Tag Archives: Mike Tomlin

Steelers Draft Analysis

For those of you trying to put together a Steelers draft- here's a couple of things to ponder:

Since being hired in 2000, Kevin Colbert has had 1 OL player drafted in Round 1 (Kendall Simmons 2002). 1 2nd

Kevin Colbert

Kevin Colbert

round pick was used on OL (Marvel Smith (2000). 2 3rd round picks have been spent on OT's (Starks & Essex), 3 4th rounder's were spent on OL (Hills, Colon, Nkwenti) & 7 picks spent on OL players beyond the 5th round (Only Kemoeatu & Okobi of any real note). What does it mean? Probably nothing. But it seems that Colbert run organisations place OL value in the middle rounds instead of the high rounds.

You think that this trend only began once he joined the Steelers? He was at the Lions before that- Jeff Hartings being the only 1st round OL & Aaron Gibson the only 2nd round OL to be picked on his watch.

Since 2000, 10 'skill' players (RB's, WR's, DB's & QB's) have been selected in the first 2 rounds. In only 2 years since 2000 have the Steelers NOT spent a top 2 round pick on a 'skill' position.

Since 2000, 11 LB's have been selected by the Steelers. Only in 1 year was no LB selected (2006).

Since 2000 only 3 players have been selected on Day 1 (first 3 rounds) that did not play for a good sized foot ball program- Trai Essex (Northwestern), Ben (Miami OH), Ricardo Colclough (Tusculum).  Conversely- 5 FLORIDA STATE players have been selected in the top 3 rounds in that time frame (The highest of all schools for the Steelers). FLORIDA STATE & GEORGIA are the two schools to have the most players selected by the Steelers since 2000 with 5 a piece. TEXAS is 3rd with 3. (This DOES NOT INCLUDE UDFA).

Since 2000 only 2 DL's have been selected in the first 3 rounds- Casey Hampton in 2001 & Kendrick Clancy in 2000. 9 DL's have been selected in Colbert's reign. The latest 2- Ryan McBean in 2007 & Orien Harris in 2006 were both 4th round selections. (To balance this- the DL has been set for the Steelers for some time).

Since 2000

QB- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick & 4 5th round picks.

RB- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 5th round pick & 3 7th round picks.

WR- 9 selected- 2 1st round picks, 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 2 4th round picks, 1 6th round pick & 1 7th round pick.

TE- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 3rd round pick, 1 5th round pick & 2 6th round picks.

OT- 7 selected- 1 2nd round pick, 2 3rd round picks, 3 4th round picks, 1 6th round pick.

OG- 3 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 6th round pick.

C- 3 selected- 1 5th round pick & 2 6th round picks.

DT- 3 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 3rd round pick, 1 7th round pick (Please note- Casey Hampton, selected in 2001, has started for 8 years with Chris Hoke his back-up most of that time- no real 'need' for this position).

DE- 6 selected- 2 4th round picks, 2 6th round picks, 2 7th round picks.

OLB- 7 selected- 1 1st round pick, 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 2 5th round picks & 1 6th round pick.

ILB- 4 selected- 1 2nd round pick, 1 4th round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 6th round pick.

CB- 6 selected- 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 1 4th round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 7th round pick.

S- 4 selected- 1 1st round pick, 2 3rd round picks & 1 6th round pick.

ST- 1 selected- 1 4th round pick

By Round-
1st round- 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR's, 1 TE, 1 OG, 1 DT, 1 OLB, 1 S (6 'skill', 3 'non-skill')

2nd Round- 2 WR's, 1 OT, 2 OLB's, 1 ILB, 2 CB's (4 'skill', 4 'non-skill')

3rd Round- 1 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT's, 1 DT, 1 OLB, 1 CB, 2 S's (5 'skill', 4 'non-skill')

4th Round- 2 WR's, 3 OT's, 2 DE's, 1 ILB, 1 CB, 1 P (3 'skill', 7 'non-skill')

5th Round- 4 QB's, 1 RB, 1 TE, 1 OG, 1 C, 2 OLB's, 1 ILB, 1 CB (7 'skill', 5 'non-skill')

6th Round- 1 WR, 2 TE, 1 OT, 1 OG, 2 C's, 2 DE's, 1 OLB, 1 ILB, 1 CB (4 'skill', 8 'non-skill')

7th Round- 3 RB's, 1 WR, 1 DT, 2 DE's (4 'skill', 3 'non-skill')

You will notice a heavier weighting on 'skilled' players in the first 3 rounds, while there is a heavier weighting on the 'non-skill' players in the middle rounds.

Round 5 is weird- 4 QB's?? It would seem that Colbert uses Round 5 to grab the 'BPA' more often than not, while leaning towards playmakers early & 'grunts' in the middle.

This might all mean nothing. After all, the Steelers have been set in many positions that appear to be 'negleted' for a number of years (Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Marvel Smith, Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Alan Faneca, Kendall Simmons, Jeff Hartings, etc)

But then again, if it's used as a guide to Colbert's 'draft weighting', we might find our guessing to be a little less 'random'...

Post provided by Chadman at the Planet Steelers Forum

Steelers Radio – Free Agency Talk

Show Topics:

1. Steelers Cap Space
2. Thoughts on Steelers Free Agent Transactions
3. Will the Steelers get another veteran WR to replace Nate Washington
4. Why the Steelers like last years Offensive Line?
5. Why the Steelers must draft Defensive Lineman?
6. Why Bryant McFadden won’t be a Steeler?

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Max Starks Interview (Radio)


Check out the 1 on 1 Interview with Max Starks

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Show Topics:

1.  Max Starks talks About Free Agency and his Long Term Plans
2.  Max talks about what makes Big Ben so Special?
3.  Max gives his thought son Albert Haynesworthss Deal
4.  Max speaks on the media’s focus on contracts?
5.  Max gives his thoughts on Demarcus Ware
6.  Max gives his thoughts on the differences between Tomlin and Cowher

Interview Provided by: whatchatalkinbout.com

Pittsburgh Steelers 2008 Salaries

Steelers 2008 Salaries
Rk Player Salary (US$)    
1 Ben Roethlisberger $27,701,920    
2 Max Starks $6,899,800    
3 James Farrior $6,802,400    
4 Hines Ward $5,453,840    
5 Ike Taylor $4,643,360    
6 Troy Polamalu $4,625,000    
7 Marvel Smith $4,551,440    
8 Casey Hampton $4,100,960    
9 Brett Keisel $3,903,840    
10 Willie Parker $3,903,840    
11 Kendall Simmons $3,601,920    
12 Aaron Smith $3,255,760    
13 Charlie Batch $3,036,720    
14 Rashard Mendenhall $2,815,000    
15 Larry Foote $2,542,880    
16 Lawrence Timmons $2,199,760    
17 Santonio Holmes $2,176,920    
18 Mewelde Moore $2,005,760    
19 Justin Hartwig $1,980,760    
20 Limas Sweed $1,861,000    
21 James Harrison $1,806,720    
22 Ryan Clark $1,505,280    
23 Deshea Townsend $1,434,320    
24 Jeff Reed $1,430,280    
25 Chris Kemoeatu $1,423,240    
26 Nate Washington $1,419,880    
27 Heath Miller $1,347,260    
28 Travis Kirschke $1,133,360    
29 Chris Hoke $1,106,240    
30 Greg Warren $1,055,280    
31 Tyrone Carter $1,001,920    
32 Trai Essex $932,280    
33 Nick Eason $874,800    
34 Mitch Berger $870,000    
35 Orpheus Roye $870,000    
36 LaMarr Woodley $839,800    
37 Bruce Davis $800,626    
38 Andre Frazier $765,280    
39 Keyaron Fox $649,800    
40 Byron Leftwich $645,000    
41 Bryant McFadden $623,360    
42 Sean McHugh $605,000    
43 Tony Hills $599,500    
44 Willie Colon $451,720    
45 Anthony Madison $450,760    
46 Arnold Harrison $449,800    
47 Anthony Smith $448,840    
48 Dennis Dixon $425,000    
49 Jon Dekker $376,240    
50 Matt Spaeth $376,240    
51 Darnell Stapleton $376,240    
52 Carey Davis $375,760    
53 Daniel Sepulveda $375,760    
54 William Gay $374,800    
55 Gary Russell $370,000    
56 Mike Humpal $366,575    
57 Dallas Baker $301,720    
58 Donovan Woods $298,500    
59 Scott Paxson $295,000    

The Super Six

The Super Six

The Pittsburgh Steelers are Super Bowl XLIII Champions.  How sweet it is to bring back another Vince Lombardi Trophy to the city of Pittsburgh.  It is well deserved.

I had to wait a few days to write this blog to let the victory sink in.  To be honest, I am still in the process of reading every Super Bowl article on the internet still.  You name it, the Post Gazette, Tribune-Review, ESPN, CBS SportsLine, Yahoo! Sports, etc.  I just can't get enough of this Super Bowl victory.  It was perhaps the most emotional game I have ever watched.  I can honestly say that I thought destiny (and the referees) were against us when I saw Larry Fitzgerald score a touchdown, to take the lead, with just under 3 minutes remaining.  I thought the game was over.

Then, our franchise QB, Ben Roethlisberger marches 88 yards down the field (in spite of a holding call on Darnell Stapleton).  To cap off the drive and the Super Bowl victory, Santonio Holmes made one of the best catches I have ever seen and possibly the best catch in Super Bowl history.  Give huge props to Big Ben Roethlisberger; he put together possibly the best 2-minute drive in Super Bowl history.

I won't review the game since you all have probably seen all the highlights and read all the analysis you can handle at this point.  However, in a future post, I will add all the Super Bowl XLIII highlights to our Steelers photo and highlight gallery.  What I will review is a few plays and thoughts from the Super Bowl.

James Harrison returns interception for 100-yards
The interception return was easily one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history and is now in the record books as the longest play for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.  I couldn't believe what I was watching and was going crazy in watching him go yard-by-yard on the way to a pick-six.  I think I was gasping for air just as much as James Harrison was by the time he reached the end zone.  That play was simply unbelievable.  That was most likely, at a minimum, a 10-point swing.

Troy Polamalu lining up face-to-face with Larry Fitzgerald
I personally think this matchup wasn't talked about nearly enough and should have been one of the post-game story lines.  Larry Fitzgerald, the best athlete on the Arizona Cardinals (and best WR  in the NFL) matched-up with Troy Polamalu whom is equally as athletically gifted.  Polamalu played bump and run with Fitzgerald to try to slow him up a bit and delay him from 'hitting his routes'.  The media downplayed this matchup.  Most people questioned why Kurt Warner didn't get the ball in Fitzgerald's hands earlier but you can't throw the ball to the guy if he's double and sometimes triple covered.  Give Ken Whisenhunt credit for moving Fitzgerald around later in the game to get better matchups.  I thought Dick Lebeau and the Steelers D should have started moving Troy Polamalu around to 'spy' Fitzgerald later in the game.  They didn't do it and you saw what happened.  Fitzgerald started torching our secondary.

Larry Fitzgerald scoring with just under 3 minutes to play
This was a devastating play and it really showcased why Fitzgerald is the best in the business.  He's got the intelligence, the speed, leaping ability, and the hands to dominate in this league.  I really thought this was going to end up being the game winning touchdown.  Larry lined up in the slot, beat his man, split the seam and was off to the races.  Troy Polamalu took a gamble and the Steelers defense paid the price.  Polamalu was over aggressive and attacked the out pattern which opened up a huge hole down the middle of the field.

Larry Fitzgerald beating Ike Taylor on the fade route
This is just another showcase of this guys ability.  Also, give props to Ike Taylor because he had absolutely incredible coverage.  It's just that if Fitzgerald gets his hands on that football in a "jump ball" situation, he almost always comes down with it.

The play of Big Ben
In watching this game, Ben Roethlisberger had an absolutely incredible game and really deserved the MVP award and that's not taking anything away from Santonio Holmes because he had an amazing game as well.  Ben Roethlisberger made some plays that showcased why he's an elite quarterback in this league.  His scrambling ability to buy time in the pocket was amazing.  In particular, the throw to Heath Miller in the first quarter while buying time and throwing across his body displayed his underrated athleticism, arm strength and his field vision.  Steve Young said it best (and I'm NOT a Steve Young fan) when he asked Ben, 'How do you do that', 'Do you have eyes in the back of your head'.  It sure seems that way, Young.

The playmaking of Roethlisberger doesn't stop there either.  His pump fakes caused the Arizona Cardinals cornerbacks major headaches as well as his ability to extend the play in the pocket.  His accuracy was "spot-on" in the biggest game in the world (or maybe I should refer to the Planet hereJ ).  For example, his 1st down throw to Holmes on the last drive displayed his accuracy and arm strength.  His throw out of the end zone (which resulted in a safety due to the Hartwig bogus holding penalty) was equally impressive.  His 2-minute drive was typical Ben fashion.  Even though I'll admit that I wasn't confident at the point, I knew that with Big Ben this game was not over.

The game winning touchdown pass to Holmes in the end zone was perfect.  It couldn't have been thrown in any other place.  If Ben threw that ball a foot to the left, it's intercepted.  If Ben throws that ball a foot to the right, it's out of Holmes' reach.  Ben was simply incredible on the biggest stage in the world and in my mind, is well on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer.  Did I mention he's only 26?

Holmes Breakout Party (and a bit on Hines)
The play of Holmes' was equally as impressive.  He just made play after play after play.  I give him huge credit because I knew that the extra coverage was going to be rolled his way because of the injury to Hines Ward.  I thought the first reception to Hines Ward was instrumental because it scared the Cardinals in thinking that he was healthier than what he really was and opened the door for Holmes.

Hines played more of a decoy role in this game but he's equally as good.  The guy is a flat out football game that plays the game the way it was meant to be played.  Hines Ward plays tough, healthy/hurt, emotional, physical and great.  He's the ultimate Steeler and I can't wait to see him inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With Ward not being 100%, it was time for Santonio to step up.  And step up he did, by winning himself the Most Valuable Player honors.  The media hype up rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all week and said he would shut down one of the Steelers receivers.  Well, that was far from the truth.  I think Holmes took a little offense to that as well.  Cromartie was used and abused by Holmes all game.  It was a complete mismatch and the Steelers exploited it.

Other Notes:

Offensive Line - While they played a decent game, especially the tackles (wow, did I really say that?) it just makes me wonder how good Big Ben would be with a solid o-line.  I think we'll see the offensive line addressed this offseason.  I am predicting that they'll be one new starter at guard and tackle come next year.  Our offensive line in short yardage situations is a terrible though.  The Steelers failed to score a touchdown on two occasions (1inside the 10 yard line, and 1 on the inch yard line) that could have put this game WAY out of reach, early.

Coaching - Overall, I think the coaching was good.  Both Whisenhunt and Tomlin had their guys prepared to play.  I'm more impressed with Mike Tomlin more than ever now.  I guess a Super Bowl victory in your second season will do that.  Bruce Arians had a better than expected game plan but I would have thought, I'd see more passes to Heath Miller especially with the early success.   Dick Lebeau had a great game plan as well but that is nothing new.  It's great that he'll be back next season!

Linebackers - The Steelers 'backers had an amazing game.  Harrison is simply a beast and must be accounted for on every play.  Woodley is an all-pro type player and we should be lucky to have him and he's only in his second year!  He dominated Levi Brown all day and clinched the game with the forced fumble.  Foote is still solid and very good against the run.  James Farrior is Mr. dependable and is the leader on defense.  He had a great game and is well deserving of his Pro Bowl status.  Farrior is playing like he's 24 years old, not 34.  It's a credit to his preparation.  Lawrence Timmons is a star in the making.  Timmons has his troubles in run defense, but he's great in pursuit, an explosive hitter, great in coverage, and has speed and burst.

Mike Tomlin Named Coach of the Year

Mike Tomlin has been named as the motorola Coach of the Year.  Congrats Mike Tomlin. 

This is definitely a shot at Ken Whisenhunt whom wasn't even in the hunt for the coach of the year. Whisenhunt coached in the weakest division in the league and posted a 9-7 record.  However, give credit to the Arizona Cardinals for winning when it counts: In the playoffs.  Whisenhunt also helped make "believers" out of the Arizona Cardinals fan base and team alike.  The Cardinals do have talent (top 5 draft picks for the past decade will solve that problem) though.

Meanwhile, Mike Tomlin was in a good situation from the beginning.  He became head coach of an extremely stable franchise.  Additionally, he had a solid core players with a good mix of veterans and young talent.  Give credit where credit is do though. Mike Tomlin does not have the best assistants in the game (aside from Dick Lebeau).  Not even close.  He has done an excellent job over the past 2 years.  He posted an impressive 12-4 record (3-0 in the playoffs) in what has been described as one of the toughest schedules in the history of the National Football League.

It could be a sweed day

The rookie wide receiver from Texas, Limas Sweed saw his most playing time of his short career in the AFCCG against the Baltimore Ravens.  All I can say is if he continues to drop balls like he did in that game, his career will be short-lived.

In defense of Sweed, I saw a few positive plays:

  • His crushing block on the Raven's DB, Ivy, on a pass to Heath Miller
  • His interception "break-up"
  • His critical 3rd down reception to keep the chains moving in the 2nd half of the AFCCG
  • His speed - He was able to gain a step on several of the Raven's defensive backs
  • His ability to separate - He was open on several occasions during the AFCCG. Was this due to the lack of depth in the Raven's secondary or is Sweed starting to create mismatches?

In analyzing Limas Sweed this past week, a few things are obvious to me.  Number one, Sweed has great upside.  I really think his combination of size, speed, and athleticism is a mismatch to opposing defenses.  And let's face it; we haven't seen this type of size at the wide receiver position since Plaxico Burress played for the Steelers.

However, Limas Sweed, at this point, may have the worst hands of any offensive-skill position currently on the Steelers roster.  He dropped a touchdown pass that could have sealed the victory for the Steelers in the AFCCG.  Note to Limas Sweed, this is the playoffs!  A play like that, in a game of that type of magnitude could have cost the Steelers the game.  You could tell in recent interview with Coach Mike Tomlin that he is NOT happy about Sweeds' lack of concentration.  A lack of concentration could cost the Steelers the Super Bowl regardless of the play: a missed first down, a dropped touchdown pass, a fumble, or a dumb penalty.

Honestly, I don't think Sweed has very bad hands.  I've seen his statistics at Texas.  I've seen his highlight videos at Texas as well.  The guy can flat out play.  His problem is a lack of confidence, a lack of concentration, a lack of focus, or a combination of these.  His physical attributes are NFL talent for sure.  Take for instance, the touchdown drop against the Ravens.   On the replay, his eyes were not even focused on the ball.  He was either looking for the end zone, or looking for a defender.  He must understand, that if he catches the ball, he'll see the end zone sooner rather than later.  If a defender was there (which he wasn't) what difference does it make?  It's the NFL, he has to expect to get hit, whether he catches the ball or drops it, the defender will hit him so he might as well catch the ball.

 This week he will be playing the biggest him in his life.  It's hardly the time for lack of focus and concentration issues.  We need Limas Sweed to pull through this Sunday especially seeing additional playing time due to Hines Ward's knee injury. 

Sweed, if there was any time to step up and make a play, Super Bowl XLIII would be it.

When will the Steelers Learn?

The big news coming out of Browns vs Steelers game is obviously the concussion that Big Ben suffered. After extensive testing, the results came back negative and was confirmed that Roethlisberger suffered a mild concussion. This is Ben's third concussion and it makes you wonder when three things will happen:

* When will the Rooney's decide to protect their 100+ million dollar investment with an adequate offensive line. Didn't Steve Young only have 6 concussions before he retired? Ben and Rooney should take a close look at what is happening. With the amount of sacks that Ben has taken over the past several years, this was bound to happen.

* When will Ben learn to get rid of the ball quicker. It still takes him way too long to go through his progressions. By the time he reaches his 3rd and 4th receiver, it's too late. And NOTE to Ben, STOP trying to make the big play all the time! Take what the defense gives you and check down!

* When will Bruce Arians learn to adapt his game plan to the game situations and make in-game adjustments. Is it just the fans that see that the short passes to Moore, Miller, Spaeth work? How about the slants to Hines, and Holmes? Why is Bruce Arians calling plays that take so long to develop and involve 7 step drops knowing that our o-line can NOT hold onto their blocks for that long?

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