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hawaiiansteel
04-08-2012, 06:33 PM
Safety Hazard For The Steelers?


Saturday, April 7th, 2012
By Jeremy Hritz



All things come to pass, good and bad. The deplorable quarterback play of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s stung but did not stick. The grit, production, and smiles of Hines Ward helped to capture two Super Bowl victories, yet his time with the team reached its end just this past season. The ebb and flow of players in the NFL is unavoidable, and the great teams are prepared for when a fixture makes his exit.


While there are more immediate needs this year for the Steelers on the offensive line, nose tackle, and inside linebacker, there is another position of need looming.


Safety.


Consider the following:


Starting free safety Ryan Clark is 32, while his back up, Ryan Mundy, who has yet to sign his tender, is 27.


Starting strong safety Troy Polamalu is 30, while back up safety Will Allen is 29 years old.


While age is not everything, history has shown that the skills of players in their 30s begin to diminish. Clark and Polamalu have been essential in the success of the Steelers for several years, delivering big hits and game-changing turnovers when they were needed most. The impact that the absence of these players have had on the performance of the Steelers is well documented. In 2009, Polamalu missed several games, leaving the defense with a gaping hole that could not protect a lead.


This past January, Clark’s absence from the line-up as a result of his sickle-cell trait resulted in Mundy starting, and the outcome need not be revisited. There is no denying how the absence of either of these players enervates the defense, and as they age, the likelihood of more missed games increases.


And there is no solace to be found in backups Mundy and Allen, as the prospect of these guys filling in for Clark or Polamalu is horrifying.


While the Steelers will hopefully be able to make it through the year without an injury at the position, the need at safety for at least some depth is apparent. The Steelers are one injury away at safety from catastrophe.


Which brings us to the 2012 NFL Draft. The Steelers need to, at the very minimum, draft a safety in the later rounds, to provide for some depth, something that Dave Bryan has acknowledged in his mock draft with the selection of Michigan State prospect Trenton Robinson. However, what if stud Mark Barron from Alabama fell to the Steelers in the first round, or if he was close enough to pick 24 for the Steelers to trade up and draft him? Earlier this week, writer Christopher DiMarino sang the praises of Barron and his play making abilities, and how he would be a great addition to the Steelers. I am in agreement with DiMarino, yet the chances of him falling are not great. If Barron is not available, would the Steelers consider going after Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith in the second round, who has been described as intelligent, aggressive, and quick, thought a bit stiff in coverage?


The Steelers’ organization is always prepared for change, and the issue at safety is something that assuredly has been discussed. Whether they make a move this year to address it will be telling about their perspective regarding the durability and confidence in Clark, Polamalu, and their back-ups.


http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/looking_at_the_steelers_2012_offense_roster_locks_ the_spots_up_for_grabs/10477795

Wallace108
04-08-2012, 06:50 PM
I agree that they need some better depth at safety. And it's getting close to the time when they need to start thinking about replacements for Troy and Clark. But it's not an issue I'd address in the first round this year. There are too many other pressing needs.

RuthlessBurgher
04-08-2012, 08:20 PM
Safety is quite weak this year. It looks as though it will be much stronger next season (T.J. McDonald, Robert Lester, Bacarri Rambo, Ray Ray Armstrong, etc.). I think we'll use a mid-to-late round pick on a safety this season (the team seems like like Trenton Robinson from MSU, who should be a mid-round type for depth), and then maybe go for a future starter at safety next year with one of our top picks.

steelz09
04-09-2012, 04:20 PM
Safety is quite weak this year. It looks as though it will be much stronger next season (T.J. McDonald, Robert Lester, Bacarri Rambo, Ray Ray Armstrong, etc.). I think we'll use a mid-to-late round pick on a safety this season (the team seems like like Trenton Robinson from MSU, who should be a mid-round type for depth), and then maybe go for a future starter at safety next year with one of our top picks.

This team is in a transition mode and the Steelers really need to hit on the next couple of drafts. We have some gaping holes on this team and it's turning into a critical state.

FS
NT
ILB
O-LINE

I would go BPA at any of these 4 positions and that is my draft strategy this year. Without throwing TACKLE (Mike Adams) in the mix this is my BPA ranking for our 24th pick:

1) DeCastro
2) Glenn
3) Barron
4) Poe
5) Hightower

Poe and Hightower could be swapped IMO. I think the Steelers may have a problem with his productivity level at Memphis but no one can dispute his size, athleticism and "potential" (i hate that word) for us at NT. The Steelers may see too much risk with Poe compared to Hightower and select Hightower instead.

RuthlessBurgher
04-09-2012, 04:25 PM
1) DeCastro
2) Glenn
3) Barron
4) Poe
5) Hightower

:Agree I think I'd rank those 5 guys the same way you did.

focosteeler
04-09-2012, 04:25 PM
This team is in a transition mode and the Steelers really need to hit on the next couple of drafts. We have some gaping holes on this team and it's turning into a critical state.

FS
NT
ILB
O-LINE

I would go BPA at any of these 4 positions and that is my draft strategy this year. Without throwing TACKLE (Mike Adams) in the mix this is my BPA ranking for our 24th pick:

1) DeCastro
2) Glenn
3) Barron
4) Poe
5) Hightower

Poe and Hightower could be swapped IMO. I think the Steelers may have a problem with his productivity level at Memphis but no one can dispute his size, athleticism and "potential" (i hate that word) for us at NT. The Steelers may see too much risk with Poe compared to Hightower and select Hightower instead.

The NT and Safety class is outstanding next year... Which is part of the reason I wouldnt mind trading away our 1st round pick this year for a 1st rounder next year (similar to what the Pats and Saints did last year). Have 2 1st round picks for the class next year.

Dee Dub
04-09-2012, 04:54 PM
Safety is quite weak this year. It looks as though it will be much stronger next season (T.J. McDonald, Robert Lester, Bacarri Rambo, Ray Ray Armstrong, etc.). I think we'll use a mid-to-late round pick on a safety this season (the team seems like like Trenton Robinson from MSU, who should be a mid-round type for depth), and then maybe go for a future starter at safety next year with one of our top picks.

I love Baccari Rambo but unfortunately he just got in trouble for smoking weed. Of all those you name, only Rambo can cover.

Dee Dub
04-09-2012, 04:57 PM
What this...."Starting free safety Ryan Clark is 32"...should actually say is this..."Starting free safety Ryan Clark cannot cover and the Steelers use their strong safety at or near the box/LOS the majority of the game.