1.25 DT Vernon Butler, La Tech, 6’4” 323
2.58 CB Artie Burns, Miami, 5’11” 189
3.89 OLB, Alex McCalister, Florida, 6’6” 240-Jarvis Jones’ replacement
4.123 S Jayron Kearse, Clemson, 6’4 216-hybrid type we could use in 3-3-5 defense
6.220 OT Stephane Nembot, 6’7” 322-raw talent with ton of upside
7.229 CB Brian Poole, Florida, 5’10” 210
7.246 WR/KR Ed Eagan, Northwestern State, 5’ 10” 185-need WR depth and returner
I think game changing plays are touchdowns scored by the Steelers. You have little chance to score if we can't run it in from the 1 yard line. In the last 3 years those numbers have gotten worse by your standards. Those are the plays that win games not holding opponents to measly point totals by our stellar defense.
Agreed. The other stat that backs this is the avg pass yds/att by the top 10 QBs. They were down this season compared to the past. Teams don't want to risk getting their QBs killed by long-developing pass plays. Flacco was successful for the most part because his OL was pretty stout in the SB.
where are these high drafted guys on offense?? our best rb AND MOST PRODUCTIVE wWR over the last few years are not likely to be back. we only have below average players (IMO) to step in and start for them sanders/ dwyer/redman
Steelers Sunday Spotlight: Speed kills (and so does the lack of it)
February 3, 2013
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If, as expected, Mike Wallace leaves in free agency, there will be no easy -- or inexpensive -- way to replace his speed.
In a season gone bad, few positions took the blame as hard as did the Steelers' receivers. The Young Money crew underperformed, dropped passes and fumbles that could have salvaged two or three victories and turned 8-8 into a playoff team. Yet somewhat lost by the end in the disappointing play of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, was the fact that one receiver had one of the best seasons at his position in the history of the franchise.
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Tight end Heath Miller starred through all of it. He caught 71 passes for 816 yards to lead the team in both categories. His eight touchdowns tied Wallace for the team lead and his 50 points, counting a two-point conversion, led all position players. He won the team's most valuable player award by a landslide.
Miller has more receptions 408 than any tight end in team history and ranks third overall.
Yet typical of the Steelers' 2012 season, Miller was severely injured in the next-to-final game Dec. 23 against Cincinnati. He left with two torn knee ligaments that required surgery, the ACL and MCL, and damage to the PCL that will heal on its own.
So the Steelers are left with one more major blow to their collection of receivers entering 2013. They do not know when Miller will be ready to play again. Rashard Mendenhall had ACL surgery after last season and missed the first three games of 2012. What do the Steelers do while they wait for Miller to return? David Paulson had a nice rookie season as Miller's backup, and since they will not find another close to Miller's ability without drafting him on the first round, they are likely to go with Paulson and fill in from there until Miller is ready.
Losing their leading receiver for untold stretches to start the next season would be a setback under any circumstances. They're likely to lose another, Wallace. He went from Pro Bowl receiver to third on the team with 64 receptions and a career-low 13.1-yard average per catch. His contract holdout throughout the spring and preseason turned off some in the front office and the coaching staff.
Now he is an unrestricted free agent and it appears Wallace and the Steelers will part ways in March. They gave him their best offer last year, reportedly averaging $10 million annually over five years, and he turned it down. They stopped negotiating with Wallace once camp started and he did not show up, and quickly turned their attention to Brown. He signed a five-year contract for $42.5 million that included an $8.5 million signing bonus.
Essentially, Brown's contract signaled the end of Wallace's career in Pittsburgh.
So here is what they have left: Brown, Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. That strike much fear into the Baltimore Ravens' secondary?
Brown, the team's MVP in 2011, became their MDP in 2012, most disappointing player. A Pro Bowl return man the previous season, he averaged just 6.8 yards on 27 punt returns and did not return a kickoff. He did finish second on the team with 66 receptions and scored five touchdowns, but his bobbles seemed more memorable.
With the Steelers ahead by seven in the fourth quarter in Dallas, Brown fumbled on a punt return at his 44. Not only did that ruin an excellent opportunity to go up by double figures, the Cowboys tied the game on that series. Brown also possibly cost the Steelers a victory in Oakland when, up 31-28, he caught a medium-range pass over the middle but was stripped of the ball at the Raiders 45 with 10:45 left in the game. He fumbled four times during the season, recovering one of his own for a TD in Oakland. He did not fumble at all in 2011.
Sanders, who enters the year as a restricted free agent, caught 44 passes for a team-high 14.2-yard average, but he, too, had problems with drops and injuries.
Even if Brown bounces back to 2011 form, the problem for the Steelers is that both he and Sanders have similar styles. Their strengths are their quickness and their ability to gain yards after the catch, but they are not going to cause defenses to worry about their deep routes. Cotchery is a good possession receiver.
What the Steelers need is to find another Wallace, someone with the kind of speed and ability that makes him a deep threat and will not permit the secondary to contract. They do not have that anywhere on their roster and it will be a priority for them. Since paying for a proven receiver in free agency is out of the question, they will have to locate one in the draft.
California's Keenan Allen is generally regarded as the best prospect, perhaps even a top-15 pick. He is 6-3, 210 and while he does not have Wallace-like speed, he has enough to get deep, especially for his size. He is mending from a left knee injury to the PCL.
Another likely first-round pick is Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson, who also is 6-3 and weighs 205. He's not as polished as Allen and has only 4.46 speed.
The only wide receiver the Steelers have drafted in the first round in the past dozen years was Santonio Holmes in 2006. They have shown a good ability to find them in the later rounds, and they may have to do it again in this year's draft.
No matter where they get him, they need to add a receiver who can get open deep, something every team in the NFL wants.
What Did The Mike Wallace Holdout Prove To The Steelers Or His Free Agency Last Season?
February 6, 2013
Mike Wallace certainly didn’t do a lot to prove his case, did he? He wanted the same kind of money that Larry Fitzgerald was making. Wallace decided to hold out and play hard ball with the Rooney family. Then he comes into camp and has his second worst season since coming to the Steelers. Wallace caught 64 passes for 836 yards. I know what you’re thinking, he did catch 4 more passes than his 2010 season, but his yards were what I am talking about when I say his second worst season.
Wallace should have come into camp and went out and played like a warrior who couldn’t be stopped last season. He made a fool out of himself holding out for the kind of money he wanted. Then to have a mediocre season and not helping the Steelers the way he should have isn’t exactly speaking loud for his cause to make more money. If other teams were smart and you know they are, they would take a hard look at the way Wallace played for the Steelers in 2012.
He could have had a better season and he dropped a lot of passes that Mike Wallace would have caught earlier in his career. I am not saying Wallace is done in football. I am saying he still doesn’t deserve the kind of money he thinks he does. Wallace still has to prove himself. Wallace finished the 2012 season ranked 34th on the receiving list. That isn’t exactly placing him in the upper class of NFL receivers is it. He is 1,128 yards away form the top ranked receiver in the NFL and 514 yards away from being a top ten receiver.
Wallace proved one thing in the 2012 season. He proved he is for himself and not the team. If he was for his team he would have his butt into camp and produced the kind of season a winner produces. Wallace didn’t do that in 2012 and for a guy who is going to test the free agent market, he should have.