PDA

View Full Version : Should the Steelers build their future now, and bite the bullet in 2013?



supersteeler
02-13-2013, 09:00 AM
http://steelblitz.com/should-the-steelers-just-bite-the-bullet-in-2013-and-start-building-for-the-future/2631/2013/02/11


It's tough to say. On one hand if they release too many vets especially the ones who did contribute in a good way, some pain will be involved as younger talent lacks the experience. On the other hand the idea getting younger sooner is thought to be a better strategy for the future.

I tend to think we still need some veterans in the mix. We started our transistion last year releasing long time players like Farrior and Ward and this season there will be more. It is my contention we do it gradually, with the 2014 season being the last year of transition. You still need some stability that older good players provide and what it takes to build a champioship team. The other thing is what if the new guys don't pan out and you already released a vet who could of made a difference?

No doubt, we'll see some new faces but lets not blow up the team just to get younger. I'm sure the Steelers FO will make these tough decisions keeping in mind you still need a core of vets to lead the team.

Chadman
02-13-2013, 09:33 AM
No point removing players simply because they are 'old'.

If they are productive, and if there is no genuine progession plan in place for that position- there is no reason to remove an 'older' player.

But if their production & cap cost are not relative, and if there is already a young player in place to replace that older player- then sure, it's time to at least consider moving on.

BradshawsHairdresser
02-13-2013, 09:50 AM
We do have a good number of players whose "production and cap cost are not relative", so I think there will be a larger-than-usual turnover this offseason. And it's bound to hurt some come the beginning of the season. But if we get the right players in the draft, and plug in the right players who are currently on the roster, we should be OK by midseason. We might drop out of playoff contention this season, but should be back in it next season.

Hey, it's one thing to make big roster changes to a 12-4 team, but we're talking about an 8-8 team...the time has come.

Oviedo
02-13-2013, 09:54 AM
We do have a good number of players whose "production and cap cost are not relative", so I think there will be a larger-than-usual turnover this offseason.

This! Past contributions should not earn any player a "pass" for decreasing levels of performance. I view 2013 as a "reset" year where is they make the significant cuts they really should they have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the future and maximize their flexibility moving forward.

Chadman
02-13-2013, 10:06 AM
But throwing players on the field who are simply not ready, or never going to be ready, doesn't help the team, the player or the players around him.

For example- letting Ike Taylor go in order to sign Keenan Lewis & play Cortez Allen- ok, that's understandable- both young players have been exposed, they are ready. Cutting Troy Polamalu to insert Robert Golden- not a smart move- Golden hasn't shown the ability to contribute at all.

flippy
02-13-2013, 10:21 AM
Gotta keep the players that give us the best chance of winning the next SuperBowl. But also put us in position to win again the next year and the next year.

I wouldnt throw out the old guys. Some can still play. And this team isn't that far from being a SuperBowl contender.

pfelix73
02-13-2013, 10:39 AM
I think they can do both. For example, I would not be surprised if they decide to re-sign one or even 2 of these players discussed on here as a possible cut......

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-13-2013, 10:42 AM
I think coming off an 8-8 year & given the cap situation, you would have to target high cap hits for players over 30 on decline. That list includes Polamalu, Clark, Harrison, Taylor, Keisel, and throw in Colon. That also means not bringing back Foote, Hampton, Allen, Pope, & Burress until late in the game "If you have to" after the draft. At some point, every team who contends has to do a cap dump or part ways with fan favorites. You have to rely on good drafting & good coaching to remain competitive. Many are scared or don't want to face the reality but it has to happen for the Steelers too. The future is on the coaches and draft choices who are still question marks. It has to be done to preserve the youthful core long term.

I honestly think a surprise cut is coming in the Safety spot and I think it is Clark. Clark played better than Troy but Clark's contract makes him more attractive. I hope they figure out a way to keep them together another year but we will see. I also think Troy's future has a move to FS & maybe as early as 2013 if they could get an Ellam or Cyprien. Those to seem to be near images of what Troy does around the LOS.

Harrison is gone and Worilds, Carter, and Robinson are next in line. Have to see what those guys have and Harrison's decline is narrowing the drop off. Harrison's cap number, decline, and age makes it the simple but not easy choice.

If they retain Lewis, Taylor becomes an option IF they need cap space. I expect Taylor to remain in 2013 regardless of what happens to Lewis.

Keisel played well but he is in his last year and cutting him creates a good amount of space to dead money. They have young players in place behind him. However, I think he will play out his contract in 2013.

Colon will have to take a pay cut to remain. I actually expect him to.

Foote, Hampton, Allen, Pope, & Burress will be hole fillers if needed after the draft or if Spence & Miller look to remain sidelined on the PUP.

Don't get too attached because the 2014 league year will see the 2013 "survivors" under contract cut (Polamalu, Taylor, Colon). It will also see the "survivors" who played out their final year in 2013 searching for a new home if they want to play (Clark, Keisel, Cotchery). At that point, the fat has been trimmed. We can all hope that the players are in place & stepped up to make the next run.

Oviedo
02-13-2013, 10:51 AM
But throwing players on the field who are simply not ready, or never going to be ready, doesn't help the team, the player or the players around him.

For example- letting Ike Taylor go in order to sign Keenan Lewis & play Cortez Allen- ok, that's understandable- both young players have been exposed, they are ready. Cutting Troy Polamalu to insert Robert Golden- not a smart move- Golden hasn't shown the ability to contribute at all.

You won't know they aren't ready unless you give them a chance to prove it in game situations. Plus if they prove to not be ready you have essential data to make informed decisions moving forward. Keep in mind the players some are saying we should keep another year are so contributed to an 8 loss season when they could actually get onto the field.

Oviedo
02-13-2013, 10:53 AM
I think coming off an 8-8 year & given the cap situation, you would have to target high cap hits for players over 30 on decline. That list includes Polamalu, Clark, Harrison, Taylor, Keisel, and throw in Colon. That also means not bringing back Foote, Hampton, Allen, Pope, & Burress until late in the game "If you have to" after the draft. At some point, every team who contends has to do a cap dump or part ways with fan favorites. You have to rely on good drafting & good coaching to remain competitive. Many are scared or don't want to face the reality but it has to happen for the Steelers too. The future is on the coaches and draft choices who are still question marks. It has to be done to preserve the youthful core long term.

I honestly think a surprise cut is coming in the Safety spot and I think it is Clark. Clark played better than Troy but Clark's contract makes him more attractive. I hope they figure out a way to keep them together another year but we will see. I also think Troy's future has a move to FS & maybe as early as 2013 if they could get an Ellam or Cyprien. Those to seem to be near images of what Troy does around the LOS.

Harrison is gone and Worilds, Carter, and Robinson are next in line. Have to see what those guys have and Harrison's decline is narrowing the drop off. Harrison's cap number, decline, and age makes it the simple but not easy choice.

If they retain Lewis, Taylor becomes an option IF they need cap space. I expect Taylor to remain in 2013 regardless of what happens to Lewis.

Keisel played well but he is in his last year and cutting him creates a good amount of space to dead money. They have young players in place behind him. However, I think he will play out his contract in 2013.

Colon will have to take a pay cut to remain. I actually expect him to.

Foote, Hampton, Allen, Pope, & Burress will be hole fillers if needed after the draft or if Spence & Miller look to remain sidelined on the PUP.

Don't get too attached because the 2014 league year will see the 2013 "survivors" under contract cut (Polamalu, Taylor, Colon). It will also see the "survivors" who played out their final year in 2013 searching for a new home if they want to play (Clark, Keisel, Cotchery). At that point, the fat has been trimmed. We can all hope that the players are in place & stepped up to make the next run.


Cutting Clark may not be a surprise. I apologize because I can't remember where I read it but I did read something about the injury he had towards the end of the season being more serious than it appeared. He may be cut because of health concerns.

papillon
02-13-2013, 10:58 AM
Lets look at this from a different perspective before we say that some vets are overpaid. Lets view this form the standpoint that the Steelers are not up against the cap. What team would you want to put on the field? The one with Polamalu, Harrison, Wallace and Mendenhall or the one with Golden (or rookie), Worilds, Brown and Dwyer? We all know the answer to that, so in that case, the vets aren't overpaid for their services they are clearly the best option and are still at or near the top in the NFL at their position.

If Harrison and Polamalu weren't making splash plays in the last quarter of the season and ended the season healthy I would say, okay, fine, release them and move on, but the defense was playing really good football late in the year and both Harrison and Polamalu were making plays we expect from them and they went into the off season healthy, they are still top 5 at their position in the NFL, IMO.

Unfortunately, the cap is an issue, but one thing is for sure the salary cap is going to increase next year, so, is there a way to retain the vets and insert SOME youth for 2013 and then complete the transition in 2014 and be competitive both years while making the generational switch? That, is the question the Steelers are probably trying to answer right now. The Steelers don't normally overhaul the team in one year, which is what would be happening if too many vets are cut or released.

If I were to take a guess right now I would think the Steelers are trying to find a way to field a team that can compete every year without the veteran blood letting that we all seem to think is coming. Its almost a certainty that if a lot of the vets are cut and not resigned the team will be looking at a top 10 draft pick in 2014, just my opinion.

Pappy

Oviedo
02-13-2013, 11:31 AM
Lets look at this from a different perspective before we say that some vets are overpaid. Lets view this form the standpoint that the Steelers are not up against the cap. What team would you want to put on the field? The one with Polamalu, Harrison, Wallace and Mendenhall or the one with Golden (or rookie), Worilds, Brown and Dwyer? We all know the answer to that, so in that case, the vets aren't overpaid for their services they are clearly the best option and are still at or near the top in the NFL at their position.

If Harrison and Polamalu weren't making splash plays in the last quarter of the season and ended the season healthy I would say, okay, fine, release them and move on, but the defense was playing really good football late in the year and both Harrison and Polamalu were making plays we expect from them and they went into the off season healthy, they are still top 5 at their position in the NFL, IMO.

Unfortunately, the cap is an issue, but one thing is for sure the salary cap is going to increase next year, so, is there a way to retain the vets and insert SOME youth for 2013 and then complete the transition in 2014 and be competitive both years while making the generational switch? That, is the question the Steelers are probably trying to answer right now. The Steelers don't normally overhaul the team in one year, which is what would be happening if too many vets are cut or released.

If I were to take a guess right now I would think the Steelers are trying to find a way to field a team that can compete every year without the veteran blood letting that we all seem to think is coming. Its almost a certainty that if a lot of the vets are cut and not resigned the team will be looking at a top 10 draft pick in 2014, just my opinion.

Pappy

You answer your own question because the Salary Cap makes all the difference in the world. It is what is driving this. The unfortunate part of this is that we have a one year problem because the new TV money in 2014 would allow us to keep some of these guys. Unfortunately we are out of sync by one year.

papillon
02-13-2013, 12:33 PM
You answer your own question because the Salary Cap makes all the difference in the world. It is what is driving this. The unfortunate part of this is that we have a one year problem because the new TV money in 2014 would allow us to keep some of these guys. Unfortunately we are out of sync by one year.

My only point is that we're talking about jettisoning players based on lack of performance and my point is, all things being equal, those 4 players performance is still at a level that would help win a lot of games if there was a way to retain them. I realize the reality is the cap is going to prevent the Steelers form doing just that with these players or at least the majority of them.

Polamalu and Harrison do not deserve pay cuts for their performance in my estimation. they are still two of the very best defenders in the game.

Pappy

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-13-2013, 12:34 PM
My Opinion....

You won't get an argument from me on Wallace. I would also like to see Mendy back on a 1 year in the zone blocking scheme. Polamalu if healthy may be in decline but he still is an asset...If healthy. Harrison isn't Harrison and never will be. He didn't do anything down the stretch that was Harrison'ish. The stat sheet doesn't reflect his play on the field. He has taken significant steps back and he will be another year older. Harrison is a "vet min" player at this point in his career. The only reason Steeler fans can't see it is they want to pay him for what he did in the past and not what he could do now.

I would take Polamalu, (Worilds, Carter, Robinson, Rookie), Wallace, and Mendenhall over Polamalu, Harrison, Wallace and Mendenhall OR Golden (or rookie), Worilds, Brown and Dwyer in 2013. Many reasons why...To simplify...It is time.

We haven't seen an overhaul of the roster because starters have been in place since Cowher left. Tomlin inherited them but time has passed. There were still 11 starters from Cowhers last year still in place.... 16 in 2011. The changing of the guard has to take place. Having that stability over the years doesn't mean it doesn't happen...It just means it hasn't happened yet.

The way the NFL is right now and what we saw out of the Steelers in 2012....Shedding the vets isn't a difference of SB contender and a Top 10 pick. It is more like a 9-7 & 7-9. If 9-7 & 3rd in the North gets you in the playoffs...Than you could say a playoff team versus a non playoff team. A 1 & done or a 1-1 playoff team. If you remove health & coaching from the equation...The things that could improve the 9-7 in 2013 is the young guys in place stepping in at a high level and/or a major contribution from the draft class. The things that could improve the Steelers beyond 2013 is the same. Keeping all the 30+ declining vets with big salaries could hinder this in 2013 & beyond. They will need to pick & choose wisely who they retain.


I would restructure/extend BB, Woodley, Timmons, & Miller.
I would go to Polamalu & Taylor about taking a pay cut. If they decline, I wouldn't restructure or cut them. They will be gone after 2013.
I would tell Colon he has to take a pay cut or be released.
Release Harrison.
Tender RFA.
Do not sign any URFA over 30 before draft.
Lock up Lewis.
If Wallace is still on market make him an offer.
If Mendy is unsigned, make him a 1 year offer.

Chopping Block to get the Lewis, Wallace, & Mendy deals done (8.4 mil):
1. Ryan Clark
2. Brett Keisel
3. Jerricho Cothchery
4. Shuan Suisham

Draft

Fill in where needed with our URFA that remain.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-13-2013, 01:21 PM
Be a good year to go young and start fresh as Baltimore is going to have to do much the same.

Personally I would gut the defense, switch to the 4-3 Tampa 2, and go young.

Shawn
02-13-2013, 02:13 PM
I agree with the thoughts about a larger turnover. But, as long as Ben is healthy we will be competitive...we will have a shot at a SB. Were the Ravens that much better than a healthy Steeler team this year? I think not.

papillon
02-13-2013, 02:22 PM
I agree with the thoughts about a larger turnover. But, as long as Ben is healthy we will be competitive...we will have a shot at a SB. Were the Ravens that much better than a healthy Steeler team this year? I think not.

The offense has proven that they can't and don't outscore anyone. Without a defense that is giving up fewer than 24 points a game Ben and the offense won't be able to overcome the defense in my opinion. The offense under Ben has never been consistently good enough (save for three playoff games in 2005) to outscore and opponent, more than likely they will have stretches without making a first down or miss opportunities to score than they are to consistently make plays and move the football.

Ben is a great quarterback, but he isn't the machine that Brees, Rogers, Manning (Peyton) and Brady are when it comes to offense. He makes great plays, but doesn't necessarily make a lot of good plays consecutively and that's what the other guys do. They make a lot of average to good plays consecutively to keep drives alive and scoring chances at a maximum; Ben will make plays, but gets impatient at times and has a greater chance of having a misfire or a sack or some other event that causes drives to stall.

Ben needs a defense a little more than the others, IMO.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
02-13-2013, 02:49 PM
The Steelers don't normally overhaul the team in one year, which is what would be happening if too many vets are cut or released.

Well, the overhaul started a year ago when we said goodbye to the likes of Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, and Chris Hoke.

supersteeler
02-13-2013, 03:33 PM
The offense has proven that they can't and don't outscore anyone. Without a defense that is giving up fewer than 24 points a game Ben and the offense won't be able to overcome the defense in my opinion. The offense under Ben has never been consistently good enough (save for three playoff games in 2005) to outscore and opponent, more than likely they will have stretches without making a first down or miss opportunities to score than they are to consistently make plays and move the football.

Ben is a great quarterback, but he isn't the machine that Brees, Rogers, Manning (Peyton) and Brady are when it comes to offense. He makes great plays, but doesn't necessarily make a lot of good plays consecutively and that's what the other guys do. They make a lot of average to good plays consecutively to keep drives alive and scoring chances at a maximum; Ben will make plays, but gets impatient at times and has a greater chance of having a misfire or a sack or some other event that causes drives to stall.

Ben needs a defense a little more than the others, IMO.


Pappy


Spot on Pappy. This offense never wowed anyone for years, we need to finally fix the real problem, the offense. Our defense bailed them out as long as I can remember, it's time the offense return the favor.

Oviedo
02-13-2013, 03:57 PM
Be a good year to go young and start fresh as Baltimore is going to have to do much the same.

Personally I would gut the defense, switch to the 4-3 Tampa 2, and go young.

Yes to this. It would ease the transition of the young players because they would play familiar positions. Won't hapen though as long as "Gramps" is in charge because "not invented here."

BradshawsHairdresser
02-13-2013, 04:43 PM
Harrison isn't Harrison and never will be. He didn't do anything down the stretch that waWe hs Harrison'ish. The stat sheet doesn't reflect his play on the field. He has taken significant steps back and he will be another year older. Harrison is a "vet min" player at this point in his career. The only reason Steeler fans can't see it is they want to pay him for what he did in the past and not what he could do now. Wow. Amazing take. What I saw was that the D began to play well about the time that Harrison rounded into form. The last quarter of the season, he was making plays. And a "vet min" player? You will soon see that NFL teams don't agree. Now, as to whether the Steelers should keep him, different story. We are in cap hell and face some tough decisions...and unless James is willing to play for a drastic pay reduction, I think we will (and should) cut him loose. We almost have to, in order to have any chance of building a competitive team going forward.

SteelerOfDeVille
02-13-2013, 04:44 PM
I think they can do both. For example, I would not be surprised if they decide to re-sign one or even 2 of these players discussed on here as a possible cut......

what he said... Most of those guys get a restructure to save cap (Ben, Lamar, Troy and Harrison). They make their $ this year, and count less towards this year's cap. Yes, this was an 8-8 team... one that lost most games by 3 points or less.... while missing Ben, Troy, Harrison and a handful of offensive linemen... This is easily an 11-5 team and with the right additions (draft, FA) could be a 13-3 team.

squidkid
02-13-2013, 05:57 PM
we neede to get rid of cowhers players as soon as possible and get tomlins on the field exclusively.

SteelerOfDeVille
02-13-2013, 06:00 PM
we neede to get rid of cowhers players as soon as possible and get tomlins on the field exclusively.
hoping that was sarcasm... Ben... Troy... Heath... not ready to lose any of the 3... and there are others...

squidkid
02-13-2013, 06:07 PM
hoping that was sarcasm... Ben... Troy... Heath... not ready to lose any of the 3... and there are others...

i dont want them gone either but sure am ready to see how great of a coach tomlin is with his own players.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-13-2013, 06:14 PM
Wow. Amazing take. What I saw was that the D began to play well about the time that Harrison rounded into form. The last quarter of the season, he was making plays. And a "vet min" player? You will soon see that NFL teams don't agree. Now, as to whether the Steelers should keep him, different story. We are in cap hell and face some tough decisions...and unless James is willing to play for a drastic pay reduction, I think we will (and should) cut him loose. We almost have to, in order to have any chance of building a competitive team going forward.

The defense played well as a unit. The improved CB play is what made the defense top flight. Harrison never came into form. Woodley took a year off. Hampton was barely average. The 3 must win games at the end of the year Harrison had 10 TT 1 FF 1 SK 0 PD 0 INT. That is not the Harrison I knew. I had to look for #92 watching the games. He didn't jump out.

He is a vet min player at 35 given the CBA. Whatever he gets is guranteed if he makes a week 1 roster. A 35 year old clearly in decline is a risk. He will get released and contender will give him a Signing Bonus and a 2-3 mil base.