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View Full Version : We could lose 4 key veterans


Quackjack
01-06-2013, 11:59 AM
Casey Hampton
Larry Foote
James Harrison
Max Starks

Anyone else think that if we lose 3/4 of them we could be hurt realllly bad?

I want to keep Lewis/C.Allen and such, but we need to keep our leadership. Remember what happened to us when we lost Ward and Smith?

cbrunn
01-06-2013, 12:19 PM
Casey Hampton
Larry Foote
James Harrison
Max Starks

Anyone else think that if we lose 3/4 of them we could be hurt realllly bad?

I want to keep Lewis/C.Allen and such, but we need to keep our leadership. Remember what happened to us when we lost Ward and Smith?

Time to turn over a decade ... I know some of you fans are scared ... but it's time for some new fresh blood , and a new direction

fer522
01-06-2013, 12:32 PM
I think Foote and Harrison will stay both will probably restructure their deals but I wouldn't be surprised if Keisel and Hampton get cut tho

Jahodac
01-06-2013, 12:54 PM
It sucks, but they will be gone eventually anyway so we might as well cut the fat and bring in some fresh bodies. Out of the four, I would like to keep Harrison but I won't be upset if we do let him go.

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 12:54 PM
I think Foote and Harrison will stay both will probably restructure their deals but I wouldn't be surprised if Keisel and Hampton get cut tho

Ok, Keisel will NOT get cut. He was our best end this year. Casey though...

Time to turn over a decade ... I know some of you fans are scared ... but it's time for some new fresh blood , and a new direction

LOL! We sure adapted to losing Ward/Farrior/Smith very well. Our young'ns aren't ready yet. Yet.

cbrunn
01-06-2013, 01:05 PM
LOL! We sure adapted to losing Ward/Farrior/Smith very well. Our young'ns aren't ready yet. Yet.

Yeah we did , we lost a lot of close games , with all the injuries again and 1st year OC ...

How can the young'ns ever be ready when they never get a chance to play???
you don't learn by sitting on the sideline because the "scheme" is "too confusing" ... you learn by being out there

Put the young guys out there in 2013 ... see how they play and how they learn ... might be a rough season but then you really know what positions you need going forward ... right now you don't know

still have Sly at ILB who has yet to be given a chance, Spence coming back from injury

Worilds and Carter at OLB , who were both supposed to be "draft steals" when we got them in the draft... but what do we have in them players??? who knows because they don't get enough time, granted Carter seems to always be injured

SteelersCanada
01-06-2013, 01:09 PM
We could lose all of those guys and our team could potentially improve. Gilbert showed he could be great on the right side and, if it were up to him, he'd be playing LT. If he's flashed greatness on the right side and he's self-proclaimed 'better' on the left, then what does that mean? Good news.

Foote was only made great because of Timmons' play. Hampton and Harrison were both effective for only parts of the season and can be easily replaced.

If we lose all of those guys, it's not going to hurt like you think. I disagree, though. I think our younger guys (save for ROLB - we have to draft to upgrade that) are ready and capable of taking over for these aging vets.

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 01:09 PM
Yeah we did , we lost a lot of close games , with all the injuries again and 1st year OC ...

How can the young'ns ever be ready when they never get a chance to play???
you don't learn by sitting on the sideline because the "scheme" is "too confusing" ... you learn by being out there

You're willing to risk a chance on a SB run on unproved noobs?

I'll stick with our usual mix of experienced leaders and raw talented young guys thank you.

cbrunn
01-06-2013, 01:15 PM
You're willing to risk a chance on a SB run on unproved noobs?

I'll stick with our usual mix of experienced leaders and raw talented young guys thank you.

Not going to win a super bowl with these older guys ... their time has passed ... all your doing is delaying the future

cbrunn
01-06-2013, 01:17 PM
This was a edit on one of my posts, that you replied to before I edited it

Put the young guys out there in 2013 ... see how they play and how they learn ... might be a rough season but then you really know what positions you need going forward ... right now you don't know

still have Sly at ILB who has yet to be given a chance, Spence coming back from injury

Worilds and Carter at OLB , who were both supposed to be "draft steals" when we got them in the draft... but what do we have in them players??? who knows because they don't get enough time, granted Carter seems to always be injured

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 01:20 PM
Not going to win a super bowl with these older guys ... their time has passed ... all your doing is delaying the future

:banging:

Why does it feel like you guys want to abandon everything we've done after one bad season?

If we can't win with Keisel/Harrison/ect. anymore, than I sure bet we can't with Wallace/Bendthenfall/Hood. Fact of the matter is we only have a handful of good young guys.

harrison'samonster
01-06-2013, 01:23 PM
the more I think of it, the more i can't wait to see what the younger players can do! I trust the FO, and I think if the price is right they will keep any of these players for experience and depth.

austinfrench76
01-06-2013, 01:25 PM
I would ask this: What does anyone on the #1 ranked Defense, #1 pass, #2 rushing have to do with the end of the season??? We lost becasue of Ben's injury. It has nothing to do with them. They weren't where they needed to be at the beginnning but they rounded into shape. I would say theya ll need to get into the gym earlier but nothing to do with the end of teh season. Harrison and Foote will restructure anyways.

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 01:26 PM
the more I think of it, the more i can't wait to see what the younger players can do! I trust the FO, and I think if the price is right they will keep any of these players for experience and depth.

Keep Foote no matter what, Harrison if the price is right and Hampton only if you've signed everyone else.

Starks will be back most likely, we've been through this with him.

harrison'samonster
01-06-2013, 01:30 PM
I would ask this: What does anyone on the #1 ranked Defense, #1 pass, #2 rushing have to do with the end of the season??? We lost becasue of Ben's injury. It has nothing to do with them. They weren't where they needed to be at the beginnning but they rounded into shape. I would say theya ll need to get into the gym earlier but nothing to do with the end of teh season. Harrison and Foote will restructure anyways.

I still think it all depends on who the FO see as a priority due to the money issues. If they think that the Defensive back-ups can step up, then the older players might be as good as gone.

I'd love to see them all stay and play at least one more year, but if the money isn't there, I'm afraid we might have seen the last of some of them.

In my opinion Woodley should be in this conversation as well.

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 01:33 PM
I still think it all depends on who the FO see as a priority due to the money issues. If they think that the Defensive back-ups can step up, then the older players might be as good as gone.

I'd love to see them all stay and play at least one more year, but if the money isn't there, I'm afraid we might have seen the last of some of them.

In my opinion Woodley should be in this conversation as well.

Yup. Woodley is getting paid to much for his dismal performance as of late. I really, really want Harrison back too, so I hope they can cut their pay checks.

sloppyjoe
01-06-2013, 01:34 PM
we nned to lose a few more too, well at least their cap numbers

teegre
01-06-2013, 02:47 PM
STARKS: Underrated. I'd like to see him back, but if not, I think that Gilbert might be ready.

KEISEL: He's heading towards that cliff (the one that Hines Ward fell off of). If it comes down to "resigning Lewis" or "keep The Beard"... sorry Keisel.

FOOTE: Played well, but I think Spence is an upgrade. Good-bye, man... unless you take the vet minimum (as a back-up).

HARRISON: Towards the end of the year, showed some of the old Harrison. Cutting him only saves $1.5 million (of a $6.5 million cap hit). So, why not keep him. [Note: My figures are not exact, but close enough to make the point.]

HAMPTON: Personally, I think he should have been gone three tears ago. So, absolutely show him the door.

cbrunn
01-06-2013, 02:59 PM
Posted this in another thread ... but it fits here too ...

keep holding onto the past and your future falls through your fingers

Clark - 33 yrs old - Stepped up this year ... but his time is coming, thankfully he never really relied on athleticism and more on his IQ and instincts...

Foote - 32 yrs old - Foote had a OK year this year with tackles , but He got burned in pass coverage wayyyyyy to much for the new NFL ... overall I wouldn't mind having him back if the price was right and only for a backup

Hampton - 35 yrs old - Boooo , Mclendon played better than him all year when given a chance ... Thanks Hampton but your time is up

Harrison - 34 yrs old - 6 Sacks , was he even on the field?? , Worilds had 5 with I'm guessing not even half as much playing time ... Thanks James but your run is over

Keisel - 34 yrs old - Overal not a bad year, but cost us with a couple of offsides, and with 1st round picks spent on taking over his position ... you have to let the 1st rounder take over, not just let them Rot on the bench for loyalty ... would really rather him not be back , but My guess is he will be and that'll be another year a 1st round pick is rotting away on the bench

Troy - 31 yrs old - Everybody and their mom agrees a shell of his former self ... He'll be back unless he retires ... Hopefully can stay healthy but I would rather have his money back on the books to have options to sign a younger play maker like Mike Wallace or whatever

Miller - 30 yrs old - coming off tearing his knee up - Great year , Great Player , but doubt he'll be ready for the beginning of the season

Woodley - 27 yrs old - Threw him on here because he got his big contract and seem like he doesn't care anymore ... GET INTO SHAPE

I'm sorry but they are in a rebuilding/reloading stage ... and they have been in the draft in the past years getting ready for this change ... but they won't let the players play because the older not productive anymore players are still around...

Keisel (Heyward , production doesn't drop off any from the switch)
Hampton (Mcclendon, production goes up with the switch)
Harrison (Worilds, Carter ... production doesn't drop , maybe goes up with the switch)
Foote ( Sly, Spence ... I don't think production drops much, and get a better pass coverage with the switch)

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 03:13 PM
Posted this in another thread ... but it fits here too ...

keep holding onto the past and your future falls through your fingers

Clark - 33 yrs old - Stepped up this year ... but his time is coming, thankfully he never really relied on athleticism and more on his IQ and instincts...

Foote - 32 yrs old - Foote had a OK year this year with tackles , but He got burned in pass coverage wayyyyyy to much for the new NFL ... overall I wouldn't mind having him back if the price was right and only for a backup

Hampton - 35 yrs old - Boooo , Mclendon played better than him all year when given a chance ... Thanks Hampton but your time is up

Harrison - 34 yrs old - 6 Sacks , was he even on the field?? , Worilds had 5 with I'm guessing not even half as much playing time ... Thanks James but your run is over

Keisel - 34 yrs old - Overal not a bad year, but cost us with a couple of offsides, and with 1st round picks spent on taking over his position ... you have to let the 1st rounder take over, not just let them Rot on the bench for loyalty ... would really rather him not be back , but My guess is he will be and that'll be another year a 1st round pick is rotting away on the bench

Troy - 31 yrs old - Everybody and their mom agrees a shell of his former self ... He'll be back unless he retires ... Hopefully can stay healthy but I would rather have his money back on the books to have options to sign a younger play maker like Mike Wallace or whatever

Miller - 30 yrs old - coming off tearing his knee up - Great year , Great Player , but doubt he'll be ready for the beginning of the season

Woodley - 27 yrs old - Threw him on here because he got his big contract and seem like he doesn't care anymore ... GET INTO SHAPE

I'm sorry but they are in a rebuilding/reloading stage ... and they have been in the draft in the past years getting ready for this change ... but they won't let the players play because the older not productive anymore players are still around...

Keisel (Heyward , production doesn't drop off any from the switch)
Hampton (Mcclendon, production goes up with the switch)
Harrison (Worilds, Carter ... production doesn't drop , maybe goes up with the switch)
Foote ( Sly, Spence ... I don't think production drops much, and get a better pass coverage with the switch)

Ok, Keisel and Clark played lights out. Leave them alone.

harrison'samonster
01-06-2013, 03:21 PM
I don't think Miller's going to be ready to go at the beginning of the season. Last I heard he would be back half way through the season.

Quackjack
01-06-2013, 03:22 PM
I don't think Miller's going to be ready to go at the beginning of the season. Last I heard he would be back half way through the season.

Ugh. I hope Pope will be good.

Hehehe, sounds like a new slogan.

"Hope with Pope!"

steelerchad
01-06-2013, 03:24 PM
I think you have to add Kiesel to the list. Maybe take off Starks. I'd like to keep Max.
If James Harrison doesn't cut his contract in half he needs to go. Same thing for Troy really.

Hawaii 5-0
01-06-2013, 03:28 PM
Max Starks Deserves At Least One More Year With The Steelers

Jan 5th, 2013 by Dominic Di TollaSteelers

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2013/01/6878270-300x433.jpg

Quick, name the only Offensive Lineman to start each and every regular season game of the 2012 season at the same position for the Steelers.

Give up?

Believe it or not “Steeler Nation,” but if you guessed “Max Starks,” you would be correct!

That’s right readers, Starks not only started all 16 of Pittsburgh’s regular season games at the Offensive Line’s most important spot (Left Tackle), but one could argue that he was Pittsburgh’s most consistent and effective Offensive Lineman all year long.

Despite his solid effort this past year, Starks does not believe that he will be coming back for a 10th season in “The Steel City,” even after one of the best seasons of his career from a run-blocking and pass-protecting standpoint. In a recent interview with Mike Bires of “The Beaver County Times” (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com), Starks shared his thoughts on the prospects of him sticking with the Steelers in 2013:

“Anytime you draft tackles in the second round in back-to-back years, I think it’s their plan to have them as the starting left and right tackles in the future. That’s their goal. So being a realist, I am not expecting to be back.”

Would it be nice to see Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams step-up and emerge as the team’s starting Left and Right Tackles next year? Heck yes it would. If both could play the entire season together (16 regular season games, plus hopefully playoffs) and develop into a pair of solid book-ends to make the veteran Starks expendable during this crucial rebuilding process, I would be downright overjoyed.

Unfortunately, I live in a little place called “reality.” And I know that asking for a season without injuries along the Steelers’ Offensive Line is a pretty tall order, especially over the last half decade in which assorted ailments have plagued Pittsburgh’s players in the trenches.

If you readers care to remember, Craig and I expressed last Summer why it would be in the Steelers’ best interests to re-up the former Florida Gator to a veteran 1 year deal. Few agreed with us and our thoughts on Starks being a steady insurance policy, especially after he sustained a knee injury during Pittsburgh’s Wild Card Playoff Loss to Denver last January. But just like clock-work, once the preseason began Pittsburgh’s Offensive Linemen began dropping like flies due to injuries. Thankfully for Pittsburgh, all Max did was come in and play effective football and protect the Steelers’ signal-callers blind-side’s throughout the regular season.

Because quality depth and health remain such areas of concern along the Steelers’ Offensive Line, I believe that G.M. Kevin Colbert should at least attempt to re-up Starks for “one last go-around” with the franchise in the neighborhood of a 1 year $1-1.25 million deal (his contract last season was worth $890,000). In fact, I hope that if the Steelers do re-up Starks that the starting Left Tackle position is open to competition during this offseason. That way, Pittsburgh will give the Top 3 Tackles (Starks, Gilbert, and Adams) on their depth chart the opportunity to win the blind-side job outright. As I alluded to before, I would love to see these younger players and high Draft selections like Gilbert and Adams have to stay hungry and fight for a chance to start, especially after such an under-achieving and injury-plagued season like this past one was. Maybe the extra heat on the 2nd and 3rd year players will inspire them to take their collective games’ to new levels and leave the veteran on the sidelines.

Health permitting next season, the Steelers must find a way to play the best player at each position along the Offensive front, regardless of age and experience. Thus, if Max is yet again believed to be the best option the team will have available at Left Tackle, they should go with him until Starks either calls it quits, or a younger player usurps him, not simply going with them because of their “Draft Status.”

As it stands now, I believe that there is no harm in the Steelers attempting to sign Starks to another one year contract in the neighborhood of $1 million dollars this offseason. Best case scenario, Max wrestles the Left Tackle job away from Adams and Gilbert. Worst case scenario, Starks is a quality “Swing” backup at the Left and Right Tackle positions and stands as a steady veteran presence for the young players along the Offensive Line.

Yet if another team offers Starks more money and/or a starting job outright this offseason, then I say more power to him and “Thank You” for 9 years, 123 Regular Season Games, 96 Starts, and the opportunity to watch 2 Super Bowl wins. I just believe that it would be unwise for the Steelers’ brass to simply dismiss a player like Starks so easily, especially when the “O-Line Issues” have yet to be fully solved.

Plus, what’s wrong with having a “steady, safe, and largely inexpensive” insurance policy like Starks at your team’s disposal at such an important position?

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/01/05/max-starks-deserves-at-least-one-more-year-with-the-steelers/

OX1947
01-06-2013, 03:33 PM
I love all 4 players. But if all four do go, then their replacement would be Worilds, Spence, Gilbert(or Adams) and McClendon.

Team with those 4 moves instantly start trending to becoming one of the youngest teams in the league. If the Steelers drop Hampton and put McClendon at NT. Steelers front 7 on defense becomes a complete rebuild and all very young.

Defensive Line: Hood, McClendon, Heyward, ages 26, 27, 24

Middle Linebackers: Timmons, Spence: ages 27, 24

Outside Linebackers: Worilds, Woodley: ages 25, 28

I am praying Spence is back at 100% for training camp next year. He was looking like a Derrick Brooks type middle linebacker during preseason. And he has lots of speed.

Steelers HAVE to resign players like Keenan Lewis.

My hope, and I know the Steelers are big on the draft and not delving into the free agent pool, but my advice would be to look into free agency a little more this season. Let all the old guys walk. Start your young studs and let go of the malcontents like Mendenhall and Wallace. Nothing destroys a young team more then when you have two players in prime positions playing and talking like (bleep) (bleep).

Let Mendenhall go. Sign Ben Tate and make him your feature. Keep Dwyer as the number 2 and Redman as the 3rd down back and goal line guy.

Let Wallace go, this frees up another 10 million you do not have to pay. Is Antonio Brown a number 1? I do not know, his high ankle sprain hurt his season a lot. If anyone here hasn't had a high ankle sprain before, it is like tearing a ligament in your MCL. It isn't season ending but tends to screw up your season a little. I say, let Plaxico have another shot in the off season to see if he can help. Otherwise, Colbert will need to pluck another 3rd round stud at WR in the draft.

Let Colon go. Too many injuries, too many bonehead plays. They aren't worth the 5 games during the year he has awesome run blocks in games.

Gilbert, Decastro, Pouncey, Foster, Adams. That's as solid line as you can have right now with no major tweaks and Big Ben being a QB. Maybe if you got a 20-25 carry RB, line will play better and keep Big Ben from ruining the season by holding the ball for 56 seconds in a game against the Jaguars and gets injured next year.

Darkstorm05
01-06-2013, 03:43 PM
Ben Tate is in the middle of a 4 year deal. Not sure why everyone keeps saying to "Sign" him. He can't be signed. Lewis has to be a major priority. the #1 priority, in fact. The offense did fine with Wallace out. When Ike was down and Lewis went out, though, the secondary went to hell.

lloydwoodson
01-06-2013, 03:54 PM
This was a edit on one of my posts, that you replied to before I edited it

Put the young guys out there in 2013 ... see how they play and how they learn ... might be a rough season but then you really know what positions you need going forward ... right now you don't know

still have Sly at ILB who has yet to be given a chance, Spence coming back from injury

Worilds and Carter at OLB , who were both supposed to be "draft steals" when we got them in the draft... but what do we have in them players??? who knows because they don't get enough time, granted Carter seems to always be injured

Sly needs a shot. He is an excellent open field tackler as evidenced by his amazing sp team play. Sly and C Brown (who is bad in man coverage) transformed the sp teams coverage which was horrid.

Playing Foote over Sly is about as smart as playing Gay over Lewis.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-06-2013, 07:14 PM
Sly needs a shot. He is an excellent open field tackler as evidenced by his amazing sp team play. Sly and C Brown (who is bad in man coverage) transformed the sp teams coverage which was horrid.

Playing Foote over Sly is about as smart as playing Gay over Lewis.

If Stevenson hasnt shown he has earned a shot by now and Sean Spence was a 3rd round pick last year..........Sylvester is nothing more than a special teamer(like I said this preseason).

Hampton, Foote, Starks can all walk. Harrison should be restructured because we really dont have much behind him other than Worilds and Chris Carter. If Steelers let Harrison go, then they draft an OLB high and deal with Woodley and Worilds at OLB.....which isnt great.

Larry Foote could sign for vet minimum and backup Spence and Timmons, but I really hope he doesnt start next season.

OX1947
01-06-2013, 08:02 PM
Shit, i thought Tate was a free agent this year. nevermind on that.

Hawaii 5-0
01-06-2013, 08:13 PM
Shit, i thought Tate was a free agent this year. nevermind on that.

Tate has one more year left on his contract, after that he will be looking for a huge contract that I doubt the Steelers would be willing to pay.

madtowndrunkard
01-06-2013, 08:20 PM
Casey Hampton
Larry Foote
James Harrison
Max Starks

Anyone else think that if we lose 3/4 of them we could be hurt realllly bad?

I want to keep Lewis/C.Allen and such, but we need to keep our leadership. Remember what happened to us when we lost Ward and Smith?

We've lost better players before... I think we'll be fine... it's not like the front office didn't know this was coming. So I have to think they are prepared as always.

I like the looks of our O-line going into next year. I highly doubt we will lose Harrison... just my suspicion. Wouldn't shock me if Starks sticks around either.

Expect Wallace and Mendy to be gone though.

lloydwoodson
01-08-2013, 02:15 AM
If Stevenson hasnt shown he has earned a shot by now and Sean Spence was a 3rd round pick last year..........Sylvester is nothing more than a special teamer(like I said this preseason).

Hampton, Foote, Starks can all walk. Harrison should be restructured because we really dont have much behind him other than Worilds and Chris Carter. If Steelers let Harrison go, then they draft an OLB high and deal with Woodley and Worilds at OLB.....which isnt great.

Larry Foote could sign for vet minimum and backup Spence and Timmons, but I really hope he doesnt start next season.

And when Harrison got cut by the Steelers, then cut by the Ravens and re-signed by the Steelers it means he is a bad football player right?

I mean... the infallible Steelers FO never makes a mistake right?

Guess what? Sly blew his knee out in August 2012 as he was competing to be the starting ILB. Maybe he would have beaten Foote out who knows.

Foote is still starting because he is a 10 year veteran who knows the defense better than anyone and he is a sure tackler in gaps. Foote is terrible in coverage and in the open field where Sly would excel- freeing up Timmons to blitz more often or play spy.

Sly has only 22 tackles for his career... and he has forced 4 fumbles.

This is a team that is known for favoring veteran players so don't pretend a young player sitting is a condemnation of their talents.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-08-2013, 08:22 AM
And when Harrison got cut by the Steelers, then cut by the Ravens and re-signed by the Steelers it means he is a bad football player right?

I mean... the infallible Steelers FO never makes a mistake right?

Guess what? Sly blew his knee out in August 2012 as he was competing to be the starting ILB. Maybe he would have beaten Foote out who knows.

Foote is still starting because he is a 10 year veteran who knows the defense better than anyone and he is a sure tackler in gaps. Foote is terrible in coverage and in the open field where Sly would excel- freeing up Timmons to blitz more often or play spy.

Sly has only 22 tackles for his career... and he has forced 4 fumbles.

This is a team that is known for favoring veteran players so don't pretend a young player sitting is a condemnation of their talents.

Sylvester plays too high, he overruns plays because of his high center of gravity and to me looks like he would be a better OLB. He was a late round pick and somewhat of a mismatch of skills and size for ILB. He was a project that could at least play special teams well.

I dont see him as being anything more than a special teamer and if he had any development he would have got his chance by now.

maddog78
01-08-2013, 10:22 AM
I'd keep Harrison if he takes a pay cut, and I'd resign Starks. Foote is awful. Weak, slow, soft. I don't care about tackle stats when they come 8 yards downfield.

If he's starting on our D next year, we're in trouble.

Rotorhead
01-08-2013, 10:49 AM
It is always funny reading posts of ppl who obviously do not follow the players, cbrunn, harrison had six sacks, but if you followed the team you would know he had knee surgery in the preseason and wasnt even 100% by the end of it, so no he wasnt really on the field, but if you recall nobody "stepped up" to take his place before he returned now did they? So basically a 50% harrison was better than everyone else . . .

lloydwoodson
01-08-2013, 11:16 AM
Sylvester plays too high, he overruns plays because of his high center of gravity and to me looks like he would be a better OLB. He was a late round pick and somewhat of a mismatch of skills and size for ILB. He was a project that could at least play special teams well.

I dont see him as being anything more than a special teamer and if he had any development he would have got his chance by now.

You know what you are probably right. Sly hasn't taken that starting job and made it his and by all accounts Foote won that job before Sly was injured in training camp. It is a shame because Sly is a great athlete. I am still hoping Sly wins the job in the offseason but its likely wishful thinking.