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BB2W 05-01-2005 05:40 PM

Roster Battles.....
 
A look ahead at some postition battles.......


Back-up QB-- (Tommy Maddox vs. Charlie Batch)
- I think Maddox will probably win this battle, and I would feel more comfortable with him behind center than Batch, if Ben got injured.

Right Tackle-- (Max Starks vs. Barret Brooks vs Trai Essex)
- I am sure the coaching staff would like to see Starks step up and be the starter. He has the size and potential to be great. The only knock on him was his aggressiveness in run blocking. I would bet Grimm fixed that........Brooks is more comfortable on the left side, and Essex is a project moving from NCAA Guard to NFL Tackle. A guy to watch is Josh Burr a second year Tackle from South Dakota who has been on our Practice-Squad. He is 6-9 325.

Right Guard-- (Kendall Simmons vs. Chris Kemoeatu)
- I know Simmons is our guy, but if he struggles, or has any lingering health issues, Chris Kemoeatu will get some consideration. This guy was a devistating blocker in college, and I would bet he will be ready for the NFL. Dont let the fact he was selected in the sixth round fool you. I think he will be good.

Split-End-- (Antwaan Randle-El vs. Cedrick Wilson vs. Fred Gibson)
- I am sure El will start the season at the X spot opposite Ward. Mostly due to his knowlege of the offense, and his performance when Plax went down. I think the coaching staff would like to see Wilson step into this role because of his speed, and based on the size of his free-agent contract. It is more than #3 WR's usually make. By the end of the season (maybe sooner) Gibson could work his way into the picture. He has the height/speed combo we would prefer at that position, and is a definite deep-threat with big-play capabilities.

Slot-Receiver-- (Antwaan Randle-El vs. Cedrick Wilson vs. Zamir Cobb)
- The battle for Split-End will determine who starts in the Slot. I would rather see El in the Slot. I think that is a great fit for El's skills, and what he bring to the table. I am sure Zamir Cobb will again impress the coaches and receive consideration. If he makes the team, he may get some snaps in the Slot.

Tight-End-- (Jerame Tuman vs. Heath Miller)
- Although Miller is ready to start I would bet Cowher brings him along slowly, and Tuman starts the season at TE. Tuman is probably the better blocker, and a very servicable TE in th NFL. I hope by mid-season Miller has convinced the coaches he is ready to be an every-down player. His pass-catching, play-making ability, and up-side in general out-weigh what Tuman has to offer. It is said Matt Kranchick has gained weight and is "ready" for the NFL. He may get some balls thrown his way.

Running-Back-- (Duce Staley vs. Jerome Bettis)
- Duce will likely start, and Bettis will be used in goaline and short-yardage situations. In the event of another Staley injury the coaches will again call on #36 to tote the rock.

Third-Down Back-- (Verron Haynes vs. Willie Parker)
- Haynes has been good in this role, but I know the coaches want to get Willie Parker more touches. I think they will both be used here. Haynes may not be back in 2006 so Parker warrants more consideration.

Right Defensive End-- (Kimo von Oelhoffen vs. Chris Hoke)
- With the return of Casey Hampton at DT. I think the coaching staff will let Hoke compete with Kimo at DE. The right-side DE in our 3-4, is similar to the DT position in a 4-3 because you usually have outside pressure from a LB. Kimo will be pushed by Hoke, Brett Keisel, and Travis Kirschke. Keisel is a better fit on the left-side.

Left-Outside Linebacker-- (Clark Haggans vs. James Harrison)
- I know Haggans has the big contract, but how could the coaches ignore Harrision's play last season. Harrison stepped in and looked great on the outside. They have to consider him a possible starter.

Left Cornerback-- (Willie Williams vs. Ricardo Coclough vs. Bryant McFadden)
- Someone has to start opposite Deshea Townsend, and I think it will be Williams to start the season. Williams was solid last year, but the starter in the future will likely be Coclough. I hope he is a full-time starter by mid-season. McFadden will likely play in the Nickel or Dime defense. He is an aggressive run stopper, but will need to work on his cover skills before he plays every down. Ike Taylor keeps dropping on the depth chart, and may not see the feild this season.

Nickelback & Dimeback-- (Willie Williams vs. Ricardo Coclough vs. Bryant McFadden vs. Ike Taylor)
- The battle for the starting Cornerback position will determine who plays in the Nickel and Dime defenses. I think Willie Williams is very solid in the nickel, and I would like to see one of the younger guys start. Mike Logan or Russell Stuvaints may get some consideration in the Nickel or Dime defense.

Free Safety-- (Chris Hope vs. Tyrone Carter vs. Mike Logan)
- I dont think anyone, including the coaches are convinced that Hope is the man at FS. He will probably start and continue to improve, but if not he will be challanged by Tyrone Carter. Carter was an All-American at Minnissota, and won the Jim Thorpe award. His NFL career has been plagued by injury, but he has been healthy as a Steeler, and the coaches like what they see. With a good camp and pre-season Mike Logan or Russell Stuvaints may get some consideration at FS or in the Dime defense.

By BB2W

clevestinks 05-01-2005 07:20 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
Right Tackle should be a pretty good battle, winner Max Starks,
Nice to have some back up but hopefully a healthy Kendall Simmons will win out.

WR I guess it doesn`t matter, as long as were as good as we can get. I like Gibsons height, bring Wilson off the bench.Can`t wait to see Cobb, this could be a helluve recieving corp.
TE Heath Miller, but please use his hands coach, don`t let this be another guard wearing a jersey in the 80`s
Duce to start, Bus to finish
OLB this is tough Haggans I thought played good enough, but if Harrison can play better then lookout, did I hear someone say Chad Brown??
Third down back ??? I like them both, this is a do or die year for Haynes stay healthy or gone

R end Kimo, but age will keep his plays down so a pair of fresh Hoke legs will work good

You know I was a big Coc fan to be the next starter, but then came McFadden let the best man win, it will only make us better, Ty Law?
FS probably Hope, lets Hope whomever it is , he os the man

BB2W 05-01-2005 11:58 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
Quote:

You know I was a big Coc fan to be the next starter, but then came McFadden let the best man win, it will only make us better, Ty Law?
I think we are all big Ricardo Coclough fans, I think he will beat out McFadden. He is a better cover-man, and he plays the run tough.....

acrossthepond 05-02-2005 06:00 AM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
My thoughts . . .

Right tackle
. . . Essex doesn't appear to be ready for a year or two . . . Brooks isn't the answer at RT . . . We'd better hope Starks is good enough (I reckon he will be on what I've seen and heard) and doesn't get injured . . .
If Starks gets injured, I can see us moving Simmons (he was a tackle in college) out to RT, Hartings to RG and Okobi to Center. Or if that doesn't work, Smith to RT , Faneca to LT etc. . . could be messy like 03 . . .

The other names to watch for at Guard is Jim Jones . . .

WR - The other battle to note is which WR will be cut? They won't keep more than 6 (including Morey) . . . so do we lose Wilson (Only if he stinks - contract is too big to cut this year), El (not in a million years unless injured), so that leaves Gibson, Cobb and Mays (the likely odd man out imo, but he has shown flashes)

TE - Miller and Tuman are locks to make the roster . . . so do we keep Cushing (our backup FB unless Herron, Tuiasopopo or Kuhn step up as FB) or Kranchik (intriguing) . . . and then there's always Rasby and Battaglia who are both serviceable as 3rd TEs. . . .

Safety - I'd hate to see them lose McKeesport Mike Logan (remember he signed here for less money cos he wanted to be a Steeler - despite knowing he'd be a backup) . . . and he can play both safety spots and is a pretty good nickel/ dime back and blitzer . . . Stuvaints and Carter both look good too . . . I'd leave it as a battle between STuvaints and CArter personally, but I know Logan is in there fighting for his life too . . .

LB - Harrison will need to show as 10 or 20% better than Haggans just cos of contract . . . if only a very slight upgrade Haggans (on starters money) keeps his job . . . I love Harrison's attitude . . . and at risk of repeating myself, I'd really love to see Chad Brown on the outside and Harrison battling Foote inside . . .

CB . . . I'd put Ike in as a battler for CB with Williams and Colclough . . . I don't think they'd put McFadden in for another year (can you remember any other CBs drafted who started in their rookie year under Cowher?) . . .

RB
The battle here is more to do with Roster spots than starting order . . . it's going to be Duce . . . Bus . . . then either Verron or Willie, with Noah Herron and maybe even John Kuhn battling those two for the #3 and#4 spots . . . they'll not want to lose any promising RBs if they can help it for next year after the Bus actually retires . . . they won't keep more than 4 of these even so . . .

There's players at each of these positions Id hate to lose (except for Tackle!) should be an interesting camp

BB2W 05-02-2005 10:02 AM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
Quote:

CB . . . I'd put Ike in as a battler for CB with Williams and Colclough . . . I don't think they'd put McFadden in for another year (can you remember any other CBs drafted who started in their rookie year under Cowher?) . . .
I don't see Ike in the picture at corner.......I think they will let McFadden compete at the corner spot. He is farther along than Coclough or Taylor was entering the NFL. Keep in mind he was a three year starter at Florida State......He has covered the best WR's the NCAA has to offer, unlike Coclough (Tusculum) or Taylor (LA-Layfayette).

Rod Woodson and Chad Scott started as rookies, and I think Deon Figures did also......

clevestinks 05-02-2005 01:58 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
Woodson was drafted by Noll I think??????Help me out here guys.

HinesWard4Life8682 05-02-2005 03:07 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
i just wanna see coclough man he dominated in the small schools in tusculum. i heard he like covered half of the field

BlitzburghRockCity 05-02-2005 06:23 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
I'll go thru the list you made tonite and give my thoughts on it. Nice thread BB2W !!!

One thing that jumps out at me though for now,... Haggans will retain his OLB spot. Harrison played well in spot duty last year, but if he takes over the job, it wouldnt be at the start of the season I wouldnt think. He may work his way into it, if haggans gets hurt, or something along those lines, but Clarke will have his job back most likely. But having harrison there is great insurance.

acrossthepond 05-02-2005 08:10 PM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BigBen2Ward
Rod Woodson and Chad Scott started as rookies, and I think Deon Figures did also......

Woodson was Noll's player, Figures started 4 games as a rookie - 3 were in a nickel/dime formation, and Scott started 9 - about half of which were in the nickel/dime and the others since Donnell Woolford (remember him) was much poorer than advertised so they had to start him.

I can't see McFadden being one of our 2 main starting CBs this season unless we have big injury problems

JrRawlins 05-06-2005 08:56 AM

Re: Roster Battles.....
 
My take on some postition battles.......

Split-End-- (Antwaan Randle-El vs. Cedrick Wilson vs. Fred Gibson)
- Randle El should start the season opposite Ward. He has the speed to be a threat opposite Hines and he knows the offense quite well.
Slot-Receiver-- (Antwaan Randle-El vs. Cedrick Wilson vs. Zamir Cobb)
- I would personally love for Zamir Cobb, to win this spot but i realize Wilson is gettin alot of money to play in the slot......and will more than likely get this spot via default......

Back-up QB-- (Tommy Maddox vs. Charlie Batch)
- I think Maddox will probably win this battle, but I would feel more comfortable with Batch behind center than Maddox, Maddox has absolutely no mobility tends to lock onto receivers and is turnover prone, i am hopeful he never sees the field.

Right Tackle-- (Max Starks vs. Barret Brooks vs Trai Essex)
- Starks should step up and be the starter. Brooks is a backup, and should stay that way.... Essex is a project, but should be a decent backup and any guard or tackle spot....


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