PDA

View Full Version : Roethlisberger says he had no influence on draft picks


lamberts-lost-tooth
05-01-2008, 03:22 AM
Steelers: after the draft: Roethlisberger says he had no influence on draft picks
Thursday, May 01, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's not that Ben Roethlisberger doesn't like that the Steelers' top picks in the NFL draft are a running back who compared himself to LaDainian Tomlinson and a wide receiver who is the type of big target he said he coveted.

Nor is he displeased that Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed -- two strong, fast and productive players from big-time college programs -- were drafted specifically to give Roethlisberger even more options in the offense.

But, probably not wanting to offend or disrespect any of his existing teammates, Roethlisberger wasn't exactly doing backflips or rubbing his hands in anticipation of training camp yesterday when asked his reaction to the two talented rookies who have been added to the roster.

Roethlisberger will get his first chance to work with Mendenhall, a running back from Illinois, and Sweed, a wide receiver from Texas, starting tomorrow when the three-day minicamp begins on the South Side.

"It wasn't pressing for us because we already have [players at those positions]," Roethlisberger said. "It's to add depth, to add versatility.

"You never know. Look at our starting running back now," he said, referring to Willie Parker, a two-time Pro Bowl selection. "He wasn't drafted in the first round. We'll see. It's interesting to see how it shakes out."

Then he added: "We have guys. It's not like we don't have a running back. We have a couple great ones. Same with wide receiver. We got guys. There's no real rush to push anybody into a starting spot.

"If they develop into it, I guess they develop into it. We've seen it too many times on any team with any player in the league -- anybody can be good, anybody can be bad."

After the 2007 season, Roethlisberger said he would like to have a tall wide receiver in the offense, a comment from which he has since backtracked because it offended, among others, four-time Pro Bowl receiver Hines Ward.

Coincidence or not, Sweed is 6 feet 4, 219 pounds with great strength and leaping ability. But it wasn't as if the Steelers had specifically targeted Sweed: He was one of three receivers they were considering in the second round. One of the others was DeSean Jackson of California, who is 5-9, 169.

When asked if the Steelers were listening to his request, Roethlisberger said, "I don't think so."

Roethlisberger said he knows very little about Sweed, other than he missed half of his final season with ligament damage in his wrist that required surgery. Sweed, who had 20 career touchdown catches at Texas, will begin as the fourth receiver behind Ward, Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington.

"I've got my guys out there," Roethlisberger said. "I've got my receivers who I've been working with, Limas will have to work his way in. For the first day or so [of minicamp] I won't be throwing too many passes to him unless they work him with the first group."

Not many people expected the Steelers to draft a running back and wide receiver in the first two rounds, not after coach Mike Tomlin declared after the season his team needed to get bigger and stronger on the offensive and defensive lines.

The Steelers didn't draft an offensive lineman until the fourth round -- Texas tackle Tony Hills -- and never drafted a defensive lineman. Roethlisberger, who was sacked a combined 93 times the past two seasons, said he isn't worried.

"The offensive line is going to be a lot better than people think," he said. "I have a lot of confidence in those guys. I've seen them at [the offseason workouts] and they're doing a great job. Guys are going to step in and fill shoes. Chris [Kemoeatu] is never going to be an Alan Faneca, [but] he doesn't have to be. He has to be the best he can be. I have a lot of confidence he and the rest of the guys are going to get it done."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



NOTES -- The Steelers signed another rookie free agent who is a defensive end -- Kyle Clement of Northwood University, a Division II school in Midland, Mich. Clement (6-4, 286) had 50.5 tackles for losses and 20.5 sacks in 45 career games at Northwood. He is the third defensive lineman signed as an undrafted free agent by the Steelers.


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08122/878087-66.stm

Galax Steeler
05-01-2008, 03:43 AM
I believe rothlisberger had alot to do with the selection of sweed he wanted a tall reciever and they got him one.

TackleMeBen
05-01-2008, 06:25 AM
I believe rothlisberger had alot to do with the selection of sweed he wanted a tall reciever and they got him one.
:iagree: but you know he wouldnt admit it to the media:wink02:

stillers4me
05-01-2008, 06:57 AM
I'm just glad we got who we got. It didn't turn out exactly the way we hoped it would, but "plan B" certainly looks to make the Steelers a defensive nightmare for our opponents for many years to come!

HometownGal
05-01-2008, 08:12 AM
Ben is being the total pro publicly and acknowledging the contributions and value of the guys he has played with over the last several seasons, but I have no doubt whatsoever he is privately licking his chops! :yummy:

Dino 6 Rings
05-01-2008, 08:27 AM
I think the need for a taller receiver was already well known to the coaches before Ben opened his mouth. And with Ced on the hot seat for lack of production and Nate dropping balls and not being "the man" at #3, my guess would be, they had their eye on a WR the day after the season ended. Going taller only makes sense, from a football perspective, we've got a burner, we've got a Hands guy in Hines, next we needed a fade route Tall guy...and we got him. Ben could have said nothing and I'd guess the coaches would have still looked for a Tall good hands receiver to draft. Sweed falling to us in the 2nd was just the extra bonus. Wasn't really a risk taking him.

TackleMeBen
05-01-2008, 09:01 AM
Ben is being the total pro publicly and acknowledging the contributions and value of the guys he has played with over the last several seasons, but I have no doubt whatsoever he is privately licking his chops! :yummy:
htg, that smiley is too funny. and i agree.. you know that when the steelers took sweed he was like oh yeah i got my way this time.:flap:

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
05-01-2008, 10:02 AM
Yes he is very political in his response............Basicly because Hines will cry if he doesnt..
I think willie is happy to have a back to share the carries with.......Willie is not built to carry a ball 30 times a game..........

I would say ben is happy with the first two picks........as a quarterback........how could you not?

Edman
05-01-2008, 10:16 AM
Actually Ben may be right.

Behind Hines and Santonio, there's nobody who's scary at wide reciever. Washington is too inconsistent and Wilson(Now gone) is just a plain bum.

Behind Willie, there's nobody. Willie busted his leg last year and our running game fell apart. I have no faith in Davenport. He too is inconsistent. This is two-back league. The previous times the Steelers reached the Super Bowl, they had a one-two punch at RB. Franco/Rocky during the 70's, Morris/Pegram in 1995, and Parker/Bettis in 2005.

DACEB
05-01-2008, 10:29 AM
Ben is being the total pro publicly and acknowledging the contributions and value of the guys he has played with over the last several seasons, but I have no doubt whatsoever he is privately licking his chops! :yummy:

Wow, was that scripted? Ben is definetly maturing into a great professional indeed.

I really like this comment. Ben has always stuck up for his line.

"The offensive line is going to be a lot better than people think," he said. "I have a lot of confidence in those guys. I've seen them at [the offseason workouts] and they're doing a great job. Guys are going to step in and fill shoes. Chris [Kemoeatu] is never going to be an Alan Faneca, [but] he doesn't have to be. He has to be the best he can be. I have a lot of confidence he and the rest of the guys are going to get it done."

Is it already set that Kemo will take over at LG for Faneca?

The_WARDen
05-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I agree he didn't influence the draft..
it was obvious to everyone that the most glaring needs on this team were RB and WR!
It's a no brainer...

:banging:

Dino 6 Rings
05-01-2008, 01:22 PM
I agree he didn't influence the draft..
it was obvious to everyone that the most glaring needs on this team were RB and WR!
It's a no brainer...

:banging:

For the placement we had in the 1st round, an OL or DL wasn't an option to help us in the 08 season. Whereas by the 23rd pick, with the talent on the board, RB was a need.

Galax Steeler
05-01-2008, 02:47 PM
I believe we will get some good results from our draft this year I can't wait.

TackleMeBen
05-01-2008, 03:01 PM
I really like this comment. Ben has always stuck up for his line.

"The offensive line is going to be a lot better than people think," he said. "I have a lot of confidence in those guys. I've seen them at [the offseason workouts] and they're doing a great job. Guys are going to step in and fill shoes. Chris [Kemoeatu] is never going to be an Alan Faneca, [but] he doesn't have to be. He has to be the best he can be. I have a lot of confidence he and the rest of the guys are going to get it done."


this is true, even in 06 and 07 when he was getting killed he never threw his Oline under the bus aka peyton manning when they lost to the steelers:wink02: but that doesnt meant that he is always happy with them. he may not throw them under the bus in public, but he may in private.

The_WARDen
05-01-2008, 03:22 PM
For the placement we had in the 1st round, an OL or DL wasn't an option to help us in the 08 season. Whereas by the 23rd pick, with the talent on the board, RB was a need.

keep telling yourself that...

cubanstogie
05-01-2008, 10:42 PM
keep telling yourself that...

Center was the biggest problem for us last year, and we signed a FA in Hartwig. That alone will improve out o-line. Drafting an offensive lineman would have made you and a few others happy but obviously the organization didn't see a lineman worth taking in the first round. Our receivers were the worst in our division last year. Hines is pretty much done, wilson is done, and Washington is a decent 3rd receiver. That leaves Santanio who I believe will be great some day , but thats it. When Willie went down so did our season. We had more holes than people will admit last year, we can't patch them all in one draft. I know I will catch grief about the Hines comment, but I don't see him contributing on a regular basis anymore.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-01-2008, 11:20 PM
Center was the biggest problem for us last year, and we signed a FA in Hartwig. That alone will improve out o-line. Drafting an offensive lineman would have made you and a few others happy but obviously the organization didn't see a lineman worth taking in the first round. Our receivers were the worst in our division last year. Hines is pretty much done, wilson is done, and Washington is a decent 3rd receiver. That leaves Santanio who I believe will be great some day , but thats it. When Willie went down so did our season. We had more holes than people will admit last year, we can't patch them all in one draft. I know I will catch grief about the Hines comment, but I don't see him contributing on a regular basis anymore.

You're right.....there wasn't an OL worth taking at 23....Both the Falcons and the Texans reached for Same Baker and Duane Brown....Baker even went before 23....Then in the second round the pickings were even more slim for quality OL....Both Mendenhall and Sweed were great value picks and the Steelers ended up with the second best RB in the draft and one of the top five best WRs in the draft (could be the best WR in this draft)......I hate reaching and I'm so glad it wasn't the Steelers reaching for Duane Brown...lol

I do disagree about Hines Ward....His career is winding down....But I still think he is effective when he is healthy....It seems the days of him playing a full 16 game season are over but I'm not kicking Hines to the curb yet.....

Preacher
05-02-2008, 12:46 AM
Funny....

Tomlin was talking about Ben texting him all day though!!

TackleMeBen
05-02-2008, 06:39 AM
Funny....

Tomlin was talking about Ben texting him all day though!!
cant you imagine those texts..

ben: coach, when are you going to draft my tall reciever?

tomlin: we took a RB, i will get your WR next round.

ben: ok, coach, you better.

tomlin : i will take care of it

ben: you better, i am going to go get back on my motorcycle and play stuntman again!
:sofunny::sofunny:

verks36
05-02-2008, 06:42 AM
Even though I would like to believe Ben, it is just plain untrue.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
05-02-2008, 06:47 AM
keep telling yourself that...

what offensive lineman would you have liked to take........Considering about 6 were taken before we picked at 23.
I gurantee Mendenhall will be a better player than the next lineman taken in the draft

tunes4life
05-02-2008, 07:46 AM
cant you imagine those texts..

ben: coach, when are you going to draft my tall reciever?

tomlin: we took a RB, i will get your WR next round.

ben: ok, coach, you better.

tomlin : i will take care of it

ben: you better, i am going to go get back on my motorcycle and play stuntman again!
:sofunny::sofunny:

:rofl:

BettisFan
05-02-2008, 09:30 AM
lol no influence we got the tall wideout because of him

The_WARDen
05-02-2008, 09:35 AM
what offensive lineman would you have liked to take........Considering about 6 were taken before we picked at 23.
I gurantee Mendenhall will be a better player than the next lineman taken in the draft


I don't doubt that but you're missing the point. Is Mendenhall gonna be that much better than Willie Parker (who was leading the league in rushing)? I have to imagine that there was some OL that had to have been better than the crap they currently have.

I don't buy the best player available...cause what happens if the BPA is a QB, then we take him right?

tony hipchest
05-02-2008, 09:41 AM
I have to imagine that there was some OL that had to have been better than the crap they currently have.

unfortunately "imagining" doesnt cut it in the nfl. it gets people fired.

kevin colbert CLEARLY stated, they would take the bpa with the 1st pick unless it was a qb or te. i dont know why people are so suprised.

i guess some people just dont appreciate the "steeler way".

lilyoder6
05-02-2008, 09:41 AM
there might of been lineman there to take but were not 1st rd talent.. they take the BPA on there board.. thats the key.. u have to look at there board and thats y ppl say draft bpa according to there board if the pos they needed aren't there

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
05-02-2008, 07:27 PM
I don't doubt that but you're missing the point. Is Mendenhall gonna be that much better than Willie Parker (who was leading the league in rushing)? I have to imagine that there was some OL that had to have been better than the crap they currently have.

I don't buy the best player available...cause what happens if the BPA is a QB, then we take him right?

Front Office stated in the beginning of the draft..........Beside quarterback and tightend......they were willing to draft any position based on BPA

It was really no suprise when they picked him..........and Mendenhalls name was being chanted just befor the pick.

JanBr7
05-02-2008, 08:07 PM
I'm not gonna comment on this ridiculous thread -- I'll just get myself in trouble!

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-02-2008, 08:35 PM
I don't doubt that but you're missing the point. Is Mendenhall gonna be that much better than Willie Parker (who was leading the league in rushing)? I have to imagine that there was some OL that had to have been better than the crap they currently have.

I don't buy the best player available...cause what happens if the BPA is a QB, then we take him right?

Actually, the point is that Mendenhall will help Parker be able to finish a season by taking some of the load off.

Also, Mendenhall will help keep the offense on the field, because we didnt have a back that would get the 3rd down short yardage. The kid still has to show he can do it, but watching Maurice Jones Drew grind out 3rd and 4th down plays and moving the chains sickens me as opposed to Dookie running into the pile and having to punt.

Was there another O lineman on the board to play this year and improve the team.....No. If you look at the draft, the talent was developmental from there on. I'm not biased, if anything I am biased towards the O line as I have played it and still coach it and believe its the core of the offense.

Bottom line is they took best players available and both Mendenhall and Sweed should be impact players this or next season.

cubanstogie
05-02-2008, 08:46 PM
Actually, the point is that Mendenhall will help Parker be able to finish a season by taking some of the load off.

Also, Mendenhall will help keep the offense on the field, because we didnt have a back that would get the 3rd down short yardage. The kid still has to show he can do it, but watching Maurice Jones Drew grind out 3rd and 4th down plays and moving the chains sickens me as opposed to Dookie running into the pile and having to punt.

Was there another O lineman on the board to play this year and improve the team.....No. If you look at the draft, the talent was developmental from there on. I'm not biased, if anything I am biased towards the O line as I have played it and still coach it and believe its the core of the offense.

Bottom line is they took best players available and both Mendenhall and Sweed should be impact players this or next season.

I agree about impact players the next year or two. I actually think Mendenhall with outplay Willie next year. I like having a guy like Willie who can hit the home run, unfortunately I think he strikes out a lot too. I have never thought of FWP as an every down back, but we have been forced in to using him that way last season. Ben carried the team last year, it will be nice to see what he can do with some explosive offensive weapons.

cubanstogie
05-02-2008, 08:48 PM
I agree about impact players the next year or two. I actually think Mendenhall with outplay Willie next year. I like having a guy like Willie who can hit the home run, unfortunately I think he strikes out a lot too. I have never thought of FWP as an every down back, but we have been forced in to using him that way last season. Ben carried the team last year, it will be nice to see what he can do with some explosive offensive weapons.

PS. as far as the topic of the thread, Its pretty obvious Ben had an influence. Would they have picked a big receiver anyway?possibly but Ben sealed the deal with his statement last year.

RoethlisBURGHer
05-02-2008, 09:02 PM
I don't think Ben influenced the Limas Sweed pick.

We've Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, after that the wideout talent falls off of a cliff. Wilson has been cut (and he wasn't good anyhow), Washington is very inconsistant, and Reid isn't impressing because he can't get playing time.

And as for the picks, I'd rather take BPA than reach for an offensive lineman who is a guy that would have to be developed.

Steel Buckeye
05-03-2008, 10:59 PM
Right. I don't think he intended to influence draft picks, but the Steelers intend to make Big Ben happy. He wants a huge contract, he got it. He wants a tall receiver, he got it. The Steelers have their first franchise QB since Bradshaw, they will do what he wants. I agree with him wanting a tall receiver, more TD's, more records, more wins. More for Steelers fans to be proud of. Everyone wins.

SteelerFanInATL
05-04-2008, 08:46 AM
No influence, thats possible. It will never be known since Ben did say publicly that he wanted a tall receiver. Could be that the organization was considering that anyway to give him more weapons. Reguardless if Ben whould have said it or not, now we have a tall receiver, one which I definately approve of.