View Full Version : New rookie OLB's- Expensive Insurance, but Worthy

tony hipchest
04-25-2010, 01:17 AM
Investments in Defensive Insurance will pay Dividends

Paying tons of money for health or auto insurance can seem like a waste, until you come down with cancer, or wrap the car around a telephone pole.

How important are James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley to the health of the franchise and travelling far into the playoffs? So important, that the Steelers were willing to spend 2nd and 4th round picks (that many are calling a "reach") to back them up and add that extra blanket of security.

Casey Hampton is often refered to as the anchor, the cog, the cap stone of our 3-4 defense. This is true. We extended his contract immediately after the season, in a year that seemed deep at nose tackle. We've paid Chris Hoke millions of dollars to back him up, even though he hasnt seen any significant time in action since 2004. Do we chalk that up as money wasted? Or do we sleep well at night knowing that if Hampton were to go down with a season ending injury, we are still capable of pulling off a 15-1 season and playing in the AFCC game?

We all witnessed what happened when we lost 2 of our most important defenders last year- Polamalu and Smith. Troy is regarded as one of (if not the) best players on the team and in the NFL. Aaron is regarded as one of the most underrated and best 5 techinques in the league.

Yet the concensus belief seemed to be that if both of them were to go down, the next guys have to step up and execute the defense with no significant drop off.

Do we expect the same out of Arnold Harrison and James Frazier if our 2 OLB's suffer the same fate? Do we really want to rely on Fox or Bailey on all three downs, so we can push Timmons to the outside?

As important as Polamalu, Hampton, Smith, and Farrior are to the Zone-Blitz 3-4 defense, just ask Bill Cowher or Dick LeBeau what makes it work. The OLB's who can consistantly get pressure and strike fear into the hearts of quarterbacks, yet atheletic enough to drop into zone coverage and take an interception back 100 yards in a Superbowl, are the grease to the wheel. They are what makes it work.

More than a 3rd of the league runs some variation of our defense. The Cardinals and Packers would love to duplicate it.

Worilds would not have been there for us to draft in the middle of the 3rd round. Players like him are to high in demand. Philly proved this by trading up to draft Brandon Graham (a Lamarr Woodley clone) and they dont even run a 3-4.

If San Diego would have traded Shawn Merriman and his high price tag for a 2nd round pick and drafted Worilds, they would be called a genius.

Mike Lombardi and Matt Millen both called the Steelers 2nd round pick a great one and that he was going to a perfect position and situation. While they may not be as brilliant as internet message board posters, they both have front office experience and get paid to offer their insight, analysis, and opinion on mainstream media, as opposed to giving it away for free on nondescript fans sites. I have got to trust their analysis, as opposed to grumblings from fans online.

While OSU doesnt churn out linebackers like PSU, Thaddius Gibson comes from a big time program that always seems to offer draft worthy candidates. I will contend that he has less of a chance being a bust such as Bobby Carpenter or Vernon Gholston, simply because he has gone to the perfect situation. He does not have to immediately be the hero, or corner stone of the defense. He will be afforded the luxory to cut his teeth on special teams and slowly and diligently learn the defense.

This is precisely how Lebeau, Tomlin, (and even Cowher) like and envision it.

I heard a great interview with Gibson several weeks back. He seemed to have all the confidence and intelligence of the game one could ask for. He was asked how he would handle the challenge of being isolated on NFL TE's in coverage. His response was "Bring it... Check the tape."

These players have made the grades. The front office has made their moves. Now it is up to the coaches to do what they do best.

In the meantime, any fan of Pittsburgh Steelers smothering defensive football should be elated with these picks.


04-25-2010, 01:29 AM
:sofunny: Finally! Something from a credible source!

Yes, I clicked the link.

Steely McSmash
04-25-2010, 03:17 AM
Nice read.

Note that Arnold Harrison was cut in Nov and was picked up by the Browns who later waived him. He may be out of the NFL.

04-25-2010, 10:17 AM
thxs Tony...i like Worilds and Gibson and hope the other pans out as well..good read

04-25-2010, 10:24 AM
Mike Lombardi and MATT MILLEN both called the Steelers 2nd round pick a great one and that he was going to a perfect position and situation.


Matt Millen