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Thread: Optimism Surrounding OLB Position With Young Guys Adeniyi And Smith

  1. #1
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    Optimism Surrounding OLB Position With Young Guys Adeniyi And Smith

    It's definitely a good thing to have some young guys pushing the vets to continue to hone their own game. I think Adeniyi will see some PT this year, so we'll just see how far he's come along.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/optimism-surrounding-olb-position-with-young-guys-adeniyi-and-smith/


    Optimism Surrounding OLB Position With Young Guys Adeniyi And Smith





    The Pittsburgh Steelers had a real drought in trying to find edge rushers for the longest time, which greatly helped to contribute to an extended dry spell in terms of sack production through the bulk of the 2010s as the play of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley began to fall off for a variety of reasons.


    Since Jason Worilds in 2010, a second-round pick who only developed into a competent pass rusher by the end of his career, the Steelers failed to acquire a legitimate talent again until they struck on T.J. Watt in the first round in 2017.


    And that was, of course, with two other, even higher, first-round investments in the position, with Jarvis Jones (a top-20 pick) in 2013 and Bud Dupree in 2015. Dupree remains with the team, of course, as a starter, but his sack production hovers around averaging six per season at this point, which is obviously not where the team wants it to be.


    But could the Steelers’ latest additions to the position help solve the pipeline problem? There is optimism surrounding 2018 college free agent Olasunkanmi Adeniyi entering his second season, even though he only played a handful of snaps last year, and though he’s undersized, Sutton Smith, a sixth-round rookie, has quickly becoming exciting for many.


    Even Tunch Ilkin got himself all excited about these two young pass rushers (https://www.steelers.com/video/sideline-report-otas-day-6). He called Smith “a natural”, and of Adeniyi, he offered, “he is gonna make that next jump” while providing a sideline report for the sixth OTA session last week.

    Of course, they won’t be the first young pass rushers talked up before they ever accomplish anything. Who knows, really, what the career of either one is going to turn out to look like? Already there are people pushing for Adeniyi to start, seeing him as a young James Harrison.


    That might be jumping the gun a bit, but even the coaching staff and front office has talked about how excited they are to see what he can do in his second year after spending most of his rookie season on injured reserve following a promising preseason showing.


    And as for Smith, he had great college tape, which is what got him drafted, and every report from rookie minicamp and OTAs about him has been very positive about how he appears as a pass rusher. But we really won’t know more until he actually goes up against a starting-caliber tackle in pads.


    Still, it’s better to be optimistic than pessimistic at this time of year, and there is some room for optimism here. Frankly, that’s more than we could say for some years in the very recent past.



  2. #2
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    Hopefully. Bud's probably gone next year.

    Hope his replacement emerges this year so we don't need to spend a premium pick next draft.

    I think a high pick next year will be edge because the odds that either of these guys ends up being a starter is low (but not zero).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    Hopefully. Bud's probably gone next year.

    Hope his replacement emerges this year so we don't need to spend a premium pick next draft.

    I think a high pick next year will be edge because the odds that either of these guys ends up being a starter is low (but not zero).
    Here's hoping.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 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.

  4. #4
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    How T.J. Watt found his voice with the Steelers

    1:00 AM ET

    Jeremy Fowler
    ESPN Staff Writer

    PITTSBURGH -- A pack of Steelers defenders swarmed a running back, and T.J. Watt couldn't resist.

    "Look at that pursuit!" Watt bellowed in the direction of a group of reporters during OTAs as he helped chase down the target. "Write about that pursuit!"

    No longer is Watt the reserved pass-rusher looking to solidify a role. His role is to be heard -- with his play, with his work, and with his mouth.

    Coming off a 13-sack season and a Pro Bowl, the Steelers expect results in all three areas. In fact, outside linebacker Bud Dupree says Watt has become one of the two primary defensive leaders, alongside captain Cam Heyward.

    "Cam has always been a leader, and T.J. is stepping into that role now as well," Dupree said. "It always has to be more than one leader on the team. T.J. has the personality to be energetic, talkative to the group. He has what it takes to do it. People respect him."

    Watt knows this evolution took time. As a rookie and first-round pick in 2017, Watt admits to mostly staying quiet and doing his job. Dupree said his teammate didn't open up much to the rest of the group.

    The 24-year-old revealed more of himself in Year 2, and as his sack total grew from seven to 13 -- and the post-sack celebrations became more boisterous -- so did his presence off the field.

    Watt's work ethic never was questioned. Every summer, he gets after it in his native Wisconsin with a 5,000-calorie-a-day diet and multiple daily training sessions.

    That others noticed gave him an outlet to be himself. This offseason, for example, Watt has been known to initiate personalized handshakes with several teammates before 11-man work, while pumping up the group.

    “I feel like I haven’t totally proved myself,” Watt said. "But through what I have done around here, the extra work that everyone sees me put [in], that I can start to get into that leadership role and have a voice on this defense.

    "I don’t care what anyone outside of this locker room thinks of me. I care what these guys think about me and I earn that through working hard and they all see that. I think that’s the biggest thing here, having respect. You earn respect through working hard and doing the right things on and off the field.”

    The Steelers are reaping the benefits. Dupree said teammates are "seeing how T.J. really is" now, a loyal friend who keeps things loose.

    Watt came to Pittsburgh as the younger brother of NFL superstar J.J. Watt, but his family rarely comes up at the facility.

    "He gets that from everywhere, so we try to keep it about T.J. here," Dupree said.

    Watt was hopeful a leadership role would eventually crystallize because of the tone he has tried to set.

    “Dating back to my Wisconsin days, you just get your feet wet and get the respect of a lot of guys," Watt said. "You see that guys are starting to follow you and ask questions, how you sleep, how your diet is, how you study film. You think, ‘Wow, some guys are starting to follow in my footsteps. It’s time to take on a leadership role.’ It kind of blossoms into what it is."

    Watt's next step is improving the play that got him to the Pro Bowl, while trying to take teammates with him.

    He knows now that relating to everyone takes a diversified approach.

    "[Everyone] takes coaching and everything differently," Watt said. "[It's about] being a guy that works really hard, showing through example and then talking when the time is right, not trying to overcoach and be somebody that I’m not."

    https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/30835/how-t-j-watt-found-his-voice-with-the-steelers
    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. #5
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    I'm more excited to see what these 2 guys can do than just about any other person on the roster.

    If they were 6'4", they would have easily been 1st rounders. Sutton is a lot quicker. He's quicker than just about everybody. OA is a smidge taller, stronger, and heavier. I think OA can carry 250lbs+, but Sutton might max out at 225-235 and he's going to have a challenge on the edge. But Sutton's quickness is ridiculous and I think he's going to prove everyone wrong and possible become the Drew Brees or Wes Welker of OLBs. Terribly small and undersized, but just crazy good despite his limitations.

    The one big question is can he remain durable at that size?

  6. #6
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    Steelers GM Kevin Colbert ‘excited’ about what Ola Adeniyi can do

    by Tommy Jaggi

    Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager, Kevin Colbert, was one of several who spoke highly about Ola Adeniyi entering his second NFL season.

    Ola Adeniyi was quite possibly the most exciting young player in a Steelers uniform last preseason. At 20-years old, he opened eyes with his 3.0 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, despite limited action last August.

    At 6’1” and 248 pounds coming from the MAC, it didn’t take long for fans to compare him to another Steelers pass rusher who wore number 92.

    Ola Adeniyi undeniably shares a lot of similarities with James Harrison. Though the comparisons may draw unrealistic expectations, there are many members of the organization speaking out on Adeniyi’s behalf.

    General Manager, Kevin Colbert, was one of them. Here is what he had to say about Ola shortly after the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Tim Benz of TribLIVE:

    “We activated him, but he wasn’t going to be a contributor. I think that’ll be a difference. We always talk about players moving into their second season. We are excited about what he can do.”

    A hamstring injury to Ola resulted in him seeing action in just one game last season. But that didn’t stop teammates from expressing their high hopes for the former undrafted free agent.

    T.J. Watt recently had this to say about Ola Adeniyi:

    “I think Ola is making some improvements. Just seeing him try new pass-rush moves. I think that’s the biggest thing for any pass-rusher is to try different moves this time of year because who cares if you fail? Just go out there and try as many moves as you can. I think Ola is doing a good job of that.”

    Still just 21 years old, Ola Adeniyi is entering his second season healthy and ready to make an impact for the Steelers. At Toledo, he raked in an eye-popping 20.0 tackles for a loss to go with 8.5 sacks in his Junior season before entering the NFL. Fans are hoping the success he had in college and during his first preseason with the Steelers will translate on the field early during the regular season for Pittsburgh.

    It is still unclear how the Steelers intend to use Ola in 2019. But with Anthony Chickillo proving just 1.5 sacks backing up T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, Adeniyi may have a chance to push him as the top rotational piece on the edge.

    The Steelers passed on a chance to steal Chase Winovich in the third round this year. Perhaps Kevin Colbert and company think they already have the player they need in Ola Adeniyi.

    https://stillcurtain.com/2019/06/04/...t-ola-adeniyi/

  7. #7
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    [/QUOTE] The Steelers passed on a chance to steal Chase Winovich in the third round this year. Perhaps Kevin Colbert and company think they already have the player they need in Ola Adeniyi.[/QUOTE]

    Only time will tell I guess but I can see Winovich becoming a star in New England and Adeniyi just being nothing more than another warm body in Pittsburgh. Hoping that I’m wrong but at the moment not drafting Winovich seems like an asinine move by the Steelers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man of Steel View Post
    The Steelers passed on a chance to steal Chase Winovich in the third round this year. Perhaps Kevin Colbert and company think they already have the player they need in Ola Adeniyi.

    Only time will tell I guess but I can see Winovich becoming a star in New England and Adeniyi just being nothing more than another warm body in Pittsburgh. Hoping that I’m wrong but at the moment not drafting Winovich seems like an asinine move by the Steelers.
    I definitely think that Colbert thinks they have that guy already. Time will tell.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 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.

  9. #9
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    The Steelers passed on a chance to steal Chase Winovich in the third round this year. Perhaps Kevin Colbert and company think they already have the player they need in Ola Adeniyi.[/QUOTE]

    Only time will tell I guess but I can see Winovich becoming a star in New England and Adeniyi just being nothing more than another warm body in Pittsburgh. Hoping that I’m wrong but at the moment not drafting Winovich seems like an asinine move by the Steelers.[/QUOTE]

    Would it be an "asanine move" if Winovich wasn't from the local area? He got lots of hype because he was a local kid. We got by far the best LB on the Michigan team. I also liked Winovich but its extreme to try to portray him as the next Kevin Greene

  10. #10
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    Chase seems to be a guy who is a high-effort physical player, but wasn't necessarily blessed with a great deal of athleticism and explosiveness. He was a third round talent who was drafted in the third round. I would have been happy to land him in round 3, but I don't think we missed out on the "steal of the draft" here or anything. I expect him to be a solid, but not necessarily spectacular NFL player.
    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.

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