There's Still A Leadership Void
The one thing that Tomlin/Colbert seem to keep missing on as we draft players and bring in FAs is finding guys that bring leadership to the club.
We don't seem to bring in guys like Farrior, Ward, Bus, Porter, Harrison, etc any more.
Instead of guys with an edge, we seem to be looking for more guys in the Timmons mold. And while it's great to have an athlete like Timmons on the field, what does a guy like that bring to the club to truly inspire others to be great.
Guys like Harrison and Ward brought an intensity that was infectious. Farrior and Bus brought passion to the game that was inspiring. Joey was such a loose cannon and spectacle, I credit him for taking all the pressure off Ben in XL by stealing the media focus and pointing it all on himself.
Even the rest of the roster has changed. We had loads of other characters on the roster over the years like Hampton and Foote who were highly competitive and energetic players on the field.
I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's a difference in the culture of this team since Tomlin took over. And it feels like we're slowly beginning to miss out on players that bring a certain attitude to the game.
Does it matter? Not sure. Seems like it might.
Not only did Timmons call the defense this past season, he recorded 20 tackles in Baltimore playing most of the game with a broken hand...
Originally Posted by flippy
If that doesn't inspire you to be great, I probably don't want you on my football team...
It has been mentioned before that Cameron Heyward is stepping into a leadership role...I'm hoping for further development on the leadership front from Ben and Antonio Brown...
We'll just have to see...
I think we have blooming leadership. Heyward and Timmons are leaders. Mitchell will be a very vocal leader. Porter brings leadership.
Leadership totally matters. Without the leaders we have had lately, no rings. Every time this team is void of leaders, it suffers greatly. Some of their recent additions are kind of the opposite of leaders. You can be a good player but not a leader. I'd say Timmons is a solid, good player, but maybe not a leader. You can lead by example to a point, but it's more than that. Troy is a great player, but I am not sure a leader all that much. They say Pouncey is a leader, but I am not really sure how much so. I know they claim he is.
It's been all of a day since there was an article linked here about Porter bringing his intensity to the team. I suspect Munchak will be a pretty intense guy too. As for on-the-field, nobody knows where leadership will come from. It could come from Mitchell. It could come from Moore. It could come from Shazier (Before you scoff, I recall a skinny, bird-legged rookie LB from Kent State in 1974.)
Polamalu is assumed not to be a leader but I think maybe he is. He doesn't get too high or too low. I recall the review of his INT against Manning in the 2005 playoff game. When the call went against us, he didn't throw a tantrum (like I did at home). He kinda shrugged, which sent a message: Let's forget about it and keep playing. That's a form of leadership.
I don't lie awake at night worrying about where leadership will come from. If we win some games early, it will come from somewhere.
Last edited by RobinCole; 05-20-2014 at 04:23 PM.
Kovacevic: Never too early for these Steelers
By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 9:20 p.m.
Updated 13 hours ago
Obligatory disclaimer I: The Steelers' organized team activities (OTAs), which trekked through a second day Wednesday on the South Side, mean next to nothing.
Obligatory disclaimer II: Because OTAs are voluntary, it's standard protocol to praise all participating veterans while pardoning anyone who blows them off.
Obligatory disclaimer III: I don't care. About either of those.
Because when a team goes 8-8 in back-to-back seasons, the standard that's become the standard is one of mediocrity. And the only way to break free from that is to do more, to give that little extra.
Step up and lead.
Make a difference.
It's as simple as A, B and … well, A.B.
“I have to set the tempo,” Antonio Brown was telling me, that bazillion-dollar smile belying the seriousness of his tone. “I have to have a leadership role, explain assignments to the guys and what's expected. I have to will the group with my attitude and my actions. I want to be the one who sets the pace and the standard. Hopefully the guys will follow.”
Probably 99 percent of all sports discussions related to leadership are overblown or outright irrelevant. Not so for these Steelers. Show me a team that goes 2-6 in the first half, 6-2 in the second, and I'll show you a team that at least partially could blame that on a lack of focus. And yes, a lack of leadership.
Ben Roethlisberger led by example in 2013, powerfully at times, but he never has been fully embraced that way off the field. Maurkice Pouncey was the offensive line's main man, but that was moot after eight snaps and a mangled knee. Brett Keisel was the defensive captain, but he was fading. Ryan Clark had the biggest mouth, but he was tuned out by pretty much everyone except ESPN.
Brown can be that guy. And no, not just because he recently ripped Clark in an interview with the Trib's Alan Robinson.
Brown, who retains his sixth-round work ethic within his first-round talent, can be the glue for a receiving corps that, for better or worse, lost Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery and replaced them with Lance Moore and … um, Markus Wheaton and his still-damaged hand? Raw fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant? Indy castoff Darrius Heyward-Bey?
Moore's a bright guy, a vet who's worked with Drew Brees. But the rest will be real work, and the Steelers' MVP sounds amped for it.
“The young guys have to embrace everything, the offense and the team,” Brown said. “For me, there's nothing more exciting than being the leader.”
Here's another example: Lawrence Timmons long has been a beast at inside linebacker, but the leadership at the position came from longtime partner Larry Foote. Foote's gone to Arizona, of course, and the signal-calling that Timmons took over following Foote's first-game injury last season now will be joined by the task of teaching Foote's old role to first-rounder Ryan Shazier.
Timmons and Shazier already look like they're having a blast together. After defensive huddles, it's been common to see Timmons give Shazier a playful flick to the helmet, just to keep him sharp.
“Believe me,” the kid said, “L.T.'s got my attention.”
“He has to be a student of the game,” Timmons said. “And my role will be to help him. I accept that challenge. I enjoy it.”
Good stuff, all of it.
There's more: Cam Heyward, fresh off a breakout on and off the field, needs to calm a defensive line that still can't tell its nose from the rest of its face. Pouncey and Ramon Foster finally need to pull that offensive line together. As Foster put it, “The time for talk is over.” LeGarrette Blount could be a perfect usher for Le'Veon Bell. Heath Miller can begin grooming successors.
So, notice anyone missing?
Oh, yeah, only the single area of greatest concern.
Troy Polamalu will be working with his first new regular partner at safety in a decade in Mike Mitchell, the Steelers' prized free agent signing. Mitchell not only has to learn the Dick LeBeau playbook from Page 1, but also how to read off one of the most unpredictable players in football history.
Polamalu isn't here yet.
He's never made a secret of disliking these voluntary sessions, and he came last year — for a week — only after strong urging from Mike Tomlin.
There's another OTA session Thursday, then seven more over the next two weeks. Here's hoping Polamalu shows.
Same goes for Ike Taylor, who should have to fight to keep his job at starting corner ahead of William Gay.
With 8-8 as the default, it doesn't take much to tip the scale.
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State
I've been as down on the guy as anyone, but it seems that Pouncey is a leader. Also, there was a great article about Ramon Foster being a tremendous leader, even pulling D linemen aside to let them know what he sees from the other side of the line.
Plus, there are some possible leaders in the wings: Shark, Shazier, Tuitt, Brown, Bell. We don't know yet.
Originally Posted by Shawn
Foster is the rep. for the player's union; that means he is a leader and he is. I bet Beachum ends up one as well, coming from being undrafted to starter and some fire in the belly.
Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o.
I think the effects of leadership are blown out of proportion, its an easy buzz word to use when the team is losing or winning. Also the idea that we should be drafting leaders is silly, you draft talent, if he happens to have that quality then great. Being a leader takes time on a team its about knowing your job and everyone elses, being able to give advice from a position of experience, a field general if you will. Too many times we slap the label on someone who gives a fiery pre game speech or a humble post game speech.