Tag Archives: Linebacker

Former Steelers Linebacker James Farrior’s Agent Says ‘Waiting For a Championship Opportunity’

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Following up on a story we ran Friday in regards to the possibility of former Steelers linebacker James Farrior retiring, his agent, Ralph Cindrich, responded to a question posed via Twitter about it.

Cindrich's response suggested Farrior, the 13 year veteran, is waiting for a "championship opportunity."

Will one of those present itself for Farrior? It's an interesting question.

Whether it will happen remains to be seen, obviously, but one team I can think of that loves players in these situations is the New England Patriots.

Few teams in the league look to sign veteran free agents facing the twilight of their careers as much as the Patriots do. They've recently gotten high production out of DE Kevin Carter and OG Brian Waters. This year, they've brought in WR Brandon Lloyd, OG Robert Gallery and RB Joseph Addai, recently of the St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, respectively. Even going back a few years, there's LB Junior Seau, WR Deion Branch and WR Jabar Gaffney.

The Patriots spent what seemed to be 45 draft picks on defensive players, including three of their first four picks addressing the front seven (DE Chandler Jones, ILB Dont'a Hightower and DE Jake Bequette). The Patriots have also built themselves to become versatile enough to play a variety of different looks in their front seven, depending on the situation.

It wouldn't be surprising if the Patriots, come training camp, took Farrior out for a test drive, and the Patriots, the defending AFC champions, certainly fit the title contender status Cindrich says Farrior is looking for.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Former Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Farrior Preparing for Retirement

Earlier in the offseason many fans were outraged by the way the Pittsburgh Steelers handled some of their veterans when they parted ways with stalwarts Aaron Smith, Hines Ward and James Farrior to open salary cap space. Many wanted to see the Steelers celebrate their careers, since all three-helped lead the team to two Super Bowl titles.
Yes, they were leaders and deserved more, but that more had to come on their terms, not the Steelers. First, Ward made the decision to return to Pittsburgh and the team’s facility to receive the farewell he deserved. Now, after some thought and soul-searching, Farrior may be following Ward’s example.
According to his agent, Ralph Cindrich in an interview on 93.7 The Fan, Farrior and the Steelers have started to discuss his retirement. When this press conference is called, fans will finally have their chance to celebrate one of the most important defensive leaders the Steelers have had over the past decade.
Of those three veterans, Far...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Ohio St. Linebacker Foregoes Potential NFL Career Out Of Fear For Future Health

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Former Ohio State Linebacker Andrew Sweat joined Seibel, Starkey and Miller on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN to talk about the offer he received from the Cleveland Browns to tryout for the team, and the reasons why he decided to pass.

Sweat chose to pass on the opportunity to play for the Browns and rather instead pursue a career in law or medicine since he has suffered 3 concussions throughout his career.  Despite fearing for his future health, Andrew said it was still a tough decision to make since he had always grown up dreaming about playing in the NFL.

Andrew also told us about his time at Ohio St. where he spent two years living with former QB Terrell Pryor, and what his best memories are as a Buckeye.

Filed under: College, Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Sports Talk Shows, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Andrew Sweat, Cleveland Browns, Jim Tressel, Ohio State Buckeyes, Terrell Pryor

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers


Steelers Linebacker Measurables Over The Years Compared To 2012 Top Linebackers

I was doing some research on measurables of linebackers that the Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted over the years just for comparison purposes and I figured I would go ahead and make a post out of the results and add in the top linebackers this year for comparison purposes. Let me disclaimer here that combine and pro day results are numbers that should reflect what a scout sees on tape. You can't judge a player on how fast he runs and how well he jumps in shorts. The numbers are fun to play with, but tape of a player does not lie.

The numbers below show the best result a player had at either Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Middle Linebacker perhaps not such an immediate need for Steelers?

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There are two draft picks that everyone seems to have the Steelers interested in since the combine, if not before. Dontari Poe appears to get further and further out of sight by the day with many experts saying he’s a top 15 pick by now. The more realistic name is Dont’a Hightower, LB out of Alabama. Of course you can still make a case for an offensive lineman in round one but for now let’s focus on why the need for middle linebacker seems to be so big; or is it?
The Steelers have two solid options on the roster today, one of which should be capable of stepping in right away and the other with the potential to do so.
James Farrior is gone now, free to sign with another team and the consensus is that his long time partner Larry Foote will take over opposite Lawrence Timmons. Makes sense; Foote has starting experience, knows the defense as well as anyone, and is 5 years the younger of Farrior. He’s solid in pass coverage, something that Potsie struggled with at times in 20...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Farrior’s Agent Believes Steelers Set To Release Linebacker

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another Steelers’ veteran is on his way out of Pittsburgh.


According to the Steelers website
, they will release both linebacker James Farrior and defensive lineman Aaron Smith before “the start of the NFL calendar year,” which is on March 13.

In a statement on the team’s website, Steelers President Art Rooney II said: “Both Aaron and James have given their all during their time in Pittsburgh and we appreciate their efforts and leadership they gave us.”

Farrior’s agent hinted to the news earlier today.

This morning on Twitter, Ralph Cindrich, who is Farrior’s agent, said in part: “#JamesFarrior has been a rock for the #Steelers but the #Turk takes no prisoners-he’s gone.”

This morning on the Morning Show over at 93-7 The Fan, Cindrich said he was pessimistic about the possibility of Farrior returning to the Steelers.

“I think it’s the reality of it all. The Steelers are so far over the cap; he’s done great things here, there’s no doubt that they would like to keep him and that still may come about, but if you were looking at it realistically, the percentages just aren’t there,” said Cindrich. “They’re way over the cap as many know and there are just some problems with trying to retain him.”

Click the link below to listen to Ralph Cindrich’s full interview:

On Wednesday, the Steelers announced that they will release wide receiver Hines Ward of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year.

Then, on Thursday came the news that the Steelers planned to also release Smith and may also release offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu.

With the releases of Ward, Smith and Kemoeatu, the Steelers cleare nearly $ 10 million in cap room.

Stay with KDKA for more on this developing story.

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Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers Release Smith, Kemoeatu (3/1/12)
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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: James Farrior, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ralph Cindrich, Release, twitter

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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NFL Combine: Inside linebacker would fill Steelers need

Vontaze Burfict might already have something in common with James Harrison.

Source: post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL


With the 24th Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, The Steelers Select… an Inside Linebacker

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You may be saying: why on earth would anyone think the Steelers should draft an ILB in the first round?

I'm glad you asked that question. But before I defend my position, let me say I understand that the Steelers are always going to draft the "Best Player Available" at their slot. The Steelers are well aware that the Kendall Simmons's of the world are going to come back to bite you in the backside (not literally, I hope). And naturally there may be different ways of looking at who the Best Player Available is, depending on what positions need to be addressed the most. But no matter how badly the Steelers might need a nose tackle or an offensive lineman, if in their assessment a given available nose tackle or offensive lineman doesn't represent a good value at No. 24, the available nose tackle or whatever will stay right on the board.

Note that I said "their assessment." Many people, including some of the draft gurus, thought that Maurkice Pouncey was a bit of a reach at Pick 18, and those people were proven wrong by the end of training camp. Where the Steelers rank someone and where that person is ranked by the masses aren't necessarily going to look quite the same.

So on to my premise—that the Steelers should look to draft an ILB high in 2012.

First, let's argue from the standpoint of need.

The current ILBs on the roster are James Farrior - age 37, possible age and/or cap casualty; Larry Foote - age 31, possible cap casualty; Chris Carter - 2011 rookie (5th round) that ended the season on IR because of a hammie that kept him off the field for eight games; Stevenson Sylvester - third-year vet (the third of three 5th round picks in 2010) whose transition from special teams to the defensive unit was not impressive; and Mortty Ivy - former UDFA who played the State Fair circuit (NC, MIA, and StL) before bouncing on and off the Steelers' practice squad. They've just signed Marshall McFadden, a 25-year-old FA who has not yet played in the NFL. Oh, and they have Lawrence Timmons, a pretty dang good ILB if he ever gets to stay there. And this brings me to my point.

The depth at ILB isn't deep enough. Potentially, both Farrior and Foote could be gone if the Steelers are struggling with the salary cap. And Farrior, as much as I love him, is 37 years old. Assuming that both Farrior and Foote are gone, this would leave the ILB position to be staffed by one stud (assuming that he doesn't have to move outside again and doesn't get injured) and a bunch of kids with less than a full season's game experience between them. The position they would be attempting to fill is arguably one of the most critical positions in the defense run by defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau.

Timmons will presumably move to mack in the absence of both Farrior and Foote (and here is a link to an article by our own Michael Bean arguing this is his natural position), but in this scenario you would need another excellent ILB to plug in. One of the aforementioned young 'uns might be that player, but it's quite a risk.

We saw what happened to the sack numbers in 2011 when the middle of the defense was compromised. Although the pass rush was greatly improved, due to the newly awesome secondary, the run defense was nothing like it was in 2010. This is not solely a function of the lack of depth at ILB, but it was definitely part of the problem.

How about value?

The two positions that most people seem likely to push for in this draft are NT and OG, and I certainly see the reasons for that. Without getting into specific players (which is pointless this long before the draft), we can look at the current rankings. When we do, an interesting fact emerges: the class for OG and particularly for NT seems at this point to be quite deep. There are 11 NTs currently projected by ESPN to go in the first 100 picks. The 12th player is still given a grade of 67 (out of 100). There are seven OGs projected to go in the top 100, and the 8th player is graded at 68. There are only four ILBs even projected to go in the top 100, and the 5th player is graded at 65. In the case of the ILBs, there is a big drop-off between player #3 in the ranking and the rest of the class. Player #4 just makes it into the top 25%. By contrast, nine of the NTs grade at 75 or above, and the 10th one grades at 74. OGs are not quite as numerous in quality, but there are still five players grading at 75 or above.

It seems to me that the Steelers are going to have a lot more good players to choose from in the 2nd and 3rd round at both of those positions, and none of the OGs or NTs are ranked in the top half of the first round anyhow (editor's note: with the possible exception of David DeCastro). I believe both of those positions can be addressed well in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but if they are going to get an ILB that is going to see the field next season, they are going to have to pull the trigger on one of the top prospects.

There is another important aspect of this which may not have occurred to many of you: the Steelers have the largest female fan base in the league. They are proud of this fact and do a lot to cultivate it. They hold women-only events, which are greatly appreciated and enjoyed, as I can testify personally. They eschew cheerleaders, thus not unduly messing with the body image of their female fans or forcing them to clean up the drool off the floor in front of their husbands.

But most importantly, they appear to bear this need in mind on about a 34 percent basis, which is, I believe, the percentage of Steeler fans that are female. They will move up to take a snuggly safety like Troy Polamalu, or draft captivating corners like Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, or bring in winsome wide receivers like Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown. And the truth is that while there are exceptions (Maurkice Pouncey comes to mind,) the big boys in the middle aren't generally the lookers in the draft. Au contraire, as the French would say.

And I'm happy to say a little research has indeed confirmed that the current top three ILBs are fine looking men. (Luke Kuechly is top in every class, being a looker, a great player, and a very high character guy, but he is unlikely to make it to 24.) There's a little road rage issue with Burfict, but I trust the Steelers to do due diligence and make the determination about the guy. So for what it's worth, make mine an ILB.

This is the third in a collaborative effort from the editorial staff at BTSC, providing some arguments behind possible positional directions the Steelers may go with their first round pick - currently scheduled for the 24th overall. These will be posted each day this week, and will not be distributed based on order of preference.

Part I - Wide Receiver

Part II - Trading Up



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Steelers 2012 Team Needs: Inside Linebacker

The final installment of the Steelers 2012 Team Needs is Inside Linebacker.  It may seem like a back door need as of right now but when it comes to Salary Cap crunch time it may become a front line need.  The Steelers are anywhere from $ 22-$ 27 million over the cap depending upon who you talk to and have to be below the salary cap by the start of the new league year.
Two players who very well could be on the chopping block are James Farrior and Larry Foote.  One or the other or even both could be cut to save in cap space.  Between the two of them the Steelers could save almost $ 6 million in cap space off of the number they need to get down to. 
Foote would be a $ 3 million dollar saving if he was released.  Farrior would save the Steelers $ 2.8 million.  Both guys have bonus numbers which are right around a million.  So instead of paying 9 million for the two of them we could pay less then 3.  That is a much better number for guys who do not play every down.  They are splitting time wi...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Giants linebacker Kiwanuka heads home for Super Bowl

New York Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka is well positioned for this Super Bowl. Kiwanuka starred at Boston College in the heart of New England Patriots territory, played his entire career in the shadow of New York and will get the chance to go home to Indianapolis to finally play in the NFL's biggest game.

Source: post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL

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