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lamberts-lost-tooth
01-21-2008, 03:15 AM
Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, January 21, 2008

The Steelers enjoyed tremendous success with a core group of veteran players. But the same experience that made the Steelers a consistent playoff team could finally work against them.
Coach Mike Tomlin said it best at the final news conference of his first season in charge. The Steelers need an infusion of young legs to complement their veteran talent.

"We could use young people, young developing people in a lot of areas,'' Tomlin said. "If I could identify anything at this point, I would say we need young, big people.''

Some of the players on the Steelers' wish-list will be on display this week in Mobile, Ala., when the nation's top college seniors prepare for Saturday's Senior Bowl.

Expect Tomlin and his coaching staff to target those players matching two of the Steelers' primary areas of need: the offensive and defensive lines.
"Because you need big, strong men in the interior on the rise,'' Tomlin said. "We're older in those positions.''

The Steelers haven't drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2002. They haven't selected an offensive tackle in the first round since 1996.

Among the returning starters, left tackle Marvel Smith will be 30, right guard Kendall Simmons will be 29 and center Sean Mahan will be 28 at the start of next season.

Left guard Alan Faneca, who's a free agent and isn't expected to return, is 31. Tackle Max Starks, another free agent whose return to the Steelers is also uncertain, is 26.

Defensively, the need to get younger, especially up front, is even more pronounced. Was 2001 really the last year that the team took a defensive lineman in the first round?

The numbers don't lie. Defensive end Aaron Smith will be 32 at the start of next season. Nose tackle Casey Hampton will be 31, defensive end Brett Keisel will be 30 and backup nose tackle Chris Hoke will be 32 when the Steelers open the 2008 season. Fourth-round draft pick Ryan McBean, the youngest and least experienced member of the defensive line, is 24.

That's not old, as in ancient. That's old, as in time to reload.

Individually, the key members of the defensive line have impressive credentials. Analyzed separately, however, they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush and weren't as stout against the run.

All of which means there's no sense delaying the inevitable any longer. Tomlin's Steelers must get younger on the defensive and offensive lines, or prepare to face the consequences.

Last year, the Steelers selected linebackers with their first two picks in an obvious attempt to address a position the team has traditionally overlooked in the early rounds of the draft. Lawrence Timmons was the first linebacker selected in the first round since 1991.

Experience is great, but too much experience is no longer an alternative for a Steelers team whose goal is to become younger in the trenches.

Rhee Rhee
01-21-2008, 03:59 AM
hey at least he is targeting the o-line and d-line... not liek colbert, "a RB in the first" crazy talk...

Steeldude
01-21-2008, 04:41 AM
hey at least he is targeting the o-line and d-line... not liek colbert, "a RB in the first" crazy talk...

colbert wants a RB in the first? :banging: :jawdrop:

19ward86
01-21-2008, 11:36 AM
nobody knows what colbert wants..lol.
at least he is pointing in the right direction. he reminds me of cowher on how he goes after the spots that will be weak and not the spots that are weak. like our corners, and i guess u could say we are thin at RB, willie=amazin, najeh=good enough, russel=could be next laurence moroney(two headed monster for us, haynes=3rd down back. we could use a different goal line back, najeh was great this year but we need youth.

Edman
01-21-2008, 12:19 PM
colbert wants a RB in the first? :banging: :jawdrop:

Smokescreen.

What GM reveals what he is actually going to do in the draft?

Atlanta Dan
01-21-2008, 12:33 PM
Smokescreen.

What GM reveals what he is actually going to do in the draft?

Agreed

OTOH Tomlin pretty much announced the Steelers were taking Timmons weeks before the draft - lol

Stlr4ever
01-21-2008, 12:33 PM
"Coach Mike Tomlin said it best at the final news conference of his first season in charge. The Steelers need an infusion of young legs to complement their veteran talent."

I think Tomlin has hit the 'nail' on target (finally!). Not only we need young talented players but also it's time to get rid of some of the older underachievers.
To the likes of Hampton and Faneca, I would say, "thank you for your great contribution, but it's time to part with you".

We are in dire need of good DBs, especially safeties. We also need a couple of good DTs and DEs so that we can go into 4-3 schemes as needed. With the players we have, it would be hard to do that. Guess who did well against the Pats offense? Eagles and Giants.


"Individually, the key members of the defensive line have impressive credentials. Analyzed separately, however, they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush and weren't as stout against the run."

Amen to that.

Stlrs4Life
01-21-2008, 02:35 PM
colbert wants a RB in the first? :banging: :jawdrop:


No, people take everything out of context, he stated that they can draft at any position besides QB, and TE. That drafting a RB would not be out of the question.

OX1947
01-21-2008, 03:18 PM
Trying to go for first downs should be his mantra when you have 3 min left in a game....

Dino 6 Rings
01-21-2008, 04:50 PM
We'll be taking an O-lineman in the first round. No worries there folks. Most likely D-line in the 2nd round, then O-line again in the 3rd, and filling the rest of the draft with DBs, and WRs, maybe a RB really late.

We don't need QB
We don't need TE
We don't need a P
We don't need a K
We don't need LBs
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy)
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.
We don't need Safeties, either type.
We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.

rich4eagle
01-21-2008, 05:08 PM
I think a better strategy would be to get a first down with two minutes to and first and ten with the game in balance..................players play but the best cannot overcome bad play calling

paw-n-maul-u
01-21-2008, 05:45 PM
I sure do hope we trade down a bit. I don't think we need to spend two first day picks on the o-line, unless we DO NOT get a first round OT (because of some incredible value for someone else), or we completely ignore the position in FA.

But back to the trade down ... Ok, we need youth at D-line and o-line, But holding onto max starks one more year, and addressing the O-line through FA, could save us a Day 1 pick on the o-line, becasue this draft is going to be loaded w/ skill position players in rounds 2-3, absolutely loaded.

The top end of the draft is going to be QB, OL, and DL heavy ... w/ your occasional WR like Manningham, or a RB like D-mac.

If we can't snag one of the top OT prospects at whatever # we draft at (what 25?) then trading down, and having another pick on Day one would be AWESOME. because they WR's and RB's are going to be coming off the board a lot between picks 25-50.

trading down to aroudn 30, and picking up a late second or early third would be crucial. A team like Miami that's loaded w/ Day 1 Picks (and a new VP of O Parcells who loves draft day trading), would be an excellent team to target.

paw-n-maul-u
01-21-2008, 05:48 PM
I say if we resign starks, try and address Guard or C in FA, and spend a first round pick on an OT, we should be fine.

But if we lose Faneca, Starks, and don't bring in ANYYYYYYONE in FA ... then we probably need to spend a 1st and a 3rd on O-line, that's why trading down and having an extra Day 1 pick to snag a Tall WR or young RB would be ideal, because the skill positions, like i said, will be very heavy in rounds 2-3.

steel striker
01-21-2008, 10:30 PM
Trying to go for first downs should be his mantra when you have 3 min left in a game....
:iagree
That play calling still ticks me off to no end and, are we the only team that plays to lose in big games? Cohwer use to do the samething at times and, I understand when you have a poor qb. We have big ben and, the whole game we threw the ball but, at the most important time of the game we run it. All i can say is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry for ranting again now i feel better! Not! Oh well there always next year.

Preacher
01-21-2008, 10:58 PM
We'll be taking an O-lineman in the first round. No worries there folks. Most likely D-line in the 2nd round, then O-line again in the 3rd, and filling the rest of the draft with DBs, and WRs, maybe a RB really late.

We don't need QB
We don't need TE
We don't need a P
We don't need a K
We don't need LBs
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy)
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.
We don't need Safeties, either type.


We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.

I am MORE then willing to wait until next year to pick these up. I would rather spend 2nd day picks on long shots with a big upside at O line and WR, and lb's (they are usually fast enough to play St's, and big enough to not get mauled.)

X-Terminator
01-21-2008, 11:43 PM
:iagree
That play calling still ticks me off to no end and, are we the only team that plays to lose in big games? Cohwer use to do the samething at times and, I understand when you have a poor qb. We have big ben and, the whole game we threw the ball but, at the most important time of the game we run it. All i can say is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry for ranting again now i feel better! Not! Oh well there always next year.

Will you guys get over this already? What does this have to do with the topic at hand?

I'TS OVER. MOVE ON!

fansince'76
01-21-2008, 11:56 PM
That play calling still ticks me off to no end and, are we the only team that plays to lose in big games? Cohwer use to do the samething at times and, I understand when you have a poor qb. We have big ben and, the whole game we threw the ball but, at the most important time of the game we run it. All i can say is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry for ranting again now i feel better! Not! Oh well there always next year.

Yeah, never mind the Giants played the exact same way in a very similar situation on the road against the Cowboys. They wound up winning, we lost. Shit happens. Get over it. :coffee:

Preacher
01-22-2008, 12:09 AM
Yeah, never mind the Giants played the exact same way in a very similar situation on the road against the Cowboys. They wound up winning, we lost. Shit happens. Get over it. :coffee:

:sofunny: That's why I just ignored it!

Dino 6 Rings
01-22-2008, 11:54 AM
I am MORE then willing to wait until next year to pick these up. I would rather spend 2nd day picks on long shots with a big upside at O line and WR, and lb's (they are usually fast enough to play St's, and big enough to not get mauled.)

I don't know about getting another LB early...I mean, we addressed that last season, I'm finally coming around to the idea of drafting both sides of the line heavy this draft, and skipping or at least waiting for the Skill players until either really late in the draft or maybe a trade or free agent signing. Timmons had better be the ST captain next season if he isn't the starting linebacker. That's something he needs to become, if he wants to be the future of the defense. Woodley has proven to me, he was a steal in the 2nd round and really is a force. With Silverback on the other side, LBs are pretty solid right now. Also, Anthony Smith had better grow up and perform better all around, including on kick coverage. I'm even willing to wait on RB and not draft one to allow Russell and Davis to develop this off season. I'm about done with the Najeh experiment, he is a career back up, but not the guy we need to pound the ball late in games to kill clock. Davis or Russell could be that guy.

DACEB
01-22-2008, 12:33 PM
We'll be taking an O-lineman in the first round. No worries there folks. Most likely D-line in the 2nd round, then O-line again in the 3rd, and filling the rest of the draft with DBs, and WRs, maybe a RB really late.

We don't need QB
We don't need TE
We don't need a P
We don't need a K
We don't need LBs
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy)
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.
We don't need Safeties, either type.
We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.

We don't need QB - agree
We don't need TE - agree
We don't need a P - agree
We don't need a K - agree
We don't need LBs - we will most likely lose Haggans so a LB although not a need, it would be prudent to pick one up. look for a STs guy
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy) - maybe not, this is not an area of need either. a dynamic returner fills a need though so I'll give you that one
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.- agree
We don't need Safeties, either type. - I'll argue that, we have a bunch of midgets for back-ups. did you see Carter play in the Jags game?? New blood may help STs
We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense -We need tackles moreso than guards, Colon would be better served at guard IMO
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries. - now your talking, this to me IS THE area of need. we need new young studs for now and the future.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.- DBs & LBs

And for what it's worth, we should try to resign Starks so we're not sweating OTs on draft day.

lilyoder6
01-22-2008, 01:16 PM
yea. i think we do need to re-sign starks..

RoethlisBURGHer
01-22-2008, 01:46 PM
Quarterback: NO NEED. Ben, Batch. Pierre might not even make it to TC.

Running Back: I wouldn't call this a need. I like Gary Russell as a bruiser short yardage guy.

Wide Reciever: Ward and Holmes are excellent starters. We drafted Dallas Baker (The Touchdown Maker) in the seventh round last year. He's 6'3" tall. He's not Plax-tall, but I think he can be tall enough. I can do without Cedric Wilson. Washington can be a solid #3 if he could catch more than he drops. I cans ee us taking a takk receiver in rounds 4-5.

Tight End: No need. I don't know the severity of Tuman's injury, maybe we take a blocker in like round 7 if he can't get healthy.

Tackle: We will be losing one if not both Smith and Starks. I think Starks did a helluva job at LT, I wouldn't mind resigning him and putting him there. I think we take a tackle in the first round.

Gaurd: I think Willie Colon is a much better fit at gaurd than tackle. Maybe move Sean Mahan over to replace Faneca. Mahan did play gaurd for Tampa Bay, and I think he would be much better at gaurd than center.

Center: Mahan is not the answer here. I would love to see us sign a mauler in FA to take over this position. Someone with Dirt Dawson type qualities. I have read some stuff on Stapleton getting a shot, but I wouldn't bet on him taking the starting spot.

Defensive Tackle: I like Big Snack. But I think we need someone to groom to eventually take over. Hampton isn't getting any younger. I also think it would help Hampton if we could relieve him at points in the game rather than have him take as many defensive snaps. Keep him fresh.

Defensive End: We all saw what happened when we lost Aaron Smith. We have absolutley no depth at this position. We need a guy who can come in and take over as a starter when Smith or Keisel are gone. And like with Hampton, it wouldn't hurt to have someone to rotate in and keep everyone fresh.

Outside Linebacker: It will be Woodley taking over for Haggans (who will not be resigned), with Harrison staying in his spot. I think we'll take an OLB late in the draft (6th round) for depth and ST.

Middle Linebacker: Foote will have competition from Timmons for his spot. If anything, hopefully Timmons can come in and help keep Foote and Farrior fresh. I expect this to be Farrior's last year with the Steelers. He's getting up there in age, and I don't see him getting a new contract. I don't think we look at the MLB position in this draft, but next year it could be our first round pick.

Saftey: Polamalu is a beast. Hopefully next year the injury bug won't hit him. We all saw what Ryan Clark meant to this secondary when we lost him. I hope he can recover from his spleen injury and play next year. Anthony Smith has the drive, he just needs to make better desicions and stick to his assignment, I think he'll be a beast. Tyrone Carter played valiantly, but he's too small.

Cornerback: Ike Taylor is a beast, just remember if he could catch balls consitantly he'd be a wide reciever. Deshea Townsend is valuable, I love having his veteran experience on the team. Bryant McFadden has shown moments of brilliance and moments of stupidity. But this may be the year he takes Townsend's job if he can show consitency. William Gay is a guy to keep an eye on, I expect him to be in all the nickel and dime sets, along with being in the CB rotation.

---------

I think we need to find a guy to return kickoffs and punts. We can't use Holmes, he's to valuable at WR to risk losing him to an injury returning on ST. We had some horrible starting position this season, our return game is the reason for that.

We also need guys who can provide special teams coverage. I think Timmons can do that if he doesn't take Foote's linebacker spot. Otherwise when we draft guys late, they better be able to contribute on ST.

Elvis
01-22-2008, 03:29 PM
We'll be taking an O-lineman in the first round. No worries there folks. Most likely D-line in the 2nd round, then O-line again in the 3rd, and filling the rest of the draft with DBs, and WRs, maybe a RB really late.

We don't need QB
We don't need TE
We don't need a P
We don't need a K
We don't need LBs
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy)
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.
We don't need Safeties, either type.
We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.
:wink02:Is This All We Need?
I still think that your kind of wrong about LB's. We still need to find a replacement for James Farrior. His time is ticking away. I think that maybe Timmons will be the man for that job, but what about getting someone to take Foote's position? Foote hasnt made as many plays this past season and maybe a player like Jeremy Lehman would be a nice fit in the 2nd round.

Dino 6 Rings
01-22-2008, 05:01 PM
I dont see taking another LB earlier than the 4th unless we pick up a pick in a trade none of us see coming. After drafting LBs in round 1 and 2 last year, you pretty much say "these guys are the future" and then you need to focus on what ails you now. Which, everyone agrees is O-line.

I still would love Felix Jones with the first pick, I bet we could still get good Oline help in the 2nd and 3rd round with some free agency help. But I'm an idiot that wants a stud returner and a stud 2nd or 3rd down back late in games that an out run most guys in the SEC, and that means, the NFL. But I'm sure the Steelers will take O-line, cause they know if they don't, their future at that position only gets worse, and I know that too, I'm just thinking for my Madden game next year, having Felix returning kicks would be fantastic. I'll have to "modify" the roster to get him.