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Livinginthe past
01-30-2007, 10:43 AM
So i've noticed most topics seem to find their way round to this subject, whether we are talking new coaching staff or potential RB draftee's.

To my mind, this is the one area where you can't afford incompetent or lazy play, not only does it make a running game nigh on impossible, but you also run the risk of getting your most important offensive player beaten to a pulp.

1. What position(s) or players do you feel to be the real weakness on the current O-line?

2. Is it fair to say that as a unit they under-performed, and if so, why? Age, SB comedown, poor coaching?

NM

Tankus_Maximus
01-30-2007, 10:46 AM
1. RT/RG. Starks & Simmons bear the brunt of abuse here. How does Simmons get frost-bite? Was he in the arctic circle? Kemoeatu is more than willing & able to fill his shoes. The RT...that should be addressed in the draft.

2. The unit played inconsistently. One game they'd look stellar, the next they looked like The Raiders. In regards to the age of the line, I'd say Hartings hangs it up with Okobi likely to replace him, and with Faneca & Smith on the left side relatively young with Kemoeatu, I'd venture to say we're in good shape.

Donnie Iris
01-30-2007, 10:49 AM
Hartings did not play well this season and it's time for him to retire. That being said, what can be done to improve play at this position?

I know some of the coaches are high on Okkobi, but I'm not convinced he's the answer.

Is Marvin Phillip ready to step into this role?

Will they move Kendall Simmons over?

Lots of questions to be answered at the Center position in the off-season.


I think Max Starks play dropped off as well this past season. His contract situation could come into play.

Is Willie Colon ready to step up? Did he pass Trai Essex on the depth chart?

What about Kemo?

Actually, I guess have more questions than answers. Sorry. :tt02:

DACEB
01-30-2007, 01:01 PM
I think everyone agrees Hartings had a bad year and he will probably retire. It will be interesting to see what happens at the center position. With the new coaching staff, who will be at center, Okobi or Phillips or even Simmons? I think physically anyone would be an upgrade, because Hartings knees were so bad, but this is a position that relies also on intelligence and technique.
I think everyone also agrees that Starks was a big part of the problem. He could very well be a cap casualty, if not that gives us more depth. I think Colon is capable of taking over that spot also.
Overall I believe we underacheived on the Oline this past year for whatever reason. I think we have the linemen to get it done and some quality back-ups in Kemo, Colon and Essex. Maybe Simmons ends up as a back-up with Kemo coming in, but I will give Simmons a pass this year.
One thing I would guess is that all the linemen will be fighting for a spot with the new coaching staff, and thats probably a good thing. The second thing is that with a new staff and a different line-up (at least at center) it will take some time to gel, hopefully not too long.

t-sizzlez
01-30-2007, 01:10 PM
you know im not really sure but hartings is getting old, simmons and starks arent the answer, all i do know tho is that it better gte better

Donnie Iris
01-30-2007, 01:20 PM
i don't know, but give me Levi Brown or Justin Blaylock at #15 and I'll be a happy camper.

Haiku_Dirtt
01-30-2007, 01:31 PM
1. RT/RG. Starks & Simmons bear the brunt of abuse here. How does Simmons get frost-bite? Was he in the arctic circle? Kemoeatu is more than willing & able to fill his shoes. The RT...that should be addressed in the draft.

2. The unit played inconsistently. One game they'd look stellar, the next they looked like The Raiders. In regards to the age of the line, I'd say Hartings hangs it up with Okobi likely to replace him, and with Faneca & Smith on the left side relatively young with Kemoeatu, I'd venture to say we're in good shape.

Last off season I thought this exactly - well except for the frost bite? - but now I don't know.

The way Kemoeatu played at Utah some wondered whether a career at Roadtec might be more suitable than the NFL for the way he could pull and scamper down field. He was part of an O-line that helped propel Alex Smith into the Top Spot of the draft. Even when he started playing with the first team his play didn't provide any clue as to who he is?

And whispers about moving Simmons to center didn't go away after Okobi filled in for Hartings. Faneca's career is setting fast.

If I'm reaching for positives it's doubtful that Marvel Smith repeats with the same lackluster performance and Willie Colon (bad ass Brick) filled in for Max pretty well against Cincy. The prognosis for next season ranges from dire to ____?______.

Id' like to see us take the best offensive lineman in the first round.

dSharp
01-30-2007, 01:57 PM
as far as drafting an o-lineman in the first round, I think that's a hit or miss situation. I could be off the beaten path here, but I've always seen the first round as a round where you try and get the best skill position players, unless you absolutely NEED lineman and are willing to take the chance.

Having said that, I think we're faced with a situation where, if we don't take a lineman with our first or even 1st through 3rd round pick, do we have the offensive line coach to mold a 4th or 5th rounder into an all star lineman waiting in the wings? I kind of doubt it. That might mean that we will in fact have to use a high pick on a lineman.

This is the problem with losing Grimm... one could probably rest easy knowing that Grimm would be able to turn a mid rounder into a wall, although we didn't see great line play consistently this past year.

The good news is that we do seemingly have some depth in the line corps, just that it's a bit raw. I think that unless the staff thinks that we're screwed at tackle, you won't see a lineman picked in the first or second round by the Steelers. If that is the case, then I think you will see defensive line, cornerback, linebacker, or wide reciever with our first 2 picks.. and I'm starting to think it will be defensive line.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-30-2007, 03:27 PM
Livinginthe past;212918]
1. What position(s) or players do you feel to be the real weakness on the current O-line?
Other than Faneca...those who started the season last year better be looking over their shoulder...the good news is that with Kemo & Colon we probably have two of the four fixes and at the LEAST their talent may motivate the starters to play at a higher level...I am one of those who things that moving Simmons to center may be better than Okobi...and Kemo at right guard will be better than Simmons...sooo Kemo, Colon, Simmons, and Faneca fill 4 of the 5 slots....and that leaves Marvel Smith...who CANNOT HANDLE speed rushers!!!....and relies on help from Faneca too often.

2. Is it fair to say that as a unit they under-performed, and if so, why? Age, SB comedown, poor coaching?

1) Harting- Age and bad knees...but a warrior
2) Simmons- Diabetes (health) and pass blocking..gets burned on double moves
3) Starks- Inconsistancy...maybe too tall to get proper leverage (6'8)
4) Faneca-Not the guard he once was..but still one of the best in the NFL
5) Smith-Cant handle speed-rushers...and gets lost in space due to lack of mobility (okay head-to-head)..Faneca or a blocking back has been his savior

polamalufan43
01-30-2007, 04:13 PM
2. I think it was a combo of both. I mean, there are some players on the O-line that are getting up there. I think we need some new people to train.

For the first one, I'm not really sure, I think they all performed badly as a whole.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

Black@Gold Forever32
01-30-2007, 04:15 PM
Well the Steelers have to fix that right side of the Oline. Both Simmons and Starks were average at best last year. I think a move to center for Simmons is in his future. But Okobi or Philip could show that they are the starter at center in camp/pre-season.

As for Max Starks. I think he will be back. He is only a restricted free agent. LLT hit right on the head Starks losses the leverage battle all the time. You would think a coach like Russ Grimm would have tried to fix this with Starks.

It would be nice for the Steelers to find a true LT. I like Marvel Smith but he is better suited at RT. Smith started off at RT but switched to LT when Wayne Gandy left. But if the Steelers could find a LT then they could move Smith to RT then get rid of Starks. Don't think that will happen so I guess we have to live with Smith at LT.

Hopefully some of these young lineman step up like Chris Kemoeatu, Willie Colon and Trai Essex. It seems Colon is the most ready of the three. He did well the last two games replacing Max Starks at RT. But some say Colon is better suited at guard.

Now Big Chris has the physical tools he just need the mental part of the game down. As for Essex I truely don't know what to think. He played some his rookie year in 2005 but Colon played when Starks was hurt and thats suprising since you would think a 2nd year player like Essex would have replaced Starks instead of a rookie.

Stlrs4Life
01-30-2007, 09:48 PM
Marvel "Turnstile" Smith. I haven't given up on Starks just yet.