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mesaSteeler
02-22-2009, 10:09 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_612897.html#

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers ready to tackle o-line issue

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 22, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS The premier offensive line prospects in this year's NFL draft do not appear to be lacking for confidence.

"I'd say, first of all, put on my film from Baylor and you'll see that I'm the best," left tackle Jason Smith said.

"To be honest," Ole Miss left tackle Michael Oher said, "I feel that I'm the best at my position."

The Steelers may have alleviated an immediate need at left tackle by placing the franchise tag on Max Starks. But if they are looking to upgrade an offensive line that has some uncertainty tackle Marvel Smith and guard Chris Kemoeatu can become free agents on Feb. 27 and there is no guarantee that Starks will sign a long-term contract with the team they may be a year too late.

Offensive tackles don't appear to be nearly as plentiful as they were last year when eight of them went in the first round, including six in a span of 10 picks. And what makes it unlikely that the Steelers get a chance to take a tackle the caliber of Smith or Oher is that they have the last pick (No. 32) in the first round.

Director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the Steelers won't stray from the philosophy they take into every draft. Translation: the Steelers won't make a need-based pick, at least early in the draft, whether it is along the offensive line where they struggled at times last season or the defensive line where they could use an infusion of youth.

"If you go into a draft trying to fill a need, then you're going to make a mistake," Colbert said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We've tried to avoid that."

The Steelers have moved up in the first round of the draft in recent years, including 2006 when they went from No. 32 to No. 25 following a trade with the New York Giants and grabbed wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Three years earlier, the Steelers moved up 11 spots in the first round to No. 16 after swinging a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs and took safety Troy Polamalu.

"We didn't go into that saying 'We have to get a strong safety.' After we did the full evaluation, we went into that draft thinking 'Boy, we hope we can get Troy Polamalu,'" Colbert said. "Troy was probably one of our top 10 players and when he got down to that range where we could make a doable trade we were able to do it. Same thing with Santonio. It really wasn't need. We just liked him that much."

The Polamalu pick did represent a blissful convergence of sorts.

The Steelers were in need of an upgrade at safety and Polamalu's career has validated the top grade the Steelers gave him prior to the 2003 draft.

"The Steelers have been really good over the years of finding a position of need and making that guy work, drafting a position of need and the guy's been a very good player," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "If they target offensive line and defensive line as their biggest area of need, you can pretty much guarantee they're going to take care of that early. I think where you get in trouble is where you do reach too far and then you dilute your talent base."

Reaching to fill a need is one of many potential pitfalls that comes with the draft, which is one reason why the combine is as important to NFL teams as well as the players that attend it.

The near week-long affair is essentially a job fair, and it gives teams the chance to interview, examine and evaluate hundreds of college prospects.

It is only part of a process that culminates with the two-day draft at the end of April. And scouting has become so sophisticated with personal workouts, psychological evaluations and background checks that Mayock said teams can sometimes suffer from "paralysis by analysis" because they have too much information at their disposal.

The extensive homework done by teams before the draft, however, does takes some of the guesswork out of it.

"There's very few things that we don't know about them," Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell said of the draft-eligible players. "I'm not certain if there's anything other than personal habits that may have an effect on a young man in terms of his preparation and things of that nature."

Colbert said the Steelers' approach to the draft will not change even though they are picking at the end of the first round. The team will put together a list of 32 players it would take with its first pick and adjust accordingly.

When asked if there are enough quality offensive linemen in the draft for the Steelers to get one of them with their first-round pick, Colbert said, "Oh yeah, absolutely."

"They're going to hope an offensive or defensive lineman they like is sitting there," Mayock said. "If he's not, they've got to be willing to take a really good football player at any position like they did with Heath Miller."

Possible targets?

If the Steelers address their offensive or defensive line with their top draft pick, here are some players that may be available at the end of the first round.

Eben Britton, OT, Arizona The 6-6, 310-pound left tackle may be a better prospect at right tackle since he is better at run blocking than pass protecting.

Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU At 6-4, 295 pounds, Jackson may be the only defensive lineman the Steelers will have a chance of getting in the first round that can immediately play in a 3-4 defense.

William Beatty, OT, UConn The 6-6, 291-pounder doesn't have ideal size for a left tackle but his athleticism and a strong senior season could make him a late first- or early second-round pick.

Alex Mack, C, Cal The 6-4, 312-pounder excelled at center but also has the size to play guard, and that combination could make him attractive to the Steelers.

Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss He could slide after a good but not dominant senior season and fall to where the Steelers have a chance to trade up and get him the 6-5, 309-pounder if they really like him.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Steelers & I
02-22-2009, 01:49 PM
Offensive line is said to be the need, but wait, wasn't that said last year as well? Weren't a lot of people disappointed when the Steelers didn't draft an offensive linemen early in last years draft? Didn't the Steelers just win the Super Bowl with an offensive line that many thought needed a serious upgrade?

I know, I know, the Steelers need to address their offensive line, I agree but, I agree more with Colbert and Mayock,

"If you go into a draft trying to fill a need, then you're going to make a mistake," Colbert said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We've tried to avoid that."

"The Steelers have been really good over the years of finding a position of need and making that guy work, drafting a position of need and the guy's been a very good player," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "If they target offensive line and defensive line as their biggest area of need, you can pretty much guarantee they're going to take care of that early. I think where you get in trouble is where you do reach too far and then you dilute your talent base."

"They're going to hope an offensive or defensive lineman they like is sitting there," Mayock said. "If he's not, they've got to be willing to take a really good football player at any position like they did with Heath Miller."

lilyoder6
02-22-2009, 02:00 PM
i don't think that oher will drop that far, to the point where the steelers could move up and get him.... i rather them stay there and get mack if possible, or britton or just trade down and get some more picks

SteelersLUFC
02-22-2009, 02:26 PM
do you reckon they hold on to mchugh ??

OX1947
02-22-2009, 05:10 PM
I think the Steelers pick Alex Mack if he last until 32, if he doesn't and Tyson Jackson is available, I think they pick him. I believe either way the Steelers will be able to cover either the o-line or d-line in the first round.

I also think the Steelers are going to play off what happens in free agency. If Kemo, Essex and Colon all go, then o-line has to be addressed. If they lose one of those guys, you can shuffle them around a bit and maybe go after a D-lineman if a good one is left until 32.

mesaSteeler
02-22-2009, 05:18 PM
Well last year every O lineman worthy of a first round pick was gone by the time we drafted. Hopefully, with so many O linemen being chosen in the first round last year, the demand for this year will not be quite as high and we can draft a good one with the 32nd pick.

HometownGal
02-22-2009, 05:25 PM
Well last year every O lineman worthy of a first round pick was gone by the time we drafted. Hopefully, with so many O linemen being chosen in the first round last year, the demand for this year will not be quite as high and we can draft a good one with the 32nd pick.

I hope you're right. It would be nice if Mack fell to 32 but I'm not counting on it. Hopefully, the Steelers can spin a deal and move up to grab him - he'd be awesome in a Steelers uni! :thumbsup:

mulldog24
02-22-2009, 05:27 PM
Picking at #32 I think we could get a good OT there. Jamon meridith or Phil Loadholt. I watched them at the combine and through the season and think they would make a good RT.Meridith also played guard so he could help us out with his versitility.:thumbsup:

Give It To Abercrombie
02-22-2009, 07:07 PM
That I am aware of, I expect us to get 9 picks this year. 7 rounds plus a 7th for Mahan and a 3rd or 4th (I would hope 3rd) for Faneca departing and not signing anyone big. I think resigning guys is going to have us relatively tight money-wise. I can't see taking 9 new players. I fully expect a deal to happen this year similar to the years we got Troy and Santonio. Package our normal 3rd round pick with #32 and move up to grab someone we have our eye on. maybe jumping up to 24 (Atlanta) or 25 (Miami) to get ahead of Philly at 28 and grab the last tackle from the top tier. Or I hope anyway.

lilyoder6
02-22-2009, 07:17 PM
That I am aware of, I expect us to get 9 picks this year. 7 rounds plus a 7th for Mahan and a 3rd or 4th (I would hope 3rd) for Faneca departing and not signing anyone big. I think resigning guys is going to have us relatively tight money-wise. I can't see taking 9 new players. I fully expect a deal to happen this year similar to the years we got Troy and Santonio. Package our normal 3rd round pick with #32 and move up to grab someone we have our eye on. maybe jumping up to 24 (Atlanta) or 25 (Miami) to get ahead of Philly at 28 and grab the last tackle from the top tier. Or I hope anyway.

well with so many players that are FA.. 9 new players would work out rly

St33lersguy
02-22-2009, 09:36 PM
The thing about the draft is it's a great time to fillholes and address weaknesses to improve your team and it's obvious that they need a younger DL and the OL is not cutting it. If the Steelers just draft TEs, RBs, QBs, and LBs because they were too busy selecting BPA (best player available) then they have failed to address weaknesses and improve their football team. If Alex Mack or Duke Robinson available then the Steelers must take him, unless there is a better lineman on either side available you take guys of that caliber.

Give It To Abercrombie
02-22-2009, 10:09 PM
well with so many players that are FA.. 9 new players would work out rly

Does that mean you think it would be wise to let them all walk and have 20% of our roster rookie draft picks? I'm sure you don't. :drink: They will re-sign 5 or so guys. I certainly expect to lose Washington, Smith and I hate to say it but McFadden too. Sure some of the picks that don't make the roster can be practice squad, but it's not like we can send 'em all down to the Iron City Smelters minor league squad. There's only so much room. I predict a trade. But I've been wrong before, might even be wrong again sometime.

lilyoder6
02-22-2009, 10:13 PM
Does that mean you think it would be wise to let them all walk and have 20% of our roster rookie draft picks? I'm sure you don't. :drink: They will re-sign 5 or so guys. I certainly expect to lose Washington, Smith and I hate to say it but McFadden too. Sure some of the picks that don't make the roster can be practice squad, but it's not like we can send 'em all down to the Iron City Smelters minor league squad. There's only so much room. I predict a trade. But I've been wrong before, might even be wrong again sometime.

i don't expect them all 2 walk.. but i don't see a lot being re-sign.. i see where u are going, but with so many FA and at least half leaving. that is a lot of new roster spots..

lilyoder6
02-22-2009, 10:17 PM
The thing about the draft is it's a great time to fillholes and address weaknesses to improve your team and it's obvious that they need a younger DL and the OL is not cutting it. If the Steelers just draft TEs, RBs, QBs, and LBs because they were too busy selecting BPA (best player available) then they have failed to address weaknesses and improve their football team. If Alex Mack or Duke Robinson available then the Steelers must take him, unless there is a better lineman on either side available you take guys of that caliber.

i think a team knows the line when it comes to BPA at a certain pos.

steelwall
02-23-2009, 02:01 AM
Im being optimistic the oline improved toward the end of last year (Colon quit your penalities though) if we can pick up ANYONE who could contribute immediately would be a huge plus, especially with a healthy Mendy.

JoeLion
02-23-2009, 10:10 AM
NT, NT, NT! Don't be surprised if they draft a NT as a way to upgrade the DL.
As for the OL a guard is needed, imho, as much as a tackle. If Starks mans the LT spot, Colon moves to RT, center is set for another year, a really good guard is needed to step up. A lot of the hits Big Ben took came right up the gut.
They keep Mc Hugh as a fb and a third TE.

The_WARDen
02-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Offensive line is said to be the need, but wait, wasn't that said last year as well? Weren't a lot of people disappointed when the Steelers didn't draft an offensive linemen early in last years draft? Didn't the Steelers just win the Super Bowl with an offensive line that many thought needed a serious upgrade?

I know, I know, the Steelers need to address their offensive line, I agree but, I agree more with Colbert and Mayock,

You're right...keep ignoring the Oline. They win anyway right? Your franchise QB takes a beating EVERY year and probably won't make it til he's 30 but what do I know.

:doh:

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 11:31 AM
I know, I know, the Steelers need to address their offensive line, I agree but, I agree more with Colbert and Mayock,

Who do you agree more with?? Kiper or Mayock??

-Kiper has Alex Mack as his #1 center and Mayock has Mack at #3 center
-Mayock had DeJuan Morgan as his #1 safety last year (round 3) I think Kiper had Phillips as #1 (1st round pick)
-Mayock has Andy Levitre as his #1 guard, but I havent seen him in a mock anywhere.

I personally think Andy Levitre will be the 6th or 7th interior lineman taken. Mack, Wood, Unger, Robinson, Urbik, Canfield might all go ahead of him. I obviously could be wrong, but that is my belief. I like Mayock and think he is a good talent evaluator, but I also think he nitpicks about some kids and cant get off those biases he sees at first.

-Mayock criticizes Mack for being on the ground too much, but has never said that he was the only guy to handle BJ Raji in practices like many other writers said. Mayock ranks him as the #3 center.
-Mayock ranks Andy Levitre as the #1 OG, but here is what others say.

Andy Levitre/OL/Oregon State: Levitre could not capitalize on a terrific senior season. He was beaten by speed opponents and driven off the line by powerful defenders. A possible top 75 choice coming into the Senior Bowl, Levitre has fallen into the late part of round four. http://m.si.com/news/archive/archive/detail/1379543/full;jsessionid=5588CE67C7624DF69A996E82DA325340.c nnsilive9i

Dont trust Mayock on everything. Trust what you see, because sometimes Mayock is just wrong and refuses to admitt it.

Pi Kapp Steeler
02-23-2009, 11:36 AM
Who do you agree more with?? Kiper or Mayock??

-Kiper has Alex Mack as his #1 center and Mayock has Mack at #3 center
-Mayock had DeJuan Morgan as his #1 safety last year (round 3) I think Kiper had Phillips as #1 (1st round pick)
-Mayock has Andy Levitre as his #1 guard, but I havent seen him in a mock anywhere.

I personally think Andy Levitre will be the 6th or 7th interior lineman taken. Mack, Wood, Unger, Robinson, Urbik, Canfield might all go ahead of him. I obviously could be wrong, but that is my belief.

I like Mayock and think he is a good talent evaluator, but I also think he nitpicks about some kids and cant get off those biases he sees at first. He dogs Mack for being on the ground too much, but has never said that he was the only guy to handle BJ Raji in practices like many other writers said.

I notice that mayocks picks are different then kipers all the time. I think its a network thing they want to make sure that their guy on the NFL network doesn't say the same thing as their guy on ESPN.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 11:43 AM
I notice that mayocks picks are different then kipers all the time. I think its a network thing they want to make sure that their guy on the NFL network doesn't say the same thing as their guy on ESPN.

Are the NFL network and ESPN affiliated?? I didnt know that. :noidea:

I just think Mayock is so out there on some things that its nuts. He cant honestly have watched the Senior Bowl week of practice or game and still rank Unger as his best center and Levitre as the best guard.

Levitre wasnt even that impressive in the other 2 games I saw of OSU this year. Again, I think Mayock makes a mistake in evaluations early on and is too reluctant to change them as they become apparent.

Steelers & I
02-23-2009, 04:46 PM
]Who do you agree more with?? Kiper or Mayock??

-Kiper has Alex Mack as his #1 center and Mayock has Mack at #3 center
-Mayock had DeJuan Morgan as his #1 safety last year (round 3) I think Kiper had Phillips as #1 (1st round pick)
-Mayock has Andy Levitre as his #1 guard, but I havent seen him in a mock anywhere.

I personally think Andy Levitre will be the 6th or 7th interior lineman taken. Mack, Wood, Unger, Robinson, Urbik, Canfield might all go ahead of him. I obviously could be wrong, but that is my belief. I like Mayock and think he is a good talent evaluator, but I also think he nitpicks about some kids and cant get off those biases he sees at first.
-Mayock criticizes Mack for being on the ground too much, but has never said that he was the only guy to handle BJ Raji in practices like many other writers said. Mayock ranks him as the #3 center.
-Mayock ranks Andy Levitre as the #1 OG, but here is what others say.

Andy Levitre/OL/Oregon State: Levitre could not capitalize on a terrific senior season. He was beaten by speed opponents and driven off the line by powerful defenders. A possible top 75 choice coming into the Senior Bowl, Levitre has fallen into the late part of round four. http://m.si.com/news/archive/archive/detail/1379543/full;jsessionid=5588CE67C7624DF69A996E82DA325340.c nnsilive9i

Dont trust Mayock on everything. Trust what you see, because sometimes Mayock is just wrong and refuses to admitt it.[/QUOTE]

I actually like them both but there are times when Mayock is just more convincing with his assessments. That's not saying that he's better at evaluating talent, I've seen both he and Kiper hit and miss.

I've also noticed the Mayock nitpicking from time to time, he actually sounds like Skip Bayless on rare occasions.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 06:18 PM
I actually like them both but there are times when Mayock is just more convincing with his assessments. That's not saying that he's better at evaluating talent, I've seen both he and Kiper hit and miss.

I've also noticed the Mayock nitpicking from time to time, he actually sounds like Skip Bayless on rare occasions.

I agree that they are hit and miss, but I cant understand how a guy like Mayock that watches tape on guys can not have seen Unger get stood up and pushed back repeatedly. I only saw 3 Oregon games this year and Unger looked downright mediocre in them. He must have dominated the rest of the ones he played in :noidea:

On the other hand, Kiper says Mack was the best Center in the NCAA this season and all season. Its the 3rd straight year he was all Pac-10 center. Most say he is strong, intelligent, strong leader and blocks with a warrior mentatlity, yet all Mayock can say is he is on the ground too much.

Either way, I like what will be there at #32 for O line, if we select one. Still a chance D-line is addressed and O line in round 2.

drew102e
02-24-2009, 04:18 PM
kiper is wrong way more than mayock, i think mel just mails it in nowadays

Steelers & I
02-25-2009, 04:47 AM
I agree that they are hit and miss, but I cant understand how a guy like Mayock that watches tape on guys can not have seen Unger get stood up and pushed back repeatedly. I only saw 3 Oregon games this year and Unger looked downright mediocre in them. He must have dominated the rest of the ones he played in :noidea:

On the other hand, Kiper says Mack was the best Center in the NCAA this season and all season. Its the 3rd straight year he was all Pac-10 center. Most say he is strong, intelligent, strong leader and blocks with a warrior mentatlity, yet all Mayock can say is he is on the ground too much.

Either way, I like what will be there at #32 for O line, if we select one. Still a chance D-line is addressed and O line in round 2.

Yeah I'm sold on Alex Mack. I hope that he falls to the Steelers in Round #1. I believe that they may convert him to guard. I recently watched an Alex Mack highlight video and yes, he's on the ground a lot, BUT, he typically hits the ground 10 yards away from the line of scrimmage as he's bulldozing an opponent so I'll have to disagree with Mayock. From what I've seen, Mack plays until the whistle blows AND beyond.
The dude's a warrior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8xCkToEnJ8

It's not the best video ever made but there's enough there to show that Alex Mack is all out hustle.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-25-2009, 09:44 AM
Yeah I'm sold on Alex Mack. I hope that he falls to the Steelers in Round #1. I believe that they may convert him to guard. I recently watched an Alex Mack highlight video and yes, he's on the ground a lot, BUT, he typically hits the ground 10 yards away from the line of scrimmage as he's bulldozing an opponent so I'll have to disagree with Mayock. From what I've seen, Mack plays until the whistle blows AND beyond.
The dude's a warrior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8xCkToEnJ8

It's not the best video ever made but there's enough there to show that Alex Mack is all out hustle.

You saw the same things I did. The guy is on the ground after taking a defender down, or chasing a LB at the 2nd level and lunging at the would be tackler.

The fact that Mack won the academic version of the Heisman is another positive. Smart kid that blocks like that.........:thumbsup:

drew102e
02-25-2009, 01:01 PM
how often do teams use a 1st round pick on a guard or center? i would rather use it for DE or CB, then try to get the center/guard in the second round

iceman000123
02-25-2009, 11:49 PM
You're right...keep ignoring the Oline. They win anyway right? Your franchise QB takes a beating EVERY year and probably won't make it til he's 30 but what do I know.

:doh:

I have to agree. Even though we did well this year. Big Ben got hit way more then he really needed to. Big Ben normally only scrambles when he has to and since he had to a lot theres some obvious penetration going on there. Plus we have some penalties that could of been avoided that were caused by the line. Willie Colon has caused man of the penalties on the line (not to take anything away from him.) But when one of our linemen get beat bad either they hold or Ben gets sack hence the safety in the Bowl. All I'm saying is we just need to be more solid up front and that should be the main focus at least for now...

nort10
02-26-2009, 12:31 AM
Posted this in another topic aswell...

just trying to 'stir the pot'

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_613269.html

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-26-2009, 09:47 AM
how often do teams use a 1st round pick on a guard or center? i would rather use it for DE or CB, then try to get the center/guard in the second round

When it is the very last pick in the first round they are a more reasonable value there.

Alan Faneca, Kendall Simmons, Ben Grubbs, Jeff Hartings, were all guards taken in the 1st round. True that the Center is rarely taken in the 1st round, but most of the center prospects in this years draft can also play guard.

There may not be any outstanding DE prospects at #32 that can play in a 3-4 on draft day.

Steely McSmash
02-26-2009, 11:54 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_612897.html#
Director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the Steelers won't stray from the philosophy they take into every draft. Translation: the Steelers won't make a need-based pick, at least early in the draft, whether it is along the offensive line where they struggled at times last season or the defensive line where they could use an infusion of youth.

"If you go into a draft trying to fill a need, then you're going to make a mistake," Colbert said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We've tried to avoid that."

......

"The Steelers have been really good over the years of finding a position of need and making that guy work, drafting a position of need and the guy's been a very good player," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "If they target offensive line and defensive line as their biggest area of need, you can pretty much guarantee they're going to take care of that early. I think where you get in trouble is where you do reach too far and then you dilute your talent base."
....

"They're going to hope an offensive or defensive lineman they like is sitting there," Mayock said. "If he's not, they've got to be willing to take a really good football player at any position like they did with Heath Miller."
.


Love the dischord and total lack of continuity in this article.

Mayock is basically saying that the Steelers are good at picking based on need.

Colbert refuses to admit that the steelers pick based on need at all.

His intial quote makes no sense at all. Does it logically follow that if you try to accomplish something that you'll fail??

I think this kind of political speaking is just to feebly attempt to keep cards close to the chest. It would be more amusing if he tried to tell us that they just throw darts at the draft board.

On another topic....

Heaven forbid the talent pool in the O-line be diluted! :rofl:

Not like the Steelers have let Pro-bowl caliber players go and drafted only 3 players in the last 4 years and even then, only in only later rounds. Not saying that Faneca and Hartings should have been kept somehow-- just be proactive about your bread and butter.:noidea:

I realize with utter joy that they won the superbowl with this glaring flaw. No need to stick our collective head in the sand about it.

drew102e
03-03-2009, 01:02 PM
PLEASE draft some combination of RT, C, DT, DE in the first few rounds

when do we get compensatory picks?