmons in the same offseason.

That's a little frightening... I can actually make a case for sinking $$$ into Ike, based on his level of conditioning, durability, and speed to burn making him a better than normal risk to age gracefully. Troy? Not so much. No way he stays healthy. Might as well just take a pile of money (and the attached cap space) and light a bonfire with it.

07-02-2011, 09:12 PM
Steelers Have Tough Decisions to Make

by Cris Collinsworth

Published on 06-30-2011

One of the things I always admired about the Pittsburgh Steelers is their ability to make tough decisions on veteran players. Rarely do they give that 3rd contract to a 30 year old veteran. But, Ike Taylor may force them to re-think that strategy this year. Taylor is the one real quality corner that they have. When the Steelers did play some man under coverage in the Super Bowl, it was Taylor who got the Packers' best, Greg Jennings. Taylor missed some huge plays by inches and the Packers won, but nobody can tell me that the Steelers have anybody with anything close to Taylor's skills on that roster now. Taylor is a free agent and teams like the Eagles and Cowboys have to be watching the corner market closely. D!ck LeBeau plays a lot of zones behind those zone blitzes, but his options would be limited without Taylor.

The other big decision is RT Willie Colon. Colon is the most physical offensive lineman the Steelers have, but he is coming off of an achilles injury. The reports are that Colon is moving well. If so he will be in high demand assuming that free agency starts after 4 years. Flozell Adams played well at RT last year and there has even been talk of moving Colon to RG, but Flozell Adam's health has to taken into consideration. He is a powerful guy, but doesn't move like he used to move. The Steelers love their power runs to the right side, and it will be tough to let Colon walk.

Finally, Lamarr Woodley will also be a free agent, but currently he wears the franchise tag. My guess is that the franchise designation survives the CBA talks, but anything is possible.

If I had to put my chips on the table, I am going to guess that Woodley and Colon are Steelers next year and Ike Taylor moves across the state to play for the Eagles. I have seen it too many times before, the Steelers don't usually pay 31 year old skill players that third big contract, no matter how good they are.