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mesaSteeler
12-13-2009, 01:14 PM
Bires: Steelers on the outs
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/december/13/bires-steelers-on-the-outs.html
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Sunday December 13, 2009 12:07 AM

Based on the stunning turn of events the past five weeks, it’s become quite evident that some Steelers are playing their way out of town.

Three defensive backs will be unrestricted free agents after this season: safety Tyrone Carter, 33; safety Ryan Clark, 30; and cornerback Deshea Townsend, 34.

There’s a very good chance none will be back next year.

Three defensive linemen will be unrestricted free agents: nose tackle Casey Hampton, 32; defensive end Travis Kirschke, 35; and defensive end Nick Eason, 29.

All three may be gone next year, too.

On one hand, it seems tough to part with Hampton, who’s been a great Steeler. But no longer is he the dominant interior D-lineman he once was.

It’s hard to imagine 35-year-old quarterback Charlie Batch returning, not with the kind of money he’s being paid this year ($895,000) and with second-year pro Dennis Dixon proving he’s a capable backup.

How about running back Willie Parker?

He’ll need to take a significant pay cut if he wants to hang around as Rashard Mendenhall’s backup.

And it’s questionable at best if kicker Jeff Reed returns.

Reed has missed field goals in three games this year, all losses. He missed two makeable kicks against Chicago (from 38 and 43 yards). He missed a 52-yarder against Cincinnati. He missed a 53-yarder against Oakland.

Reed has made 82 percent of his kicks this year. That percentage ties him for 16th in the league.

Plus, his off-the-field antics have been an embarrassment to the franchise.

• Connecting on field goals longer than 50 yards isn’t easy. But it’s not as hard as one may think.

This season, NFL kickers have connected on 42 of 77 tries from 50 yards out or more. That’s a 54.5 percent success rate.

Reed is 0-2 from 50 or beyond.

• Another of Reed’s deficiencies is that he can’t boot the ball deep on kickoffs. He only has one touchback this year. That ties him for 30th in the league.

• The Steelers also have a few restricted free agents they may not want to re-sign, including tackle Willie Colon and cornerback William Gay.

• Now that the Steelers are 99.9 percent eliminated from playoff consideration, will coach Mike Tomlin make some significant personnel changes we thought he’d make Thursday night in Cleveland?

Here’s one suggestion: Replace Kirshcke at left defensive end with rookie Ziggy Hood.

Neither Kirschke nor Eason has done anything special since they’ve started after Aaron Smith’s season-ending shoulder injury in early October. So put the young kid in and see what he can do.

Also, let Keyaron Fox play more at inside linebacker, either on running downs for Lawrence Timmons, or even for James Farrior.

Farrior has been a great Steeler also, but at age 34, his play has declined.

Another suggestion: Even if it means de-activating Gay, give rookie Keenan Lewis some snaps at cornerback.

• I wonder how much confidence the Steelers have in Tomlin right now.

Last week, he said there would be personnel changes. Then he didn’t make any except for replacing Stefan Logan on kick returns.

• After his first two seasons, Tomlin didn’t make any coaching staff changes. That may not be the case after this season ends.

Who could be fired?

Certainly special teams coach Bob Ligashesky has to be concerned about his job security.

I’ve defended Bruce Arians over the years but he, too, has to wonder if he’ll be brought back.

Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein could be a casualty as well.

• There were so many parts of Thursday’s 13-6 loss in Cleveland that were disturbing. One was the third-and-1 call on the Steelers’ first possession.

On first down, Rashard Mendenhall ran for 5 yards.

On second-and-5, Mendenhall ran for 4.

Then on third-and-1, the Steelers lined up in an empty set with no running backs in the backfield. They didn’t even give the Browns a look that might suggest a run.

The cold and windy conditions were terrible for throwing the football, yet on third-and-1, they tried to pass out of shotgun formation.

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked on that third and-1. It was a poor decision that set the tone for rest of the game.

Mike Bires can be reached at mbires@timesonline.com

steelbad@50
12-13-2009, 01:30 PM
Bires: Steelers on the outs
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/december/13/bires-steelers-on-the-outs.html
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Sunday December 13, 2009 12:07 AM

Based on the stunning turn of events the past five weeks, it’s become quite evident that some Steelers are playing their way out of town.

Three defensive backs will be unrestricted free agents after this season: safety Tyrone Carter, 33; safety Ryan Clark, 30; and cornerback Deshea Townsend, 34.

There’s a very good chance none will be back next year.

Three defensive linemen will be unrestricted free agents: nose tackle Casey Hampton, 32; defensive end Travis Kirschke, 35; and defensive end Nick Eason, 29.

All three may be gone next year, too.

On one hand, it seems tough to part with Hampton, who’s been a great Steeler. But no longer is he the dominant interior D-lineman he once was.

It’s hard to imagine 35-year-old quarterback Charlie Batch returning, not with the kind of money he’s being paid this year ($895,000) and with second-year pro Dennis Dixon proving he’s a capable backup.

How about running back Willie Parker?

He’ll need to take a significant pay cut if he wants to hang around as Rashard Mendenhall’s backup.

And it’s questionable at best if kicker Jeff Reed returns.

Reed has missed field goals in three games this year, all losses. He missed two makeable kicks against Chicago (from 38 and 43 yards). He missed a 52-yarder against Cincinnati. He missed a 53-yarder against Oakland.

Reed has made 82 percent of his kicks this year. That percentage ties him for 16th in the league.

Plus, his off-the-field antics have been an embarrassment to the franchise.

• Connecting on field goals longer than 50 yards isn’t easy. But it’s not as hard as one may think.

This season, NFL kickers have connected on 42 of 77 tries from 50 yards out or more. That’s a 54.5 percent success rate.

Reed is 0-2 from 50 or beyond.

• Another of Reed’s deficiencies is that he can’t boot the ball deep on kickoffs. He only has one touchback this year. That ties him for 30th in the league.

• The Steelers also have a few restricted free agents they may not want to re-sign, including tackle Willie Colon and cornerback William Gay.

• Now that the Steelers are 99.9 percent eliminated from playoff consideration, will coach Mike Tomlin make some significant personnel changes we thought he’d make Thursday night in Cleveland?

Here’s one suggestion: Replace Kirshcke at left defensive end with rookie Ziggy Hood.

Neither Kirschke nor Eason has done anything special since they’ve started after Aaron Smith’s season-ending shoulder injury in early October. So put the young kid in and see what he can do.

Also, let Keyaron Fox play more at inside linebacker, either on running downs for Lawrence Timmons, or even for James Farrior.

Farrior has been a great Steeler also, but at age 34, his play has declined.

Another suggestion: Even if it means de-activating Gay, give rookie Keenan Lewis some snaps at cornerback.

• I wonder how much confidence the Steelers have in Tomlin right now.

Last week, he said there would be personnel changes. Then he didn’t make any except for replacing Stefan Logan on kick returns.

• After his first two seasons, Tomlin didn’t make any coaching staff changes. That may not be the case after this season ends.

Who could be fired?

Certainly special teams coach Bob Ligashesky has to be concerned about his job security.

I’ve defended Bruce Arians over the years but he, too, has to wonder if he’ll be brought back.

Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein could be a casualty as well.

• There were so many parts of Thursday’s 13-6 loss in Cleveland that were disturbing. One was the third-and-1 call on the Steelers’ first possession.

On first down, Rashard Mendenhall ran for 5 yards.

On second-and-5, Mendenhall ran for 4.

Then on third-and-1, the Steelers lined up in an empty set with no running backs in the backfield. They didn’t even give the Browns a look that might suggest a run.

The cold and windy conditions were terrible for throwing the football, yet on third-and-1, they tried to pass out of shotgun formation.

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked on that third and-1. It was a poor decision that set the tone for rest of the game.

Mike Bires can be reached at mbires@timesonline.com

Its as simple as the writing on the wall, Arians has got to go

Vincent
12-13-2009, 01:35 PM
Some have suggested that Charley retire into coaching our $100M franchise QB. Sentiment for Charley probably gets in the way of whether or not that would be a good idea. Not saying it isn't.

That said, why not start to groom Potsy for the sideline. He's a great Steeler that has set great Steeler defenses for years. Why not get him in there coaching so he's a thread of continuity when Papa LeBeau retires? He's smart enough to be a DC at some point. And with MT as the benchmark, he's clearly smart enough to run the program. Plus he has a great deal of experience that the current HC evidently lacks. :stirthepot:

steelreserve
12-13-2009, 03:15 PM
So? Except for Hampton and Clark, none of these are guys we actually need. I hope Farrior can hang on for another year or so, though.