Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
No rookie defensive player we draft in any round will start a single game unless we are decimated by injuries. LeBeau doesn't do that so we have to resign ourselves to watching closely on special teams and waiting until 2012.
This statement is also generally true for the Offence. This is not a LeBeau issue, it is a Steelers issue. We bring in servicable vets so we don't have to rely on rookies to make significant contributions. It's one of the reasons we are consistantly competitive.


Mendenhall got 19 carries in his first year. He didn't start until game 4, and that was becasue FWP was hurt. He also wasn't the starter to begin his second year.

Sweed got 6 catches in his rookie year. Most of the looks he got happened at the end of the year when Hines was hobbling around.

Urbik didn't see the field at all this year. Foster got in becasue of injuries on the line.

Wallace didn't start this year. He did get a chance to come in and make some great plays as a 3rd WR. This is similar to Woodley coming in on passing downs and spelling at OLB to contribute 4 sacks as a rook. Offensive strategy = defensive strategy.

Looking back further:

Holmes made a good contribution as a rookie. Many were howling that year that we only had one good WR (Hines). The other starter was Ced Wilson...not exactly a world beater. Still, Holmes only started 4 games. Ced missed on game that year, but I don't remember if that was Holmes' first start.

Heath is probabally the one guy who's the exception. He had 15 starts in his first year. But, IIRC that was in large part becasue we started games with 2 TEs so he could get credit for the start. We also went into that draft needing a TE. That was the one draft I remember where almost everyone predicted our pick.

Even Ben, who is clearly awesome, only started in his rookie year because the servicable vet in front of him got injured.

We try to go into drafts without glaring needs so we can pick the guys we think are the best. That means that the guys we pick have more experienced guys in front of them and we generally make them compete to supplant them. This is not a Defensive strategy. This is a TEAM STRATEGY.