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83-Steelers-43
08-19-2007, 11:05 PM
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Cookie!!! :banana:

Ron Cook: Steelers need to settle on starting line
Monday, August 20, 2007

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Saying the Steelers need to stop the juggling act and settle on five offensive linemen is a little like saying the Pirates need to get new ownership. It's a lot easier said than done.

The Pirates' situation is pretty hopeless, actually. Why should the Nuttings have any interest in selling the team when crowds averaging almost 36,000 showed up for the past four games at PNC Park to see a last-place team that's 18 games under .500 and headed toward a 15th consecutive losing season? The Nuttings might be the worst owners in all of sports, but they are shrewd businessmen, very shrewd.

The Steelers' line situation, meanwhile, only appears to be hopeless.

"[Determining the five starters for continuity's sake] is important. We're getting down the road a little bit," coach Mike Tomlin said in Washington the other night. "But these guys are professionals. I think we're going to have cohesion even if we do allow this thing to play itself out."

What?

You expected him to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

What do you want us to do? How can we pick five linemen when we're not entirely sure we have five good ones? How would you like to have to decide between Willie Colon and Max Starks at right tackle? And heaven help us if Marvel Smith goes down. We'd have to ask Alan Faneca to move over to left tackle, but that might not go over so well. It's not as if Big Red is feeling a lot of loyalty to the organization these days ...

No coach is that honest.

The good news is it's Aug. 20, not Sept. 9 when the Steelers have to line up for real against the Cleveland Browns. The team still has time to get it right, at least with the five starters. It's unfair to pronounce final judgment on the group the way Tomlin and his coaches, because of the necessary evaluation process of a new staff, have bounced the linemen in and out of games, from one side of the line to the other, often from series to series. Let's see what the starters -- presumably, Smith at left tackle, Faneca at left guard, Sean Mahan at center, Kendall Simmons at right guard and Colon or Starks at right tackle -- do once they get some work together. It's not hard to think they can be functional. Colon was impressive in his two starts as a rookie late last season, wasn't he? Starks started on the Super Bowl team in 2005, didn't he?

But, make no mistake, the No. 1s had better be in place soon.

The home exhibition game Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles isn't rushing it.

"The more you play together, the better you are," Starks said after the line had a difficult time, to be kind, in the Steelers' 12-10 win Saturday night against the Washington Redskins. "You get to know each other and build together and figure out each other's idiosyncrasies, which is a big part of being an offensive lineman."

Makes sense to me.

That doesn't change the fact that depth has become a troubling issue. Chris Kemoeatu might be able to fill in at guard and Chukky Okobi could play center, but who's going to fill in for Smith? He suddenly ranks up there with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Willie Parker as players the Steelers can't afford to lose. Starks tried playing left tackle in the first two exhibition games and gave up three sacks. Trai Essex played the position against the Redskins -- Smith was held out for precautionary reasons because of a bad back -- and was generally awful. He missed a block on the first running play, with Parker being thrown for a 1-yard loss. He was called for a tripping penalty when Roethlisberger was sacked in the second quarter. He gave up a sack of backup Charlie Batch in the third.

There's no one else to play left tackle.

Oh, yeah, Faneca.

You know all about his bitterness toward Steelers management as he heads into the final year of his contract. He told the Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette last week he would have to think long and hard about moving to tackle if asked, a switch he readily made when the Steelers had injury problems in '03. In the end, because he's such a pro, it's believed he would do it out of loyalty, not to the Rooneys and Tomlin, but to his teammates. Just to be safe, though, Smith had better stay in one piece.

At the risk of being overly simplistic, the Steelers will go as far as the offensive line in general and Smith in particular take them. He and the line didn't have a great year last season; the team went 8-8. He and the line were terrific in '05; the team won the Super Bowl. And who can forget the 6-10 mess in '03 when Smith was out with a neck injury and the line was in disarray?

It's still too early to say how it's going to play out this season.

But it's not too early to say Tomlin needs to make up his mind about his starters and do it like, you know, today.

And it's definitely not too early to say Smith has to stay healthy.

That, perhaps, above all else.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07232/810757-87.stm

tony hipchest
08-19-2007, 11:27 PM
*note to self*

left tackle is an important position in the nfl.

*check*

atleast cook didnt guarantee marvel smith to rip up his knee in this article. but it is still evident we are totally screwed. i guess we shouldve taken joe thomas with the 15th pick or sign walter jones off of waivers. :rolleyes:

83-Steelers-43
08-19-2007, 11:28 PM
I want to stab Ron Cook in the trachea and kill him over and over and over again. Right in the trachea......directly in the trachea.....until he's dead I tell you.....until he's dead. :sofunny:

If Smith goes down, I will fill in.

If Cook goes down, I will fill in.

tony hipchest
08-19-2007, 11:40 PM
I want to stab Ron Cook in the trachea and kill him over and over and over again. Right in the trachea......directly in the trachea.....until he's dead I tell you.....until he's dead. :sofunny:

If Smith goes down, I will fill in.

If Cook goes down, I will fill in.tomlin will have a tough decision of who "fills in" since i am throwing my hat into the ring, too. :sofunny: tomlin may not have it figured out until the 2nd pre season game in 2009.

regardless, its fair to say you and i are both better than smith or cook. lets make a deal. i'll take on run blocking and write articles on passing downs. :wink:

83-Steelers-43
08-19-2007, 11:45 PM
tomlin will have a tough decision of who "fills in" since i am throwing my hat into the ring, too. :sofunny: tomlin may not have it figured out until the 2nd pre season game in 2009.

regardless, its fair to say you and i are both better than smith or cook. lets make a deal. i'll take on run blocking and write articles on passing downs. :wink:

I'll pick up pass blocking and writing articles on Ben Roethlisberger's favorite cereal, How I killed Ron Cook because I really, really, really hate his articles and Ward's family history. I see good things here........good things. :cheers:

Preacher
08-20-2007, 01:49 AM
When will the Rooney's get smart and just hire Cook?

83-Steelers-43
08-20-2007, 09:45 AM
When will the Rooney's get smart and just hire Cook?

Well, the PPG is waiting for an answer from me. If I take the PPG offer, then Cook is going to the Steelers and I will be filling in for Ron Cook at the PPG.

The PPG stated that they were skimming over SF and saw the complaints and realized that Ron Cook is just not PPG material. After they read that I will write about Roethlisberger's favorite cereal, Ward's family history and more articles on Roethlisberger (seven per-day), they wanted me.

I'm going to give them my decision by 4:00 today. :wink02:

fansince'76
08-20-2007, 09:50 AM
And I wondered why the Rooneys didn't hire Grimm as HC. I have a much better insight as to why now - this line is a mess, and quite frankly, it shouldn't be.

rbryan
08-20-2007, 10:00 AM
Grimm didn't get the nod mostly because he had the reputation of being the town drunk here in the Burgh. Nuff said.

Coaches always get too much credit when things are good and by the same token too much of the blame when they're not.

As far as the PPG gig, I'm pretty sure the only qualifications have something to do with who your uncle is. Pretty much the same everywhere, how else do you explain all these hacks with a writing job??

83-Steelers-43
08-20-2007, 10:01 AM
Pretty much the same everywhere, how else do you explain all these hacks with a writing job??

Hell, if that's the case I'll call up ESPN and SI and see if they are hiring. :banana:

tony hipchest
08-20-2007, 10:03 AM
Hell, if that's the case I'll call up ESPN and SI and see if they are hiring. :banana:can i be an assistant? i can bring my box of 64 crayolas and color all the pictures in the ben articles. :chuckle:

rbryan
08-20-2007, 10:19 AM
Hell, if that's the case I'll call up ESPN and SI and see if they are hiring. :banana:

Your uncle runs the show over there? lol Can you put in a good word for me once you get your job?? Maybe give me a reference?

83-Steelers-43
08-20-2007, 10:21 AM
can i be an assistant? i can bring my box of 64 crayolas and color all the pictures in the ben articles. :chuckle:

Make sure you bring 'yellow' for the cheese. We need lots and lots of yellow. We will be covering his every step this upcoming Summer when he heads back to Switzerland.

From what I hear, he enjoys taking a #2 while eating cheese.....if you want the job, get in the trenches TH, get in the trenches.

zoneblitz43
08-20-2007, 10:30 AM
I think most fans are overreacting. it is the preseason, the purpose of these games is for Tomlin to evaluate the team and determine what is working and not working. don't feel so bad, did anyone see the Raven's o-line last night? they were awful. how about Cincy's offense? they were awful too. here are some things to keep in mind.

last year our preseason record was 0-4. so far we are 2-1. that is a major improvement.

jury is out on Mahan. I wasn't too impressed with the bad snap but he hasn't played much. I really wish we could have found a way to pick up Kalil in the draft.

Starks performed well on Saturday, he has improved at RT and will start if he keeps it up, however Starks has no business playing LT. Trai Essex was pretty bad on Saturday but he plays LT a lot better than Max does. I think Essex did a pretty good job filling in for Smith in 2005, hopefully he will return to this form. depth at LT is a need to be addressed in 2008.

the LG position worries me with losing Faneca next year. Kemoeatu is a good player but I just don't know if he can be an adequate replacement. can Simmons play LG? I have noticed Simmons play has improved, so far he has looked really good, and Kemo plays well at RG. we could draft an LG, but I haven't noticed any prospects at that position that are worth taking in the 1st or 2nd rounds.

rbryan
08-20-2007, 10:43 AM
If Faneca walks(that pretty much seems inevitable) I would look for the Steelers to get some help in FA next offseason. I doubt it will be a household name, but the Steelers have done fairly well in the past with middle tier OL. Someone with 4 years experience that has the potential to be above average.

tony hipchest
08-20-2007, 11:19 AM
If Faneca walks(that pretty much seems inevitable) I would look for the Steelers to get some help in FA next offseason. I doubt it will be a household name, but the Steelers have done fairly well in the past with middle tier OL. Someone with 4 years experience that has the potential to be above average.those guys now draw $50 mil contracts on the open market. ( leonard davis )

rbryan
08-20-2007, 12:27 PM
I really wish Faneca hadn't made such a public nuisance of himself earlier this year. They could have come to an agreement if he hadn't acted so childishly.

I think thats still a better option than throwing a bunch of money at some middle of the road FA next offseason. I just don't know whether both sides could swallow thier pride and compromise at this point.

SteelFist
08-20-2007, 12:50 PM
Since we're in the time of experimentation, lets give Capizzi a shot at LT with the 1st string......:crazy01:

Steelerstrength
08-20-2007, 01:04 PM
I want to stab Ron Cook in the trachea and kill him over and over and over again. Right in the trachea......directly in the trachea.....until he's dead I tell you.....until he's dead. :sofunny:

If Smith goes down, I will fill in.

If Cook goes down, I will fill in.

First opportunity to read a thread, after our horrible showing vs the foreskins. Great frickin' post!! LMAO!!!

Back to football. It was extremely difficult to watch the game, and our O-Line. (Had to wait for the replay on Sunday because they black out the West Coast for some bullshit reason) 6 plays inside the 10 and we can't get a TD! This is the NFL, and our first team O-Line was not getting it done! Don't give me that pre-season bullshit either! The Foreskins were all up in our shit! I can't even talk about it any further.:banging:

Mosca
08-20-2007, 01:24 PM
Sheesh. What about Kuhn at LT?

rbryan
08-20-2007, 01:32 PM
As long as Marvel is healhty we will be OK this year. If he's not we have a problem. Essex isn't the answer. Guys got two left feet, I watched him take a step back and fall right on his rear end without the DE even touching him the other night. Double Yoy!!

I think Starks will rebound from last year, the best thing that could have happened is for him to realize he isn't God's gift to the Steelers. Anyone notice he was still playing RT in the 4th quarter Sat?? He must really be in the doghouse.

Steelerstrength
08-20-2007, 01:52 PM
As long as Marvel is healhty we will be OK this year. If he's not we have a problem. Essex isn't the answer. Guys got two left feet, I watched him take a step back and fall right on his rear end without the DE even touching him the other night. Double Yoy!!

I think Starks will rebound from last year, the best thing that could have happened is for him to realize he isn't God's gift to the Steelers. Anyone notice he was still playing RT in the 4th quarter Sat?? He must really be in the doghouse.

I could not believe it when I saw Essex fall on his ass! Untouched! Damn! :dang::dang:

Note to self: Essex is now known as Twinkle-Toes.

rbryan
08-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Essex is still pretty young. Who knows, maybe he will get better. But I wouldn't want to have to count on him much right now.