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Thread: Seems like the major competition in Latrobe will be on the defensive side this summer

  1. #11
    Backup

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    Is Gentry a lock to make the team? Samuels lined up at TE some in college. Is it possible Samuels serves as backup RB and 3rd TE?

  2. #12
    Legend

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    I do tend to agree the most unknown is LBs and DBs, but I think there's a lot of guys on O that aren't a lock at RB, WR, OL, QB.

    I actually think the number of open spots on both sides is relatively close other than keeping some extra D players for ST. But I also think the biggest area of improvement will be on D and ST.

    I'd also think we're still open to bringing in some FAs for some positions like TE and RB.

  3. #13
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    TE, yeah. But at RB, unless there are injuries, I think we are where we're at on them.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (An 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

    My official proclamation: WE WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WITH MIKE TOMLIN AS OUR HEAD COACH. So why delay the inevitable?

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I do tend to agree the most unknown is LBs and DBs, but I think there's a lot of guys on O that aren't a lock at RB, WR, OL, QB.

    I actually think the number of open spots on both sides is relatively close other than keeping some extra D players for ST. But I also think the biggest area of improvement will be on D and ST.

    I'd also think we're still open to bringing in some FAs for some positions like TE and RB.
    Additional free agent signing could certainly change things up a bit, but looking at the roster as currently constituted, it would appear that primary competition (other than OL battles for the 8th and 9th roster spots there), would undoubtedly be at LB and DB.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    On offense, it seems like the skill position players on our 53 man roster are almost virtually set already:

    At QB, we'll keep Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, and Josh Dobbs.
    Brogan Roback is only a camp arm.

    At RB, we'll keep James Conner, Jaylon Samuels, and Benny Snell (plus Rosie Nix as the FB).
    Guys like Trey Edmunds, Travon McMillan, Ralph Webb, and Malik Williams will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    At WR, we'll keep Juju Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers, and Ryan Switzer.
    Guys like Trey Griffey, Tevin Jones, Diontae Spencer, and Ka'Raun White will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    At TE, we'll keep Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, and Zach Gentry.
    Guys like Kevin Rader and Trevor Wood will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.
    We can keep Christian Scotland-Williamson as an extra member of our practice squad that doesn't count against the designated total number of players as a part of the European Transfer program.

    At OL, we'll keep Alejandro Villenueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Matt Feiler, Chuks Okorafor, and B.J. Finney. That's your starting 5 plus your 2 gameday backups at tackle and interior o-line.
    Guys like Jerald Hawkins, Zach Banner, and Derwin Gray will likely be battling for spots at the end of the 53 man roster, but will most likely be gameday inactives assuming the top 7 players ahead of them are healthy entering the game.
    Guys like Patrick Morris, J.C. Hassenauer, Garrett Brumfield, Fred Johnson, and R.J. Prince will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    So...offense is pretty much set, unless there is some completely unforeseen surprise. The d-line looks like it might just be chalk picks for the most part as well.

    At DL, we'll keep Cameron Heyward, Javon Hargrave, Stephon Tuitt, and Tyson Alualu, plus rookie Isaiah Buggs will likely man the other backup DE spot once occupied by L.T. Walton, and Dan McCullers (gulp) might just be back again for yet another go around as the backup NT if we keep 6 guys here.
    Guys like Jay Hayes, Lavon Hooks, Conor Sheehy, Winston Craig, Chris Nelson, and Casey Sayles will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    At LB and DB is where things get crazy competive. We usually keep maybe 9 LB and 10 DB (but could theoretically opt for 10 of each due to the competition and the fact that much of our special teams tend to come from young players at these two spots...we'd have to keep one fewer player than usual on the OL or DL to make up for it, though).

    At LB, we'll keep T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Bud Dupree, Mark Barron, and Anthony Chickillo.
    The remaining LB slots will likely be chosen more by who benefits Danny Smith's special teams more than their defensive prowess this year. Heavy competition between Ola Adeniyi, Tyler Matakevich, Keion Adams, Sutton Smith, and Ulysses Gilbert.
    Guys like J.T. Jones, Tegray Scales, and Robert Spillane will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    At DB, we'll keep Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Terrell Edmunds, Sean Davis, Mike Hilton, and Justin Layne.
    Guys like Artie Burns, Cam Sutton, Brian Allen, Marcus Allen, and Jordan Dangerfield will be battling to keep their roster spots.
    I think the two AAF imports, Kam Kelly and Jack Tocho, plus UDFA S Dravon Askew-Henry have a good shot at making some noise in Latrobe and potentially knocking one of the more familiar names above off the roster.
    Guys like Herb Waters, Marcelis Branch, and Alexander Myres will be battling for a possible practice squad position, but that's likely it.

    So, my request to Iron City Inc. (and anyone else attending camp in Latrobe this year) is to keep your eyes peeled specifically on all of the LB and DB drills, because that would appear to be where all the real action will be this summer.
    You do not think a battle for Starting Tackle, sorting out rbs roles per down and distance, 6th and 7th offensive lineman, starting wideout, and starting first line slot is enough on O?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreegking View Post
    You do not think a battle for Starting Tackle, sorting out rbs roles per down and distance, 6th and 7th offensive lineman, starting wideout, and starting first line slot is enough on O?
    I'm talking about competition for making the final 53 man roster or not. Surely there will be intriguing battles for roles throughout the roster.

    On offense, it seems as if for the vast majority of those positions, there would appear to be a clear line of demarcation between guys who should be on the final 53 and guys who will likely just be competing for practice squad roles.

    Whereas on defense, particular among the LB and DB groups, there could be a lot of ways we could go. Should be very unpredictable...we could see veteran high picks cut, AAF imports or UDFA make the team, bottom of the roster guys battling it out on special teams in the preseason, who knows...
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  7. #17
    Legend

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    Want To Cut Tyler Matakevich? Think Again

    By Alex Kozora
    Posted on May 1, 2019

    I know the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in three new toys for fans to get excited about: Devin Bush, Sutton Smith, and Ulysees Gilbert III. Itís fun to think about their potential, their role, how theyíll help the Steelers win. And sure, hopefully they will. For Kevin Colbertís sake, Bush better. And I think he will.

    At the same time, itís easy to be anxious about running the current players out of the room. Thereís already been tons of turnover the last nine months in that inside linebacker room. L.J. Fort went to Philadelphia. Matthew Thomas left as quickly as he came. And Jon Bostic was axed hours after the draft. Since, Iíve gotten tons of comments that Tyler Matakevich should be the next to go. Out with the old, in with the new.

    Let me quote Lee Corso here. Not so fast, my friend.

    I mean, sure, release Tyler Matakevich. That is, assuming you want to make the Steelers special teams worse. Maybe then youíll have a good case to can Danny Smith.

    Far as Iím concerned? Matakevich has a roster spot until someone proves they can do his job better.

    And letís make his role clear. Should this dude sniff the field defensively? No way. His style is the antithesis of the evolution of the game. Speed. Versatility. Playing outside the tackle box. Thereís a reason why Colbert grabbed every linebacker who even came close to a 4.5 40. But thatís not Dirty Redís role and well all know it. Instead, heís an elite Ė yeah, I said it Ė special teamer. And no rookie is going to replace him without proving a similar caliber of play.

    Since Matakevich was drafted in 2016, no Steeler has more special teams tackles than him. Hereís the top five and look, it ainít even close.

    Tyler Matakevich: 29
    Roosevelt Nix: 17
    L.J. Fort: 13
    Anthony Chickillo: 12
    Darrius Heyward-Bey: 10

    Combined, Nix and Fort have just one more tackle than Matakevich has. But ok, you say, thatís just the Steelers. Play anyone enough and theyíre bound to luck themselves into tackles. Letís look at the top five from the entire league.

    Michael Thomas: 34
    Nate Ebner: 29
    Tyler Matakevich: 29
    Brynden Trawick: 28
    Justin Bethel: 28

    Three of those names, Thomas, Trawick, and Bethel have all made the Pro Bowl. Frankly, Matakevich has deserved a bid there.

    Is he fast? No. Does that matter for special teams? Nope.

    Think about the great special teams players of this century. Sean Morey. Clint Kriedwalt. Patrick Bailey. Roosevelt Nix. Vince Williams. Chidi ďYou Better Believe Iím Including Him In Every Article I CanĒ Iwuoma. Any of those dude burners? Nah. But you better believe they impacted the return game.

    Practically, the numbers work too. Hereís how the linebacker group could look by Week One:

    Outside Linebackers

    TJ Watt
    Bud Dupree
    Anthony Chickillo
    Ola Adeniyi
    Sutton Smith

    Inside Linebackers

    Vince Williams
    Mark Barron
    Devin Bush
    Ulysees Gilbert III
    Tyler Matakevich

    Thatís ten total, yes a little heavy, but only by one. All it takes is for one of those 6th rounders, Smith or Gilbert, to land on the practice squad and boom, youíre at the usual nine. Isaiah Buggs is probably going to make the team but itís hard to envision all three 6th round selections making the roster out of the gate. This isnít a rebuilding team with loads of roster spots up for grabs.

    Rosters needs strong starters. They need quality backups when injuries inevitably happen. But you also need a couple of core special teamers for roster spots 50-53. Thatís what Matakevich brings. Intensity, competitiveness, and stellar production running down kicks and punts.

    Cut him and your team is instantly worse. No debate about it. He should Ė and likely will Ė remain a Steeler in 2019.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/wa...h-think-again/

  8. #18
    Pro Bowler

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    Alex loves the underdog overachiever types. He's right though it's a job that someone will have to take from Dirt Red. One guy who could knock Red out that he did not mention is Marcus Allen. Allen is a box safety who can flat out run n hit. So he is the hybrid type with good speed who will be in the mix this summer with a year under his belt.

  9. #19
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron City Inc. View Post
    Alex loves the underdog overachiever types. He's right though it's a job that someone will have to take from Dirt Red. One guy who could knock Red out that he did not mention is Marcus Allen. Allen is a box safety who can flat out run n hit. So he is the hybrid type with good speed who will be in the mix this summer with a year under his belt.
    We need to upgrade of Big Red. We had special teams before him and we can have special teams without him.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (An 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

    My official proclamation: WE WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WITH MIKE TOMLIN AS OUR HEAD COACH. So why delay the inevitable?

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  10. #20
    Hall of Famer

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    I think Samuel is going to get more touches and light replace Conner if his hands don’t improve.

    I was really impressed with Samuels vision as a RB. He has to improve his blocking though.

    I could see them splitting time 50/50.

    Snell is no slouch either. Kentucky couldn’t throw at all and straight up ground and pounded it’s way throw the SEC which isn’t easy to do. Not sure what his blocking and hands are like but I look forward to the competition in camp.

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