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83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 05:51 AM
Chasing receivers has cost Steelers
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 3, 2008

PHOENIX -- The Steelers are playing a dangerous game of chicken with respect to their wide receivers since losing Plaxico Burress to free agency following the 2004 season.

Burress now stars for the New York Giants, who face the undefeated and heavily favored New England Patriots today in Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"I've been dreaming about this my whole life," Burress said about playing in his first Super Bowl. He left the Steelers as a free agent before the 2005 season, missing an opportunity to play in Super Bowl XL.

Sure, the Steelers won a Super Bowl without Burress, but so what? Burress' absence only shows the lengths the Steelers have gone to replace him.

Overcompensating in their efforts to find another Burress, the Steelers have ignored a growing void on their interior lines.

In each of their last three drafts, the Steelers have selected a receiver. In 2006, the Steelers drafted two receivers -- Santonio Holmes in the first round and Willie Reid in the third. In 2005, the first draft after Burress' departure, the Steelers took Fred Gibson -- a tall receiver in Burress' mold -- in the fourth round. Gibson was beaten out for a roster spot by undrafted free agent Nate Washington. The Steelers also signed free-agent receiver Cedric Wilson prior to the 2005 draft.

The Steelers attacked their receiver problem in recent drafts with high draft picks. They used a similar strategy with tight ends, selecting Heath Miller in the first round in 2005 and Matt Spaeth in the third round in 2007.

As for the Steelers not placing a similar emphasis on drafting offensive and defensive linemen as high as receivers and tight ends, let's just say their past is catching up with them.

Since 2005, the Steelers have drafted seven linemen -- four on offense, three on defense. However, they didn't select any higher than the third round and only one has developed into a starter (tackle Willie Colon).

In fact, the Steelers haven't drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since Kendall Simmons in 2002. You have to go back to 2001 to find the last time they drafted a defensive lineman in the first round (Casey Hampton).

The Steelers also selected receivers in the first round in 1999 and 2000. That brings the count to four receivers and tight ends taken in the first round in the last nine years.

The Steelers clearly placed a greater emphasis on improving the receiver position with high draft picks than any position on the roster.

But instead of solidifying themselves at receiver, which they still haven't done, the Steelers also created a problem on their interior lines. All three of their defensive line starters will be 30 and older next season.

Starting with this year's draft, the Steelers no longer have the luxury of ignoring the offensive and defensive lines in the early rounds. And despite their best intentions of selecting receivers high in the draft, they still haven't found a legitimate replacement for Burress.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_550580.html

MarylandSteeler
02-03-2008, 06:00 AM
In my opinion Burress wasn't that great to begin with.

Totally in agreement that the Steelers have neglected the o-line and the d-line and it is definatly coming back to haunt them. We have to take a lineman in the first round no matter what, that is our weakness and that is what we need to focus on.

Everything else is solid enough that I think that we can afford to not draft anything else in the first three rounds besides linemen.

83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 06:07 AM
they still haven't found a legitimate replacement for Burress.

Santonio Holmes:

2006: Games - 16 / Receptions - 49 / Yards - 824 / AVG - 16.3 / TD - 2

2007: Games - 13 / Receptions - 52 / Yards - 942 / AVG - 18.1 / TD - 8

Plaxico Burress:

2000: Games - 12 / Receptions - 22 / Yards - 273 / AVG - 12.4 / TD - 0

2001: Games - 16 / Receptions - 66 / Yards - 1008 / AVG - 15.3 / TD - 6

I guess Holmes is just chopped liver? I'm not stating Holmes is a better WR than Burress right now, but I do feel Holmes is making very nice strides and is capable of becoming just as good as Burress (while being able to speak English) and is proving to me to be a very capable "replacement".

It's amazing, Burress has one good year while making the Super Bowl and now every other story and mouth is calling for Plaxico Burress and WR's 6'5" and up. Amusing. I was not hearing many screaming for one when Randle El threw a 43 yard td pass to Hines Ward in XL. Now all of a sudden.....:coffee:

Galax Steeler
02-03-2008, 06:17 AM
In my opinion Burress wasn't that great to begin with.

Totally in agreement that the Steelers have neglected the o-line and the d-line and it is definatly coming back to haunt them. We have to take a lineman in the first round no matter what, that is our weakness and that is what we need to focus on.

Everything else is solid enough that I think that we can afford to not draft anything else in the first three rounds besides linemen.

Agreed I was never big on burress either and hopefully we will have a sucsefull draft this year and get our lineman and reciever.

sherlock
02-03-2008, 06:47 AM
I`ve only seen two full Steelers games on tv,clips on youtube and videos on nfl.com,but what I`ve seen of Holmes has been real impressive.He looks a class act.
Holmes,Hines,Miller,Washington...I`m more than happy with the Steelers receivers.
I think that the O and D lines and ST need sorting out.

Appendix : I don`t know much about Ameican Football.

steel striker
02-03-2008, 07:13 AM
I agree about the o-line problem we need to address that first. Plax was not a team guy in my eyes because, right after the afc champ. game vs cheaters he moaned about not getting the ball enough hell when we threw it to him in that game he dropped several passes. Now it seems alot of people have forgot about that and, he has said some stupid things as well. I like the Wr we have and, give it a chance with an improved o-line Ben is only going to get better. Lets face facts if Brady had to play with our oline lets just say he would not be in one piece right now. God I hate the cheaters please let the g-men pull off the upset.

fansince'76
02-03-2008, 08:30 AM
OK, so Plexiglass is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread just because his team is in the SB this year? I guess his dissing of the team and city and his historically shitty work ethic are all forgotten now. Whatever.

rbryan
02-03-2008, 08:59 AM
Everything is great when you're going to the SB. Burress took the year off from practicing and somehow spins that into a heartwarming story of his heroic effort to play with an injury all year. The NFL makes me sick right now.

Stlrs4Life
02-03-2008, 09:00 AM
I don't miss Plexico either, 1 good year doesn't mean anything.

HometownGal
02-03-2008, 09:06 AM
I'd take Santo over Plexiglass any day of the week and twice on Sundays. It gags me having to hope he has an outstanding game today and the Giants can come out on top. :yuck: Let's see what a sweetheart of a guy he is if the Giants lose and he has to deal with their fans.

Mosca
02-03-2008, 10:50 AM
Using the draft positions to justify that argument is disingenuous at best. Top offensive linemen are just as likely to come out of the UDFAs as they are from the draft, and round one o-line busts are legendary. The argument is a little bit better when discussing defensive linemen, because a great d-line guy can be a game changer, but still; I don't have much of a complaint about '01's first rounder, nor '02's, '03's, '04s first rounder, nor '05's, nor '06's, or even '07s! Heck, I don't have a problem with Plex in '00; he had huge upside potential, which shows today. Our drafts have been pretty good, IMO. Some linemen haven't developed, but you can only know that in retrospect. You have to go back to Edwards in '99 for our last real first round bust.

Looking forward, you can use the same argument to say that we have the receiver position pretty well sorted out, with Holmes finishing his first year as a top level NFL player, Ward acknowledged as the best clutch player in the game at his position and with a few years left, with better backups (Washington and Wilson) than some teams have starters, and with one top tier tight end and one guy poised to be a second top tight end, on a team that hasn't had a pass catching tight end since Bennie Cunningham got injured. If Reid develops into a slot guy as good as Randle-El, then we are even better off. I wouldn't trade our receiving corps en masse for any other in the NFL except for the Patriots, and I prefer our guys with their contract situation to the Pats' guys with theirs; ours will be around as a group a lot longer.

It's simple; you can't have it all. If we had all the linemen we needed, we wouldn't have anyone to throw to. I'd prefer to look for the big guys in the later rounds and among the UDFAs, and I'll take the "hands" guys in the early rounds, thanks.

Haiku_Dirtt
02-03-2008, 11:37 AM
[B]t I do feel Holmes is making very nice strides and is capable of becoming just as good as Burress (while being able to speak English) and is proving to me to be a very capable "replacement".

Hell yeah IMHO. The English part won't be that important when the Steelers play in California. I do wonder about his long term durability.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But aren't the majority of headlines about Plax wondering if he'll even play and how much? How in the hell is THAT a quality asset? I'll take Steve Smith right now over any other Giants receivers.

BUT "the Steelers have ignored a growing void on their interior lines" THIS is completely unforgivable. Only time will tell. We sold our soul for XL. And just like the Vegas housing market...No Answers - No Solutions - No End In Sight. :shake02:

19ward86
02-03-2008, 12:37 PM
most of u are looking at this all wrong, i would take holmes over a lot of recievers. i think burress is a top 2 reciever in the league(tied with moss), and holmes is a top 10 in my mind, but they give you different things. holmes is the 50 fly pattern guy and burres is the 18 yd comeback or curl guy.

this read is horrible, how can you say that we risked anything by signing fred gibson, he was picked in the 5th round, he wasnt a top pick or anything. this thread says absolutely nothing about recievers costing the steelers.

xXTheSteelKingsXx
02-03-2008, 01:17 PM
most of u are looking at this all wrong, i would take holmes over a lot of recievers. i think burress is a top 2 reciever in the league(tied with moss),


I think that Wayne, T.O., Chad and Steve Smith(Carolina) are all better than Plax.

Rhee Rhee
02-03-2008, 03:00 PM
In my opinion Burress wasn't that great to begin with.

Totally in agreement that the Steelers have neglected the o-line and the d-line and it is definatly coming back to haunt them. We have to take a lineman in the first round no matter what, that is our weakness and that is what we need to focus on.

Everything else is solid enough that I think that we can afford to not draft anything else in the first three rounds besides linemen.

sorri but burress was great to begin with... anyone who's 6'5 210 and runs sub 4.4 and is incredibly nuts is good in my opinion.... remember that he and ben were beggining to click until injury and patriots ended our season... imagine if they had more time... it would've let ken whisenhunt do w/e he wanted...

Rhee Rhee
02-03-2008, 03:03 PM
BUT "the Steelers have ignored a growing void on their interior lines" THIS is completely unforgivable. Only time will tell. We sold our soul for XL. And just like the Vegas housing market...No Answers - No Solutions - No End In Sight. :shake02:

just because we havent been throwing around money to buy the best linemen (browns....) does not mean we havent been doing nothing and "ignoring it"... we have put in the draft picks necessary to supply depth and future starters it's just that the guys we get suck... i think it's our director of college of scouting... whoever that is...

83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 03:05 PM
sorri but burress was great to begin with... anyone who's 6'5 210 and runs sub 4.4 and is incredibly nuts is good in my opinion.... remember that he and ben were beggining to click until injury and patriots ended our season... imagine if they had more time... it would've let ken whisenhunt do w/e he wanted...

"Great"?

Great is John Stallworth and Jerry Rice.

And unfortunately, after dropping ball after ball, running bad route after bad route, not going for the ball at it's highest point and running his mouth off on a few occasions ....he sort of wore out his welcome here in Pittsburgh.

As for what he's doing right now (not that I really care, because he didn't do it here)...unfortunately, the Rooney's are not capable of reading the future. Yet we still went on to win XL and I'm still failing to see how we are lacking at the #1 and #2 WR slot on this team.