PDA

View Full Version : Collier: Steelers in search of a solution


Hawaii 5-0
03-24-2013, 12:20 PM
Collier: Steelers in search of a solution

March 24, 2013 12:23 am
By Gene Collier / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hello, Steeler fans, and welcome to March Talk, which is what Mike Tomlin calls it when people say discouraging things about his football team on the wrong side of the calendar.

With March Talk heading into its final week, today I thought we'd try to determine if there might be some way to prevent March Talk from morphing into April-thru-August Talk or, in a worst of all words scenario, September Talk about how March Talk was, regrettably, remarkably portentous.

Happily, just one month from Monday night, Roger Goodell will walk to a microphone in New York and begin the 2013 NFL Draft. Now should you, in your gathering perspiration, need a more precise measurement of the time between here and there, you may consult the clock at NFL.com, where there is display of seconds actually ticking down.

What, no tenths of seconds?

The digital countdown to Draft Weekend is one of the more recent league innovations designed to turn the draft into Armageddon, and while I have generally resisted that interpretation, this draft certainly looks pretty darned important to the Steelers if they're going to put March Talk behind them.

The difference this time, and for the first time in recent memory, is that Mike Tomlin's team needs everything.Not only does it need somebody who can take the top off the defense, it needs somebody who can take the bottom off the defense; it needs somebody to fold in the sides of the defense and insert tabs A and B into slots C and D.

It needs somebody who can hack through the defense like when one of those late night infomercial knives clips the fender off a '74 El Dorado.

It needs somebody who can separate, somebody who can close, and perhaps even an equipment guy who can separate the clothes.

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert might disagree with all of this, because he's not fond of "need" as a verb choice, let alone as a gaping hole in a roster in his charge, such as at wide receiver, defensive back, outside linebacker, running back and defensive line, just to name a few random gapers.

The first thing the club needs is not to assemble anything like last year's draft class, which, it might be argued, didn't yield a productive player until the seventh round. Tight end David Paulson and offensive lineman Kelvin Beachem didn't quite get their own talk shows, but they carried out assignments better than the six Steelers picks before them.

David DeCastro and Mike Adams, the first- and second-round behemoths a year ago, should soon correct that.

Should.

Similar corrections were hoped for from the 2008 Steelers draft class, which has vanished from the Pittsburgh hillsides in its entirety just five years later: Rashard Mendenhall, Limas Sweed, Bruce Davis, Tony Hills, Dennis Dixon, Mike Humpal, Ryan Mundy.

Colbert and his redoubtable scouting staff, in conjunction with Tomlin and his assistants, have weighed, measured, tested, interviewed and graded every conceivable potential solution in this draft, so they might be more capable of identifying the best choice with the 17th pick of the first round than I, but I have to caution you that twice I watched Mel Kiper and Todd McShay in their ESPN Draft Lab, once without even wondering what that green stuff in the beakers is.

I'd draft a receiver with the 17th pick because when you have problems at that position, it weakens the Steelers strongest asset, which is still the quarterback position.

I'd take Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee if he were somehow available, because a lot of people see him as a Demaryius Thomas type, which means, as you may remember, that he can inflict instantaneous, lasting heartache on a defense and an organization that hasn't won a playoff game in going on three years.

But Patterson likely won't be around at 17, and that, I think, will leave the Steelers with a choice from among Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins, Southern Cal's Robert Woods, Cal's Keenan Allen and possibly even Tavon Austin of West Virginia.

Austin's amazing athleticism is such that few NFL personnel people are spooked by his stature, which should not be called smallish, because he's just small. Smaller than Emmanuel Sanders. Smaller than Antonio Brown. At 5-8 and 174, scouts project him as a slot receiver. He also projects as an injury.

Injuries figure prominently on draft day, which is why it might be hard to commit to either Woods, who's had surgery on his ankle, or to Allen, who is still battling knee and hamstring problems.

My pick then would be DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins, who is 6-1 and 214 and last fall cobbled together a tremendously productive season in the Southeast Conference, where it just so happens that scores of predatory athletes roam the secondaries.

Disclaimer: This entire exercise was done without putting any green stuff into a beaker.

Translation: I could be wrong, but then, you knew that.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2OSx2RM7j

SteelersCanada
03-24-2013, 12:43 PM
Some good points, but I'd like to point out that the problem in the first 9 weeks of last season was not the offense, it was the lack of pressure and turnovers by the defense. When the offense and defense finally gelled, we lost Ben and that was the killing blow to our team. I honestly think we can go receiver outside the third round (Rodney Smith or Marcus Davis in the fifth, for example) and be just fine with AB and Manny as our 1/2 punch. That's going under the assumption someone like Justin Hunter or DeAndre Hopkins isn't there in the second round which would be a no-brainer at that point.

To me, it boils down to a pass rusher (if we don't get Dumervil) in the first round which would help creature pressure and sacks and then turn that pressure into turnovers. Letting Romo and Rivers each go for over 300 is unacceptable.

bornaSteelersfan
03-24-2013, 01:17 PM
To me, it boils down to a pass rusher (if we don't get Dumervil) in the first round which would help creature pressure and sacks and then turn that pressure into turnovers. Letting Romo and Rivers each go for over 300 is unacceptable.

I agree that The Steelers need to get pressure on the QB. Both Romo and Rivers have suspect O-lines and we couldn't pressure either of them very well. With all the teams that are switching to a 3-4 defense, many of them need pass rushers. So the top possible OLB's will most likely be gone by pick #17 (including Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Jarvis Jones, and Barkevious Mingo). Where does that leave us with our first pick?

I truly believe that The Steeler's first pick is crucial. It has to be someone who can start and have an impact on opening day. I hold faith that this year quite a few teams ahead of us will trade down and the guy The Steelers want will drop to them.

SteelersCanada
03-24-2013, 02:18 PM
So the top possible OLB's will most likely be gone by pick #17 (including Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Jarvis Jones, and Barkevious Mingo). Where does that leave us with our first pick?

If we're using history as any indicator, one of - if not two or three - of those guys will be there at 17. Pass rushers always fall. Unless they're truly elite (a la, Von Miller) they're not going to be taken high. There's teams ahead of us that have much more pressing needs than a pass rusher which means one of those guys will be there. Now we can start to rule out guys who had great pro days and/or are being drafted solely on potential such as Jordan but from 10 - 16, there's one team that sticks out as needing a pass rusher and it's the Saints.

VaDave
03-24-2013, 03:34 PM
Collier: Steelers in search of a solution

March 24, 2013 12:23 am
By Gene Collier / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hello, Steeler fans, and welcome to March Talk, which is what Mike Tomlin calls it when people say discouraging things about his football team on the wrong side of the calendar.

With March Talk heading into its final week, today I thought we'd try to determine if there might be some way to prevent March Talk from morphing into April-thru-August Talk or, in a worst of all words scenario, September Talk about how March Talk was, regrettably, remarkably portentous.

Happily, just one month from Monday night, Roger Goodell will walk to a microphone in New York and begin the 2013 NFL Draft. Now should you, in your gathering perspiration, need a more precise measurement of the time between here and there, you may consult the clock at NFL.com, where there is display of seconds actually ticking down.

What, no tenths of seconds?

The digital countdown to Draft Weekend is one of the more recent league innovations designed to turn the draft into Armageddon, and while I have generally resisted that interpretation, this draft certainly looks pretty darned important to the Steelers if they're going to put March Talk behind them.

The difference this time, and for the first time in recent memory, is that Mike Tomlin's team needs everything.Not only does it need somebody who can take the top off the defense, it needs somebody who can take the bottom off the defense; it needs somebody to fold in the sides of the defense and insert tabs A and B into slots C and D.

It needs somebody who can hack through the defense like when one of those late night infomercial knives clips the fender off a '74 El Dorado.

It needs somebody who can separate, somebody who can close, and perhaps even an equipment guy who can separate the clothes.

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert might disagree with all of this, because he's not fond of "need" as a verb choice, let alone as a gaping hole in a roster in his charge, such as at wide receiver, defensive back, outside linebacker, running back and defensive line, just to name a few random gapers.

The first thing the club needs is not to assemble anything like last year's draft class, which, it might be argued, didn't yield a productive player until the seventh round. Tight end David Paulson and offensive lineman Kelvin Beachem didn't quite get their own talk shows, but they carried out assignments better than the six Steelers picks before them.

David DeCastro and Mike Adams, the first- and second-round behemoths a year ago, should soon correct that.

Should.

Similar corrections were hoped for from the 2008 Steelers draft class, which has vanished from the Pittsburgh hillsides in its entirety just five years later: Rashard Mendenhall, Limas Sweed, Bruce Davis, Tony Hills, Dennis Dixon, Mike Humpal, Ryan Mundy.

Colbert and his redoubtable scouting staff, in conjunction with Tomlin and his assistants, have weighed, measured, tested, interviewed and graded every conceivable potential solution in this draft, so they might be more capable of identifying the best choice with the 17th pick of the first round than I, but I have to caution you that twice I watched Mel Kiper and Todd McShay in their ESPN Draft Lab, once without even wondering what that green stuff in the beakers is.

I'd draft a receiver with the 17th pick because when you have problems at that position, it weakens the Steelers strongest asset, which is still the quarterback position.

I'd take Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee if he were somehow available, because a lot of people see him as a Demaryius Thomas type, which means, as you may remember, that he can inflict instantaneous, lasting heartache on a defense and an organization that hasn't won a playoff game in going on three years.

But Patterson likely won't be around at 17, and that, I think, will leave the Steelers with a choice from among Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins, Southern Cal's Robert Woods, Cal's Keenan Allen and possibly even Tavon Austin of West Virginia.

Austin's amazing athleticism is such that few NFL personnel people are spooked by his stature, which should not be called smallish, because he's just small. Smaller than Emmanuel Sanders. Smaller than Antonio Brown. At 5-8 and 174, scouts project him as a slot receiver. He also projects as an injury.

Injuries figure prominently on draft day, which is why it might be hard to commit to either Woods, who's had surgery on his ankle, or to Allen, who is still battling knee and hamstring problems.

My pick then would be DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins, who is 6-1 and 214 and last fall cobbled together a tremendously productive season in the Southeast Conference, where it just so happens that scores of predatory athletes roam the secondaries.

Disclaimer: This entire exercise was done without putting any green stuff into a beaker.

Translation: I could be wrong, but then, you knew that.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2OSx2RM7j

I'm sure glad this little merry ray of sunshine came up with this article. We all know doom and gloom sells papers. Great job Geno, your employers love ya!

Keep in mind that this is STILL a team sport where the collective effort of the team is greater than the sum total of the individual components. Come September, we will have a team, and I still contend, it will exceed worry warts, like Collier, wildest expectations.

There is one expectation I have for this year that is guaranteed. When there is some level of success with Steeler football 2013, don't expect a retraction.

LayingTheWoodley56
03-24-2013, 03:44 PM
The point in bold about drafting at the receiver position to accentuate our biggest strength being Ben at QB is actually brilliant. I never thought about it in that way before.

Also sobering to see that our entire 2008 draft class is off the roster. Looking at all the great, drafted players who recently helped us to championships - and there are many, from first rounders like Ben, Hampton and Heath on down to later round steals like Keisel, Ike and Hines - it sheds light on the fact that Tomlin and Colbert need to fix up their recent drafting process.

After last years draft we were all fawning over its perceived success. Now look: Decastro injured (though I still have high hopes), Adams shaky, Spence gravely injured, Ta,amu on drunken driving rampages, Rainey gone due to legal troubles. Still hope for most of them but not a great start.

JackH
03-24-2013, 04:00 PM
Letting Romo and Rivers each go for over 300 is unacceptable.

Ben going for 134 is worse. Like he did the last game against the Browns. That was the game with no Mike Wallace and no Heath Miller. No Mike Wallace and no Heath Miller is how the Steelers will start the coming season.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
03-24-2013, 04:01 PM
I'm in the minority of not wanting to select a olb in the first. Reasons? Here's why.

Prospects

First lets look at the prospects Ansah, jones, Jordan, mingo, Moore. Now I think it's a foregone conclusion that both Jordan and Ansah will be selected in the top 12 picks. So they are out. Mingo has stated he wants to add weight and show the 4-3 teams he has the size to play end, he has a desire to play end not olb so I think you take him off the board, and frankly he is a speed guy that's all.

That leaves us wih jones and Moore both whom could very well drop to us. First I look at jones, yes he was special in college but a lot of those sacks came from a free rush to the qb. His injury is a big ? If you asking him to take over the olb spot for years. His slow 40 time for being a guy who was suppose to be more speed than power. Also I lot of people question his ability to stop the run and is that is his weak spot well that's what a lot complain about worlids. And I expect to jets to trade back a little and get him. So that leaves us with Moore who stock has fallen a lot. I reality he isn't worth a pickat 17 and would be a reach if guys like vaccaro,cooper, Allen are still on the board.

Worilds

My point being worilds is a better option than the above prospects. In a year where there are so many needs why use our first round pick when we already have our replacement? Worlids has being learning the system and getting healthy it's his turn to step in and be good, history as shown us it happens a lot especially in recent years for olbs in the steelers system.

Many wanted butler (including myself, why? I have no clue ) why sign a guy who careers numbers are similar if not worse than worilds? Bulter was in the same situation in Dallas as worilds. They both were stuck behide 2 pro bowl olbs. Why the urge to sign someone who is basically a mirror image ( meaning career numbers and situation ) as worlids, and worlids has the experience in the system. It just seems like there is a unfair hatred against he man.

Keith butler who I respect a lot was asked about Jason worilds in steelers digest,now I can't remember or find the exact quote but he goes on to say worilds is the guy and tha frankly he wouldn't still be here if we didn't think he could get the job done. Butler and Tomlin have faith.....so do I.

Training camp will be big for worilds. Now healthy he can fully focus on one position and build chemistry with the first team. Which will be a big help. If we draft a olb in the first no way do they beat out worilds who knows the defense. The man as shown he can play so let's give him a shot.

Other needs

Like a said there a so many needs why draft a olb? The reason being many of you dont think we have Harrison's replacement but we do in worilds who is a better replacement at his position than the replacements at the other positions. We currently have no replacement for Clark or Troy no one on the roster is said to be in the running to start when they leave. We have no number 2 receiver, sanders is a slot and behide plax and crotch who are old there is no replacement. Running back we don't even have a started redman and Dwyer are backups unless Dwyer can lose weight and stay on the field longer. No replacement when foote leaves ( spence career is probably done and he is a Mack linebacker not buck ). We have no replacement corner opposite of Allen for when Ike leaves.

So wr,rb,ilb,safety,corner are bigger needs for us to address this season because we have no future starters on the team to take over. Unlike worilds who is already here to take over for Harrison and the steelers have been grooming him to do just that.

Jason worilds will be our starting olb this year and most likely years to come. We have more pressing needs to look for in the first at positions where he steelers have no future replacements.

With that's said I think a motivated Woodley and worilds who both have something to prove will equal good things in terms of sacks and pressures this year. And let's to forget nor leave out those dlineman they must do there job in order to get pressures and sacks from the olb spot.

Steeldude
03-24-2013, 04:51 PM
Many wanted butler (including myself, why? I have no clue ) why sign a guy who careers numbers are similar if not worse than worilds? Bulter was in the same situation in Dallas as worilds. They both were stuck behide 2 pro bowl olbs. Why the urge to sign someone who is basically a mirror image ( meaning career numbers and situation ) as worlids, and worlids has the experience in the system. It just seems like there is a unfair hatred against he man.

Didn't Butler mainly play ROLB? Worilds played poorly at ROLB. He showed he could do well as the LOLB.

JackH
03-24-2013, 05:39 PM
With that's said I think a motivated Woodley and worilds who both have something to prove will equal good things in terms of sacks and pressures this year. And let's to forget nor leave out those dlineman they must do there job in order to get pressures and sacks from the olb spot.

Worids started 3 games last season and totaled 5 sacks for the year, second to Timmons and Harrison both with 6. Woodley had 4.

I agree, I like Worilds chances of being the man. We'll see. And Woodley definitely needs to step it up and return to his previous level. I also think it takes a year or two for linebackers to get comfortable with LeBeau's schemes. A year or two of actually playing the position.

SteelPride1207
03-24-2013, 05:59 PM
Baltimore gets Canty, Spears, and this Doom....what the hell..?!

We get.....cricket....cricket...cricket.....

I do think this is a simple case of Ozzie being a much better GM than Kevin Colbert. Ozzie has been fantastic drafting solid players and even better pulling in free agents.

KC recent drafts have been busts except for a few players. With a team that relies heavily on the draft and resigning their own free agents...this draft is so damn important.

desertsteel
03-24-2013, 06:23 PM
Baltimore gets Canty, Spears, and this Doom....what the hell..?!

We get.....cricket....cricket...cricket.....

I do think this is a simple case of Ozzie being a much better GM than Kevin Colbert. Ozzie has been fantastic drafting solid players and even better pulling in free agents.

KC recent drafts have been busts except for a few players. With a team that relies heavily on the draft and resigning their own free agents...this draft is so damn important.

Blah blah blah

VaDave
03-24-2013, 08:25 PM
Ben going for 134 is worse. Like he did the last game against the Browns. That was the game with no Mike Wallace and no Heath Miller. No Mike Wallace ........

, AND a QB that was compromised health wise, with a shredded OL. For crying out loud, Foster played 3 positions in that game because of in game injuries. Say what you want about the Browns, but their front 7 is solid. To expect any sort of offensive efficiency under those circumstances is ridiculous.

When we line up in September, the line will be solid and the QB should be healed by that time. I'm sure the results will be vastly improved.

tanda10506
03-24-2013, 08:53 PM
I'm not interested in any more WR's that are under 6'2. If we go for a WR we need to go for a big target, a Burress or Calvin Johnson type. I don't see anybody this draft like that. There is also not a standout pass rusher. It will be interesting to see what happens.

OX1947
03-24-2013, 09:09 PM
Fitzgerald would solve all the offensive problems this team has right now. If the Steelers are bottom dwelling it, cut all the vets and at least pay a player who would make an immediate impact with the most valuable asset you have on the team in Big Ben.

Arizona said they arent trading him, so, Im just thinking out loud.

zcoop
03-24-2013, 10:15 PM
Fitzgerald would solve all the offensive problems this team has right now. If the Steelers are bottom dwelling it, cut all the vets and at least pay a player who would make an immediate impact with the most valuable asset you have on the team in Big Ben.

Arizona said they arent trading him, so, Im just thinking out loud.

I don't think that Fitzgerald would solve our offensive problems, neither would I be in favor of gutting the team to pay one player. That would be suicide. We're already working at a deficit at key positions on both sides of the ball.

We can't cut our way out of this hole that we dug for ourselves.