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Thread: Steelers draft focus should be on the offense....per article

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    Steelers draft focus should be on the offense....per article

    Pittsburgh Steelers' Draft Focus Should Be on OffenseBy Chris G.(Featured Columnist) rNext Kevin Colbert must find the talent necessary to upgrade the offense.
    There is no shortage of draft needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. With an aging defense and an offense devoid of playmakers, the Steelers can go in nearly any direction to find players who can contribute as rookies.

    The defensive side of the ball will have five starters who will be over 30 years old next year with Brett Keisel, Larry Foote, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. But there are more problems than just age: Dick LeBeau may be breaking in three new starters who have potential but are still unproven in Jason Worilds, Steve McLendon and Cortez Allen.

    Age is not an issue on offense, but the talent at the skill positions is.

    The Steelers just lost Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall to free agency and may also be without Heath Miller, who is recovering from a torn ACL. With two of their top playmakers gone and a third potentially missing much of the season with an injury, the Steelers are in a bit of trouble.

    Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders figure to start at wideout, leaving the Steelers without a true No. 1 threat. They have also been active in free agency, looking to upgrade the running back position by bringing in Beanie Wells and Ahmad Bradshaw for visits.

    So which direction should the Steelers go early in the draft? Well, past history indicates that they will select a defender in the first round.

    Ever since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007, the Steelers have alternated taking a defensive player and an offensive player every year.



    David DeCastro was a rare rookie starter under Mike Tomlin.
    Joe Sargent/Getty Images
    Under Tomlin, the Steelers have drafted defenders Lawrence Timmons, Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward and offensive players Rashard Mendenhall, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro.

    Of those players, there are only two skill players in the bunch, and to no surprise, these are the areas in which the Steelers have holes.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers lack playmakers at the linebacker position outside of Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley—when he is healthy and on his game. They also do not have a threat in the secondary besides Troy Polamalu, and he missed a significant portion of the season last year.

    But despite these problems, the Steelers were still able to have a solid defense last season and should once again have a competitive unit this season as the defensive scheme puts the players in position to succeed.

    LeBeau said as much last year after the defense was accused of being predictable (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review): “I've got to give them things that they can execute. We've got to trust each other and trust the defense, and the results will come.”

    The same cannot be said for the offense.

    Even after making a coordinator change, the Steelers still struggled to put points on the scoreboard as they finished 22nd in the league with 21 points per game, nearly two touchdowns below the league-leading New England Patriots, who averaged 34.8 points per game.

    So then the question becomes whether the Steelers should reinforce their strength by selecting defensive players early or try to improve a struggling offense. Well, the answer is pretty clear. They must try to improve the offense.

    As mentioned earlier, the defense is scheme-oriented, and even less-talented players can be set up for success in the defense. But the defensive coaching staff also likes to take their time with the development of their defenders.



    LaMarr Woodley started at outside linebacker in his second season. It takes most defenders at least two seasons to break into the starting lineup.
    Joe Sargent/Getty Images
    No rookie defender has started under Tomlin, and only Woodley has had success as soon as year two. Odds are that any defender taken early in the draft will be at least a full year away from starting.

    Things are much different on the offensive side of the ball, where Pouncey started as a rookie and DeCastro would have if not for an injury in the preseason.

    While a rookie on offense may not start right away, chances are that he would be able to make a significant contribution early on.

    The Steelers could go in any number of directions on offense as well, with needs everywhere but the quarterback position.

    They could select another offensive lineman, but odds are that they will go with the players they already have on the roster, leaving wide receiver, running back and tight end as possible options.

    With an emphasis on the passing game in the NFL today, the Steelers need to find playmakers for the passing game, and they should do this early and often.

    The wide receiver talent in the first round is solid with players such as Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins, or they could reach a little for tight end Tyler Eifert.

    They could come back to the position between the second and fourth rounds with players such as Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Da’Rick Rogers, Markus Wheaton, Terrance Williams, Stedman Bailey, Quinton Patton and Ryan Swope all terrific options.

    The key with many of these receivers is that they have a different skill set than the Steelers' current young weapons.



    Keenan Allen is one of the big, physical receiving options that the Steelers should consider adding early in the draft.
    Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
    While Brown and Sanders have speed, they lack elite speed and size which make them easier to defend. By adding a physical presence to the lineup, the Steelers would have a different element to throw at the defense.

    This would be the benefit of adding another receiving tight end.

    If Miller was healthy, they would be set with him and David Paulson as their top two options. However, this is not the case. If a player such as Eifert or Zach Ertz is available in the first or second, the Steelers should consider one of them.

    Of course, they cannot ignore the running back position either.

    This is a position that needs an immediate upgrade, but they can afford to wait given the relative ease at finding quality running backs in the draft.

    By selecting a receiving weapon early, the Steelers can then come back and draft a running back in the third round or later.

    There is a ton of value in the middle of the draft with running backs such as Giovani Bernard, Joseph Randle, Montee Ball, Le’Veon Bell, Mike Gillislee and Stepfan Taylor, who all would help upgrade the Steelers’ backfield.

    The Steelers could potentially get two rookie starters out of this draft with an early-round receiver and a mid-round running back.

    Given the talent in the draft, the Steelers could potentially select two receivers or two running backs with different skill sets.


    Where should the Steelers focus their 2013 draft selections?
    Offense44.2%
    Defense12.1%

    Finding a big, physical presence at receiver early and going back to a speed option later is one option. Another could be to find a running back who can carry the load in the middle of the draft and a speed back later.

    Beyond these positions, finding a sleeper at tight end is still a possibility as well as depth for the offensive line.

    With eight draft picks, the Steelers must focus on their selections on upgrading the offense. They can find value on the defensive side throughout the draft, but they have time to develop these players.

    The Steelers do not have this luxury on offense as they need at least two playmakers who can contribute—or even start—as rookies.

    Combined with a potentially improved offensive line, a new running back and wide receiver with big play ability can help upgrade this underachieving unit to one of the better offenses in the league.

    The league is all about offense now, and while Roethlisberger is good, he cannot do it alone. It is time to get Roethlisberger the weapons that will fit into Todd Haley’s offensive scheme and help turn this offense into one of the better units in the league.

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    Obviously, everyone is entitled to an opinion. And heck, Chadman might be wrong. But these are some seriously slanted articles.

    Pittsburgh Steelers' Draft Focus Should Be on OffenseBy Chris G.(Featured Columnist) rNext Kevin Colbert must find the talent necessary to upgrade the offense.
    There is no shortage of draft needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. With an aging defense and an offense devoid of playmakers, the Steelers can go in nearly any direction to find players who can contribute as rookies.

    The defensive side of the ball will have five starters who will be over 30 years old next year with Brett Keisel, Larry Foote, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. But there are more problems than just age: Dick LeBeau may be breaking in three new starters who have potential but are still unproven in Jason Worilds, Steve McLendon and Cortez Allen.

    Age is not an issue on offense, but the talent at the skill positions is.

    The Steelers just lost Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall to free agency and may also be without Heath Miller, who is recovering from a torn ACL. With two of their top playmakers gone and a third potentially missing much of the season with an injury, the Steelers are in a bit of trouble.

    Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders figure to start at wideout, leaving the Steelers without a true No. 1 threat. They have also been active in free agency, looking to upgrade the running back position by bringing in Beanie Wells and Ahmad Bradshaw for visits.

    So which direction should the Steelers go early in the draft? Well, past history indicates that they will select a defender in the first round.

    Ever since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007, the Steelers have alternated taking a defensive player and an offensive player every year.
    In this article the writer explains that the Steelers Defense has 5 aged players & is starting 3 new players with potential.

    So in other words, the 3 new players are replacing players lost- Hampton, Keenan Lewis & James Harrison.

    He then goes on to explain that the Offense is in trouble because Mendenhall, Wallace & Heath Miller won't be starting on Day 1 & instead we'll have Sanders, one of the young TE's (until Miller comes back) & last years starter at RB Jonathan Dwyer (although he also mentions the team was looking for vet RB's as well).

    Well hang on- that's 3 players on each side of the ball. Anyone want to argue that James Harrison doesn't have as much impact as say, Mendenhall? Or Wallace? Miller? What about Keenan Lewis? Highly regarded last year, but losing him is alright because... well, just because.

    He also states that the Steelers have no "true #1 WR". If that is true- the Brown deal was terrible, because he's paid like a #1.



    David DeCastro was a rare rookie starter under Mike Tomlin.
    Joe Sargent/Getty Images
    Under Tomlin, the Steelers have drafted defenders Lawrence Timmons, Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward and offensive players Rashard Mendenhall, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro.

    Of those players, there are only two skill players in the bunch, and to no surprise, these are the areas in which the Steelers have holes.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers lack playmakers at the linebacker position outside of Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley—when he is healthy and on his game. They also do not have a threat in the secondary besides Troy Polamalu, and he missed a significant portion of the season last year.

    But despite these problems, the Steelers were still able to have a solid defense last season and should once again have a competitive unit this season as the defensive scheme puts the players in position to succeed.

    LeBeau said as much last year after the defense was accused of being predictable (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review): “I've got to give them things that they can execute. We've got to trust each other and trust the defense, and the results will come.”

    The same cannot be said for the offense.

    Even after making a coordinator change, the Steelers still struggled to put points on the scoreboard as they finished 22nd in the league with 21 points per game, nearly two touchdowns below the league-leading New England Patriots, who averaged 34.8 points per game.

    So then the question becomes whether the Steelers should reinforce their strength by selecting defensive players early or try to improve a struggling offense. Well, the answer is pretty clear. They must try to improve the offense.

    As mentioned earlier, the defense is scheme-oriented, and even less-talented players can be set up for success in the defense. But the defensive coaching staff also likes to take their time with the development of their defenders.
    In this article the writer goes about saying that the Defense lacks playmakers & was predictable, but it's ok because all that is required is that they believe in themselves.

    Yet the same can't be said for the Offense? This writer is essentially saying that despite sinking 2 1st round picks into the OL, 2 2nd round picks into the OL, a 1st round pick into the QB, a 1st into the TE, a 3rd into a WR- that they need to now also invest further high round picks into the remaining 2 spots- RB & the other WR (Chadman assumes that the writer wants another high WR, despite Brown being signed as a #1 & Sanders being a 3rd round selection)? Isn't there enough talent there already?

    Look at the Defense- undrafted FA at FS, 2 4th round CB's, undrafted FA NT, 4th round ILB.

    How is that ledger balanced? At what point do the Steelers need to get value from the Offensive players they have already invested into?


    LaMarr Woodley started at outside linebacker in his second season. It takes most defenders at least two seasons to break into the starting lineup.
    Joe Sargent/Getty Images
    No rookie defender has started under Tomlin, and only Woodley has had success as soon as year two. Odds are that any defender taken early in the draft will be at least a full year away from starting.

    Things are much different on the offensive side of the ball, where Pouncey started as a rookie and DeCastro would have if not for an injury in the preseason.

    While a rookie on offense may not start right away, chances are that he would be able to make a significant contribution early on.

    The Steelers could go in any number of directions on offense as well, with needs everywhere but the quarterback position.

    They could select another offensive lineman, but odds are that they will go with the players they already have on the roster, leaving wide receiver, running back and tight end as possible options.

    With an emphasis on the passing game in the NFL today, the Steelers need to find playmakers for the passing game, and they should do this early and often.

    The wide receiver talent in the first round is solid with players such as Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins, or they could reach a little for tight end Tyler Eifert.

    They could come back to the position between the second and fourth rounds with players such as Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Da’Rick Rogers, Markus Wheaton, Terrance Williams, Stedman Bailey, Quinton Patton and Ryan Swope all terrific options.

    The key with many of these receivers is that they have a different skill set than the Steelers' current young weapons.
    There's a few things in here worth mentioning. The writer points out that no Defensive rookie has STARTED under Tomlin, but points out that "things are MUCH different" on the Offense because Pouncey started, and DeCastro WOULD have started. He uses this point as a reason to select Offense early because "chances are" they will contribute earlier. Hang on... Woodley was a spot duty player Year 1, Willie Gay was the nickle CB year 1, Hood saw the field as the top back-up DE in year 1, Allen was the Dime CB in year 1, Worilds was the top back-up OLB in year 1.

    So because 1 player (1 PLAYER) in Pouncey started from Day 1 (beat out Justin Hartwig!), and DeCastro WOULD have started (WOULD), this is evidence that Offensive rookies have far more impact in Year 1?

    And the writer wants to sink 2 high round picks into recievers? Where do they play??
    Schiavone's Race Career:

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    Wins- 1
    2nd- 4
    3rd- 0
    Other- 4

    Prizemoney- $28,050.00


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    Keenan Allen is one of the big, physical receiving options that the Steelers should consider adding early in the draft.
    Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
    While Brown and Sanders have speed, they lack elite speed and size which make them easier to defend. By adding a physical presence to the lineup, the Steelers would have a different element to throw at the defense.

    This would be the benefit of adding another receiving tight end.

    If Miller was healthy, they would be set with him and David Paulson as their top two options. However, this is not the case. If a player such as Eifert or Zach Ertz is available in the first or second, the Steelers should consider one of them.

    Of course, they cannot ignore the running back position either.

    This is a position that needs an immediate upgrade, but they can afford to wait given the relative ease at finding quality running backs in the draft.

    By selecting a receiving weapon early, the Steelers can then come back and draft a running back in the third round or later.

    There is a ton of value in the middle of the draft with running backs such as Giovani Bernard, Joseph Randle, Montee Ball, Le’Veon Bell, Mike Gillislee and Stepfan Taylor, who all would help upgrade the Steelers’ backfield.

    The Steelers could potentially get two rookie starters out of this draft with an early-round receiver and a mid-round running back.

    Given the talent in the draft, the Steelers could potentially select two receivers or two running backs with different skill sets.

    This writer starts off well- yes, the Steelers could use a WR that offers a different skill set to Brown & Sanders.

    Then he starts to lose his way. IF Heath Miller was healthy, the top 2 TE's would be Miller & Paulsen, and we'd be fine. But because Miller isn't healthy, the writer suggests drafting a TE in Round 1 to fill the gap until Miller is fit. So what- invest a 1st round pick in a 5 game starter?? How come Paulsen is good enough to start with Miller in the game, but needs upgrading with Miller out of the game?

    But that isn't the head scratcher. The writer suggests RB's are easy to find later in the draft. He suggests a TE in Round 1, because RB's are easier to find, later in the draft.

    Think about it... how many 1st Round TE's are there? 1 a year? Maybe? Can't the argument be made that TE & RB can be found pretty much anywhere outside of Round 1? And the Steelers "Young Money Crew" that was so full of potential & one of the best young WR trio's in the NFL had exactly 0 1st round WR's in it.


    Where should the Steelers focus their 2013 draft selections?
    Offense44.2%
    Defense12.1%

    Finding a big, physical presence at receiver early and going back to a speed option later is one option. Another could be to find a running back who can carry the load in the middle of the draft and a speed back later.

    Beyond these positions, finding a sleeper at tight end is still a possibility as well as depth for the offensive line.

    With eight draft picks, the Steelers must focus on their selections on upgrading the offense. They can find value on the defensive side throughout the draft, but they have time to develop these players.

    The Steelers do not have this luxury on offense as they need at least two playmakers who can contribute—or even start—as rookies.

    Combined with a potentially improved offensive line, a new running back and wide receiver with big play ability can help upgrade this underachieving unit to one of the better offenses in the league.

    The league is all about offense now, and while Roethlisberger is good, he cannot do it alone. It is time to get Roethlisberger the weapons that will fit into Todd Haley’s offensive scheme and help turn this offense into one of the better units in the league.
    This writer is purely speculative. The one thing that makes Chadman's teeth grind a bit more than usual is this:

    They can find value on the defensive side throughout the draft, but they have time to develop these players.
    The Steelers just lost the top pass rusher, their #2 CB & their starting NT, they have an oft injured SS, a 34 year old FS, a 33 year old ILB & a 34 year old #1 CB..... but it's ok- the Steelers 'have time' to develop players.

    That's right- they have time. If they draft them NOW, to be ready to take over in a year or 2. What the writer fails to point out is that, by selecting these players later in the draft, what he also condemns the team to is lesser talented players taking over from Polamalu, Clark, Taylor etc.

    In other words- it's ok that the Defense is declining. It's ok that we lost our best Defensive player. It's ok that within the next 2 seasons we'll lose our starting Safeties, starting CB, starting DE & ILB.

    It's ok, because the Steelers 'have time'.

    Time to develop that 6th round SS that nobody wanted because he has the turning circle of the Queen Mary.

    It's ok- time is on our side...
    Schiavone's Race Career:

    Starts- 9
    Wins- 1
    2nd- 4
    3rd- 0
    Other- 4

    Prizemoney- $28,050.00


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