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View Full Version : the bus shares his thoughts ont the steelers


schoondog
02-21-2006, 03:06 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06052/658585.stm interesting read esp. the part about staley.

melroseplace
02-21-2006, 07:49 AM
although a lot of that contradicts what we've heard about the Steelers' feelings regarding Hope, I don't doubt anything of what he said. but then again, he may not be telling everything in regards to the free agents, or he just might not know what's going to happen. but I'm excited to see Bussy on TV this fall and hear his opinions!
thanks for sharing

klick81
02-21-2006, 08:12 AM
Interesting read. Thanks for the post.

TexaSteeler
02-21-2006, 10:02 AM
Kinda sounded like he was letting out secrets that were supposed to remain in the locker room.

rowedf
02-21-2006, 12:14 PM
I thought Staley was handled the situation great last year, but man, that really makes me like the guy even more hearing that!

Livinginthe past
02-21-2006, 12:42 PM
Thats a very interesting article.

Jerome has basically said that Hope has priced himelf out of staying with the Steelers - otherwise his comments contradict each other.

The Steelers need to get younger on both lines - no real shock headlines there.

He seems to think the same as the majority on this board regarding Randle El - his punt returns and gadget play have increased his market value - but the Steelers will be unwilling to pay the extra for a No.3 receiver.

On the subject of Staley volunteering to stay behind Bettis in the depth chart - I have to say its a load of nonsense.

Why would a RB with alot to prove to his fanbase voluntarily stay behind a RB who has no future as a player?

Would the coach even listen?

If Cowher thought that Staley was a better bet to help him win a ring - surely he would have played him?

All that appears to be is an attempt to get Steeler fans back on the side of Staley, which is probably good thinking by Bettis.

NM

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 02:15 PM
On the subject of Staley volunteering to stay behind Bettis in the depth chart - I have to say its a load of nonsense.

Why would a RB with alot to prove to his fanbase voluntarily stay behind a RB who has no future as a player?

Would the coach even listen?

If Cowher thought that Staley was a better bet to help him win a ring - surely he would have played him?

All that appears to be is an attempt to get Steeler fans back on the side of Staley, which is probably good thinking by Bettis.

NMBettis said that Staley went to coach Bill Cowher during the season, after he was fully recovered from his knee surgery, and told him he was 100 percent but "if there is a question of who plays, I want Jerome to play because he's in his last year."

Bettis called Staley's action "a very, very unselfish approach."

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i dont think this is nonsense at all. as we saw in 2004 staley and bettis were virtually interchangeable. both had 100 yd games almost every time they started. when duce went down bettis stepped in without any drop off or difference. cowher has stated in the past the difficult decision between staley and bettis because they are so equal. he has also hinted in his press conferences the sacrifices staley had made and how he was such a team player. i think cowher was refering to staley handing the ball to jerome so to speak. maybe cowher had already decided to play jerome, but the act of selflessness on staleys part was not unrecognized. i think staley proved alot to his fanbase by voluntarily staying behind jerome. (even if the decision was already made)

willie parker pretty much did the same thing before the sb. he told cowher he would understand and have no problems if the coach wanted to start and feature bettis. in this case the coach did not listen. he did what he thought was best for the team to win and that was use parker the 1st 3 series and then put in bettis for the 4th. pretty much the same formula they had used all along.

i think cowher is definitely a players coach in the truest sense. maybe to a fault sometimes. it seems he really listens to the veterans and gives them the leeway to make certain decisions themselves. he left it up to hines to play or miss the game he was injured this year. hines made the right decision and sat out. he let tommy start when he miraculously healed after bens injury in san diego. tommy obviously made the wrong decision in assessing his own health and preparedness to play. however when ben wanted to play cowher stepped in and said no.

it does seem to me though that staley feels pretty secure about remaining a steeler after this year.

Livinginthe past
02-21-2006, 03:13 PM
Bettis said that Staley went to coach Bill Cowher during the season, after he was fully recovered from his knee surgery, and told him he was 100 percent but "if there is a question of who plays, I want Jerome to play because he's in his last year."

Bettis called Staley's action "a very, very unselfish approach."

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i dont think this is nonsense at all. as we saw in 2004 staley and bettis were virtually interchangeable. both had 100 yd games almost every time they started. when duce went down bettis stepped in without any drop off or difference. cowher has stated in the past the difficult decision between staley and bettis because they are so equal. he has also hinted in his press conferences the sacrifices staley had made and how he was such a team player. i think cowher was refering to staley handing the ball to jerome so to speak. maybe cowher had already decided to play jerome, but the act of selflessness on staleys part was not unrecognized. i think staley proved alot to his fanbase by voluntarily staying behind jerome. (even if the decision was already made)

willie parker pretty much did the same thing before the sb. he told cowher he would understand and have no problems if the coach wanted to start and feature bettis. in this case the coach did not listen. he did what he thought was best for the team to win and that was use parker the 1st 3 series and then put in bettis for the 4th. pretty much the same formula they had used all along.

i think cowher is definitely a players coach in the truest sense. maybe to a fault sometimes. it seems he really listens to the veterans and gives them the leeway to make certain decisions themselves. he left it up to hines to play or miss the game he was injured this year. hines made the right decision and sat out. he let tommy start when he miraculously healed after bens injury in san diego. tommy obviously made the wrong decision in assessing his own health and preparedness to play. however when ben wanted to play cowher stepped in and said no.

it does seem to me though that staley feels pretty secure about remaining a steeler after this year.

I dont think that 2004 has any relevance to this discussion unless you are saying that Bettis and Staley would be 'virtually interchangeable' in 2005 also?

In 2005 Bettis was only really used to run the ball in from a yard out, run the game clock down and other short yardage situations - are you saying that this is all Staley could have brought to the table aswell?

Did Cowher state this year that Bettis and Staley were virtually interchangeable?

I fully understand Cowher taking a players word on how injured/non-injured they are.

But what I dont understand is a fully healthy player passing up the chance of going to the Superbowl - that could well have been his last opportunity to participate in one!

So - the way I see it there are a number of scenarios and only one of them is the truth.

1. Cowher wanted Staley to back up Willie P, but Staley willingly passed up the chance to play in a SB so Bettis could have his final hurrah. Which basically means that Staley and Cowher deprived the Steelers of their best possible running combo.

2. Staley was never in with a realistic chance of playing in the SB - he wasn't healthy enough - and his 'offer' to step down was completely redundant.

3. A player you have spent quite alot of money on, Duce Staley, when healthy - is just as effective as a RB in the last year of a long, long career.
Bear in mind Bettis only ran for 368 yards on 110 carries - it would worry me if Staley was no better than this.

Who knows what the answer is?

All I can say - if the answer is No.3 then maybe the Steelers should be retiring TWO running backs this year and not one.

NM

Atlanta Dan
02-21-2006, 05:16 PM
I regarded the Bettis interview to be his last effort as, teammate emeritus, to urge all FAs be signed by the Steelers.

"I look at the defensive line, and it is sorely in need of a young defensive end that can help them in that department." (meaning sign Brett Keisel)

"Then you look at (free agent free safety) Chris Hope, you possibly think maybe you could stand to lose Chris Hope because of the dollars he's going to command. But that's an area of concern, because you don't have a viable backup for him." My emphasis on the maybe is to suggest Bettis is clearly saying the Steelers cannot stand to lose Hope, so sign Hope

I agree with LITP that the story about Duce stepping back to take one for Jerome this season is a fairy tale. Cowher wants to win - if Staley could advance that goal then Staley would have played. Bettis and Haynes filled roles Staley could not fill, so Staley was deactivated. But Staley was loyal to the Bus, so sign Staley.

In closing, apparently nobody should not come back next season based on the statement that "at the key areas, I don't believe they have the depth to lose anybody." So sign Randel-El.

In the era of the salary cap, who does have depth? Teams change all the time through the draft and signing FAs. That is how the system is designed to work and it is a system in which the Steelers have thrived.

Jerome's testimonials to his former mates are sincere and to be applauded. But they should not be regarded as hard hitting journalism.

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 06:13 PM
what i am saying is staley lost his starting job to w. parker. not the bus. staley can be just as an effective goaline/ short yardage back as the bus now that he is retired. (atleast i hope). had jerome gotten injured late in the season i think staley couldve effectively put up the same numbers jerome did, while willie carried the load.

Livinginthe past
02-21-2006, 06:37 PM
So, Staley is going to be coming back next year to be a goaline, short yardage runner on what sort of money?

Has his days of being a 4ypc back long gone?

If this is correct then the Steelers are playing alot of money to someone to basically punch it in from the 1 yard line.

NM

Atlanta Dan
02-21-2006, 06:50 PM
I think Staley will come back to fill the Bettis role if he agrees to take a haircut on his salary. If Staley will not renegotiate (see Bettis in 2004-2005) I believe Duce is out. I am unclear how many $$ the Steelers will save if they release him.

If possible, I would prefer to save the $$ on Duce by re-signing Verron Haynes, assuming Haynes can add short yardage to third down back duties.

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 06:53 PM
So, Staley is going to be coming back next year to be a goaline, short yardage runner on what sort of money?

Has his days of being a 4ypc back long gone?

If this is correct then the Steelers are playing alot of money to someone to basically punch it in from the 1 yard line.

NM you dont come around this forum much do you? staley will be asked to take a paycut just like jerome did several years back. staley will not unseat 4.7 ypc w. parker as the starter, and he will not make 4mil./ year to replace jerome who was making less than 2 mil./ year. the choise is his. good luck to him finding another team to pay him 4 mil to be a starter.

like i said all the steelers have done a great job accepting thier role on the team. it is why the steelers have had so much success the past 2 years. jerome has taken a back seat, willie, verron, and even duce have all done the same at different points in the last 2 years. maddox did it, as did logan, k. bell, hoke, keisel, j. harrison.

people like plexico who couldnt handle not being "the guy" are gone.

Livinginthe past
02-21-2006, 06:55 PM
I think Staley will come back to fill the Bettis role if he agrees to take a haircut on his salary. If Staley will not renegotiate (see Bettis in 2004-2005) I believe Duce is out. I am unclear how many $$ the Steelers will save if they release him.

If possible, I would prefer to save the $$ on Duce by re-signing Verron Haynes, assuming Haynes can add short yardage to third down back duties.

That seems to be a logical solution.

Its a rare situation that allows a team to have 3 different RB's on the team fulfilling 3 different duties.

Your starting RB should be able to do the short yardage stuff - and if he cant, then your 2nd choice back needs to able cover this - and the starter would have 3rd down responsibilities.

Ideally, I guess you want Duce to take the pay cut - and cut Verron Haynes - then draft someone to help share the 3rd down load with Willie P.

NM

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 07:02 PM
That seems to be a logical solution.

Its a rare situation that allows a team to have 3 different RB's on the team fulfilling 3 different duties.

Your starting RB should be able to do the short yardage stuff - and if he cant, then your 3rd down back needs to able cover this - and the starter would have 3rd down responsibilities.

Ideally, I guess you want Duce to take the pay cut - and cut Verron Haynes - then draft someone to help share the 3rd down load with Willie P.

NMthe steelers usually carry 4 rb on the roster. like cowher said in the preseason "its a good problem to have" teams were trying to trade for verron. right now we have 3 on the roster and bettis being gone will probably be replaced in the draft. this assumes that verron continues being happy with this 3rd down duties and takes a fair contract, and duce accepts a paycut. 3 backs filling 3 rolls seemed to do fine as the steelers won the sb. i dont think nothing needs fixed but jeromes roster spot should be filled with a 4th rb. a team like the steelers who likes to pound the rock can never have too much depth at the position. i would like to find a gem in the draft kinda like what the vikings thought they had in onterrio smith.

Atlanta Dan
02-21-2006, 07:15 PM
Verron Haynes was on Atlanta sports talk radio last week (he is a former UGA player; I hesitate to say graduate when referring to the school at which a pro played). Haynes said his agent had not heard from the Steelers and that Cowher had not talked with Verron personally about coming back.

Haynes may be one of those role players on a SB champ who may be tough to sign because his value is enhanced due to the success of his team. If the Steelers plan on drafting a RB high in the draft (with the higher signing bonus), the salary cap may support letting Haynes go if Staley agrees to come back for less, with the idea you groom the draft choice for 3rd down duties and to challenge Parker for the starter's job down the road. RB is the position where a draft choice is most able to have an immediate impact.

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 07:25 PM
Verron Haynes was on Atlanta sports talk radio last week (he is a former UGA player; I hesitate to say graduate when referring to the school at which a pro played). Haynes said his agent had not heard from the Steelers and that Cowher had not talked with Verron personally about coming back.

Haynes may be one of those role players on a SB champ who may be tough to sign because his value is enhanced due to the success of his team. If the Steelers plan on drafting a RB high in the draft (with the higher signing bonus), the salary cap may support letting Haynes go if Staley agrees to come back for less, with the idea you groom the draft choice for 3rd down duties and to challenge Parker for the starter's job down the road. RB is the position where a draft choice is most able to have an immediate impact. so if verron goes and staley stays that leaves us with willie, duce, and a semi-high rb draft pick. thats only 3. i still think, (especially with duce and jerome being hurt last pre-season) the steelers will want to have 4 backs. this could mean bringing in someone after pre season final cuts or taking a chance on someone like n. herron last year. after finding willie parker i wouldnt be to worried about the steelers trying another rookie free agent.

Suitanim
02-21-2006, 08:40 PM
That was probably the best and most informative piece of information we've had out of the camp since the SB...The thing that surprises me the most is Hope. I KNOW his agent is saying the Steelers are going to ante up, but I thought the Steelers were responding in kind. If not, things will get interesting. We all know Keisel will be a priority and Kimo would be gravy. Bettis is right about OL...we need a bit of depth.

He's dead-on about Duce, though. That was the plan all along...Duce will be Bettis this year plus some...ESPECIALLY if the Steelers are cutting Haynes loose (which it appears they might be doing).

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 08:54 PM
He's dead-on about Duce, though. That was the plan all along...Duce will be Bettis this year plus some...ESPECIALLY if the Steelers are cutting Haynes loose (which it appears they might be doing). i look at benching duce this last season as having 2 advantages. it protects the steelers investment, one that has cost about 8 million these past 2 years, and it lets one of pittsburghs most loved players ride out into the sunset in his home town. the only cost or drawback was winning the superbowl. personally i couldnt care less if it was bettis making 4 mil. last year and duce just making 1 mil.

fact is we had about 5 million tied up in 2 running backs with the same result, a sb win. if jerome, duce and the steelers didnt concern themselves with who was making what money, neither will i. as far as im concerned it was money well spent.

jerome is a millionaire, a champ, and will be making millions of dollars for years to come and duce should be and probably will be given a chance to contribute to a sb run next year in the same way jerome did this year (assuming duce is as smart as bettis in taking a paycut). everybody wins!

Suitanim
02-21-2006, 09:02 PM
Yup..the net result is what counts. I think Duce in sweats was a calculated move to protect their investment...

tony hipchest
02-21-2006, 09:11 PM
Yup..the net result is what counts. I think Duce in sweats was a calculated move to protect their investment...

notice how no one in the steelers org. seemed to sweat the fact that duce wasnt playing all year? (pun intended) cowher and all the players seemed to really support duce all year even though he really did nothing. cowher even went out of his way in a late season press conference to say how much he had contributed. (by not contributing?) hmmmm....

Suitanim
02-21-2006, 09:39 PM
Well, Cowher himself announced back in like October that Duce was never going to be 100%...he only dressed and played when Bettis was injured.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
02-22-2006, 11:10 AM
i jsut hope hes right about STALEY...

TexaSteeler
02-22-2006, 05:24 PM
I think Staley will come back to fill the Bettis role if he agrees to take a haircut on his salary. If Staley will not renegotiate (see Bettis in 2004-2005) I believe Duce is out. I am unclear how many $$ the Steelers will save if they release him.

If possible, I would prefer to save the $$ on Duce by re-signing Verron Haynes, assuming Haynes can add short yardage to third down back duties.

I don't see Haynes doing more than blocking or third down receptions.