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ETL
05-21-2012, 10:36 PM
In past seasons, we've had players surprise us with an unexpected level of play. Whether it be Antonio Brown last year, Mike Wallace the year before or players such as Willie Parker, James Harrison, Kordell Stewart, Jerome Bettis or Yancey Thigpen in yester years - it is fairly predictable that there will be an unexpected pleasant surprise this year.

To that end, I predict that the breakout player for the Steelers this year will be:

BARON BATCH.

I know I've read a lot of about his injury and slow recovery but from what little I saw last year , I think he has the potential to be an explosive back. With Mendenhall "mending", the doors are open for one of our RBs to star and Baron Batch, to me, is the RB on our roster with the highest potential. I think he will hit the holes faster than any other back (except Rainey but I can't expect Rainey to run within the tackles play after play). With the prospect of having a much improved offensive line; the doors are fully open for Batch to take advantage of this opportunity.

(a close second to me is Emmanuel Sanders)

WokeUpWithaWoodley
05-21-2012, 11:21 PM
E.Sanders if healthy hands down will have a breakout year

austinfrench76
05-21-2012, 11:29 PM
I hope so. I really like this kid.

AgentGold007
05-21-2012, 11:32 PM
I was gonna say Sanders, but since it's already been said, I'm going with Dwyer. I think he steps into the role that Redman held down for most of last season before Mendenhall got hurt, and I think he'll flourish in it (if he stays healthy). I also have to go with Cam Heyward on defense.

Bayz101
05-21-2012, 11:43 PM
I agree. Baron Batch!

Fire Arians
05-21-2012, 11:45 PM
HEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH

especially if the o-line pans out and he's not forced to block every play

lloydwoodson
05-21-2012, 11:54 PM
I would say Redman. I think he will rush for over 1000 yards next season and roughly 8 tds.

Hawaii 5-0
05-22-2012, 12:06 AM
5 Steelers Ready To Breakout In 2012, Part I: Offense

May 18th, 2012 by DomSteelers

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/05/6226994.jpg

About a week ago, FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez constructed a list of N.F.L. players which could be poised have potential breakout seasons in 2012. The list had one player for each team, and Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders made the list as the Steelers’ representative. With Marvez’s list in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss five more Steelers’ players on the Offensive side of the ball which could be ready for breakout seasons.

1. David DeCastro

How or why the top rated Offensive Guard in The 2012 N.F.L. Draft fell to the Steelers at #24, I will never know. Still, I am not going to complain, because Offensive Guard was one of the Steelers’ biggest needs, and had been since Alan Faneca left town when the 2007 season ended. The expectations will be high for DeCastro, and the starting Right Guard spot will be his to lose. Yet I feel like the Rookie from Stanford will answer the bell, and instantly upgrade Pittsburgh’s Offensive Line. DeCastro was an absolute monster at Stanford who has the ability to dominate in the running game, can pull and trap well, hold his own extremely well in pass-protection, and even has room to add onto his ridiculously big frame (6’5″ 316 lbs.). DeCastro started 39 games over the course of his collegiate career at Stanford, and his extended experience as a Lineman in a Pro Style Offense which had a firm dedication (as well as a great deal of success) to the Run Game should not be overlooked as well. The former Cardinal was given future Hall of Famer Alan Faneca’s number #66 and will be counted on to be the rock at Right Guard for at least a decade.

2. Heath Miller

I am sure many of you readers are saying, “Heath Miller? He made the Pro Bowl in 2009. Why is he on this list? How did he make a list of breakout players?” Well, I put Heath on this list because I see him as possibly enjoying a career year with the Steelers as he enters his 8th season with the team. Hopefully, new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley will use Miller (2011: 51 Catches, 631 Yards, 2 TD’s) in the role Ken Whisenhunt used him in during his first two seasons, and like Haley used Tony Moeaki in Kansas City during the 2010 season: a prime Red Zone target. If this is indeed the case, Miller could enjoy games like he did against the Patriots last season, except on multiple occasions in 2012. Over his first three seasons combined, Miller amassed 21 Touchdown receptions and was one of Big Ben’s most reliable Red Zone targets.

I will admit, with the emergence of Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and the other Wide Receivers, Miller’s targets have gone down over the last couple seasons in scoring situations, as well they should. Still, the fact that a 6’5” 265 lb. mammoth of a man that can run with Safeties and has the best hands on the team should not be catching only 2 TD’s per season (4 over the last two). Because of the explosiveness of Wallace and Brown, Miller will likely be singled up or an afterthought when teams key on those two. Pittsburgh needs to make these teams pay, and Miller could be a huge benefactor.

3. Isaac Redman

With Rashard Mendenhall sidelined for likely the first half of the season, and almost zero experienced depth behind him, Isaac Redman will get his opportunity to put a stranglehold on the “RB1” position. Redman set career highs in Rushing Yards (479), Carries (110), and Rushing Touchdowns (3) last season, and should be one of the hungriest players on the team to carry over some positive momentum from 2011 into 2012. Much like Fast Willie Parker, Redman is a former Undrafted Free Agent. And much like Fast Willie, Isaac earned his way onto this roster due to grit, hard work, and developed his skills on the Practice Squad for an extended period. Granted, I see Chris Rainey as the team’s eventual 3rd Down Back, and he will likely force Redman off the field in those situations this season because of his explosive and pass-catching skill-set. Yet as I stated before, Redman finally has his chance, and for a determined Undrafted Free Agent like him, any open window to shine will be met with 100% effort, and a white-knuckle grip on the job with a “take on all comers” attitude.

4. Emmanuel Sanders and/or Jerricho Cotchery

I know this is cheating a little bit, because the title reads “5 Steelers,” yet the player which will have a breakout season will be the winner of the battle between Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery for The #3 Wide Receiver slot. I’ve stated it many times, but Heath Miller and the slot WR’s this season could enjoy enormous seasons due to the attention which opposing Defenses must pay to Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown respectively. The middle of the field will likely be open because of both speedsters outside the numbers, and the Steelers can eat Secondaries alive with mismatches on the inside.

Sanders (2011: 22 Catches, 288 Yards, 2 TD’s) and Cotchery (2011: 16 Catches, 237 Yards, 2 TD’s) are both intelligent and savvy route-runners, both have solid athletic ability, and most importantly, both have reliable hands. The only big issue with these two players will be their collective healths, because both were dinged up last season and only late in the year appeared to contribute on a regular basis. If you can remember back to 2010, Sanders emerged as a steady target for Big Ben as the season progressed, and health permitting, he could resume that role in 2012. If not, the veteran Cotchery can fill in and do an adequate job and pick up those tough 1st Downs to keep drives alive. Plus, with a full offseason to learn the new Offense and work with Ben under his belt, Cotchery could revert back to his successful ways in the slot like when he was with the Jets.

5. Mike Adams

The second Willie Colon came public with the news that he was moving to Left Guard, two thoughts crossed my mind: 1. Yahoo! Colon is moving to his more natural position. 2. It is now time to see massive (6’7″ 323 lbs.) Rookie Mike Adams in action. Adams will definitely have his plate full because it is not common for many Rookies to start at Left Tackle for a contending team in Week 1 of the season. Still, the Steelers must have supreme confidence in Adams and the hope that he cleaned up his act off the field, because he will likely be answering the bell Week 1 now.

In terms of pure talent and athletic ability, only Matt Kalil of Southern California in my opinion was a better Left Tackle prospect than Adams in this past April’s Draft. Adams had a good deal of experience at Left Tackle at the college level (23 starts), and most importantly could have a chip on his shoulder for the rest of his career due to where he was drafted. If Adams is motivated enough to play for his hometown team and prove all his doubters and detractors wrong, look out, because the Steelers might have found a blind-side protector for Ben.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/05/18/5-steelers-ready-to-breakout-in-2012-part-i-offense/?repeat=w3tc

Hawaii 5-0
05-22-2012, 12:09 AM
5 Steelers Ready To Breakout In 2012, Part II: Defense

May 19th, 2012 by DomSteelers

I certainly hope you enjoyed the first part of my “potential breakout” players post. Today’s list will feature the same format as yesterday’s, only it will feature five Steelers on the Defensive side of the ball. Let’s get started shall we:

1. Cameron Heyward

While Cameron Heyward went through some growing pains at times while working his way into the 5-Technique rotation as a Rookie, he showed some really nice flashes of talent at stopping the run and getting after the passer when asked as the season progressed. Rookie status aside, Heyward improved quite a bit towards the end of the season, and appeared much further along development wise than Ziggy Hood was (who was a 4-3 DT in college) at the same point in his career.

Heyward will get numerous chances to strut his stuff in Training Camp, and he will be the top backup 5-Technique in the Steelers’ Defensive End rotation. If Heyward can log quality playing time and spell the aging yet still very effective Brett Keisel, it would be a perfect scenario for the Steelers. The soon to be 34 year old Keisel can stay fresh throughout the season, and Heyward can get a decent amount of work in his second season with the team. Be on the lookout for Heyward to vastly improve upon his stat line from 2011 which read: 11 Tackles, 1.0 Sack, 1 Pass Defended, and 1 Field Goal Block. The more reps Heyward can ultimately receive, the more he can make a difference.

2. Jason Worilds

Although Worilds will likely be a backup this season, it will not take away from his total contributions to the team and ability to make a bigger difference than he did last season. A pass-rushing Outside Linebacker, Worilds will be the top reserve behind James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, and should see some extended playing time if the Coaching Staff elects to keep both veterans fresh (Harrison especially).

Adding to Worilds’ value is the fact that Harrison is 34 and a Public Enemy #2 (behind Jonathan Vilma now) of Roger Goodell and the N.F.L.’s crusade to wash their hands of future lawsuits. Deebo probably has another two solid seasons of production left, but if Worilds proves he can spell Deebo effectively, Harrison might be able to extend his career, and the Steelers would have themselves a viable candidate to replace Harrison when the time comes, or the N.F.L. decides to kick him out if they so choose. Plus it would not hurt if Worilds got in the game in some sub-package pass-rushing situations. Even a “Psycho” type package with Harrison, Woodley, and Worilds plus 2 Linemen and 6 Defensive Backs would be pretty sweet to see at some point. But hey, I can only dream of something so very awesome.

I have faith that Harrison and Woodley can both stay healthy over the 16+ game haul, and that disaster will likely not strike twice. Yet after last season, where both guys went down at the same time and missed extended periods, the Steelers lack of depth was exposed, and the value of a player like Worilds increased. While Worilds set career highs in Tackles (38) and Sacks (3.0), he must be ready to take his game to the next level this season if he indeed receives the chances.

3. Steve McLendon

Of all of Pittsburgh’s young players on the Defensive side of the ball which intrigue me, McLendon is the biggest enigma of them all in my opinion. Another one of Pittsburgh’s Undrafted and developed contributors, McLendon (6’4″ 280 lbs.) will be get his most extended chance to play during Training Camp and throughout the 2012 season as he battles for the backup Nose Tackle spot and playing time along the Defensive Line as well.

Because the Steelers are not the most keen franchise on starting Rookies (if they are not forced to do it), especially on the Defensive side of the ball. With that in mind, McLendon (hopefully he put on more weight to his frame) could leap-frog massive Rookie Alameda Ta’amu for the backup role behind “Big Snack” Hampton, in what will likely be Hampton’s final season. If for some reason “Snack’s” injured knee cannot hold up, McLendon will likely jump from top backup Nose Tackle to starter. McLendon could also see some time in pass-rush sub packages, and could even be asked to fill in for spells at Defensive End if injuries hit the “Top 3″ rotation. If McLendon’s weight hovers at closer to 280 lbs. than 300-310 lbs., the Steelers might be wise to give him some extra reps. there if “Snack” is healthy. Whatever the case may be, this will be a big season for McLendon, and Defensive Line Coach John Mitchell seems to have quite a bit of faith in him. Thus, I am pretty intrigued to see what he can do with some extra playing time.

4. Cortez Allen and/or Curtis Brown

Like Sanders and Cotchery, I combined Allen and Brown into one spot. This is because the winner of the competition between the two for 3rd Cornerback (or possibly even CB#2) role will likely see the most playing time, and thus have the most chances to prove themselves. Last season, both proved themselves as terrific contributors on Special Teams, and Allen even received some playing time in Dime situations. Both players have big frames (Allen: 6’1″ 196 lbs. and Brown: 6′ 185 lbs.) the Steelers like in their Corners, and each will likely be asked to shut down teams which try to dink and dunk the Steelers and pick them apart when they spread the field in sub packages this season.

With a full season and off-season to learn under Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake, Allen and Brown should be ready to step up their games and fill the void left by William Gay and Bryant McFadden who are now gone. Regardless of who lands ahead of who on the depth chart, both figure to be significant contributors this season. Plus, with Ike Taylor at 32 years of age, and Keenan Lewis an Unrestricted Free Agent after this season, Brown and Allen are sure to be contributing even more in the future.

5. Stevenson Sylvester

Like Worilds and Heyward, Sylvester could end up spending most if not all of the season as a backup. Nevertheless, Sylvester could chip in quite a bit this season and make significant strides as an Inside Linebacker and on the Defensive side of the ball. Because the Steelers drafted David DeCastro instead of Inside Linebacker Dont’a Hightower this April, and did not address the strongside Inside Linebacker position this offseason, the door is open for Sylvester to work his way up the depth chart and prove himself that he is a valid candidate to take over in the future.

At this point, the only thing standing in Stevenson Sylvester’s way and the starting “Buck” Inside Linebacker gig is Larry Foote, a 32 year old veteran. Linebackers Coach Keith Butler has Foote penciled in as the starter due to his veteran savvy and knowledge of the Defense, but said that Sylvester is “in the pipeline” to start at the “Buck” position down the road. Plus, being the only Inside Linebacker behind Lawrence Timmons and Foote with any sort of significant game experience works in Sylvester’s favor if he must play on a regular basis this season. Thus, 2012 will be a big season for Sylvester to solidify a roster spot for himself and putting himself in line for a future starting job with some solid play when he gets his chances.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/05/19/5-steelers-ready-to-breakout-in-2012-part-ii-defense/

Kingmagyar
05-22-2012, 01:04 AM
I'm going to say the easiest and safest pick would be Isaac Redman. Now some may consider him a breakout player already but with Mendenhall out for a couple months he has a chance to be the real work horse around here and be the next star RB. If he is dominating and say leading the league or AFC in rushing it's doubtful Mendy gets his starting job back and sees another contract. Redman may be a household name by November around the NFL world.

RE: Baron Batch
If Chris Rainey is on this team then Baron Batch is not going to see the field. For a prediction of Batch having a breakout year to be true Rainey would have to be on IR or cut from the team. Limited amount of plays anyway to a 3rd down back in of itself would limit him. Rainey with his return abilities and big splash play potential would have a better shot as a breakout player. Still gutsy prediction though that Batch who is known for one block on James Harrison in camp and has never even played a down in a pre-season game is going to be a breakout player this year for us.

Also the winner of the other CB spot if he maintains that position all year would be a huge breakout player. Lewis or Allen or Brown?

MDSteel15
05-22-2012, 07:09 AM
I'm going with who ever starts at the other CB position and Jonathan Dwyer!!! :hatsoff:

BIGNASTY91
05-22-2012, 07:20 AM
When i raed the thread title first thought was batch and or sanders. With all the weapons on offense this year i think it will play right into the hands of cotchery!! I think he will be one that atleast to start the season will be over looked by defenses and will be an easy target for BB to gain some yardage when needed. I'm really excited about offense this season. Our offense has a chance to be something special this year if they can all get on the same page together!!!:tt03::tt03::tt03:

steelax04
05-22-2012, 08:54 AM
HEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH

especially if the o-line pans out and he's not forced to block every play

+1

There's going to be a lot of focus on Wallace and Brown, opening up a lot of space for Heath.

Vis
05-22-2012, 09:09 AM
Ben of the Rosetta Stone.


Is that a D&D character?

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-22-2012, 09:48 AM
I'm going with Timmons like I have for the past 3 seasons. Going to happen sometime.

Millers the sh!t
05-22-2012, 02:00 PM
So many choices. If Heath wasn't a vet and already proven his potential I'd say Heath. But, With TE popularity on the rise I'd say Heath may come more popular/noticed with people aren't fans of Pittsburgh. I'd say he ends the season with 400 yards and 6 td's.

But my choice for the next steeler to be a household name and climb the charts in fantasy football will be Isaac Redman. I'm guessing he'll finish the season with 1,200 yards and 6-8 td's. Also guessing he'll be in the top 5 rushing yards leader for 10 weeks or so.

I'm hoping that E. Sanders gets a full season in. I'm hoping he'll get around 7-800 yards and 2-3 td's at reg seasons end. If he stays healthy, I won't have a problem getting rid of wallace's greedy ass. The game went to his head and he got lazy. I was a huge Wallace fan up until the end of last season. He's got great speed and mediocre hands. Not worth the $ or drama.

Millers the sh!t
05-22-2012, 02:04 PM
When i raed the thread title first thought was batch and or sanders. With all the weapons on offense this year i think it will play right into the hands of cotchery!! I think he will be one that atleast to start the season will be over looked by defenses and will be an easy target for BB to gain some yardage when needed. I'm really excited about offense this season. Our offense has a chance to be something special this year if they can all get on the same page together!!!:tt03::tt03::tt03:

I think cotch, will be a silent assassin. Not make many plays or be a major threat, but will definitely get us big first downs when needed and a few td's here an there. I say he ends the season with 3-400 yards and 3-5 td's.

Basically I agree with you. Except I believe he'll be overlooked all season by defenses. He'll be the guy on 3rd and long wide open for an easy first down.

Millers the sh!t
05-22-2012, 02:46 PM
I'm going to say the easiest and safest pick would be Isaac Redman. Now some may consider him a breakout player already but with Mendenhall out for a couple months he has a chance to be the real work horse around here and be the next star RB. If he is dominating and say leading the league or AFC in rushing it's doubtful Mendy gets his starting job back and sees another contract. Redman may be a household name by November around the NFL world.

RE: Baron Batch
If Chris Rainey is on this team then Baron Batch is not going to see the field. For a prediction of Batch having a breakout year to be true Rainey would have to be on IR or cut from the team. Limited amount of plays anyway to a 3rd down back in of itself would limit him. Rainey with his return abilities and big splash play potential would have a better shot as a breakout player. Still gutsy prediction though that Batch who is known for one block on James Harrison in camp and has never even played a down in a pre-season game is going to be a breakout player this year for us.

Also the winner of the other CB spot if he maintains that position all year would be a huge breakout player. Lewis or Allen or Brown?

I'm almost positive redman will be the top 3 to 5 leading rusher in the NFL for a decent chunk of the season. Mendenhall was for a while and he was indecisive and also was behind an inferior o line. Redman already proven to me that he ain't no joke when he consistently picks up 3+ yards on plays that mendy would have broke even on, or picked up negative yardage. I'm really looking forward to see what redman can do behind this new and improved o line. I'm also expecting a ton more running plays this season cause I think it'll be more of a learning season for the passing offense. (using a limited playbook) there are questions about redman being able to physically withstand being a featured back. If he has to fight and bruise for every yard like in the past then he won't make it 8 weeks. If our new line actually makes holes and saves him some energy and abuse, I think he'll be able to make it out ok.

Steel Peon
05-22-2012, 07:02 PM
Uhhhh.......can I say the whole team? Heh heh, just kidding, but if I'd have to pick someone, I'll narrow it down to my top 3.

1) Isaac Redman - A new O-line, with a new OC who knows how to run.........watch out world.

2) Cam Heyward - He made a few plays as a rookie, and seems to be chomping at the bit to make a huge difference.

3) Mike Wallace - Believe this one or not, it looks to me like a revamped offense with several other maturing weapons at hand, and there's hardly any chance of him not getting more chances to torch opposing teams.

TRH
05-22-2012, 07:14 PM
I'm going to go with Heyward or Sylvester on defense. Its time, if Heyward's going to be a real star. On offense, i'm looking at Sanders and even Redman has the ability to make everyone forget about Mendenhall.

btaylor179
05-22-2012, 09:57 PM
gonna be heath

Atlanta Dan
05-22-2012, 10:00 PM
Sweed

ETL
05-22-2012, 10:17 PM
Uhhhh.......can I say the whole team? Heh heh, just kidding, but if I'd have to pick someone, I'll narrow it down to my top 3.

1) Isaac Redman - A new O-line, with a new OC who knows how to run.........watch out world.

2) Cam Heyward - He made a few plays as a rookie, and seems to be chomping at the bit to make a huge difference.

3) Mike Wallace - Believe this one or not, it looks to me like a revamped offense with several other maturing weapons at hand, and there's hardly any chance of him not getting more chances to torch opposing teams.

I like Redman ... as the #2 back. He always seems to bring some extra energy and juice to the play. But as the #1 - I just don't know. I hope I am wrong and he can be our next Willie Parker.

Wallabeast17
05-22-2012, 10:40 PM
Sweed

HAHAHA AGREED! :applaudit::rofl::rofl:

Rick5895
05-23-2012, 04:46 AM
On defense I will say Curtiss Brown, and on offense I think Emanual Sanders will be this years version of Antonio brown.

Galax Steeler
05-23-2012, 05:01 AM
I think I will have to go with Hayward it is his time.

Kingmagyar
05-23-2012, 09:44 AM
I would define a breakout player as:

A player who hasn't reached the level of a starter yet, that proves he is a starter and even is considered or makes a pro-bowl.

or

A Starter who suddenly becomes one of the best in the league at what he does and makes a pro-bowl.

Basically someone in the shadows who hasn't achieved yet, but who bursts out with excellent play and becomes a household name around the league. If Chris Rainey is on every highlight film all year, people kind of expected him to be a dynamic play maker so I don't know if he is breaking out as just doing what is expected. A Breakout player would have to be a breakthrough from a previous state of play that was average or adequate. At least that's what I consider a breakout player.

BengalDestroyer
05-23-2012, 06:30 PM
I'm hoping it's Sylvester, but I'm going to predict Redman.

Fire Arians
05-23-2012, 06:32 PM
I would define a breakout player as:

A player who hasn't reached the level of a starter yet, that proves he is a starter and even is considered or makes a pro-bowl.

or

A Starter who suddenly becomes one of the best in the league at what he does and makes a pro-bowl.


Well with that said I'm going to say Sanders then :thumbsup:

Since his rookie season he has been clutch. The only thing holding him back is his foot injury (which he never had time to fully heal from last season), and I believe now he's been able to fully recover from it.

Riddle_Of_Steel
05-23-2012, 06:47 PM
Cam Heyward

Heath Miller

Fire Arians
05-24-2012, 01:16 PM
any love for wes saunders? i think he can have a good season too

Steelers>NFL
05-24-2012, 02:13 PM
any love for wes saunders? i think he can have a good season too

For who?

teegre
05-24-2012, 06:59 PM
Do I have to pick one?...because, honestly, I think that there are about a dozen on the cusp of greatness.

My simplest answer: Big Ben.

With a great O-line in front of him, and with two premier WRs (& a third, Sanders, who I predict will have a breakout season), Ben will elevate himself up into the Brees status.

Last year, I picked Big Ben second overall in my FF draft...and I was laughed at. I was simply a year too early. [I predicted 52 TDs last season...and will stick with that number.]

OTHER BREAKOUT PLAYERS

I will list the six on each side of the ball...in order of how much of a breakout that they will have.

DEFENSE
6. Lawrence Timmons. The dude was so great in 2010 season. I'd love to see Timmons return to that form.

5. Drew Butler. Yes, a punter. But, after watching Andy Lee & Mike Scifres change field position for their teams, I think that an upgrade at punter is the "straw" that will break opponents' backs.

4. Alameda Ta'amu. I watched the kid dominate the Pac-12. Then, he had a shoulder injury (& looked like complete crud). I think that he was a steal!!! Look for him to be a huge part of the rotation at NT.

3. Sly. He looked so promising as a rookie...and then last year, he had no off-season. With a full off-season, I see him breaking out (and taking over for Foote by Halloween).

2. Cameron Heyward. I remember seeing Woodley as a rookie, rotate in, and create havoc. I go that same "feel" from Heyward last year, and feel even stronger about this year: I see a 7 sack, 12 hurry season.

1. Cortez Allen. I think that he starts. He looks like Ike Taylor, part II.

OFFENSE
6. Mike Adams. With Kugler as his coach, the kid will live up to his potential. He was hot & cold at OSU, but Kugler will keep him hot...and we shall be happy.

5. The Colon. I always thought that he'd make a great OG. He is shorter than ideal for OT, but he does not allow sacks (look it up: he gave up the second fewest sacks, second only to Jake Long). His problem has been false starts. I truly believe that his false starts were a result of a lack of leteral quickness (& from being short); ergo, as an OT, he HAD to come out of his stance EARLY, to deal with pass-rushers. As a OG, he will eliminate the false starts...and will prosper.

4. Pouncey. Hear me out. Pouncey has had to deal witht he miscues of Kemo & Foster. He had to "cover" for the defenders that these two routinely missed. Now that Pouncey is surrounded by two good guards, Pouncey will no longer have to "cover" for their mistakes...and he will be even better than he has been in the past.

3. Manny Sanders. I watched the kid light up Darelle Revis (in the 2010 regular season). Then, again, last year, when no one else could seem to catch the ball against the Broncos, Sanders had like 5 for 80. IF he stays healthy, look for him to shine.

2. DD. The kid will enter the league and immediately dominate.

1. Big Ben. Why? As I already mentioned, see players 2 through 6.

StainlessStill
05-24-2012, 07:05 PM
Emmanuel Sanders or Jerricho Cotchery, respectively.

Hawaii 5-0
06-08-2012, 11:45 PM
Who Will Be the Break-Out Star of the 2012 Steelers?

Jun 7th, 2012 by Jeff SneddenSteelers

Ch-ch-ch-changes…..

If you haven’t heard by now, the 2012 edition of your Pittsburgh Steelers is going to look very different than the team you have grown accustomed to seeing running out of the Heinz Field tunnel. Besides the usual roster change-over that comes with any new NFL season, the Steelers have experienced the most significant personnel flux since the early 1990′s. Much of the core of the Steelers veteran roster – Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Chris Hoke – are all either retired or released. CB William Gay departed for Pittsburgh-West and a reunion with many of his former teammates in the desert. RB Rashard Mendenhall is going to miss much of – or all – of the 2012 season. The player changes are drastic, but not the big story.

New offensive coordinator Todd Haley brings his monumentally different formula to the team after taking over for the “retired” Bruce Arians. The national and local media has spent most of the past three months trying to stir up controversy between Haley and the Steelers $102 million quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The stories about the relationship (or lack thereof) between Haley and Big Ben dominated the headlines for most of the spring, soon followed by the stories of Roethlisberger and his frustration with the new Haley offense. Nobody really knows what Todd Haley is bringing to the table outside of the South Side Complex. When he was the offensive coordinator in Arizona, his passing offense was dominate, revolving around Pro Bowlers QB Kurt Warner, WR Larry Fitzgerald, and WR Anquan Boldin. Once he took over as Head Coach in Kansas City, he rode the RB combination of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles to the top rushing offense in football and an AFC West Title. The talent level in Pittsburgh is on par with any that Haley has experienced in the past, so if he can find a way to combine both strategies in the Steelers new offense, the team could be a machine.

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/06/Foote.jpg?e98d57

With so many changes, it is inevitable that a player or two will elevate themselves to star status in 2012. The Steelers have many young, hungry players who would like nothing more than to become the next breakout star – echoing the 2011 season of WR Antonio Brown. On the defensive side of the ball, old faithful is still plugging away in his 37th season of coaching in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has lost a few players that were pivotal parts of his record-setting defense of the past seven years. The loss of DE Aaron Smith was expected, as the veteran had lost the battle with injuries and was sure to retire. The loss of ILB James Farrior was a surprise to many, and his departure leaves a hole at a key spot in the Steelers 3-4 defense. That role will be played at the outset by 10th year ILB Larry Foote, who has worked in the LeBeau scheme for all but three of his NFL seasons. There is no doubt that Foote can fill the role of Farrior on the field, although the team will gravely miss the leadership that Farrior offered. Whether Foote can step up and be that leader is yet to be seen, but by all indications he has started the process this week with his shot back at NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp. That is a good sign for the Steelers, who continue to act the part of a “Band of Brothers”, defending each other from criticism doled out by the media.

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/06/isaac-redman-20120524-ts.jpg?e98d57

So who will be 2012′s breakout stars for the Pittsburgh Steelers? The obvious first choice would be RB Issac Redman, who will have first crack at filling the starting role in the absence of RB Rashard Mendenhall. Redman was been a great story for the Steelers, an undrafted free agent out of tiny Bowie State who clawed his way up the ladder and is now on the verge of becoming a star in the National Football League. Redman showed what he is capable of in the Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card playoff loss to Denver, when he rushed for 121 yards on just 17 carries. The team seems to believe that Redman will be the answer to the loss of Mendenhall, but just in case he falters the team has a stable of backs ready for the call to arms – Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay, Baron Batch, and rookie Chris Rainey will all vie for carries should Redman not be able to carry the load. At 6-foot and 230 lbs, Redman has the size and power to get the job done and he fits the prototypical idea of a Steelers running back. With the Mendenhall injury still not entirely understood, it could be a full season of Redman in the backfield. Could he end up being the next breakout star for the team?

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/06/sanders.jpg?e98d57

Should the offense continue to be carried by the passing game, the Steelers already have two established stars in WR Mike Wallace and WR Antonio Brown. Wallace has been AWOL from team activities over a contract dispute, so his presence with the team in 2012 is in doubt. Brown, who set an NFL all-purpose yards record in 2011, is on his way to becoming the go-to guy for Ben Roethlisberger and after his Pro Bowl season he is already a star. Next in line for a status upgrade is WR Emmanuel Sanders, who looks to be fully healthy and ready to take advantage of any opportunity the Wallace situation creates for him. Sanders has all of the tools to be a star wide receiver, including the trust of his quarterback. Should Mike Wallace and the Steelers not be able to come to terms, it would be Sanders taking over as the #2 WR in the Todd Haley offense. Could Sanders be the next breakout star?

The organization added the element of speed – LOTS of speed – in the draft when they chose Florida RB Chris Rainey in the fifth round. Rainey is a player in the mold of former Haley project Dexter McCluster, who electrified the Chiefs in 2010-2011 with his speed and hybrid ability. Rainey is faster than McCluster and looks to be a better receiver, and will also add kick/punt return duties to his agenda with the Steelers. Similar players in the NFL such as RB Darren Sproles, have been able to break the mold of the prototypical RB to become all-purpose stars. If Rainey learns quickly and gains the trust of head coach Mike Tomlin, he could become an “X Factor” for the team in both the running and passing games. Could Chris Rainey be the next breakout star for the black and gold?

On the defensive side of the ball, the loss of DE Aaron Smith has opened up a full-time starting spot for forth-year player Ziggy Hood. Hood has shown flashes of reaching the potential he showed when the Steelers drafted him in the first round of the 2009 Draft. Now a crafty veteran with experience playing the unique DE position in LeBeau’s defense, Hood has a chance to really make his mark in 2012. He has shown the ability to be a good pass rusher in addition to the run-stopping duties that are paramount for any Steelers defensive lineman. Over a full 16-game schedule, Hood could put up 8-10 sacks and close to 100 tackles. Would that make Ziggy Hood a breakout star in 2012?

Lastly, we have the cornerback situation opposite veteran Ike Taylor. The candidates for the starting slot left behind by William Gay are CB Keenan Lewis, CB Curtis Brown, and CB Cortez Allen. All three of these players have traits found in successful NFL corners, including size and the ability to match up one-on-one with NFL receivers. One of these players is going to be announced as the starter and have an opportunity to seal their fate with the Steelers. Lewis would seem to be the favorite, heading into his forth season with the team. However, Curtis Brown has looked impressive in his limited playing time and has the pedigree to become a true shutdown corner. Finally, we have Cortez Allen – a small school player who is entering his second season and has as much raw athletic ability as any player on the roster. While his learning curve is behind both Lewis and Brown due to his college career being played at The Citadel, Allen could surprise everyone and snag the starting spot with a great preseason. Will one of these players become the breakout star for the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers?

There are other possibilities, including first round pick OG David DeCastro, NT Alameda Ta’amu, DE Cameron Heyward, and ILB Stevenson Sylvester. All of these players will see the field quite a bit in the preseason, with DeCastro taking his starting spot on the offensive line. Ta’amu could end up starting as well if veteran NT Casey Hampton is unable to fully recover from his knee injury. The huge rookie looks the part of a Steelers NT and eventually will take over as the starter. Could that be as early as this season? Both Heyward and Sylvester are expected to see increased reps with Smith and Farrior gone, and both have the talent to be starters at their positions. Either one could end up breaking out in 2012 if the cards fall in their direction.

So what do you think, Steeler Nation? Who is your choice for the 2012 breakout star of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/07/who-will-be-the-break-out-star-of-the-2012-steelers/

Hawaii 5-0
06-15-2012, 03:06 AM
Steelers' 2012 Breakout Player

by Steelgator on Jun 13, 2012

Every year in the night sky of the Steelers' roster a new star blinks into being. Antonio Brown blazed not only into Steelers blogs but gained national attention with his seemingly effortless ability to gain separation. Before that, Mike Wallace cast his effulgent rays on the football world with his blinding speed. Who will be the bright beacon of future glory shining forth this year? Will it be another rookie sensation like those listed above, or an established player who finally finds his groove like Keenan Lewis or William Gay did?

In fact, lets go ahead and separate the two categories. Which Steeler rookie will shine the brightest, and which returning player will take the rest of the football world by surprise? As far as returning players, it would be hard for any player to take Steelers fans by surprise because we know our team so well, so lets define "breakout returning player" in terms of exceeding popular non-Steeler expectations. We can use Steeler Nation's expectations as a tie-breaker if necessary. Here are the candidates

DeCastro- Tough to dramatically exceed expectations once you've been designated the next Steve Hutchison. Unless DeCastro displays the ability to block three players at once or something, it'll be hard for him to surprise anyone who followed the draft at all. And playing OG will not catch the attention of the casual fans who didn't follow the draft. Pouncey did it, though...

Adams - Adams will exceed some folks' expectations simply by not being in prison by the end of the year, so that's a plus...

Spence - It's so difficult to make an immediate impact as a Steelers LB. Steelers fans will be amazed if he even starts; what are the odds he does enough to put himself in the national awareness...

Ta'amu - The Killer Whale will have a shot with Big Snack hurt, but remember it took years before anyone notice Hampton. Such is the life of the NT...

Rainey - If Rainey had an OC who was really good at getting scatbacks the ball in space and a QB who liked to extend plays and improvise he could do a lot. Hmmmm...

Clemons - A perfect dark horse, zero hype and plenty of talent, at least in measurables. The only problem is that he still has to do it on the field... with four really good receivers ahead of him on the depth chart...

My view: Corners and safeties have learned to stay disciplined when Ben extends plays. This year, LB's will learn the same lesson as Ben repeatedly scrambles around until the entire front 7 is in the backfield, then dumps the ball off to Rainey who runs for a TD. Rainey will get his touches on screens, reverses, and other misdirection plays along with special teams and will basically be the RB version this year of what Antonio Brown was last year.

Now let's examine the veterans. There are plenty of guys on this list, too. Some of them have been held back by injury, are finally getting a shot because of an injury to a starter, or just didn't have much of a chance last year because of the lockout. All of them have an opportunity this year, all the more intriguing because unlike the rookies this may be their best and last shot to make a name for themselves or even stay in football. Let's have a look at our contestants.

Redman - Steelers fans already know he's the world's most interesting running back, but most of the league hasn't yet heard about him. With a stronger OL and first shot at the starting position you have to like his odds...

Dwyer - Rumor has it Dwyer is again overweight, but it's still very early in the year and he still has a great size/speed ratio and a 6.0 yds/carry average in his few opportunities to date...

Sanders - In the rare times he's been uninjured he's been able to get open all over the field Steelers fans know he just has to stay healthy to impress a lot of people. That, and pass Cotchery on the depth chart...

Cortez Allen - He hardly set the world on fire last year as a 4th CB with 15 tackles no PD, no INT. But he earned Steelers fans' trust, and as a rookie without an offseason that says a lot...

Curtis Brown - Last year's third rounder has more athleticism than Allen, but was held back by an ankle injury (besides the whole lockout thing). He could leapfrog Allen this year and steal the spotlight...

My view: The easy answer is Redman, and it's probably the right one. He's got the vision and feet a power back needs, with a strong passing game to keep teams from stacking 8 in the box. An improved OL will give him an advantage when idiot commentators compare his production to Mendy's last year, and they'll love talking about the balance this brings to the big play ability of the passing game. The thing is, I hate playing the favorite, so my money's on Jon Dwyer. This is really his last chance and I just can't believe he loves cheeseburgers more than the opportunity to be an NFL star. If he's in shape, Dwyer is a more complete back than Redman, the sort you can "run the wheels off" as Tomlin likes to do. At the very least, I expect the preseason battle between Dwyer and Redman to be an interesting one.

Alright, weigh in Steeler faithful. Who do you expect to make the biggest splash from out of nowhere this year?

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/13/3081567/steelers-2012-breakout-player

steelerfan101
06-16-2012, 01:35 PM
We are off to a good start. No injuries after mini camp.
http://www.steelers101.com/2012/06/14/pittsburgh-steelers-set-sights-on-training-camp-after-completing-an-injury-free-mini-camp/