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Thread: What's the plan?

  1. #1
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    What's the plan?

    Does anyone see a clear plan in what the Steelers are doing?

    1) They haven't gotten younger, releasing Harrison and not signing Starks are the only 30 somethings to be let go
    2) They let 2 and now possibly a third player under the age of 27 leave via free agency
    3) They're signing castoffs and long snappers and looking at running backs they can't afford

    I can't quite picture a real plan in all of this mayhem. Nothing has happened that, as fans, we didn't expect, Harrison released, Mendenhall, Wallace and Starks not resigned. We were hoping that the Steelers might find a way to keep Lewis and in the end, it appears, that the Steelers weren't interested in retaining Lewis.

    When it comes right down to it, wouldn't it have been better to:

    Cut Taylor and go into the season with Allen and Lewis (younger)
    Release or trade Polamalu (younger via the draft)
    Release Keisel and put the LDE position into Heyward's hands (younger)
    Release Clark (younger via the draft)
    (Let me say, I don't know the financial ramifications of the above or if any of the above is possible, but to get younger this group needs to be dealt with in some fashion)


    As it is right now, they aren't younger, but they are less capable of being competitive even by keeping the above players. There seems to be the lack of a coherent plan, unlike years past when there always seemed to be a method to their madness. This year it seems they aren't sure if they want to get younger or keep things together to make a run of some sort and in the process they're getting the worst of both ends, they're still old and not getting better.

    Just my opinion right now.

    Pappy


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  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    PLAN? We don't need no stinkin' plan!

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  3. #3
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    Chadman suspects most supporters feel very much like you do Pap.

    RB- by looking at older, cheaper RB's, Chadman suspects that the Steelers might just be looking for gap-filler, but plan on drafting a RB at some point in this draft to become 'the guy' down the road.

    WR- Pretty sure they expected to lose Wallace, but reckon that Sanders could be a kick in the guts they didn't anticipate. Getting Burress back is no real indication of the direction they are going. They were always likely to draft 1 WR, losing Sanders might force the hand to go 2.

    TE- Every TE signed appears to be gap-filler until Miller comes back. No expensive outlay on any 1 player. Wouldn't read much into Speath/Johnson.

    OL- Pretty sure the Steelers have got exactly what they planned on 3 years ago- complete revamp of the OL. Losing Starks & Colon might mean very little as they drafted to replace these guys.

    DL- No moves here, looks like the team is either set with what they have, or might look to the draft for options.

    LB- Losing Harrison was probably something the Steelers knew was likely to happen. Bringing Foote back is stop-gap until either a draft pick or Spence takes over. Looks like the Steelers thought they might be able to snag a player to compete with Worilds on the cheap, but that appears to have backfired on them as the OLB market has been reasonably active.

    CB- Losing Lewis without offering a contract means they either knew they couldn't afford him, or planned on going in a different direction with Allen & possibly a draft pick to eventually replace Taylor.

    Safety- pretty sure the Draft was always the plan here.


    Not convinced the Steelers are not around-about where they thought they would be in FA, with perhaps the potential loss of Sanders being one they hadn't planned on. The team hasn't 'gotten older' really, both Foote & Burress were with the team last season, but Harrison has been moved on. Speath & Johnson are both relatively young, and the players they swung & missed on- Wells, Butler & the other LB's, have all been under 30.

    In the end, the budget is dictating the success of FA. No doubt there will be a couple of more signings to come- most likelt inexpensive role players, and the Draft will be relied upon to provide the future star players.
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  4. #4
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Tomlin: Player defections won’t derail Steelers’ expectations

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013



    PHOENIX — Are the salary cap-restrained Steelers beginning a steep and inevitable decline? Coach Mike Tomlin's response is an emphatic no.

    Mike Wallace, James Harrison, Keenan Lewis and Rashard Mendenhall are gone from a disappointing team that went 8-8 and, according to some players' postseason comments, was beset by leadership and locker room issues. Already a national perception is building that the Steelers' inability to replace key starters because of their cap issues means the worst is yet to come for a team accustomed to yearly success.

    Tomlin, speaking to Pittsburgh media for the first time since the day after the season ended, expects the Steelers to be better — not much worse — in 2013.

    What he isn't offering yet is any tangible, here-it-is-on-paper reasons why there is reason for optimism.

    “I know what the prognostication is … the reality is we're an 8-8 team, and that's probably more acceptable in some places than it is in our place,” Tomlin said Sunday at the annual NFL meetings. “I hope we've got a scalded group. I believe that we do. I'm not looking to put anyone at ease in that regard. We've got to be better in '13, we've got to do better than in '12, and I think we'll have a group that can do that.”

    General manager Kevin Colbert all but shrugged off the departures of Wallace, Lewis and Mendenhall to free agency, saying, “You could also argue that we lost pieces from an 8-8 team.”

    “Can we get better? We hope,” Colbert said. “Had we re-signed folks, we were hoping to be better but now that we didn't, we have to find players via free agency and the draft, and we hope to be a better team.”

    Tomlin, unaware of Colbert's comments, said losing key players can make a team better because on-the-roster players emerge and others who might not otherwise be drafted are selected.

    “We may never replace James, but we'll have an opportunity to strengthen ourselves in other areas and I think that's what you look at when you look at things from a change standpoint,” Tomlin said. “No, we won't be able to replace James Harrison, no we won't be able to replace Mike Wallace; those guys are who they are. But those voids will allow us to strengthen ourselves in those areas and others. Collectively maybe even make us stronger.”

    As for the players to come, Tomlin said emphatically the Steelers must add a running back. Ahmad Bradshaw, a former 1,000-yard rusher with the Giants, is reportedly interested in them.

    “There might be some (free agents) we didn't think we had a chance at and, all of a sudden, the market changes and it becomes a discussion,” Colbert said.

    Tomlin also said:

    • The Steelers have plenty of leaders left despite shedding James Farrior, Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Harrison in the last 13 months. He said, “I don't think we're devoid of leadership at all.”

    • He expects Jason Worilds, a part-time player to date, to more than adequately replace Harrison. “We'll see what Jason Worilds is capable of doing,” Tomlin said.

    Then, he added, laughing, “No pressure.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2NrE5sqVL

  5. #5
    If you think a player can still play up to his contract level this year, why release that player and saddle the team with the dead money? That is why Taylor is still a Steeler while Colon and Harrion are not...

    In free agency, it isn't as though the Steelers have laid out a bunch of money in contracts to the players they have signed...quite the opposite in fact...I'm not worried about "old" players being signed to long-term contracts because that isnt happening...

  6. #6
    Pro Bowler supersteeler's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=papillon;554730]


    When it comes right down to it, wouldn't it have been better to:

    Cut Taylor and go into the season with Allen and Lewis (younger)
    Release or trade Polamalu (younger via the draft)
    Release Keisel and put the LDE position into Heyward's hands (younger)
    Release Clark (younger via the draft)
    (Let me say, I don't know the financial ramifications of the above or if any of the above is possible, but to get younger this group needs to be dealt with in some fashion)



    1. I don't know if it would be practicle to cut a proven vet like Taylor based on 1 good year that Lewis had. There is no guarantee he would play be as good as Ike just because he's younger. The Better senario would of been to sign Lewis instead of Gay making the secondary a strength.

    2. No to Troy at this point, he may play an entire year injury free we just don't know, but to replace him with a rookie or Golden would be taking a big risk, they simply wouldn't be ready


    3. Keisel was our best D-lineman, I could see the Steelers alternating more with him and Heyward this coming season until Heyward can win the job outright. We still need depth on that line so I wouldn't release Keisel just to get younger, I would only release him if his play was falling

    4. Same with Clark, he was one of our better defenders last season, cutting an older player to get younger is ok only if that younger starter can do the job which is unlikely his first year
    Last edited by supersteeler; 03-18-2013 at 06:56 AM.

  7. #7
    Because the plan is not apparent to us does not mean that there is no plan.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
    3) They're signing castoffs and long snappers and looking at running backs they can't afford
    Pappy, as to the signing castoffs, I wonder if the Steelers are looking at the comp formula. Players who are released do not count as signings for the purposes of awarding comp picks. Outside of the linebacker from the Cowboys, Gradkowski and the reported interest in Jake Long, everybody that the Steelers have looked at has been released. I don't think that is a coincidence - I think it is part of their plan.

    As it stands now, for the purposes of comp picks, the Steelers signed Gradkowski and have lost Wallace, Lewis, Mendenhall and Mundy. As it stands now, they are likely to be awarded three compensatory picks next year, including a third rounder for Wallace. At some level, I think the Steelers do not want to jeopardize their extra picks.

    Otherwise, I mostly agree with you. The Steelers are, right now, a less capable team (at least on paper) when compared to the team that went 8-8 last year.

    They apparently have some sort of plan, but whatever it is, it has not become apparent yet.

  9. #9
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=supersteeler;554768]
    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post


    When it comes right down to it, wouldn't it have been better to:

    Cut Taylor and go into the season with Allen and Lewis (younger)
    Release or trade Polamalu (younger via the draft)
    Release Keisel and put the LDE position into Heyward's hands (younger)
    Release Clark (younger via the draft)
    (Let me say, I don't know the financial ramifications of the above or if any of the above is possible, but to get younger this group needs to be dealt with in some fashion)



    1. I don't know if it would be practicle to cut a proven vet like Taylor based on 1 good year that Lewis had. There is no guarantee he would play be as good as Ike just because he's younger. The Better senario would of been to sign Lewis instead of Gay making the secondary a strength.

    2. No to Troy at this point, he may play an entire year injury free we just don't know, but to replace him with a rookie or Golden would be taking a big risk, they simply wouldn't be ready


    3. Keisel was our best D-lineman, I could see the Steelers alternating more with him and Heyward this coming season until Heyward can win the job outright. We still need depth on that line so I wouldn't release Keisel just to get younger, I would only release him if his play was falling

    4. Same with Clark, he was one of our better defenders last season, cutting an older player to get younger is ok only if that younger starter can do the job which is unlikely his first year
    Supe, I agree 100% with you on everything you said in your post. I asked the question about a plan, because the important free agents that have been lost were young key ingredients to the offense and the age of the team has remained the same. So, now the defense is still aging and expensive while the offense is young and probably not as good as last year's version that helped the team go 8-8.

    And, as it turns out, the Steelers really didn't have any plans to retain Wallace, Lewis, Mendenhall and possibly Sanders if someone is giving up a 3rd round pick for him, so now they have to rebuild what was an average offense with rookies and other team's castoffs. As the song (Thrift) goes, "One man's trash is another man's come up".

    The Steelers managed to get themselves painted into a corner with large contracts on older players that are still playing good football and then having to try and sign young players that have proven to be pretty good NFL talent based on the contracts they are signing. This problem has been accruing for a few years especially since the gray beards refused to allow their play to slip to a point where you could make the case for releasing a veteran. Of the list below, pick out a player that was detrimental to the defense.

    James Harrison
    Troy Polamalu
    Ryan Clark
    Brett Keisel
    Larry Foote (some will pick him, but he really wasn't)
    Ike Taylor
    Casey Hampton (Here's the winner, but no one could replace him that was on the roster)
    Ben Roethlisberger

    There you are, all 30 somethings still playing good football with large contracts and young guys playing well, but not at any of these positions. All the young guys were playing other positions with no real veteran in front of them to be moved to free up cap space.

    Interesting times ahead that's for sure.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  10. #10
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    The plan is get right with the salary cap so we can keep key players moving forward. They started the process two years too late IMO.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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