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Old 04-04-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
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Post ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2823927



On the Clock: Pittsburgh SteelersBy Jeremy Green
Scouts Inc.


Through April 20, "SportsCenter" will put every NFL team On The Clock. Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.


Scouts: Free-agent tracker
For a complete list of all of the Steelers' free agents and all their offseason signings, check out Scouts Inc.'s free-agent tracker.
• Steelers' free agents
• Complete free-agent tracker
It has been said by a lot of experts that this is going to be a transition year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Longtime head coach Bill Cowher resigned after the 2006 season and has been replaced by the young and inexperienced Mike Tomlin. However, I do not buy into that theory. Regardless of who is calling the shots on the sideline, this is still one of the more talented teams in the AFC, and expectations should be very high. QB Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a disappointing season, but a lot of that can be attributed to the miserable offseason he experienced. After a serious motorcycle accident and then appendectomy surgery prior to Week 1, it was apparent that Big Ben was not going to be 100 percent physically or mentally. However, he is still an excellent starter and has the physical tools to bounce back. The defense will primarily be a 3-4 under holdover defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, but Tomlin has a 4-3 background and will mix things up and keep opposing offenses off balance. Pittsburgh has not been very active this offseason, but that is the nature of the franchise. The Steelers were so successful under Cowher because they built effectively through the draft.


Key additions
The biggest addition for Pittsburgh this offseason was Tomlin. At 35 years old, he is young, but he's extremely talented and is an excellent communicator who can relate to players. He will have big shoes to fill, but Tomlin is more than capable of handling the job. In terms of player movement, Pittsburgh has not been very active. The only free-agent acquisition was former Tampa Bay guard/center Sean Mahan. Mahan has primarily played guard but is an extremely bright player who should be a better fit at center. Playing center will allow Mahan to be singled up more and play on the second level, where he is most effective. The team also re-signed Najeh Davenport, who is a good No. 3 running back and special-teams player; Tyrone Carter, who can play both safety spots and even corner if a disaster occurred; and special-teams standout Chidi Iwuoma.

Mock draft: Bengals
The Pick (No. 15 overall):
DE/OLB Jarvis Moss, Florida

Todd McShay: Moss is a bit raw but a great athlete. Moss is fluid enough to fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker and his frame is big enough to add bulk for when the Steelers eventually move to a 4-3.
• Complete mock draft
• SportsNation: Mock draft
• Vote: Team needs

Key losses
The biggest losses for Pittsburgh came outside the lines. The loss of Cowher, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona) and assistant coach Russ Grimm (Arizona) will be tough to overcome. Cowher is a great head coach, Whisenhunt was a solid offensive coordinator and Grimm did an excellent job of building Pittsburgh's offensive line into a dominating unit. However, the new staff is solid as well, and although there might be a few early growing pains, this team has enough talent to overcome that. On the field, the team's biggest losses were OLB Joey Porter (Miami) and C Jeff Hartings (retired). Although the release of Porter was criticized by some, his production was starting to dip (double-digit sacks only once in the last four years). I think Porter's intensity and on-field leadership will be missed more than his playmaking ability. The loss of Hartings will also be felt. He was a solid leader and communicator up front. The other losses include often-injured RB Verron Haynes (released) and Sean Morey, a good special-teams player who went to Arizona. Pittsburgh still has a bunch of unsigned unrestricted free agents, but they will be replaced with younger and more talented players through the draft.


Remaining questions
Pittsburgh will still be a 3-4 defense this season, but as the Steelers move toward the 4-3 in the future the main ingredient they will be lacking is a big-time outside linebacker. If they can find one like Florida State's Lawrence Timmons, who's versatile enough to play in both schemes, it would be a huge bonus. The corner position is also a question mark. Their young corners in particular, Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden, did not play as well last season as they did in 2005. The team could also use another playmaker at wide receiver. Despite the coaching changes, this should not be considered a rebuilding year in Pittsburgh. This team has enough talent to win now.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

mort and kiper discussed the immediate need at olb and cb. timmons or revis? kiper said it was a tough choice but he would go with revis. his reasonning was that players like a. thomas and philips for the chargers were found in later rounds.

i think a rookie lb has a better shot of making an immediate impact than a rookie cb.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

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mort and kiper discussed the immediate need at olb and cb. timmons or revis? kiper said it was a tough choice but he would go with revis. his reasonning was that players like a. thomas and philips for the chargers were found in later rounds.

i think a rookie lb has a better shot of making an immediate impact than a rookie cb.

I agree. plus our secondary is young and talented -- all they need is to refocus and rebound after last season, which is EXACTLY Tomlin's specialty. Our LBs are outstanding, but getting old, especially in the middle. I actually think getting an ILB is more important than an outside one. Haggans is excellent and I think Harrison can do the job in the other spot, but Farrior/Foote, though great, are loosing a step.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

mcfadden is going into his 3rd year. its time for him to get a legitimate shot at starter. ike is in his 3rd year starting. unless tomlin has already figured hes no use to the team, it is tomlins job to revive his career. ikes contract (which the rooneys gave out) dictates that. it seems to me, our starters are solid and we have 2nd round pick, colclough and a veteran townsend as back ups. with all our other holes i dont see why so many mock drafts have us taking a cb who will fall to 15th.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

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with all our other holes i dont see why so many mock drafts have us taking a cb who will fall to 15th.
Exactly what I think. So ike and bryant should battle for the starting corner?
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

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I agree. plus our secondary is young and talented -- all they need is to refocus and rebound after last season, which is EXACTLY Tomlin's specialty. Our LBs are outstanding, but getting old, especially in the middle. I actually think getting an ILB is more important than an outside one. Haggans is excellent and I think Harrison can do the job in the other spot, but Farrior/Foote, though great, are loosing a step.

I never thought that getting another ILB would help, but now that you mention it it might be a good idea.

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Old 04-05-2007, 06:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

The talent on the board should dictate who we pick. I agree with everyone so far, I don't believe CB should be the pick. I also agree that an ILB would be a smart pick, but at 15 that's only if Willis is there. If we could nab Willis we could easily grab an OLB or OLB/DE 2nd or later.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

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The team also re-signed Najeh Davenport, who is a good No. 3 running back...
I also thought this was interesting...


I agree with a lot of what has been said here. Its similar to something LITP and Tony were talking about on another topic.

If a player hasn't gotten the chance yet, how do we know they are a bust. We should definetely consider an ILB and taking our chances on Harrison, unless the staff knows something we don't...

I agree that we don't need a corner this year (early at least)...

LB, OL, DE

Anything other than these three positions (IMO) on day one will be a sin against the Steel...

(unless, as I said before Calvin Johnson falls to us )
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

I think if we take Revis with our first pick it is nothing but a wasted pick. I don't believe Revis is all that, and we have bigger needs.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: ESPN.co On the Clock: Steelers

do any of the top 3 cb's have a grade similar to deangello hall or dunta robinson a few years ago? i dont think so based on speed alone but if they did they would probably be the highest rated player on the board. both scouting reports on nfl.com say revis and l. hall could be better suited for a possible switch to free safety. if we take a cb in the 1st round there should be no doubt that he is an nfl qb and no thoughts of even moving them to safety.

with that being said, when we play the patriots next year, you can almost count on them putting 5 wr's on the field and 3wr with ben watson and kevin faulk to try and dink and dunk us to death, just how they did to tomlins vikings last year. we gotta be prepared to stop this and some decisions have to be made on colclough and townsend.
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