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Livinginthe past
07-09-2007, 05:49 PM
Following on from a thread in the NFL forum, I thought i'd set up a quick poll in the main Steelers forum the gauge the opinion of the SF members on the quality of this years TE unit (MIller, Tuman, Spaeth)

Where would you rank the Steelers unit out of the 16 units in the AFC and also the 32 units in the NFL?

You should vote for 2 options only (AFC rank and NFL rank)

HometownGal
07-09-2007, 06:47 PM
Kind of hard to rank them as we really haven't seen what Spaeth can do just yet. If we're going by potential and what I've seen out of Miller and Tuman since they've worn the B & G, I'd rank them AFC Top 1-4 and NFL 1-8.

xXTheSteelKingsXx
07-09-2007, 06:48 PM
I voted 1-4 because I believe they have uderachieved up to this point but I look to see the corp having a break out year this season.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 06:54 PM
It's tough for me to say that they have underachieved over the years while I feel that Cowher had underutilized them over the years. I feel Tuman is solid and I feel Heath has the catching, being able to get open across the middle and blocking abilities to become one hell of a TE if used properly. While some have knocked Heath for his lack of blocking abilities, I felt he stepped up to the plate nicely in that aspect and has become a well rounded TE.

Spaeth is a question mark. I have no idea what this guy will look like or what he brings to the table, not until at least I see him in camp.......and even then.

fansince'76
07-09-2007, 07:38 PM
I voted 5-8 and 9-16 for AFC and NFL, respectively, due more to underutilization in the passing game than lack of ability, as 83 pointed out.

ben2hines=6
07-09-2007, 07:56 PM
this question is a little unfair based on we use our tight ends more as run blockers than we do pass catchers, and heath did drop a few last year, i gave us 5-8 but can def move up

tony hipchest
07-09-2007, 08:36 PM
this question is a little unfair based on we use our tight ends more as run blockers than we do pass catchers, and heath did drop a few last year, i gave us 5-8 but can def move upthe thread is only unfairly biassed if the author is going on receiving numbers alone.

a good tight end shoulndt be consisered a glorified receiver or or a glorified o- linemen but a 50-50 blend of both. definition and the pretty much 50-50 playcalling of run vs. pass suggests as much.

i voted 1-4 afc and mistakingly clicked 9-16 in nfl. however i believe the steelers unit it top 8 in the league. alot of this rests upon the quality of te we took in the 3rd round and the overall impact i expect him to have on the offense.

steelers are well known for plugging in successful linebackers. they have a pretty impressive record plugging in te's and rb's too.

sure our te's dont put up reception numbers like the "greats" however our time of possession and rushing numbers stand on their own and wouldnt be so great without te's such as green, bruener, tuman, miller, and soon to be spaeth.

some would think having one of the strongest rushing attacks, and highest win % over the last 15 years means the under utilization of the tight ends. i call it efficient.

when it comes to rookie spaeth, im willing to put my money on the rooneys properly scouting the player when i project his effectiveness in this offense. as it is, we have the 2 of the best te's coming into the draft in the past 3 years. add the solid veteran tuman to that mix and i definitely think we are solid.

as a fan, i wont be worried as much if miller goes down as i would if i were a cheifs, giants, ravens, or san diego fan.

Preacher
07-09-2007, 09:18 PM
I rated them 5-8 right now.

Yeah, they have a tremendous upside. Tuman and Miller may develop into a great tandem this year... and with Spaeth.. well, we may have the ability to pass out of what looks like a full on smack you in the face running game...

But I gotta see it in action first. It is there on paper... but not yet on the field.

GBMelBlount
07-09-2007, 09:52 PM
a good tight end shoulndt be consisered a glorified receiver or or a glorified o- linemen but a 50-50 blend of both. definition and the pretty much 50-50 playcalling of run vs. pass suggests as much......

some would think having one of the strongest rushing attacks, and highest win % over the last 15 years means the under utilization of the tight ends. i call it efficient.

Agreed, but what is current opinion showing/using more tight ends in O-plan with current overall offensive personnel & RB's?

xXTheSteelKingsXx
07-09-2007, 10:28 PM
the thread is only unfairly biassed if the author is going on receiving numbers alone.

a good tight end shoulndt be consisered a glorified receiver or or a glorified o- linemen but a 50-50 blend of both. definition and the pretty much 50-50 playcalling of run vs. pass suggests as much.
i voted 1-4 afc and mistakingly clicked 9-16 in nfl. however i believe the steelers unit it top 8 in the league. alot of this rests upon the quality of te we took in the 3rd round and the overall impact i expect him to have on the offense.

steelers are well known for plugging in successful linebackers. they have a pretty impressive record plugging in te's and rb's too.

sure our te's dont put up reception numbers like the "greats" however our time of possession and rushing numbers stand on their own and wouldnt be so great without te's such as green, bruener, tuman, miller, and soon to be spaeth.

some would think having one of the strongest rushing attacks, and highest win % over the last 15 years means the under utilization of the tight ends. i call it efficient.

when it comes to rookie spaeth, im willing to put my money on the rooneys properly scouting the player when i project his effectiveness in this offense. as it is, we have the 2 of the best te's coming into the draft in the past 3 years. add the solid veteran tuman to that mix and i definitely think we are solid.

as a fan, i wont be worried as much if miller goes down as i would if i were a cheifs, giants, ravens, or san diego fan.

Agreed. I believe that tight ends these days are judged too much by their pass catching abilities as a pro. I think that blocking should be taken into more consideration when ranking tightends.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 10:39 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how you rate a position when it hasn't been used to it's fullest abilities. Then again, what do I know? lol. Anyways.....

Crushzilla
07-09-2007, 10:49 PM
Agreed. I believe that tight ends these days are judged too much by their pass catching abilities as a pro. I think that blocking should be taken into more consideration when ranking tightends.

Problem.

The NFL is generally judged by quantitative observations.

Do we go by pancakes? As far as I know that is the only numerical stat linemen are recorded on (other than sacks allowed, which can be tricky).

So it becomes a guessing game, leaving more people unsatisfied.

tony hipchest
07-09-2007, 11:01 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how you rate a position when it hasn't been used to it's fullest abilities. Then again, what do I know? lol. Anyways..... well rankings and ratings sell, (and give us something to talk about for the next 2 weeks). for instance, many rate the patriots wr corps as the leagues best even though none of the top 4 (moss, welker, stallworth, kelly) have even caught a ball from brady in live action.

i cant say for sure that the steelers TE unit will be the best in the nfl but i can absolutely say the bengal's wont be...

rankings and ratings such as these are more based off of potential as opposed to last years stats.

im not too concerned about the rankings or ratings either way. after all, last year rudi johnson was hands down the best rb in the afc north, and steve mcnair was headed to his yearly stretch with injuries, sitting on the bench.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 11:08 PM
im not too concerned about the rankings or ratings either way.

Thank you.

Eitherway, I can rate our WR core after seeing Washington and Wilson drop balls left and right. I can rate our o-line after watching Starks get blown up by guys five times smaller than himself or our center position being very questionable.

Our TE position I find hard to rate/rank juding that we have under utilized Heath and I haven't seen Spaeth play a down of pro-ball to date. Oh well, I guess that's just me. Like I said, what do I know?

tony hipchest
07-09-2007, 11:16 PM
Problem.

The NFL is generally judged by quantitative observations.

Do we go by pancakes? As far as I know that is the only numerical stat linemen are recorded on (other than sacks allowed, which can be tricky).

So it becomes a guessing game, leaving more people unsatisfied.so perhaps the nfl should just change the name of the "tight end" position to "big receiver" to make it easier for us fans to quantify...

tony hipchest
07-09-2007, 11:41 PM
Our TE position I find hard to rate/rank juding that we have under utilized Heath and I haven't seen Spaeth play a down of pro-ball to date. Oh well, I guess that's just me. Like I said, what do I know?unlike rb's wr's and qb's the tight ends are much like draftin left tackles. recent history says that when you take one early (or one of the highest ranked) they are usually one of the "safest bets" in the draft. couple that with the steelers excellent scouting, and i am definitely high on spaeth.

now i dont expect him to ever put up the receiving numbers that gates and gonzales, shockey or whitten will.

however i do anticipate him having the same impact that rookie heath miller had on the steelers offense.

heath millers numbers definitely dropped off with ben being injured and maddox always trying to make the big play . of course teams were beginning to double team the rookie also. however i compare this to the great season the dolphins randy mcmichael was having a few years ago (i forget who the starter was who went down), and lucas (from the jets) came in as a back up and randy was an after thought in the offense.

this was the year norv turner was the OC and rickey williams was looking like emmitt smith. mcmichael was looking like jay novacheck until the back up qb stepped in.

i cant project his stats (or even pretend that they will be great) but im certainly not afraid to project his impact on the team.

worst case scenario is i am wrong, and he is cut in favor for the next TE the steelers draft. im not afraid to go out on a limb for spaeth and the rooneys scouting dept. appearantly our new o- coord is pretty high on him. if im gonna doubt arians, i might as well start doubting tomlin and the rooneys.

(i already spent a short stint doubting the pick of spaeth, the hiring of tomlin, and the rooneys letting cowher walk- it was a short stint)

19ward86
07-10-2007, 12:36 PM
a lot of teams have good TEs but heath miller is now one of the top TEs. jerame tuman was the best TE in college when he was at michigan, and he is our best blocking TE and he has soft hands. matt spaeth is practically a lineman that can catch. we are a top NFL team when it comes to TE ranking just because we have great depth.

Preacher
07-10-2007, 12:42 PM
I gotta agree with 83 and tony here...

It sure is fun trying to rank and talking about TE's. It is better then a lot of the other garbage that we've been talking about (yep, me too... remember the thread about Britney Spears being redone in thrashmetal?). However, until they step on the field... it means nothing, and no rankings will change that.

It is the same with the coach... I love everything he has done up until now. I am very impressed by him. However, until he actually starts coaching and winning games... it means nothing.

The Duke
07-10-2007, 12:57 PM
a lot of teams have good TEs but heath miller is now one of the top TEs. jerame tuman was the best TE in college when he was at michigan, and he is our best blocking TE and he has soft hands. matt spaeth is practically a lineman that can catch. we are a top NFL team when it comes to TE ranking just because we have great depth.

Now we just have to use them more :dang:

Crushzilla
07-10-2007, 04:36 PM
so perhaps the nfl should just change the name of the "tight end" position to "big receiver" to make it easier for us fans to quantify...

If we insist on ranking everything, then yes. Suits me. Would destroy a lot of great Tight End/Butt jokes though, but I'll take the sacrifice.

Come on, Tone. Be realistic. One would be hard pressed to answer.. QUICK! Rank the 32 top TEs by blocking efficiency... GO!

What basis would we have?
What would we go by?
How would we prove our theories?

Are the Steelers TEs good blockers. Please. I'm not an idiot. Of course they are, we're a consistently good running team. But you would have to watch a season of game film for EVERY NFL team to do an effective rating of TEs.

So for once the Steelers are OVER-hyped and not terribly overlooked. When we were getting dissed I was quick to dive down throats. I stand by it here. The Steelers were ranked too high. When I see a spade I call it a spade.

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 04:54 PM
Come on, Tone. Be realistic. One would be hard pressed to answer.. QUICK! Rank the 32 top TEs by blocking efficiency... GO!

What basis would we have?
What would we go by?
How would we prove our theories?

Are the Steelers TEs good blockers. Please. I'm not an idiot. Of course they are, we're a consistently good running team. But you would have to watch a season of game film for EVERY NFL team to do an effective rating of TEs.
.so without watching 31 teams gamefilm, how do we all know hines ward is the best blocking wr in the game?

because we listen to the people who study this stuff, and the players peers. his reputation precedes him. it was the same way with breuner and then tuman. dermonti dawson was known as possibly the finest pulling center (thats not just my opinion, but widely accepted as fact) how do people come up with this. probably from hundereds of hours studying gametape.. there are indicators out there.

Crushzilla
07-10-2007, 05:01 PM
so without watching 31 teams gamefilm, how do we all know hines ward is the best blocking wr in the game?

because we listen to the people who study this stuff, and the players peers. his reputation precedes him. it was the same way with breuner and then tuman. dermonti dawson was known as possibly the finest pulling center (thats not just my opinion, but widely accepted as fact) how do people come up with this. probably from hundereds of hours studying gametape.. there are indicators out there.

Undoubtably certain players are reknowned for certain qualities in their game. But if Hines is the best blocking WR, then who after him? and who after that guy? and the next?

That's off topic, sorry, but its true. I can live with the ranking. We've all said, they don't mean squat. The forum seems pretty split on whether the they should have went 1-4 or 5-8 so this will never die. I'll chalk up a few 1-4s on the fact that we ARE on a Steelers board.

All I know is that, as mentioned before in the other thread.. (how did this pour over to here? haha) our guys are great for the job we ask them to do. They are not the 3rd best in the AFC, but that's ok.

The Steelers don't need bananas stats. That's what the Colts are for. The Colts have... and I'm just guessing here... More yards, touchdowns, first downs, everything than us offensively in the past 5 years.

Colts one Super Bowl
Steelers one Super Bowl

So its cool. I hear ya, Tony. These guys don't get enough credit for their work in trenches, but you'd be hard pressed to rank... without numbers.

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 05:17 PM
Undoubtably certain players are reknowned for certain qualities in their game. But if Hines is the best blocking WR, then who after him? and who after that guy? and the next?


So its cool. I hear ya, Tony. These guys don't get enough credit for their work in trenches, but you'd be hard pressed to rank... without numbers.receivers are a bit harder for the average joe (who doesnt attend live games) to guage cause alot of time all receivers arent seen on a play and the camera tends to follow the ball. especially on passing plays its easier to see if the TE is staying in to block (or giving up sacks), and on running plays its easy to see if he is pushing the pile or opening holes. its kinda like with the fullback. once you see kreider pancake players like ray lewis a few times, you kinda get a guage of their skills.

as far as receivers (without getting too much into it research wise), i would easilly place the recently retired keyshawn johnson #2. plaxico burress would be in my top 10 and randy moss would be below #25. players like torry holt are fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game so there are indicating factors if 1 wanted to come up with such a list.

Crushzilla
07-10-2007, 07:48 PM
And I never disagreed that our TEs are good blockers. Like I said, they are a great fit for our style of play, but I am just not buying a #3 ranking.

I had mentioned in the other thread that Heath Miller may have seemed to have taken a skid last year, but in actuality he was running nearly parallel to the numbers put up in his rookie campaign.

Won't you all come with me on a magical adventure of further elaboration? I'll take your silence as a "yes."

Hope this syncs up right... If not use your imagination (after all it IS a magical adventure)
Rec Yards YPG AVG Lngst YAC FD TD
39 459 28.7 11.8 50 5.5 22 6
34 393 24.6 11.6 87 5.6 21 5

Basically, he was one solid game away (about 5 grabs for 60ish yards and a TD) from matching his stats.

If Heath does this every year and plays for about 10 years at around 426 yards and 6 TDs, then I'll be more than content. An increase in yardage would be amazing, but if he maintains his current TD rate, he'll finish with more than Shannon Sharpe, Ozzie Newsome, hell every TE in the Hall of Fame (Sharpe will be).

That's a stretch, I know. I think he will be very good, but right now there are some uber explosive TEs in the league. TEs who have backups who, despite all of Spaeth's accolades, are not rookies.

I'm repeating myself... bah... I'm over it. I'm sure you are also. I'm going to move on, but I'll answer any rebuttal, of course... :bouncy:


players like torry holt are fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game so there are indicating factors if 1 wanted to come up with such a list.

That was a lot of my beef with Hines 23 (I believe) ranking. Ward is certainly no Steve Smith or Lee Evans when it comes to being an explosive deep threat, but he is without a doubt as fundamentally sound as any WR. Sure hands, good route running, team leader, tough as nails. He's not used anymore in the WR reverses and other shenanigans, perhaps because of his age, so that takes away from some of his "glamor."

I don't think he should be considered top 5, maybe not even top 10, but to put him after CALVIN JOHNSON was purely absurd. There are others who come before him, and I'm OK with that. To use your guy, Holt. He has all the qualities of Holt, but not the stats. How can that be argued against, the Calvin Johnson thing, though...

I really don't think Ward would be nearly as valuable on a team like Indy, or Sincinnati (don't worry, I'm biting my tongue... fingers... I'm just biting...). He fits our team well, though, and once again I'm OK with that. We don't ask Ward to really be explosive (nor our TEs).

So I guess I'll have to be content to let guys who pad the stats to take the glory, and I can't say that's a bad thing.

But a rookie?!

Marques Colston did everything the Lions want Johnson to do this year... and he's at 25... Now THAT is a ranking that blew my mind...

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 08:09 PM
i would really have no problem if somebody ranked washingtons safety tandem of sean taylor and laron landry as a top 10 safety tandem in the league regardless if landry is a rookie or not. rankings look to the present or future while statistitians look to the past.

after all, what any player did yesterday has no bearing of what they are capable of doing tomorrow. if it came to building a team for tomorrow, i would probably take landry over rodney harrison and definitely take d. revis over the saints cb regardless of "pro experience"

Crushzilla
07-10-2007, 08:35 PM
i would really have no problem if somebody ranked washingtons safety tandem of sean taylor and laron landry as a top 10 safety tandem in the league regardless if landry is a rookie or not. rankings look to the present or future while statistitians look to the past.

after all, what any player did yesterday has no bearing of what they are capable of doing tomorrow. if it came to building a team for tomorrow, i would probably take landry over rodney harrison and definitely take d. revis over the saints cb regardless of "pro experience"

Perhaps.. There have been so so so so many big time college studs who just couldn't cut it in the NFL, though, that I have a hard time swallowing the hype anymore.

Johnson is probably the real deal. Around draft time he was receiving as much praise as Bush did last year. Bush delivered. The Texas Tornado went up in a puff of smoke. Ron Dayne is playing platoon on one of the worst teams in football. Penn State Running backs... (Enos, Ki-Jana Carter.. well we can be content with that one...) I won't even mention Ryan Leaf... crap... I just... crap...

In all fairness, though, receivers tend to survival the bust a little better... we'll have to see.

As for Landry... ya... I would take a 6th overall pick and an insane up and coming SS over a LOT of people.

I would also take Landry over Harrison who is 34 and has been absolutely useless for the past two seasons with a bum right shoulder, right knee, torn ACL, MCL, PCL, and even AOL...

Who wouldn't?

I would also take Revis over a nameless Saints CB, because those guys are just that.

So I can't really say that's a tribute to the power of the rookie.

I understand that the Harrison analogy was to prove that the future trumps the past. But in this next season. The time these things are generally projected toward. I honestly can not say that for the next 6 months I would rather have Johnson over Ward.

EDIT: I put Taylor at SS. My bad, he is FS.

j-dawg
07-10-2007, 09:27 PM
i think the Browns are going to have a good TE group this year... and with Rob Chudzinski coming from Sad Diego calling the offense, I know he'll be using 'em a bunch...

i found these stats in an article about last years season...

* Altogether, the Browns tight ends ranked first for yardage with 1,138 yards. Only three teams tight ends cracked the 1,000-yard mark: Cleveland, New England, and San Diego. Pretty good company.

* Cleveland?s tight ends also ranked first in receptions with 127, making the Browns the only team whose tight ends accounted for more than 100 receptions (Baltimore was second with 95).

* Altogether, the Browns tight ends were a bigger part of their total receiving game than any other team?s; tight ends accounted for 40% of the receptions, 35% of the yardage, and 40% of the receiving touchdowns. That 40% of TDs is fifth, behind San Diego (50%), Houston (50%), Baltimore (43%), and the New York Jets (43%). The yardage and reception figures led the NFL.

* Individually, Kellen Winslow led all tight ends with 89 receptions (also tying the single season Browns? record set by Ozzie Newsome).

now, of course, we had the second worst team in offensive points last year, so i'm hoping the upgrade on the o-line will make us a bit more respectable this year.

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 09:51 PM
wow, j-dawg. with those facts and stats i can easilly say the browns have a better TE UNIT than the patriots. thanks! :thumbsup:

:chuckle:

winslow definitely has the makings to be one of the finest big wr's in the game. :wink: however if he goes down, so does the whole browns offense. he is their best player on that side of the ball.

j-dawg
07-10-2007, 10:11 PM
wow, j-dawg. with those facts and stats i can easilly say the browns have a better TE UNIT than the patriots. thanks! :thumbsup:

:chuckle:

winslow definitely has the makings to be one of the finest big wr's in the game. :wink: however if he goes down, so does the whole browns offense. he is their best player on that side of the ball.

hehehe... and we get to play at the patriots week 5 this year... :banging:

although i agree that winslow is arguably the best player on the browns offense... if he goes down i think our TE group is still good... not great... but good.

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 10:42 PM
hehehe... and we get to play at the patriots week 5 this year... :banging:

although i agree that winslow is arguably the best player on the browns offense... if he goes down i think our TE group is still good... not great... but good.take away winslow from the browns offense and a servicable offense becomes one that flat out sucks. still good te's maybe, but the offense will never work as efficiently. (and by that i still mean having some of the wort td productions in the league). as good as heath miller is, i think the steelers can still "keep on keeping on" were he to be lost from the lineup. (im not saying they are better without him but then again i woulda never said the steelers would be better without c. hampton, c. scott, and their starting qb the year they went 15-1)

Crushzilla
07-10-2007, 10:42 PM
hehehe... and we get to play at the patriots week 5 this year... :banging:

although i agree that winslow is arguably the best player on the browns offense... if he goes down i think our TE group is still good... not great... but good.

Which puts them at number 3 in the annual "Crushzilla AFC super-duper TE groups" ranking. :checkit: :chuckle:

Ryan............Nigel
:tomato: :tomato:

PisnNapalm
07-10-2007, 11:41 PM
I believe that Miller and Tuman were both grossly underutilized last season. Miller especially.

j-dawg
07-11-2007, 02:25 AM
take away winslow from the browns offense and a servicable offense becomes one that flat out sucks. still good te's maybe, but the offense will never work as efficiently. (and by that i still mean having some of the wort td productions in the league). as good as heath miller is, i think the steelers can still "keep on keeping on" were he to be lost from the lineup. (im not saying they are better without him but then again i woulda never said the steelers would be better without c. hampton, c. scott, and their starting qb the year they went 15-1)

well yeah... you loose miller and you still got a running game!! in that respect, it's my hope that our revamped o-line will give jamal lewis a decent season.. and if winslow were to go down, our TE groups production won't drop off much.. last year, with frye at the helm, and no protection or run game, we still had three quality tight ends capable of running intermediate routes and creating mismatches .. meaning we have guys who need to be accounted for. that helps the running game, the wide receivers, everything.