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Old 02-09-2011, 05:32 AM   #1
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Default Steelers face number of offseason issues

Steelers face number of offseason issues
By Jerry DiPaola, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

With an owner-imposed lockout threatening to shut down the NFL on March 4, Steelers backup nose tackle Chris Hoke said one of the chief concerns among players is what to do if they lose their health insurance.

If no new collective bargaining agreement is reached between the league and its players union, owners plan to shut down all league business except the draft ending players' benefits.

"All of our health insurance is cut off March 4," Hoke said. "Guys are worried about that, worried about whether there is going to be a season next year."

If the labor issues are not resolved, players will be unable to work out at their teams' facilities or sign a new contract.

That is especially crucial for the Steelers, who have 13 players eligible for free agency. That number includes outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay and Hoke.

Coach Mike Tomlin met with the team yesterday, but he set no timetable for offseason workouts, minicamps or organized team activities.

"There is a lot of uncertainty," Hoke said.

One hopeful note: Hoke said defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who is not signed for 2011, told his players he wants to return.

"He insinuated he wanted to come back," Hoke said. "He insinuated in talking to the defense that our work isn't done.

"He bleeds black and gold. He loves this team. He loves these players and we love him. I think he will be back."

Hoke, who is two months shy of his 35th birthday, said he hopes to return for his 10th season.

"I love playing for the Rooneys. I love playing for the City of Pittsburgh. It's been a home for my family for 10 years."

Meanwhile, Hoke and his teammates are trying to deal with the franchise's first Super Bowl defeat in 15 years.

"Speaking for a guy who has been to three Super Bowls," he said, "I'm glad we won the first two because I don't know how you deal with this.

"It's tough to lose a Super Bowl. You get there. You dream about being on top of that podium, holding that trophy, passing it around with your teammates. When you don't do that, it is hard to swallow. I don't know how the Bills (who lost four Super Bowls) dealt with it."

Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, one of 16 Steelers 30 or older, said the defeat will linger.

"The frustration comes when we had the opportunity over and over and over to really seal the deal, to get the ball with one minute, 59 seconds and we got one first down," he said.

"That is what you kind of live for, to go down and win the game, and we didn't pull it off."

Note: The Steelers granted the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys permission to interview defensive backs coach Ray Horton for positions on those teams. The Cardinals want to talk to Horton about their defensive coordinator position; the Cowboys are interested in Horton as a secondary coach. The Steelers also told the Cardinals they could not interview linebackers coach Keith Butler for their defensive coordinator job because he is considered the successor to Dick LeBeau whenever he retires.

Free agents
Here is a list of 13 Steelers whose contracts expired after the season:

Willie Colon, offensive tackle
Dennis Dixon, quarterback
Trai Essex, guard
Keyaron Fox, linebacker
William Gay, cornerback
Tony Hills, offensive tackle
Chris Hoke, nose tackle
Mewelde Moore, running back
Daniel Sepulveda, punter
Matt Spaeth, tight end
Shaun Suisham, kicker
Ike Taylor, cornerback
LaMarr Woodley, outside linebacker

Read more: Steelers face number of offseason issues - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1DSbq01dC
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

Willie Colon, offensive tackle
Dennis Dixon, quarterback
Trai Essex, guard
Keyaron Fox, linebacker
William Gay, cornerback
Tony Hills, offensive tackle
Chris Hoke, nose tackle
Mewelde Moore, running back
Daniel Sepulveda, punter
Matt Spaeth, tight end
Shaun Suisham, kicker
Ike Taylor, cornerback
LaMarr Woodley, outside linebacker

the only ones on there i would hate to see go are
ike taylor
chris hoke
lamarr woodley
willie colon

the rest i couldnt care less about
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

there's so many issues on this team for the off-season, my head is swimming.

going to be a VERY interesting off-season, i think....
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMom View Post

Free agents
Here is a list of 13 Steelers whose contracts expired after the season:

Willie Colon, offensive tackle Needs to stay healthy
Dennis Dixon, quarterback Keeper,Love his potential
Trai Essex, guard Can replaced
Keyaron Fox, linebacker Good Bye
William Gay, cornerback Good Nickle, think he'll stay
Tony Hills, offensive tackle No progress, can be replaced in the draft
Chris Hoke, nose tackle Getting older, may be replaced in draft
Mewelde Moore, running back Bye Bye
Daniel Sepulveda, punter PLEASE let him get healthy
Matt Spaeth, tight end Have a nice life
Shaun Suisham, kicker Needs competition in camp!
Ike Taylor, cornerback Must re-sign
LaMarr Woodley, outside linebacker Must re-sign!!!
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

Ike Taylor the only must....
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

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Originally Posted by steeltheone View Post
Ike Taylor the only must....
Dixon might be a must too, depending on what happens with Batch and/or Lefty. Definitely don't want to get stuck with none or one QB behind Ben.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers face number of offseason issues

agree pretty much mom
although i do like moore, and would like to see hoke come back if its not expensive


Willie Colon, offensive tackle Needs to stay healthy AGREED
• Dennis Dixon, quarterback Keeper,Love his potential (but will he ever play here?)
• Trai Essex, guard Can replaced ( could be replaced but is decent as a backup could be back-
• Keyaron Fox, linebacker Good Bye (Hes not cut yet?? shouldnt even be on the team plane back, what kind of crappy special teams captain is he)

• William Gay, cornerback Good Nickle, think he'll stay (no better than a dime back, stinks in big spots (see RU Vs. lousville his senior year)

• Tony Hills, offensive tackle No progress, can be replaced in the draft (see ya)

• Chris Hoke, nose tackle Getting older, may be replaced in draft (see above, would like to see him back, think he will be back)


• Mewelde Moore, running back Bye Bye (who will be our 3rd down guy, always been a fan of him)

• Daniel Sepulveda, punter PLEASE let him get healthy (solid when healthy)

• Matt Spaeth, tight end Have a nice life (prefer him rather than david johnson)

• Shaun Suisham, kicker Needs competition in camp! (needs competition which he had a stronger leg but the super bowl kick not his fault) and in heinz no one kicks bombs anyway... but besides the super bowl his kickoffs never reach the endzone. he needs to get on that billy cundiff workout

• Ike Taylor, cornerback Must re-sign (Swag needs to be back)

• LaMarr Woodley, outside linebacker Must re-sign!!! (needs to be back)
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