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83-Steelers-43
07-30-2007, 11:49 PM
Steelers' O-line issues resolving themselves

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

He didn't have as far to go this time, which may explain why Alan Faneca took it upon himself to block two guys.

Defensive end Brett Keisel and linebacker Larry Foote felt Faneca's wrath in succession during a goal-line drill on Sunday.

Running back Willie Parker jogged into the end zone.

So much for Faneca's being disgruntled over his contract status becoming a distraction.

"I just happened to catch those two guys," Faneca said. "I think Keisel had somebody actually hanging on him a little bit, so he probably wasn't even worried about me."

Keisel might also have been more than a little bit surprised to see Faneca heading in the direction he was heading.

For years, the Steelers have pulled Faneca from left to right in such situations.

They used to have so much faith in a play called "Boss 38" (the "Boss" standing for "back on strong safety" in honor of Jerome Bettis) that they once moved Faneca from left tackle to left guard for a critical two-point conversion in Denver. So convinced were the Steelers that Faneca would get The Bus into the end zone that they apparently didn't care if the Broncos knew what was coming.

Now, the Steelers are becoming adept at running to either side (running behind Faneca remains the constant).

It's all a part of a training camp that has been characterized in part by an offensive line that's "doing a great job," in Keisel's estimation.

"He's being generous," Faneca said. "But we're probably starting out a little better than we have in the past. Normally, it takes a little time before we start to mesh."

Cohesion has been quickly achieved, at least in part because of consistency.

The center, right guard and right tackle positions were considered up for grabs when camp began.

But once again on Monday the starting five remained unchanged.

Head coach Mike Tomlin continues to maintain that the Steelers will experiment eventually.

But unless something changes drastically in the exhibition games, the questions have been all but answered.

Max Starks, a mess in minicamp, has slimmed down, stepped up and is going to be difficult if not impossible for Willie Colon to move from right tackle. Colon's having a good camp, but Starks is having a better one.

At right guard, Kendall Simmons is resurrecting his game and Chris Kemoeatu isn't offering much of a challenge.

Even if free-agent addition Sean Mahan eventually wrestles the starting center position away from Chukky Okobi as expected, the offensive line will experience a transition rather than an upheaval.

Once center is settled, the only lingering issue will involve whether Faneca will make good on his threat to "think about" playing through injuries he's played through previously.

When healthy, Big Red is still motivated enough to get 'em blocked two at a time.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_519799.html

Preacher
07-31-2007, 01:44 AM
Wow...

We know how good Colon can be... and Max starks is outperforming him?

Any of you that have been to camp.... Have you seen this?

Galax Steeler
07-31-2007, 03:56 AM
Sounds like Faneca is i going to play his heart out one more year.

Preacher
07-31-2007, 03:59 AM
Sounds like Faneca is i going to play his heart out one more year.


I had no doubt of that. He is a professional. What I doubt, is whether he will keep his mouth shut or not.

I hope so.


BTW.... What is the possiblity of slapping him with a non-exclusive franchise tag? That way, if he gets picked up, we get two first round picks?

SteelerWatch
07-31-2007, 07:00 AM
I thought franchising him would be fun, out of spite if nothing else. And the funniest part is that it would use up what would likely be his final peak year.

I'm shocked that Starks is apparently having such a good camp. He must have been reading my site in the offseason, because he's been the SteelerWatch whipping boy!

Jman
07-31-2007, 07:44 AM
I thought franchising him would be fun, out of spite if nothing else. And the funniest part is that it would use up what would likely be his final peak year.

I'm shocked that Starks is apparently having such a good camp. He must have been reading my site in the offseason, because he's been the SteelerWatch whipping boy!

This would cause sooo many waves. It's not a bad idea though. :computer:

steelpride12
07-31-2007, 09:37 AM
Steelers' O-line issues resolving themselves

"But we're probably starting out a little better than we have in the past. Normally, it takes a little time before we start to mesh."



http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_519799.html

Wow thats a superbowl bown mentality.

I'm suprised that Starks is dominating his position and Marvel is not a surprise he will win the position. Also i love the fact that Big Red no matter what is working his tail off and blocking 2 premier guys and proving something on the field.

HometownGal
07-31-2007, 10:27 AM
Wow...

We know how good Colon can be... and Max starks is outperforming him?

Any of you that have been to camp.... Have you seen this?

I can only go by what I personally saw yesterday at camp, Father, and I'd have to say Colon totally outperformed Starks. On the one-on-one's, Max was beaten pretty handily by both Hoke and Big Snack. But - that was just one practice. I've heard Max has had a pretty good camp thus far.

fansince'76
07-31-2007, 10:31 AM
I can only go by what I personally saw yesterday at camp, Father, and I'd have to say Colon totally outperformed Starks. On the one-on-one's, Max was beaten pretty handily by both Hoke and Big Snack.

Yep, that's the Starks we've all come to know and love, and this is the assessment I believe - I find it hard to believe that Starks has become the next Anthony Munoz over the offseason, like the article suggests.

TackleMeBen
07-31-2007, 11:14 AM
i dont care how the o-line is resolved as long as it keeps ben up right for more than a second so he can have time to throw the ball..

HometownGal
07-31-2007, 11:27 AM
i dont care how the o-line is resolved as long as it keeps ben up right for more than a second so he can have time to throw the ball..

The OL has to be able to block and open holes for FWP, as well. Our running attack is what Steelers football is all about.

rbryan
07-31-2007, 11:27 AM
Don't worry it's all good. This is the year St Pierre gives us the Ravens playbook instead of the other way around. lol

TackleMeBen
07-31-2007, 11:38 AM
The OL has to be able to block and open holes for FWP, as well. Our running attack is what Steelers football is all about.

that is true too.. sorry i forgot about parker (maybe its b/c he went to unc. and i am a duke fan..lol).

as long as its better than last year, i dont care how its fixed as long as its fixed.. last year it was terrible.

SteelerWatch
07-31-2007, 01:02 PM
The OL has to be able to block and open holes for FWP, as well. Our running attack is what Steelers football is all about.

True, but the running game isn't the part that struggled so mightily last year. In fact, considering that teams could so easily eliminate the passing attack from our game in 2006, I'd go as far as to say our running game was the best in the league. I'd wager the lack of a dependable air attack cost FWP at least 400 yards on the ground against teams like the Ravens and the Jags, among others. With some semblance of balance, I honestly think FWP can be even better than LT.

fansince'76
07-31-2007, 02:11 PM
I'd wager the lack of a dependable air attack cost FWP at least 400 yards on the ground against teams like the Ravens and the Jags, among others.

I think starting games 2-3 scores behind early due to turnovers didn't help much either. We were forced into a one-dimensional passing offense a number of times last year as a result. Pretty easy to tee off on the QB when a team is forced to pass to get back in the game.

HometownGal
07-31-2007, 02:28 PM
that is true too.. sorry i forgot about parker (maybe its b/c he went to unc. and i am a duke fan..lol).

as long as its better than last year, i dont care how its fixed as long as its fixed.. last year it was terrible.

It was pretty bad, admittedly. You forgot about FWP?:jawdrop: That's not a brain fart - that's blasphemy! :jawdrop::wink02:

Black@Gold Forever32
07-31-2007, 02:30 PM
Wow with Willie Colon being one of the camp sensations so far...I'm shocked to learn that Max Starks probably will start over him.......Now if Starks is having a great camp then so be it he earned it....I think Starks trimming down will help with speed rushers...I also think the fundamentals that Larry Zierlein is helping the Oline out to........I have read were Russ Grimm didn't care how the Oline blocked just as long as they blocked their man....I think thats why it seemed Starks always had poor foot work.......I have read that Zierlein is more of a teacher and teaches fundamentals.....

Stlrs4Life
07-31-2007, 05:13 PM
Well, sounds good so far. We'll see when they actually block a defense from another team.

Jman
07-31-2007, 06:50 PM
Fundamentals are essential. I don't know what it is, but whatever it is, Starks needs to get himself together at RT.

steelpride12
08-01-2007, 09:01 AM
Hey as long as Starks keep Ben safe and opens holes for FWP(HometownGal just for you) then ill be satisfied with him this last year.

TackleMeBen
08-01-2007, 10:22 AM
It was pretty bad, admittedly. You forgot about FWP?:jawdrop: That's not a brain fart - that's blasphemy! :jawdrop::wink02:
no its not blasphemy.. he did go to unc...lol... :sofunny:

83-Steelers-43
08-01-2007, 11:17 AM
Ed Bouchette's daily question
Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Question:

I realize it's too early to weigh in on specific parts of the team but based on the reports from camp to date and their 2007 draft decisions it appears as though the Steelers brain trust was a lot more confident in the offensive linemen on the roster coming into this season than many of the fans and sports writers. Do you think they knew or saw something we didn't see?

Mike Pristas, Ashburn, Va.

BOUCHETTE: You can't draft for every need, nor should you; that's how you over-reach and take less talented people. The Steelers did draft an offensive lineman, Cameron Stephenson of Rutgers in the fifth round. Perhaps they also could have drafted one in the fourth and/or sixth rounds, but they used those picks on a punter. They also addressed a more pressing need at outside linebacker with their first two picks (and may have over-reached by doing that, which is another story). The Steelers drafted tackle Willie Colon on the fourth round last season and love him. They also signed a center as their only big UFA this year. One more thing: Four of their lineman are the same ones who started when they won the Super Bowl.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07213/806016-66.stm

thebus36idf
08-05-2007, 01:03 PM
About Stark's Let's wait and see what happens when opposing defenses start to pick on him. Alot different than what he's enduring now. He seems to get real jumpy and tends to false start. Hope you're right that he's stepped it up.

revefsreleets
08-05-2007, 02:15 PM
Four of the lineman are the same that played on the SB winning team. That says an awful lot, I think. Let's face it, the team was complacent last year and Cowher's looming decision was a distraction. Toss in Ben's injury and it explains 8-8.