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When Value Meets Need, it Just Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That

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In the weeks and months leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft, the general consensus among people in the know (or at least in the opinion) was that the Steelers were going to use the 24th pick in the first round to select inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower from Alabama.

With the departing James Farrior, Hightower would be a natural choice to eventually step in and take over the role as quarterback of the defense.

Inside linebacker was obviously a need, and why not go with Hightower? He's a good character guy, and a fairly safe pick despite the concern over his major knee injury from a few years back.

However, the offensive line was also a major need for the Steelers going into this year's draft (specifically guard), and there was some talk of maybe going with Cordy Glenn of Georgia or Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin. They were among the top ranked guards in this year's crop, but they weren't David DeCastro from Stanford. He was the highest ranked guard, and as Neal Coolong suggests, maybe one the best overall prospects in the entire draft. He was projected to go in the top 10 or 15, no way would the Steelers have a shot at him, right?

Every year, there seems to be a few things that throw the draft universe off kilter a bit. Last night was no exception. In at least a few mock drafts that I saw, DeCastro was projected to go 11th to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, instead of going with the can't miss guard, the Chiefs went with the work-out darling and selected nose tackle Dontari Poe with the 11th pick. I'll give them that. Nose tackle's are at a premium in today's 3/4 heavy NFL, and Poe's raw potential is just too enticing to pass up.

Surely, DeCastro wouldn't last much beyond the 15th pick in the first round, though, right? Well, thanks to the Seattle Seahawks, who became the winners of this year's "Whoa, Didn't See That Coming/What the Hell Were They Thinking?" award after selecting troubled defense end Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia, DeCastro made it past the mid-way point of the first round, and he just kept slipping and slipping.

He slipped by the Cleveland Browns, who had the 22nd pick and selected a 28 year old quarterback, instead.

DeCastro slipped by the Lions at 23, who went with an offensive lineman, but it was tackle Riley Reiff out of Iowa.

Now the Steelers found themselves in the enviable position of having the pick of the litter.

I don't know what the Steelers were thinking the past few weeks, and I don't know who was the highest ranked player on their board. Maybe Hightower was the man they had in mind up until the very end, but there was just no passing on DeCastro.

As the title suggests, it isn't often that the best player available and a chance to fill a major need come together as perfectly as it did last night for Pittsburgh. The Steelers have had a very high success rate with their first round picks under gm Kevin Colbert.

We're obviously at least a few years away from knowing this for sure, but the selection of DeCastro should go a long way towards ensuring that the success rate continues to flourish.

Thank you, crazy draft universe.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Rooney: ‘Sooner the Better’ on Long Term Deal for Wallace

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No news is good news in SteelerNation.

And there is no news.

Tribune-Review writer Scott Brown hit up Steelers president Art Rooney II for his thoughts on the progress of free agency, and the most one could glean from it is a subtle shot at the representatives of restricted free agent Mike Wallace. When asked about the progress of reaching a long-term deal, Brown quoted Rooney as saying "the sooner the better as far as we're concerned, but there are two parties to it."

This comes amid speculation from a Sacramento Bee report that Wallace informed the San Francisco 49ers, upon an inquiry about the kind of contract he's looking for, he wanted a deal similar to Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerld, which was reportedly eight years, and $ 120 million.

Wallace implied the information was false via Twitter:

But that's neither here nor there. Other teams have until April 20 to sign Wallace and other restricted free agents to an offer sheet.

The lack of a long-term deal for Wallace is possibly the reason why the Steelers have not signed any of their free agents, particularly WR Jerricho Cotchery or even RB Mewelde Moore.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Patriots must handle run better against Broncos

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The New England Patriots would much rather shut down Denver's ground game from the start of this AFC divisional round game.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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John Fox: We didn’t do anything different other than execute better

So what did Tim Tebow do differently that allowed him to have his best passing game yet when it mattered most against the Steelers? According to Broncos coach John Fox, the Denver offense didn’t do anything differently except make the throws they needed to make. “There wasn’t really much different other than we executed better,”…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


Roethlisberger Misses Another Practice; But Ankle Getting Better

The left ankle of Ben Roethlisberger is starting to get a little better, but is still black and blue as he missed practice on Thursday but still plans on going Monday night against the 49ers in San Fran.

It was the third straight practice that Roethlisberger has missed, and he’s hoping another 24 hours of rest will help him avoid missing his first start due to injury in more than two years.

“The goal is as soon as possible to get in there and get in as much work as I can,” Roethlisberger said.

That might not be until Saturday at the earliest, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said the team could wait until after warmups against the 49ers to make a decision.

Veteran Charlie Batch will get the call if Roethlisberger can’t go, though Roethlisberger is doing everything he can to get ready.

Hot tubs. Cold tubs. Range of motion exercises. Massages. Roethlisberger was even fitted for a custom-made ankle brace on Thursday which he plans to wear whenever he returns.

While he’s no stranger to playing hurt — he’s already dealt with a sprained left foot and a fractured right thumb this year — the problem this time is the inability to execute even the most routine tasks.

“If this was just a matter of pain, I’d be out there, but it’s being physically unable to do certain things,” he said.

Source: Steelers Gab

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Receivers aim for better outing

Coach Mike Tomlin said in his weekly press conference that the team’s wide receivers needed to get more separation and make more competitive catches following Sunday night’s game in Kansas City. Hi...

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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