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View Full Version : Steelers team priorities for 2010


Gnutella
11-30-2009, 01:11 AM
DISCLAIMER: I will not permit this topic to turn into a Bruce Arians debate. We have enough of those on this board already. I'm analyzing the roster here. Feel free to leave comments regarding the roster.

With that said, it's now pretty easy to get an idea of what the team needs to do in order to improve their position in 2010, regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season. Here's what I think we need to focus on...

Steelers team priorities for 2010

1. ST - I don't expect Jeff Reed to come back, and I do expect our coverage units to improve -- not that our kick coverage could possibly get any worse. We'll probably need a new PK, and we'll definitely need some gunners. With that said, if the special teams don't improve dramatically next season, then it might be time to look for a new special teams coordinator too.

2. NT - Casey Hampton is on the wrong side of 30, and he plays a position that's more physically punishing than any other except possibly RB. Unlike RBs, however, which are a dime a dozen, good NTs are hard to find. Why else do you think Ndamukong Suh is considered a grand prize in the 2010 draft? (Sweet, I found a reason to type 'Ndamukong Suh' in this topic!) What I'd like us to do is offer Hampton a two-year contract extension, or franchise him if he doesn't accept an offer. Draft a young NT to take Hampton's place no later than 2012, but preferably by 2011.

3. CB - Losing Bryant McFadden has proven to be much more damaging to our secondary than I originally thought. Making matters worse is that DeShea Townsend is a shadow of his former self. While I've always respected him, he's our Old Yeller now, and we have to put him down. I'd like to see us draft a stud CB and reduce William Gay to the nickel defense again. This is his opportunity as a full-time starter, and I'm really not that impressed.

4. LB - Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley are here to stay, and James Harrison should be able to give us at least a few more good years. The problem is, James Farrior, like Townsend, is in dramatic decline. He's in his mid 30's now; he doesn't seem to get as much push as he used to, and he's become a downright liability in pass coverage. Time to groom a new starter between Woodley and Timmons.

5. RB - It's clear now that Rashard Mendenhall is our primary back, and Mewelde Moore is our all-purpose back. Now all we need is a goal-line and short-yardage back. This is where either Frank Summers or Isaac Redman is supposed to step up. Redman has the inside track right now, but both are young and things can change. The one name I haven't mentioned yet? Willie Parker. I believe we've seen the last of him as a Steeler. He's healthy again, yet his role has been very limited in the offense. The writing is on the wall.

6. QB - Dennis Dixon popped his cherry on national TV, getting his first start. He played OK, but not well enough to win. Hopefully this will give him some valuable experience. As for Ben Roethlisberger, I expect him to continue to improve. He needs to find that balance between deliberation and patience. If his first read is open, just throw it to him even if somebody else is "more open" and/or further down the field. Conversely, he needs to continue taking what defenses give him. He's done a much better job of that this season, but I still catch him getting greedy on occasion.

Anything else I'm missing? Feel free to add something.

MJ5150
11-30-2009, 01:40 AM
Sounds pretty good for 11:35 at night when I am still pissed off after a heartbreaking loss.

I would like to see the DB improvements a priority. Ziggy Hood should be better next year as will Keyaron Fox. I haven't seen enough of the new crop of DB's to know if any have pro potential in our schemes.

The offense seems fine to me. If Ben continues to get banged around I fear his career will be cut short sooner than later so I hope we keep Dixon around. I don't suggest we throw a bunch of money at him, but at least keep him active in the system and move him to #2.

Where did Limas Sweed go?

-Mike

MasterOfPuppets
11-30-2009, 01:44 AM
first of all..suh at around 300lbs would be most likely considered as a DE in a 3-4 , not a NT... someone like Terrence Cody, or Dan Williams would be a better fit at NT.

farriors is in "dramatic decline " ??? thats kind of a knee jerk reaction isn't it ? sure he's whiffed a few tackles and blown a few coverages , but who hasn't ? but i DO think they need to start grooming farriors successor soon, if they have a shot at roland McClain or brandon spikes, i hope they pull the trigger.

CB... didn't they just draft a CB in the 3rd round ? keenan lewis... i guess because he didn't start this year he's a bust huh ? IMO i think they need to look for a ballhawking FS before a CB...i like clarks hits, but he's just not much of a playmaker in coverage.

RB... i can see them using a 3rd or 4th on one, but i don't think its a huge priority unless they decide not to resign parker or moore.

so IMO NT, FS , OT, ILB, OLB CB, RB, WR

steelreserve
11-30-2009, 01:52 AM
Honestly, with the personnel we've got at LB and DL, and with 3-4 nose tackles being almost impossible to find anymore, we might as well switch to a 4-3 defense soon.

Voila! About 10 problems solved at once.

Gay is certainly living up to his name, but since we drafted two guys with potential, I'm not worried about our CBs in the future. Today is another story.

MJ5150
11-30-2009, 02:04 AM
Honestly, with the personnel we've got at LB and DL, and with 3-4 nose tackles being almost impossible to find anymore, we might as well switch to a 4-3 defense soon.

Just wondering.....with our current roster, how do you line up for the 4-3? Not the whole defense, just the 4-3 portion.

I'm not being confrontational at all. I have wondered this myself on and off during the year. I would be interested to see how you think it would line up if we were to play it next week.

-Mike

steeltheone
11-30-2009, 02:13 AM
Farrior has looked old most of the year. His time is over. A big need.

Steeldude
11-30-2009, 04:08 AM
Losing Bryant McFadden has proven to be much more damaging to our secondary than I originally thought

i really don't get this. mcfadden did nothing last year or at anytime on the steelers to suggest that the steelers are missing him. i hear he is playing horrible for the cardinals this year.

the steelers need to address the DL and possibly the O-tackle position too, because of depth issues.

Rick5895
11-30-2009, 04:29 AM
Farrior has looked old most of the year. His time is over. A big need.

Huh? Sorry but I disagree. He has played well most of the year, not being able to cover Rice doesn't get my, "he's too old" trophy. Not too many LB's can cover Rice.

Safety is a need as is CB and DL. Although I wouldn't be too hard on Clark for that big play to Clayton. He did his job properly in reading the TE. Wm Gay let him go. Gay has been a liability all season.

solardave
11-30-2009, 04:48 AM
Honestly, with the personnel we've got at LB and DL, and with 3-4 nose tackles being almost impossible to find anymore, we might as well switch to a 4-3 defense soon.

Voila! About 10 problems solved at once.

Gay is certainly living up to his name, but since we drafted two guys with potential, I'm not worried about our CBs in the future. Today is another story.

I defended Gay for awhile but last night he was real suspect. So was Ike for that matter.

Our secondary needs some help tackling. I'm not saying replace anyone at this point but they really need to wrap people up. The D-line played pretty good last night but we game up some passes that we shouldn't have. If one man in coverage changes our entire scheme (Troy) we're in trouble. I know Troy is all world but the others need to STEP UP!!!

AlleghanyAdams87
11-30-2009, 01:42 PM
They will resign Reed and Hampton. Smith will return and give the D-Line alot of depth. Hood will push to get in on 50 percent of the D snaps. Reed has hit 83 percent of his fgs this year and after watching the Ravens kicking struggles after releasing someone who was reliable to them, we would be foolish to look for a new kicker especially a project. Safety, Linebacker and corner will be draft priorities. On the o-line...We need to add depth at the tackle positions, but we are still young. This draft should be and will be a heavy on defense.

AlleghanyAdams87
11-30-2009, 01:44 PM
Farrior is still a solid LB. But we need to draft a replacement. Timmons should start in the middle for awhile and I believe will be one of the best LB in the league if he stays healthy. The guy is as athletic as you can be at MLB and just needs the experience.

mwittman5
11-30-2009, 01:50 PM
corner, corner, and........ corner :banging:

revefsreleets
11-30-2009, 02:22 PM
Farrior is still playing at a high level. Now, i realize that he won't perform like that forever, and we will eventually need to look at ILB, but let's not rush Farrior out of here just yet.

72 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 3 passes defensed...and, guess what? Farrior is the LEADING TACKLER ON THE TEAM! Dude is having a Pro Bowl caliber season....

Curtain_of_Steel
11-30-2009, 02:40 PM
Need big time secondary help. Gay is absolutely worthless. Townsend is marginal at best. These guys are not full time starters. I want some Gator blood here.
We can go secondary 1 and 2. DL 3. Steelers have a knack for late round DL guys. Would not mind seeing Big Snack here for another year or 2.
LB's are set for a bit, plus Steelers always have a knack for a keeper late in the draft.
Backup QB we now have one. Need a 3rd stringer late. As there will be plenty of serviceable qb's in this draft.

Shockingly, the OLINE can actually play when they need to.
Need a back up RB. Not sure on Moores contractm but chester Taylor is a Fa this year as wll.

WR's are set, TE's are set.

steelreserve
11-30-2009, 03:21 PM
Just wondering.....with our current roster, how do you line up for the 4-3? Not the whole defense, just the 4-3 portion.

I'm not being confrontational at all. I have wondered this myself on and off during the year. I would be interested to see how you think it would line up if we were to play it next week.

-Mike

My guess is that with the current lineup, it would go:

DT: Hampton, Hood/Keisel
DE: Smith, Keisel/Woodley
OLB: Harrison, Timmons/Woodley
MLB: Farrior

But in a couple years -- which is really when this would be relevant anyway -- you'd have to assume Hampton, Farrior and Smith will be retired, so it would be more like:

DT: Hood, Keisel
DE: Woodley, (new guy)
OLB: Timmons, Harrison/new guy (if Harrison retires)
MLB: Fox (or new guy)

The key difference is that instead of finding a Casey Hampton look-alike to play NT, you can plug in a couple of guys (like Hood) who are really more suited to be DEs in our current system. Obviously, there are a lot more of those guys around.

And instead of needing a monster DE like Smith, you'd have the option of using a smaller, quicker guy, or even a hybrid DL/LB guy like Woodley could be. Again, there are a lot more of those guys available.

Basically, my worry is that players like Hampton and Smith are what it takes to make a 3-4 defense dominant, and they just don't come around very often. So if luck is not with us in finding the right personnel to replace them -- a real possibility since 3-4 D-linemen are becoming so much more sought-after -- the 4-3 might be a way to let us take advantage of the guys we can get. We'd basically be looking for a regular middle linebacker and a regular defensive lineman instead of a middle linebacker and two DLs who are physical rarities.

steelreserve
11-30-2009, 03:22 PM
corner, corner, and........ corner :banging:

Well, we did just draft two of them...

Angus Burgher
11-30-2009, 03:23 PM
Shockingly, the OLINE can actually play when they need to.


I beg to differ... I think they still need to improve the O-Line. They still aren't terribly efficient at run-blocking and if the games against Cincy and KC are any indication, they still have a lot of problems protecting Ben. And before anyone starts up with the "Ben moves around too much and waits too long" argument, let's get something straight. That's how he plays. Why? Because if you give him time and allow him to move, he WILL put points on the board. The O-Linemen aren't the ones we count on to throw TD passes. They should be adjusting for Ben, not the other way around.

As for other things... we looked better on special teams last night, but were by no means great. Of course, at this point it feels like a victory any time ST doesn't give up a touchdown. But we still need to improve in this area. No complaints about Logan... He's not perfect, but he's had some great returns. But they REALLY need to step up on kickoff and punt return coverage. Also, if we keep Reed, then maybe we should see about giving Sepulveda the opportunity to do kickoffs, because that's not Reed's specialty. Also, Sep can tackle with the best of 'em.

Secondary... uh, here's where things are at their worst. How do you beat the Steelers? That's easy. Throw the ball if Troy isn't on the field. The worst that will happen is an incomplete pass, because they sure as hell aren't going to intercept it. And if you're REALLY lucky, they'll interfere with the pass, so your receiver might not even have to catch it. Seriously... our secondary needs a swift kick in the ass. They SUCK on 3rd down. And if they don't, well, they'll suck on 4th down.

Other things... Is this a contract year for Holmes? If so... As much as I want to see him come back, I'm starting to think that he'll pull a Plaxico and try to hop to another team. His comments lately, and his being part of that Fantasy Football promo this summer, make me think that he might end up hopping to a team where he can be the "star" receiver instead of having to split carries with Ward and Wallace. If so, I guess Sweed will have to prove himself.

Willie needs to go. Mendy needs to have more carries. I think he hasn't been as explosive lately because they keep taking him out before he can get a feel for defenses. And Moore should stay, but should only be used as a pure RB in emergency situations or trick plays.

Neil-Still-Rules-14
11-30-2009, 03:31 PM
I'm thinking we're going to need another WR for when Hines retires sometime in the near future. Defensively, we need linemen. They're getting old quick. In the defensive backfield we have Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett to look forward to, so I'm not worried yet.