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mesaSteeler
03-16-2010, 08:42 PM
Harris: Steelers abandon youth movement
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_671808.html#
By John Harris
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I understand that Kimo von Oelhoffen can be had cheap.

When I spoke with Dermontti Dawson two months ago, he claimed to be in great shape.

Franco Harris doesn't look a day older than 50.

Jerome Bettis has a few miles left on his odometer.

Joey Porter is still available.

With Casey Hampton (32), Ryan Clark (30) and Antwaan Randle El (30) signed and 29-year-year old Larry Foote returning to the fold Monday, can veteran free agents Deshea Townsend and Willie Parker be far behind?

Given the Steelers' sudden and surprising free-agent splurge, every day is Veterans Day on the South Side.

The Steelers are going retro, bringing back some of their golden oldies in an attempt to restore order in the locker room and calm on the field.

George Allen's Over-the-Hill-Gang has nothing on Mike Tomlin's 30-and-Over-Crew.

Six of Tomlin's defensive starters will be 30 or older this season, including five members of his front seven.

"We don't need to change much," Clark said last week after signing a four-year contract to remain with the Steelers. "We need to stay steady."

Steady means solid and dependable veteran players who understand Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense and can pass along knowledge to younger teammates.

It means playing it safe and not taking chances on the field.

Being in the right place at the right time.

It also means keeping the locker room panic-free following a big loss or two or three.

In 2009, the Steelers salvaged a 9-7 record because of the poise displayed by their veterans late in the season.

Lastly, it means Tomlin's youth movement, at least for now, has come to a screeching halt.

With the exception of 27-year-old safety Will Allen, a bit player under Tomlin when he was defensive backs coach in Tampa Bay, none of this year's key free-agent acquisitions were personally selected by Tomlin.

Hampton, Clark, Randle El and Foote are from the Bill Cowher regime.

Sure, Hampton, Clark and Foote played under Tomlin, but they're Cowher's players.

It isn't very often when a coach brings back players who also played for the coach he replaced. But Tomlin has signed four players who fit that description.

Or is it director of football operations Kevin Colbert, who originally drafted or signed all four of those players, who's really pulling the strings?

Foote's return casts a shadow over Lawrence Timmons, Tomlin's initial first-round draft pick in 2007.

Is Foote being brought in as a backup to provide depth at inside linebacker? Is he insurance in case Timmons doesn't hold up physically? Or a carrot to dangle in front of Timmons to keep him motivated?

Timmons' transition from outside linebacker to inside linebacker has not been smooth.

At Florida State, Timmons made the splash plays that Tomlin wants his defenders to produce as an edge pass rusher from the outside. He used his speed and quickness to blow up college quarterbacks and running backs.

With James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley (drafted in the second round the same year as Timmons) starting at outside linebacker, Timmons was forced inside, replacing Foote last season.

Asked to gain weight to help shed blockers, Timmons displayed flashes of his prodigious talent in 2009 but he seemed better suited on the outside.

Timmons was the No. 15 overall pick, 10 selections ahead of Jon Beason, a natural inside linebacker who has two Pro Bowls and an All-Pro selection on his resume in three seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

Perhaps, as Colbert likes telling reporters about mistakes that teams make in the draft, the problem is not with Timmons but the decision-makers who projected he could play inside when he's better suited outside.

Give Timmons time. He's only 23.

With Foote returning to the roster, the Steelers can afford to give Timmons all the time he needs.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Steeldude
03-17-2010, 01:11 AM
the age will show as the season progresses and in long games.

Galax Steeler
03-17-2010, 04:44 AM
the age will show as the season progresses and in long games.

Agreed if we don't start getting some younger players then we will be hurting before long.

stillers4me
03-17-2010, 06:40 AM
They youth will come in thedraft.....everybody calm down. I'm happy to have black and gold experience in the depth.... and in the locker room.

SteelerFanInStl
03-17-2010, 09:19 AM
They youth will come in thedraft.....everybody calm down. I'm happy to have black and gold experience in the depth.... and in the locker room.

:iagree: We didn't bring these guys in to be starters.

vrabinec
03-17-2010, 09:47 AM
Maybe if we didn't keep whiffing on 2nd and 3rd round picks like Sweed, Reid, Zo, A. Smith, etc...we would have some young backups. Not a Colbert hater by any means, just sayin' it would help.

tube517
03-17-2010, 11:03 AM
These guys won't be here the full length of their contracts plus they will not be starters. We just need to stay healthy and stay out of college bars.

Rockonsteel
03-17-2010, 11:30 AM
Maybe if we didn't keep whiffing on 2nd and 3rd round picks like Sweed, Reid, Zo, A. Smith, etc...we would have some young backups. Not a Colbert hater by any means, just sayin' it would help.


There is defeinitely some truth to that. Harris, however forgot to mention that Timmons played on one ankle all season, after he sustained a high ankle sprain in pre-season that apparently never healed properly.


Rockon

mikegrimey
03-17-2010, 11:50 AM
I think it's fairly obvious the brass is shooting for one more title with this core group---probably with a window of 2 years, maybe 3 years if you stretch it. It's not like they're signing diniosaurs either, I guess some people just don't have a pulse unless they're criticizing.
Foote still has several good years in him and ARE is a good addition for wr depth---it's not like we dragged greg lloyd or the bus out of retirement or anything.

SteelGhost
03-17-2010, 12:01 PM
the age will show as the season progresses and in long games.

I agree dude, I only hope it doesn't turn to this :

"The age will show as the game progresses and in 4th quarters"

j/k :chuckle:

Statik
03-17-2010, 12:09 PM
the age will show as the season progresses and in long games.

Aren't all games 60 minutes?

Sorry, I'm a smartass by nature.

:tt:

steeltheone
03-17-2010, 12:26 PM
Been screaming about this all preseason...We need youth and speed badly.. A team of 34 year olds is not good esp off a 9 and 7 season.

SteelerFanInStl
03-17-2010, 01:25 PM
it's not like we dragged greg lloyd or the bus out of retirement or anything.

I bet Lloyd can still knock the crap out of people. :chuckle:

jollyrob68
03-17-2010, 01:30 PM
They youth will come in thedraft.....everybody calm down. I'm happy to have black and gold experience in the depth.... and in the locker room.

But they dont like to play the draftees.

Cinnjerm
03-17-2010, 01:58 PM
Maybe if we didn't keep whiffing on 2nd and 3rd round picks like Sweed, Reid, Zo, A. Smith, etc...we would have some young backups. Not a Colbert hater by any means, just sayin' it would help.

*cough* "Wallace" *cough*

OneForTheToe
03-17-2010, 02:34 PM
I thought Timmons played pretty well the last 1/2 of the season. It's not like our run defense was poor last year, either. And, unless Timmons was responsible for letting all those wide receivers open on third and long, he was hardly our biggest concern.

markymarc
03-20-2010, 01:41 PM
I am on the fence about this topic. On 1 side these signings don't help us get any younger especially on the defense. Then on the other side we still have the draft coming up and get 10 picks. I just hope this doesn't end up hurting us in the next 3-4 years. Also don't these signings contradict what Art II stated with making sure our younger players get more playing time?

At this point I have faith the FO did the right thing and now we can focus on value in the 2010 draft.

mikegrimey
03-20-2010, 02:29 PM
I think the next two drafts will be pivotal for us keeping our status as contenders. Like I said before, I think we still have a window of 2, maybe 3, years for another championship out of this core of guys. After that it will depend on these next couple of drafts.

sharkweek
03-20-2010, 04:35 PM
the age will show as the season progresses and in long games.

Most of these signings are about adding / securing depth, and certainly nothing along the lines of filling in a crucial position with some unproven old dude we have no history with.

The Definiti0n
03-20-2010, 08:32 PM
I thought Timmons played well when healthy. I also like how Harris makes it seem like we need Cowhers players to win and ignores the Mendenhall, Sepulvda, and Wallace picks.

MasterOfPuppets
03-20-2010, 10:50 PM
:iagree: We didn't bring these guys in to be starters. no...but they are taking a roster spot from somebody who may have been a future star at that position... we may have landed the next "mike wallace" in this years draft, but it sure as hell ain't gonna happen now that there's no roster spot spot for him. :noidea:

steelerohio
03-21-2010, 12:34 AM
They could always draft that next "mike wallace" then cut whoever doesn;t measure up after training camp. :noidea:

SteelerFanInStl
03-21-2010, 01:11 PM
no...but they are taking a roster spot from somebody who may have been a future star at that position... we may have landed the next "mike wallace" in this years draft, but it sure as hell ain't gonna happen now that there's no roster spot spot for him. :noidea:

So you'd rather have rookies as your top backups? You need quality veteran backups on your team or you end up like the Steelers last year. Besides, there's still plenty of roster sposts for qualtiy rookies with Carter, Sweed, etc. being gone.

jollyrob68
03-21-2010, 01:22 PM
Even Ed Bouchette and Gary Dulac said the signed too many wr. This is hines last year and if his hammies go in training camp were going to kick ourselves in the ass. We need to infuse youth or have the problem The PATS ran into by having to add them all at once.
We need to get Sunny Harris rotating in the lineup,Kraig Urbik need to get into the rotation and WE NEED TO DRAFT POUNCEY!
There are a few exceptions to not drafting Pouncey and they're Mcclain,Haden,Earl Thomas slip to 18 and I think Thomas will be a tough decision. Its a tough decision because on the NFL network they say to keep Thomas as a safety and not a CB. I want a starting Center over a nickel back since we resigned Clark,signed will allen and have Joe Burnett as a nickel. Take a CB in the second.

MasterOfPuppets
03-21-2010, 04:30 PM
They could always draft that next "mike wallace" then cut whoever doesn;t measure up after training camp. :noidea:
and just which one of the guys with the million dollar signing bonus will they cut ? randle -el or battle ? :doh:

MasterOfPuppets
03-21-2010, 05:06 PM
So you'd rather have rookies as your top backups? You need quality veteran backups on your team or you end up like the Steelers last year. Besides, there's still plenty of roster sposts for qualtiy rookies with Carter, Sweed, etc. being gone. so rookies mike wallace and ramon foster were the reason the steelers fell apart last year ? yet vets like carter and eason were just spectacular...:toofunny: ... no i'm not suggesting having 22 rookies on the team every year...i'm suggesting having backups that have a FUTURE as a starter in the NFL... something 30 year old average players like foote, randle el and battle don't have.

SteelerFanInStl
03-21-2010, 08:16 PM
so rookies mike wallace and ramon foster were the reason the steelers fell apart last year ? yet vets like carter and eason were just spectacular...:toofunny: ... no i'm not suggesting having 22 rookies on the team every year...i'm suggesting having backups that have a FUTURE as a starter in the NFL... something 30 year old average players like foote, randle el and battle don't have.

:toofunny: Your reading comprehension could use some work. I said that you need QUALITY VETERAN BACKUPS, which we didn't have last year and now have thanks to the free agent signings.

Take a look at the roster. Carter is gone and Sweed will be too. That's two roster spots right there. Foote takes the roster spot of one of Arnold Harrison, Patrick Bailey or Andre Frazier, none of which was ever going to be a starter. Battle takes the roster spot of one of many special teams players that stunk last year. Which of these roster spots do you want instead of the free agents that were signed?

The only free agent signing that I question is ARE. He can still be a good #4 WR but I don't want to see him taking plays away from Wallace. I don't like the talk from ARE of him being the #3 WR.

WH
03-22-2010, 06:47 AM
I don't think Sweed will be gone.

steelerohio
03-22-2010, 08:28 AM
and just which one of the guys with the million dollar signing bonus will they cut ? randle -el or battle ? :doh:

ok good point... I wasn;t thinking about that part... I was needing to :coffee:

Steelers>NFL
03-22-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't think Sweed will be gone.
Sweed never showed up yet! So how can he be gone? :sofunny:

Steely McSmash
03-22-2010, 12:27 PM
and just which one of the guys with the million dollar signing bonus will they cut ? randle -el or battle ? :doh:

Isn't it probably cheaper to keep a rookie since their base is so much lower? I understand the bonus is a lot to you or me but maybe not so much to the team. Battle's average base is $1M (<1% of 2009 cap). They could end up better financially if they cut the vet and keep a rookie at a lower salary. I doubt they would do that though unless the vet really loses the job in camp.

The other option is to cut logan or carry 6 receivers this year. Every year there are rookies in the learning curve that basically never contribute. Last year we carried K. Lewis but I think he was only active for one game. Sunny Harris and Urbik were never gameday active. Tony Hills I think as well. If some of those guys are done red-shirting, then we can carry one less OL or CB and one more WR.

SteelerFanInStl
03-22-2010, 01:20 PM
The other option is to cut logan or carry 6 receivers this year.

Cutting Logan is certainly an option. If we draft a WR or CB with return skills, then he's not needed. I like Logan but if he can be replaced by someone who can help in multiple places, then I'm all for that.

markymarc
03-26-2010, 08:38 PM
I thought Timmons played well when healthy.

I have always been a Lawrence Timmons fan and unfortunately since he was Mike Tomlin's first pick that is not going to stop fans or media types for continuing to bust on him because according to them he was a reach at 1.15 in 2007.

markymarc
03-26-2010, 08:41 PM
I don't think Sweed will be gone.

So you will be surprised when Sweed does get cut before the 2010 regular season :chuckle:

markymarc
03-26-2010, 08:45 PM
The other option is to cut logan or carry 6 receivers this year.

I would not mind this option. Yes Logan did a lot of good things last season, but by signing Randle El and Battle and depending on who we draft or sign that does not get drafted we could easily find someone to replace him on kickoff returns.