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Thread: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

  1. #1

    P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Sean Weatherspoon seems like a natural fit at inside linebacker for the Steelers. He chatters like Larry Foote, has played behind Ziggy Hood and even knows the difference between the buck and mack positions in their 3-4 defense.

    And, like Hines Ward, he is smiling all the time.

    "That's my thing, always talking, always having a good time," said Weatherspoon, a Missouri linebacker and one of the top inside prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I love football. It's not a right to play football. It's a privilege. The good Lord has blessed me with that privilege to be here, and I am excited. "

    He might get another privilege: Eventually replacing James Farrior at inside linebacker in the Steelers' defense.

    Of all the positions the Steelers might want to address in the NFL draft, perhaps none is in more need of attention than inside linebacker where Farrior, their captain, is 35 and without a young replacement behind him. That became even more apparent after nose tackle Casey Hampton, who will be 33 in September, signed a three-year, $21.3 million contract last week.

    Weatherspoon is not considered the top linebacker in the draft. Right now, that distinction belongs to Alabama's Rolando McClain (6 feet 31/3, 254 pounds), who is bigger than Weatherspoon (6-1 1/4, 239) and played in the 3-4 defense in college with the national champion Crimson Tide.

    But McClain might not get past the New York Giants, who have the 15th overall pick in the draft and are looking for a replacement for Antonio Pierce. Because of his size, McClain could also play middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense.

    "I think me playing under coach [Nick] Saban kind of gave me an advantage, especially playing in his 3-4," McClain said. "His 3-4 is so complicated. He's coach Saban. He's one of the best defensive minds. I learned so much from him."

    The Steelers have the 18th overall pick and, if they don't have a shot at McClain, might consider Weatherspoon, who played with last year's No. 1 pick -- Ziggy Hood -- at Missouri. Weatherspoon finished with more than 400 career tackles with the Tigers and is considered an inside linebacker in the 3-4 because of how well he runs to the ball.

    Other teams, though, are looking at him as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. Not the Steelers, who met with Weatherspoon Friday night.

    "Coach [Mike] Tomlin said he saw me fitting in at either the mack or the buck," Weatherspoon said, referring to the positions played by Farrior (buck) and Lawrence Timmons (mack) in the Steelers' defense. "He was saying inside, that is what he talked about. I don't have a problem with that.

    "If I've got to do the dirty work and take on the linemen to free up the other players for them to make plays, then I am all about that. I am all about just being a team guy and taking care of business."

    And what if he got to play behind Hood again?

    "That would be cool," Weatherspoon said.
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  2. #2
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    Sean Weatherspoon tops my wish list for the Steelers' #1 round draft choice. He is a team leader as well as a tackling machine with over 400 career tackles while at Missouri and is great in pass coverage, a necessity in today's pass-happy NFL.

    Weatherspoon would be a perfect replacement for James Farrior and would provide us some much-needed depth at ILB along with Timmons and Fox after Farrior retires.

  3. #3

    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    Ehh I don't know about an ILB in the first. The Steelers would have to think poorly of Fox in the starting role. From what I seen Fox can flat out play...physical...good in coverage...just a solid all around linebacker. I would rather have Micah Johnson in the 4th personally (if we are talking depth) and solidify our secondary with Thomas who can play DB, SS or FS.

    If both Thomas and Weatherspoon are on the board at 18...I think the Steelers will have a tough decision. They certainly value a top notch LBr over FS...as well they should. But, if Fox can start and play well...its much less of a need than FS. I consider these guys equal in talent. Both can play ball. I say we draft Thomas.

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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    I'm pretty sure that most people have the feeling that Fox isn't that good. I don't have a solid opinion on him. I'd rather have weatherspoon. I'd be fine with that pick. I'd prefer to trade down, but, if not that pick would be a good one.
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  5. #5

    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    I'm pretty sure that most people have the feeling that Fox isn't that good. I don't have a solid opinion on him. I'd rather have weatherspoon. I'd be fine with that pick. I'd prefer to trade down, but, if not that pick would be a good one.
    Yeah but you base your observation on the fact that he didn't start at KC. I base my evaluation on what I seen. When did you see him miss a tackle or get burned? He was were he was supposed to be...making tough physical plays. Which game do you believe he played poorly in...I should go back and take a look.

    If the Steelers do think poorly of Fox they will definitely grab Weatherspoon if he is there. I think that's a no brainer because FS is an easier spot to fill in our D.

    But, if they do think Fox can start...then Thomas is the no brainer. I mean a ball hawk with terrific coverage skills that can play CB, SS and FS? Come on that's a dream come true for a D that was pathetic without Troy...who's #2 DB sucks hard and who has no real replacement for Ryan Clark "the best FS in the game"...lol.

    If we do re-sign Clark...then I will change my mock draft.

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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    I'm pretty sure that most people have the feeling that Fox isn't that good. I don't have a solid opinion on him. I'd rather have weatherspoon. I'd be fine with that pick. I'd prefer to trade down, but, if not that pick would be a good one.
    Yeah but you base your observation on the fact that he didn't start at KC. I base my evaluation on what I seen. When did you see him miss a tackle or get burned? He was were he was supposed to be...making tough physical plays. Which game do you believe he played poorly in...I should go back and take a look.

    If the Steelers do think poorly of Fox they will definitely grab Weatherspoon if he is there. I think that's a no brainer because FS is an easier spot to fill in our D.

    But, if they do think Fox can start...then Thomas is the no brainer. I mean a ball hawk with terrific coverage skills that can play CB, SS and FS? Come on that's a dream come true for a D that was pathetic without Troy...who's #2 DB sucks hard and who has no real replacement for Ryan Clark "the best FS in the game"...lol.

    If we do re-sign Clark...then I will change my mock draft.

    If Weatherspoon and Thomas are both available when we pick at #18, I take Spoon and look to draft Chad Jones or Nate Allen in the second round.

    If Weatherspoon is gone, Earl Thomas would be a great selection and then look to draft ILB Brandon Spikes or Daryl Washington in Round 2 or one of the many CBs available.

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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    how do you get my opinion on fox, when i say that i don't have a solid opinion of him? what i meant by that is that i don't have enough to draw a conclusion. I've really only seen him in spot duty with a handful of starts. gay looked good in a handful of starts last year, and seeing how he did as the long term starter... not saying fox is the same as gay, but once bitten twice shy...
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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    playing a lil devils' advocate

    do we really need to spend a number 1 on inside LB when we have a

    young pro bowler (woodley) a year removed defensive MVP (debo) and a pretty high #1 pick (timmons) playing along side of them


    with lloyd, greene, kirkland....should have we upgraded with a 1st rounder instead of playing jerry O.

    i think we can find a guy later that would be good enough and we can improve a much greater need in the secondary or OC.

    FWIW, i would take mcclain, cause i think he's gonna bve special

  9. #9

    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    how do you get my opinion on fox, when i say that i don't have a solid opinion of him? what i meant by that is that i don't have enough to draw a conclusion. I've really only seen him in spot duty with a handful of starts. gay looked good in a handful of starts last year, and seeing how he did as the long term starter... not saying fox is the same as gay, but once bitten twice shy...
    Yeah I cant see how Fox relates to Gay. But, I thought you were the one saying he probably sucks because he didnt start at KC. From what I have seen Fox is the real deal. With that said, the Steelers have seen alot more of him than myself. I'm not saying the Steelers agree with me. If they don't Weatherspoon will be the pick as the ILB position is more important to our scheme and harder to fill. The only way we roll with Iupati is if Thomas and Weatherspoon are gone. I can't see anyway the Steelers pass on a FS with DB coverage skills...who is a true ball hawk...or Weatherspoon who is a tackling machine who can also cover.

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    Re: P-G: Missouri linebacker Steelers kind of player

    wow shawn you got a MD without being able to read? at no point did i say ANYTHING about KC. and how does it relate? both looked decent in spot duty and part time starters. as a full time starter gay looked bad. as a full time starter fox will look bad. get it?
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