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View Full Version : Offensive Line is STILL a big problem


TheVet
02-22-2013, 07:01 PM
The offensive line is still a problem. Yes, there seem to be other problems popping up everywhere, and everyone seems to have an opinion about which are the most crucial. And given that we've targeted the OL in recent drafts, can it still be a primary problem? Well yes, it still is - because the hole was very, very deep indeed.

Obviously we're golden at center, with a young all-world Pouncey - unlimited upside. Forget the worries about whether he's injury-prone. He's had only one injury, the high ankle sprain, with subsequent tweaks. That type of sprain is notoriously tricky, and it turned out to require surgical correction. After that, no problems.

I think we're golden at RG as well. During last year's exhibition season, DD was playing at a level above everyone else - to my eyes, he was right there with Pouncey, just amazing. A serious injury derailed his season, but I expect him to come right back and be over-the-top amazing.

At LG, we've got a problem. The Colon experiment was so-so. Nice aggression and energy, but uneven technique, and he continues to make those maddening mental errors that hurt the team at the most inopportune times. It's safe to say that we're still searching for Willie's natural position in life - whatever it is, it's likely to be one where he's not required to learn a snap count. But it's all moot at this point - he's very expensive, he's mega-prone to injury, and he's still at the developmental stage. Willie is already gone, probably one of the first and easiest names on the list for the off-season moves.

Foster is ideally a multi-position depth guy, but he's been forced into starting, and let's be honest, that level of responsibility is more than a bit over his head. On a really solid NFL line, we could accomodate a single weak link in the starting five - but that's not where we're at. Ideally we could have him as a flexible backup at a cheap price, but in his mind he's probably an NFL starter. Will he be happy as a cheap backup? Probably not.

There is a ray of hope at LG in Beechum, but we haven't seen it yet, so who knows? Plus, Beechum might be needed at OT. One way or another, we're going to need Beechum to step up somewhere, because we have holes that need to be filled.

At tackle, we've also got problems. First, what about Starks? Two impressive years, arguably our best lineman behind Pouncey - even though his play is just average NFL-level, that's a shining light on the Steelers. But two good years against seven years of relaxation and underperformance makes you wonder. It was great to see Max get lean and mean - once he was at NFL minimum salary, and playing to stay in the league. He certainly owed the Steelers those two years of effort, and a lot more. I'd happily take the lean and mean Starks, especially for depth, but someone next year is going to have the fat, happy and well-paid Starks from the first seven years. We've been there, and it ain't pretty.

Now, Adams vs. Gilbert. Adams seems to be a hard worker, has a great body frame, and great feet. He needs to build up the muscle, and he needs to stay healthy. He's well beyond Gilbert as a run blocker, and (in my opinion) he's not any worse in pass protection - but different. Adams is often beaten by technique, and by his own hesitaton - a matter of confidence and training. But when he's beaten, he doesn't give up, his motor keeps going, and that hustle is great to see. Technique can be taught, and confidence can be developed. I have high hopes for Adams through continued development.

Gilbert, on the other hand is a problem. His conditioning doesn't look to be great, and the quality of his performance is very inconsistent. He took a big step backward in his second year, and that's worrisome, because sometimes he plays very well. He's not a great run-blocker, and he does gets beaten often in pass protection - in every way. He can be tricked, outmaneuvered, overpowered, and he gives up. I don't need to mention how often he finds himself being driven into the lets of his teammates. What's the problem with Gilbert's head, given that sometimes he can play great? The coaches better figure that out.

OK, there's our starting lineup: we can feel good about C, RG, and hopefully one OT position. But one OG position is unfilled, and at least one OT positon loos very shaky (Gilbert). And where does that leave us with depth? Beyond Doug Legursky's great position flexibility, what do we have? Foster/Starks are almost certainly gone, and I gotta believe that Beechum will get a shot at G.

People, we're down quite a few OL bodies even in the best scenario. OL is still a major problem. Don't even talk to me about running backs when we have no credible method of creating holes!!!!

harrison'samonster
02-22-2013, 07:26 PM
thanks for the post, I've been waiting for it. I agree Colon is going to be gone, love his fire and everything, but unfortunately he does commit to many untimely penalties, is injury prone, and his price is too high.

I still say Starks will be on this team by the end of preseason.

Steeldude
02-22-2013, 08:02 PM
Doesn't cutting Colon leave a lot of dead money? I thought I remember reading it was around $5 million.

casteeler
02-22-2013, 08:50 PM
I cannot agree with this thread more. The offensive line stinks,if DD remains healthy and Beechum plays well it might be an worth while improvement but still the o-line CANNOT RUN BLOCK and that's bad for Ben because they are one demensional.

harrison'samonster
02-22-2013, 09:12 PM
Doesn't cutting Colon leave a lot of dead money? I thought I remember reading it was around $5 million.

good point. It looks like if they release him prior to June 1st it will save the team 1.2 million in cap space. Not sure if that's worth it or not, maybe it could be money spent on Starks, a proven LT.

Hard to tell where the team is going to go with these decisions.

Millers the sh!t
02-22-2013, 09:48 PM
This is what I was saying. Draft o line and a physical receiver. This will fix our offense and running issues.

Fire Arians
02-22-2013, 10:01 PM
chance warmack if he's still there at 17 might be a likely pick.

kan_t
02-22-2013, 10:02 PM
My only concern is Gilbert at LT. I think Beachum can handle the LG spot well and I'm not worry about the other side of the OL. I agree they need to draft a lineman in the coming draft, but for backup purpose only.

kan_t
02-22-2013, 10:07 PM
I cannot agree with this thread more. The offensive line stinks,if DD remains healthy and Beechum plays well it might be an worth while improvement but still the o-line CANNOT RUN BLOCK and that's bad for Ben because they are one demensional.
Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams can definitely run block.

The key is staying healthy.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-22-2013, 10:09 PM
I think we need the "sky is falling cat picture". 4 first or 2nd round picks in 2 years with Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert and Adams.............and the line is terrible. :doh:

Watch their technique, watch their skill set in terms of footwork, hand placement, punch (or lack of with Adams) and you will see they are good O linemen, some like Adams just need a bit more polish. They all need to stay healthy for a season.

teegre
02-22-2013, 10:18 PM
chance warmack if he's still there at 17 might be a likely pick.

While I don't think they need Warmack, if he's there, they HAVE to draft him. If he played OT, he'd be the #1 pick. The bias against OGs will make him drop... but, he is the BEST O-lineman in this draft.

Regardless, depth is needed. I say that two late-round O-linemen need to be drafted... such as Khalid Holmes & Joe Madsen (OC/OG hybrids).

TheVet
02-22-2013, 10:27 PM
I'm tired of seeing the running backs get the blame for the lack of production in the run game. Redman is an expert at making something out of nothing, and nothing is exactly what our OL gives in support of the running game. And Dwyer is really able to break things open, given a hole. Those two are perfectly adequate NFL backs; we don't need to draft a back early, because honestly, what are the chances of identifying one of those rare backs that doesn't need a hole? Every NFL back is better with a hole. But granted, we need bodies behind those two for injuries. (And I assume Mendy is gone, and Batch still won't be able to contribute).

And I'm tired of the talk about drafting WRs. Sure, they're exciting, but I'd like to see our QB have an NFL pocket, if only for 1-2 seconds. Every WR looks better when the ball gets to the QB's hands before a LB does.

Anyone who looks around the league and watches other NFL teams knows that our OL is a multi-year joke, and it's been so for about six years now. It's gotten to the point where we don't even remember what a normal NFL offense looks like - to the point where our head coach almost accepts it as the standard. Well, it's not standard for the defense to hold a party in the offensive backfield every other play; other teams don't have that problem. So forget those skill positions for now. We need improvements in the infrastructure positions first, and the skill positions will look better and better.

And finally, I'm not exempting the coaching here, not at all. The jury is still out on Haley, especially with all the injuries, but I'm looking for real improvement. I'm looking to Haley to try and figure out how to build plays and schemes that accomodate our weaknesses. If we don't have a true NFL caliber OL, then we need to figure out how to work around the deficiencies. If we want to just hike the ball and let the QB run around and make something up, well we had Arians for that. Let's see some coaching that makes our line appear to be an NFL line.

TheVet
02-22-2013, 10:29 PM
I think we need the "sky is falling cat picture". 4 first or 2nd round picks in 2 years with Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert and Adams.............and the line is terrible. :doh:
Yeah, thanks for the comment, but would you care to add some thoughtful content?
:doh:

kan_t
02-22-2013, 10:32 PM
While I don't think they need Warmack, if he's there, they HAVE to draft him. If he played OT, he'd be the #1 pick. The bias against OGs will make him drop... but, he is the BEST O-lineman in this draft.

Regardless, depth is needed. I say that two late-round O-linemen need to be drafted... such as Khalid Holmes & Joe Madsen (OC/OG hybrids).
I agree there is a decent chance that Warmack will be available at 17. But I would not say picking him is a 'must'. Let's see who drops first before making that kind of statement.

And there's reason why he isn't a OT. Even if he is, Luke Joeckel is still better.

SteelersCanada
02-22-2013, 10:59 PM
Yeah, thanks for the comment, but would you care to add some thoughtful content?
:doh:

I'll throw my two cents in because we usually agree with each other but I'm not sure I agree with you here.

Pouncey, DeCastro, Adams and Gilbert is a good offensive line at worst. At best, that line is the best in the NFL. Remember how high we all were on Gilbert two years ago? Or, at least, most fans were. The guy has the potential to be an All-Pro & Pro Bowl quality Left Tackle in the NFL. He has fantastic lateral movement but his technique could be improved. Fortunately, technique is something that can be coached. Adams is almost a mirror image of Gilbert, but on the right side. Great lateral movement, good strength and the potential of this kid is absolutely phenomenal. He too needs to work on his technique but again, coaching should fix this. They're both built to be Zone Block offensive linemen.

Moving onto our "crown jewel" offensive linemen - Pouncey and DeCastro. These two will probably be perennial All-Pro & Pro Bowl players on this line for a decade. There's been a lot of bullshit talk about how Pouncey is overrated and how Mike is a much better player. This kind of talk should be laughed at and overlooked because, well, it's written for headlines. He's a Pro Bowl Center for a reason. Period. Now, DeCastro flashed last year in the very limited amount he got snaps. The only player he struggled against was Geno Atkins and let's be honest here, show me a guard that doesn't struggle against Atkins, let alone a rookie that is being asked to take him one-on-one.

The biggest problem on our offensive line isn't lack of talent or depth, it's lack of health. When our guys are healthy, they're one of the top units in the league. They need better communication and time to built chemistry with one another, but that will come in time.

Our line is fine. We don't need to spend a first round pick on an offensive linemen when there's other, more glaring holes on our roster. I'm especially excited at the prospect of Beachum and his potential in a ZBS given his athleticism. He needs to work on his strength and technique (where have we heard that before?) but those will come in the weight room and coaching, respectively.

Give our guys some time. They'll come around for Ben.

teegre
02-22-2013, 11:03 PM
I agree there is a decent chance that Warmack will be available at 17. But I would not say picking him is a 'must'. Let's see who drops first before making that kind of statement.

And there's reason why he isn't a OT. Even if he is, Luke Joeckel is still better.

I probably should have typed "HAVE to 'consider' drafting him"... because, you're right: if DeMontre Moore is there... or Jarvis Jones...

Eh... sometimes people play inside, because they can pull. Doesn't mean they're less if an athlete/not the better player.

kan_t
02-22-2013, 11:08 PM
I probably should have typed "HAVE to 'consider' drafting him"... because, you're right: if DeMontre Moore is there... or Jarvis Jones...

Eh... sometimes people play inside, because they can pull. Doesn't mean they're less if an athlete/not the better player.
Let put it this way. If his playing at LT is as good as him as a guard, he will be the LT. It doesn't matter if he call pull.

TheVet
02-22-2013, 11:14 PM
I'll throw my two cents in because we usually agree with each other but I'm not sure I agree with you here.

Pouncey, DeCastro, Adams and Gilbert is a good offensive line at worst. At best, that line is the best in the NFL. Remember how high we all were on Gilbert two years ago? Or, at least, most fans were. The guy has the potential to be an All-Pro & Pro Bowl quality Left Tackle in the NFL. He has fantastic lateral movement but his technique could be improved. Fortunately, technique is something that can be coached. Adams is almost a mirror image of Gilbert, but on the right side. Great lateral movement, good strength and the potential of this kid is absolutely phenomenal. He too needs to work on his technique but again, coaching should fix this. They're both built to be Zone Block offensive linemen.

Moving onto our "crown jewel" offensive linemen - Pouncey and DeCastro. These two will probably be perennial All-Pro & Pro Bowl players on this line for a decade. There's been a lot of bullshit talk about how Pouncey is overrated and how Mike is a much better player. This kind of talk should be laughed at and overlooked because, well, it's written for headlines. He's a Pro Bowl Center for a reason. Period. Now, DeCastro flashed last year in the very limited amount he got snaps. The only player he struggled against was Geno Atkins and let's be honest here, show me a guard that doesn't struggle against Atkins, let alone a rookie that is being asked to take him one-on-one.

The biggest problem on our offensive line isn't lack of talent or depth, it's lack of health. When our guys are healthy, they're one of the top units in the league. They need better communication and time to built chemistry with one another, but that will come in time.

Our line is fine. We don't need to spend a first round pick on an offensive linemen when there's other, more glaring holes on our roster. I'm especially excited at the prospect of Beachum and his potential in a ZBS given his athleticism. He needs to work on his strength and technique (where have we heard that before?) but those will come in the weight room and coaching, respectively.

Give our guys some time. They'll come around for Ben.

Actually, I think we largely agree here as well, but you're just a tad more optimistic. Definitely we agree on Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams (and admittedly, Adams is a bet - but we're both betting the same way). Our points of divergence are: (1) Gilbert took a big step backward last year, one that I'm finding difficult to ignore; and (2) We don't have the fifth OL position filled. ( Why, oh why do we seem to have so many head-cases on this team? it would be so nice to see Gilbert get his mind straight.

Anyway, given that we only have 3.5 out of 5 slots clearly filled with real talent, and we have no depth, I'm just saying that we're not done yet. Even without injuries, we don't have an entire NFL starting OL - not yet. No NFL OL can be really great with only 3.5ish NFL starters. And obviously, we need that depth, because injuries will happen.

But if Glibert gets his head right, and if Beechum steps up bigtime at OG, and if we can somehow find some depth (or avoid injuries) - then yes, we could have a great OL. But those are a lot of ifs. To be conservative, I think we do need to recognize that Gilbert's development has trended the wrong way, and that NFL-caliber depth will be required.

In my humble opinion, it just shows how deep we let the hole become while we collected baubles (WRs and Mendy) and LBs (somewhat ineffectively), and other things (but kudos on improving the CB situation, which also looked dismal a few years ago).

Also, I wonder about what might have been with Kraig Ubrik. If we hadn't screwed up the coaching side there, we'd really be solid. Instead, we somehow kept the very soft Ramon Foster. :banging:

TheVet
02-22-2013, 11:37 PM
thanks for the post, I've been waiting for it. I agree Colon is going to be gone, love his fire and everything, but unfortunately he does commit to many untimely penalties, is injury prone, and his price is too high.

I still say Starks will be on this team by the end of preseason.

Thanks for the thanks!

I can only hope that if Starks is on the team, we somehow get the good Starks of recent vintage - not the one that made us all shake our heads for so long, wondering why there was no pride, no effort. The man has a body custom-built by GOD for NFL OT. He could have been great if he wanted to.

Doesn't cutting Colon leave a lot of dead money? I thought I remember reading it was around $5 million.

I don't know, and actually, maybe that screws up my analysis. I've been assuming Colon needs to go for cap reasons. If not, and he's still here, it's almost as if he needs to start just based on pure ability and the big hole at LG. But I'm so ready to move on from that unfulfilled potential and all those "unforced errors"...

VaDave
02-22-2013, 11:49 PM
My pick if we're going to use a 1st rounder is Jonathan Cooper from UNC. Might not be as strong as Womack, but has much better feet and mobility. He's a much better ZBS prospect IMO.

harrison'samonster
02-23-2013, 12:14 AM
Thanks for the thanks!

I can only hope that if Starks is on the team, we somehow get the good Starks of recent vintage - not the one that made us all shake our heads for so long, wondering why there was no pride, no effort. The man has a body custom-built by GOD for NFL OT. He could have been great if he wanted to.





no problem. I appreciate the well thought out post. I agree about Starks. I have little understanding of the OL and no eye for talent at those positions, so when I say that I want Starks I don't necessarily think poorly of Gilbert, I just don't feel safe at this point leaving him guarding Ben's blind side.

TheVet
02-23-2013, 12:48 AM
Agreed, totally. In my mind, Gilbert could be the difference between great and awful. I wish I knew what was going on inside his head.

teegre
02-23-2013, 12:51 AM
Agreed, totally. In my mind, Gilbert could be the difference between great and awful. I wish I knew what was going on inside his head.

I remember this exact same discussion going on with Max Starks (back in 2005-2006).

TheVet
02-23-2013, 01:48 AM
I remember this exact same discussion going on with Max Starks (back in 2005-2006).

And with Starks, we got something like 7 bad years and 2 good years. :mad:

Maybe that means we'll break even, and have 7 good years and 2 bad ones with Gilbert! :applaudit:

But meanwhile, lets keep building our OL (and team) with high character guys who want to put in the effort to succeed. There's nothing more frustrating than watching a guy who has everything going for him, but doesn't care, and won't put in the effort.

I really hope that Gilbert decides to be the best player that he can be.

VaDave
02-23-2013, 08:08 AM
We draft Jonathan Copper and we'd have the best set of pulling guards since Wooten and Dickerson led the way for Jim Brown, and the reason why Jim Brown racked up the numbers he did. Now you know the rest of the story, and we may have an rare opportunity to have something similar.

Both of these guys can get out the box and nail guys in space, something we've not seen in the Burgh since Mullins and Davis were around.

FrancoLambert
02-23-2013, 09:49 AM
Our O-line, a piece of Swiss Cheese, suddenly morphs into the best O-line in the NFL in just one off-season?

Many project great things from Adams and especially Gilbert. Based on what?

I agree with this thread title, the O-line is still a big problem and needs help.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
02-23-2013, 09:59 AM
Our O-line, a piece of Swiss Cheese, suddenly morphs into the best O-line in the NFL in just one off-season?

Many project great things from Adams and especially Gilbert. Based on what?

I agree with this thread title, the O-line is still a big problem and needs help.

The big problem last year on the oline was health.

When we had a healthy oline for 3 games and those 3 games we ran for more than 125 yards.

Adams was having a good first year at rt esp in making a impact in the run game, then got injured.

Again the reason we were 8-8 last year had a lot to do with health.

StainlessStill
02-23-2013, 10:02 AM
The line simply isn't playing to the strength of its ability. Listen, the Haley experiment was just that in its first year. An experiment. I have all the faith that this transition is going to take advantage at what we do best and it starts up front. I love the talent. Gilbert is a natural LT. Beachum showed he can play. Pouncey is an ALL PRO beast at center. DeCastro will have the opportunity to start fast next season and Adams was a beast in the run game. All athletic bodies up front. I posted some time ago about the zone blocking scheme implemented before Dulac wrote about it in the PPG. If we can take advantage of our ability upfront and use them right, Ben will be able to see the field better and we can work on the run game like we want to. Our wideouts are fine IMO, even without Wallace. It's the offensive line that may surprise in 2013. Also love Will Johnson. I think he'll be a nice prospect.

steeltheone
02-23-2013, 12:11 PM
The line simply isn't playing to the strength of its ability. Listen, the Haley experiment was just that in its first year. An experiment. I have all the faith that this transition is going to take advantage at what we do best and it starts up front. I love the talent. Gilbert is a natural LT. Beachum showed he can play. Pouncey is an ALL PRO beast at center. DeCastro will have the opportunity to start fast next season and Adams was a beast in the run game. All athletic bodies up front. I posted some time ago about the zone blocking scheme implemented before Dulac wrote about it in the PPG. If we can take advantage of our ability upfront and use them right, Ben will be able to see the field better and we can work on the run game like we want to. Our wideouts are fine IMO, even without Wallace. It's the offensive line that may surprise in 2013. Also love Will Johnson. I think he'll be a nice prospect.

Pouncey is Good but his ALL Pro selection this year was a give me. He did not deserve it. He played very average.

I watched a dominating Center play weekly named Darmonti Dawson....Pouncey is not even close to that level.

It will be interesting to see if he becomes dominating once the line as a whole improves and play together for more than one week.

pczach
02-23-2013, 12:40 PM
I know Starks had a lot of lost years in Pittsburgh, but I have a different take on his frame of mind. In the Super Bowl years, I liked the way Starks could always find a way to get it done at crunchtime, even when he stunk the whole game. I really think the light when on when the Steelers cut him, and no other team wanted him. He was out of football. Ben vouched for him, and openly asked the coaching staff to bring him back. Since that time, I think his play has been very good, and I would like to see him stay on this team. He doesn't take plays off, and always gives good effort. That doesn't happen by accident. I think he's earned the right to play tackle with his play over the last couple years. We're paying players twice what he makes a year that can't even stay on the field. That's just my opinion.

VaDave
02-23-2013, 12:51 PM
Starks has a good year last year. Keep in mind, that was last year, and we've all seen what a difference a year makes. As a free agent, somebody is going to make him an offer more than the league minimum we will. I would love to have him back at the league min and what a bargain that would be, but his days as a front line starter is about over.

TheVet
02-23-2013, 06:14 PM
Oh the health:

Yeah, no doubt the health problems have been a killer, and we haven't seen the best of the OL, playing together healthy. But it's more than that. Remember, even if all of our projected starters are healthy, we're still at roughly 3 or 3.5 proven NFL starters, and that's being optimistic. So even assuming perfect health (which just won't happen), we are down bigtime in therms of at-the-line and above-the-line OL starters. And there's still the depth problem.


On Starks:

Yeah, I hear what you guys are saying about how good Starks has been the past few seasons. But is it a true change, or did it just kick in because he was fighting for a chance to stay in the league, taking minimum salary and looking for one more shot at a big contract? Seven years of sloth is hard to forget.

If I'm Steeler management, I certainly don't want to pay big dollars ("fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."). On the other hand, would he be happy/productive at vet minimum or a bit above? It's hard to see a fair scenario where Starks could work here - and to me, "fair" means "cheap", because Starks still owes this organization for quite a few years of overpayment.

teegre
02-23-2013, 07:45 PM
It will be interesting to see if he becomes dominating once the line as a whole improves and play together for more than one week.

That last part is key. Dawson played next to Duval Love and Alan Faneca... and John Jackson & Will Wolford... Whereas, Pouncey has been having to make up for the dumb-assery of The Colon & Chemo.

I'd like to see this O-line play as a unit (not a single snap has occurred with the four "blue chip" players playing together)... and see just how good Pouncey can truly be (when not covering for dolts).

pczach
02-23-2013, 10:47 PM
That last part is key. Dawson played next to Duval Love and Alan Faneca... and John Jackson & Will Wolford... Whereas, Pouncey has been having to make up for the dumb-assery of The Colon & Chemo.

I'd like to see this O-line play as a unit (not a single snap has occurred with the four "blue chip" players playing together)... and see just how good Pouncey can truly be (when not covering for dolts).

Are you saying that the talent next to him hasn't been as good as OL of the past? That's ridiculous! Big Ben makes them look terrible because he hangs on to the ball too long!:sofunny:

pczach
02-23-2013, 10:48 PM
Oh, I forgot, especially when they can't run the ball!:sofunny:

Steeldude
02-23-2013, 11:37 PM
On Starks:

Yeah, I hear what you guys are saying about how good Starks has been the past few seasons. But is it a true change, or did it just kick in because he was fighting for a chance to stay in the league, taking minimum salary and looking for one more shot at a big contract? Seven years of sloth is hard to forget.

If I'm Steeler management, I certainly don't want to pay big dollars ("fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."). On the other hand, would he be happy/productive at vet minimum or a bit above? It's hard to see a fair scenario where Starks could work here - and to me, "fair" means "cheap", because Starks still owes this organization for quite a few years of overpayment.

Starks has been the best tackle on the Steelers since Smith left. The Steelers were forced to pay Starks that money because they neglected the O-line for so long. They really didn't have much of a choice. I think Starks will stay for vet minimum. If he doesn't it going to be a long season at LT.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-24-2013, 12:30 AM
Yeah, thanks for the comment, but would you care to add some thoughtful content?
:doh:

Most would agree that they are optimistic about Pouncey and Decastro being solid at their positions. So thats 40% of the O line locked down fine.

Mike Adams has all the athletic ability, size and skill to be at the very worst, as good as Max Starks has been. Adams was a rookie, that lacked strength and didnt consistently set, punch and wasnt used to NFL pass rushers. He never should have been pencilled in at LT to start camp.

Marcus Gilbert is a better athlete than Max Starks is and should have been given reps at LT from the start of camp. Instead, the desire to have Adams at LT slowed his development. He has the fluid kick slide and strikes well to the chestplate of defenders in pass pro and is a good run blocker.

So, by an objective evaluation, we have 80% of the O line that has sufficient talent and skills to be productive. Only last piece is if Foster or Beechum rounds out the starting 5.

The O line is NOT a BIG problem. Doom and gloom is. (along with aging secondary, aging ILB, lacking of pass rush from the OLB position and Salary Cap space)

steeltheone
02-24-2013, 04:03 AM
That last part is key. Dawson played next to Duval Love and Alan Faneca... and John Jackson & Will Wolford... Whereas, Pouncey has been having to make up for the dumb-assery of The Colon & Chemo.

I'd like to see this O-line play as a unit (not a single snap has occurred with the four "blue chip" players playing together)... and see just how good Pouncey can truly be (when not covering for dolts).

I agree with you mostly.....But it was well known Dawson man handled players one on one. Pouncey does not.

I am aware he does not need to be as good as Dawson for the line to succeed if the others pull through. But there is a " false sense of greatness " due to his Pro Bowl status. No Steeler offensive lineman should have even been on the ballot.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-24-2013, 09:55 AM
I agree with you mostly.....But it was well known Dawson man handled players one on one. Pouncey does not.

I am aware he does not need to be as good as Dawson for the line to succeed if the others pull through. But there is a " false sense of greatness " due to his Pro Bowl status. No Steeler offensive lineman should have even been on the ballot.

Dawson vs Pouncey is like arguing what's better tequila, Don Julio or Patron. Different era's, different offensive schemes.

Guys across from Dawson knew they were in for a tough sunday, the night before. Dawson was used to pull a lot more than Pouncey. I think Pouncey has the respect of his opponents, but I dont think the level of Dawson's peers.

I do agree that there is some false hype due to Pro Bowl nominations. Pouncey seems to have been often injured the past couple seasons. I still think he is a solid center, but I have never thought we needed to drop a #1 pick on a C. Guys like JD Walton get taken in the 3rd round and do the job fine.

We have a talented group of good young linemen. I havent been this optimistic about our O line in the past 7 years. Its why I dont get the doom and gloom of this thread.

Many forget that we had a line of Starks, Kemoeatu, Hartwig, Darnell Stapleton, Colon not that long ago. I am not complaining about the group here now.

teegre
02-24-2013, 10:39 AM
I agree with you mostly.....But it was well known Dawson man handled players one on one. Pouncey does not.

I am aware he does not need to be as good as Dawson for the line to succeed if the others pull through. But there is a " false sense of greatness " due to his Pro Bowl status. No Steeler offensive lineman should have even been on the ballot.

Very true. Defenders used to lose sleep for three or four days before having to play Dawson. He truly was one of the best who EVER played.

Is Pouncey "that" good? Probably not... but, I still think that Pouncey is great, and more importantly, i brlieve that he is going to get even better once his supporting cast is not a couple of dimwits (The Colon & Chemo).

I guess my point is something like this:
Is Ike Taylor as good as Rod Woodson? No... but, who is???
Is Casey the Hutt as good as Joe Greene? No... but, who is???
Is Pouncey as good as Dawson? No... but, who is???

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-24-2013, 12:34 PM
Very true. Defenders used to lose sleep for three or four days before having to play Dawson. He truly was one of the best who EVER played.

Is Pouncey "that" good? Probably not... but, I still think that Pouncey is great, and more importantly, i brlieve that he is going to get even better once his supporting cast is not a couple of dimwits (The Colon & Chemo).

I guess my point is something like this:
Is Ike Taylor as good as Rod Woodson? No... but, who is???
Is Casey the Hutt as good as Joe Greene? No... but, who is???
Is Pouncey as good as Dawson? No... but, who is???

What you say is true.

Both Colon and Kemo were maulers. DeCastro is a mauler with better feet. I honestly hope we keep Foster, as he is a dependable and nasty interior player.
Beechum is more of a technician IMO and will likely struggle with larger interior linemen in our division at guard. I would rather see Beechum as the swing tackle.

Gimme Gilbert, DeCastro, Pouncey, Foster, Adams to start on gameday and dress Beechum and Legursky (or any other backup C/G) as reserves. We can win with that line.

steelerchad
02-24-2013, 01:14 PM
Our offensive line is young, not terrible. If we can get a young starting 5 to play together for a good part of the season, they'll be a strength on this team, not a weakness. O-lines need more time to gel as a unit than any other group on the field.
I think this line, with this personnel will be good next year and very good in 2 years.

TheVet
02-24-2013, 05:56 PM
Most would agree that they are optimistic about Pouncey and Decastro being solid at their positions. So thats 40% of the O line locked down fine.

Mike Adams has all the athletic ability, size and skill to be at the very worst, as good as Max Starks has been. Adams was a rookie, that lacked strength and didnt consistently set, punch and wasnt used to NFL pass rushers. He never should have been pencilled in at LT to start camp.

Marcus Gilbert is a better athlete than Max Starks is and should have been given reps at LT from the start of camp. Instead, the desire to have Adams at LT slowed his development. He has the fluid kick slide and strikes well to the chestplate of defenders in pass pro and is a good run blocker.

So, by an objective evaluation, we have 80% of the O line that has sufficient talent and skills to be productive. Only last piece is if Foster or Beechum rounds out the starting 5.

The O line is NOT a BIG problem. Doom and gloom is. (along with aging secondary, aging ILB, lacking of pass rush from the OLB position and Salary Cap space)

I agree with most of what you're saying, with a few exceptions. (1) You don't mention Gilbert's big second year regression, and that's a big warning sign to me. You never want to see a 2nd year player regress. This year will be important for him, but it's no lock. (2) I don't think Foster is NFL-starter material, but he's OK as a backup. (3) You don't mention the depth problem, and that's big. An OL needs some depth, something that we can definitely appreciate around here.

I'm assuming that Colon, Starks and Foster are gone - at least 2 of the 3. So that's why I say that "the OL is STILL a problem." But, let me also say that I'm very happy with the progress that we've made from a few years ago, and optimistic. It's just that we're definitely not there yet; the hole we're digging out of was very deep indeed.

wwhickok
02-24-2013, 07:05 PM
Doesn't cutting Colon leave a lot of dead money? I thought I remember reading it was around $5 million.

Pretty sure that's inaccurate. It would SAVE $5M, I believe, worst case scenario it'd create about 1.5M dead money (not positive if that is accurate either)

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-24-2013, 09:09 PM
I agree with most of what you're saying, with a few exceptions. (1) You don't mention Gilbert's big second year regression, and that's a big warning sign to me. You never want to see a 2nd year player regress. This year will be important for him, but it's no lock. (2) I don't think Foster is NFL-starter material, but he's OK as a backup. (3) You don't mention the depth problem, and that's big. An OL needs some depth, something that we can definitely appreciate around here.

I'm assuming that Colon, Starks and Foster are gone - at least 2 of the 3. So that's why I say that "the OL is STILL a problem." But, let me also say that I'm very happy with the progress that we've made from a few years ago, and optimistic. It's just that we're definitely not there yet; the hole we're digging out of was very deep indeed.

Gilbert only played 5 games and was placed on injured reserve. How can you judge a players "regression" when he didnt play that much? He should have been given reps at LT instead of Adams from the start of training camp.

Lack of depth?? Steelers havent had depth in over 10 years. Keydrick Vincent, Sean Mahan, Legursky, Tony Hills?? Cant have many pro bowlers for depth in the salary cap era.

steeltheone
02-24-2013, 11:06 PM
I have Given my opinions about Pouncey not being as good as he is advertised...But he is still good ( not great ) and he has proven that. The rest have proven zero...I really hope they come as advertised, if not we are looking at a few more 8 and 8 records.

harrison'samonster
02-24-2013, 11:13 PM
I have Given my opinions about Pouncey not being as good as he is advertised...But he is still good ( not great ) and he has proven that. The rest have proven zero...I really hope they come as advertised, if not we are looking at a few more 8 and 8 records.

very true. This season is hopefully going to answer a lot of questions for us. Questions about the OL, Brown and Sanders, Woodley, and possibly Redman and Dwyer.

The OL is were it starts. They need to remain healthy throughout the season.

teegre
02-25-2013, 01:24 AM
Depth at a cheap price:

R6: Khaled Holmes, OC/OG, USC
R7: Joe Madsen, OC/OG, WVU

If an interior player goes down, one of those two takes his place.
If an OT goes down, Beachum splits out to OT, and one of those guys plays LG.

Assuming Foster, Starks, & Legursky are gone...

Starters: Gilbert - Beachum - Pouncey - DD - Adams

Dress: Holmes & Madsen

TheVet
02-25-2013, 02:30 AM
Gilbert only played 5 games and was placed on injured reserve. How can you judge a players "regression" when he didnt play that much? He should have been given reps at LT instead of Adams from the start of training camp.
Gilbert was beaten like a drum in the exhibition games also. He looked as much like a rookie as Adams. He carried the same play into the season. If you watched the line, it was there to see plain as day.

Lack of depth?? Steelers havent had depth in over 10 years. Keydrick Vincent, Sean Mahan, Legursky, Tony Hills?? Cant have many pro bowlers for depth in the salary cap era.
Not having depth for a decade kind of proves my point. Let's turn a weakness into a strength, especially as our QB ages.

VaDave
02-25-2013, 07:21 AM
Pretty sure that's inaccurate. It would SAVE $5M, I believe, worst case scenario it'd create about 1.5M dead money (not positive if that is accurate either)

It depends when you cut him. There isn't much savings with cutting him prior to the March deadline. There is a significant savings if he is cut after June 1st, some of which will be a dead money hit in 2014. At least that's the way I understand it. What the exact dollars are is above my pay grade.

VaDave
02-25-2013, 07:34 AM
Our offensive line is young, not terrible. If we can get a young starting 5 to play together for a good part of the season, they'll be a strength on this team, not a weakness. O-lines need more time to gel as a unit than any other group on the field.
I think this line, with this personnel will be good next year and very good in 2 years.

Face it, there is going to be growing pains from Adams and Gilbert. The first thing is these two need to show they can stay healthy and on the field. Having your starting LT missing considerable time over the course of a season is a recipie for disaster. Of course having 4 guys playing RT in a season like last year is no cakewalk either.

Long term, health permitting, these are two kids with some decent upside. We've not seen their best football.

As for Pouncey, he would be aided greatly by better guard play. IMO, he's a solid player, but will struggle with when the a Cody or a Ngata is lined up on him face to face. For the same reason, don't expect him to be a G in this league. His game is quickness, not brute strength.

I still contend drafting Jonathan Cooper( LG UNC) would be a hugh boost to the performance of our OL, which will show up in much better rushing statistics, and overall offensive efficiency.

wwhickok
02-26-2013, 07:51 AM
It depends when you cut him. There isn't much savings with cutting him prior to the March deadline. There is a significant savings if he is cut after June 1st, some of which will be a dead money hit in 2014. At least that's the way I understand it. What the exact dollars are is above my pay grade.

90% sure you are 100% correct. I could be wrong but i think i read somewhere that it would save us $5M this year but create something like $1.5M dead money next year.

Hawaii 5-0
02-28-2013, 12:19 AM
Ed: Another Lineman in 1st Round? Not Likely

TUESDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2013
WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

Normally, the free agency period would begin Friday, but it kept being pushed back and now it’s almost into the Ides of March. The NFL now wants to push it back even more, push the draft back more, into May, and just stretch this offseason for every single bit of drama it can wring out of it.

Yet, at the same time, the new CBA won’t allow players to work out together at the team’s facility until the middle of April April and then only strength and conditioning coaches can work with the players. The practices, commonly known as OTAs, cannot take place until after the draft and then only 10 are permitted.

The union fought for those rules, not NFL management, because it wanted to limit what was required in the offseason in “voluntary” workouts.

When I first began covering the Steelers for the Post-Gazette, there were no OTAs, no offseason workouts, not even organized weight lifting by the team. Chuck Noll did not believe in it and he detested the fact that some teams paid their players to actually lift weights in a structured environment at their facilities. He could get away with it previously because no NFL teams believed in such an offseason routine. But when others started doing it, the Steelers fell behind; perhaps that is why their record in the 1980s was so dismal.

As more and more put in offseason “voluntary” workouts, other teams had to do it to keep up with the Joneses. It was getting out of hand, however, and the union pushed for rules and then tightened them to where we are today.

Onto some stuff:

--- Kevin Colbert says the Steelers could draft a guard at No. 17, and I believe he believes that because he believes strongly in going with the highest rated prospect – to a point. Kevin also was there when he and Bill Cowher, according to Dan Rooney, wanted to draft a guard in the first round in 2004 and instead Rooney stepped into the conversation and turned it toward the quarterback.

--- To remind those about what the line should look like to open 2013, barring injuries and other foreseen calamaties that often beset them, the Steelers offensive line should look like this from left to right: Marcus Gilbert (2nd round, 2011), Kelvin Beachum (7th round, 2012), Maurkice Pouncey (1st round, 2010), David DeCastro (1st round, 2012), Mike Adams (2nd round, 2012). After ignoring the offensive line high in the draft for a decade, the Steelers have poured 67 percent of their top two draft picks into it the past three years. They can stop now.

--- They better get some wide receivers and a lead running back or that offensive line will have no one to block for.

--- The Steelers have drafted five linemen in their six picks in the first two rounds the past three years, counting defensive end Cam Heyward. The only player in the top two rounds not a lineman was linebacker Jason Worilds, picked in the second round in 2010.

--- Ziggy Hood, their top selection in 2009, enters the final year of his contract. Typically, this is the year they would try to sign him to a new one, before the start of the season. Will they?

--- Worilds also enters the final year of his contract. If they believe he is the heir apparent to James Harrison, shouldn’t they try to extend him now?

--- The Steelers have been spot on for the most part in keeping the young players they want to keep, but that is about to end as both Mike Wallace and, perhaps Keenan Lewis, head elsewhere as unrestricted free agents. Some might lump Rashard Mendenhall in there as well.

--- The last young free agents the Steelers lost who they really would have preferred to keep were safety Chris Hope and receiver Antwaan Randle El in 2006 and receiver Nate Washington in 2009.

--- If Doug Legursky leaves as a free agent, John Malecki will take his place as the backup center/guard.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/120019-ed-another-lineman-in-1st-round-not-likely

VaDave
02-28-2013, 07:18 AM
Sorry, If Jonathan Cooper is available, the'd better pull the trigger. We have running backs and wide receivers, both of which are greatly enhanced by a fully functioning OL. Further more, consider the astounding lack of depth , Legursky & Malecki, after Starks and Foster leave for free agency,

As far as the other areas of need listed, and there are many, there is little first round value for those positions. If Cooper or Womack are gone, I'd trade down for more pics.

EbonySteel86
02-28-2013, 08:27 AM
We need to draft a FS that can play in Denver. Gotta a feeling we going to going up there a lot in the next few years.

Blacksburg Zach
02-28-2013, 08:59 AM
We need to draft a FS that can play in Denver. Gotta a feeling we going to going up there a lot in the next few years.

Why do the Steelers always go to Denver when the Steelers and the Broncos play each other? The Broncos haven't had to come to Pittsburgh since, what, 2006? Why do the schedule makers always have the Steelers go to Denver during Steelers-Broncos games knowing that Ryan Clark is incapable of playing there?

teegre
02-28-2013, 09:08 AM
Why do the Steelers always go to Denver when the Steelers and the Broncos play each other? The Broncos haven't had to come to Pittsburgh since, what, 2006? Why do the schedule makers always have the Steelers go to Denver during Steelers-Broncos games knowing that Ryan Clark is incapable of playing there?

You answered your own question: the schedule-makers (Goodell) know Ryan Clark can't play (less likely that the Steelers win).

Until James Harrison retires, don't expect any favors. In fact, even if the Steelers get the #1 seed, expect there to be some sort of new clause that sends them to play a road game in Denver. In fact, ALL of Pittsburgh's play-off games will be in Denver. Houston at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. SuperBowl... moved from New York to Denver.

Blacksburg Zach
02-28-2013, 09:23 AM
You answered your own question: the schedule-makers (Goodell) know Ryan Clark can't play (less likely that the Steelers win).

Until James Harrison retires, don't expect any favors. In fact, even if the Steelers get the #1 seed, expect there to be some sort of new clause that sends them to play a road game in Denver. In fact, ALL of Pittsburgh's play-off games will be in Denver. Houston at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. SuperBowl... moved from New York to Denver.

Of course, how could I forget that Goodell wants the Steelers to lose? And of course, with all Steelers playoff games now in Denver, Goodell can execute his master plan to fine James Harrison $50,000 every time the Steelers step into Sports Authority Field at Mile High and another $75,000 every time Harrison looks at Peyton Manning the wrong way. I should have known of Goodell's master plan all along.

steelfury02
02-28-2013, 09:49 AM
You answered your own question: the schedule-makers (Goodell) know Ryan Clark can't play (less likely that the Steelers win).

Until James Harrison retires, don't expect any favors. In fact, even if the Steelers get the #1 seed, expect there to be some sort of new clause that sends them to play a road game in Denver. In fact, ALL of Pittsburgh's play-off games will be in Denver. Houston at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, played in Denver. SuperBowl... moved from New York to Denver.

hilarious

if the Broncos come to Heinz come January, that means we're in a pretty good place. Oh, the memories. . . .:drink:

teegre
02-28-2013, 05:31 PM
Of course, how could I forget that Goodell wants the Steelers to lose? And of course, with all Steelers playoff games now in Denver, Goodell can execute his master plan to fine James Harrison $50,000 every time the Steelers step into Sports Authority Field at Mile High and another $75,000 every time Harrison looks at Peyton Manning the wrong way. I should have known of Goodell's master plan all along.

Rumor has it that Goodell is working on a serum , that will give James Harrison sickle-cell.

All of that money diverted for brain research is a ruse; it's all for sickle-cell research... searching for a cause... so that he can GIVE it to #92.

TheVet
02-28-2013, 07:33 PM
Sorry, If Jonathan Cooper is available, the'd better pull the trigger. We have running backs and wide receivers, both of which are greatly enhanced by a fully functioning OL. Further more, consider the astounding lack of depth , Legursky & Malecki, after Starks and Foster leave for free agency,

As far as the other areas of need listed, and there are many, there is little first round value for those positions. If Cooper or Womack are gone, I'd trade down for more pics.

I agree totally, but not sure about trading down for more picks. We have other important needs, and if there's a good player there that can fill one of them - gotta do it. But nothring would make me happier than solving the LG problem, and addressing OL depth at the same tile. This would also keep Beachum in the mix at OT, especially if Gilbert can't get his head right.

steeltheone
02-28-2013, 08:18 PM
Ed: Another Lineman in 1st Round? Not Likely

TUESDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2013
WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

Normally, the free agency period would begin Friday, but it kept being pushed back and now it’s almost into the Ides of March. The NFL now wants to push it back even more, push the draft back more, into May, and just stretch this offseason for every single bit of drama it can wring out of it.

Yet, at the same time, the new CBA won’t allow players to work out together at the team’s facility until the middle of April April and then only strength and conditioning coaches can work with the players. The practices, commonly known as OTAs, cannot take place until after the draft and then only 10 are permitted.

The union fought for those rules, not NFL management, because it wanted to limit what was required in the offseason in “voluntary” workouts.

When I first began covering the Steelers for the Post-Gazette, there were no OTAs, no offseason workouts, not even organized weight lifting by the team. Chuck Noll did not believe in it and he detested the fact that some teams paid their players to actually lift weights in a structured environment at their facilities. He could get away with it previously because no NFL teams believed in such an offseason routine. But when others started doing it, the Steelers fell behind; perhaps that is why their record in the 1980s was so dismal.

As more and more put in offseason “voluntary” workouts, other teams had to do it to keep up with the Joneses. It was getting out of hand, however, and the union pushed for rules and then tightened them to where we are today.

Onto some stuff:

--- Kevin Colbert says the Steelers could draft a guard at No. 17, and I believe he believes that because he believes strongly in going with the highest rated prospect – to a point. Kevin also was there when he and Bill Cowher, according to Dan Rooney, wanted to draft a guard in the first round in 2004 and instead Rooney stepped into the conversation and turned it toward the quarterback.

--- To remind those about what the line should look like to open 2013, barring injuries and other foreseen calamaties that often beset them, the Steelers offensive line should look like this from left to right: Marcus Gilbert (2nd round, 2011), Kelvin Beachum (7th round, 2012), Maurkice Pouncey (1st round, 2010), David DeCastro (1st round, 2012), Mike Adams (2nd round, 2012). After ignoring the offensive line high in the draft for a decade, the Steelers have poured 67 percent of their top two draft picks into it the past three years. They can stop now.

--- They better get some wide receivers and a lead running back or that offensive line will have no one to block for.

--- The Steelers have drafted five linemen in their six picks in the first two rounds the past three years, counting defensive end Cam Heyward. The only player in the top two rounds not a lineman was linebacker Jason Worilds, picked in the second round in 2010.

--- Ziggy Hood, their top selection in 2009, enters the final year of his contract. Typically, this is the year they would try to sign him to a new one, before the start of the season. Will they?

--- Worilds also enters the final year of his contract. If they believe he is the heir apparent to James Harrison, shouldn’t they try to extend him now?

--- The Steelers have been spot on for the most part in keeping the young players they want to keep, but that is about to end as both Mike Wallace and, perhaps Keenan Lewis, head elsewhere as unrestricted free agents. Some might lump Rashard Mendenhall in there as well.

--- The last young free agents the Steelers lost who they really would have preferred to keep were safety Chris Hope and receiver Antwaan Randle El in 2006 and receiver Nate Washington in 2009.

--- If Doug Legursky leaves as a free agent, John Malecki will take his place as the backup center/guard.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/120019-ed-another-lineman-in-1st-round-not-likely

Maybe Hope...The Steelers never have paid Wideouts big money ( except Ward) Washington dropped every other pass but had " huge potential' like Sanders but is nothing more than an average 3 wideout ( like Sanders) Randle El was what he was in Whiz's offense, but nothing worth paying big bucks for.

Harrison needs cut ( unless he takes a big cut in pay) and Worilds is another draft mistake to this point. Hopefully he improves this year and we can sign him cheap.

Steel_Bus_24
03-03-2013, 11:16 AM
Didn't the Steelers have DeCastro graded as a Top Ten pick last year????

If Jonathan Cooper is close to that, I have a hard time believing they're going to pass up on him

They have been nearly fanatical when it comes to BPA

VaDave
03-03-2013, 04:04 PM
If Cooper is on the board and we don't take him I'd be flabbergasted. If you like what you saw out of DeCastro,, you need to check out Cooper's highlights from UNC. I know I've been sounding like a Johnny One Note on this guy, but the kid can play.

Most folks are thinking of playing Beachum at LG, and use the pick for something else, but there is nothing in the first twenty picks that I can see that would be a better value. If you draft a defensive player, they are going to sit a year. For offensive skill players like RB and WR, you end up paying through the nose for them, and their careers are relatively short.

Trading down is an option, but with a good possibility that both Starks and Foster are going to leave via FA, leaves us with only Legurski and Malecki for depth. The talent level in this years draft for OL drops off the cliff after Womack and Cooper are off the board. I wouldn't bet the farm at Colon's return either. Even if he did, just how many innings can you expect out of him before he gets hurt again?

Hey, this just my opinion, and I'm sure as heck no expert. I've been wrong as rain before.

fer522
03-03-2013, 04:26 PM
I they keep Starks I don't see us picking OL in R1

VaDave
03-03-2013, 05:29 PM
As much as I would love to see Max stick, Starks is going to get around a $2 million two, year deal at least in free agency, and a starting job. At best he would be offered a vet minimum contract and a spot on the bench with the Steelers until either Adams or Gilbert went down.

Why would he sign with us? Keep in mind, this more than likely be Starks last chance at a decent pay for the rest of his life.

Even if we did hang on to Starks, Legurski is a stop gap at center at best, and a liability at either guard position. Malecki is another underpowered lineman, better suited for center than guard as well, If either Beachum ( the assumed LG at this point) or DeCastro go down, we are screwed royally. The best thing about Beachum is his position flexibility. He's got the brains to mentally understand all 5 positions ( no small feat) and skills to execute reasonable well.

I guess we'll see my friend.

Steelers5895
03-03-2013, 07:15 PM
Although our OL is not a top 10 OL, I think with the youth, age and new coach, its low on our worry list.

Even with the potential loss of Starks and Colon, we still have young players and depth.

Both Adams and Beechum played well late and will only get better
We will have Decastro hopefully all year
Re-signing Legurksy is a big key for depth
Pouncey is the #1 C in the league
Gilbert is solid when he plays.

LT- Adams
LG- Decastro
C- POuncey
RG- Foster
RT- Gilbert

If they stay healthy they are big and athletic and will be fine.

More pressing needs elsewhere

TheVet
03-04-2013, 05:47 AM
Although our OL is not a top 10 OL, I think with the youth, age and new coach, its low on our worry list.

Even with the potential loss of Starks and Colon, we still have young players and depth.

Both Adams and Beechum played well late and will only get better
We will have Decastro hopefully all year
Re-signing Legurksy is a big key for depth
Pouncey is the #1 C in the league
Gilbert is solid when he plays.

LT- Adams
LG- Decastro
C- POuncey
RG- Foster
RT- Gilbert

If they stay healthy they are big and athletic and will be fine.

More pressing needs elsewhere

Gilbert wasn't solid when he played last year - he took a big step backwards in his second year. Also, DeCastro is RG, not LG. Also, Foster is unlikely to still be around, so LG is vacant. Colon and Starks are probably gone, so we're down a starter at LG and at least two backups. We need more players for depth.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
03-04-2013, 08:08 AM
Gilbert wasn't solid when he played last year - he took a big step backwards in his second year. Also, DeCastro is RG, not LG. Also, Foster is unlikely to still be around, so LG is vacant. Colon and Starks are probably gone, so we're down a starter at LG and at least two backups. We need more players for depth.

I believe you have been pleading that oline is a major need but let's look at this based on %s

Based on starters and that they will be around or at least 2 more years

Qb- we need 1 starter and we have that in Ben so need in 0% for that position
Rb- you need 1 starter and we don't have a full time back (Dwyer and redman are backups) so need is 100% for the position
Wr- you need 3 good starters ( z, x, slot ) in this pass happy league we have two brown and sanders so we need one more so need would be 33%
Tight end- this is a rare case cause of millers injury so ill just give it a 40% need at the moment
Oline- 5 starters and we currently have 4 Adams,Gilbert, dd, pouncey so we need would be 20%
Dline- need 3 starters and we currently have Brett but this is his last year but you still have his backup in heyward, hood, and the McClendon so need is 0%
Linebacker- 4 starters and based on the criteria of being here for 2 more years we have Timmons and Woodley so need is 50%
Cornerback- starters 3 now a days we have Ike, Lewis and Allen need 0%
Safety- starters 2 and Clark and Troy most likely wont be around for 2 years so safety is 100%

As you can see based on starters alone rb, safety, linebacker, te, wr are our biggest needs. And what I mean by all this is having 4 of 5 lineman is pretty good when thinking of a team as a puzzle but we have bigger pieces meaning starters missing at other positions. Now you can argue depth is important for oline as is very every position but depth is for rounds 4+

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-04-2013, 09:23 AM
Gilbert wasn't solid when he played last year - he took a big step backwards in his second year. Also, DeCastro is RG, not LG. Also, Foster is unlikely to still be around, so LG is vacant. Colon and Starks are probably gone, so we're down a starter at LG and at least two backups. We need more players for depth.

I still dont get how you definitively say that Gilbert regressed last year when he only played 5 games?

Steelers pencilled in Adams in at LT in training camp, when IMO they should have put Gilbert at LT and let him get those practice reps. I think we are going to be fine with Gilbert at LT and we will see when he gets a full offseason, preseason, at the position.

VaDave
03-04-2013, 02:13 PM
I believe you have been pleading that oline is a major need but let's look at this based on %s

Based on starters and that they will be around or at least 2 more years

Qb- we need 1 starter and we have that in Ben so need in 0% for that position
Rb- you need 1 starter and we don't have a full time back (Dwyer and redman are backups) so need is 100% for the position
Wr- you need 3 good starters ( z, x, slot ) in this pass happy league we have two brown and sanders so we need one more so need would be 33%
Tight end- this is a rare case cause of millers injury so ill just give it a 40% need at the moment
Oline- 5 starters and we currently have 4 Adams,Gilbert, dd, pouncey so we need would be 20%
Dline- need 3 starters and we currently have Brett but this is his last year but you still have his backup in heyward, hood, and the McClendon so need is 0%
Linebacker- 4 starters and based on the criteria of being here for 2 more years we have Timmons and Woodley so need is 50%
Cornerback- starters 3 now a days we have Ike, Lewis and Allen need 0%
Safety- starters 2 and Clark and Troy most likely wont be around for 2 years so safety is 100%

As you can see based on starters alone rb, safety, linebacker, te, wr are our biggest needs. And what I mean by all this is having 4 of 5 lineman is pretty good when thinking of a team as a puzzle but we have bigger pieces meaning starters missing at other positions. Now you can argue depth is important for oline as is very every position but depth is for rounds 4+

I'm still trying to figure this one out and willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in the meantime... I'm having a little difficulty with the formula...

I'm pretty sure that all of the areas you suggest are going to be addressed in this draft. I'm not so sure about allocating our 1st round pick for a running back, 2nd round a safety, 3rd a linebacker, if that was what you meant.

TheVet
03-04-2013, 02:28 PM
I believe you have been pleading that oline is a major need but let's look at this based on %s

Based on starters and that they will be around or at least 2 more years

Qb- we need 1 starter and we have that in Ben so need in 0% for that position
Rb- you need 1 starter and we don't have a full time back (Dwyer and redman are backups) so need is 100% for the position
Wr- you need 3 good starters ( z, x, slot ) in this pass happy league we have two brown and sanders so we need one more so need would be 33%
Tight end- this is a rare case cause of millers injury so ill just give it a 40% need at the moment
Oline- 5 starters and we currently have 4 Adams,Gilbert, dd, pouncey so we need would be 20%
Dline- need 3 starters and we currently have Brett but this is his last year but you still have his backup in heyward, hood, and the McClendon so need is 0%
Linebacker- 4 starters and based on the criteria of being here for 2 more years we have Timmons and Woodley so need is 50%
Cornerback- starters 3 now a days we have Ike, Lewis and Allen need 0%
Safety- starters 2 and Clark and Troy most likely wont be around for 2 years so safety is 100%

As you can see based on starters alone rb, safety, linebacker, te, wr are our biggest needs. And what I mean by all this is having 4 of 5 lineman is pretty good when thinking of a team as a puzzle but we have bigger pieces meaning starters missing at other positions. Now you can argue depth is important for oline as is very every position but depth is for rounds 4+

I'm having difficulty understanding what you're saying here. From what I can decipher, you don't worry about depth, only starters?

But on the O-line, we need one more legitimate starter at LG, and perhaps another at OT if Gilbert doesn't get back on track. And we have no depth - especially if we lose all of Starks, Colon and Foster. That's just too thin. Even if we have zero serious injuries (which won't happen), it's thin.

I'm not saying that OL is our only need, but it's still a big need. Compare the OL to LB, for example: all four LBs are legitimate, proven NFL starters, and the backups are unproven, but not clearly weak. Whereas on the OK, three proven starters (I don't count Gilbert), and the backups are weak - with unfilled slots remaining.

TheVet
03-04-2013, 02:50 PM
I still dont get how you definitively say that Gilbert regressed last year when he only played 5 games?

I know this because I replay the offensive plays from every game in slow-motion just to focus on the OL - it's been a hobby since our OL self-destructed about 5-6 years ago, and I became curious about what was going wrong - was it Arians, the schemes, or the OL personnel? (It was all of the above, actually). Anyway, as I result I have a really good feel for who is doing what. I encourage you to try that, I've learned a lot!

Anyway, regarding Gilbert: in the preseason, he actually looked more like a rookie than Adams. He also didn't seem to bring much effort, he gave up after being beaten. I thought he might be out of shape. Anyway, he continued his poor performance in the regular season, and then was injured. He wasn't the same guy who improved steadily in his rookie year.

I'm not the only one who noticed the regression, either. You could google around for it, or even go back in these forums. But if you watch Gilbert closely, I'd be shocked if you don't see it.

tanda10506
03-04-2013, 03:12 PM
We've spent enough picks on O lineman. Pouncey, Adams, Gilbert, DeCastro, and Beachum all in just the last few years. That's all that can be done, it's just time for the players to start stepping up and staying uninjured. It's not a coincidence that other teams had their entire starting 5 play all 16 games yet our O line is always so injured that we have already gone through our backups and have started to start practice squad guys for the last 4 years. I agree the O line is still a problem, even though they got MUCH better last year, but throwing more players at it is not what's going to fix it, else it would have been fixed already. Just like the rest of the entire team, it's going to take dedication and a change of heart.

steelfury02
03-04-2013, 04:29 PM
We've spent enough picks on O lineman. Pouncey, Adams, Gilbert, DeCastro, and Beachum all in just the last few years. That's all that can be done, it's just time for the players to start stepping up and staying uninjured. It's not a coincidence that other teams had their entire starting 5 play all 16 games yet our O line is always so injured that we have already gone through our backups and have started to start practice squad guys for the last 4 years. I agree the O line is still a problem, even though they got MUCH better last year, but throwing more players at it is not what's going to fix it, else it would have been fixed already. Just like the rest of the entire team, it's going to take dedication and a change of heart.

tanda, I actually took some auto mental break from the O-line problems with all the locker-room nonsense talk and free agency stuff - thanks for helping me to remember:chuckle:

don't you get me started on the conditioning and training tangent again. It really is mind boggling how we've gotten almost no stretch of time with the same O-line. I remember see Decastro go down and thinking "This is 1 large joke - this just doesn't happen to 1 corp for so long - even the new guys HAVE to get injured":banging:

FrancoLambert
03-04-2013, 05:50 PM
The Steelers have so many needs at so many positions Colbert is likely to go with a strict BPA at every pick and not force a pick based on need at a certain position.

It is his usual MO.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-04-2013, 05:56 PM
I know this because I replay the offensive plays from every game in slow-motion just to focus on the OL - it's been a hobby since our OL self-destructed about 5-6 years ago, and I became curious about what was going wrong - was it Arians, the schemes, or the OL personnel? (It was all of the above, actually). Anyway, as I result I have a really good feel for who is doing what. I encourage you to try that, I've learned a lot!

Anyway, regarding Gilbert: in the preseason, he actually looked more like a rookie than Adams. He also didn't seem to bring much effort, he gave up after being beaten. I thought he might be out of shape. Anyway, he continued his poor performance in the regular season, and then was injured. He wasn't the same guy who improved steadily in his rookie year.

I'm not the only one who noticed the regression, either. You could google around for it, or even go back in these forums. But if you watch Gilbert closely, I'd be shocked if you don't see it.

Thanks, but I am actually an accredited youth football coach and O line has been an interest since I played the position over 20 years ago and I still coach it. My O line coach played at Michigan St back in the day and I've learned from former pros that played for then O line Coach Joe Tiller (he later had some success at Purdue). I too have a DVR and watch line play very closely.

I watched a lot of the line play and Gilbert has a good kick slide, punch and agility for a young guy his size. It impressed me 2 years ago when he had to play vs Trent Cole. I think injury hampered him and the idea that he was slid over to RT in favor of Adams at LT.

Adams was exactly what I thought. A guy that lacked the strength and consistency of his set to be solid in pass protection as a rookie. He too has great feet for his size and I expect him to get better after an offseason in the weight room and with an O line coach to drive him.

I dont see the bleak outlook that some here do. I think we have a good crop of young talent on the line and adding a veteran interior lineman thru FA or a young mauler in the draft , or just signing Foster....will solidify things nicely.

TheVet
03-04-2013, 06:48 PM
My outlook is positive as well; I see a lot of upside for this OL, and it's especially encouraging to see how far we've come - all the way from the very bottom tier. We just need one more starter, normal improvement from Adams, status quo from Pouncey and DeCastro, and Gilbert to answer the big question - hopefully he shows up in shape. But we also need to address depth. Seriously, we are very likely to lose both Starks and Colon, and Foster is a weak maybe (and not a starter anyway).

We have a chance to turn a weakness into a strength, but we're not done yet! One more high quality draft pick at G would be huge. Ben's getting older, and it's time we gave him a truly strong OL. It would be a great investment

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-04-2013, 07:46 PM
My outlook is positive as well; I see a lot of upside for this OL, and it's especially encouraging to see how far we've come - all the way from the very bottom tier. We just need one more starter, normal improvement from Adams, status quo from Pouncey and DeCastro, and Gilbert to answer the big question - hopefully he shows up in shape. But we also need to address depth. Seriously, we are very likely to lose both Starks and Colon, and Foster is a weak maybe (and not a starter anyway).

We have a chance to turn a weakness into a strength, but we're not done yet! One more high quality draft pick at G would be huge. Ben's getting older, and it's time we gave him a truly strong OL. It would be a great investment

I think Foster is serviceable. Better than Legursky, Darnell Stapleton, Kemoeatu and other that have been there in the past. I think he is more physical than Beechum, so I have no problem with him on the line.

Starks and Colon can go for all I care. One cant stay on the field and the other will get overpaid for his talent level. Can always find guys in the 3rd round to play on the inside, but I think we have good depth if we look at Beechum at backup OT, with Legursky backing up inside and adding a rookie.

austinfrench76
03-04-2013, 10:42 PM
Left to Right...Adams-Foster-Pouncey-Decastro-Gilbert (with Beachum backing up the Right side and Legursky on the Left). That's not a problem IMO but AS ALWAYS if someone gets hurt...Let the shuffling begin. I know Foster is probably gone but a man can dream right?

TheVet
03-05-2013, 12:48 AM
I think Foster is serviceable. Better than Legursky, Darnell Stapleton, Kemoeatu and other that have been there in the past. I think he is more physical than Beechum, so I have no problem with him on the line.

Starks and Colon can go for all I care. One cant stay on the field and the other will get overpaid for his talent level. Can always find guys in the 3rd round to play on the inside, but I think we have good depth if we look at Beechum at backup OT, with Legursky backing up inside and adding a rookie.
I would agree that "Foster is serviceable," but only in a backup role. He's in over his head as an NFL starter. I'm glad to move on from Kemoeatu, Stapeton, Essex, etc. Legursky is OK as a backup. We have about three holes to fill, and I agree that we can find 3rd rounders/FAs. But we have a big hole at starting LG.
Left to Right...Adams-Foster-Pouncey-Decastro-Gilbert (with Beachum backing up the Right side and Legursky on the Left). That's not a problem IMO but AS ALWAYS if someone gets hurt...Let the shuffling begin. I know Foster is probably gone but a man can dream right?

I dream of Foster being gone. No seriously, I'd be happy with him as a cheap backup, but he'll probably be gone. A starting NFL line can usually tolerate one big weak link (that would be Foster), but I'd love to see a starting five with nothing but true NFL-caliber starters.

We just need one more legitimate starter. If we can draft a top-notch OG, stay reasonably healthy, see normal progress from Adams, and have Gilbert move past his motivation/conditioning/head/whatever problems, this OL could turn into a huge strength!

VaDave
03-05-2013, 08:17 AM
Foster will get a starters position elsewhere at starter pay. I would be surprised if he returns, but I wouldn't show him the door if he stays. He's still young, he does have some position flexibility, and assuming Beachum or Malecki can play center, Legs is a goner for sure.

RE: History XLIII

A lot of us dumped on Kemo, because of his penchant for penalties, and other misdeeds, but truth be told, the guy had some serious knee problems he gutted out most of his career here. If you have any old games on DVD, watch him run. Ouch! It hurts just to watch it.

Stapleton was the same way. It's been said he had the knees of a 40 year old. I was somewhat surprised he was cut after SuperBowl 43, but now that it's known he was a spent shell, it makes sense,

Hartwig, the center for XLIII had bad knees too. So there we are watching that Superbowl game, and how many of us were wondering why our running game was sporatic, against a Cardinal defense that one could hardly consider the second coming of the 76 Steelers?

teegre
03-05-2013, 08:41 AM
A Chargers fan was watching a Steelers game with me, and he pointed to 68 and asked, "Who's that? That dude can block."

I replied, "Yes... but, wait."

No sooner had the words left my mouth, when Kemo pushed a defender, drawing a personal foul penalty.

From the neck down, Kemo could play well against most NFL defenders; from the neck up, he was a potential liability on every single play.

VaDave
03-05-2013, 08:48 AM
I'm pretty sure he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.... If you remember, he was the first college kid that got national attention for stomping a guy on the ground in college, AND we took him because of his nasty streak. Go figure..

Funny thing, his brother over in Baltimore seems to play with a level head....

teegre
03-05-2013, 12:54 PM
Lets assume it's not an O-lineman in R1. Lets assume that the 17th pick is either OLB or S... (or Tavon Austin).

People are talking about Warmack & Cooper, but for R2, why is no one talking about arguably the most versatile OL to possibly ever come out of football: Barrett Jones?

He played LT... very well.
He played LG... very well.
He played OC... very well.
He's even played a few games at RG and at RT... very well.

If the Steelers are going to take an OL, might he not be the best value? Because, he is a player in R2who can start ANYWHERE on the line. Warmack is dominant; Cooper is athletic; but, they would "cost" the Steelers a R1 pick. Whereas, Jones in R2 is a far, far better value.

VaDave
03-05-2013, 01:43 PM
We have "versatile" in Beachum, Foster, and Legurski at this point, but what we need is "great". I'm fairly certain that Barrett Jones doesn't have the positional upside of either Warmack or Cooper, nor is he as job ready.

T,

youTube yourself some video on Cooper. Then visualize what pairing him with DeCastro, and with Pouncey in the middle, the mayhem three incredibly mobile linemen can do to a defense.

BTW, I understand where you're coming from, I'm just thinking if Cooper is still on the board, we got to take him. Now if he isn't, swaping picks to get Jones, I'm all for it

teegre
03-05-2013, 04:25 PM
We have "versatile" in Beachum, Foster, and Legurski at this point, but what we need is "great". I'm fairly certain that Barrett Jones doesn't have the positional upside of either Warmack or Cooper, nor is he as job ready.

T,

youTube yourself some video on Cooper. Then visualize what pairing him with DeCastro, and with Pouncey in the middle, the mayhem three incredibly mobile linemen can do to a defense.

BTW, I understand where you're coming from, I'm just thinking if Cooper is still on the board, we got to take him. Now if he isn't, swaping picks to get Jones, I'm all for it

Jones is versitile AND good.

Trust me, I am never against drafting linemen. But, my point is that some people are talking about Warmack/Cooper... but, there is no mention of ANY of lineman. Sort of odd... right?

Think about it this way:
Warmack & Cooper are filet mignon. Beachum is a cheeseburger w/ bacon. (Beachum is good, but not great.)

Somewhere in between is Barrett Jones... and much closer to Warmack/Cooper than to Beachum. Jones is like a T-bone: not quite filet mignon, but much better than a bacon-cheeseburger.

Using these anaolgies, the Steelers have had a steady diet of bologna (Hartwig, Kemo, et cetera)... so, a bacon-cheesebruger (Beachum) is still an upgrade. And, while I really want filet mignon, I'd be very happy with a T-bone.

AND... with that T-bone, I get an OLB or a S.

harrison'samonster
03-05-2013, 04:28 PM
very nice analogies. thanks!

FrancoLambert
03-05-2013, 05:20 PM
Jones is versitile AND good.

Trust me, I am never against drafting linemen. But, my point is that some people are talking about Warmack/Cooper... but, there is no mention of ANY of lineman. Sort of odd... right?

Think about it this way:
Warmack & Cooper are filet mignon. Beachum is a cheeseburger w/ bacon. (Beachum is good, but not great.)

Somewhere in between is Barrett Jones... and much closer to Warmack/Cooper than to Beachum. Jones is like a T-bone: not quite filet mignon, but much better than a bacon-cheeseburger.

Using these anaolgies, the Steelers have had a steady diet of bologna (Hartwig, Kemo, et cetera)... so, a bacon-cheesebruger (Beachum) is still an upgrade. And, while I really want filet mignon, I'd be very happy with a T-bone.

AND... with that T-bone, I get an OLB or a S.

Great analogies.

But I think my cholesterol level just shot up about 100 points from reading your post.

VaDave
03-05-2013, 06:36 PM
Jones is versitile AND good.

Trust me, I am never against drafting linemen. But, my point is that some people are talking about Warmack/Cooper... but, there is no mention of ANY of lineman. Sort of odd... right?

Think about it this way:
Warmack & Cooper are filet mignon. Beachum is a cheeseburger w/ bacon. (Beachum is good, but not great.)

Somewhere in between is Barrett Jones... and much closer to Warmack/Cooper than to Beachum. Jones is like a T-bone: not quite filet mignon, but much better than a bacon-cheeseburger.

Using these anaolgies, the Steelers have had a steady diet of bologna (Hartwig, Kemo, et cetera)... so, a bacon-cheesebruger (Beachum) is still an upgrade. And, while I really want filet mignon, I'd be very happy with a T-bone.



AND... with that T-bone, I get an OLB or a S.

Hey I like food to, but with my cardiologist breathing down my neck, can we switch to fish and skinless chicken analogies??? and no salt either.....

I hear ya my friend, but it would a HUGE error to pass on Cooper IMO ( for whatever that's worth, a cup of decaf with a Splenda in it maybe?). You just can't pass up talent like that. Anyway, we'll see, will we not?

VaDave
03-05-2013, 06:39 PM
Great analogies.

But I think my cholesterol level just shot up about 100 points from reading your post.

Funny thing was as I was reading your post I got an automated call from my cardiologist's office telling me it was time to schedule an appointment.... true story. I didn't realize their monitoring my internet usage......

fer522
03-05-2013, 06:48 PM
Jones is versitile AND good.

Trust me, I am never against drafting linemen. But, my point is that some people are talking about Warmack/Cooper... but, there is no mention of ANY of lineman. Sort of odd... right?

Think about it this way:
Warmack & Cooper are filet mignon. Beachum is a cheeseburger w/ bacon. (Beachum is good, but not great.)

Somewhere in between is Barrett Jones... and much closer to Warmack/Cooper than to Beachum. Jones is like a T-bone: not quite filet mignon, but much better than a bacon-cheeseburger.

Using these anaolgies, the Steelers have had a steady diet of bologna (Hartwig, Kemo, et cetera)... so, a bacon-cheesebruger (Beachum) is still an upgrade. And, while I really want filet mignon, I'd be very happy with a T-bone.

AND... with that T-bone, I get an OLB or a S.


Dude you made me fucking hungry!!!!!

teegre
03-05-2013, 06:53 PM
This thread went from good to delicious. :wink02:

Some of the funnier posts that I've read in a while. Good job guys.

TheVet
03-05-2013, 10:43 PM
Who cares about the OL, I'm ordering out for a garbage pizza.

SteelersCanada
03-06-2013, 12:58 PM
DeCastro focused on second season

Teresa Varley

A year ago Steelers’ guard David DeCastro had just finished working out at the NFL Scouting Combine and his sights were set on his pro day at Stanford. It was all in preparation for the NFL Draft, when his football future would ultimately be determined after he was the Steelers top pick, taken with the 24th overall selection.

Fast forward to this year and DeCastro’s focus is still firmly set on one thing and one thing only - football. Behind him is everything that goes with being a rookie, from adjusting to new teammates, city and everything the NFL brings, and ahead of him is just continuing to grow as a player.

“There were a lot of new things, a lot of changes and adjustments last year,” said DeCastro. “It is different than college. You are living on your own and it’s a real job. There was a lot of growing. It’s a maturation process that you don’t think about until you get there. I am glad it’s out of the way and that I fully adjusted to it.

“Having a full offseason now is huge. There are a lot of things you don’t have to worry about, the little things you wonder what you should do here or there. You now know everybody in the building and all of your teammates. You just go out and play football and worry about what you have to do on the football field.”

He has already begun preparing for the 2013 season, spending a good portion of each day working out and getting in the best shape possible, with his goal to start of the season in a much better fashion than he did 2012.

Many had pegged DeCastro to be the team’s starting right guard when last season kicked off, but that never came to fruition after he suffered a severe knee injury in the team’s preseason win over the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 25 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“It was extremely frustrating,” said DeCastro, taking a brief break from working out. “It’s not how you want things to start. It’s not how you dream things up. But that is life. Things happen and you can’t explain it. It was a good learning experience. I learned a lot about myself. I am feeling good now and I am excited to be healthy going into the season.”

What DeCastro learned about himself was not how he could handle the physical test of battling the injury, but instead the mental test, the daily rehab sessions alone while teammates were practicing and preparing for games.

“You learn a lot when you are injured about your mental toughness and just being able to handle it all,” said DeCastro. “You have to control what you can control. When you are doing rehab it stinks in the beginning. It’s tough. Your leg doesn’t do the things that it used to. But it’s harder mentally than physically. It’s just learning to control that and taking it day by day. You get a lot stronger.”

What helped DeCastro through some of the tough times was fighting to get back on the field. He was placed on injured reserve/designated for return, which instead of ending his season allowed him the opportunity to work his way back. DeCastro was activated from the list on Nov. 26, and eventually started the last three games of the season at right guard.

“I didn’t know what they would do about putting me on injured reserve,” said DeCastro. “As a rookie you don’t say much. It was their decision and I was happy to do whatever they chose.

“I was definitely happy to get back out there. Obviously I have to get a lot better. The experience will hope going into the future.”

DeCastro is looking forward to offseason workouts and OTAs, when he will be able to work with new line coach Jack Bicknell, and is eager for the 2013 season to arrive.

“I am extremely anxious. I have a lot to prove,” said DeCastro. “That is why I am working out every day in the offseason training and preparing. It’s like any other offseason where I am trying to get in the best shape that I can and set myself up the best I can for the new season.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/DeCastro-focused-on-second-season/1c02b437-d8ee-4218-897c-b52b8f37e55a

VaDave
03-06-2013, 02:45 PM
Bright kid. I was watching him in the last Dallas game the other night. He's a keeper for sure. Beachum is no dummy either......

teegre
03-06-2013, 02:51 PM
Bright kid. I was watching him in the last Dallas game the other night. He's a keeper for sure. Beachum is no dummy either......

I concur.

Beachum was a Kugler pick. They had other guys rated higher, but Kugler wanted Beachum. He saw a smart, smart kid... and begged for him to be drafted. Great pick for round seven.

I watched DD for two seasons... and waited. Then, he was drafted... and I had to wait one more year. I will be ecstatic when he starts to play next season. He is a 305 pound fullback (I have never seen a lineman block in the open field so well).

Oh, and DD had that one bad game, when he came back EARLY from a knee injury and was asked to block Geno Atkins (the best DT in the NFL) one-on-one. People seem to be crucifying him for that game... which I "guess" they can do if they want. Whereas, I point to another game (was it Dalls?) where, on a goal-line run, DD blew a hole through the D-line, that Casey the Hutt could have walked through

VaDave
03-06-2013, 03:02 PM
T,

Remember a guy by the name of Gerry Mullins? As good as he was at trap blocking, I've never seen anybody block at the second level as well until I saw tape of DeCastro. That was until I saw tape of Jonathan Cooper, who might be better at it.

RE: Beachum

This kid going to be our swing man for a while, if we fill the LG position with either Cooper, Womack, Jones, or even Colon.

teegre
03-06-2013, 03:05 PM
T,

Remember a guy by the name of Gerry Mullins? As good as he was at trap blocking, I've never seen anybody block at the second level as well until I saw tape of DeCastro. That was until I saw tape of Jonathan Cooper, who might be better at it.

RE: Beachum

This kid going to be our swing man for a while, if we fill the LG position with either Cooper, Womack, Jones, or even Colon.

True. Cooper & DD are like peas in a pod.

The Colon... oh man... NOOO!!!!!!!!! :wink02:

FrancoLambert
03-06-2013, 05:45 PM
T,

Remember a guy by the name of Gerry Mullins? As good as he was at trap blocking, I've never seen anybody block at the second level as well until I saw tape of DeCastro. That was until I saw tape of Jonathan Cooper, who might be better at it.

RE: Beachum

This kid going to be our swing man for a while, if we fill the LG position with either Cooper, Womack, Jones, or even Colon.

Moon Mullins threw many key blocks for Franco in big spots.

I hope all of you are right about Beachum. I didn't see enough to consider him a sure asset.

teegre
03-06-2013, 06:38 PM
I hope all of you are right about Beachum. I didn't see enough to consider him a sure asset.

"Sure"... not yet.

"Promising"... after years of seeing the likes of Jon Scott, Kemo, The Colon, Darnell Stapleton, Tony Hills, et ceterta... YES, he looks like a very nice player for a R7 pick.

steeltheone
03-06-2013, 08:07 PM
I concur.

Beachum was a Kugler pick. They had other guys rated higher, but Kugler wanted Beachum. He saw a smart, smart kid... and begged for him to be drafted. Great pick for round seven.

I watched DD for two seasons... and waited. Then, he was drafted... and I had to wait one more year. I will be ecstatic when he starts to play next season. He is a 305 pound fullback (I have never seen a lineman block in the open field so well).

Oh, and DD had that one bad game, when he came back EARLY from a knee injury and was asked to block Geno Atkins (the best DT in the NFL) one-on-one. People seem to be crucifying him for that game... which I "guess" they can do if they want. Whereas, I point to another game (was it Dalls?) where, on a goal-line run, DD blew a hole through the D-line, that Casey the Hutt could have walked through

It was embarrassing what Geno did to him...That's why it sticks out....I have high hopes for DD too..I thought he could be better than the " paper " all pro Pouncey and i still hope he can.

SteelersCanada
03-06-2013, 08:14 PM
It was embarrassing what Geno did to him...That's why it sticks out....I have high hopes for DD too..I thought he could be better than the " paper " all pro Pouncey and i still hope he can.

There's not a lot of Guards that can take Atkins on one-on-one and win that battle, let alone a rookie right Guard making his 3rd start. Expecting anything more than what we saw was unreasonable.

Disagree on Pouncey - he'll be better now that he actually has an offensive line playing around him and doesn't have to overcompensate.

Fire Haley
03-06-2013, 08:15 PM
Starks has been the best tackle on the Steelers since Smith left. The Steelers were forced to pay Starks that money because they neglected the O-line for so long. They really didn't have much of a choice.

ain't that the truth

He's given us the hometown discount so many times and produced, I can see him leaving for one last big paycheck, if anyone is interested


last I heard...


Max Starks thinks he’s done in Pittsburgh

Like several of his teammates, Max Starks doesn’t know if he’ll be back with the Steelers next year. He’ll soon be an unrestricted free agent who could be one of the top tackles available on the open market.

After all, he’s only 30 years old and he’s held up quite well this season on a surgically-repaired right knee. After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in last season’s wild-card loss in Denver, he’s been a model of consistency at left tackle. Not only has he started every game, he’s the Steelers’ only offensive player to be on the field for all 970 snaps this year.

Times pro football reporter Mike Bires spoke to Starks about his performance this year and his future. Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Have you thought about the possibility that your time in Pittsburgh might be over?
A: “This will always be home for me. This is the place where I’ve spent my entire career up to this point. I have roots here. So I will always be back in some form or fashion whether it’s wearing the Steelers uniform or not.”

Q: The Steelers drafted tackles in the second round of the past two drafts: Marcus Gilbert last year and Mike Adams this year. What does that tell you?
A: “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.”

Q: Would you be comfortable coming back as a backup?
A: “I am not a backup yet. I don’t see myself in a backup role. I still have a couple more years in me before I even consider that role. The competitive fire is still there. I am starter capable. I feel that I have value somewhere.”

Q: How did your knee hold up?
A: “It had (close to) 1,000 plays on it. So I think it held up pretty well. I played the entire season thus far. It speaks to great surgeons and great rehab. I’m definitely blessed it wasn’t an issue at all this year.”

Q: Did you wear a knee brace?
A: “No, I did not wear one. I wore a knee brace at the beginning, but it was to evasive on my leg and it kind of pinched so I’d rather be more comfortable and wear a different kind of (protective) knee sleeve than wear a big, bulky brace.”

Q: Last week in the loss to the Bengals, tight end Heath Miller tore his ACL. Do you think he’ll be able to be bounce back and be 100 percent next year and play at high level like he has this year?
A: ”I think Heath has the capability of coming back strong. It happened early enough, pre-January. My injury happened on Jan. 8 (of last year) and I didn’t have surgery until the end of January. So Heath has a month jump of what I went through. He’s already had his surgery. Whether he starts the first preseason game or not, we’ll see. This year, I was back for the third preseason game.”

Q: How did you play this year? Can you grade your performance?
A: ”I thought I played pretty well. Obviously, I gave up three-and-a-half sacks on the year that I wish I wouldn’t have given up. Not bad. But I could have done better.”

Q: Have any of the coaches or general manager Kevin Colbert said anything to you about next year?
A: “You know they don’t say anything during the season. They call you maybe February 28, and say ‘Hey, I think were interested.’ They call you at the last possible minute. So no, they haven’t given me any indication at this time.”

Q: How many more years do you want to play?
A: “I’ll play for how many more years God blesses me to play.”


http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/q-a-max-starks/article_429da1d2-523e-11e2-bafe-0019bb30f31a.html#.UOBKVqNNgXk.twitter

wwhickok
03-07-2013, 07:49 AM
Anyone think we go after Eric Winston or will he be too expensive?

VaDave
03-07-2013, 07:56 AM
From what I understand, he wasn't playing all that great for that much money. Looking at the KC game last year, the KC oline knocked the crap out of Hood and Woodley ( which isn't saying much) and Winston was apart of that ZBS they employed at RT.

teegre
03-07-2013, 08:28 AM
It was embarrassing what Geno did to him...That's why it sticks out....I have high hopes for DD too..I thought he could be better than the " paper " all pro Pouncey and i still hope he can.

I remember, back in 2003, in one of the last games of Troy's ROOKIE season, he got turned around in the end-zone by Chad Johnson... and every Steelers fan was yelling, "BUST!!!"

Rookies are called "rookies" for a reason. (Make sense?)

SteelersCanada
03-07-2013, 11:46 AM
Willie Colon in Pittsburgh Steelers' plans, agent says

By Marc Sessler
Around the League Writer

The Pittsburgh Steelers were expected to part ways with Willie Colon, but it appears the left guard isn't going anywhere for the time being.

Colon's agent, Joe Linta, told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers' front office said they aren't planning to do anything with the veteran's contract and have not requested a pay cut.

Colon, 29, is set to earn $5.5 million next season as part of the five-year, $29 million contract he signed in 2011. The sense around the Steelers was that Colon would be cut as Pittsburgh sought to overhaul its offensive front with more athletic and durable linemen. Colon has started only 13 games over the past two years and wound up on injured reserve for the third straight season in 2012.

The Steelers have been tinkering with their line for years. They have young talent at guard in David DeCastro and are high on Kelvin Beachum as a potential answer inside. Colon is safe for now, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Steelers come calling about a reduction in pay before the season starts -- if he lasts that long.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000147612/article/willie-colon-in-pittsburgh-steelers-plans-agent-says

-- They have no intention on cutting him right now because they clear more cap space if they cut him after June 1st.

Fire Haley
03-07-2013, 12:02 PM
Willie Colon in Pittsburgh Steelers' plans, agent says



-- They have no intention on cutting him right now because they clear more cap space if they cut him after June 1st.

yep, let's hope so - 3 yrs in a row on IR -

I don't believe any agent talk, they're all shysters

VaDave
03-07-2013, 03:47 PM
If we land Cooper, Colon is a gonna for sure.

FrancoLambert
03-07-2013, 05:18 PM
If at the 17th pick the BPA is an offensive lineman I hope we go that way.

You can never have enough and we certainly don't have enough.

VaDave
03-07-2013, 05:25 PM
Have I mentioned it would be great if we drafted Jonathan Cooper before? The kid can play!

It's hard to win a championship without a good oline. A great OL can resolve a lot of other issues.

tmacsteelerfan
03-07-2013, 06:04 PM
If Warmack or Cooper fall to us I don't see us pass them up. We'd finally have a 5 I'm confident about going into next season. Although I don't think it will happen, I do think there are a couple, particularly zone blocking OT's in later rounds of this draft that could add the depth you can never have too much of at the position

kan_t
03-07-2013, 09:42 PM
Jarvis Jones or Warmack/ Cooper

I take Jones without thinking twice.

bornaSteelersfan
03-07-2013, 10:08 PM
Jarvis Jones or Warmack/ Cooper

I take Jones without thinking twice.

Jarvis Jones has a health question mark and doesn't hit the weight room. I don't think he will ever fill Harrison's shoes.

Cooper or Warmack would be good, but doubtful either drops to us. Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson will likely be gone at OT as well.

There is such a huge drop-off in OL's after round one, though. I can see us getting OL later on in rds 5 or 6, but not sooner if those top 5 don't drop to us.

We could get a guy like OT Terron Armstead in round 3 or 4 which would be great for a new zone-blocking scheme as well as protection for Ben. He will need a year or two to develop some skill and strength, though. That means we may have to find a way to keep Starks.

teegre
03-08-2013, 01:37 AM
If at the 17th pick the BPA is an offensive lineman I hope we go that way.

You can never have enough and we certainly don't have enough.

Cooper is to VaDave as Elam* is to Teegre.

*(although, I'm currently also mentioning Austin equally as much)

TheVet
03-08-2013, 03:44 AM
Cooper is to VaDave as Elam* is to Teegre.

*(although, I'm currently also mentioning Austin equally as much)

Elam, Austin and Teegre. Sounds like a hell of a law firm.
:plusone:

VaDave
03-08-2013, 07:16 AM
[QUOTE=teegre;1089663]Cooper is to VaDave as Elam* is to Teegre.

QUOTE]

Like an answer to a Mensa question........ LOL! BTW, Did you get in?

teegre
03-08-2013, 08:40 AM
Elam, Austin and Teegre. Sounds like a hell of a law firm.
:plusone:

That was well done, sir. Kudos.

Hawaii 5-0
03-09-2013, 01:14 AM
Steelers talk with Foster’s agent before free agency opens

March 9th, 2013
Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2013/01/Ramon.jpeg

Steelers guard Ramon Foster is an unrestricted free agent.

The Steelers had contract discussions with Ramon Foster’s agent, Joel Segal, on Thursday and will eventually make the unrestricted free agent offensive lineman an offer once the organization gets a better grasp on their current finances, said a source with knowledge of the meeting.

However, that offer may come too late and significantly under market value in order to retain Foster. Arizona, Chicago and Tennessee have shown interest in the 27-year-old guard. The N.Y. Giants could also be a potential suitor if they can’t re-sign Kevin Boothe.

Because of a new rule, agents are allowed to start formal talks with other teams starting three days before the start of the new NFL calendar year (12:01 a.m. Saturday) which is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday.

No signing can be announced until the opening of free agency if a deal is reached.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Foster has been a regular on the Steelers offensive line since being an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee in 2009.

Foster started 30 consecutive games at guard and 42 of 44 including Super Bowl XLV since being inserted into the lineup for a Week 10 game against the Patriots in 2010.

Foster has been extremely durable at a position that’s been injury prone for the Steelers in recent years. Foster missed only the second half of the season-opener against Denver with a severe headache before playing the final 966 snaps of the year at right guard.

According to ProFootballFocus, Foster allowed only two sacks the entire season – the least of all Steelers starters.

Foster signed a 1-year tender for $1.26 million last year as a restricted free agent after not getting much interest on the open market. He became expendable when the Steelers used a first round draft pick on right guard David DeCastro and decided to move Willie Colon and his recently signed 5-year, $29 million contract to left guard within a month of each other.

However, Foster started all 16 games last year when DeCastro was injured during the preseason.

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2013/03/09/steelers-talk-with-fosters-agent-before-free-agency-opens/#.UTqsheHnmOc.twitter

VaDave
03-09-2013, 12:04 PM
One thing about Foster, the only reason he played a down was because somebody got hurt. Just saying.

I agree that he will get an offer, as will Starks, both of which will be more than what we are willing to pay.

SteelerFanInATL
03-09-2013, 02:02 PM
Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams can definitely run block.

The key is staying healthy.

I agree, if they stay healthy then they should be good to go..

Stairway to 7
03-10-2013, 01:23 PM
I think we need the "sky is falling cat picture". 4 first or 2nd round picks in 2 years with Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert and Adams.............and the line is terrible. :doh:

Watch their technique, watch their skill set in terms of footwork, hand placement, punch (or lack of with Adams) and you will see they are good O linemen, some like Adams just need a bit more polish. They all need to stay healthy for a season.

How many times have these guys played together?

The talent is there, they need to stay healthy and gel. Enough has been spent on the line for it to be at least average at worst, and really it ought to develop into one of the best units in the league.

It's now up to players to perform, we cannot afford to spend more high picks on the line.

steeltheone
03-10-2013, 01:26 PM
How many times have these guys played together?

The talent is there, they need to stay healthy and gel. Enough has been spent on the line for it to be at least average at worst, and really it ought to develop into one of the best units in the league.

It's now up to players to perform, we cannot afford to spend more high picks on the line.

I was wondering what he knew that we didn't? I'm hoping they thrive when healthy too, but i kinda got to see it happen before i suck in the hype.

VaDave
03-10-2013, 05:18 PM
Steel D1

I agree, continuity of personnel would resolve some issues. Unfortunately, it will not solve the problem of Colon's annual season ending injury, Legurski's short comings, and Foster and Starks eminent departure. We are short a front line player on the OL anyway your slice it. At the risk of being repetitive..... this is a hole that could be solved rather nicely by Jonathan Cooper

TheVet
03-10-2013, 05:33 PM
Couldn't agree more. If we want the OL to be a strength, then we need to field 5 NFL-caliber starters and provide for NFL-caliber depth. We don't have 5 starters yet. Very optimistically, we have 4 - along with a big hole at LG. that's giving Adams credit for growth, and looking past Gilbert's second year debacle. If Colon or Foster or Starks is back, and if Beachum develops nicely, and if Legursky returns, we could be OK at depth.

TheVet
03-10-2013, 05:47 PM
How many times have these guys played together?

The talent is there, they need to stay healthy and gel. Enough has been spent on the line for it to be at least average at worst, and really it ought to develop into one of the best units in the league.

It's now up to players to perform, we cannot afford to spend more high picks on the line.

We've moved our OL from the NFL bottom 15% to a reasonably solid, young line with the potential to be fairly good. I see no reason to stop yet. Why shouldn't the OL become a team strength? It's been a long time, and it would be a great asset for a struggling offense and a franchise QB who's already taken a career's worth of hits.

steeltheone
03-10-2013, 07:13 PM
We've moved our OL from the NFL bottom 15% to a reasonably solid, young line with the potential to be fairly good. I see no reason to stop yet. Why shouldn't the OL become a team strength? It's been a long time, and it would be a great asset for a struggling offense and a franchise QB who's already taken a career's worth of hits.

And very little talent running the ball.

TheVet
03-11-2013, 03:15 AM
And very little talent running the ball.

Yep, but to be fair, most backs look better with holes. I think Dwyer and Redman have shown they can do a reasonable job at making something out of nothing. Mendy, not so much.

Let's just build an awesome OL and see what happens.

steeltheone
03-11-2013, 05:06 AM
Yep, but to be fair, most backs look better with holes. I think Dwyer and Redman have shown they can do a reasonable job at making something out of nothing. Mendy, not so much.

Let's just build an awesome OL and see what happens.

Mendy has (2) almost (3) 1000 yard rushing seasons. He was not great but was the best we have had.

TheVet
03-11-2013, 01:40 PM
Mendy has (2) almost (3) 1000 yard rushing seasons. He was not great but was the best we have had.
Yes, when you draft a RB #1, you tend to give him every possible chance before admitting the pick was a bust. You would agree that the starter would be expected to gain a lot more yards han the guys on the bench, right? So then what's the point of those stats? Redman outperformed Mend at every opportunity.

VaDave
03-11-2013, 01:47 PM
One thing that Mendenhall had over Redman was the speed and a slight advantage of shiftiness.. Other than that, Redman is one of the most determined runners I've seen in a long time.

PS: PsssT. Anybody want to buy a slightly used Authentic Genuine Chinese knock off made in Vietnam Mendenhall Home Game Jersey??? Size 48. CHEAP!!!

austinfrench76
03-11-2013, 02:42 PM
Signing Foster today helps and signals the end of Colon! The oft injured one!

kan_t
03-11-2013, 02:56 PM
The Foster signing means that we can forget about Cooper. The Steelers will not pick him even if he's available.