PDA

View Full Version : USA Today Player Ratings


Prosdo
07-06-2005, 10:58 PM
I saw that they are doing installments of the player ratings on the USA Today website. I thought I would post what they said about our guys

Defensive Linemen Article

Rock solid

This is the perfect description of Pittsburgh's Aaron Smith. Ends in a 3-4 defense are really glorified tackles, and they rarely put up high sack numbers. Smith gets down and dirty on every play, and he still found time to record eight sacks in 2004.

On the rebound

Casey Hampton of the Steelers missed 10 games last season with a knee injury, but he should re-establish himself on the nose of the 3-4 defense.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-06-23-sw-rankings-dline_x.htm


Linebackers Article

On the rise

Pittsburgh's Clark Haggans has the ability to make plays in his team's 3-4 defense. He had six sacks last season, and as he gets more experience those numbers could increase.

Elite

Pittsburgh's James Farrior has found a home on the inside of the team's 3-4 defense after failing to live up to expectations with the Jets.

On the rise

Pittsburgh's Larry Foote is a player to watch in 2005. He filled in for the injured Kendrell Bell last season, and with Bell gone to Kansas City, the job is his. Foote was signed to a long-term contract to keep from being an unrestricted free agent next March.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-06-29-sw-rankings-linebackers_x.htm


Defensive Backs Article

On the rise

Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu had a Pro Bowl season that was blemished when he bit on a Tom Brady pump fake for a crucial touchdown in New England's AFC championship game win. The second-year playmaker can blitz, stuff the run or turn and run in coverage. He led the Steelers with five interceptions, including one for a touchdown.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-07-06-sw-rankings-defensive-backs_x.htm

BlitzburghRockCity
07-06-2005, 11:59 PM
This is the perfect description of Pittsburgh's Aaron Smith. Ends in a 3-4 defense are really glorified tackles, and they rarely put up high sack numbers. Smith gets down and dirty on every play, and he still found time to record eight sacks in 2004.

Aaron Smith is so underrated.. he's a rock on our DL, and just finally got noticed this past season in the pro bowl!

Great article!

Prosdo
07-07-2005, 12:03 AM
Aaron Smith is so underrated.. he's a rock on our DL, and just finally got noticed this past season in the pro bowl!

Great article!

Very true. Smith has done great for us.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-07-2005, 12:07 AM
You know, its pretty bad when a national newspaper sees the light of our team and its players and recognizes the quality team we have, but yet one of our beat writers, crisco as I call him, cant even look past his own ego to actually write intelligent articles.

bigbensgirl7
07-07-2005, 12:36 PM
Great article Prosdo.
I think we have a pretty solid D this year and I am excited about it!

Prosdo
07-07-2005, 01:28 PM
It was nice to see a good bit of our players on the rise. No doubt is Aaron Smith rock solid and it was awesome seeing Farrior get listed as one of the elite.

clevestinks
07-07-2005, 06:44 PM
Nice to see some positive press. Aaron Smith has jumped off my underrated players list.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-07-2005, 08:58 PM
He's definately not making underrate players money either w/ that contract he signed a couple years ago. Isnt it interesting how so many players are making huge amounts of money by NFL standards yet are still under the radar.

Prosdo
07-08-2005, 12:58 AM
Indeed it is Blitz. Smith is one hell of a player, but always seems to not get noticed as much as he probably should.

Prosdo
07-13-2005, 07:36 PM
Offensive Linemen Article

Tackles

A notch below

Marvel Smith of the Steelers has zoomed up this list and should stay around for a long time. Pittsburgh's offense is built around the run and doesn't place the tackles at risk too often in the passing game, but the 27-year-old Smith has developed into a capable all-around blocker.

Guards

Elite

With more stability around him, Pittsburgh's Alan Faneca returned to left guard last season and anchored a line that paved the way for the AFC's top rushing attack.

On the rebound

Pittsburgh's Kendall Simmons missed last season after tearing his ACL on Aug. 18. That followed a 2003 season in which he struggled after learning he had diabetes and dropped 35 pounds. But his knee is expected to be healthy, and he has the diabetes under control.

Centers

A notch below

Coming off his first Pro Bowl, Pittsburgh's Jeff Hartings is 33 with chronic bad knees and could be playing his final season.


Rest of the article: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-07-13-sw-rankings-oline_x.htm

Prosdo
07-20-2005, 12:21 PM
2005 player ratings: Running backs
By Matt Pitzer, Sports Weekly
In a time of increasingly liberalized passing rules, running backs easily get overlooked. But this also has emerged as a time of nearly unmatched prosperity for running backs. While the NFL's all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith, retired this offseason, Nos. 4 and 5 on the list ?Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis? are still going strong.

Running Backs

Setting sun

Jerome Bettis' resurgent 2004, in which he had at least 100 yards in each of the six games he started and scored a career-high 13 TDs, convinced him to return to Pittsburgh. The 33-year-old Bettis, the fifth all-time leading rusher, could retire after this season, his 13th.

Under the radar

Pittsburgh's Duce Staley has a strong start in 2004 with an average of 101 yards in his first seven games before being derailed by a hamstring injury and overshadowed by Bettis. If Staley got through a season healthy, his value would be clear.

Fullbacks

On the rise

As the Steelers' offense becomes more physical and more ground-oriented, some credit has to go to Dan Kreider, one of the game's best lead blockers. The Steelers don't ask him to do much else and have little reason to do so.


Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-07-20-sw-rankings-running-backs_x.htm


It is nice to see Dan Kreider get some attention. He plays very well and never really gets much media attention.


2005 player ratings: Kickers and punters
By Howard Balzer, Sports Weekly
Sure, they're often the punchline of locker room jokes, but ask any member of the Patriots how valuable Adam Vinatieri is. The New England kicker has hit the game-winning field goal during all three of the team's Super Bowl wins, two of the kicks coming on the game's final play. Punters can be just as valuable, albeit less noticeable, as teams vie for precious field position game in and game out. The Sports Xchange sorted kickers and punters into six categories: Elite, A Notch Below, Rock Solid, On the Rise, On the Rebound and Setting Sun.

Rock soild

Jeff Reed has become clockwork for Pittsburgh and should be their kicker for years to come. He was 28-for-33 in 2004 (84.8%) and was perfect on two attempts from 50 yards or longer.

Livinginthe past
07-20-2005, 12:34 PM
Nice spot on the article Prosdo. Looks like the Steelers getting plenty of deserved props for an excellent season.
One of the ratings struck me as strange though - Dwight Freeney as the 2nd best DE - I believe this guy can be bullied in the run game to the point of being a liability and the main reason his sack-stats are so good is that the offences he faces are forever being forced into must pass play-calls due to the Colts O racking up plenty of points.
It must be alot easier to pass rush the QB if there is very little chance he is going to run the ball.

ITS PIG-SKIN BABY!

NM

Prosdo
07-20-2005, 12:41 PM
Thanks Living. The Steelers are getting a good bit of recognition in these articles. Always nice to see. I will post the wide receivers and quarterback issues when they come out.

bigbensgirl7
07-20-2005, 05:41 PM
It's nice to see Jeff Reed up there. I will admit I had some concerns about him at the beginning of the season last year, but towards the end my faith grew in him!!!
I'm glad to see Bettis getting the recognition he deserves. I am so sick of hearing how washed up he is...but he was able to rush for over 100 yrds. in every start last year...the wheels on the Bus continue to go round and round-even though this year...he will be taking a step back and it will be Duce's turn to prove he has it!!!

Avoid LLoyd1975
07-22-2005, 03:26 PM
12-4 is attainable. Anything beyond that is gravy. We have a solid team that knows how to fight through tragedy

Prosdo
07-27-2005, 04:47 PM
2005 player ratings: Wide receivers
By Howard Balzer, Sports Weekly
The NFL's golden age of passing continued last season with 24 1,000-yard receivers. By comparison, there were 18 1,000-yard running backs. Of those 24, eight are among the top 25 wide receivers or top 15 tight ends ? the sixth part of our 2005 NFL player ratings series, developed by The Sports Xchange for Sports Weekly. Players are sorted into six categories: Elite, A Notch Below, Rock Solid, On the Rise, On the Rebound and Setting Sun.

A notch below

Pittsburgh's Hines Ward (1,004 yards) is another guy who produces on a consistent basis, and he does it on a team where the running game clearly comes first. Ward has had some big statistical years anyway, thus it's almost scary to wonder what he could do in a more pass-oriented offense. Chances are, we'll never know, but that won't stop him from being one of the NFL's best.

Rest of the article: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-07-27-sw-rankings-wide-receivers_x.htm


I guess in a way I can understand this rating, but I would kind of think he would go under the solid category.

Prosdo
08-03-2005, 01:45 PM
2005 player ratings: Quarterbacks
By Matt Pitzer, USA TODAY Sports Weekly
Try as some teams might to get around it, the NFL is all about the quarterback, the game's most glamorous ? and well-paid ? position. Find a great one and you win. That dictum has resulted in quarterbacks being taken No. 1 overall in seven of the past eight drafts and it being perhaps the most scrutinized position in sports. Here is a look at the best quarterbacks ? the seventh part of our 2005 NFL player ratings series, developed by The Sports Xchange for Sports Weekly.

On the rise

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger set a rookie record by going 13-0 as the starter last year and faces pressure to do even better and get the Steelers into the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh helped Roethlisberger by averaging 38.6 rushes a game in 2004, more than five more than any other team. Defenses will be set up to stop the run more this season, and Roethlisberger will have to be more of a threat with his arm.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-08-03-sw-rankings-quarterbacks_x.htm

bigbensgirl7
08-04-2005, 12:32 PM
I think in terms of Ward...it is a good rating. He is not one of those recievers that defenses spend extra time working on how to stop him. He is a great reciever and very valuable to our system, but I think if he were some where else...he would not be as big of a factor!
I'm glad to see that Ben was listed "On the Rise" He does have some things to prove this year. But everyone is constinately talking about the run and defenses are going to be trying to stop it. Well is this anything new??? We have been pounding the ball for years, and every once in a while we get shut down...but in 16 games last year...it worked!