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mesaSteeler
10-28-2009, 11:35 PM
Steelers get value in free agency
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_650401.html
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, October 29, 2009

He broke down the 82-yard run for reporters, one that resulted in his first touchdown since high school. He accepted a congratulatory handshake from Steelers' president Art Rooney II.

Linebacker Keyaron Fox, the man of the moment last Sunday afternoon, showed why he is such a valuable Steelers reserve in their 27-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

In a larger sense, Fox serves as an affirmation of the Steelers' team-building philosophy.

In the spring of 2008, the Steelers stayed out of the annual shopping spree that commences at the start of the free-agent signing period. Instead of targeting big-ticket free agents, they quietly signed Fox, center Justin Hartwig and running back Mewelde Moore.

To say the Steelers have gotten their money's worth - they spent less than $10 million total on the three players - would be an understatement.

Hartwig has proven to be a major upgrade over Sean Mahan at center, Moore is one of the top third-down backs in the NFL, and Fox is a significant presence on special teams as well as on the Steelers' goal-line defense.

"I say it all the time about our scouting department: They're the best in the business," inside linebacker James Farrior said.

Farrior signed with the Steelers in 2002, but he is an exception to the team's philosophy of adding complementary players - as opposed to marquee ones - through free agency.

"They stay true to the draft and allow their players to develop so they really don't need to do much in free agency," said former Washington Redskins general manager Charlie Casserly, now an NFL analyst for CBS. "Their free agency is signing their own players. In a perfect world, the core of your team is your draft choices, and then you supplement it with free agency."

The Steelers did that adroitly in 2008, particularly when they unearthed gems in Moore and Fox.

Moore had become expendable in Minnesota - Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor were ahead of him in a crowded backfield - and the Steelers were able to snap up a player that has become a major asset in their passing game.

"He's one of the best players we've got," Farrior said of Moore. "The guy moves the chains."

The Steelers announced Moore's signing March, 3 2008 - the day they officially signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new eight-year contract.

If the Moore signing slipped under the radar, so did the acquisition of Fox, who never got much of an opportunity in Kansas City because of injuries and the Chiefs' selection of Derrick Johnson in the 2005 first round.

Fox's role with the Steelers has gradually increased.

Fox and Farrior stopped Peterson short of the end zone last Sunday, setting the stage on a key goal-line stand by the Steelers. Playing for the injured Lawrence Timmons near the end of the game, Fox returned an interception for the touchdown that sealed the Steelers' victory.

That play came despite Fox not practicing much recently in the team's dime defense.

"I was a little bit rusty at first," Fox said, "but it all came back."

The same can be said of the return the Steelers keep getting from their 2008 free-agent signings.

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

(All hail the front office of the Steelers. - mesa)

Galax Steeler
10-29-2009, 03:43 AM
All as I can say is that the front office does one hell of a job at getting us some good player in free agency. They just sit back and let all the other teams pay alot of money for players. Seems like they just fall in our laps for some reason.

HometownGal
10-29-2009, 07:55 AM
"I say it all the time about our scouting department: They're the best in the business," inside linebacker James Farrior said.


Right on Potsie! :drink: I don't think there is a Steelers fan or player out there who can dispute that. :tt03:

I'm not 100% sold on Hartwig yet but thus far this season, he seems to be improving over what I saw last season, which can only be a good thing. :drink:

MeMo - what else can be said? He's a third down beast and though his role is often times limited, he accepts his role like the pro he is. :drink:

Fox is going to continue to do great things for us as his role is expanded. I'm very happy to have him wearing our black 'n gold. :drink:

mulldog24
10-29-2009, 08:18 AM
I think that it is so cool how we can sit back and laugh at all of the other teams scrambling around in free agent time spending all that money for guys that don,t really produce that much. Then we snatch up a couple of guys that end up being starters or great depth and special team guys for a fraction of the money. You know it has to drive the other teams FO and scouting departments nuts!!!:rofl::toofunny::chuckle:

steelreserve
10-29-2009, 09:36 AM
No, dude, we needed Vick, Haynesworth and T.O.

Psyychoward86
10-29-2009, 10:34 AM
We're the smartest team in free agency, how can you even argue?

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-29-2009, 11:04 AM
This is why its always funny how fans here pimp the high priced free agents the Steelers SHOULD get. This year I can think of Jordan Gross, Jason Brown, Houshmanzadeh, Torry Holt, Ron Bartell, Dunta Robinson and Namdi Asumguoa.

The Steelers rarely pay big in FA and often manage to find bargains.

TX Steelerfan
10-29-2009, 12:37 PM
To say the Steelers have gotten their money's worth - they spent less than $10 million total on the three players - would be an understatement.

Hartwig has proven to be a major upgrade over Sean Mahan at center, ...

Now that right there is the understatement of the decade.

Even though he was only here a year and played a backup role, I'd add last year's signing of Leftwich as a pretty good one, too.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-29-2009, 01:52 PM
Now that right there is the understatement of the decade.
.

Careful about assuming that Hartwig is better than Mahan. There are several on this board that will refute that. :toofunny:

Steelerfreak58
10-29-2009, 02:47 PM
I think the free agents we do pick up learn quickly that they are surrounded by other great players with high expectations. When you sign with the Steelers you know you have a shot at the Superbowl every year. I think that plays a key factor for a lot of guys regardless if its FA or resigning with the team for less money then what may be out there.

Think about how Antwan Randle-El feels about his current team... or Foote. Sometimes the money is just too good to pass up but then again some things can't replace winning rings.

kirklandrules
10-29-2009, 03:13 PM
I wasn't sold on Hartwig last year either. But I saw a replay of that last drive in the Super Bowl. On the play Ben scrambles for a few yards, there was a Cardinal with a free blindside shot on Ben and Hartwig left his man and lunged to take the guy out. That was a huge play because at a minimum, that would have been a sack ... worst case it could have been a turnover. I'm starting to repect the guy more with every game. Hey, he's usually facing nose tackles that are minimum 350 lbs week in and week out.

TheWarDen86
10-29-2009, 03:18 PM
No, dude, we needed Vick, Haynesworth and T.O.

And a new kicker! Don't forget about a new kicker!!! :chuckle:

RoethlisBURGHer
10-29-2009, 03:20 PM
The Redskins spent $100M on Haynesworth, and spent a ton to resign Hall and someone else I think.

What do they have to show for it? A 2-5 record, pissed off fans, and a head coach who is probably going to be gone after the season.

Building a team through free agency doesn't work. Some teams just don't realize that.

The Redskins have a lot of good pieces, but no stability.

The Steelers use free agency to fill a hole and find depth, not to build a team. So much of this team has been brought through the draft, damn near every starter on this team has been a Steelers draft pick or UDFA.

MasterOfPuppets
10-29-2009, 03:40 PM
best moves by the FO in order..

1 bettis
2 farrior
3 greene
4 hartings
5 vonolhoven

worst....
1 graham
2 mahan
3 tomzak

RoethlisBURGHer
10-29-2009, 04:03 PM
best moves by the FO in order..

1 bettis
2 farrior
3 greene
4 hartings
5 vonolhoven

worst....
1 graham
2 mahan
3 tomzak

Bettis was a trade, not a free agent pickup. Unless you're putting trades and free agents in the same context, he doesn't fit.

TX Steelerfan
10-29-2009, 04:12 PM
best moves by the FO in order..

1 bettis
2 farrior
3 greene
4 hartings
5 vonolhoven


Some time ago I was thinking about Hartings and was reminded of Wayne Gandy, too, and how they both struggled their first year in Pittsburgh but had a complete 180 year two and stabilized their respective positions for the Steelers for a few years. Another FA OL signing that was solid was Will Wolford.

And when we traded for Bettis, we also got the "Bus Driver" Tim Lester to come over from the Rams.... anyone remember if he came w/ the trade or was he a FA signing?

MasterOfPuppets
10-29-2009, 04:31 PM
Bettis was a trade, not a free agent pickup. Unless you're putting trades and free agents in the same context, he doesn't fit.

best moves by the FO keywords...best....moves.....nothing mentioned about trades or FA's

RoethlisBURGHer
10-29-2009, 04:45 PM
keywords...best....moves.....nothing mentioned about trades or FA's

Ah, never mind lol.

I had the train of thought that the thread was about free agents. :banging:

AllD
10-29-2009, 04:48 PM
Melwelde Moore has been outstanding. Best utility player we ever had. Not flashy, but he gets the job done and can throw TD passes!

They also keep many of the players happy because the payroll isn't upside down with rookies getting the bulk of the big money. Sure some left for windfall contracts, but that is the choice they made.

I wonder if Randal El and Foote would say they made the right move? I think Randal El will be off the Skins next season. And I forgot about Chris Hope on the Titans, oh man that has got to be depressing.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-29-2009, 05:24 PM
best moves by the FO in order..

1 bettis
2 farrior
3 greene
4 hartings
5 vonolhoven

worst....
1 graham
2 mahan
3 tomzak

Is James Harrison technically a FA because we cut him and so did the Ravens??

Todd Fordham, David Woodley have gotta be on the list of poor decisions along with Mahan and Graham.

tony hipchest
10-29-2009, 05:27 PM
mahan was cut by the bucs last week.

y'know... just in case.

"...black n gold, vet minimum. knows system, info on bucs playbook, etc."

:toofunny: okay, enough with that charade.

MasterOfPuppets
10-29-2009, 05:28 PM
Is James Harrison technically a FA because we cut him and so did the Ravens??

Todd Fordham, David Woodley have gotta be on the list of poor decisions along with Mahan and Graham.
harrison never actually spent significant time on another team, so i didn't count him. fordham and woodley are good candidates...:thumbsup:

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-29-2009, 05:30 PM
mahan was cut by the bucs last week.

y'know... just in case.

"...black n gold, vet minimum. knows system, info on bucs playbook, etc."

:toofunny: okay, enough with that charade.

But.........he really wasnt that bad here. He just got scapegoated in Pittsburgh and got beat out by a really competitive Buc's O line group. :rolleyes: He is still better than Hartwig. :rofl:

Steely McSmash
10-29-2009, 09:21 PM
I wonder if Randal El and Foote would say they made the right move? .....

If El has any doubts he can check his bank statement. :)

As for Foote, the guy asked to be cut so he could play in his hometown, Detroit.

GBMelBlount
10-29-2009, 10:50 PM
This is why its always funny how fans here pimp the high priced free agents the Steelers SHOULD get. This year I can think of Jordan Gross, Jason Brown, Houshmanzadeh, Torry Holt, Ron Bartell, Dunta Robinson and Namdi Asumguoa.

The Steelers rarely pay big in FA and often manage to find bargains.

Yep, especially with a salary cap. Whenever you pay a premium for one position you will have to skimp or "make it up" (moneywise) somewhere else. There is no getting around it.

HughC
10-30-2009, 12:18 AM
I always laugh whenever I see threads about "build through the draft vs. build through free agency" because obviously every team in the league would prefer to build their team through the draft. All those that look down on free agents seem to only consider the high priced players like Albert Haynesworth, or monumental busts like Javon Walker. It's not an either/or situation when it comes to building your roster; some fans seem to react as if that if you sign a free agent you automatically lose a draft pick.

The key to free agency is using it wisely. If you find a good value, go for it. Knowing the difference between a good player and a good value is the difference between the Steelers and teams like the Redskins or Raiders.

stb_steeler
10-30-2009, 02:51 AM
No, dude, we needed Vick, Haynesworth and T.O.

Thats the best thing the Steelers do best, they dont pick up big mouth, big money wanna bee's..... We take a nobody and turn them into great players.