View Full Version : Steelers way works

03-18-2012, 03:09 AM
Starkey: Steelers way works By Joe Starkey (jraystarkey@gmail.com), PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness is upon us. So is the NCAA Tournament, but I'm talking about the first week of NFL free agency.
Did Pierre Garcon really just sign a $42.5 million deal?
Year in, year out, there is only one sure thing in the frenzied first week: The Steelers won't participate.
Why should they?
How can they?
The Steelers find star players in April, not March. Despite low draft positions -- they haven't chosen in the top 10 since 2000 -- they accrue winning talent, develop it and pay it.
That is why Ben Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller have contracts totaling nearly $300 million.
And that is why the Steelers have their faces pressed against the salary cap ceiling. They are once again innocent bystanders in the first week, basically standing guard in case anyone comes knocking for restricted free-agent receiver Mike Wallace.
It's remarkable, really. We have just witnessed the end of an era here yet have seen no appreciable dropoff and aren't likely to.
The Steelers, holes and all, are in position to contend again next season.
The goodbyes to James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Hines Ward essentially closed the curtain on a fabulous run that included two Super Bowl wins. Nobody who played at Three Rivers Stadium remains.
Yet, as emotional as those goodbyes might have been, on-field losses were minimal. Ward was a fifth receiver. Smith was hurt. Farrior was a part-timer. The Steelers did not lose a single full-time starter.
Fact is, they had the youngest starting offense in the AFC after Ward was demoted.
Age has crept in on parts of the defense, but if the elite talent stays healthy, it will be a formidable unit.
As for free agency, it's not like the Steelers have never found help there. General manager Kevin Colbert is a patient bargain hunter.
Free agents Farrior, Jeff Hartings and Ryan Clark panned out pretty well. Cedrick Wilson underachieved but looked pretty good beating Champ Bailey for a touchdown in the 2005 AFC Championship. Jerricho Cotchery was productive by the end of last season. Max Starks paid off, too.
Two years ago, the Steelers brought back Larry Foote as a free agent. He now will replace Farrior.
The parts change. The machine quietly rolls on.
That is the Steelers' way.

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03-18-2012, 08:10 AM
True. Still bummed over Farrior.

03-18-2012, 09:01 AM
Good article. To the point and true. Setup to tell everyone this is the tried and true way and it works. They got this no worries. I would have liked to seen Hines one more year but that is my heart not my mind talking.

03-18-2012, 09:42 AM
After the Steelers decide on the path to take with Wallace, it wouldn't surprise Chadman to see a TE or an OG added in FA before the draft.

Leonard Pope would be a nice addition...

03-18-2012, 07:34 PM
True. Still bummed over Farrior.

Ditto that. He was undeservedly bashed on this board.

03-18-2012, 09:23 PM
In a perfect world the Steelers wouldn't have had to part with Farrior, Ward or Smith.

This isn't a perfect world.

Loved Farrior's contribution over the years, but his time was up 2 years ago. He did exceptionally well to be a competitive player last season. The cord has to be cut at some point, unfortunately.

03-19-2012, 05:55 AM
Good article. They've been doing it this way for years, boys. You know, it's the teams that think ahead that have all the success.

03-19-2012, 08:41 AM
The thing about all this is that a lot of players have restructured their contracts for this season, but eventually they have to be paid, which might cause a problem in 2013 or 2014.

03-19-2012, 10:12 AM
Good article. They've been doing it this way for years, boys. You know, it's the teams that think ahead that have all the success.

Who is SFB and why does he stink?

03-19-2012, 10:36 AM
I was wondering the same thing, Ruth.

03-19-2012, 11:01 AM
I was wondering the same thing, Ruth.

I see that you are also a master of CIA-level decoding skills. Well done, brother. :D