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View Full Version : Are the Steelers going to hit a "down time"?


Edman
07-27-2008, 10:44 PM
You know what happened to the 90's...

1992-1997- Perennial Contender. Three AFC Title Game appearances in Four Years, Super Bowl appearance in '95...all of which transpired into...

1998-2000- Times of mediocrity. Three consecutive Playoff-less seasons, two losing seasons among them. While this is going on, Steelers rebuild back up to...

2001-Present- Perennial Contender again. Three AFC Title game appearances in six years. Super Bowl win in '05, one losing season, one Super Bowl Hangover, end the 2007 season on a blue time, losing 4 out of the last 5 games.

So it begs the question, was 2006-07 the beginning of a slow steady decline for the 2000's Steelers? Much like '97 marked the end for the 90's teams? With numerous questions about the O-Line, D-Line, and Special Teams(arguably the most critical facets of the game), will the Steelers succumb to the tough schedule?

Hammer Of The GODS
07-27-2008, 10:54 PM
Short and sweet................... NO

BlastFurnace
07-27-2008, 11:04 PM
You know what happened to the 90's...

1992-1997- Perennial Contender. Three AFC Title Game appearances in Four Years, Super Bowl appearance in '95...all of which transpired into...

1998-2000- Times of mediocrity. Three consecutive Playoff-less seasons, two losing seasons among them. While this is going on, Steelers rebuild back up to...

2001-Present- Perennial Contender again. Three AFC Title game appearances in six years. Super Bowl win in '05, one losing season, one Super Bowl Hangover, end the 2007 season on a blue time, losing 4 out of the last 5 games.

So it begs the question, was 2006-07 the beginning of a slow steady decline for the 2000's Steelers? Much like '97 marked the end for the 90's teams? With numerous questions about the O-Line, D-Line, and Special Teams(arguably the most critical facets of the game), will the Steelers succumb to the tough schedule?

I don't think we will hit the depths of the Kordell Stewart lead 1998 and 1999 seasons, but the team is aging and has no depth on both sides of the trenches...which isn't good.

The thing that gives me hope is that we are strong at all the skill positions on offense that may help us mask the OL issues....but then there is the defense...which was pathetic the 2nd half of the season last year.

The Defense is getting old...or just is perenially having injury problems. Woodley can help us in a big way with taking over the LOLB spot and holding it for the next 5 seasons. Woodley's body type reminds me of Kirkland's, so it wouldn't surprise me if his effectiveness lasts about as long as Levon's did.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the ownership as well. If Drunkenmiller takes over...even though he would leave Dan and his son running the team...don't think for a minute that a billioinaire would sit by idely while his new investment tanks.

fansince'76
07-27-2008, 11:09 PM
You know what happened to the 90's...

So it begs the question, was 2006-07 the beginning of a slow steady decline for the 2000's Steelers? Much like '97 marked the end for the 90's teams? With numerous questions about the O-Line, D-Line, and Special Teams(arguably the most critical facets of the game), will the Steelers succumb to the tough schedule?

We lost our best players to FA on a yearly basis through the (literally) revolving door on the clubhouse at the time from '93 until Heinz Field was completed in '01. Completely different circumstances. We would have lost Ben in the '90s. We would have lost Troy in the '90s. Hines would be long gone by now if this were the '90s.

Preacher
07-27-2008, 11:49 PM
I think we are in a down-time right now.

2006 and 2007, plus the next couple years all fit. We need to find lineman. Then we are ready for another run. However, if you look, we aren't doing too bad in this down period!

BlastFurnace
07-27-2008, 11:51 PM
I think we are in a down-time right now.

2006 and 2007, plus the next couple years all fit. We need to find lineman. Then we are ready for another run. However, if you look, we aren't doing too bad in this down period!

It won't hit as low as it did the last time because we have Ben...instead of the player that won't be mentioned leading the team. As long as we have a healthy Ben, we have a chance.

Preacher
07-27-2008, 11:53 PM
It won't hit as low as it did the last time because we have Ben...instead of the player that won't be mentioned leading the team. As long as we have a healthy Ben, we have a chance.

Exactly.

Well, that and we are not a one-dimensional offense like we were last time. While that was partly on Kordell, that was also on the staff... good ole' 3 yards and a cloud of mediocrity.

The Duke
07-27-2008, 11:54 PM
It won't hit as low as it did the last time because we have Ben...instead of the player that won't be mentioned leading the team. As long as we have a healthy Ben, we have a chance.

exactly. without ben this team is almost nothing

hopefully the line protects him this season :hope:

fansince'76
07-28-2008, 12:01 AM
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the ownership as well. If Drunkenmiller takes over...even though he would leave Dan and his son running the team...don't think for a minute that a billioinaire would sit by idely while his new investment tanks.

That's what worries me - I don't want to watch the team play "musical head coaches/GMs" every 2-3 years. There's something to be said for patience. Quick fixes in team management generally don't work.

Preacher
07-28-2008, 12:03 AM
That's what worries me - I don't want to watch the team play "musical head coaches/GMs" every 2-3 years. There's something to be said for patience. Quick fixes in team management generally don't work.

Absolutely.

That long term consistency is one of the very things which keeps us winning.

Galax Steeler
07-28-2008, 04:52 AM
exactly. without ben this team is almost nothing

hopefully the line protects him this season :hope:

Agreed hopefully our line will do a better job this year and protect ben alot better then last year if he gets hurt then our season will be over.

Steel Pit
07-28-2008, 05:40 AM
I agree with a lot that has been pointed out in this thread. As Preacher said, I too believe that the Steelers, over the last 2 seasons, are already suffering through a period of a slump or "down time".

Also mentioned is the fact that the Steelers of today are re-signing most of their free agent players.

I also agree that the Steelers slump won't be as horrific it was in the 90's because they now have a MUCH BETTER QB!

The Steelers of today are drafting offensive weapons and they're not coached as conservatively as they were in the 90's with Bill Cowher at the helm. Tomlin is not afraid to open up the offense and use the weapons that he has. This alone will prevent the Steelers from falling anywhere near as low as the 90's team sunk.

The offensive and defensive lines both need revamping. This will take longer than a couple of years to accomplish. Hopefully the Steelers will spend the majority of next years draft aquiring players from those positions. A top-notch free agaent aquisition would be a bonus and would jump start the process.

In the meantime I'm just going to hope that the Steelers current group of linemen are tweaked enough to play significantly better than last years squad.

Elvis
07-28-2008, 07:53 AM
Ok, I think that our def. line played well enough to win games until Aaron Smith went down, the guy obviously means alot more to the team than alot of folks thought including myself. Now, that being said, I think that our LB'ing corp is getting younger with Woodley and Timmons our secondary is bad over age other than Ike Taylor, who played pretty darn well in my opinion, and Deshea Townsend. I think that Gay is a gem that the steelers need to keep a hold of and this is a make or break year for McFadden.
The steelers must address the def. line and off. line next offseason, but we will really be in a hole as far as players coming into their last year of their contracts next offseason.:coffee:

Lord Stiller
07-28-2008, 08:16 AM
I nominate this thread for the Dumbest of the Year

congrats

stlrtruck
07-28-2008, 09:38 AM
Yes, and that downtie was Cowher's last season and Tomlin's first. It's all over now and the contenders have returned.

HometownGal
07-28-2008, 10:14 AM
I nominate this thread for the Dumbest of the Year

congrats

C'mon LS - I think the topic of this thread is something we all as Steelers fans have been asking ourselves over the last couple of seasons. It was brought out into the open for discussion and I believe it to be a very viable topic.

All teams hit down times - it's sort of an ebb and tide. Though I still believe the Steelers are a logical contender with their present corps, there are obviously issues which need to be addressed before I can say with an open mind (and heart) that they are a strong contender. I'd like to see a little more depth at several key positions and yes - our D is starting to age, but, I believe we still have a pretty good nucleus and some young guns who are going to break out and prove their worth this season and in the seasons to come.

19ward86
07-28-2008, 10:45 AM
I hope not, lol.

steeltheone
07-28-2008, 11:59 AM
exactly. without ben this team is almost nothing

hopefully the line protects him this season :hope:

Pretty much the truth aka the Colts..Pats

Dino 6 Rings
07-28-2008, 12:11 PM
[QUOTE=HometownGal;416717]C'mon LS - I think the topic of this thread is something we all as Steelers fans have been asking ourselves over the last couple of seasons.QUOTE]

Quick Note to HTG

I have NEVER asked myself if this is a "down time" for the Steelers. Even during bad years. Never.

Each year, fools ask me "how are the Steelers going to do this year" and every single year they get the same answer from me. Win It All.

Bottom Line. I love this team because every single year, going into game , I believe we have the potential to Win the Super Bowl.

revefsreleets
07-28-2008, 12:34 PM
Having a top NFL QB makes a pretty big difference...

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-28-2008, 01:13 PM
I nominate this thread for the Dumbest of the Year

congrats

I respectfully second the nomination!!

IF you think the steelers are going to be in a funk with this kind of talent, then you are a PESSIMIST.

Roethlisberger
Parker
Ward
Mendenhall
Sweed
Holmes
Miller
Harrison
Polamalu
Woodley
Taylor

I bet even Steeldude thinks you should look on the bright side.

BlastFurnace
07-28-2008, 01:27 PM
I respectfully second the nomination!!

IF you think the steelers are going to be in a funk with this kind of talent, then you are a PESSIMIST.

Roethlisberger
Parker
Ward
Mendenhall
Sweed
Holmes
Miller
Harrison
Polamalu
Woodley
Taylor

I bet even Steeldude thinks you should look on the bright side.

It's not a dumb post. This team has some serious flaws in it in the trenches. Like I said earlier, with Ben we always have a chance, but let's be honest...nearly every team can name 11 players or more out of their top 53..as you did above...that give them optimism for the upcoming season.

It's ridiculous that you call anyone a pessimist just because they can look at their favorite team optimistically. We all hope they win the Super Bowl, and hopefully all the chips fall into place...but nearly every team can say that right now.

xfl2001fan
07-28-2008, 01:49 PM
I respectfully second the nomination!!

IF you think the steelers are going to be in a funk with this kind of talent, then you are a PESSIMIST.

Roethlisberger
Parker
Ward
Mendenhall
Sweed
Holmes
Miller
Harrison
Polamalu
Woodley
Taylor

I bet even Steeldude thinks you should look on the bright side.

What about the guys blocking for them or eating up blockers for them?

Lord Stiller
07-28-2008, 02:07 PM
It's not a dumb post. This team has some serious flaws in it in the trenches. Like I said earlier, with Ben we always have a chance, but let's be honest...nearly every team can name 11 players or more out of their top 53..as you did above...that give them optimism for the upcoming season.

It's ridiculous that you call anyone a pessimist just because they can look at their favorite team optimistically. We all hope they win the Super Bowl, and hopefully all the chips fall into place...but nearly every team can say that right now.

Umm, i am realistic about our team. Yes, they have some flaws.

But creating a thread about how we are in a 'down time' is retarded. We barely lost to Jax in the playoffs last year. We are still the best team in our division. So to say we are in a 'down time' is stupid

Most importantly, if our team stays healthy we will be much better than the team that barely lost to Jax.

stupid thread

BlastFurnace
07-28-2008, 02:16 PM
Umm, i am realistic about our team. Yes, they have some flaws.

But creating a thread about how we are in a 'down time' is retarded. We barely lost to Jax in the playoffs last year. We are still the best team in our division. So to say we are in a 'down time' is stupid

Most importantly, if our team stays healthy we will be much better than the team that barely lost to Jax.

stupid thread

If it's a stupid thread, then why are you participating in it?

This team was one Rams loss away from not being in the playoffs and looked below average the entire 2nd half of last season. There is plenty of room for concern. He asked a good question.

SteelerFanInCA
07-28-2008, 02:25 PM
We still have too many skilled players that are pretty solid. I don't even consider this to be any sort of a down time.

missedgehead
07-28-2008, 02:38 PM
Why are people jumping on this person who asked this question? I do not think the person asked a "dumb" question. The only "dumb" question is a question NOT ASKED if you want my opinion. Here are my two cents: I think having a star QB like Ben helps immensely like some have said. The key, like others have said is keeping him healthy and on the field as he has yet to play a complete 16 game season. We have issues in some key areas (O Line, an aging defense, etc) and they need to be addressed. JMO

SteelCityMan786
07-28-2008, 02:48 PM
Short and sweet................... NO



I second that.

SteelMember
07-28-2008, 03:19 PM
:huh:
Does down time equate rebuilding? No and No!

All teams add and lose key pieces every year. This is the FA era. Just because we don't burn up the headlines with our FA signings, I think we do a pretty good job overall of plugging holes. Building through the draft does, however, have a learning curve and some players take longer to break into the starting lineup. Its not as though we are going to need players for all 8 line positions by next year. A couple every year and we then will have turned over everyone if needed.

Some guys may suprise us all and be very serviceable. Who knows.:noidea:

Let's just play some football!!! :tt03:

revefsreleets
07-28-2008, 03:39 PM
I bet even Steeldude thinks you should look on the bright side.

Now THAT is funny...and I think you're right (see, only joshin' you about taking the opposite view of yours) but I'd like to wait and get confirmation on that one:sofunny:

Edman
07-28-2008, 03:56 PM
The 2007 Steelers were simply a good team under a new coach, not an elite one. If Ben doesn't take the next step, we're staring at another 8-8 season or worse last year. Willie couldn't carry the load in some games, and once he went down, the Steelers became one dimensional. We truly do not know how blessed we are as fans to strike gold in the 2004 draft with Ben.

I'm not saying the Steelers will suck in 2008, but you cannot deny the problems this team has. I'm somewhat optimistic, but I'm not a homer.

I agree as long as Ben is upright and healthy, the Steelers will have a chance, but there's always going to be the one thing holding this team back from joining the elite class with the Pats, Colts, Jags, and Chargers in the AFC. Those four teams are very capable of exposing the Offensive Line and teeing off on Ben.

fansince'76
07-28-2008, 04:15 PM
I agree as long as Ben is upright and healthy, the Steelers will have a chance, but there's always going to be the one thing holding this team back from joining the elite class with the Pats, Colts, Jags, and Chargers in the AFC. Those four teams are very capable of exposing the Offensive Line and teeing off on Ben.

Ya mean like the 10-6 Giants did on the Golden Boy? Everybody has weaknesses in the NFL nowadays. Everybody.

Preacher
07-28-2008, 04:19 PM
I respectfully second the nomination!!

IF you think the steelers are going to be in a funk with this kind of talent, then you are a PESSIMIST.

Roethlisberger
Parker
Ward
Mendenhall
Sweed
Holmes
Miller
Harrison
Polamalu
Woodley
Taylor

I bet even Steeldude thinks you should look on the bright side.

:laughing:

I literally laughed out loud. That my friend, was funny!

Preacher
07-28-2008, 04:26 PM
C'mon LS - I think the topic of this thread is something we all as Steelers fans have been asking ourselves over the last couple of seasons. It was brought out into the open for discussion and I believe it to be a very viable topic.

All teams hit down times - it's sort of an ebb and tide. Though I still believe the Steelers are a logical contender with their present corps, there are obviously issues which need to be addressed before I can say with an open mind (and heart) that they are a strong contender. I'd like to see a little more depth at several key positions and yes - our D is starting to age, but, I believe we still have a pretty good nucleus and some young guns who are going to break out and prove their worth this season and in the seasons to come.


HTG...

Do you really think we are strong contenders? I would say contenders, but definitely not strong, based on our schedule and the questions about our lines.

What points you in the direction of strong contenders? I would love to believe the "strong" part... but just don't see it .... yet! Show Me The Light Sister!!

Dino 6 Rings
07-28-2008, 04:44 PM
Strong Contenders

QB. Big Ben
RBs, Parker Mendenhall Moore
WRs, Ward Holmes Sweed

We will score lots of points and our dominating defense will keep us in games.

Strong! I say!

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-28-2008, 04:55 PM
It's not a dumb post. This team has some serious flaws in it in the trenches. Like I said earlier, with Ben we always have a chance, but let's be honest...nearly every team can name 11 players or more out of their top 53..as you did above...that give them optimism for the upcoming season.

It's ridiculous that you call anyone a pessimist just because they can look at their favorite team optimistically. We all hope they win the Super Bowl, and hopefully all the chips fall into place...but nearly every team can say that right now.

Dont take it soo hard. I really dont think having a great young LB corps with Smith and Hampton constitutes a serious flaw in the trenches. Keisel IMO is the defensive flaw in the trench.

On offense, Marvel Smith is healthy again and only 30, Kemoateu I am confident will show the ability to blow up defenders, Hartwig is an upgrade, Simmons is steady and either Colon or Starks will be fine at RT.

A lot of people are sounding alarm bells, but most of last years O line issues can be attributed to Smith-injury, Faneca- contract, Mahan-weak, Colon-1st year starter.

To think the Steelers are at the start of some kind of progressive slide after coming off a season as the AFC North Champions and added Hartwig, Mendenhall, Moore, Sweed, with Parker and Smith returning from injury, while losing Faneca, Cedric Wilson, Jerame Tuman, Clint Kreidwalt, Allen Rossum, Brian St. Pierre IS IMO somewhat pessimistic.

I never understand the fascination with predicting the end of competitiveness in a parody stricken league. Its not like we are the Lions!?!?!?!?

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-28-2008, 05:04 PM
:laughing:

I literally laughed out loud. That my friend, was funny!

Padre, I'm glad that I added some amusement to your day, but like Revets-still curiously awaiting confirmation.

Again, I'm just the fool in the crowd that thinks a 10-6 AFC North Champ season with rookie HC Mike "I never heard of him" Tomlin isnt the beginning of Steeler Nation's Armageddon......but I haven't yet referred to the Revelation section of "Double Yoi". Maybe it is written:noidea:

Counselor
07-28-2008, 05:08 PM
I've seen a lot of people saying last year was a "down" year. Sure, we lost some games we shouldn't have but we were still 10-6, division winners under a new coach. I think last year was a good year---especially with all the injuries.

Depsite everyone's concerns about depth, Kirwan ranked us third on the depth chart of all NFL teams--and his analysis was sound, even if you don't agree with the result.

Our lines and the strength of schedule should be our biggest concerns, but I truly believe the o-line will take a significant step up. The D-line, must stay healthy---we do need more younger guys there. The strength of schedule may not be so bad----we do often play to the level of our competition---even when that is down. (Jets, Broncos, Arizona. ehm.)

Even if this is a down year, I still don't consider it a "down time"----by my definition we have to go two years w/o making the playoffs before it qualifies as a "down time".

Preacher
07-28-2008, 05:22 PM
Padre, I'm glad that I added some amusement to your day, but like Revets-still curiously awaiting confirmation.

Again, I'm just the fool in the crowd that thinks a 10-6 AFC North Champ season with rookie HC Mike "I never heard of him" Tomlin isnt the beginning of Steeler Nation's Armageddon......but I haven't yet referred to the Revelation section of "Double Yoi". Maybe it is written:noidea:

I think what people don't get is the fact that all teams have cracks and weaknesses.

Some highlight them.. and fall flat on their face.

Some scheme to cover them up, and do a good job.

Some use video tape to avoid them.

However, our team really is no worse for the wear than any other team.

What is really happening, is that we are freaked out because we no longer have a front line that can rocket the DL back a few yards everytime they run the ball. You know what... that is fine. Because that same line had no CLUE how to block against the pass. We now see that Alan Faneca was the pain in the butt we thought him to be. His departure will be a GOOD thing for this team and maybe our line will be better for it. We now have a line that thinks about run AND PASS blocking. It will take a couple years to make that transition though.

So I see us as having a down time.. being in the middle of it because of the personnel transistions from a pure run to a run/pass offense. However, a down year for the Steelers means a couple playoff games and out-- and that is what I realistically expect from this team.

Heck... If I had to guess, I would probably say that we would sneak into the playoffs (hardest NFL schedule has a LOT to do with that), I foresee the AFCG... and a loss there.

Not bad for a down year.

revefsreleets
07-28-2008, 05:53 PM
I think what people don't get is the fact that all teams have cracks and weaknesses.


Some use video tape to avoid them.



Zing!

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-28-2008, 06:17 PM
What is really happening, is that we are freaked out because we no longer have a front line that can rocket the DL back a few yards everytime they run the ball.

I debate that. Faneca is not as good of an inline blocker as Kemo, but more agile and better technically. The guys on the other side of the ball are Professionals too, so nobody is really gonna rocket a lot of guys.

Smith, Kemo, Hartwig, Simmons, Colon are all 300lb plus guys that are explosive and should be able to move a pile and suited to short traps. Only Simmons can execute long pulls well. I personally think more zone blocking would help this line,especially since we have no true FB.

The schedule will cause more illusion of "down time" than talent or execution. The NFL is always tough, but this year will be tougher.

xfl2001fan
07-28-2008, 06:40 PM
Strong Contenders

QB. Big Ben
RBs, Parker Mendenhall Moore
WRs, Ward Holmes Sweed

We will score lots of points and our dominating defense will keep us in games.

Strong! I say!

No doubt, Big Ben is good. Ward has certainly proven his worth. Parker is a poor man's Barry Sanders. Given enough carries, he'll get you the big run, but on 3rd and 3, do you really want him getting the ball? Holmes is showing his worth as well.

And then there's the bolded names. Ummm, what part of unproven rookie has eluded you? These guys have proven less for you guys than Brady Quinn, Shaun Rogers or Corey Williams have for the Browns. You don't even know if they'll actually be able to make the team when final roster cuts come out.

Who's blocking for these guys?

Casey Hampton (you know, the guy who keeps your linebackers free to make plays) is (per Tomlin) out of shape. You have little depth on your D-line (as was shown last year). Your best player on D (Troy) is hurt (again.)

So long as your FO continues to neglect the lines, your chances get weaker and weaker. When you don't have depth on the D-line, teams are able to run all over you. Browns have proved that for years. When you don't concentrate on improving or (at worst) maintaining your lines, your offensive skill players are rendered less effective. Again, look at the Browns since their return.

Strong contenders? Nope. Contenders. Certainly.

Til the Browns beat you guys, the road to the AFCN Crown runs through Pittsburgh, no doubt about it. But you're making that road a little bit easier with the inactivity.

revefsreleets
07-28-2008, 08:40 PM
The Browns are not a good basis of comparison on any level with the Steelers. And you should probably read some of the other threads about the OL. There are more and more signs that the rumors of the Steelers oline's demise have been greatly exaggerated...

There MAY be some depth issues on the DL as well...maybe...

If's and maybe's were tinsel and holly, it's be Christmas every day, and the Browns would have several championships (instead of the zero the actually own) since Ike was president.

And do you know what the real deal is with Troy? Don't be so hasty...

HometownGal
07-28-2008, 09:39 PM
HTG...

Do you really think we are strong contenders? I would say contenders, but definitely not strong, based on our schedule and the questions about our lines.

What points you in the direction of strong contenders? I would love to believe the "strong" part... but just don't see it .... yet! Show Me The Light Sister!!

Ummmmm, Father - I didn't say the Steelers are "strong" contenders. I said they are a "logical" contender as things stand right now. I think I made the distinction perfectly clear in my post.

Though I still believe the Steelers are a logical contender with their present corps, there are obviously issues which need to be addressed before I can say with an open mind (and heart) that they are a strong contender.

xfl2001fan
07-29-2008, 08:20 AM
The Browns are not a good basis of comparison on any level with the Steelers. And you should probably read some of the other threads about the OL. There are more and more signs that the rumors of the Steelers oline's demise have been greatly exaggerated...

There MAY be some depth issues on the DL as well...maybe...

If's and maybe's were tinsel and holly, it's be Christmas every day, and the Browns would have several championships (instead of the zero the actually own) since Ike was president.

And do you know what the real deal is with Troy? Don't be so hasty...

Didn't mean for it to sound like a comparison. It really has been more contrast than comparison with the two teams this last decade. The only reason why I tried to compare was to show what you guys could look like if the lines aren't addressed soon.

I went a little over the top with the analysis based on his going over the top (IMO). I know as much on Troy as you guys have posted. Basically just a tweaked hammy. There has been some concern (posted here) that it's not a good sign as he has struggled with injuries (some) these last few years.

As for the O-line, I understand what...reasons...are being given for struggling last year. But the fact is, until they prove they're over those struggles, they're not. (Kinda like the Browns being a better defense this year...not until it happens on the field.)

xfl2001fan
07-29-2008, 08:21 AM
Ummmmm, Father - I didn't say the Steelers are "strong" contenders. I said they are a "logical" contender as things stand right now. I think I made the distinction perfectly clear in my post.

I think he confused you with Dino5Rings.

Havik
08-03-2008, 12:42 PM
I think we'll see a 10-6 record again which bothers me because this team should have 12-13 wins, with the best QB in the division, the best running backs, really good receiving corp especially with Sweed added, best tight end duo, and best defense. The problem is the weak o-line and poor special teams coverage. I think until those flaws are corrected we will still be a good team and probably see 9 to 11 wins a year but still be a cut below the Pats, Colts, and Chargers.

Haiku_Dirtt
08-03-2008, 01:41 PM
I don't think we will hit the depths of the Kordell Stewart lead 1998 and 1999 seasons, but the team is aging and has no depth on both sides of the trenches...which isn't good.

The thing that gives me hope is that we are strong at all the skill positions on offense that may help us mask the OL issues....but then there is the defense...which was pathetic the 2nd half of the season last year.

The Defense is getting old...or just is perenially having injury problems. Woodley can help us in a big way with taking over the LOLB spot and holding it for the next 5 seasons. Woodley's body type reminds me of Kirkland's, so it wouldn't surprise me if his effectiveness lasts about as long as Levon's did.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the ownership as well. If Drunkenmiller takes over...even though he would leave Dan and his son running the team...don't think for a minute that a billioinaire would sit by idely while his new investment tanks.

That sums that up.

Excellent thread BTW. What I might add or question...What is in the pipeline?

The main reason we don't have any options for the O-line is because there were no options. If you only buy prime and they only sell choice or select you do what the Steelers did. Buy seafood.

At the FarmNCAA is the quality of the cattle going to support an uptrend or are recent shortages in this last draft not a red herring but a sign of a decline not unlike what we are seeing everywhere?

If they actually get serious about testing I would be betting on the latter.

Steely McSmash
08-03-2008, 02:25 PM
Strong Contenders

QB. Big Ben
RBs, Parker Mendenhall Moore
WRs, Ward Holmes Sweed

We will score lots of points and our dominating defense will keep us in games.

Strong! I say!

No way that Sweed belongs on this list before he's played game 1. I like the guy from what I hear ("oh really I didn't know I can't really see") and I hope he succeeds but he's an un-proven commodity at this point; particularly to contribute as a 4th receiver as a rookie.

Same for Mendenhall although to a lesser extent due to the difference in learning curve for the position. Bottom line is that he's still unproven at the next level.