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View Full Version : Toughest Off Season for Colbert and Tomlin



Oviedo
01-10-2012, 01:59 PM
This will probably be the toughest off season for this team that we have seen in a very long time. Reason:

1. Need to effectively manage a generational change on this team shedding players who got us over 100 wins in the first decade of the 21st century. We have probably 10 veterans who have been long term contributors who may not be back: Hines, Smith, Bmac, Farrior, Hampton, Hoke, Foote, Memo, etc.

2. Salary cap challenge. We are at least $15M over the cap and that doesn't count our own free agents who we need to give raises to in order to retain. Hard decisions involving: Wallace, Starks, Colon, Kiesel, etc. Do we really want to wait to extend Antonio Brown until after he has a Pro Bowl season?????

3. What to do about our coordinators???? Everyone except the team wants Arians gone. LeBeau was outcoached in the Denver game and hasn't offered anything new or innovative compared to what we are seeing from other teams.

4. Draft priorities. Do we finally focus on the OL or continue to bandaid it together. Do we have enough youth with enough talent on the DL to take over from Smith, Hampton and Kiesel (the latter has to stay IMO). Were Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen enough to make us feel good about the secondary? Can Woodley and Harrison stay healthy going forward or do we need insurance at OLB?

Lots of things to consider and this could be a very different team next season or very similar. Which way will the leadership decide to go? IMO we need to implement change across the board. I think we are running on fumes with the current roster and with current coaches. Thoughts???

steelblood
01-10-2012, 02:10 PM
regarding #2... too late.

But, why extend him when now we could keep him for two more years (one under contract 2012, one with high RFA tender 2013) for less than 2 million dollars total? If he is a true superstar we can then franchise him in 2014 while we try to negotiate a longer contract. It doesn't make much financial sense to extend him now unless he wants to be very reasonable.

NW Steeler
01-10-2012, 02:16 PM
They HAVE to invest in the OL. I dont think we need to invest even more picks on corners, but safety had better become a priority. I agree with you on all counts and concerns listed.
Yes we went 12-4, but that was definitely not a 12-4 team playing last weekend. This team is definitely looking at some turnover, and it will be for the better in the long-term. I think we are fooling ourselves if we think this team is ok as is and all that was wrong is we had a lot of injuries.

Oviedo
01-10-2012, 02:23 PM
They HAVE to invest in the OL. I dont think we need to invest even more picks on corners, but safety had better become a priority. I agree with you on all counts and concerns listed.
Yes we went 12-4, but that was definitely not a 12-4 team playing last weekend. This team is definitely looking at some turnover, and it will be for the better in the long-term. I think we are fooling ourselves if we think this team is ok as is and all that was wrong is we had a lot of injuries.

:Agree The injuries may have been a symptom of our demise but they weren't the real cause

Look at who we lost to in the regular season Balt. x2, Houston and SF. All teams that are still in the play offs. Minor cosmetic changes will not set us up for the next ten years which is what needs to happen. This team coming back next year as is will be 9-7 or 10-6 at best.

feltdizz
01-10-2012, 02:32 PM
They HAVE to invest in the OL. I dont think we need to invest even more picks on corners, but safety had better become a priority. I agree with you on all counts and concerns listed.
Yes we went 12-4, but that was definitely not a 12-4 team playing last weekend. This team is definitely looking at some turnover, and it will be for the better in the long-term. I think we are fooling ourselves if we think this team is ok as is and all that was wrong is we had a lot of injuries.

:Agree The injuries may have been a symptom of our demise but they weren't the real cause

Look at who we lost to in the regular season Balt. x2, Houston and SF. All teams that are still in the play offs. Minor cosmetic changes will not set us up for the next ten years which is what needs to happen. This team coming back next year as is will be 9-7 or 10-6 at best.

I'm pretty sure most fans who view things the way you do predicted 10-6 this year as well.

Minor cosmetic changes are all we need IMO. We won't be set up for the next 10 years overnight.

Get rid of the old heads and put Redman in the backfield and watch us control more games and have better production in the redzone.

Mend was the main reason we sucked at putting up points. Dude was horrible at moving the chains consistently.

Not sure if we need to get rid of the coordinators. We usually take a year off after a SB run... and while we went 12-4 it was an ugly 12-4.

Oviedo
01-10-2012, 03:56 PM
They HAVE to invest in the OL. I dont think we need to invest even more picks on corners, but safety had better become a priority. I agree with you on all counts and concerns listed.
Yes we went 12-4, but that was definitely not a 12-4 team playing last weekend. This team is definitely looking at some turnover, and it will be for the better in the long-term. I think we are fooling ourselves if we think this team is ok as is and all that was wrong is we had a lot of injuries.

:Agree The injuries may have been a symptom of our demise but they weren't the real cause

Look at who we lost to in the regular season Balt. x2, Houston and SF. All teams that are still in the play offs. Minor cosmetic changes will not set us up for the next ten years which is what needs to happen. This team coming back next year as is will be 9-7 or 10-6 at best.

I'm pretty sure most fans who view things the way you do predicted 10-6 this year as well.

Minor cosmetic changes are all we need IMO. We won't be set up for the next 10 years overnight.

Get rid of the old heads and put Redman in the backfield and watch us control more games and have better production in the redzone.

Mend was the main reason we sucked at putting up points. Dude was horrible at moving the chains consistently.

Not sure if we need to get rid of the coordinators. We usually take a year off after a SB run... and while we went 12-4 it was an ugly 12-4.


Not sure "how I view things," but I predicted a low side of 11-5 and high side of 13-3 for the most recently deceased season but I always tend to be optimistic going into the season.

Do you really think bringing back Hampton (coming off knee surgery), Farrior, Bmac, Foote, etc is goin to help us compete for a Super Bowl.

Do you really think if Arians and LeBeau come back they will be truly reflective on the past season and change anything?? Sorry, but they both think they have it all figured out and won't consider changing anything.

I remember 1980 and how long it took us to get back to the Super Bowl after that last one of the Noll era. Assuming that getting back to the Super Bowl every 2-3 years is a bad assumption. In 1980 we kept players well past their "sell by dates" and didn't get good, young replacements on the field and it set us back a decade. Not interested in living through that again.

flippy
01-10-2012, 04:26 PM
We're in a predicament. We can't pressure the QB. And that's our #1 issue. And we've got a boatload of money in the front 7 and they aren't producing.

Heck, we put 10 men in the box and couldn't get to Tebow.

We need a future stud NT and ILB. NT that can occupy blockers is most important so we can free up our LBs to make plays.

We need someone like Keisel that can come in on 3rd downs and generate a pass rush.

Pittsburgh wouldn't surprise me if they drafted and OLB #1 if we decide to try and improve the pass rush.

If we decide we're just not going to get pressure no matter what we do, then we should beef up the OLine. Protect Ben. Help the running game. And allow this offense to run up scores to carry the D.

It's a tough call because we clearly need to improve in a lot of areas. Which can get us to the SuperBowl? And some of the issue is guys we're paying aren't playing up to their contracts.

skyhawk
01-10-2012, 09:36 PM
No SB hangover for the Steelers next year. That's what I am looking forward too.

They had major hangovers in 1996, 2006, and 2009 after the SB's. Add 2011 to that list.

Eich
01-10-2012, 10:08 PM
Heck, we put 10 men in the box and couldn't get to Tebow.



We've had trouble pressuring QBs throughtout the season. But against Tebow, I don't think we tried. The scheme was to contain, not pressure. The Steelers simply did not respect Tebow's ability to pass and it burned them.

skyhawk
01-10-2012, 10:16 PM
Heck, we put 10 men in the box and couldn't get to Tebow.



We've had trouble pressuring QBs throughtout the season. But against Tebow, I don't think we tried. The scheme was to contain, not pressure. The Steelers simply did not respect Tebow's ability to pass and it burned them.

We never brought extra linebackers or stunted like we did earlier in the season. Mainly a vanilla 3 or 4 man rush which never works for the Steelers.

Chadman
01-10-2012, 10:31 PM
We're in a predicament. We can't pressure the QB. And that's our #1 issue. And we've got a boatload of money in the front 7 and they aren't producing.

Heck, we put 10 men in the box and couldn't get to Tebow.

We need a future stud NT and ILB. NT that can occupy blockers is most important so we can free up our LBs to make plays.

Absolutely spot on. The season had so many reasons as to why it didn't work out, but here's the simple one..

The Steelers lost the TURNOVER battle way too often. They still managed to eeck out wins, but they made it hard on themselves.

How do you get TURNOVERS?

Pressure the QB. The Steelers, for various reasons including injury, age, speed etc, couldn't generate enough pressure on QB's- very few of them really very good QB's too- to force turnovers.

As Hampton slows down, the Steelers need that dominant NT to be added sooner than later. The Steelers could even go in a slightly different direction & attempt to get more of an upfield penetrating type DT like Ngata instead of the space eating types in Hampton & Steed.

An ILB like Kendrell Bell at his peak would be gold.

And a later round DE that can be used simply as a pass rusher wouldn't hurt- you could look for a slightly lighter guy than the usual, kind of like Keisel coming out of college.

That said- the Steelers draft Defense last year- watch them go OL this year.

focosteeler
01-10-2012, 10:57 PM
i think part of the reason we didnt get sacks this year is that teams were throwing fairly quick. but also teams could run somewhat more than they could last year.

i think it is unfair to put a lot of blame on mendy for lack of production, he still almost had 1,000 yards. I think we should focus on O-line in the first 3-4 rounds. as well as a tall wideout or maybe a pass catching TE like finley in GB. maybe a late round interior pass rusher

the more i look at who might be available for our 1st round pick the more i am thinking we should trade back to the early 2nd. Try and get a 2013 1st and 1 or 2 more picks for 2012. i really dont want to settle for anyone and depending on who we cut loose we might need some extra picks to get decent backups

TallyStiller
01-10-2012, 11:13 PM
Change for change's sake is not the Steeler way. Nor is panic after an early playoff exit, even one as bad as this one. That said, I think the comparison to the 1979 and 80 Steelers is apt... Guys like Joe Greene, Mel Blount, LC Greenwood, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, et al, were amazing Steelers, but were kept around too long. Either we didn't draft well enough to have replacements available, or we kept them for sentimental reasons, but either way, we spent a decade in the wilderness as a result.

I think Arians stays as long as Ben wants him to. This is Ben's team. I think they go OL + 1 more WR in this draft and acknowledge that fact.

Isn't there a fairly wide belief that Keith Butler is kind of the heir apparent to DLB's job here anyways? He turned down DC interviews in Miami and Arizona last year IIRC. If so, that change won't be as significant as it seems.

As it stands, I see significant transition coming on the roster, with high priced, underperforming vets like Hampton, Farrior, Smitty, Hines, BMac, and Kemo leaving. I think the lessons of 1980 were well enough learned in the ownership box to make sure of that. There's a more recent model of this philosophy still playing this year that beat us twice down there in Baltimore - cut out the guys in decline rather than let their tanks run completely empty while clogging up your roster, let the young draft picks step up and retool on the fly. 11 - 5 and 12 - 4 after cutting Todd Heap, Willis McGahee, et al wasn't too shabby. Says here we do the same.

Starlifter
01-10-2012, 11:50 PM
you guys need to accept the reality of the NFL according to Goodell. He doesn't WANT good defense. He is determined to legislate it out of existence. I suspect the superbowl this year will feature 2 of the worst defenses in the NFL. The old adage 'defense wins championships' is no longer true.

the rules say you need 11 guys on the field playing defense. common sense says as long as Roger is running the show - there's no need to waste a lot of resources on them. It won't matter - they are not ALLOWED to succeed.

every dollar wasted on defense is a lost opportunity for offense.

trust me. I hate it. this is not the NFL I grew up with and it's not the type of football I want to see. However, the last couple of years have proven to me that it's the NFL we currently have.

It's time to pay for 11 pro-bowlers on offense. and 10 no names plus troy on defense. 35 points a game average is what it's going to take. we're not there yet.

oh, and fire bruce arians.

that is all............... :HeadBanger :HeadBanger

SteelCrazy
01-11-2012, 12:16 AM
Yea, lets make a whole lot of changes and become the new and improved Cleveland Browns!

Someone nailed it when they said we only need to make some minor tweeks. That, along with some decent depth and we'll be set. However, I do agree with one thing and that is to get rid of Arians. LeBeau did screw up but it was a collective screw up because thats the way TOMLIN wanted to run the D against Denver. Crowd the line and go man with no over the top help. Arians on the other hand has no imagination and ran the same O against Denver as he did against Baltimore in our 1st game.

We were hurt really bad and had no depth, especially on the D-Line. Heyward showed some flashes but for the most part played just as bad as Ziggy and McLendon. Getting rid of our 1st string Defensive line is not the way we need to go.

I agree with everything I just said. :Agree

tiproast
01-11-2012, 01:31 AM
That said- the Steelers draft Defense last year- watch them go OL this year.
Last year's draft class was really good for QB and OL, with some good WRs and DL as well.

I'm no expert, but this year's draft doesn't seem to be as deep to me. And with Matt Barkley and Landry Jones returning to school, and Matt Flynn a free agent, there will be more teams picking big bodies in the first round instead of QBs.

Another reason it's not a good year to be trying to stock up on offensive linemen is this: every team will have figured out that protecting their QB so that he can throw for a ton of years is a good path to success. Expect to see lots of TEs drafted early, too.

Just my $0.02.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-13-2012, 11:39 PM
It's not even football, it's just common sense.

If you've allocated a huge amount of resources to acquire a strategic asset, the only reasonable secondary strategy is one that makes sure enough of your other resources are allocated in support of that asset, to allow it to succeed. Thus is achievement of the organization's goals most effectively realized.

Doing otherwise is foolish.

Organization: Steelers. Goal: Superbowl. Resources: $$. And, duh, strategic asset: Ben.

Ben is the man. The only right thing to do is put things in place to help him succeed. FIRST step, at a MINIMUM, we need to protect him in the pocket. Many of us PREDICTED that the SB run this year would end early because of O-line associated injury to Ben. Is it so crazy to say, OK, THAT didn't work out ... let's see what happens when our franchise QB has more than a 3rd string O-line? How many of our O-line players this year would even have PLAYED on one of the other playoff teams squads, much less STARTED?

And it needs to be quick ... what are the Vegas odds that Ben doesn't last next season due to injury? The season after that? I'm thinking doing this through the draft might not even be enough, in terms of Ben's shelf life. Can we go out and buy him an O-line? Not the Steeler way to develop a team with high $$ free agents? I'd propose it just might be. Where does it say the Steeler way HAS to be "controlling the game on the ground", or "suffocating defense", or any of the other things we've become so comfortable saying? The Steeler way, after all and bottom line, is only one thing - winning. Sometimes nostalgic attachment to specific strategies we've used to achieve that in the past can be counterproductive.

As Starlifter said (best post I've read in a while!) - forget throwing $$ at defense ... under Goodell's legal defense-oriented long term plan for rules changes, football scores will approach basketball's, and defenses will inevitably become laughably irrelevant. Heck, we don't even have to wait to see that happen - THIS year's 31st and 32nd ranked defenses in the NFL aren't doing too badly ...

Oh, and I agree with everything I say!

Signed,

SASF (Send Ariens to San Francisco)

Oviedo
01-14-2012, 07:13 AM
you guys need to accept the reality of the NFL according to Goodell. He doesn't WANT good defense. He is determined to legislate it out of existence. I suspect the superbowl this year will feature 2 of the worst defenses in the NFL. The old adage 'defense wins championships' is no longer true.

the rules say you need 11 guys on the field playing defense. common sense says as long as Roger is running the show - there's no need to waste a lot of resources on them. It won't matter - they are not ALLOWED to succeed.

every dollar wasted on defense is a lost opportunity for offense.

trust me. I hate it. this is not the NFL I grew up with and it's not the type of football I want to see. However, the last couple of years have proven to me that it's the NFL we currently have.

It's time to pay for 11 pro-bowlers on offense. and 10 no names plus troy on defense. 35 points a game average is what it's going to take. we're not there yet.

oh, and fire bruce arians.

that is all............... :HeadBanger :HeadBanger

Excellent post, however as I have said in other threads we have given LeBeau all the resources and tied up a significant percentage of the salary cap on the defensive side of the ball. The result this season were less sacks of the opposing QB and fewer takeaways. It leaves us trying to protect our most important player with a bargain basement OL.

We need to forget about Steeler tradition and use resources on what will get us to another Super Bowl...a healthy Ben.