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teegre
03-22-2013, 12:50 AM
Everyone keeps talking about how the Steelers can wait until the later rounds to draft a safety, because there are so many in this draft. And, indeed there will be about fifteen safeties drafted.

But, I would like to counter this philosophy (of waiting) by saying that it's not necessarily the amount of players at the position; it's finding the "right" player.

I've been thinking about the following for a while.

This draft could be labeled "the safety draft." And, it reminds me eerily of the 1997 draft: "the cornerback draft."

In 1997, six cornerbacks were taken in the first round, followed by five more on the second round, and then Ronde Barber early in round three. In other words, of the first sixty-six picks, twelve were cornerbacks.

And, in the middle of the pack, the Steelers selected Chad Scott.

Good cornerbacks were taken before Scott (Shawn Springs) and good cornerbacks were taken afterwards (Ronde Barber, Sam Madison, Kim Herring). So, again, the successfulness of drafting a cornerback wasn't a matter of which round, but a matter of which player.

Likewise, in this upcoming draft, it's not just the fact that there are a ton of good safeties; it's finding the "right" safety that is imperative. Whether it's Kenny Vaccaro in R1... or Matt Elam in R2... or DJ Swearinger in R3... if the player fits into Pittsburgh's system, then they should take that player ASAP, regardless of how many safeties are still available in later rounds.

lloydwoodson
03-22-2013, 01:07 AM
I wanted Reshad Jones from Georgia a few years ago and he was available until the 5th with Kam Chancellor... that was a good safety draft.

PhantomJB93
03-22-2013, 01:16 AM
I wanted Reshad Jones from Georgia a few years ago and he was available until the 5th with Kam Chancellor... that was a good safety draft.

Damn I wish we had Kam

lipps83
03-22-2013, 08:10 AM
Safety is the most important position on this defense to get it to work the way it should. You aren't going to get the same output from the defense as a whole with a mid-tier safety are you are a top tier, and not even necessarily a top tier either. You need someone with the athletic ability and the smarts to make the defense go.

teegre
03-22-2013, 08:45 AM
Amen!!!

Pittsburgh's offense has been dominant when it's had an elite safety (or tandem of safeties).

Shell & Wagner
Lake & Perry
Polamalu & Hope/Clark

A good example of getting "almost" the right guy is Lee Flowers. Flowers was really good, and the defense was really good, but his flaw (unable to play the pass) kept that defense from being elite.

SUMMATION:
I'm hoping to get the next Lake... because, there are a lot of Flowers in this draft.

Now... which is which?

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-22-2013, 09:18 AM
Reminds me of 10 years ago when there were a lot of quality safetys in the draft like:

-Polamalu
-Ken Hamlin
-Mike Doss
-Terrence Keil
- Bryan Scott

I thought we wasted a pick by trading up for Polamalu when there were other prospects at Safety and we really needed a CB rather than living with Chad Scott, Dewayne Washington and DeShea Townsend. Of course I was wrong.

I dont think any of these guys are special like Polamalu, but we may have to pull the trigger early to get a guy that will start in 2 years.

JackH
03-22-2013, 09:47 AM
Likewise, in this upcoming draft, it's not just the fact that there are a ton of good safeties; it's finding the "right" safety that is imperative. Whether it's Kenny Vaccaro in R1... or Matt Elam in R2... or DJ Swearinger in R3... if the player fits into Pittsburgh's system, then they should take that player ASAP, regardless of how many safeties are still available in later rounds.

You make some excellent points.

If Troy and Ryan Clark are healthy, no draft pick is going to play all that much I wouldn't think. A big "if" of course, and one very important to the Steelers success this coming season. Rather than taking one of the guys you mention in the first 3 rounds, I'm leaning toward choosing one of all those guys who will be available in the 5th round, the "right" guy of course.

Similar story with running back. A bunch of guys available in the 4th and 5th rounds. It's a matter of finding the "right" guy like Alfred Morris in the 6th last year.

In my opinion, the Steelers 1st pick should be WR or TE, and the 3rd pick should be TE or WR, depending on Pick 1. If Elam falls to the Steelers in R2, okay, I can see taking him. Otherwise, I would postpone S to R5 and take an OLB in R2. Then you have RB in R4.

You'll love this. I was reading the Bleacher Report 7-round mock last night while I was watching my bracket disintegrate. They got Elam falling to the 3rd round.

teegre
03-22-2013, 11:20 AM
Reminds me of 10 years ago when there were a lot of quality safetys in the draft like:

-Polamalu
-Ken Hamlin
-Mike Doss
-Terrence Keil
- Bryan Scott

I thought we wasted a pick by trading up for Polamalu when there were other prospects at Safety and we really needed a CB rather than living with Chad Scott, Dewayne Washington and DeShea Townsend. Of course I was wrong.

I dont think any of these guys are special like Polamalu, but we may have to pull the trigger early to get a guy that will start in 2 years.

I remember the exact moment that Troy was picked. My best friend is a Chargers fan, and I was on the phone with him when the Chargers were right about to get "on the clock." My friend asks me, "Okay... who's the pick?" And, I calmly reply, "Troy."

About two minutes later, the pick was indeed Troy Polamalu... except, he went to the Steelers.

My friend yells into the phone, "F*ck!!! Why do the Steelers get EVERYBODY!?!" ...and he hangs up the phone.

In all honesty, I was as shocked as he was that the Steelers traded up. I was figuring that they'd draft Asomugha (to play FS, not CB). Regardless, obviously, living in SoCal, I was ecstatic about getting #43. (And, my friend has never forgiven me.)

JackH
03-22-2013, 11:51 AM
That's a dang funny story about Troy, teegre.

I wonder who in the Steelers organization was most responsible for taking Troy.

Carnell Lake has only been our defensive backs coach for a couple years, so it wasn't him. I wonder what Carnell is doing today. Unlike me who will be watching March Madness and drinking beer, I hope he is watching tape on all these safeties and figuring out who the Steelers should take, and in what round, so he can give LeBeau the scoop, and LeBeau can give it to Tomlin and Colbert. If Carnell is not watching tape, he should be at somebody's pro day.

And if Carnell doesn't come up with the "right" guy, he should be fired. Same with all these other position coaches.

teegre
03-22-2013, 12:00 PM
You make some excellent points.

If Troy and Ryan Clark are healthy, no draft pick is going to play all that much I wouldn't think. A big "if" of course, and one very important to the Steelers success this coming season. Rather than taking one of the guys you mention in the first 3 rounds, I'm leaning toward choosing one of all those guys who will be available in the 5th round, the "right" guy of course.

Similar story with running back. A bunch of guys available in the 4th and 5th rounds. It's a matter of finding the "right" guy like Alfred Morris in the 6th last year.

In my opinion, the Steelers 1st pick should be WR or TE, and the 3rd pick should be TE or WR, depending on Pick 1. If Elam falls to the Steelers in R2, okay, I can see taking him. Otherwise, I would postpone S to R5 and take an OLB in R2. Then you have RB in R4.

You'll love this. I was reading the Bleacher Report 7-round mock last night while I was watching my bracket disintegrate. They got Elam falling to the 3rd round.

Elam in R3!?! Now, THAT would be the STEAL of the decade!!!

Beyond my top three (Vaccaro, Elam, Swearinger), I don't see many other safeties that I think are elite.

Philip Thomas is a ball hawk; Cyprien looked good at the Senior Bowl. But, those two just seem to be on a slightly lower tier than those first three.

After those five, it's a lot of Lee Flower-esque type of players: Rambo, both Williams, McDonald, Reid, Shamarko Thomas, Lester...

Now, mind you, those "Flowers-like" players can be the next Ryan Clark, which is also essential to the defense (a good "complimentary" safety to the "star" safety). Thus, I'd like to get one of the top three... followed by someone like McDonald in R5. In turn, the Steelers would have a young tandem to develop together over the next decade. (Note: I think Robert Golden could be the next Brent Alexander: a darn good FS, to go along with whichever "elite" SS is drafted this year.)

PASS CATCHER
I see one pass catcher (TE or WR) being drafted in the first three rounds, with the other two positions being S and OLB. (Let's assume that it's a TE.)

Eiffert, OLB/S, OLB/S
OLB/S, Ertz, OLB/S
OLB/S, OLB/S, Escobar

I think it's going to be TE over WR, because I think that AB, Sanders, & Cotchery are a good "top three"... and, Plax adds depth. Thus, I don't see a WR being a pressing need... although, one will be added in R4 or R5: Swope, Dobson, Hamilton, Wheaton, et cetera.

If Sanders leaves, then WR becomes a need... but, I still think that the Steelers won't go WR early (unless it's Austin, who is also an incredible return threat). They'll simply use that newly-acquired R3 to replace Sanders.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-22-2013, 12:08 PM
I remember the exact moment that Troy was picked. My best friend is a Chargers fan, and I was on the phone with him when the Chargers were right about to get "on the clock." My friend asks me, "Okay... who's the pick?" And, I calmly reply, "Troy."

About two minutes later, the pick was indeed Troy Polamalu... except, he went to the Steelers.

My friend yells into the phone, "F*ck!!! Why do the Steelers get EVERYBODY!?!" ...and he hangs up the phone.

In all honesty, I was as shocked as he was that the Steelers traded up. I was figuring that they'd draft Asomugha (to play FS, not CB). Regardless, obviously, living in SoCal, I was ecstatic about getting #43. (And, my friend has never forgiven me.)

I was hoping we would go CB in the 1st, then could look for a safety in the 2nd or 3rd. After the first season Troy had, it looked like a bad move to trade up, but after that its all been gravy.

If Vacarro is there, I say we take him. I still hold optimism that Robert Golden can develop into a FS and that Vacarro can play SS. If not, I say we wait until the 2nd and look for Elam, Cyprien, Swearinger there.

Vacarro and Lemonier with our first 2 picks would be a great scenario IMO.

steeltheone
03-22-2013, 12:18 PM
Amen!!!

Pittsburgh's offense has been dominant when it's had an elite safety (or tandem of safeties).

Shell & Wagner
Lake & Perry
Polamalu & Hope/Clark

A good example of getting "almost" the right guy is Lee Flowers. Flowers was really good, and the defense was really good, but his flaw (unable to play the pass) kept that defense from being elite.

SUMMATION:
I'm hoping to get the next Lake... because, there are a lot of Flowers in this draft.

Now... which is which? It must be noted that each if these safety tandems played with a star studded core of defensive players...

Ryan Clark has never been a top cover safety, his strengths are the " monster hit" and run support.

teegre
03-22-2013, 12:23 PM
That's a dang funny story about Troy, teegre.

I wonder who in the Steelers organization was most responsible for taking Troy.

Carnell Lake has only been our defensive backs coach for a couple years, so it wasn't him. I wonder what Carnell is doing today. Unlike me who will be watching March Madness and drinking beer, I hope he is watching tape on all these safeties and figuring out who the Steelers should take, and in what round, so he can give LeBeau the scoop, and LeBeau can give it to Tomlin and Colbert. If Carnell is not watching tape, he should be at somebody's pro day.

And if Carnell doesn't come up with the "right" guy, he should be fired. Same with all these other position coaches.

It is indeed rather funny... my friend STILL brings it up at least once per season.

I think that I heard that Cowher really wanted Troy, and that Colbert had Troy graded as a top three player in the draft... and thus... voila!... the trade (at least, that's what the scuttlebutt was on talk-radio ten years ago).

In Lake I trust. He wanted Cortez Allen... and I have faith that he'll pick the "right" safety.

teegre
03-22-2013, 12:33 PM
If Vacarro is there, I say we take him. I still hold optimism that Robert Golden can develop into a FS and that Vacarro can play SS. If not, I say we wait until the 2nd and look for Elam, Cyprien, Swearinger there.

Vacarro and Lemonier with our first 2 picks would be a great scenario IMO.

Vaccaro, Lemonier, and Escobar... I like that.

Of course, that means that I wouldn't get Elam... but, hey, I can't get "everybody." :wink02:

Lastly, I agree: I'd like to see how Vaccaro & Golden work as a tandem.

lipps83
03-22-2013, 01:12 PM
I think a big reason they traded up for Troy was because safety was a need on this team and they wanted Ed Reed the year before but missed on him (damn Ravens).

I remember an article about when they interviewed Reed, and Cowher wanted him and Reed wanted to play for the Steelers (of course, as a prospect he probably just wants someone to draft him high). They would have been a perfect fit at the time, but if we did take Reed there was no way we would have gone after Polamalu the next year.

I looked for the same article but this is the only thing I could find after the interview.

http://espn.go.com/magazine/vol5no08steelers.html

teegre
03-22-2013, 01:20 PM
I think a big reason they traded up for Troy was because safety was a need on this team and they wanted Ed Reed the year before but missed on him (damn Ravens).

I remember an article about when they interviewed Reed, and Cowher wanted him and Reed wanted to play for the Steelers (of course, as a prospect he probably just wants someone to draft him high). They would have been a perfect fit at the time, but if we did take Reed there was no way we would have gone after Polamalu the next year.

I looked for the same article but this is the only thing I could find after the interview.

http://espn.go.com/magazine/vol5no08steelers.html

I absolutely remover that.

Reed was an early R2 pick... until the Steelers started telling EVERYONE how awesome Reed was. At the combine, Reed went on & on about former Steelers players, and how he loved the Steelers... and ESPN found out... and thus, EVERY mockster was linking Reed to the Steelers (at the end of R1).

Then... the Ravens stole him.

The consolation prize was Troy Polamalu... which is like getting an Aston Martin instead of a Ferrari (can't really complain).

Fire Arians
03-22-2013, 01:41 PM
i hope we get vaccaro or elam

JackH
03-22-2013, 02:01 PM
In Lake I trust. He wanted Cortez Allen... and I have faith that he'll pick the "right" safety.

Yeah, everybody wants splash plays from the defense. Allen got two in that last game against the Browns, what with those fumble recoveries in Browns territory that led to touchdowns. Otherwise we could have lost to the Browns twice in one season, the last game in which they played a QB who had never taken a snap in an NFL game, not to mention no Trent Richardson.

Many Steeler fans are suffering high anxiety from last season. They would have been suicidal had the Browns beat us in that last game, for a 7-9 record vs. 8-8.

So Cortez was a 4th round pick two years ago. I think we may be seeing some big things from him in the future. I sure hope so. It took Keenan Lewis until the second half of this past season to show me he could be good.

SteelersCanada
03-22-2013, 02:02 PM
I think we're blowing our need for a TE out of proportion. We're overreacting because Miller in injured but, other than Heath, how often were Tight Ends utilized in Haley's offense? Drafting one in the first round would be a wasted pick, especially if there's someone like Jones, Ansah or Mingo on the board.

I agree with T (as usual) - we need a receiver in the first three rounds. This means we either have to pick a Safety or RB in the fourth round and, honestly, with the depth at RB and the chance Lattimore is going to be there, I say we take a receiver in the second / third and fit him in with Manny and AB.

Good stuff, Teegre.

Here's a hypothetical for you guys - say we land Vaccaro in the first round. Then, Elam is on the board at 48 - do we take them both and have our Safeties set for the next decade?

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-22-2013, 02:06 PM
Vaccaro, Lemonier, and Escobar... I like that.

Of course, that means that I wouldn't get Elam... but, hey, I can't get "everybody." :wink02:

Lastly, I agree: I'd like to see how Vaccaro & Golden work as a tandem.

If we go safety and OLB, I really dont want to see another TE taken in the 3rd. Gimme a WR, RB or ILB. Trade back into the late 20's and mabye still get Elam?

I'm liking Vance McDonald from Rice at TE in later rounds instead.

lipps83
03-22-2013, 02:09 PM
Here's a hypothetical for you guys - say we land Vaccaro in the first round. Then, Elam is on the board at 48 - do we take them both and have our Safeties set for the next decade?

In all honesty, I would. Both Clark and Troy are on the wrong side of 30. There are other draft day needs obviously but that might be an opportunity that can't be passed up. You have 5 other picks to use to try to fill the other needs.

JackH
03-22-2013, 02:21 PM
I think we're blowing our need for a TE out of proportion. We're overreacting because Miller in injured but, other than Heath, how often were Tight Ends utilized in Haley's offense? Drafting one in the first round would be a wasted pick, especially if there's someone like Jones, Ansah or Mingo on the board.


Here's a hypothetical for you guys - say we land Vaccaro in the first round. Then, Elam is on the board at 48 - do we take them both and have our Safeties set for the next decade?

Yeah, we'd be set at safeties for 10 years and suck in terms of receivers to start next season.

Watch the last game against Cleveland. Paulson started for Heath and Ben threw it to him exactly one time early in the game. Paulson was covered and it was almost picked.

Tight ends were used extensively in Haley's system. Heath had his best season ever and was the Steelers most effective receiver. Arians kind of ignored him in his last two seasons as offensive coordinator. Heath had 2 TDs in 2010 and 2011 and 8 last season. Also, the Steelers ran a lot of two tight end sets last year.

So Heath, misses what, 4 games? 6 games? And Wallace is gone, who also had 8 TDs and was doubled frequently?

If the Steelers don't fix this, next season is going to be a lost cause before it ever gets going. I'd be thinking more about safeties next season when the Steelers will be getting a bunch of extra picks.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-22-2013, 02:31 PM
Yeah, we'd be set at safeties for 10 years and suck in terms of receivers to start next season.

Watch the last game against Cleveland. Paulson started for Heath and Ben threw it to him exactly one time early in the game. Paulson was covered and it was almost picked.

Tight ends were used extensively in Haley's system. Heath had his best season ever and was the Steelers most effective receiver. Arians kind of ignored him in his last two seasons as offensive coordinator. Heath had 2 TDs in 2010 and 2011 and 8 last season. Also, the Steelers ran a lot of two tight end sets last year.

So Heath, misses what, 4 games? 6 games? And Wallace is gone, who also had 8 TDs and was doubled frequently?

If the Steelers don't fix this, next season is going to be a lost cause before it ever gets going. I'd be thinking more about safeties next season when the Steelers will be getting a bunch of extra picks.

Haley used what TE's in Arizona??.........Leonard Pope??
Haley used what TE's in KC??? Tony Moeaki and Leonard Pope??

Haley has Miller, Paulson, Johnson and some more to add. Its not an offense where he uses some great TE receiving threats in tandem. I think Haley has enough to work with if Miller gets back healthy.

teegre
03-22-2013, 03:54 PM
I think we're blowing our need for a TE out of proportion. We're overreacting because Miller in injured but, other than Heath, how often were Tight Ends utilized in Haley's offense? Drafting one in the first round would be a wasted pick, especially if there's someone like Jones, Ansah or Mingo on the board.

I agree with T (as usual) - we need a receiver in the first three rounds. This means we either have to pick a Safety or RB in the fourth round and, honestly, with the depth at RB and the chance Lattimore is going to be there, I say we take a receiver in the second / third and fit him in with Manny and AB.

Good stuff, Teegre.

Here's a hypothetical for you guys - say we land Vaccaro in the first round. Then, Elam is on the board at 48 - do we take them both and have our Safeties set for the next decade?

Would I draft Vaccaro AND Elam?

Uh... YES!!!

But, that's ME. Because, in all honesty, it's simply not going to happen.

PASS CATCHER in R3
I see a tall pass receiver as a tall pass receiver (whether he lines up at TE or WR). Make sense?

Plus, I'd love to see Heath AND another quality TE lined up at the same time. Spaeth, Pope, and others that ilk do little for any offense. Furthermore, these scrub TEs are on the field for 20-30 snaps per game... so, I see it as a position in need of an upgrade.

Buddha Bus
03-22-2013, 03:59 PM
This draft could be labeled "the safety draft."

I hear this will be the theme song. :chuckle:

T7hHx7gdN68

teegre
03-22-2013, 04:01 PM
Buddha,

I wondered who (else) would think of that song (when they read those words). I thought that it was just going to be me who started humming. LOL

Buddha Bus
03-22-2013, 05:04 PM
Buddha,

I wondered who (else) would think of that song (when they read those words). I thought that it was just going to be me who started humming. LOL



Nope. I got your back on the bad 80s music, brother. :wantsome:

:chuckle:

pczach
03-22-2013, 09:06 PM
I just don't understand pushing for a safety or two early in this draft. With Troy and Clark still playing, and so many other needs that have to be addressed, and with the draft being this deep with safeties, he better be special if they take one. The other thing is that I know Elam looks great in college, but he's only 5'9". This league is getting more and more about the passing game. You need guys that can matchup and cover. I don't see Elam as an elite player at the next level because of the height disadvantage. He also in nowhere near the athlete Troy was coming out. I hope I'm wrong if they take him, but I think you can still get a potentially great safety in the 3rd-5th round this year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-22-2013, 09:07 PM
Nope. I got your back on the bad 80s music, brother. :wantsome:

:chuckle:
and you were just looking for a reason to post a video of "little people". At least he isnt getting tossed.

Hawaii 5-0
03-22-2013, 09:14 PM
Steelers Showing Interest In Fresno State Safety Phillip Thomas

Mar 22nd, 2013 by Dominic Di Tolla

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2013/03/6582830.jpg

Fresno State University held their annual Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon.

When I read that free safety Phillip Thomas performed well during his workout session, I wondered whether or not the Steelers would show interest in the promising prospect.

Luckily for me, my question was answered earlier today by Ricardo Cano of “The Collegian” (Fresno State’s student newspaper).

According to Cano, Thomas (6’1″ 208 lbs.) is scheduled to meet with members of Pittsburgh’s brass at some point before “Draft Weekend.”

At least to me, it comes as no surprise that the Steelers scheduled an interview session with the former Bulldog. As most know, the franchise is in need some sort of viable “transition strategy” to install when the time comes for veterans Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark to retire.

Long-time backup Ryan Mundy signed with the Giants earlier this month, veteran Will Allen remains unsigned, and 2012 UDFA Robert Golden is the only player behind the starters with any experience.

Although Phillip is considered to be one of the 2013 draft class’ top safety prospects, the last two years were anything but a cake-walk for him. In fact, heading into the 2012 season, many wondered how well and how much he would be able to play.

After a productive 2010 campaign (64 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions), Thomas unfortunately sustained a leg injury right before the 2011 season began. The injury was a major blow to Fresno State and Thomas, and the safety was shelved for the entire year due to his broken fibula and high ankle sprain.

To his credit, Thomas not only fought back from his devastating injury, but he was named a Jim Thorpe Award finalist for his stellar play in 2012. Overall, Thomas started all 13 of the Bulldogs’ games and led the team in tackles (84), tackles for loss (12.0), and interceptions (8) (led the entire FBS-level). In addition to those numbers, Phillip tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (4), and finished second in passes defended (13), and tied for second in Sacks (4.0).

The aspect of Thomas’ game that I like the most is the fact that he is a ball-hawking safety who displayed the ability to make “splash plays.” Over his career (3 years), Phillip snatched 13 interceptions, forced 6 fumbles, and even scored 3 touchdowns last year. Although Thomas is a bit of a “risk-taker” on the back end, his ability to force turnovers is something that Pittsburgh’s Defense could desperately stand to use.

In addition to his ball-skills, Thomas is an accomplished blitzer and “in-the-box” player too. During his career, Phillip racked up 17.0 tackles for loss to go along with the 4.0 sacks he made during the 2012 campaign. If he is selected by Pittsburgh, I am sure that Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake, one of the League’s best at said craft during his career, will be pleased to utilize the youngster’s skill-set in that area.

One of the biggest questions that surrounds Thomas (outside of durability after his freak injury) deals with his straight-line speed. While some scouts might be concerned with that part of his game, Phillip was able to at least improve upon his Combine time in the 40 yard dash (4.65 seconds) at his Pro Day when he recorded an impressive time of 4.53.

If Pittsburgh selects Thomas, I can actually envision the Coaching Staff playing him at strong safety instead of free safety. Due to his toughness and ability to help out deep and “in-the-box,” Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau could use Phillip in a number of different facets like Polamalu has been during his Hall of Fame career. Due to Thomas’ versatile skill-set, he has the potential to be an effective weapon for LeBeau and Lake to utilize all over the field.

In the event that Colbert & Co. do not draft a Safety in Round 1, I believe that Thomas would be a solid player for the Steelers to target in the late-2nd/early 3rd-Round. A year of development on Special Teams and in sub-packages would benefit the young safety greatly. This would provide Thomas time to adjust to the speed of the pro game, and give him adequate time to learn LeBeau’s “complex” defense.

Regardless of whether or not Pittsburgh’s brass believe that Thomas is “their guy,” Colbert & Co. are more than likely to select at least one safety prospect during “Draft Weekend” next month.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/03/22/steelers-showing-interest-in-fresno-state-safety-phillip-thomas/

pczach
03-22-2013, 09:21 PM
Steelers Showing Interest In Fresno State Safety Phillip Thomas

Mar 22nd, 2013 by Dominic Di Tolla

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2013/03/6582830.jpg

Fresno State University held their annual Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon.

When I read that free safety Phillip Thomas performed well during his workout session, I wondered whether or not the Steelers would show interest in the promising prospect.

Luckily for me, my question was answered earlier today by Ricardo Cano of “The Collegian” (Fresno State’s student newspaper).

According to Cano, Thomas (6’1″ 208 lbs.) is scheduled to meet with members of Pittsburgh’s brass at some point before “Draft Weekend.”

At least to me, it comes as no surprise that the Steelers scheduled an interview session with the former Bulldog. As most know, the franchise is in need some sort of viable “transition strategy” to install when the time comes for veterans Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark to retire.

Long-time backup Ryan Mundy signed with the Giants earlier this month, veteran Will Allen remains unsigned, and 2012 UDFA Robert Golden is the only player behind the starters with any experience.

Although Phillip is considered to be one of the 2013 draft class’ top safety prospects, the last two years were anything but a cake-walk for him. In fact, heading into the 2012 season, many wondered how well and how much he would be able to play.

After a productive 2010 campaign (64 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions), Thomas unfortunately sustained a leg injury right before the 2011 season began. The injury was a major blow to Fresno State and Thomas, and the safety was shelved for the entire year due to his broken fibula and high ankle sprain.

To his credit, Thomas not only fought back from his devastating injury, but he was named a Jim Thorpe Award finalist for his stellar play in 2012. Overall, Thomas started all 13 of the Bulldogs’ games and led the team in tackles (84), tackles for loss (12.0), and interceptions (8) (led the entire FBS-level). In addition to those numbers, Phillip tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (4), and finished second in passes defended (13), and tied for second in Sacks (4.0).

The aspect of Thomas’ game that I like the most is the fact that he is a ball-hawking safety who displayed the ability to make “splash plays.” Over his career (3 years), Phillip snatched 13 interceptions, forced 6 fumbles, and even scored 3 touchdowns last year. Although Thomas is a bit of a “risk-taker” on the back end, his ability to force turnovers is something that Pittsburgh’s Defense could desperately stand to use.

In addition to his ball-skills, Thomas is an accomplished blitzer and “in-the-box” player too. During his career, Phillip racked up 17.0 tackles for loss to go along with the 4.0 sacks he made during the 2012 campaign. If he is selected by Pittsburgh, I am sure that Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake, one of the League’s best at said craft during his career, will be pleased to utilize the youngster’s skill-set in that area.

One of the biggest questions that surrounds Thomas (outside of durability after his freak injury) deals with his straight-line speed. While some scouts might be concerned with that part of his game, Phillip was able to at least improve upon his Combine time in the 40 yard dash (4.65 seconds) at his Pro Day when he recorded an impressive time of 4.53.

If Pittsburgh selects Thomas, I can actually envision the Coaching Staff playing him at strong safety instead of free safety. Due to his toughness and ability to help out deep and “in-the-box,” Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau could use Phillip in a number of different facets like Polamalu has been during his Hall of Fame career. Due to Thomas’ versatile skill-set, he has the potential to be an effective weapon for LeBeau and Lake to utilize all over the field.

In the event that Colbert & Co. do not draft a Safety in Round 1, I believe that Thomas would be a solid player for the Steelers to target in the late-2nd/early 3rd-Round. A year of development on Special Teams and in sub-packages would benefit the young safety greatly. This would provide Thomas time to adjust to the speed of the pro game, and give him adequate time to learn LeBeau’s “complex” defense.

Regardless of whether or not Pittsburgh’s brass believe that Thomas is “their guy,” Colbert & Co. are more than likely to select at least one safety prospect during “Draft Weekend” next month.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/03/22/steelers-showing-interest-in-fresno-state-safety-phillip-thomas/

This guy is a viable option. I don't know about the 2nd round with his recent injury history, but I like this kid. I could see him being around at the end of the 3rd or early 4th round. 1st round skill with a 4th round pick would be a steal.

Hawaii 5-0
03-22-2013, 09:24 PM
This guy is a viable option. I don't know about the 2nd round with his recent injury history, but I like this kid. I could see him being around at the end of the 3rd or early 4th round. 1st round skill with a 4th round pick would be a steal.

I would take him if he's there at our 3rd round selection, don't think he'll make it to our 4th.

pczach
03-22-2013, 09:27 PM
I would take him if he's there at our 3rd round selection, don't think he'll make it to our 4th.

I'm just throwing out a dream hypothetical!:tt02:

Hawaii 5-0
03-22-2013, 09:54 PM
I'm just throwing out a dream hypothetical!:tt02:

I completely understand, I have dream hypotheticals all of the time.

only thing is, Philip Thomas is never in them...

http://www.amateurasianpornhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/gorgeous-asian.jpg

pczach
03-22-2013, 09:58 PM
I completely understand, I have dream hypotheticals all of the time.

only thing is, Philip Thomas is never in them...

http://www.amateurasianpornhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/gorgeous-asian.jpg

She's hot, but can she cover Gronk in man to man?:chuckle:

Hawaii 5-0
03-22-2013, 10:07 PM
She's hot, but can she cover Gronk in man to man?:chuckle:

probably not, but I'll bet she can distract the hell out of him...:wink02:

teegre
03-22-2013, 11:58 PM
So, as of now, based on our discussions in this thread, the consensus seems to be:

R1: Vaccaro
R2: Lemonier
R3: a tall pass-catcher
R4: Philip Thomas
R5: Asian hottie who looks 16, but is actually 18 (she's 18, right?)

Really though, if it's those four players, I think that it would be an extremely good draft. It provides: the safety tandem that I want; the pass-rusher to replace Harrison; and, a red-zone weapon.

Now, with that said, I think that Thomas goes early R3 (at the latest)... but, if we're going to dream, we might as well dream big... (which brings us back full-circle to the R5 pick).

Hawaii 5-0
03-23-2013, 12:13 AM
R5: Asian hottie who looks 16, but is actually 18 (she's 18, right?)


yes officer, she's definitely 18. :yep:

lloydwoodson
03-23-2013, 12:43 AM
"Safeties aplenty" was a bad thread title. Sounds like something a pirate would say.

"Safeties in Numbers" would have been a lot catchier imo. I am dismayed that so many people responded to a poorly titled thread. You people need to expect more. Start posting the thread titles I deserve!

Hawaii 5-0
03-23-2013, 12:46 AM
NFLDRAFTSCOUT.COM

Pro Days: Fresno State, SDSU DBs catching attention

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
March 20, 2013

Representatives of 19 NFL teams traveled to Fresno State on Wednesday in large part to see if All-America free safety Phillip Thomas and record-breaking running back Robbie Rouse could improve upon their combine performances.

Each was able to do so.

Thomas, a Thorpe Award finalist who led the country with eight interceptions in 2012, shaved more than a tenth-of-a-second off of his combine time in the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.53-seconds, according to multiple sources. Thomas had been timed at 4.65-seconds in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.

Thomas also showed great fluidity and ball skills during positional drills orchestrated by a member of the New England Patriots.

The workout may have been even more important for the short (but not small) Rouse, who registered a disappointing 4.80-seconds in the 40-yard dash after measuring in at 5-feet-5 (3/8), 190 pounds in Indianapolis.

While clearly shorter than scouts would prefer, Rouse is a powerfully-built runner whose vertical and lateral burst helped him generate a school-record 4,647 rushing yards over his career.

Rouse was clocked at a much more respectable 4.57-seconds in the 40-yard dash Wednesday, perhaps pushing him back into the draft. Regardless of whether he's drafted or not, Rouse's game-tape speaks for itself. He'll get an opportunity and will prove to be a tough cut for an NFL team due to his natural elusiveness and surprising power.

"The 40 [yard dash] that I ran at the combine was definitely not what I wanted to run and for me to come out here and run the 4.5 that I wanted was definitely a goal that I set," Rouse said. "It felt good to get it."

Some of the scouts on hand for Wednesday's workout at Fresno State had traveled from San Diego State's campus a day earlier where a number of former Aztecs had worked out.

While the most well-known defensive back at the workout was SDSU's all-conference pick Leon McFadden, the Senior Bowl standout largely stood on his numbers from the combine, though he did register a 34.5-inch vertical jump.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/blog/rob-rang/21919144/pro-days-fresno-state-sdsu-hawaii-dbs-catching-attention

OX1947
03-23-2013, 01:21 AM
And getting a stud safety in the first does what for the Steeler in 2013 when Clark and Troy will be playing?

desertsteel
03-23-2013, 02:01 AM
if the player fits into Pittsburgh's system, then they should take that player ASAP, regardless of how many safeties are still available in later rounds.

Could you clarify? For example, are you saying that if a safety has a R2 or R3 grade that the Steelers should jump on him with the 17th pick if he's a perfect fit for the system? That would be "ASAP."

Hawaii 5-0
03-23-2013, 02:02 AM
And getting a stud safety in the first does what for the Steeler in 2013 when Clark and Troy will be playing?

for one, he would provide good insurance for the oft-injured Troy Polamalu or for Ryan Clark in case we need to play a playoff game in Denver.

and two, in today's pass-happy NFL a 3rd stud safety would see a lot of snaps in both the nicked and dime sub-packages.

desertsteel
03-23-2013, 02:02 AM
And getting a stud safety in the first does what for the Steeler in 2013 when Clark and Troy will be playing?

As much as we all want an impact player in 2013, the team can't be near-sighted and pass on a great player that falls into their lap just because there are starters in place.

OX1947
03-23-2013, 02:04 AM
for one, he would provide good insurance for the oft-injured Troy Polamalu or for Ryan Clark in case we need to play a playoff game in Denver.

and two, in today's pass-happy NFL a 3rd stud safety would see a lot of snaps in both the nicked and dime sub-packages.

Great points, but will he play, is my quandary.

Hawaii 5-0
03-23-2013, 02:11 AM
Great points, but will he play, is my quandary.

with Dick LeBeau you never know but we do need to groom some safeties behind Ryan Clark and Troy at some point and get the clock started for their development.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-23-2013, 09:57 AM
And getting a stud safety in the first does what for the Steeler in 2013 when Clark and Troy will be playing?

When Troy gets injured (again) and Clark is either suspended for a head shot or out with a concussion, the kid is gonna play.

Plus, how many rookies come in and start on opening day or make a valuable contribution the entire season?? Not very many. You pick a player for what he is going to do over hopefully a long time, not just his first 16 games. :doh:

teegre
03-23-2013, 12:01 PM
Hawaii,
I was hoping that Leon McFadden would slip into R6. Outside of San Diego, no one knew about him, because he plays at a "small" school. I knew he'd be good: despite not getting INTs, he smothered the opposition's #1 receiver (he wasn't thrown at much, but when it was, he knocked the ball away).

Then... he shined at the Senior Bowl, and his stock rocketed up to R2. Now that things have settled, I see him landing somewhere in R4. People will still have questions about him, since the competition he faced was lackluster, but he also proved that he can hang with the big boys. I see him being a R4 pick, and having a career similar to Deshea Townsend: back-up for two years, followed by eight solid seasons as a #2 CB.

Cortez Allen = Ike Taylor
Leon McFadden = Deshea Townsend

pczach,
I hear your concerns about Elam's size. But, like the questions about Jarvis Jones' spine hindering his ability to have a "long" career: I'd rather have 6-7 Pro-Bowl level seasons, than 8-9 "good" seasons. (Make sense?)

Like Bob Sanders, Elam will use his body to the fullest. Like Bob Sanders, Elam will only play 6-7 seasons. Like Bob Sanders, Elam will make two Pro-Bowls and be a DPOY.

OX,
As others have said: Denver. The AFCCG in Denver. Clark won't play.

But, more importantly, both Troy & Clark are gone after this season (Troy is rumored to retire; Clark's contract is up). And since LeBeau likes to ease his players in for a season, come next fall, Vaccaro (or whomever) will be ready to take over... making for a seamless transition.

PhantomJB93
03-23-2013, 12:04 PM
I completely understand, I have dream hypotheticals all of the time.

only thing is, Philip Thomas is never in them...

http://www.amateurasianpornhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/gorgeous-asian.jpg

Oh, hey Lennay

teegre
03-23-2013, 12:16 PM
Could you clarify? For example, are you saying that if a safety has a R2 or R3 grade that the Steelers should jump on him with the 17th pick if he's a perfect fit for the system? That would be "ASAP."

Great question.
Let me put it this way, using the CBs drafted in 1997 as an example (although, I am going to change the order, to make my point).

Let's say that the Steelers see a player that they like at #17 named Sam Madison. But, instead of drafting him then, they figure that there are eleven other CBs. So they wait... because there are so many other CBs. (Ronde Barber & Kim Herring also get drafted in that round, followed by Shawn Springs.)

They wait until R2, and again, they can take Madison... but, because there are still eight more CBs, the Steelers wait. (Madison gets drafted a few picks later.)

R3 comes, and there are still seven CBs... but, those CBs are: Tommy Knight, Bryant Westbrook, Chad Scott... and others of that ilk.

SUMMATION:
I am not saying "reach" for a safety. BUT, just because there are a lot of safeties, does not mean that there are a lot of elite safeties .

If Vaccaro is gone at #17, then I'd either trade down... or wait, for Elam (Swearinger, Thomas, or Cyprien) in a later round. So, No, I would not reach for Elam at #17. But, at the same time, if he's the guy that I want, then I'd trade up to 36 & snag him.

Does this make sense? (I'm really asking.)

Buddha Bus
03-23-2013, 01:23 PM
and you were just looking for a reason to post a video of "little people". At least he isnt getting tossed.



They don't get nearly enough recognition these days......

Men Without Hats, not midgets. :chuckle:

Steel Peon
03-23-2013, 02:30 PM
it's not necessarily the amount of players at the position; it's finding the "right" player.

Of course, I agree with finding the "right" player, it's just a matter of "if" we can anymore. Sure, we had some great picks years ago, but lately our upper round picks have been borderline lemons that we can't seem to make lemonade out of.

Now, maybe it could be said that it's not necessarily the player, but rather the Head Coach of the team that molds them into the right mindset. Coach Cowher was able to mold seemingly all of his players into tough, take-no-bs, dedicated players, but maybe Tomlin is just a bit too nice to the young bucks? I mean, he's great when dealing with veteran players, and his post-season preparation and track record is cosmically better than Cowher's (so far), but maybe a bit more intensity on Tomlin's part would work better. Cowher's presence was one of a menacing, demanding, and intelligent coach, who himself was in terrific physical shape, and almost seemed on par with the players themselves. Hell, it seemed many times to me that Cowher was ready to suit up himself and show his players how it's done, and that's the kind of person who gets your attention pretty damn fast.

Of course, my half-assed assessment of any of this could be way off, and I'm just over-thinking the good possibility that Kevin Colbert just can't (or won't) make really top tier picks anymore.......maybe he's lost his focus? Maybe we just got really lucky before, and now not so much? I'm not saying our picks haven't been good solid players, just maybe not what it takes to run the table in the NFL.

steelerchad
03-23-2013, 05:27 PM
Honestly, wouldn't mind them taking a S early and late. One that can play now and one who can play special teams and grow into a starter when needed in a couple years.

JackH
03-23-2013, 06:08 PM
Honestly, wouldn't mind them taking a S early and late. One that can play now and one who can play special teams and grow into a starter when needed in a couple years.

Hawaii 5-0 has a S early and a S late in his mock draft. I also like the fact he has some receivers in the top 3 rounds. I like most of his other picks too. Very well thought out. Also, keep in mind the Steelers are going to have extra picks in next year's draft. Maybe we get a stud S now and a stud S next year.

The Steelers number one priority to improve the team is pass receivers. That is crucial right now.

S could be the number two priority. If not right now, it will be real soon. Even if Troy and Clark play great and injury free, their contract situation is troublesome. They could be James Harrison next year.

Of course RB, that's a priority too, but you can see what the Steelers are likely to do there. Draft somebody in R4, maybe a little higher, who will compete with Dwyer and probably Redman and Batch to be the feature guy. Who that guy should be is the question. I haven't seen any arguments that have convinced me about anybody, even Lacy, and I certainly can't see taking him in the first round, unless we also get all the offensive linemen he ran behind last season.

Hey teegre, this is a great thread. A lot of food for thought here. Thanks.

Justp94
03-23-2013, 09:50 PM
I wouldn't mind picking a Safety in between rounds 2-4, but not round 1.
In Round 2 Eric Reid, Matt Elam, or Jonathan Cyprien
In Round 3 or 4: D.J. Swearinger or Bacarri Rambo

pczach
03-24-2013, 09:15 AM
Great question.
Let me put it this way, using the CBs drafted in 1997 as an example (although, I am going to change the order, to make my point).

Let's say that the Steelers see a player that they like at #17 named Sam Madison. But, instead of drafting him then, they figure that there are eleven other CBs. So they wait... because there are so many other CBs. (Ronde Barber & Kim Herring also get drafted in that round, followed by Shawn Springs.)

They wait until R2, and again, they can take Madison... but, because there are still eight more CBs, the Steelers wait. (Madison gets drafted a few picks later.)

R3 comes, and there are still seven CBs... but, those CBs are: Tommy Knight, Bryant Westbrook, Chad Scott... and others of that ilk.

SUMMATION:
I am not saying "reach" for a safety. BUT, just because there are a lot of safeties, does not mean that there are a lot of elite safeties .

If Vaccaro is gone at #17, then I'd either trade down... or wait, for Elam (Swearinger, Thomas, or Cyprien) in a later round. So, No, I would not reach for Elam at #17. But, at the same time, if he's the guy that I want, then I'd trade up to 36 & snag him.

Does this make sense? (I'm really asking.)

Sure it makes sense. If the Steelers have him rated that highly on their board, and he is available, they should go get him if they could do it without giving up too much. What I stated about Elam is my personal opinion of him in potential pass coverage. I don't know how the team has him rated. We probably won't know until after the draft. If they have him rated as the #2 safety and the #26 overall player in the draft, and he's available at the 36th pick, you have to consider moving up to get him. At that point, it's a value pick. Don't confuse my evaluation with the Steeler's evaluation. They don't give a shit what I think, and neither should you!:chuckle:

Hawaii 5-0
03-24-2013, 07:37 PM
if we lose Will Allen we may have to draft a couple of safeties this year. I'm surprised we haven't made it more of a priority to resign him, I thought he played well in Troy's absence.


Will Allen, Justin Durant set to visit Dallas Cowboys

By Marc Sessler
Around the League Writer
Published: March 24, 2013

The Dallas Cowboys haven't made many headlines during free agency, but the team continues to mine for talent at bargain prices.

The Cowboys plan to host a pair of free agents -- safety Will Allen and linebacker Justin Durant -- on Monday, according to the team's official website.

The Cowboys possess just $102,000 in cap space and must find someone to play across from free safety Barry Church. Allen, 30, started seven games for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season and showed himself to be a productive run-stopper filling for Troy Polamalu. Still, Allen was never relied on as a consistent starter during his six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and three with Pittsburgh.

Durant, 27, would give Dallas an experienced 4-3 strong-side linebacker who chalked up 103 tackles with the Detroit Lions last season. He started 26 of 29 games in the Motor City since 2011, but it's concerning that Durant is on the open market for the third time in his career.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000153186/article/will-allen-justin-durant-set-for-visit-to-dallas-cowboys

harrison'samonster
03-24-2013, 07:46 PM
if we lose Will Allen we may have to draft a couple of safeties this year. I'm surprised we haven't made it more of a priority to resign him, I thought he played well in Troy's absence.




I'm surprised they haven't resigned Allen as well. Thinking they're letting him go makes only makes sense if they are drafting two safeties or are high on Robert Golden.

Hawaii 5-0
03-24-2013, 07:56 PM
I'm surprised they haven't resigned Allen as well. Thinking they're letting him go makes only makes sense if they are drafting two safeties or are high on Robert Golden.


A Golden opportunity at safety for the Steelers in 2013

By SteelCityRoller on Mar 24 2013

http://cdn3.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/10323085/20121210_kkt_ar7_156.0_standard_500.0.jpg

With their all-world safety tandem reaching the end of their collective run in Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be actively pursuing capable replacements. Perhaps, they are already under contract.

An era is coming to a close for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the team slowly moves away from the tenured veterans who helped return the team to championship glory. With starting safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamlu reaching the ends of their respective careers, the team will very soon be in need of some suitable replacements.

The first expected to be gone is Clark, who is playing out the final year of his contract in 2013. Polamalu has one more year remaining than Clark. Both require the team to start searching now.

While Captain Obvious would declare how easily the organization would find one in the upcoming draft, reality states nothing is ever so simple. Just being drafted does not make one a legitimate NFL starter.

Recent years have taught us the Steelers expect young players to need at least two seasons to become acclimated with the defensive system. If this is true, Clark's replacement would have to be on the roster already. An exceptional player may be able to start after one season, but there is no guarantee Pittsburgh will find such an exceptional player in the draft.

Maybe, they don't need to.

The Steelers have two former undrafted rookies currently on the roster who have the potential to be NFL starters, however they have a lot yet to prove before the team will be confident enough to not make the position a draft priority.

Robert Golden made, and remained, on the 53-man roster all year in 2012. He contributed on special teams, and as an extra cornerback late last season when Ike Taylor broke his ankle, followed by Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen dealing with minor injuries of their own. While Golden did not surpass entrenched veterans Ryan Mundy and Will Allen on the depth chart, he was impressive enough to maintain his job. The coaches have spoken highly of his potential.

Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith has been with the Steelers for three years now, spending most of his time on the practice squad. He has made the active roster a few times, but usually as special teams help during injury-riddled times. He had an opportunity to prove himself prior to 2012 during the pre-season, but his own injuries limited his ability and eventually led to corrective surgery. He did play during regular season action in 2012. While few feel confident in Cromartie-Smith as a long-term solution, he has earned enough favor in the coaching staff to keep him around all this time. It is unlikely the team would invest this much time and effort in a guy they expected nothing from.

It is very unlikely both players will earn their place as starters, but they do have the inside track on both starting spots when they become available. Even should the team draft one or more safeties in the next draft or two, Golden and Cromartie-Smith will have a leg up on the competition due to their familiarity with the defensive system.

Golden has two seasons, plus a third season as a RFA, remaining on his contract. Even if he can't earn a starting spot, he could develop into a consistent reserve, especially regarding his flexibility to play corner when needed. Cromartie-Smith has a slightly tougher road ahead of him. With only a one-year contract, he will be auditioning for a future with the team. This makes him the most expendable should the team draft a safety.

However, should the team not find any good options available in the draft, both Golden and Cromartie-Smith will need to seize their opportunity to make names for themselves, and find their own places in the NFL - hopefully, a home in Pittsburgh.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/3/24/4140552/steelers-depth-chart-2013-safety

harrison'samonster
03-24-2013, 08:04 PM
well that answers that, thanks Hawaii 5-0!

teegre
03-25-2013, 01:09 AM
Sure it makes sense. If the Steelers have him rated that highly on their board, and he is available, they should go get him if they could do it without giving up too much. What I stated about Elam is my personal opinion of him in potential pass coverage. I don't know how the team has him rated. We probably won't know until after the draft. If they have him rated as the #2 safety and the #26 overall player in the draft, and he's available at the 36th pick, you have to consider moving up to get him. At that point, it's a value pick. Don't confuse my evaluation with the Steeler's evaluation. They don't give a shit what I think, and neither should you!:chuckle:

I care what you think. :wink02:

1) I don't want to turn this into a discussion of Colbert; I'd prefer to keep it about the safeties (& which one is the "right" one for the Steelers). So, I'll keep this short (or, try to).

I feel that Colbert's R1s have been really good. Pouncey is a star, and DD & Heyward will be, as well.

Timmons was the BPA. Look at the rest of R1: he was the best (after Revis got stolen away). Spinny had four good years.

And then there's Hood.

Hood, while not great, is better than people give him credit (he's being compared to Aaron Smith, who just do happens to be the best 3-4 DE to ever play the game). Plus, like Timmons, there wasn't much else available.

2. As I was saying in another thread, Elam's size is not as important to me, because he is in the right position. I'd rather have a shorter DB who us running stride for stride with a WR/TE... than a tall DB who is three years behind the play. Sure, Elam might get out-jumped... but, the taller DBs wouldn't even be close enough to jump at all.

Elam = out-jumped by 9 inches
Tall DB = three yards (36 inches) away

Make sense?

teegre
03-25-2013, 01:11 AM
A Golden opportunity at safety for the Steelers in 2013

By SteelCityRoller on Mar 24 2013

http://cdn3.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/10323085/20121210_kkt_ar7_156.0_standard_500.0.jpg

With their all-world safety tandem reaching the end of their collective run in Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be actively pursuing capable replacements. Perhaps, they are already under contract.

An era is coming to a close for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the team slowly moves away from the tenured veterans who helped return the team to championship glory. With starting safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamlu reaching the ends of their respective careers, the team will very soon be in need of some suitable replacements.

The first expected to be gone is Clark, who is playing out the final year of his contract in 2013. Polamalu has one more year remaining than Clark. Both require the team to start searching now.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/3/24/4140552/steelers-depth-chart-2013-safety

Elam/Vaccaro and Golden

I like it!!!

wwhickok
03-25-2013, 07:48 AM
Until he is off the board I want Kenny Vaccaro. We are going to lose Will Allen, which honestly is probably our 3rdonly biggest FA loss behind Lewis and Harrison. Mendy is not even a loss, people who think otherwise are being stupid.

Will Allen played great filling in a both Safety positions at times. I don't believe in Golden which means we don't have a single S behind our starters that we are certain is capable of filling in. I believe Vaccaro or Elam makes the most sense for us.

teegre
03-25-2013, 07:01 PM
Until he is off the board I want Kenny Vaccaro. We are going to lose Will Allen, which honestly is probably our 3rdonly biggest FA loss behind Lewis and Harrison. Mendy is not even a loss, people who think otherwise are being stupid.

Will Allen played great filling in a both Safety positions at times. I don't believe in Golden which means we don't have a single S behind our starters that we are certain is capable of filling in. I believe Vaccaro or Elam makes the most sense for us.

AGREE:
Vaccaro in R1... and if he's gone... then either BPA or trade back a few spots & draft Elam.

DISAGREE:
I'd like to see how Golden pans out. He looked good in the pre-season, and during the season, he was asked to play CB... and, for a S, he played well.

FUTURE:
Even if Golden pans out, after this upcoming season, the Steelers might only have Golden on the roster. (Troy is retiring, and Clark's contract is up.) Thus, Vaccaro (or whichever high draft choice) AND a late-round draft choice ("R5 pick")should be added, to create at least a depth-chart of three going into 2014.

2013 depth chart:
Troy, Clark, Vaccaro, Golden, & "R5 pick"

2014 depth chart:
Vaccaro, Golden, "R5 pick" & a late-round pick in next year's draft

Hawaii 5-0
03-27-2013, 03:54 PM
Texas Pro Day: Vaccaro halted by hip injury

By Dane Brugler | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
March 27, 2013

NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated safety Kenny Vaccaro wanted to run for scouts and improve his 40-yard dash time at the Texas Pro Day on Tuesday, but was limited due to a hip flexor injury. While he stood on his numbers from the combine, he did participate in positional drills, which were led by Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Vaccaro, who ran a 4.63 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, looked athletic during drills and battled through the hip injury, which he suffered during a private workout with the Dallas Cowboys last week. He showed excellent burst and reaction quickness with little hesitation in his movements. Vaccaro did nothing to hurt his status as the draft's top safety prospect and could be drafted in the top half of round one in April.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/rob-rang/21954124/texas-pro-day-vaccaro-halted-by-hip-injury

teegre
03-27-2013, 04:26 PM
Texas Pro Day: Vaccaro halted by hip injury

By Dane Brugler | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
March 27, 2013

NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated safety Kenny Vaccaro wanted to run for scouts and improve his 40-yard dash time at the Texas Pro Day on Tuesday, but was limited due to a hip flexor injury. While he stood on his numbers from the combine, he did participate in positional drills, which were led by Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Vaccaro, who ran a 4.63 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, looked athletic during drills and battled through the hip injury, which he suffered during a private workout with the Dallas Cowboys last week. He showed excellent burst and reaction quickness with little hesitation in his movements. Vaccaro did nothing to hurt his status as the draft's top safety prospect and could be drafted in the top half of round one in April.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/rob-rang/21954124/texas-pro-day-vaccaro-halted-by-hip-injury

They just signed Will Allen... so, I wonder if they would still go S in R1? Thyeylike trading up... and it would only be two spots (to get in front of Pittsburgh). Hmmm...

I know that their secondary is horrible, but their O-line is even worse. If Cooper is there (or Warmack), I see them going OL.

Also, I have heard rumblings of Dallas going after a QB with that pick... and my gut tells me that it's E.J. Manuel.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
03-27-2013, 04:37 PM
If we land vaccaro round one and then land shamarko Thomas( i wont say hes a poor mans matt elam but more a average mans matt elam ) round 5 I'd be extremely happy.

surcalifero
03-27-2013, 05:06 PM
1. Jarvis Jones
2. Justin Hunter or Woods...whoever is available
3. Phillip Thomas or Swearinger...whoever is available
4. Marcus Lattimore
.....

teegre
03-27-2013, 05:35 PM
If we land vaccaro round one and then land shamarko Thomas( i wont say hes a poor mans matt elam but more a average mans matt elam ) round 5 I'd be extremely happy.

Ever since you first told me about Shamarko, I've been keeping an eye on him. Like Swearinger, I can not get a bead on which round he will be available. O)ne listing has him as a R2 pick, but then the next one has him as the twelfth rated safety (likely R5).

Regardless, nice description: "the avergae man's" Matt Elam.

Nice.

teegre
03-27-2013, 05:39 PM
1. Jarvis Jones
2. Justin Hunter or Woods...whoever is available
3. Phillip Thomas or Swearinger...whoever is available
4. Marcus Lattimore
.....

If you changed the R2 pick to Ertz, I'd be more alright with it. But, since it is: Jones, Lattimore, a safety... and a tall pass-catcher. Yep, that is a great draft.

While I would not get Elam (or Vaccaro), I'd be happy with Swearinger (& pretty happy with Thomas).

Hawaii 5-0
03-27-2013, 05:48 PM
If we land vaccaro round one and then land shamarko Thomas( i wont say hes a poor mans matt elam but more a average mans matt elam ) round 5 I'd be extremely happy.

Shamarko Thomas improved his stock with an amazing combine, running a 4.42 40 (the fastest amongst all safeties). Thomas also managed to take top honors amongst safeties in the bench press with 28 reps of 225 pounds, in the vertical jump with a reach of 40.5 inches, and he was just an inch off the best figure in the broad jump.

Thomas is a hard hitter who has drawn comparisons to former Colts safety Bob Sanders and is projected to be a 3rd round pick.

Hawaii 5-0
03-27-2013, 08:15 PM
Pro Days: Barkley gets passing grade, but others steal the show

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
March 27, 2013

LOS ANGELES -- For Matt Barkley, who surprised many with his decision to spurn the NFL and return to Southern Cal for his senior season in 2012, Wednesday's Pro Day was an acceptable culmination for his college career.

Displaying the accuracy in drills showed during 47 career starts with the Trojans, Barkley solidified his first round stock with a strong workout in front of an estimated 60 NFL scouts and coaches.

They included a strong contingent from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, who each may be looking for a quarterback in the 2013 draft.

"Barkley had an outstanding career [at USC], making all the plays you needed to see to know that he can be successful at our level," Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator Norv Turner said following the workout.

"He just confirmed today what anyone who had watched the tape already knew. He's a gifted young player who would be a tremendous addition to any organization."

Barkley completed his passes to fellow 2013 hopefuls Robert Woods and running back Curtis McNeal, as well as former USC wideout Tavon Patterson and tight end Dominique Byrd.

Only five of the 60-plus passes Barkley threw hit the ground, with two of those being perfectly thrown passes which slipped through the fingers of Woods and Byrd, respectively.

"I was impressed by the number of passes threw today," said St. Louis general manager Les Snead. "Since he was injured to end his career, this was his recital. It was an overall very good day for him."

Snead was one of three general managers on hand. Chicago's Phil Emery and Jacksonville's David Caldwell also attended.

Caldwell was one of several representatives from the Jaguars, including senior vice president Tony Khan, head coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

While Jacksonville sent a large contingent to the workout, only one scout was on hand for the Arizona Cardinals. The Buffalo Bills, an organization that has been quite transparent in its plans to draft a quarterback, were conspicuously absent from the workout.

Although they rate well below what is ascertained in game films, Pro Day workouts do have value. Unlike during a game in which there are multiple moving parts which can distract the eye, scouts are allowed to stand on the sideline and simply focus on the quarterback's throwing motion, gauge his velocity and read the expression on his face from snap to snap.

Putting Barkley's workout in perspective is critical to understanding what impact it might have on his landing spot on draft day. Scouts are as split on the quarterback rankings this year as any in the past 10 years. As such, Barkley's strong effort could lead to a significant jump up draft boards.

Barkley wasn't dynamic. Several of his deeper passes wobbled and he forced wideouts to adjust their routes a few times on in-breaking routes. However, the first part of his passing workout was into a slight wind.

He was very impressive during the "quick game" so critical to the West Coast offense, demonstrating the efficient set-up and delivery and impressive accuracy when rolling out. He was particularly accurate on the wheel and corner routes, two passes considered among the more difficult throws critical to this attack.

Barkley's workout wasn't as good as the one Andrew Luck had a year ago in Palo Alto, some of which was into a stiff breeze. He didn't show the elite combination of velocity and ball placement that Sam Bradford demonstrated inside the Oklahoma practice bubble in 2010.

The Southern Cal passer, however, carried out quarterback guru Chris Weinke's scripted session with efficiency and impressive accuracy, overall. The workout was comparable to recent sessions by Jake Locker and Mark Sanchez, each of whom rode their showings to top-eight selections in their respective draft classes.

Barkley's passing was the critical element to his day but he also boosted his cause by clocking between 4.92 and 4.97-seconds in the 40-yard dash at a solid 230 pounds. The 40-yard dash was the only measured drill Barkley participated in.

That wasn't the case for his primary target, Woods, who shaved nearly a tenth-of-a-second off the 4.47-second 20-yard shuttle drill he'd run at the combine with a time of 4.38 seconds. He was even better in the three-cone drill, where he was timed as fast as 6.84 seconds after being clocked at a disappointing 7.15 seconds in the drill in Indianapolis.

As impressive as Woods was in timed drills, he was even better during the positional drills, exploding out of his breaks and catching nearly every pass thrown to him, including a dazzling one-handed catch deep down the right sideline.

Woods' one drop came on a deep post on Barkley's final throw against the wind in which the receiver simply lost his concentration.

[B]While the hype centered around the "skill position" players Wednesday, the big winner may have been safety, T.J. McDonald, who drew praise from Kansas City Chiefs' scout and defensive backs' coach Drae Harris, who, along with Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive backs coach Carnell Lake, put USC's cornerbacks and safety through extended drills.

"[McDonald] is an explosive athlete who is quickly able to take what we were asking him to do and apply it to the field. He's so explosive out of his cuts and covers such ground."

McDonald, who measured in at 6-3, 213 pounds, led each of the defensive back drills. He caught every pass thrown to him, consistently using his height to his advantage by extending far beyond his frame to secure the ball.

Reserve safety Drew McAllister also helped his cause with a strong effort during positional drills, showing similar ball skills as his more well-known former teammate.

This wasn't the case for cornerback Nickell Robey, however, who dropped several potential "interceptions" in drills. Robey wowed scouts with a 40.5-inch vertical jump Wednesday morning but he didn't use his explosiveness when it mattered most, often leaping as the ball arrived only to catch the ball at chest-level or lower.

It was a similarly disappointing day for USC center Khaled Holmes, who cited a strained pectoral at the combine as the reason why he was unable to lift Wednesday.

Holmes characterized the injury as "not serious" but said he had no plans at this time to lift for scouts before the draft. He did say that he had a number of private workouts lined up in the coming weeks, including a workout on campus Friday with the Philadelphia Eagles.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/blog/rob-rang/21960061/pro-day-barkley-gets-passing-grade-but-others-steal-the-show

austinfrench76
03-27-2013, 08:34 PM
Losing Will Allen to Dallas sucks. IMO, mak
es Safety that much more of a need.

teegre
03-27-2013, 11:00 PM
While the hype centered around the "skill position" players Wednesday, the big winner may have been safety, T.J. McDonald, who drew praise from Kansas City Chiefs' scout and defensive backs' coach Drae Harris, who, along with Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive backs coach Carnell Lake, put USC's cornerbacks and safety through extended drills.

"[McDonald] is an explosive athlete who is quickly able to take what we were asking him to do and apply it to the field. He's so explosive out of his cuts and covers such ground."

McDonald, who measured in at 6-3, 213 pounds, led each of the defensive back drills. He caught every pass thrown to him, consistently using his height to his advantage by extending far beyond his frame to secure the ball.

Hmmm... I'd take McDonald in R4... to team up with whomever is drafted early (Vaccaro or Elam).

The fact that Carnell Lake likes him, means that I now like him. In Lake I trust. Why? The last time I trusted Lake, he really wanted Cortez Allen... and that seems to be a very savvy pick.

Hawaii 5-0
03-28-2013, 01:53 PM
Losing Will Allen to Dallas sucks. IMO, mak
es Safety that much more of a need.

Steelers host James Sanders

Posted by Mike Wilkening on March 28, 2013

The Steelers, who are in need of veteran safety depth, are hosting free agent James Sanders on Thursday, Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest reported.

The 29-year-old Sanders played 15 games as a reserve for Arizona in 2012, notching 19 tackles on defense. He was also a key contributor on special teams. Sanders has made 56 career starts, 50 of which came for New England from 2005-2010. He also had a one-season stint with Atlanta in 2011.

The Steelers have lost their top two reserve safeties in free agency, with Will Allen joining the Cowboys and Ryan Mundy signing with the Giants. Safety depth is especially important for the Steelers with Troy Polamalu missing at least two games in five of the last seven seasons.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/28/steelers-host-james-sanders/

teegre
03-28-2013, 02:09 PM
Steelers host James Sanders

Posted by Mike Wilkening on March 28, 2013

The Steelers, who are in need of veteran safety depth, are hosting free agent James Sanders on Thursday, Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest reported.

The 29-year-old Sanders played 15 games as a reserve for Arizona in 2012, notching 19 tackles on defense. He was also a key contributor on special teams. Sanders has made 56 career starts, 50 of which came for New England from 2005-2010. He also had a one-season stint with Atlanta in 2011.

The Steelers have lost their top two reserve safeties in free agency, with Will Allen joining the Cowboys and Ryan Mundy signing with the Giants. Safety depth is especially important for the Steelers with Troy Polamalu missing at least two games in five of the last seven seasons.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/28/steelers-host-james-sanders/

He replaces Mundy on the depth chart.

I still see two safeties being drafted: Vaccaro/Elam and a R5 pick.

This year's depth chart:
Troy, Clark, Vaccaro/Elam, Golden/Sanders, R5 pick.

Next year's depth chart:
Vaccaro/Elam, R5 pick, Golden, Sanders

Hawaii 5-0
03-29-2013, 04:16 PM
Steelers meet free agents, trying to fill specific gaps

March 29, 2013

The Steelers met with two more free agents Thursday but so far they remain free agents.

Halfback Ahmad Bradshaw and safety James Sanders spent time at their South Side facility.

Bradshaw, who is recovering from surgery on a broken right foot that has pestered him for the past two seasons, underwent a physical.

Despite his foot problem, Bradshaw, 27, rushed for 1,015 yards in 2012 with a 4.6-yard average per carry for the New York Giants.

Sanders, 29, played six seasons for the Patriots after they drafted him in the fourth round in 2005 from Fresno State.

While playing for New England in 2010, Sanders intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown in the Patriots' 39-26 victory at Heinz Field.

The Steelers lost both of their veteran backup safeties in free agency, Ryan Mundy to the New York Giants and Will Allen to the Dallas Cowboys.

More Steelers

The Steelers will hold their latest mandatory minicamp June 11-13 and have chosen their 10 OTA workout dates as May 21-23, May 28-30, and June 3-6. ... Free-agent linebacker Victor Butler, who visited the Steelers two weeks ago, signed a contract with the Saints.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/steelers-meet-free-agents-trying-to-fill-specific-gaps-681328/#ixzz2OxD0XO9Q

teegre
03-30-2013, 02:38 AM
Sanders, 29, played six seasons for the Patriots after they drafted him in the fourth round in 2005 from Fresno State.

[B]While playing for New England in 2010, Sanders intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown in the Patriots' 39-26 victory at Heinz Field.


Sooo... is Sanders going to play WR? It seems that BB has somewhat of a rapport for throwing the kid TD passes. :wink02:

Sign Rashean Mathis!!!

Hawaii 5-0
03-30-2013, 03:55 AM
Should The Steelers Reconsider Their Safety Position Players?

Mar 29th, 2013 by Lori Paddock

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2013/03/6545932.jpg

Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark have been dominant safeties for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both are in their early thirties and have been in the league over a decade. That’s a long run for any player, let alone a defensive player. No one can argue their strengths.

Troy Polamalu plays the game not just physically, but mentally. He watches the quarterback and anticipates plays. Polamalu gets inside the heads of quarterbacks because they always focus on where he is. It makes him a double threat. He has a quick sprint speed, when he is healthy, that no other safety really seems to copy.

Ryan Clark also has impressive numbers and even with the sickle-cell trait issue, which cost him his spleen and gall bladder in 2007, he doesn’t back away from playing physically. Ryan Clark has made some headlines because of comments over the years, but his work off the field with charities and as the NFLPA player rep for the Steelers has contributed to his value to the Steelers.

However, now that they have earned the “veteran” tag, the Steelers have to be wondering if Clark and Polamalu can stay healthy. The Steelers may need to plan to use their expertise but perhaps not for every down. Polamalu’s track record with injury makes sense when you look at his style of play. It’s what is unique about him and makes him hard to plan for, but it can take a toll.

I don’t think the Steelers should get rid of either player, but can they still both be workhorses? Will training camp be a good indicator? Well, a lot of veterans don’t get the playing time in the camps because they don’t need it the same way that younger players need to learn and be evaluated. Also, the Steelers won’t want to see them risk injury in the pre-season. Clark and Polamalu’s injury risk is a concern. Where’s the balance going to be?

Looking the Safeties on the roster, the Steelers have a mix of very experienced and very young. The other two safeties on the roster are Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith and Robert Golden. While I’m sure both have potential, it’s the lack of anyone in the middle on the experience level that concerns me, particularly with veteran players with an injury history. Cromartie-Smith has been with the organization since 2011, mostly on the practice squad and played six regular season games over the last two seasons. The Steelers re-signed him to the roster on Dec 26th, 2012. Golden played for the Steelers last year and was in 15 games and is credited with six solo tackles and two assists. He didn’t start any games and I’m not sure exactly how many plays he was in for.

In the days of salary cap issues and contract negotiations that seem to go haywire, it is probably impossible to keep a depth chart on any one position that has a graduated level of experience. Also, years in the league or even lack of years in the league guarantee nothing. However, conventional wisdom suggests that the Steelers may not have the right mix for depth at the Safety position. This isn’t a problem to fix in the draft and unfortunately there are a lot of other holes to fill first. So, even though the Steelers should be concerned about their aging Safeties, it is not the biggest problem. It looks like we just have to cross our fingers that neither Clark nor Polamalu become injured and Golden and Cromartie-Smith get some more experience.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/03/29/should-the-steelers-reconsider-their-safety-position-players/

teegre
04-01-2013, 04:56 PM
Should The Steelers Reconsider Their Safety Position Players?

Mar 29th, 2013 by Lori Paddock

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2013/03/6545932.jpg

Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark have been dominant safeties for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both are in their early thirties and have been in the league over a decade. That’s a long run for any player, let alone a defensive player. No one can argue their strengths.

Troy Polamalu plays the game not just physically, but mentally. He watches the quarterback and anticipates plays. Polamalu gets inside the heads of quarterbacks because they always focus on where he is. It makes him a double threat. He has a quick sprint speed, when he is healthy, that no other safety really seems to copy.

Ryan Clark also has impressive numbers and even with the sickle-cell trait issue, which cost him his spleen and gall bladder in 2007, he doesn’t back away from playing physically. Ryan Clark has made some headlines because of comments over the years, but his work off the field with charities and as the NFLPA player rep for the Steelers has contributed to his value to the Steelers.

However, now that they have earned the “veteran” tag, the Steelers have to be wondering if Clark and Polamalu can stay healthy. The Steelers may need to plan to use their expertise but perhaps not for every down. Polamalu’s track record with injury makes sense when you look at his style of play. It’s what is unique about him and makes him hard to plan for, but it can take a toll.

I don’t think the Steelers should get rid of either player, but can they still both be workhorses? Will training camp be a good indicator? Well, a lot of veterans don’t get the playing time in the camps because they don’t need it the same way that younger players need to learn and be evaluated. Also, the Steelers won’t want to see them risk injury in the pre-season. Clark and Polamalu’s injury risk is a concern. Where’s the balance going to be?

Looking the Safeties on the roster, the Steelers have a mix of very experienced and very young. The other two safeties on the roster are Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith and Robert Golden. While I’m sure both have potential, it’s the lack of anyone in the middle on the experience level that concerns me, particularly with veteran players with an injury history. Cromartie-Smith has been with the organization since 2011, mostly on the practice squad and played six regular season games over the last two seasons. The Steelers re-signed him to the roster on Dec 26th, 2012. Golden played for the Steelers last year and was in 15 games and is credited with six solo tackles and two assists. He didn’t start any games and I’m not sure exactly how many plays he was in for.

In the days of salary cap issues and contract negotiations that seem to go haywire, it is probably impossible to keep a depth chart on any one position that has a graduated level of experience. Also, years in the league or even lack of years in the league guarantee nothing. However, conventional wisdom suggests that the Steelers may not have the right mix for depth at the Safety position. This isn’t a problem to fix in the draft and unfortunately there are a lot of other holes to fill first. So, even though the Steelers should be concerned about their aging Safeties, it is not the biggest problem. It looks like we just have to cross our fingers that neither Clark nor Polamalu become injured and Golden and Cromartie-Smith get some more experience.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/03/29/should-the-steelers-reconsider-their-safety-position-players/

Yep.

Even if Troy's healthy for the entire season, the AFCCG in Denver will be without Clark. And, next year, Clark's contract is up... and Troy is rumored to be retiring.

Thus, a safety HAS to be drafted... early.

While I may want to see what happens with Golden, it would be smart to add a second safety (in the later rounds).

Hawaii 5-0
04-02-2013, 02:08 PM
2 safeties coming in for a visit:

Bob Labriola‏@BobLabriola:

Draft visits:

OLB Jarvis Jones, Ga; OLB Jamie Collins, S. Miss; LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers; S Jonathan Meeks, Clem; S Phillip Thomas, FresSt

https://twitter.com/BobLabriola/statuses/319136171554922496

teegre
04-02-2013, 02:10 PM
2 safeties coming in for a visit:

Bob Labriola‏@BobLabriola:

Draft visits:

OLB Jarvis Jones, Ga; OLB Jamie Collins, S. Miss; LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers; S Jonathan Meeks, Clem; S Phillip Thomas, FresSt

https://twitter.com/BobLabriola/statuses/319136171554922496

Philip Thomas reminds me of a "lesser" Ed Reed. The kid just has a knack for INTs.

He's a nice consolation prize (if the Steelers miss out on Vaccaro, Elam, and Swearinger).

SteelersCanada
04-02-2013, 02:25 PM
Philip Thomas reminds me of a "lesser" Ed Reed. The kid just has a knack for INTs.

He's a nice consolation prize (if the Steelers miss out on Vaccaro, Elam, and Swearinger).

Are you still for grabbing two Safeties this year and letting them build chemistry, or seeing what Golden can do?

pczach
04-02-2013, 02:57 PM
I really like Phillip Thomas. He's a real ballhawk. Good size with good speed and good hands. Sounds like a winner to me.

teegre
04-02-2013, 03:10 PM
Are you still for grabbing two Safeties this year and letting them build chemistry, or seeing what Golden can do?

I think both.

After this season, the depth chart is currently: Golden. Yep, that's it... just Golden. Troy is retiring, and Clark's contract is up.

Ergo, even with Golden, I like the idea drafting two safeties. The three of them can grow together, with Vaccaro/Elam being one starter, and either Golden or the R5 pick as the other starter (and the third one as backing up the other two).

2013 depth chart:
Troy, Clark, Vaccaro/Elam, Golden, R5 pick

2014 depth chart:
Vaccaro/Elam, Golden, R5 pick... (some rookie)

teegre
04-02-2013, 03:21 PM
Oh... and considering that they had Golden play CB at one point, it'd be interesting on third downs, with him as the NB (alongside those other two safeties). Golden might be the third CB... or, he might slip back & play FS (or SS). It allows for a few wrinkles with the blitzes... especially if those three players (Vaccaro/Elam, R5 pick, & Golden) develop together for a few seasons.

Rabbit
04-02-2013, 03:26 PM
I seriously doubt we'll go into 2014 without both Troy and Ryan on the roster.

Bane
04-02-2013, 03:33 PM
I seriously doubt we'll go into 2014 without both Troy and Ryan on the roster.

I would ask Clark, as the dude used to follow me on Twitter...

But he deleted his account weeks afterward. FML. I WAS SO COOL FOR A FEW WEEKS.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
04-02-2013, 08:33 PM
Vaccaro, Shawn Williams, tj McDonald, trufant all on game changers right now nfl network

pczach
04-03-2013, 06:12 AM
I watched NFL Network and Mike Mayock says that he thinks Vaccaro will be available at 17, but the Steelers will pass on him, and he will fall to the Cowboys.

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
04-03-2013, 06:33 AM
I watched NFL Network and Mike Mayock says that he thinks Vaccaro will be available at 17, but the Steelers will pass on him, and he will fall to the Cowboys.

The real question is if Vaccaro & Patterson is there at 17 who do we draft??

Glad I dont have to make that decision but Id probably would go Patterson cause of need of playmakers for offense...

teegre
04-03-2013, 08:50 AM
The real question is if Vaccaro & Patterson is there at 17 who do we draft??

Glad I dont have to make that decision but Id probably would go Patterson cause of need of playmakers for offense...

Vaccaro was a top player for several seasons. Patterson had one good season... which scares me. Simply, Patterson reminds me of Troy Edwards.

So... Matt Elam???

teegre
04-03-2013, 08:51 AM
I seriously doubt we'll go into 2014 without both Troy and Ryan on the roster.

It's a realistic possibility...
...especially if the Steelers win the SuperBowl (which they will).

SteelersCanada
04-03-2013, 09:19 AM
If Troy has another injury marred season I doubt he's on the roster for 2014.

ebsteelers
04-03-2013, 09:51 AM
The real question is if Vaccaro & Patterson is there at 17 who do we draft??

Glad I dont have to make that decision but Id probably would go Patterson cause of need of playmakers for offense...

personally, i'd get on the phone with dallas and say giants want to trade up for vaccaro, wanna give us your 4 or 5 to move up. if they bite great if not..

let the clock run out and let dallas run up there. haha vikings and jaguars style

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
04-03-2013, 11:19 AM
Vaccaro was a top player for several seasons. Patterson had one good season... which scares me. Simply, Patterson reminds me of Troy Edwards.

So... Matt Elam???

But Patterson is a true playmaker just with the ball in his hands he makes plays he came in at Tennessee not knowing the playbook and not knowing how to run routes & he balled, every game he got better and better, he potential is a top 5 receiver and I want that type of playmaker for our offense

Noting really amazes me about Elam he's 5'9 and he's a hitter, and only got interceptions cause of bad throws(dont get mad at me:rofl:) but maybe if we trade down he would be a nice pick...

SteelersCanada
04-03-2013, 11:36 AM
But Patterson is a true playmaker just with the ball in his hands he makes plays he came in at Tennessee not knowing the playbook and not knowing how to run routes & he balled, every game he got better and better, he potential is a top 5 receiver and I want that type of playmaker for our offense

Noting really amazes me about Elam he's 5'9 and he's a hitter, and only got interceptions cause of bad throws(dont get mad at me:rofl:) but maybe if we trade down he would be a nice pick...

Patterson is also as dumb as a doorknob. He can't run routes and he might be a playmaker with the ball in his hands, but do you trust him to get separation on guys like Lardarius Webb or Joe Haden? I don't. Austin and Woods have more upside than this kid and don't require the playbook to be written in crayon for them to read it.

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
04-03-2013, 12:03 PM
Patterson is also as dumb as a doorknob. He can't run routes and he might be a playmaker with the ball in his hands, but do you trust him to get separation on guys like Lardarius Webb or Joe Haden? I don't. Austin and Woods have more upside than this kid and don't require the playbook to be written in crayon for them to read it.

I haven't heard of anything of him being "dumb" he did improve his route running through out the season, but did Mike Wallace ever get separation from Webb and Haden(overrated corner imo)? No.

Patterson has way more potential then Austin or Woods they'll be good & I would be happy if we drafted Woods or Austin but come on Patterson stepped right in the Tennessee offense without knowing anything about the playbook and made plays and only got better and better each week.

He might not step right in week 1 and do great but if we can let defensive players sit on the bench to learn the defense Patterson can slowly take his time to learn the offense(but i believe he'll be ready)

SteelersCanada
04-03-2013, 12:11 PM
I haven't heard of anything of him being "dumb" he did improve his route running through out the season, but did Mike Wallace ever get separation from Webb and Haden(overrated corner imo)? No.

Patterson has way more potential then Austin or Woods they'll be good & I would be happy if we drafted Woods or Austin but come on Patterson stepped right in the Tennessee offense without knowing anything about the playbook and made plays and only got better and better each week.

He might not step right in week 1 and do great but if we can let defensive players sit on the bench to learn the defense Patterson can slowly take his time to learn the offense(but i believe he'll be ready)

People will say "well, he isn't book smart but that doesn't effect his football IQ" except that his football IQ isn't great either. He again, can't run sophisticated routes and while he's capable of making plays when he has the ball in his hands, that only takes you so far at the NFL level. If you can't make consistent catches and run crisp routes, you won't be a teams number one receiver. He has to dramatically step up his game in both of these areas for me to consider him a legitimate number one receiver for this team.

Let me get this straight: you want another receiver who can't get separation from the elite CBs (though I'm with you on Haden - he's definitely overrated) in our division, let alone the rest of the league? Another receiver who struggles to run routes and make consistent catches? We just let one of those guys walk and get overpaid and I don't think the front office is keen on doing it again.

Woods and Austin know how to make plays. Consistently. They also know how to catch and, ya know, run routes. If we're going to take a risk on a receiver, I'd rather it be Da'Rick Rogers. I understand why you want Patterson, but nothing he did impressed me. His inability to run routes (which I know I keep bringing up but it's a huge red flag) and reportedly low IQ (in football and just in general) makes me want to pass on him.

We're gonna have to agree to disagree here, that's all.

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
04-03-2013, 12:35 PM
People will say "well, he isn't book smart but that doesn't effect his football IQ" except that his football IQ isn't great either. He again, can't run sophisticated routes and while he's capable of making plays when he has the ball in his hands, that only takes you so far at the NFL level. If you can't make consistent catches and run crisp routes, you won't be a teams number one receiver. He has to dramatically step up his game in both of these areas for me to consider him a legitimate number one receiver for this team.

Let me get this straight: you want another receiver who can't get separation from the elite CBs (though I'm with you on Haden - he's definitely overrated) in our division, let alone the rest of the league? Another receiver who struggles to run routes and make consistent catches? We just let one of those guys walk and get overpaid and I don't think the front office is keen on doing it again.

Woods and Austin know how to make plays. Consistently. They also know how to catch and, ya know, run routes. If we're going to take a risk on a receiver, I'd rather it be Da'Rick Rogers. I understand why you want Patterson, but nothing he did impressed me. His inability to run routes (which I know I keep bringing up but it's a huge red flag) and reportedly low IQ (in football and just in general) makes me want to pass on him.

We're gonna have to agree to disagree here, that's all.

Its like i said im talking about his Potential and he has alot more than Woods or Austin does, but is there a risk to take him at #17? no doubt and if he is dumb as you say he is then maybe i'll back off from him but I've never heard anything like that, and maybe you think he's dumb cause he only played 1 year of Division I football & still learning and is going to get better by time kinda like Ezekiel Ansah

But I guess we will find out soon :drink:

tmacsteelerfan
04-03-2013, 01:03 PM
Patterson is one BPA possible pick that I'm afraid of. I'm not sold on him after just 1 year of FBS Football with all of our other possible 1st rd options. He'll be our best immediate replacement for Wallace, but besides the deep threat capabilities, I feel Rogers, Woods, or Bailey could be better possession WRs for us at a less valued pick.

teegre
04-03-2013, 03:08 PM
Noting really amazes me about Elam he's 5'9 and he's a hitter, and only got interceptions cause of bad throws(dont get mad at me:rofl:) but maybe if we trade down he would be a nice pick...

Why you!!! Them's fightin' words, you varmit!!!

(please, read the prior using a Yosemite Sam twang.)

Blacksburg Zach
04-03-2013, 03:30 PM
Noting really amazes me about Elam he's 5'9 and he's a hitter, and only got interceptions cause of bad throws(dont get mad at me:rofl:) but maybe if we trade down he would be a nice pick...

:jawdrop: How dare you speak such blasphemy in front of teegre! :chuckle:

teegre
04-03-2013, 04:30 PM
:jawdrop: How dare you speak such blasphemy in front of teegre! :chuckle:

I know, huh.

There are just some topics that you can NOT mention in front of certain people. For me, it's saying that "Matt Elam is too short to excel." For Red Sox fans, it's Babe Ruth. For Ray Lewis, it's any discussion about limos.

pczach
04-03-2013, 05:10 PM
I know, huh.

There are just some topics that you can NOT mention in front of certain people. For me, it's saying that "Matt Elam is too short to excel." For Red Sox fans, it's Babe Ruth. For Ray Lewis, it's any discussion about limos.

That is a serious man-crush you have going there!:chuckle:

harrison'samonster
04-03-2013, 06:04 PM
I know, huh.

There are just some topics that you can NOT mention in front of certain people. For me, it's saying that "Matt Elam is too short to excel." For Red Sox fans, it's Babe Ruth. For Ray Lewis, it's any discussion about limos.

and don't mention the war around the Germans. I slipped once, but I think I got away with it.

teegre
04-03-2013, 06:39 PM
That is a serious man-crush you have going there!:chuckle:

(Is it that obvious?) :wink02:

WokeUpWithaWoodley
04-03-2013, 06:45 PM
(Is it that obvious?) :wink02:

Teegre would you have nightmares if Elam went to the ravens?

teegre
04-03-2013, 06:48 PM
Teegre would you have nightmares if Elam went to the ravens?

That is EXACTLY what I fear is going to happen!!!

It's Ed Reed all over again.

SteelersCanada
04-03-2013, 07:29 PM
Swearinger or Elam in the second?

pczach
04-03-2013, 07:34 PM
(Is it that obvious?) :wink02:

That's nothing. I was just asked if I'm a "Cultist" in a thread about Michael Mauti. I must have a man-crush of my own!:sofunny:

teegre
04-03-2013, 07:41 PM
That's nothing. I was just asked if I'm a "Cultist" in a thread about Michael Mauti. I must have a man-crush of my own!:sofunny:

Our man crushes are NOTHING compared to that of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. :wink02:

pczach
04-03-2013, 07:42 PM
Our man crushes are NOTHING compared to that of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. :wink02:

"Buddy. If that did anything for me I'd be the luckiest man alive"

teegre
04-03-2013, 07:48 PM
"Buddy. If that did anything for me I'd be the luckiest man alive"

A Marvin Udall reference. Nice.

I only know that name, because I have some OCD tendencies... and use his name every few months (in reference to myself).

pczach
04-03-2013, 07:54 PM
A Marvin Udall reference. Nice.

I only know that name, because I have some OCD tendencies... and use his name every few months (in reference to myself).

:toofunny: He was a real piece of work.

That explains some of your posts.:flap:

WokeUpWithaWoodley
04-04-2013, 07:44 AM
Report: Steelers To Bring Nevada S Duke Williams In For Pre Draft Visit
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Dave Bryan


Earlier in the evening it was reported that UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin will be making a pre draft visit on Thursday, and now Fox Sports reports that Nevada safety Duke Williams has a visit to Pittsburgh scheduled as well.

Williams, a well put together safety, measured in at the NFL combine last month at 5110 and 203 pounds. He ran a blazing 4.52 forty yard dash and a 4.00 short shuttle to go along with a 37.5 vertical jump and a 10'06" broad jump. He also did 13 reps on the bench in addition.

Williams, who has shown to be a heavy hitting safety that moves like a cornerback, needs to work on his tackling and his recognition. During his four years at Nevada, he recorded 292 total tackles, had four interceptions, 18 unofficial pass breakups and forced five fumbles.

At times, Williams has been noted as being a bit too physical when covering receivers in the slot, which has led to penalties, but he does show his athleticism well when asked to turn and run.

Williams does have a few character red flags, however. His indiscretions include underage drinking, fighting, possession of stolen property, and driving with an expired license and registration, and driving without insurance. His has missed games due to suspension and has been arrested.

The Steelers will draft a strong safety type at some point during the upcoming draft, and Williams figures to come off the board in the later rounds.



Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2009* FR 21 8 29 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010* SO 51 23 74 4.5 0.0 2 42 21.0 0 6 0 0 0 2
2011* JR 58 25 83 4.5 0.0 1 0 0.0 0 7 1 7 0 0
2012* SR 68 38 106 5.5 0.0 1 27 27.0 0 9 1 51 0 3
Career 198 94 292 14.5 0.0 4 69 17.3 0 22 2 58 0 5

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/report-steelers-to-bring-nevada-s-duke-williams-in-for-pre-draft-visit/

teegre
04-04-2013, 08:47 AM
I remember a lot of people on here talking about Duke Williams (three months ago). Then... his name sort of disappeared for a while.

Man, there are a LOT of good safeties in this draft!!!

Which reminds me, I want TWO safeties drafted: a great safety (Elam/Vaccaro)... followed by one of these good safeties (either Williams, Rambo, McDonald).

Franklin... that's El-Gonzo's boy. We can now add him to the R3-R4 RB discussion: Lattimore, Bell, or Franklin.

Steeler7BR
04-04-2013, 11:20 AM
Report: Steelers To Bring Nevada S Duke Williams In For Pre Draft Visit
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 pm by Dave Bryan


Earlier in the evening it was reported that UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin will be making a pre draft visit on Thursday, and now Fox Sports reports that Nevada safety Duke Williams has a visit to Pittsburgh scheduled as well.

Williams, a well put together safety, measured in at the NFL combine last month at 5110 and 203 pounds. He ran a blazing 4.52 forty yard dash and a 4.00 short shuttle to go along with a 37.5 vertical jump and a 10'06" broad jump. He also did 13 reps on the bench in addition.

Williams, who has shown to be a heavy hitting safety that moves like a cornerback, needs to work on his tackling and his recognition. During his four years at Nevada, he recorded 292 total tackles, had four interceptions, 18 unofficial pass breakups and forced five fumbles.

At times, Williams has been noted as being a bit too physical when covering receivers in the slot, which has led to penalties, but he does show his athleticism well when asked to turn and run.

Williams does have a few character red flags, however. His indiscretions include underage drinking, fighting, possession of stolen property, and driving with an expired license and registration, and driving without insurance. His has missed games due to suspension and has been arrested.

The Steelers will draft a strong safety type at some point during the upcoming draft, and Williams figures to come off the board in the later rounds.



Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2009* FR 21 8 29 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010* SO 51 23 74 4.5 0.0 2 42 21.0 0 6 0 0 0 2
2011* JR 58 25 83 4.5 0.0 1 0 0.0 0 7 1 7 0 0
2012* SR 68 38 106 5.5 0.0 1 27 27.0 0 9 1 51 0 3
Career 198 94 292 14.5 0.0 4 69 17.3 0 22 2 58 0 5

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/report-steelers-to-bring-nevada-s-duke-williams-in-for-pre-draft-visit/

I didn't watched tape on him but 'needs to work on... his recognition' sounds scary. It's probably the most important ability that a safety should have. But still I didn't seen him play but that looks to me like a physicle speciment with very poor awareness and feel for the game.

Hawaii 5-0
04-04-2013, 06:33 PM
Draft Prospects Who Would Fit Perfectly with Pittsburgh Steelers

BY MIKE BATISTA (FEATURED COLUMNIST) ON APRIL 4, 2013

Matt Elam, SS, Florida

Year: Junior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 208 pounds

The Steelers might be okay at safety in 2013, but Troy Polamalu turns 32 this month and Ryan Clark turns 34 in October. It's time to start looking for future safeties in the draft.

Pittsburgh shouldn't expect to find another Polamalu. He's a once-in-a-generation talent.

However, Matt Elam seems to be the most Polamalu-like of the safeties in the 2013 draft class.

Not only is Elam the same height as Polamalu and just one pound heavier, but Polamalu's name comes up in NFL Draft Scout's assessment of Elam because of his knack for making big plays.

Like Polamalu, Elam might whiff once in a while when going for a splash play.

In 2011, Elam led Florida with 11 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He followed that up last season by again making 11 tackles for loss to go with two sacks, a forced fumble and four interceptions.

Elam is a proven special teams contributor, which would make him a nice fit on any team, not just the Steelers.

The Steelers 2012 draft class was a disappointment off the field, so they need to pay special attention to character in this draft.

Elam has had two "run-ins" with police for alcohol possession, according to NFL Draft Scout. There are worse things football players have done.

Elam showed enough character to be voted a team captain in 2012. He might have to fall in the second round for the Steelers to have a shot at him.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1586213-draft-prospects-who-would-fit-perfectly-with-pittsburgh-steelers/page/5

teegre
04-04-2013, 06:50 PM
Draft Prospects Who Would Fit Perfectly with Pittsburgh Steelers

BY MIKE BATISTA (FEATURED COLUMNIST) ON APRIL 4, 2013

Matt Elam, SS, Florida

Year: Junior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 208 pounds

The Steelers might be okay at safety in 2013, but Troy Polamalu turns 32 this month and Ryan Clark turns 34 in October. It's time to start looking for future safeties in the draft.

Pittsburgh shouldn't expect to find another Polamalu. He's a once-in-a-generation talent.

However, Matt Elam seems to be the most Polamalu-like of the safeties in the 2013 draft class.

Not only is Elam the same height as Polamalu and just one pound heavier, but Polamalu's name comes up in NFL Draft Scout's assessment of Elam because of his knack for making big plays.

Like Polamalu, Elam might whiff once in a while when going for a splash play.

In 2011, Elam led Florida with 11 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He followed that up last season by again making 11 tackles for loss to go with two sacks, a forced fumble and four interceptions.

Elam is a proven special teams contributor, which would make him a nice fit on any team, not just the Steelers.

The Steelers 2012 draft class was a disappointment off the field, so they need to pay special attention to character in this draft.

Elam has had two "run-ins" with police for alcohol possession, according to NFL Draft Scout. There are worse things football players have done.

Elam showed enough character to be voted a team captain in 2012. He might have to fall in the second round for the Steelers to have a shot at him.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1586213-draft-prospects-who-would-fit-perfectly-with-pittsburgh-steelers/page/5

BEST POST EVER!!!

Hawaii 5-0
04-04-2013, 06:59 PM
BEST POST EVER!!!

I had this really strange feeling that you might like that post! :drink:

teegre
04-04-2013, 07:15 PM
I had this really strange feeling that you might like that post! :drink:

Who'd of guessed??? :wink02:

pczach
04-04-2013, 08:04 PM
BEST POST EVER!!!

Try to contain yourself man!:sofunny:

Hawaii 5-0
04-09-2013, 06:22 PM
Steelers Should Start Planning for a Post Polamalu and Clark World

Will Delaux, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Apr 8, 2013

As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I fully recognize that it is practically sacrilegious to suggest that the Steelers should part ways with -- or at least prepare to part ways with -- Troy Polamalu, one of the team's iconic players. However, as we have seen this offseason with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens allowing Brian Urlacher and Ed Reed to leave in free agency, sometimes franchises must cut ties with key veterans from their defense given the realities of the salary cap and age-related declines in performance.

The Icon of the Defense

Even casual football fans can pick out Polamalu on the field; he is a hive of activity, alternately blitzing the quarterback, covering a tight end, or playing "centerfield" for the Steelers defense ready to intercept an unsuspecting QB. Polamalu's skills and ability have been key elements in the success of the Steelers' defense recently, as the team has ranked in the top five in total defense in each of the past five years.

However, the time is near for the Steelers to begin to look beyond Polamalu and identify his replacement. I believe that time will, and should, come following the 2013 NFL season. By the 2014 season, Polamalu with be 33 years old, which is quite old by NFL standards for a starting safety. Polamalu is scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2013, with one additional year at $8.25 million for 2014 remaining his contract. With the Steelers operating near the cap and the anticipation of a relatively flat salary cap for the next few seasons, an older safety with declining skills is a luxury that few teams, in particular the Steelers, can afford. In addition to cost considerations, the Steelers must also consider Polamalu's injury history. He has admitted to having suffered eight or nine concussions throughout his NFL career. Given the heightened emphasis on player safety, another concussion could easily spell the end of Polamalu's great career. And after he missed nine games in 2012 due to a strained calf, the potential for age-related injuries must also be taken into account.

The Solid Supporter

Safety Ryan Clark does not receive the acclaim and attention that Polamalu does, but he is just as essential to the success of the Steelers' defense. His solid play at the free safety position and in coverage allows Polamalu to freelance and move around the field, switching between pass coverage, blitzing, and run coverage. Clark provides the Steelers with stability in the secondary, supporting the cornerbacks in coverage. He also has a reputation for being one of the hardest hitting players in the NFL.

Clark will turn 34 during the 2013 season, and is scheduled to make $3.5 million in 2013 in the final year of a four year contract. This means that the Steelers will face the free agency question with Clark following the 2013 season. The key question is: can a team that is up against the salary cap keep two over-30 safeties that will make a combined $11 million in 2013, almost 10 percent of the team's total cap space? For the benefit of the team, which has other needs in the areas of running back and outside linebacker, the answer is no. It is time for the Steelers to begin to look for replacements for these two foundations of the defense.

Options in the 2013 Draft

The Steelers currently hold the 17th (first round), 48th (second round), and 79th (third round) picks in the 2013 draft. The team does have pressing needs for 2013 in the form of upgrading the running back and linebacker positions. However, even with these needs the team must start to look for a young safety that can be brought in to learn the defense and prepare to replace Polamalu or Clark in the secondary. Let's look at options for the Steelers at the safety position in each of the first three rounds. Potential draft targets are identified with the help of rankings from SB Nation:

First Round - 17th pick: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Second Round - 48th pick: Matt Elam, Florida; Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International; D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina; Eric Reid, LSU

Third Round - 79th pick: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma; Earl Wolff, North Carolina State

Given the importance of the athletic and skilled players in the Steelers' zone blitz scheme, I would lean towards a selection of a safety by the second round in order to ensure that the team adds a quality player. Given the Steelers' other positional needs, the selection of Reid or Swearinger in the second round would increase the potential for the Steelers to find a young safety that might reach the same skill level as Polamalu or Clark. Swearinger would be a great choice to replace the hard-hitting Clark, as he has gained a similar reputation in college. Reid projects as a possible Polamalu replacement. He is capable of playing anywhere on the field, helping to either stop the run or support pass coverage.

Hard Decisions

Parting ways with Polamalu and Clark will not be easy for the Steelers. When the time comes, there will likely be significant frustration expressed and no shortage of opinions on the decision from the fan base, football writers, and followers of the NFL. However, if the Steelers act now and use the 2013 draft as an opportunity to find a quality young safety, the sting of losing Polamalu and Clark could be mitigated through the presence of a young replacement worthy of taking the place of one of these two great safeties.

http://voices.yahoo.com/steelers-start-planning-post-polamalu-12073337.html

Bane
04-09-2013, 06:55 PM
"Post" and "Polamalu" and "Clark" in the same sentence together hurts my insides.

STEELMANIAK
04-09-2013, 07:35 PM
"Post" and "Polamalu" and "Clark" in the same sentence together hurts my insides.

Not mine, I was never a fan of Clark and Polamalu hasn't really been there for us the last 3 seasons anyhow. I can't wait to get some young talent at this position!

harrison'samonster
04-09-2013, 07:47 PM
Not mine, I was never a fan of Clark and Polamalu hasn't really been there for us the last 3 seasons anyhow. I can't wait to get some young talent at this position!

what don't you like about Clark?

Bane
04-09-2013, 07:56 PM
Not mine, I was never a fan of Clark and Polamalu hasn't really been there for us the last 3 seasons anyhow. I can't wait to get some young talent at this position!

Admit it. You just hate fun.

STEELMANIAK
04-10-2013, 04:16 PM
what don't you like about Clark?

Clark is mediocre & lacks the size and speed we need at free safety. Our division has some of the biggest fastest receivers and tight ends in the league. On top of all that, he does not create turn overs.

What is it exactly that you like from Clark?

Hawaii 5-0
05-09-2013, 05:49 PM
in honor of my good friend teegre, one last Teegre Fix: :drink:


The Florida Fix: Saying Goodbye To Matt Elam

May 9th, 2013 by John Carey

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/182/files/2013/05/6612146.jpg

Matt Elam was one of the elite defenders on Florida’s defense in both 2012 and 2011. When Florida went 7-6 in 2011, Elam was one of the few bright spots on the team, as he played at an elite level. He was a vocal leader on defense, and led by example by being a team player and never calling out guys in public or causing locker room strife.

During his career at Florida, Elam played with a reckless style and was one of the hardest hitting players in college football. Elam was second on the team in tackles with 76, and also had 11 tackles for loss. He was 1st team All-SEC and 1st team All-Pro. He was also voted a team captain in 2012. Elam’s best attributes are his ability to walk up to the line of scrimmage and be physical, and to also be able to drop back and be a single high safety. He gets a nice initial jam on receivers when he is in slot coverage, and is able to disrupt their routes for the first 4 or 5 yards. Elam shows good vision and anticipation when fighting through blocks near the line of scrimmage and is generally a reliable, physical tackler. He brings his hips as a hitter, showing the closing speed and raw power to generate explosiveness. Elam was one of Florida’s best safeties in quite some time and had a great career, and his NFL career is just as promising.

The Ravens filled one of their primary offseason needs when they took Elam at pick #32. While many see the loss of Ed Reed as the reason they have a hole at safety, they also cut Bernard Pollard, which left a whole at both safety positions. They signed Michael Huff to fill in at Reed’s spot, so Elam will slide into Pollard’s former spot, where Elam is a more natural fit. Raven’s GM Ozzie Newsome’s draft strategy is to take the best player available when he picks, so Elam was obviously their top rated player left when they picked. Newsome loves to get players from the SEC, as he is an Alabama alumnus, and knows that only the best play in the SEC as one must play a physical and powerful game to win. The Ravens had Elam come in for several private workouts during the draft process and he was rumored to be one of their favorite players in this year’s class.

Elam is a perfect fit in Baltimore’s defensive scheme with his physical style of play, and he will step in and start right away for the Ravens at strong safety. Elam has the typical Ravens mindset, to be physical and aggressive and to, as Mike Singletary would say, go out and hit people in the mouth. Elam will benefit greatly from a Baltimore front 7 that has gotten a bit of a face lift this offseason, with the additions of Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Arthur Brown, and Rolando McClain. This group will provide an effective pass rush to confuse the quarterback into throwing to Elam, and will allow him to play more comfortably in coverage. This group will also dominate the line of scrimmage and open up holes for Elam to make plays in the run game as well. With such great pieces around Elam, do not be surprised if he ends up with 4 or 5 interceptions on the year and several tackles for loss as well.

Elam falling to pick #32 wasn’t all that big of a surprise as most mock drafts had him going somewhere in the mid/late first to early second round. Elam being a late first is likely due to his limited ability as a coverage safety, as he doesn’t possess the elite speed to cover some of the wide receivers or tight ends in today’s NFL. He also did have a good amount of penalties in his collegiate career due to his physical style of play, and with the current move towards the game getting a little softer; some teams may have been weary to pick up a hard hitting in the box safety. He is a little smaller than one would usually want at the safety position, but there is nothing he can do to improve that. He also had some minor arrests early in his college career involving alcohol.

Elam needs to develop his game more to adjust to life in the NFL as he still has some holes to fill. His aggressive style of play can be a blessing for him but can also be a curse, as he can tend to be too aggressive and come in too hot and lose his balance and control and leave cut back lanes. He can tend to lead with his shoulder when tackling, and will often leave his feet as well. His biggest issue are his cover skills as elite quarterbacks will often pick on him in coverage by having their receivers run routes that take advantage of his below average lateral agility, such as in the Sugar Bowl, where he was picked on by Bridgewater numerous times. If Elam can work on these holes in his game, he can be one of the elite safeties in the NFL.

With Josh Evans and De’Ante Saunders also out of the picture for 2013, Florida’s depth at safety will be tested. While Jabari Gorman looks to be the replacement for Evans, it appears as though the Gators’ safety recruits will be battling rising sophomores Marcus Maye and Rhaheim Ledbetter for the starting strong safety spot. Neither Mayes nor Rhaheim played much at all in their freshman season for the Gators, and reportedly seem even in their battle right now heading into the summer. Florida also has some talented freshman safeties coming in that could fight for playing time, namely Marcell Harris. Harris was a top recruit last year, and is a natural fit to come in and start at Elam’s strong safety spot. He has a very similar style of physical play as Elam, and has been called a taller version of Elam. At the moment it seems as if it will be a 3 way battle at the beginning of the season for Elam’s starting spot, and I would tend to say that Harris will wind up winning the spot, as he is the most natural replacement.

Matt Elam had a wonderful career for the Florida Gators, and will forever be one of the top defenders to play for Florida. His physical presence on defense will be missed on defense, and his role as a vocal leader on defense is something that will leave a void as well. Elam was a great Gator, but look for him to be an even better Raven. If he can work on some of the holes in his game, he can be an All Pro safety in the NFL. So as Elam leaves for his NFL career, I wish him all the success in his endeavors, and hope that he can become one of the greats.

So goodbye Matt Elam and good luck in the NFL.

http://withthefirstpick.com/2013/05/09/the-florida-fix-saying-goodbye-to-matt-elam/?utm_source=FanSided&utm_medium=Network&utm_campaign=Hot%2BTopics

teegre
05-09-2013, 06:41 PM
Like salt in my wounds...

pczach
05-09-2013, 07:33 PM
Like salt in my wounds...

I get the feeling that when you see Shark on the field, he's going to make you think we got Elam, but spent a much lower pick and a lot less money on him.

Yes, I'm trying to cheer you up.:wave:

teegre
05-09-2013, 09:13 PM
I get the feeling that when you see Shark on the field, he's going to make you think we got Elam, but spent a much lower pick and a lot less money on him.

Yes, I'm trying to cheer you up.:wave:

Thanks, man.

I'm fine. As I mentioned in another thread, Jones AND Shark is better than "just" Elam. Shark is like Elam, Jr.

It's that 5-0 posted that article... and I had a "moment." It's not like I'll remember (ED) this in a few (REED) years; the Steelers (ED) got Troy Polamalu, and I never (REED) again thought about the 2002 draft.