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tunes4life
08-25-2008, 03:33 PM
This actually surprises me a bit. It seemed to me that the offense was running more smoothly with Mahan under center. Is it just because Mahan had more time to gel with the line? The coaches must be seeing something that I haven't seen.

Link (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08238/906879-66.stm)

OneForTheToe
08-25-2008, 03:38 PM
No surprise here. The player who started the thrd pre-season game was always going to be the starter.

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2008, 03:51 PM
It was Hartwig's job to lose - he would have needed to play much worse than Mahan after being brought in as a FA

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 03:52 PM
This also surprises me as I clearly watched Hartwig getting blown up several times in the Vikes game, both live and on my DVR. :doh:

It is what it is and though I strongly disagree with Tomlin's decision here, as I always say - that is why they are NFL coaches and we are simply loyals. :tt02:

Best of luck to Hartwig and the OL - they're going to need it.

Texasteel
08-25-2008, 04:10 PM
It was Hartwig's job to lose - he would have needed to play much worse than Mahan after being brought in as a FA

I would have said it was Mahan's to lose, he had the job last year, and I didn't see Hartwig do anything to take it away.
Go figure.

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2008, 04:21 PM
I would have said it was Mahan's to lose, he had the job last year, and I didn't see Hartwig do anything to take it away.
Go figure.

When you play as poorly as Mahan did in 2007 and they bring in a FA to compete for your job you should assume you have lost your job - Mahan can move to guard; not giving Hartwig the starter's slot at center would be an admission he should not have been brought in

ShutDown24
08-25-2008, 04:43 PM
So much for "Tomlin having his guys"

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 04:44 PM
in hartwigs defense, many a centers in the league get blown up by the williams twins.

as far as mahan looking good, he was playing against 2nd stringers with a starter quality qb and rb behind him. our second team offense is much better than most teams 2nd team defense.

43Hitman
08-25-2008, 04:45 PM
When you play as poorly as Mahan did in 2007 and they bring in a FA to compete for your job you should assume you have lost your job - Mahan can move to guard; not giving Hartwig the starter's slot at center would be an admission he should not have been brought in

Very true. Can't have mud on our face.

stlrtruck
08-25-2008, 04:50 PM
I'm just happy to have this decision well before Week 1 of the regular season. We dang sure needed something before then. If I recall correctly, last year was a merry-go-round throughout all of training camp with nothing more than a whisper until we got closer to the regular season about the O-line.

Alva Lord
08-25-2008, 04:50 PM
I would have said it was Mahan's to lose, he had the job last year, and I didn't see Hartwig do anything to take it away.
Go figure.
Mahan lost the job by the end of last season. The media will have us believe that the Steelers signed Hartwig to give Mahan competition. Baloney. They signed Hartwig to play center because they knew Mahan was a bad choice.

Preacher
08-25-2008, 04:55 PM
Personally, I think when it comes to our O line, it is rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic... Hartwig is not that much better than Mahan and gets no push.

However, he is now our starting center. He has two weeks to really sink in and prep himself as a starter. Good for him. Time for the bickering to go away. Go Hartwig... clear the way for our RB's!

Alva Lord
08-25-2008, 04:57 PM
Personally, I think when it comes to our O line, it is rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic... Hartwig is not that much better than Mahan and gets no push.

However, he is now our starting center. He has two weeks to really sink in and prep himself as a starter. Good for him. Time for the bickering to go away. Go Hartwig... clear the way for our RB's!
Trust me. If Hartwig falters in the least you can bet the bickering will be relentless.

Texasteel
08-25-2008, 05:00 PM
Mahan lost the job by the end of last season. The media will have us believe that the Steelers signed Hartwig to give Mahan competition. Baloney. They signed Hartwig to play center because they knew Mahan was a bad choice.

Personally, I would like the best player get the job no matter what happened last year. From what I've seen so far, thats not Hartwig. I don't think you give someone the job just to make a point.
Just my opinion.

missedgehead
08-25-2008, 05:01 PM
I do agree that our O line is like re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I am not happy with Hartwig either, but the coaches made the choice. I just hope this works.

Alva Lord
08-25-2008, 05:05 PM
Personally, I would like the best player get the job no matter what happened last year. From what I've seen so far, thats not Hartwig. I don't think you give someone the job just to make a point.
Just my opinion.
Obviously the Steelers coaching staff disagrees with you. Mahan is a known commodity while Hartwig is bigger, stronger and faster. From what I've seen, Hartwig has played better albeit, marginally, but better. He also deserves our patience so that he can get acclimated with his line mates. It takes time for an OL to gel with new players.

fansince'76
08-25-2008, 05:09 PM
Too bad LeCharles Bentley couldn't pass the physical. I see no upgrade in Hartwig.

Alva Lord
08-25-2008, 05:10 PM
True

Preacher
08-25-2008, 05:11 PM
Obviously the Steelers coaching staff disagrees with you. Mahan is a known commodity while Hartwig is bigger, stronger and faster. From what I've seen, Hartwig has played better albeit, marginally, but better. He also deserves our patience so that he can get acclimated with his line mates. It takes time for an OL to gel with new players.

I don't know... I think Mahan played better... that is, more stable. Hartwig has some plays that were better than Mahan, but some plays that were worse than Mahan. In the end, I would want the stability more.

However, I wonder if the coaching staff isn't thinking that Hartwig has more upside. Thus, they let him start to see if the upside comes. If not, then Mahan takes over halfway through the year. He is fresh, knows the line and the players, and the system.

Honestly, I think this is a hedging of bets more than one player blowing out another. It also makes good sense. A fresh Mahan at the middle of the year, when we start playing our toughest part of the schedule, really isn't a bad problem to have.

Preacher
08-25-2008, 05:12 PM
Too bad LeCharles Bentley couldn't pass the physical. I see no upgrade in Hartwig.

Did they even bring him in for one?

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 05:12 PM
in hartwigs defense, many a centers in the league get blown up by the williams twins.

as far as mahan looking good, he was playing against 2nd stringers with a starter quality qb and rb behind him. our second team offense is much better than most teams 2nd team defense.

Nice try, hipcheese, but no cigar. :wink02:

Hartwig got blown up in the Bills game, as well.

I'm taking bets on when the first "Hartwig Sucks" thread will pop up. I say by Week #2. :laughing::laughing: It was Mahan's turn last year to be the scapegoat of that sad OL - mark my words, it will be Hartwig's turn this season. :wink02:

Texasteel
08-25-2008, 05:16 PM
Obviously the Steelers coaching staff disagrees with you. Mahan is a known commodity while Hartwig is bigger, stronger and faster. From what I've seen, Hartwig has played better albeit, marginally, but better. He also deserves our patience so that he can get acclimated with his line mates. It takes time for an OL to gel with new players.

This forum is for opinions and I don't have to agree with the coaching staff.
Hartwig is bigger, stronger, faster, and it is still my opinion that he has been out played by Mahan.
Hartwig, never the less, is the starting center for the Steelers, which means he's my starting center, and you a looking at the most patience man you've ever see.

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 05:21 PM
He also deserves our patience so that he can get acclimated with his line mates. It takes time for an OL to gel with new players.

Oh - you mean like Mahan deserved our patience? He was thrown under the bus shortly after the season began by some fans even though the entire line sucked, including Faneca.

Taking note . . . . :chuckle:

Preacher
08-25-2008, 05:25 PM
Oh - you mean like Mahan deserved our patience? He was thrown under the bus shortly after the season began by some fans even though the entire line sucked, including Faneca.

Taking note . . . . :chuckle:

LOL....

Well... Kinda hard to argue when the truth is laid bare like that!

Alva Lord
08-25-2008, 05:44 PM
Oh - you mean like Mahan deserved our patience? He was thrown under the bus shortly after the season began by some fans even though the entire line sucked, including Faneca.

Taking note . . . . :chuckle:
Did you watch any games last year? Mahan deserved to get thrown under a bus. He was the weakest link on the line and he was getting driven off of the ball from day one. He had no push because he was weak at the point of attack. He was solely responsible for nine of Ben's 47 sacks last year. That's an appalling number for a center.

Apparently the Steelers coaching staff saw what everyone else saw, hence the reason why they brought in another center.

Take note...:rofl:

fansince'76
08-25-2008, 05:52 PM
Did you watch any games last year? Mahan deserved to get thrown under a bus. He was the weakest link on the line and he was getting driven off of the ball from day one.

Why'd the OL give up even more sacks in '06 (49) than in '07 (47) when Mahan was still in TB? Sorry, but this OL sucked before Mahan became a part of it. He's not the sole reason it blew then and still blows.

The Duke
08-25-2008, 05:53 PM
finally, time to cut mahan :chuckle:

I honestly don't care who it is, neither impressed me much this preseason

I will say though, both are better than 2007 Mahan. so I guess that's kind of like an upgrade

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 05:58 PM
Did you watch any games last year? Mahan deserved to get thrown under a bus. He was the weakest link on the line and he was getting driven off of the ball from day one. He had no push because he was weak at the point of attack. He was solely responsible for nine of Ben's 47 sacks last year. That's an appalling number for a center.

Apparently the Steelers coaching staff saw what everyone else saw, hence the reason why they brought in another center.

Take note...:rofl:

Yes as a matter of fact I did and actually - I record all Steelers games on my DVR plus re-watch matchups on NFLN, so I see most plays more than once.

No - not everyone else saw what you saw, as evidenced by the number of redundant Mahan/Hartwig threads. I never said he was the second coming of Iron Mike, Dirt or Hartings - those are some legendary shoes to have to fill. He was, imho, unfairly shoveled all of the blame for a line that played like shit all season. With that line in front of him, it is a miracle Ben wasn't put in a wheelchair last season.

As I said earlier - I'm not an NFL coach, but neither are you or anyone else on this board. All we can do is base our opinions on what each of us sees and that is exactly what I've done. Neither of us is going to change our opinions on Mahan or Hartwig, so we'll have to agree to disagree here. However - as Hartwig wears the black 'n gold and is a member of the team I love, he has my support. You won't see me throwing him under the bus not if - but when - he is blown up by a DL'man and Ben either runs for his life or ends up on his tushy. It will happen (and there isn't a C in the league who hasn't blown a tackle or a coverage) and I will marvel at the transfer of the scapegoat crown.

P.S. Get that resume in, k? :rofl:

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 06:08 PM
lecharles bentley is currently in st. louis taking a physical.

htg, didnt hartwig start vs. the bills when ben was 9-11, 142 yds and no sacks?

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 06:20 PM
htg, didnt hartwig start vs. the bills when ben was 9-11, 142 yds and no sacks?

Oh, Oh, Ohhhhh - I get it. It was always Mahan's fault when Ben got sacked last season but when he doesn't get sacked in a preseason game in which Hartwig was in the C spot, Hartwig gets the credit for Ben not being sacked. Gotcha. :wink02:

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2008, 06:23 PM
I'm taking bets on when the first "Hartwig Sucks" thread will pop up. I say by Week #2. :laughing::laughing: It was Mahan's turn last year to be the scapegoat of that sad OL - mark my words, it will be Hartwig's turn this season. :wink02:

Mods - for ease of reference, once the seasons starts are are you planning to consolidate the "Hartwig sucks" "Marvel sucks" "Kemo sucks" "Simmons sucks" and "Colon sucks" threads so posters will know not to start new threads but just post under an existing thread that slams any one of our 5 woeful O-linemen?

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 06:26 PM
Oh, Oh, Ohhhhh - I get it. It was always Mahan's fault when Ben got sacked last season but when he doesn't get sacked in a preseason game in which Hartwig was in the C spot, Hartwig gets the credit for Ben not being sacked. Gotcha. :wink02:hes not getting credit.... just the job. :thumbsup:

:noidea: (just pointing out the results in regards to the bills blowing up our line.)

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 06:29 PM
Mods - for ease of reference, once the seasons starts are are you planning to consolidate the "Hartwig sucks" "Marvel sucks" "Kemo sucks" "Simmons sucks" and "Colon sucks" threads so posters will know not to start new threads but just post under an existing thread that slams any one of our 5 woeful O-linemen?i propose it be called the "Official Our Line Sucks" thread.

:chuckle:

St33lersguy
08-25-2008, 06:29 PM
I honestly think hartwig has a better shot of playing better because Center's his position and Mahan was a Guard lined up at center. Although I'm not impressed with Hartwig one bit but it is smarter to try a new guy than give the starting job to someone who sucked balls last year. Hopefully the Steelers take Draft '09 seriously and draft a center or sign a proven and solid center next FA period

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 06:31 PM
Mods - for ease of reference, once the seasons starts are are you planning to consolidate the "Hartwig sucks" "Marvel sucks" "Kemo sucks" "Simmons sucks" and "Colon sucks" threads so posters will know not to start new threads but just post under an existing thread that slams any one of our 5 woeful O-linemen?

I guess we'll see when the time comes, eh? :wink02:

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2008, 06:32 PM
i propose it be called the "Official Our Line Sucks" thread.

:chuckle:

We laugh now - wait until the Steelers are 2-3 going into the bye week and the goal is for Ben to be back for the Chargers and Colts games in mid-November:banging:

HometownGal
08-25-2008, 06:39 PM
hes not getting credit.... just the job. :thumbsup:


A thousand pardons, though I'm relatively certain I took your post in the manner in which it was intended. I didn't just fall off a turnip truck. :wink02:

:noidea: (just pointing out the results in regards to the bills blowing up our line

:noidea: Silly me. Could have sworn I said (and others have reiterated) that Hartwig was indeed thrown off tackle several times during his appearance in the Bills game. :doh: Being blown off tackle doesn't always lead to a QB being sacked. Let me get this straight. I am to assume when Ben is sacked this season, Hartwig is to get all of the blame? Sorry - no can do.

Preacher
08-25-2008, 06:42 PM
We laugh now - wait until the Steelers are 2-3 going into the bye week and the goal is for Ben to be back for the Chargers and Colts games in mid-November:banging:


http://eatourbrains.com/EoB/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/pessimism.jpg

Steeldude
08-25-2008, 06:49 PM
hartwig and mahan are both mediocre centers. the steelers O-line is not going to look good this season.

colon is horrible at RT and he starts because starks is deemed even worse by the coaches. it's gong to be tough for BR and the steelers' running game all season.

could it be like 2003? when maddox was constantly getting flooded in the backfield and the steelers' rush attack was the worst since 1969?

starks at LT and smith at RT. starks looked more comfortable there(moreso than colon at RT) and smith was a RT in college.

i know some fans think the steelers have done a good job focusing on the O-line over the past 6 or so years, but i disgree strongly. the problems with the O-line far outweighs the needs at QB, RB, TE and WR. a good to great O-line can make up for average QBs, RBs, TEs or WRs. the steelers were still winning games with the worst QB in the NFL(kordell).

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2008, 06:50 PM
http://eatourbrains.com/EoB/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/pessimism.jpg

Unfortunately my only views of the Steelers first team offense this season have been the one series to open the Eagles game and the first half of the Vikes game - on offense the Vikes game looked like the Jets game that was the hinge of the 2007 season. I missed the apparent thrashing of the Bills

Do I think the Steelers will go 2--3 to open the season - no

Do I think with these 5 games that is a distinct possibility if Ben goes down - oh yeah

Texans
@ Browns
@ Eagles
vs. Ravens
@ Jaguars

IMO the Steelers will be underdogs in all 3 of those road games

X-Terminator
08-25-2008, 06:55 PM
A thousand pardons, though I'm relatively certain I took your post in the manner in which it was intended. I didn't just fall off a turnip truck. :wink02:



:noidea: Silly me. Could have sworn I said (and others have reiterated) that Hartwig was indeed thrown off tackle several times during his appearance in the Bills game. :doh: Being blown off tackle doesn't always lead to a QB being sacked. Let me get this straight. I am to assume when Ben is sacked this season, Hartwig is to get all of the blame? Sorry - no can do.

I'm still waiting to see something - ANYTHING - that would make me feel better about Hartwig as the starter. In the games that I have watched, he has not been very impressive and is not a huge upgrade over Mahan. He was practically run over by the Williams' boys on Saturday night (granted, they do that to damn near everyone, but still), thrown off-balance and even fell down once. You watched the game (contrary to what some may believe), so you saw the same things that I did.

That said, he is the starter and I will support him, as I do everyone in black and gold. And if he falters, I certainly won't blame him for all of the OL's ills as many have done with Mahan. I do want to see how much rope he gets from the fans, though - something tells me it will be more than what Mahan got.

X-Terminator
08-25-2008, 06:58 PM
hartwig and mahan are both mediocre centers. the steelers O-line is not going to look good this season.

colon is horrible at RT and he starts because starks is deemed even worse by the coaches. it's gong to be tough for BR and the steelers' running game all season.

could it be like 2003? when maddox was constantly getting flooded in the backfield and the steelers' rush attack was the worst since 1969?

starks at LT and smith at RT. starks looked more comfortable there(moreso than colon at RT) and smith was a RT in college.

i know some fans think the steelers have done a good job focusing on the O-line over the past 6 or so years, but i disgree strongly. the problems with the O-line far outweighs the needs at QB, RB, TE and WR. a good to great O-line can make up for average QBs, RBs, TEs or WRs. the steelers were still winning games with the worst QB in the NFL(kordell).

There are fans who think the Steelers have done a good job focusing on the OL? Really? I'd like to meet them, because I sure as hell haven't seen one.

fansince'76
08-25-2008, 07:36 PM
hes not getting credit.... just the job. :thumbsup:

:noidea: (just pointing out the results in regards to the bills blowing up our line.)

He sure as hell didn't get it for his performance in the Vikes game - frankly, he looked just as shitty as Mahan ever did. He didn't look like a Webster or Dawson knockoff against the Bills either.

GBMelBlount
08-25-2008, 08:18 PM
Mods - for ease of reference, once the seasons starts are are you planning to consolidate the "Hartwig sucks" "Marvel sucks" "Kemo sucks" "Simmons sucks" and "Colon sucks" threads so posters will know not to start new threads but just post under an existing thread that slams any one of our 5 woeful O-linemen?


Priceless! :rofl:

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 08:19 PM
He sure as hell didn't get it for his performance in the Vikes game - frankly, he looked just as shitty as Mahan ever did. He didn't look like a Webster or Dawson knockoff against the Bills either.and mahan sure as hell didnt get it for his performance all last year.

ive been a huge o-lins supporter on this board (both last year and this) almost to a fault. they had the leading rusher and ben broke records.

but it is what it is. a very brilliant young hc saw fit to make a change. i dont have access to all the coaching film, but i have to take their word for it that the best decision was made even while other fans wait to see something to the contrary.

this line is close to getting blown up as a unit, as it is. it is grimm and cowhers baby and is outdated and overpaid for what our modern offense is now expected to do. if the fans wanna keep them so bad they better start calling for tomlins head. this group would be great if tuman, breuner, kreider, jerome and hines were secondary blockers for a scrambling option qb such as kordell. hell, the front 5 would probably look like world beaters (with or without mahan and hartwig).

again, it is what it is. im ready to move on with the season and let the chips fall where they may. :tt02:

Black@Gold Forever32
08-25-2008, 08:42 PM
Like Tony said most of the current OL was built by Cowher to fit his power running game...No shock that this unit struggles to protect the QB.....

Both Mahan and Hartwig are not the long term answers at center....

Willie Colon isn't an NFL OT....He gave up double digit sacks last year....He doesn't look much better this pre-season....I would like to take a look at him at OG though before ditching him totally...Only problem Starks can't even give him at any competition at RT....

Kendall Simmons is average at best....Looks like the FO dropped the ball resigning him....I also didn't want Faneca resigned either...So nobody mention that....lol

Big Chris Kemoeatu fits Cowher's power running game to the tee....I have no worries about him in run blocking...I do think he will struggle some in pass protection...But he has looked alright this pre-season....He might be the best OL currently on the team....

Marvel Smith has been a solid LT....But I say it over and over again he only plays LT since he is the Steelers best option at LT....He is so much better suited for RT.....

Bigger problem is there is no OL on the bench thats looks really promising.....

I understand why the Steelers passed on the OL this year in the draft....You don't reach for an OT after the top 7 guys were gone and Duane Brown even went in the freaking first round...lol You can't pass on talents like Mendenhall and Sweed....

But 2009 off-season the FO has to think about seriously adding a few OL in the draft and maybe even in free agency....A center and OT is such a glaring need......Especially if Smith leaves which is good possibility and I would think its almost 100 percent that Max Starks won't be back....Willie Colon is also restricted and Kemoeatu will also be a FA....

The OL has to be the focal heading into next years off-season.....You can't have a bunch of undrafted FAs and second day picks protecting Ben...lol

Black@Gold Forever32
08-25-2008, 08:50 PM
On a good note....Ben seems to be looking to throw the ball away more and has checked down to Moore a few times this pre-season...He will have to do those things to not get sacked 40+ again this year.....

I'm also not thinking its all doom and gloom...Ben has showed he can lead the team to 10 wins even with no protection.....I just hope he can survive.....lol

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 09:34 PM
On a good note....Ben seems to be looking to throw the ball away more and has checked down to Moore a few times this pre-season...He will have to do those things to not get sacked 40+ again this year.....

I'm also not thinking its all doom and gloom...Ben has showed he can lead the team to 10 wins even with no protection.....I just hope he can survive.....lolhere is some (secondary) insider info that hasnt been widely talked about-

-steelers are transitioning to a zone run blocking scheme.
-colon is on record of stating faneca resisted this change.
-tomlin is very pleased with the way the whole o-line unit is able to set up a moving pocket for ben out of play action. we havent seen much of this because it is a little new and the steelers are playing vanilla offense to this point.
-power g is no longer a main staple of the steelers offense but you will see alot of it being run with the jets.
-ward is not the best blocking wr simply because of "want to". he has just spent the most time learning and practicing it (probably moreso than any other wr in history).
-slimmed down starks is "fat and happy" with his contract and not too concerned he has lost his starting job. he is content and a bit too "happy go lucky" considering the circumstances. those who said he is soft are probably right.

:thumbsup:

i cant wait for this season to begin. many expected tomlin and ben to fall flat on their face last year and now many are expecting the same out of our big men up front on both sides of the ball.

im just bummed sepulveda is lost for the season. other than that, im good. :helmet:

19ward86
08-25-2008, 09:38 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes; i made sure i watched him play when we played the Vikings and i thought he looked very solid, and he wasnt pushed back into the QB like mahan was.

Preacher
08-25-2008, 10:19 PM
Wait a second...

I know the real problem.... We don't have Kuhn as a RB!



:rofl:

Steelman16
08-25-2008, 11:10 PM
Not really a big surprise concerning Hartwig being given the nod. They both played about evenly. The one thing that bothers me a bit, is that Hartwig doesn't seem to be a "Go-Getter" type guy. Maybe I'm completely off base, but I just don't get that impression. Or maybe I've been awed by the beast in Kemo lately.

Granted, Mahan doesn't fit that type either for me.

I'm glad that the coaches made a choice and are going forward. If nothing else, Brett Favre was a living example of changing your mind constantly and the chaos it brings.

Hartwig was named, so Hartwig it is. Now my boys wit da bellies haveta get with the program and play adequetely!

cubanstogie
08-25-2008, 11:22 PM
I don't really give an overwhelming nod to either judging by the 3 pre season games. I will say after last year I would be willing to give Hartwig a chance to start and if he happens to play worse than Mahan did then we go back to Sean. Mahan deserved to lose a starting job by the way he played last year. A few on this board state Mahan better suited at guard. If so they why hasn't he played guard. Its not like we are solid at any position on line except TE. I am happy Hartwig gets the nod, maybe the coaches see something we don't. (imagine that).At least we have hope, if Sean was starting we know what we would get. There is nothing that bothers me more than our line not giving Ben any time to throw. That includes our terrible special teams coverage, Mendendhalls and Willies fumbles and Ike Taylor dropping every possible interception that comes his way. Other than the above mentioned we are a very solid team. I am still optimistic going into this year. Even with last years line we could have still beat the Jags if we could have stopped them. So to blame the line for everything is not right. We need to run more 3 step drops and slants to Santonio to nullify some pass rush IMO. I really think and prey our o -line will improve this year.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 12:33 AM
I'm still waiting to see something - ANYTHING - that would make me feel better about Hartwig as the starter. In the games that I have watched, he has not been very impressive and is not a huge upgrade over Mahan. He was practically run over by the Williams' boys on Saturday night (granted, they do that to damn near everyone, but still), thrown off-balance and even fell down once. .someone falling down in the game of football????

go figure.

i gotta commend all my steeler friends for defending mahan til the bitter end....

BUT, i can now defer to tomlin on the matter-

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08239/906959-66.stm

Coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday that Hartwig has earned the starting nod over Mahan and will anchor the line when the season begins against the Houston Texans Sept 7 at Heinz Field.

"We watched this battle closely," Tomlin said after a 90-minute workout yesterday. "Both guys have done a nice job. Ultimately, for me, there was a level of comfort with [Hartwig's] size and strength and range [he left out the part about EXPERIENCE]. In the short term it may create a little discomfort for us because we have better cohesion with Sean and some of the other guys because of their game experience and working together.

"Justin is new. He has to continue to develop that kind of relationship with the men he plays with. But we're excited with what he brings to the table and look forward to moving ahead."

and just to show im no "johnny come lately" on the subject now that a final decision has been made-

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=25146&page=2&highlight=hartwig

(sorry, the "search" feature didnt reveal the thread i started after hartwig gave his 1st national interview upon being signed as a steeler, which had me sold.)

i dont care what mahan did last year (good or bad). i have always felt hartwig would be an upgrade at the position based on size, strength, and experience at the position (not to mention he is fairly cheap).

we know what we got in mahan and he is not the future (NOBODY is going to confuse his first year starting at center with jeff hartings 1st year). hartwig atleast shows potential.

sight unseen, he was an upgrade at the position and that is all i can ask for as a steelerfan.

carry on, tomlin. :thumbsup:

Galax Steeler
08-26-2008, 03:41 AM
I am just glad it is decided I don't think neither one is our answer at center but now Hartwig can gel with the line and maybe Mahan can move back to his natural position.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 05:28 AM
Mahan is a guard and may have ruined his reputation with the Center experiment...He doesnt have the lower body strength to handle NT's in the AFCN...but I still think that in the proper scheme he could be a starter. A team like Denver who runs zone blocking assignments might get maximum value out of Mahan and he could start in that type of enviroment.
Hartwig seems to have a little more anchor...so it should be interesting to see if there is a noticeable difference from last year.

Steel Pit
08-26-2008, 05:38 AM
I don't expect a significant upgrade with Hartwig as the starting center but heck, I'll be happy with any upgrade.

The Steelers go from Mansfield, to Webster, to Dawson, to Hartings, and then to an all-time low with Mahan. This is like a lifetime Coca Cola drinker being forced to drink Big K Cola for 2 years. YUCK!

moedap
08-26-2008, 05:49 AM
I am just wondering what team film you guys have access too because network televised games follow the ball. Judging O line progress or ability cannot be done with that film(network televised game).

fansince'76
08-26-2008, 06:02 AM
I am just wondering what team film you guys have access too because network televised games follow the ball. Judging O line progress or ability cannot be done with that film(network televised game).

True, but based on 2 sacks of our $102 million starting QB in one half along with a number of other hurries and hits sustained without the ball, certain conclusions can be drawn pretty safely - none of which are really very encouraging. The main one being that Ben is going to get harrassed and harrassed a lot against teams with a good pass rush, and we play a few teams whose defense fits that description during the regular season.

X-Terminator
08-26-2008, 06:17 AM
someone falling down in the game of football????

go figure.

i gotta commend all my steeler friends for defending mahan til the bitter end....

BUT, i can now defer to tomlin on the matter-

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08239/906959-66.stm

and just to show im no "johnny come lately" on the subject now that a final decision has been made-

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=25146&page=2&highlight=hartwig

(sorry, the "search" feature didnt reveal the thread i started after hartwig gave his 1st national interview upon being signed as a steeler, which had me sold.)

i dont care what mahan did last year (good or bad). i have always felt hartwig would be an upgrade at the position based on size, strength, and experience at the position (not to mention he is fairly cheap).

we know what we got in mahan and he is not the future (NOBODY is going to confuse his first year starting at center with jeff hartings 1st year). hartwig atleast shows potential.

sight unseen, he was an upgrade at the position and that is all i can ask for as a steelerfan.

carry on, tomlin. :thumbsup:

Tony, you know I respect the hell out of you, but I'm getting a little annoyed at this constant insinuation toward anyone who doesn't automatically bash Mahan to hell and back. Nobody - not me, not HTG, not Preacher nor anyone else - has said that Mahan played well last season. We've all said it numerous times, but it seems to get glossed over because people see what they think is "defending" when it isn't. Nobody even said he deserved the starting job this season. I just do not believe in creating a scapegoat every time something goes wrong, like so many Steelers fans are wont to do.

Now Coach Tomlin has said that Hartwig has won the job outright, and that's fine with me. I don't believe he outplayed Mahan by that much, but of course, his opinion is the only one that matters. I support him and Hartwig 100% and hope that the OL as a whole gets their shit together enough to at least keep Ben reasonably healthy throughout the season.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 06:21 AM
I don't expect a significant upgrade with Hartwig as the starting center but heck, I'll be happy with any upgrade.

The Steelers go from Mansfield, to Webster, to Dawson, to Hartings, and then to an all-time low with Mahan. This is like a lifetime Coca Cola drinker being forced to drink Big K Cola for 2 years. YUCK!

LMAO...great analogy!!!!!!

X-Terminator
08-26-2008, 06:23 AM
I am just wondering what team film you guys have access too because network televised games follow the ball. Judging O line progress or ability cannot be done with that film(network televised game).

It can if you have a DVR and can slow the game down to focus on one player or unit. I do it all the time.

DACEB
08-26-2008, 06:30 AM
Great, now it's time to cut our losses with Mahan and take the gamble with Stapleton. Which, IMO, isn't much of a gamble at all, Stapleton has played very well.

I doubt it happens this year, but he's gone by next year. The team needs to move Colon inside. Hopefully with a FA signing at OT that can happen, leaving a solid interior of OG's; Kemo, Stapleton and Colon.

fansince'76
08-26-2008, 06:32 AM
I support him and Hartwig 100% and hope that the OL as a whole gets their shit together enough to at least keep Ben reasonably healthy throughout the season.

Agreed. After the beating Ben has taken over the last two seasons (102 sacks, including the 6 sacks sustained in the WC game against Jax this past postseason :jawdrop:), a simply average job turned in by the OL this year would be a marked improvement.

Alva Lord
08-26-2008, 08:34 AM
. As I said earlier - I'm not an NFL coach, but neither are you or anyone else on this board.

P.S. Get that resume in, k? :rofl:
I may not have coached in the NFL, but I've watched and coached for more football than you ever have or ever will.

So if you think you know so much because to tape the games then I suggest you get your resume ready, smart arse.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 08:42 AM
I may not have coached in the NFL, but I've watched and coached for more football than you ever have or ever will.

So if you think you know so much because to tape the games then I suggest you get your resume ready, smart arse.

Wow...98 posts is pretty small to start lording yourself like an expert over everyone here...might want to back up the wagon there skippy!!

fansince'76
08-26-2008, 08:52 AM
I may not have coached in the NFL, but I've watched and coached for more football than you ever have or ever will.

So if you think you know so much because to tape the games then I suggest you get your resume ready, smart arse.

Goodbye, "Mr. Expert."

lilyoder6
08-26-2008, 08:54 AM
:o.. i think evryione has watched the same amount of football as u.. but as the coaching goes.. pee/wee hs or what-ever is a lot dif than the nfl

DACEB
08-26-2008, 09:06 AM
Wow, two posters banned over 'The Mahan Debate' !!

This is getting way to personal, we're all only spectators folks. We all want the best for our team, but we don't play a role in the decision.

X-Terminator
08-26-2008, 09:37 AM
Goodbye, "Mr. Expert."

Welp, it was just a matter of time before he pushed the self-destruct sequence. At least he lasted a week longer than the last guy.

What is it with these arrogant know-it-all wannabes? There's not one person on this board who can claim to be an expert in anything regarding the NFL, but we have people who, if you dare disagree with them, they skip right to the insults and condescending attitude. It's friggin ridiculous.

Anyway, sorry for hijacking the thread further - just needed to rant a bit. I'll get off my soapbox now.

fansince'76
08-26-2008, 09:40 AM
Wow, two posters banned over 'The Mahan Debate' !!

Nope. More like two members banned over their inability to disagree with others like civil and rational adults and instead choosing to act like condescending assholes towards anybody who dared to disagree with their exalted and infallible (in their minds at least) opinions.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 10:05 AM
Tony, you know I respect the hell out of you, but I'm getting a little annoyed at this constant insinuation toward anyone who doesn't automatically bash Mahan to hell and back. i know exactly where youre coming from, because i am deffinitely annoyed with the constant insinuation that anyone who is looking forward to hartwig taking over the job has automatically bashed mahan to hell and back.

i have been excited about hartwig since the day he was signed. mahan was not a center and he wasnt even a starting guard. unlike hartings who was a high priced free agent with pro bowl potential, (who colbert knew and had worked with) mahan was a stop gap measure who, at the time was, a necessity and worth the risk- thanks to okolbi for being worthless.

hartwig may only be a slight upgrade but an upgrade nevertheless. sometimes if you can get a slight upgrad in 4-5 different positions it can easilly determine a single play and change the outcome of a game. 8-8 after the superbowl coulda easilly been 10-6 with rossum returning punts instead of colclough for example. thats the difference between playoffs and sitting at home.

im with you on the scapegoating issue. i understand football is much to complex and is a game of inches for 1 person take ALL the blame. i see many steelerfans do it to when they are angry about a loss. i dont think ive ever don it. infact my record and posting history stands for itself-

i defended cowher to the bitter end. i defended kordell to the bitter end. and porter. i defended ben riding w/o a helmet, and i still find myself defending ty carter and anthony smith. i also defended mahan til the bitter end.

it just so happens to be that for me, the bitter end was the day that hartwig was signed. im excited about the slight upgrade that may be the difference of us winning a game like the one we lost to the jets last season.

hell, im one of the few crazy nuts who defended our entire line last year. lots of factors played into all the sacks. but i realize people bash the line just based on the number of sacks allowed, ignoring the fact of how great ben and willie played.



:helmet:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-26-2008, 10:14 AM
i know exactly where youre coming from, because i am deffinitely annoyed with the constant insinuation that anyone who is looking forward to hartwig taking over the job has automatically bashed mahan to hell and back.


:helmet:

EXACTLY !!!

I watched the O line very closely in all preseason games and saw the following

Game 1...extremely close between the 2. Mahan handled the starters fine, but Hartwig seemed stronger on his feet and pulled a few times very fluidly. (slight edge to Hartwig)

Game 2...Hartwig stumbled a couple times, but again looked strong and pulled well, while Mahan got driven into the backfield a few times on run and pass plays...Most notably John McCargo almost pushed him right back into Leftwich on a flanker screen to Nate Washington.( Hartwig again looked like he was learning the offense, but looked much stronger and athletic than Mahan)

Game 3....Hartwig again played solid, but missed a couple blocks. He got to the 2nd level well and held his own against a tough set of DT's, but some of the Vikings schemes gave the entire line protection issues. Mahan played well against the 2nd and 3rd teamers, but again I noticed him getting pushed into the backfield on run plays.

No surprise to me from breaking down the plays that Tomlin expressed comfort with Hartwig's "size, strength and range" and named him as the starter.

Mahan doesnt look strong enough in the lower body to handle some of the interior d-linemen and doesnt pull as well as Hartwig in the run game.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 10:49 AM
What is it with these arrogant know-it-all wannabes? There's not one person on this board who can claim to be an expert in anything regarding the NFL,

You dont mean....what about...dont you think I.....????

:crying03:

X-Terminator
08-26-2008, 10:59 AM
i know exactly where youre coming from, because i am deffinitely annoyed with the constant insinuation that anyone who is looking forward to hartwig taking over the job has automatically bashed mahan to hell and back.

i have been excited about hartwig since the day he was signed. mahan was not a center and he wasnt even a starting guard. unlike hartings who was a high priced free agent with pro bowl potential, (who colbert knew and had worked with) mahan was a stop gap measure who, at the time was, a necessity and worth the risk- thanks to okolbi for being worthless.

hartwig may only be a slight upgrade but an upgrade nevertheless. sometimes if you can get a slight upgrad in 4-5 different positions it can easilly determine a single play and change the outcome of a game. 8-8 after the superbowl coulda easilly been 10-6 with rossum returning punts instead of colclough for example. thats the difference between playoffs and sitting at home.

im with you on the scapegoating issue. i understand football is much to complex and is a game of inches for 1 person take ALL the blame. i see many steelerfans do it to when they are angry about a loss. i dont think ive ever don it. infact my record and posting history stands for itself-

i defended cowher to the bitter end. i defended kordell to the bitter end. and porter. i defended ben riding w/o a helmet, and i still find myself defending ty carter and anthony smith. i also defended mahan til the bitter end.

it just so happens to be that for me, the bitter end was the day that hartwig was signed. im excited about the slight upgrade that may be the difference of us winning a game like the one we lost to the jets last season.

hell, im one of the few crazy nuts who defended our entire line last year. lots of factors played into all the sacks. but i realize people bash the line just based on the number of sacks allowed, ignoring the fact of how great ben and willie played.



:helmet:

Fair enough. Though I will say that Ben and Willie played well in spite of the shortcomings of the OL, which makes you wonder what kind of numbers they could put up with, say, Minnesota's OL, or even the Browns' OL. But then again, the offense IS in transition, and the guys that we have were drafted for the old, power-running scheme rather than the zone blocking scheme. So it's no wonder they struggled so much.

Anyway, I'm going to give Hartwig a fair shake, though again I'm very curious as to how much leeway the Steelers fans will give him. I still say he gets more of a fair shake than Mahan, and won't have all of the darts thrown at him if the OL sputters.

X-Terminator
08-26-2008, 11:00 AM
You dont mean....what about...dont you think I.....????

:crying03:

No, not even you, Mr. Lost Tooth! :flap:

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 11:22 AM
But then again, the offense IS in transition, and the guys that we have were drafted for the old, power-running scheme rather than the zone blocking scheme. So it's no wonder they struggled so much.
and i have beaten this point to death all last year and in the offseason to all the gloom and doomers who insisted we were screwed w/o faneca, who were pissed we didnt draft OL, who insisted our line sucked, and who were worried superben will die even though he eats locomotives filled with shattered glass for lunch.

much to no avail. we will be fine. maybe not perfect, but a perfect o-line is very expensive, and i'd prefer the steelers not flirt with salary cap hell or mortgage the future for a single superbowl run.

i wanted to retain cowher or atleast hire grimm or whiz cause i was resistant to the change and transition. but now i embrace it just as the rooneys have when they hired tomlin and made ben the focal point of the offense (rather than the o-line and rb under the old regime).

along with embracing it, comes the natural growing pains. thats why im not panicing and trying to keep a level head about it. the steelers are positioning themselves for many superbowl runs, and when players like manning and brady are retiring, ben will be hitting his peak.

the futures so bright, i gotta wear shades.

:cool:

RoethlisBURGHer
08-26-2008, 11:27 AM
The Steelers better focus on the offensive line in the draft. I want a tackle and a center in the first two rounds of the draft (or in the first round if we can swing it).

What good are the weapons we have drafted in Mendenhall, Sweed, Miller, and Holmes if the line can't block?

Maybe we will have a bad year. That could turn out to be a good thing if it puts us in position to draft a stud offensive lineman.

NO MORE CASTOFFS FROM OTHER TEAMS. Mahan and Hartwig were castoffs because they couldn't produce well enough to merit roster spots on the teams that let them go. Neither of them was an Alan Faneca or a Steve Hutchinson coming off of Pro Bowl seasons.

lilyoder6
08-26-2008, 11:35 AM
well at least we named the starter b4 the reg season started.. so at least in game 4 of pre-season they can get some what of a mold together

Dino 6 Rings
08-26-2008, 11:38 AM
So now Mahan can take more snaps at Guard and work on being a back-up in both spots in case our o-line faces an injury. Win Win for us.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 11:39 AM
What good are the weapons we have drafted in Mendenhall, Sweed, Miller, and Holmes if the line can't block?:doh:

Maybe we will have a bad year. :dang: That could turn out to be a good thing :banging: if it puts us in position to draft a stud offensive lineman.

.ok. let me give you the skinny on hartwig. he was injured and recovering nicely. john fox did not go into that draft looking for a center. but when ryan kalil fell to them they simply felt he was too much value to pass up on. thats exactly the same thing we did this year when we took mendenhall and sweed.

oh well, atleast people have given up on their "ike taylor and deshea townsend suck and couldnt cover their bed" kick.

Dino 6 Rings
08-26-2008, 11:47 AM
Ike taylor doesn't suck...he just can't catch the effing ball when it lands right in his hands...stupid Ike....

RoethlisBURGHer
08-26-2008, 11:52 AM
ok. let me give you the skinny on hartwig. he was injured and recovering nicely. john fox did not go into that draft looking for a center. but when ryan kalil fell to them they simply felt he was too much value to pass up on. thats exactly the same thing we did this year when we took mendenhall and sweed.

oh well, atleast people have given up on their "ike taylor and deshea townsend suck and couldnt cover their bed" kick.

I like Hartwig better than Mahan, I just haven't seen anything from him so far that makes me say "wow, he's gonna be very good for us". I don't get to see many Panthers games, so I don't really know how solid and good he was when in Carolina. I am just hoping that he needs to gel with the offensive line, but that's the same thing we said about Mahan last year.

Hartwig isn't the future for the Steelers offensive line, he's no more than a stop-gap in my opinion. That's why I want to draft a center early in next year's draft. We need someone who we can let sit a season and learn, then step in and dominate.

Dino 6 Rings
08-26-2008, 11:55 AM
The problem with Drafting a Future Center, next season is that to get "the guy" that will dominate for years, we'd have to suck this year, or move up in a trade on draft day. Its a catch 22. Maybe we can get lucky and get someone in the 2nd round next year that could be our guy. I say, draft the Center at Nebraska or Wisconsin and take a chance. I don't even know who they are, but I bet they could be good. Something about those two schools just says to me, Hogs up front.

ChronoCross
08-26-2008, 12:06 PM
To me nether hartwig are mahan is worth a dam. Nether is the center we are looking for. Panthers wanted to move the injury prone hartwig to guard and he said no so they tried to trade him and ended up releasing him to free up cap space. Even tho Hartwig was named starter I doubt they release mahan do to hartwigs career of having injury problems. If hartwig can stay healthy then he is a far better choice then mahan anyways. Mahan has zero push up the middle and gets destroyed every time by every good NT he has faced. The team really needs to look in this up coming draft for a center. I hope by next season we get a quality center soon because I just am not use to seeing the steelers not having a good center. I hated the mahan pickup in the first place.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 12:06 PM
ok. let me give you the skinny on hartwig. he was injured and recovering nicely. john fox did not go into that draft looking for a center. but when ryan kalil fell to them they simply felt he was too much value to pass up on. thats exactly the same thing we did this year when we took mendenhall and sweed.

oh well, atleast people have given up on their "ike taylor and deshea townsend suck and couldnt cover their bed" kick.

NEVER!!!...I will post in the Deshea sucks thread until the day I die!!

I also want to take the time to say that John Madden sucks ......Womens Basketball sucks...Michael Bolton sucks...Vacuums suck.....the Bengals Suck (see thread).....Not having a smiley in prison stripes so as to make fun of Cincy fans sucks......Bin-Laden sucks...instant tea sucks...Paris Hilton sucks (see video)......stale Potato chips suck.....stale beer sucks...I suck (see video)...The two-party system sucks...Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconio sis sucks....My therapist sucks (see this thread).......etc!!!

RoethlisBURGHer
08-26-2008, 12:16 PM
The problem with Drafting a Future Center, next season is that to get "the guy" that will dominate for years, we'd have to suck this year, or move up in a trade on draft day. Its a catch 22. Maybe we can get lucky and get someone in the 2nd round next year that could be our guy. I say, draft the Center at Nebraska or Wisconsin and take a chance. I don't even know who they are, but I bet they could be good. Something about those two schools just says to me, Hogs up front.

I understand that it's a catch-22.

I think there will be some damn good offensive linemen in round two. I think if we can move up some in round 1, we can snag a dominate offensive tackle and then focus on taking a center in round 2.

And as for Nebraska and Wisconsin, they do scream HOGS UP FRONT. Both schools will be relying much on a power run game offense throughout the season with Marlon Lucky in Nebraska and PJ Hill in Wisconsin.

stlrtruck
08-26-2008, 12:21 PM
NEVER!!!...I will post in the Deshea sucks thread until the day I die!!

I also want to take the time to say that John Madden sucks ......Womens Basketball sucks...Michael Bolton sucks...Vacuums suck.....the Bengals Suck (see thread).....Not having a smiley in prison stripes so as to make fun of Cincy fans sucks......Bin-Laden sucks...instant tea sucks...Paris Hilton sucks (see video)......stale Potato chips suck.....stale beer sucks...I suck (see video)...The two-party system sucks...Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconio sis sucks....My therapist sucks (see this thread).......etc!!!

:link:

links to them all (except the begals suck, I've seen that one)

And i agree on the prison smiley!!!!

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 12:30 PM
I understand that it's a catch-22.

I think there will be some damn good offensive linemen in round two. I think if we can move up some in round 1, we can snag a dominate offensive tackle and then focus on taking a center in round 2.

And as for Nebraska and Wisconsin, they do scream HOGS UP FRONT. Both schools will be relying much on a power run game offense throughout the season with Marlon Lucky in Nebraska and PJ Hill in Wisconsin.

I think it is entirely possible to get the best Center in the draft in the late part of the 1st round. Alex Mack, out of California is ranked late 1st round early 2nd as of now...He is 6'5 316lbs.

In the late second round ..Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas (6'4 315 lbs) should be available. He won the award as the nation's top center last year.

One of my personal favorites is Eric Wood from Louisville ... 6'4 310 lbs....he should be available as late as the 4th round.

With our power blocking scheme I think all three of these guys have starting potential...

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 12:32 PM
:link:

links to them all (except the begals suck, I've seen that one)

And i agree on the prison smiley!!!!

LMAO!!!!!...

lilyoder6
08-26-2008, 03:49 PM
well if it was like last yr's draft.. there was an o-line scare to make all teams draft a o-lineman way 2 early than they were supposed to be drafted

Preacher
08-26-2008, 03:59 PM
and i have beaten this point to death all last year and in the offseason to all the gloom and doomers who insisted we were screwed w/o faneca, who were pissed we didnt draft OL, who insisted our line sucked, and who were worried superben will die even though he eats locomotives filled with shattered glass for lunch.

much to no avail. we will be fine. maybe not perfect, but a perfect o-line is very expensive, and i'd prefer the steelers not flirt with salary cap hell or mortgage the future for a single superbowl run.

i wanted to retain cowher or atleast hire grimm or whiz cause i was resistant to the change and transition. but now i embrace it just as the rooneys have when they hired tomlin and made ben the focal point of the offense (rather than the o-line and rb under the old regime).

along with embracing it, comes the natural growing pains. thats why im not panicing and trying to keep a level head about it. the steelers are positioning themselves for many superbowl runs, and when players like manning and brady are retiring, ben will be hitting his peak.

the futures so bright, i gotta wear shades.

:cool:

Tony...

You gotta stop posting this way... These articulate posts will confuse the Bengal and Browns fans that try to read this stuff!

43Hitman
08-26-2008, 04:35 PM
To me nether hartwig are mahan is worth a dam. Nether is the center we are looking for. Panthers wanted to move the injury prone hartwig to guard and he said no so they tried to trade him and ended up releasing him to free up cap space. Even tho Hartwig was named starter I doubt they release mahan do to hartwigs career of having injury problems. If hartwig can stay healthy then he is a far better choice then mahan anyways. Mahan has zero push up the middle and gets destroyed every time by every good NT he has faced. The team really needs to look in this up coming draft for a center. I hope by next season we get a quality center soon because I just am not use to seeing the steelers not having a good center. I hated the mahan pickup in the first place.




Excuse me..... :offtopic:Hey Chrono haven't seen you in a while, nice to see ya back.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-26-2008, 10:56 PM
we will be fine. maybe not perfect, but a perfect o-line is very expensive, and i'd prefer the steelers not flirt with salary cap hell or mortgage the future for a single superbowl run.

i

:cool:

You are right, the line doesnt have to be perfect and if they can retain Kemo, Hartwig, Simmons, Colon, Essex.....I think there is the makings of a good line for next season. All that is missing IMO is a good LT, which I think Smith is, but many do not.

Remember Tony, no matter how much $$ and hype the QB's, RB's, WR's, CB's get......the game is really decided in the trenches!!!!

GBMelBlount
08-27-2008, 05:44 AM
Hartwig needs to get in sync as Steelers starting center

Justin Hartwig, right, blocks defensive end Ryan McBean at Steelers training camp. Hartwig will open the season at center.

Justin Hartwig is the third starter at center in three seasons for the Steelers. For a franchise that had four centers in the previous four decades, that's quite a change.

For the longest time, the Steelers didn't have to worry about their center. Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and Jeff Hartings manned the position from 1964 until 2006, with each performing at a high level.

But Hartings retired after the 2006 season, and the position has been a source of concern since. The Steelers brought in free agent Sean Mahan to replace Hartings. After Mahan struggled last season, Hartwig was signed as a free agent to replace him.

Having a new starter at such a crucial position is not ideal, especially with the season opener against Houston a little more than a week away. But Hartwig and his new line mates are trying to become accustomed to playing with one another as quickly as possible.
Tomorrow

"The thing you have to do is make sure you communicate well," said Kendall Simmons, the starting right guard who also played next to Hartings and Mahan. "That's our plan as a unit. We're completely different from anyone else. We have to talk. It's not an individual-type deal. If we don't work together, it's not going to get done."

Left tackle Marvel Smith said transitioning to Hartwig is going to take time, much in the same way it did with Mahan last season.

"I kind of remember from last year it was a process with everyone, getting on the same page and being comfortable," Smith said. "It will probably be the same type of thing this year.

"It's more communication, especially in our offense. There are a lot of calls predicated upon what the center sees. Everything else is relayed off of that. The center has to be on the same page as everyone else."

In the Steelers' scheme, the center is responsible for calling out defensive fronts as well as the type of coverage in some instances. Hartwig said he has more responsibility than he did previously as the center for the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans.

"The center has a big role in this offense," Hartwig said. "I feel good. The big thing with offensive-line play is repetition and seeing the looks and going out and doing it. You can study so much, but to actually go out there and do it, playing with the guys next to you helps. Every day I feel like I'm getting better."

The starters will get another quarter's worth of work in tomorrow's preseason finale against Carolina before the Sept. 7 opener against Houston at Heinz Field. After a rough outing against Minnesota last week, they're hoping to gain some momentum heading into the regular season.

Against the Vikings, the Steelers' first-team offense gained just 76 yards on seven series in the first half.

"It's one or two missing pieces to the puzzle," running back Willie Parker said. "Once we get on the same page, we'll be all right. Right now, it's one man here or one man there before it will be a 10-yard or 15-yard gain."

Simmons said the only way for the Steelers to gain cohesion is by practicing together.

"It's going to take the reps in practice," he said. "We really have to emphasize talking. If you make a mistake, you have to say, 'Hey, this is where I'm going to be.' When you look at the film, you have to say, 'This is what I was thinking.' That's the only way you can do it when you have a short period of time."

Hartwig will get his third start with the first-team offense against Carolina. He was happy that coach Mike Tomlin made his decision a week early. The extra work with the first-team will be important.

And even though no one would venture a guess as to when the line would become a cohesive unit, Hartwig did say he was pleased with the progress the starters have been making.

"I'm really happy and just relieved that [the competition] is over," Hartwig said. "Now I can focus on getting cohesion with these guys and running this offense smoothly. It's coming along every day. Every day we're learning more about each other. I'm learning more about the offense and all the little intricacies that are in it. It's always going to be a work in progress, but I feel good about where we're at and how we're progressing every day."
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907166-66.stm

DACEB
08-27-2008, 08:12 AM
Simmons said the only way for the Steelers to gain cohesion is by practicing together.

"It's going to take the reps in practice," he said. "We really have to emphasize talking. If you make a mistake, you have to say, 'Hey, this is where I'm going to be.' When you look at the film, you have to say, 'This is what I was thinking.' That's the only way you can do it when you have a short period of time."

With the knowledge we now have (thanks to Colon) that Faneca resisted the O-line changes, I'm not sure how those film discussions went last year.

I'm hoping for notable improvements as the season moves on.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-27-2008, 08:18 AM
Steelers Notebook: Mahan gets backup swing role on line
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Sean Mahan was back at practice yesterday, one day after being informed that Justin Hartwig had beaten him out as the starting center.

Mahan, a six-year veteran out of Notre Dame, expressed disappointment about losing the job he held for one season.

"It's tough," he said. "It's obviously not what I wanted. But you just have to go with it, keep getting prepared just like you do when you play every week."

Coach Mike Tomlin said Mahan will take some repetitions at guard in addition to center. Either Mahan or Darnell Stapleton will be the backup at center and guard on game days.

"He's a guy who has position flexibility as a center and guard," Tomlin said of Mahan. "We'll explore him playing some guard. More than anything, he's a guy we're capable of winning with if we have to call on him. And there's comfort in that."

Mahan started games at center and at guard in his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2003-06.

"I need to be able to fill in and play any inside position if need be," Mahan said. "I definitely need some reps because I haven't had any guard reps in more than a year."

Quarterback issue
One of the crucial decisions the Steelers must make is how many quarterbacks will be kept on the roster. Charlie Batch is out for another few weeks following surgery for a broken collarbone. Byron Leftwich was signed after Batch's injury, and the Steelers invested a fifth-round draft pick in Dennis Dixon to develop him as a backup.

"We'll cross that bridge after this performance," Tomlin said. "That's a decision we have to make at an appropriate time, and I think we have to gather all of the information based on the quality of play and the health of Charlie. We'll hold our cards until necessary as far as that."

Injury update
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) and linebacker James Harrison (shoulder) returned to practice after skipping Monday's workout with minor injuries. Safety Troy Polamalu (hamstring) practiced for the second day in a row with the first-team defense.

Roster move
The Steelers got down to the NFL maximum of 76 players yesterday by placing tight end Cody Boyd on the waived/injured list, which means they could re-sign him after he recovers from a shoulder injury.

Boyd was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in May 2007. He was released and spent a portion of the 2007 season with the Washington Redskins. Boyd was re-signed by the Steelers earlier this year.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907164-66.stm

DACEB
08-27-2008, 08:59 AM
Coach Mike Tomlin said Mahan will take some repetitions at guard in addition to center. Either Mahan or Darnell Stapleton will be the backup at center and guard on game days

Does this mean we can start the Mahan vs. Stapleton debate?

I think y'all know where my vote is cast.

fansince'76
08-27-2008, 09:04 AM
Yep, everybody knows Mahan was absolutely the worst signing in franchise history. Hell, he was the worst FA signing in NFL history. Will it be his fault when Ben is running for his life again this season, considering he'll be watching from the bench? Yep, bet it will be. :coffee:

HometownGal
08-27-2008, 09:07 AM
Does this mean we can start the Mahan vs. Stapleton debate?

I think y'all know where my vote is cast.

http://www.freefoto.com/images/11/06/11_06_13---Merry-go-round--The-Hoppings--Newcastle-upon-Tyne_web.jpg

tony hipchest
08-27-2008, 09:11 AM
the crown victoria ben crashed into was once owned by mahan.

DACEB
08-27-2008, 09:20 AM
http://www.freefoto.com/images/11/06/11_06_13---Merry-go-round--The-Hoppings--Newcastle-upon-Tyne_web.jpg

:drink: Where's that darn sarcasm smiley!

I apologize to any Mahan family members or significant others.:hatsoff:

Glace
08-27-2008, 09:25 AM
I'll say I agree that in my eyes, Mahan has been more consistent at center....but I think Hartwig has more room to grow than Mahan does.

There's going to be some growing pains without a doubt...I just hope it's not at Ben's expense.

Getting in there against Minnesota is trial by fire. That should prove to be invaluable to him.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-27-2008, 10:19 AM
Does this mean we can start the Mahan vs. Stapleton debate?

I think y'all know where my vote is cast.

That is another one that will play itself out in practice.

The interesting thing about that statement is it implies that the Steelers are committed to keeping both Stapleton and Mahan. So the likely reserves will be Essex, Starks, Stapleton, Mahan.......Hills seems out of the loop unless they keep 10 O linemen.

BTW, I dont care who is the backup C, just that the best one dresses on Sunday's.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-27-2008, 10:21 AM
I'll say I agree that in my eyes, Mahan has been more consistent at center....

.
That is really tough to say. Hartwig consistently looked like he was new to the offense while Mahan looked consistently like he was physically overmatched by D-linemen. :noidea:

DACEB
08-27-2008, 10:24 AM
That is another one that will play itself out in practice.

The interesting thing about that statement is it implies that the Steelers are committed to keeping both Stapleton and Mahan. So the likely reserves will be Essex, Starks, Stapleton, Mahan.......Hills seems out of the loop unless they keep 10 O linemen.

BTW, I dont care who is the backup C, just that the best one dresses on Sunday's.

I thought the same thing Gonzo, you know I'm high on Stapleton.

If Mahan can keep his weight up and stay strong, he will be an extremely valuable backup. Stapleton is the future though.

revefsreleets
08-27-2008, 12:58 PM
IMO, if this line can be upgraded to just average (yes, I said UPGRADED to AVERAGE...we were below average last year) this team is talented enough across the skilled positions to make a deep run in the playoffs. But we need better cohesion across that OL and we need it fast...

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-27-2008, 01:02 PM
I thought the same thing Gonzo, you know I'm high on Stapleton.

If Mahan can keep his weight up and stay strong, he will be an extremely valuable backup. Stapleton is the future though.

Yeah, I personally think that right now Mahan is the better center because of his experience, but Stapleton is physically bigger, has better feet and is more powerful. Stapleton has more future for sure, but if Hartwig goes down with an injury....Mahan may be better prepared to start.