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mesaSteeler
03-18-2012, 09:28 AM
Starkey: Steelers way works

By Joe Starkey
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness is upon us. So is the NCAA Tournament, but I'm talking about the first week of NFL free agency.

Did Pierre Garcon really just sign a $42.5 million deal?

Year in, year out, there is only one sure thing in the frenzied first week: The Steelers won't participate.

Why should they?

How can they?

The Steelers find star players in April, not March. Despite low draft positions -- they haven't chosen in the top 10 since 2000 -- they accrue winning talent, develop it and pay it.

That is why Ben Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller have contracts totaling nearly $300 million.

And that is why the Steelers have their faces pressed against the salary cap ceiling. They are once again innocent bystanders in the first week, basically standing guard in case anyone comes knocking for restricted free-agent receiver Mike Wallace.

It's remarkable, really. We have just witnessed the end of an era here yet have seen no appreciable dropoff and aren't likely to.

The Steelers, holes and all, are in position to contend again next season.

The goodbyes to James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Hines Ward essentially closed the curtain on a fabulous run that included two Super Bowl wins. Nobody who played at Three Rivers Stadium remains.

Yet, as emotional as those goodbyes might have been, on-field losses were minimal. Ward was a fifth receiver. Smith was hurt. Farrior was a part-timer. The Steelers did not lose a single full-time starter.

Fact is, they had the youngest starting offense in the AFC after Ward was demoted.

Age has crept in on parts of the defense, but if the elite talent stays healthy, it will be a formidable unit.

As for free agency, it's not like the Steelers have never found help there. General manager Kevin Colbert is a patient bargain hunter.

Free agents Farrior, Jeff Hartings and Ryan Clark panned out pretty well. Cedrick Wilson underachieved but looked pretty good beating Champ Bailey for a touchdown in the 2005 AFC Championship. Jerricho Cotchery was productive by the end of last season. Max Starks paid off, too.

Two years ago, the Steelers brought back Larry Foote as a free agent. He now will replace Farrior.

The parts change. The machine quietly rolls on.

That is the Steelers' way.

Joe Starkey can be reached at jraystarkey@gmail.com or .

Read more: Starkey: Steelers way works - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_787120.html#ixzz1pTk5Kcr6

TRH
03-18-2012, 10:22 AM
Its mindboggling the millions and millions teams are throwing at, well, almost anybody this year. It would be laughable, but in a way, it's very damaging to the sport. These "foolish" teams have now jacked up the prices tenfold on almost every position there is.
And this almost always never works out. Instead of looking to emulate the smart ways of the Packers, Steelers, Pats...dumb teams are on a spending frenzy which will likely produce nothing.

Example? :

Teams/fans of the Bills : now that we signed a DE to a $100 million dollar contract....the division and likely the Super Bowl is ours.

Reality : They will continue to be a joke, will likely win nothing....and the chances of an injury or a sub-par season from this guy is extremely high (karma says so....it always has). And teams like the Patriots and the Steelers, if playing them, will walk off the field with a victory (yes, another one).

Its amazing how there are keen, smart, and shrewd franchises who build players and how there are dumb, idiotic franchises who think "they can buy a championship". Other teams, such as the Browns, heads are stuck completely in the sand, and unfortunately, need another front office overhaul.

austinfrench76
03-18-2012, 02:46 PM
The word "Fan" comes from the word "Fanatic" and when are fanatics ever sensible??! Never, it is hard sometimes to be a "fan" of the Steelers but our FO aleways does their job of remaining objective business professionals that make good decisions. None of tem are "Fans" and I thank God for that!! Go, The Steeler Way!

LVSteelersfan
03-18-2012, 07:38 PM
This is the reason I have remained a diehard fan of the Steelers for over 30 years. Ever since they started drafting their first winning teams under Chuck Knoll, I have been a fan of the way they do things. We don't get that feeling that other fans get during free agent frenzy time. Sometimes it feels like the Steelers are doing nothing. Then the draft hits, training camp starts, and all is right with the world again when the season starts. None of those players that got all of that money are worth what they got except maybe Megatron. Everyone else is being extremely overpaid. Thank god for the Steeler way.

Men of Steel
03-19-2012, 04:25 PM
The word "Fan" comes from the word "Fanatic" and when are fanatics ever sensible??! Never, it is hard sometimes to be a "fan" of the Steelers but our FO aleways does their job of remaining objective business professionals that make good decisions. None of tem are "Fans" and I thank God for that!! Go, The Steeler Way!

agreed 100%:tt03:

Men of Steel
03-19-2012, 04:25 PM
This is the reason I have remained a diehard fan of the Steelers for over 30 years. Ever since they started drafting their first winning teams under Chuck Knoll, I have been a fan of the way they do things. We don't get that feeling that other fans get during free agent frenzy time. Sometimes it feels like the Steelers are doing nothing. Then the draft hits, training camp starts, and all is right with the world again when the season starts. None of those players that got all of that money are worth what they got except maybe Megatron. Everyone else is being extremely overpaid. Thank god for the Steeler way.

this... ^^ :thumbsup:

Edman
03-20-2012, 11:11 PM
Actually, the Patriots haven't been too good following the model recently. They just signed four retreads already this offseason. Their drafts have also been terrible to boot. They've mostly been getting by on Brady and Rent-A-Players every year.

When you're signing Free Agents, throwing wads of cash at him isn't going to magically make him play better.