View Full Version : Steelers free agency reactions – random thoughts and ramblings (Part I)

03-21-2010, 10:30 AM
Steelers free agency reactions – random thoughts and ramblings (Part I)
March 19, 5:05 PMPittsburgh Steelers Examiner
Chris Adamski

Now that the Steelers have (apparently) run through the free agency, we can all get back to examining what’s unfortunately most important about the team’s offseason. But who wants to sift through boring legal proceedings and come to the realization that their favorite team is led by someone who’s been accused of such things?

Much has been written and expounded on by talking heads everywhere when it comes to the Steelers’ so-called busy free agency season. Yes, it was busy for them – to a point. But in reality, they only actually signed five players who were not on the roster at the end of last season. And of those, none will actually start.

So don’t buy the hype about this being an overly-active dive into free agency by the Steelers.

Here are some random observations that you might or might not have heard before. (listed in order of total value of their contracts – Part II with the remaining four signees to come)…

Casey Hampton: One of the most crucial positions in the 3-4 defense, the Steelers felt they simply had to keep their all-world nose tackle. … But will an eventual replacement for Hampton be drafted next month? ... The Steelers still obviously value stuffing the run over putting a priority on solid pass defense (indeed, Hampton isn’t even on the field for passing downs). It’s a formula that has worked to perfection for years – no, decades. But with the face of the game changing so much and trending toward being more pass-happy, is that becoming an out-dated philosophy?

Ryan Clark: Ah, the quirks of free agency. He apparently went from “priority” to afterthought back to must-keep in the Steelers’ eyes. … Seemingly the perfect complement to Troy Polamalu, but will Polamalu stay healthy for it to matter? ... In the first of many signals like this the Steelers sent this offseason, this shows me they had no confidence in Ryan Mundy. … That lack of faith in the young backups is worrisome both because this team just keeps getting older and older and because it brings into question the quality of the most recent drafts.

Larry Foote: This certainly doesn’t help an aging defense get any younger. Foote will be 30 when the season starts. … Sorry, Keyaron Fox, any thought that your respectable performance filling in as the top backup linebacker last year would lead to an increased role for you on defense obviously wasn’t shared by Steelers’ brass. … Amazing how things changed over the course of the past 18 months – from a backup who made too much money in the Steelers’ eyes (due $2.8 million in 2009) and wanted out because he didn’t want to be a backup – to a player who’s happy to be a team’s top backup for a team that is happy to pay its top backup an average of $3.1 million per year. … Foote is an absolutely perfect backup; if any of the four starting linebackers get hurt, he can be slid in seamlessly (if it’s an outside backer, Lawrence Timmons will move to the outside and Foote into his spot).

Antwaan Randle El: There have now been multiple occasions in which Randle El has stated that he has been told by Tomlin & Co. that he was brought in to be the No. 3 wide receiver. This is almost incomprehensible, what with Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace filling the top three roles last season. … I hope Randle El isn’t going to be upset if he isn’t on the field until the fourth wide receiver is. … This signing doesn’t say as much about Limas Sweed’s future as Arnaz Battle’s does. … Steelers fans should hope that Randle El never gets close to taking snaps – that probably means bad things for the starter. You might have heard he is having some trouble down in Georgia.

03-21-2010, 06:44 PM
No offense Mesa but nothing new here. I know it's slow and he does admit to rambling.

03-22-2010, 09:47 AM
Say as you wish about what the guy is saying, but Alot of it I agree with. Larry Foote most likely will be a wasted roster spot and Randel El?... He is getting too old for special teams and I dont see him unseating Mike Wallace and if he does then it just shows how smart Tomlin and Co. really arent.

03-23-2010, 08:11 PM
Steelers free agency observations, Part II
March 22, 3:19 PMPittsburgh Steelers Examine
Chris Adamski

On a day in which more bad news comes at the Steelers and their quarterback, we continue to make like a schoolchild and pretend that's not happening. So here is the much more enjoyable continuation of reaction to the Steelers moves in free agency!

Will Allen: Funny how things work out. Tyrone Carter virtually started 14 games last season (12 officially, played the vast majority of two others) on what was – statistically – one of the top defenses in the league, and she showed versatility in playing at both safety spots. And here we are months later, and I’m not convinced he will have a job this season. He might very well be out of football by the fall. … Let’s hope this signing of a player from Tampa Bay whom Tomlin has a past history and familiarity with works out much better than the past one (Sean Mahan). … On the surface, a guy who can standout on special teams and be serviceable at both safety positions is not a bad guy to have on the tea,.

Arnaz Battle: I see the logic of making sure there are five NFL-quality proven receivers on the roster before the season starts. No one wants to see Tyler Grisham catching late-game passes anymore. … One would think that the arrival of Battle and Randle El (and with Sweed still on the roster) means there’s virtually zero chance the team drafts a wide receiver. … I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was worried what this means for Heath Miller. The Steelers were clearly hell-bent on adding wide receiving depth – one would think, to use more five-receiver sets. It’d be a mistake if that means less pass-catching duties for Miller.

Jeff Reed: This was an offseason in which using the franchise and transition tags made the most sense – the market upticked both because of the lack of a cap and because the supply of players was less (four- and five-year players were stripped of their unrestricted free agency status), thereby making the market for them higher. … Paying a kicker $2.8 million when a salary cap is in place? Not prudent. Paying that for a reliable kicker? Not a bad move. … I’ve long been of the belief that Reed is the most underrated placekicker in the NFL. … I’ve also long held the position that he is atrocious on kickoffs. Will the Steelers give that duty to someone else next season?

Jonathan Scott: The most glaring thing this says to me is that Tony Hills can officially be slapped with the BUST tag. … A guy who started games just last season signing for the virtual league minimum? No complaints here. … Darnell Stapleton’s knee injury must be worse than anyone let on.

03-26-2010, 09:21 PM
Wouldn't that be nice to get Dan Williams at 1.18 in the draft? Then we have our future NT replacement and Hampton can tutor him the next 2 years.

03-26-2010, 09:29 PM
Say as you wish about what the guy is saying, but Alot of it I agree with. Larry Foote most likely will be a wasted roster spot and Randel El?... He is getting too old for special teams and I dont see him unseating Mike Wallace and if he does then it just shows how smart Tomlin and Co. really arent.

I don't like that they brought back Larry Foote, but you must admit that it gives them great flexibility in the upcoming draft now. Also, I disagree with your comments on Randle El. He had 50 receptions last season in the Redskins offense...not too bad for a 30 year old.

Don't forget the Redskins made the mistake of him being a starting WR and at best he is suited for the slot position. Getting Randle El and Battle means we don't have to worry about picking up a WR in the draft. They may be in their 30s, but can still play at a high level.