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BlitzburghRockCity
04-29-2006, 11:37 PM
http://media3.steelers.com/article/63778/

The plan that came together
Saturday, April 29, 2006

By BOB LABRIOLA
Steelers.com

At the professional level, football indeed is all about the preparation, but success often comes down to the ability to adjust. Despite the best-laid plans, despite coaches' attempts to control as much as possible, there definitely is a place in the NFL for flying by the seat of your pants.

Except, apparently, for the Pittsburgh Steelers on draft day, especially the first day of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert and Coach Bill Cowher preside over the team's preparations for the draft, and the last part of that is always the mock drafts. The Steelers go through the first round and make a best effort to figure out how the picks above them will go so that they can be prepared for some of the contingencies they might face during their 15 minutes on the clock in the first round.

As the day began, the Steelers knew their 10 draft picks exceeded the potential openings they expect to have on their 53-man roster for the 2006 seasons, and rather than draft players to cut them, one idea was to use them as collateral to make trades to get a fewer number of players but guys who have a chance to make an impact.

In the first round, the Steelers had identified Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes as the only player they saw as worth trading up to get, and in Colbert's wildest dreams he probably never saw it working out so well.

By most projections, Holmes was the top receiver in a draft unusually thin at the position, and the odds of a team owning the 32nd pick in the first round coming away with the best receiver prospect in the pool were long. The Steelers figured that if Holmes still were on the board when it came time for Kansas City to make the 20th pick of the round, they were going to starting working the phones hard. To get Holmes, they were prepared to give their picks in the first, third and fourth rounds.

That may sound like a steep price, but when the team trading the picks is making them at the very end of the round, well, the value just isn't as high. Because teams cannot trade compensatory picks, a package of their first, third and fourth picks was going to be the Steelers' best offer.

For that to be good enough, the Steelers figured Holmes was going to have to get to the Chiefs at least, and as the first round picked up momentum, some obvious potholes were going to have to be avoided. The first of those was Philadelphia and its pick 14th overall. The Eagles perceived themselves to be needy enough at wide receiver that the team once went into business with Terrell Owens, but when Philadelphia used its No. 1 pick on defensive lineman Broderick Bunkley, that was a break for the Steelers.

"Once he got past the middle, you're saying, maybe he will (fall to us)," said Colbert. "Until that point it's a little unrealistic to think that you'll be able to go up. Once you get into that range then it's a possibility. The further it goes, the more probable it became."

Denver also was thought to have interest in a first-round wide receiver, but the Broncos traded up and took quarterback Jay Cutler three slots before the Eagles and then got their receiver by trading for Green Bay's Javon Walker. After San Diego took cornerback Antonio Cromartie, and Kansas City was on the clock, the Steelers went at the phones hard.

At one point while the Chiefs were on the clock, there was a buzz in the Steelers offices because Kansas City seemed to show genuine interest. But then the Chiefs decided instead of pick defensive end Tamba Hali, and the Steelers went back to work.

A receiver was a possibility for New England, because the Patriots had lost David Givens in free agency, but Bill Belichick went for running back Laurence Maroney instead. San Francisco was another possible destination for a receiver to go with second-year quarterback Alex Smith, but the 49ers opted for pass rusher Manny Lawson from North Carolina State.

The Bengals were up next and not likely to pick a receiver, and then the New York Giants were at No. 25 overall and a prime trading partner because that was a team looking for more than the six picks it had coming into this draft.

Marvin Lewis chose cornerback John athan Joseph, and the Steelers made Giants GM Ernie Accorsi the same proposal they made to Chiefs president Carl Peterson. Accorsi accepted, and the Steelers needed only seconds to get the car with Holmes' name on it to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue for the announcement.

"When you have a player of certain value, what you're saying is that you're willing to pick him at No. 25," said Colbert. "Really, it's a matter of securing that player. You never know. You can look at the teams that are in front of you. You can guess what they want but there are also teams, like Buffalo, coming up from the second round. You can't guess. What you have to do is say, 'Would you be willing to take this guy at No. 25 and what are you willing to do to get there?' So really, it wasn't a matter of worrying about another team but just wanting to make that pick for our team."

In this instance, the Steelers got exactly what they wanted.

tony hipchest
04-29-2006, 11:48 PM
great article, and great example of showing how the steelers were willing to pay a little extra to ensure they got who they wanted. i was in favor of this same strategy for lendale white before news of him being a failed drug test. whether holmes woulda fallen or not, i like the balls and initiative of the steelers to go after a weapon for ben. while holmes might of been their at #32 i definitely wont rag on them for ensuring they got him at 25.

tony hipchest
04-30-2006, 12:03 AM
this makes me feel much better about drafting a. smith at safety. there was questions about s. holmes fAthering 3 children from more than 1 woman, but thats really not a football issue, and you cant hold it against the man for doing what men do. i like the reid pick. his numbers are outstanding and so is his upside. we have seen the last of lee mays unless its practice squad duties.

http://postgazette.com/pg/06120/686340-66.stm

The Steelers draft board: Scouting report & Trading up and down ...
Sunday, April 30, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette






SANTONIO HOLMES


Scouting report: First wide receiver drafted in 2006. ... Steelers love the fact he has speed (4.38), big-play ability, can return punts and kickoffs and enjoys blocking. ... Caught 140 passes, fifth in Buckeyes history, the past three seasons and averaged 18.4 yards per reception in 2005. ... Returned 11 punts for 12.8-yard average and 11 kickoffs for 21.7 average last season. ... First-team All-Big Ten. ... Has played in the slot and outside for Ohio State. Probably will be used at split end or flanker with the Steelers. ... Did not play as a freshman in 2002, so he had a year of eligibility left. ... Cousin of Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor. ... Lives in Belle Glade, Fla. ... Single with two sons and a daughter.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ANTHONY SMITH


Scouting report: Rated fourth among safeties in the draft by the Steelers, ahead of such bigger names as Ko Simpson and Darnell Bing. ... Grew up in Hubbard, Ohio, about 75 miles from Pittsburgh. ... Steelers had a faster time on him than the relatively slow 40 he ran at the combine (4.71). Secondary coach Darren Perry explained that he stumbled at the start and it was no big deal to the Steelers: "He plays much faster than his 40 time indicates." ... All-Big East, he started 35 games for Syracuse in his career and ranks third among defensive backs in school history with 293 tackles. ... His 14 interceptions also ranked third and he holds the team record with six blocked kicks.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


WILLIE REID


Scouting report: Although they already drafted a speed receiver in the first round, Steelers could not pass him up. He runs a 4.36 in the 40 and averaged 17.5 yards on 31 punt returns last year, scoring three touchdowns. ... Led Seminoles with 50 receptions for 634 yards, but just one touchdown. ... Started just one season at wide receiver after converting from tailback. ... Offensive player of the year among high school players in Georgia. ... Graduated in December from Florida State. ... His 1,063 yards on 69 career punt returns are second in school history only to Deion Sanders' 1,429 yards. ... His 15.4-yard career average on punt returns is the best at FSU and third-best in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

Haiku_Dirtt
04-30-2006, 12:15 AM
great article, and great example of showing how the steelers were willing to pay a little extra to ensure they got who they wanted. i was in favor of this same strategy for lendale white before news of him being a failed drug test. whether holmes woulda fallen or not, i like the balls and initiative of the steelers to go after a weapon for ben. while holmes might of been their at #32 i definitely wont rag on them for ensuring they got him at 25.

Timely article - it sets the stage.

Cowher and Colbert seem to look like the cat with a feather in its mouth and a s**t-eating grin. And if they are that happy than I'm that happy. I really didn't think that Holmes would last then poof...the trade up.

So far, three picks in and I like the rookies.

DIESELMAN
04-30-2006, 12:45 AM
I thought the Holmes pick was great, hes got game breaking speed and best of all he can get separation. Smith is a good pick coming out of Syracuse but I think he fits the Hope mold, not that good of a tackler needs someone to compliment him and we got that someone in Polamalu. Didn't think we would go after another WR so soon but he does have speed also. Theres a RB left on the board Mike Bell out of Arizona he runs a 4.6-40 but hasn't shown he can handle the whole game load but at 6' 0" 222 lbs. and with Parker back there it could make for a good combination, hes got size and shifty quick feet. I'd like to see us grab a couple of linemen a DE and another LB.

tony hipchest
04-30-2006, 12:57 AM
So far, three picks in and I like the rookies. i do too. im bummed about lendale though. if he has a recreational substance abuse problem, im sure it is the same type of "problem" ricky williams enjoyed throughout his college years and beyond.

while at UNM, i lived in the same dorm and "partied" with and bought beer for 2 players who were drafted. while neither was stoney case or winslow oliver, i can say they didnt last long in the nfl.

another childhood friend who was a nba prospect (2 time state champ and mvp) played for albuquerques development league and barcelona, was just given life for murder over a drug deal gone bad (think of dennehey from baylor, murder victim and unm transfer)

not to accuse lendale of this type of crap but the point is, these young players can get caught up in some pretty rotten stuff and you never know.

clevestinks
04-30-2006, 06:29 AM
Well Els spot as wr, and punt returner was filled thats for sure, both guys are great returners

BlitzburghRockCity
04-30-2006, 08:26 AM
Lendale still contests there are no character issues or problems that teams need to know of, but alot of it could be as well.. when he got hurt with that hamstring and couldnt work out...he put on a fair amount of weight, and didnt hit the gym at all, consequently his reps with the weights for upper body were terrible... which shows a lack of discipline, so teams definately question his work ethic and discipline.

43FlyingHair
04-30-2006, 10:13 AM
so teams definately question his work ethic and discipline.

Mark my words, Tennessee will be laughing all the way to the bank after picking White. He's way underrated in this draft, if you ask me, despite all his alleged "problems."

BlacknGold Bleeder
04-30-2006, 10:27 AM
Like Merrill Hoge was saying during the draft shows the one of the biggest things about White may have been not owning up to the responsibility of his actions. He qualified everything with a " but not my fault" , that's not a Steeler attitude if you did something at least own up to it.