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Old 04-21-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the true sense of the word "infamous," the 2008 class stands alone among a generation of Steelers drafts. It disappeared from their roster faster than any previous class back to 1985.

Free agency had something to do with this one, whereas there was no such system in place for players to leave 28 years ago -- they left on demerit rather than being lured by other teams. In comparison, the draft of 1985 was much worse for many reasons and it included 13 players while there were just seven in 2008.

Still, hoist a glass to the fast disappearing '08 Seven! Without them, the Steelers would not have so many holes to try to fill in this week's draft. The last to go went via free agency in March, Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Mundy, neither a bust, but gone nevertheless.

"Let me say it this way," said Gil Brandt, an NFL.com senior analyst after a 29-year career as personnel man for the Dallas Cowboys: "Guys who are left on teams from the '08 draft, those are the guys who play for playoff contenders now."

Ouch. The not-so-great of 2008 had a mixed start because while they quickly disappeared, many of them picked up Super Bowl rings before they left. Even their two biggest busts, second-rounder Limas Sweed and third-rounder Bruce Davis, made it through their Super Bowl-winning season as rookies.

Davis was cut before the 2009 season and Sweed has become a punchline in Pittsburgh, gone after two seasons of seven catches, perhaps as many drops, two fumbles and just as many injuries. He never stuck with another team, joining some of the Steelers' more infamous second-round picks that go way back to the late 1970s and by the 1980s became known as their "jinx" pick.

Davis had 25 1/2 sacks in his final two seasons at UCLA and looked like a bargain in the third round. He remains a reason they're still looking for that outside linebacker.

"I remember Bruce Davis,'' said NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang, laughing at his recollection. "UCLA. I watched him and I didn't like him that much."

Same with Brandt.

"I wasn't a big fan of Limas Sweed or Bruce Davis -- I thought he looked stiff. I remember Sweed being a one-stride kind of a guy. He was tall, could run, but I didn't see a lot of fluidity out of his breaks. ... I want a guy more versatile than that."

Tackle Tony Hills, their fourth-round pick, hung around the practice squad and was on the roster in 2010 and played some in Denver and Indianapolis after that. The Colts turned him into a tight end last season, but he's a free agent now.

Quarterback Dennis Dixon, their fifth-round pick, had some promise but after four seasons as a backup with the Steelers, he's now on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles.

They had two sixth-rounders: Linebacker Mike Humpal never played a down, and Mundy was a good special teams player and backup safety until he signed with the New York Giants in March.

As for Mendenhall, he was a success after his broken shoulder early in his rookie season. He rushed for 1,108 yards in 2009 and 1,273 in 2010. He wasn't as productive in 2011 with 928 yards and then his ACL was torn in the season finale. The Steelers let him walk in free agency this year to sign with Arizona after yet another injury last season combined with him walking out on the team for a game.

Had their top three picks been productive and signed second contracts, the Steelers might not be looking so desperately now for a starting halfback, a wide receiver or an outside linebacker. Still, that draft class looks like 1974 compared to their 1985 picks, the last time one of their entire draft classes vanished after five years.

The only one from that 1985 class that even lasted five years was punter Harry Newsome, an eighth-round choice who actually earned the team's rookie of the year because of the dreadful picks around him.

Those picks included perhaps their worst ever combined in the first three rounds -- defensive end Darryl Sims, tackle Mark Behning and cornerback Liffort Hobley, the latter cut before training camp ended. They included tight end Oliver White, who quit the team during camp.

The Steelers did find one big success in that 1985 draft. Linebacker Greg Carr played four seasons and then quit to pursue a more noble career, to become a medical doctor. He is now an orthopedic surgeon in his native Birmingham, Ala.

Perhaps one of the '08 Seven will some day make their mark off the field as well.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2R64UOomz
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

Hmm the "Weapons for Ben" draft was one of the worst Steelers drafts ever.

Makes you wonder why people are still advocating the same strategy of creating a high power offense through high 1st round draft picks of skill positions on offense.

I prefer the approach of drafting the cheaper interior OL and DL positions seeing as those players will have longer careers and be affordable.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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Originally Posted by lloydwoodson View Post
Hmm the "Weapons for Ben" draft was one of the worst Steelers drafts ever.

Makes you wonder why people are still advocating the same strategy of creating a high power offense through high 1st round draft picks of skill positions on offense.

I prefer the approach of drafting the cheaper interior OL and DL positions seeing as those players will have longer careers and be affordable.
Yeah that Bruce Davis was a stud too.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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Hmm the "Weapons for Ben" draft was one of the worst Steelers drafts ever.

Makes you wonder why people are still advocating the same strategy of creating a high power offense through high 1st round draft picks of skill positions on offense.

I prefer the approach of drafting the cheaper interior OL and DL positions seeing as those players will have longer careers and be affordable.
you wouldo sacrifice the success of the team JUST so you can post negativity about Ben on this board and who knows where else.

Some fan.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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you wouldo sacrifice the success of the team JUST so you can post negativity about Ben on this board and who knows where else.

Some fan.
See, in his mind the problem wasn't the players they drafted or the people that drafted them. It was that they wanted to get offensive players to help the offense(in his mind Big Ben), and that Ben is not a great quarterback, nor will he ever be. So I guess he thinks we should never draft another offensive player high in the draft again.

He does think Mike Wallace is the greatest receiver ever though. Look at the sig at the bottom of his posts. So he's go that going for him.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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you wouldo sacrifice the success of the team JUST so you can post negativity about Ben on this board and who knows where else.

Some fan.
Isn't that a refreshing change from the usual fan who blindly attributes the Steelers success solely to Roethlisberger while denigrating the contributions of every other player in the face of the evidence and reality?

4 of the top 5 Steelers picks that year were offense but here comes a Superfan talking about Bruce Davis
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

lets draft nothing but defense, watch them sit for 2-3 years, finally play then lose them in free agency. and you can blame ben
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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lets draft nothing but defense, watch them sit for 2-3 years, finally play then lose them in free agency. and you can blame ben
Hey, you catch on quick!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

Pathetic draft for sure.

This sums it up nicely and here we are about it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: The holes on Steelers roster? Blame them on the Class of 2008

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See, in his mind the problem wasn't the players they drafted or the people that drafted them. It was that they wanted to get offensive players to help the offense(in his mind Big Ben), and that Ben is not a great quarterback, nor will he ever be. So I guess he thinks we should never draft another offensive player high in the draft again.

He does think Mike Wallace is the greatest receiver ever though. Look at the sig at the bottom of his posts. So he's go that going for him.
First of all, I never use "we" when talking about the Steelers. I feel that language should be reserved for players, coaches and other employees of the team.

Secondly, it doesn't matter what I think. The Steelers have made a habit out of alternating which side of the ball they draft first on from year to year. This is the year for defense.

Thirdly, I am incredulous that you don't understand my sig was strictly intended to be entertaining.

Lastly, Ben is not a great quarterback nor will he ever be. Roethlisberger is a very good quarterback and has played very well in some big games. He is the team's franchise quarterback and I have not heard one person say he should be replaced.

Do you think Roethlisberger is a HOF quarterback? I do not. If you do I guess he will have to wait until after Eli Manning gets in because Eli has the same number of Superbowl wins (and not one but two SB MVP awards) and his team is top 10 in offense year after year after year like clockwork.
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