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Stlrs4Life
03-16-2006, 06:04 PM
Four Downs: Breaking down the AFC North
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5418310


Pittsburgh Steelers

Free agency (chirping crickets edition)
Here's what I wrote a year ago:

"You get the impression that the Pittsburgh Steelers run their organization like it was a mom and pop ice cream stand located on the boardwalk. It's open during the busy season, but boarded up once all the tourists head for home. Now that the 2004 season is in the books, you're all but certain that Cowher turned out the lights at their South Side facility on his way to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl ..."

Ryan Clark is now a Steeler. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

Just replace "2004" with "2005" and "Hawaii for the Pro Bowl" with "watch his daughters play high school basketball," and everything else holds. In recent years the Steelers have been notorious for their inertness during free agency. In 2004, Duce Staley was their big catch; in 2005, they outdid themselves by signing Cedrick Wilson. In 2006?

To date it's safety Ryan Clark, who was also known as, "the guy who plays back there with Sean Taylor," during his time with the Washington Redskins.

Like most off-seasons, Pittsburgh is content to watch teams spend like drunken sailors during the first few days of free agency ? even if that includes letting their own players walk ? and then sifting through the leftovers once the dust settles. For the second time in as many years, the Steelers have lost their number two receiver. Instead of franchising Plaxico Burress after the 2004 season, the Steelers let him eventually sign with the New York Giants, and now Antwaan Randle El is the newest member of the Redskins. (Check that. They just signed Adam Archuleta. And Andre Carter. And Todd Collins. Well, he was the newest member for a couple of hours, anyway.)

The Steelers will look to sign many of their free agents ? at least those with reasonable contract demands ? before looking elsewhere for depth. Charlie Batch has a new deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh for four years. The organization has also re-signed special teams captain Clint Kriewaldt, backup tight end Jerame Tuman, and Brett Keisel, who will replace Kimo Von Oelhoffen ? who just signed with the New York Jets ? at defensive end.

Pittsburgh also had discussions with safety Chris Hope's agent about a new contract, but Hope turned down their offer and is now with the Tennessee Titans. Heading into free agency, Hope was expecting a big payday, but he didn't even have any visits scheduled while Corey Chavous, Marquand Manuel, Archuleta, Marlon McCree, and Dexter Jackson all signed lucrative deals with their new teams.

Drafting for need
Pittsburgh could go any number of ways in the draft. Ryan Clark will replace Chris Hope at free safety, which means the Steelers could use their first round pick on a linebacker like Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter. Even with Clark under contract, Pittsburgh may still draft a safety for the future. Ohio State's Donte Whitner and USC's Darnell Bing are two players that interest the Steelers, and Whitner has the best chance of being a first round selection because he's athletic enough to play cornerback. Syracuse's Anthony Smith and Georgia's Greg Blue are two players who may be available on Day Two.

Depending on how things unfold ahead of them, Pittsburgh might also take a wide receiver with the 32nd pick. It is unlikely that either Ohio State's Santonio Holmes or Florida's Chad Jackson will be available, but University of Miami's Sinorice Moss intrigues some scouts.

Given that the Steelers haven't drafted a player from "The U" since they took Leon Searcy in 1992, this move seems doubtful. Other names to watch for on Day 1: Martin Nance is 6'4" and played with Ben Roethlisberger at Miami University; Pittsburgh's Greg Lee is also tall, has good hands, but is not a deep threat; Michigan's Jason Avant might be the most polished receiver in the draft and could be a very good number two receiver in the NFL. And with the departure of Randle El, the Steelers' playbook loses an entire section titled, "Trickeration."

There are several players ? probably Day 2 picks ? who could fill that role, however: Penn State's Michael Robinson, Missouri's Brad Smith and Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal. All three were college quarterbacks, and all three are hesitant to move to other positions in the NFL.



This is the Steelers write up. To see others of the AFC North, click on the link.

MNsteelers
03-16-2006, 06:08 PM
Hate to be nit-picky, but Kriewaldt isn't the special teams captain, Chidi is. Maybe they both are, but I'm pretty sure it was Chidi




Four Downs: Breaking down the AFC North
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5418310


Pittsburgh Steelers

Free agency (chirping crickets edition)
Here's what I wrote a year ago:

"You get the impression that the Pittsburgh Steelers run their organization like it was a mom and pop ice cream stand located on the boardwalk. It's open during the busy season, but boarded up once all the tourists head for home. Now that the 2004 season is in the books, you're all but certain that Cowher turned out the lights at their South Side facility on his way to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl ..."

Ryan Clark is now a Steeler. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

Just replace "2004" with "2005" and "Hawaii for the Pro Bowl" with "watch his daughters play high school basketball," and everything else holds. In recent years the Steelers have been notorious for their inertness during free agency. In 2004, Duce Staley was their big catch; in 2005, they outdid themselves by signing Cedrick Wilson. In 2006?

To date it's safety Ryan Clark, who was also known as, "the guy who plays back there with Sean Taylor," during his time with the Washington Redskins.

Like most off-seasons, Pittsburgh is content to watch teams spend like drunken sailors during the first few days of free agency ? even if that includes letting their own players walk ? and then sifting through the leftovers once the dust settles. For the second time in as many years, the Steelers have lost their number two receiver. Instead of franchising Plaxico Burress after the 2004 season, the Steelers let him eventually sign with the New York Giants, and now Antwaan Randle El is the newest member of the Redskins. (Check that. They just signed Adam Archuleta. And Andre Carter. And Todd Collins. Well, he was the newest member for a couple of hours, anyway.)

The Steelers will look to sign many of their free agents ? at least those with reasonable contract demands ? before looking elsewhere for depth. Charlie Batch has a new deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh for four years. The organization has also re-signed special teams captain Clint Kriewaldt, backup tight end Jerame Tuman, and Brett Keisel, who will replace Kimo Von Oelhoffen ? who just signed with the New York Jets ? at defensive end.

Pittsburgh also had discussions with safety Chris Hope's agent about a new contract, but Hope turned down their offer and is now with the Tennessee Titans. Heading into free agency, Hope was expecting a big payday, but he didn't even have any visits scheduled while Corey Chavous, Marquand Manuel, Archuleta, Marlon McCree, and Dexter Jackson all signed lucrative deals with their new teams.

Drafting for need
Pittsburgh could go any number of ways in the draft. Ryan Clark will replace Chris Hope at free safety, which means the Steelers could use their first round pick on a linebacker like Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter. Even with Clark under contract, Pittsburgh may still draft a safety for the future. Ohio State's Donte Whitner and USC's Darnell Bing are two players that interest the Steelers, and Whitner has the best chance of being a first round selection because he's athletic enough to play cornerback. Syracuse's Anthony Smith and Georgia's Greg Blue are two players who may be available on Day Two.

Depending on how things unfold ahead of them, Pittsburgh might also take a wide receiver with the 32nd pick. It is unlikely that either Ohio State's Santonio Holmes or Florida's Chad Jackson will be available, but University of Miami's Sinorice Moss intrigues some scouts.

Given that the Steelers haven't drafted a player from "The U" since they took Leon Searcy in 1992, this move seems doubtful. Other names to watch for on Day 1: Martin Nance is 6'4" and played with Ben Roethlisberger at Miami University; Pittsburgh's Greg Lee is also tall, has good hands, but is not a deep threat; Michigan's Jason Avant might be the most polished receiver in the draft and could be a very good number two receiver in the NFL. And with the departure of Randle El, the Steelers' playbook loses an entire section titled, "Trickeration."

There are several players ? probably Day 2 picks ? who could fill that role, however: Penn State's Michael Robinson, Missouri's Brad Smith and Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal. All three were college quarterbacks, and all three are hesitant to move to other positions in the NFL.



This is the Steelers write up. To see others of the AFC North, click on the link.

tony hipchest
03-16-2006, 06:26 PM
thank you. i was wondering when tha last time the steelers drafted a player from THE U.

leon searcy 1992. i wonder if thats just coincidence, cause we know they put out good players. maybe we just always draft too late to get any of them. maybe theyre all a bunch of crackheads.

good article

Suitanim
03-16-2006, 06:33 PM
Nice post again, Dom.

clevestinks
03-16-2006, 06:34 PM
Yes nice post! Steelers have always been smart, so I trust the front office

BlitzburghRockCity
03-16-2006, 11:43 PM
Its been working this long, and we won the SB last year.. if it aint broke, dont fix it!