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Old 01-21-2008, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, January 21, 2008

The Steelers enjoyed tremendous success with a core group of veteran players. But the same experience that made the Steelers a consistent playoff team could finally work against them.
Coach Mike Tomlin said it best at the final news conference of his first season in charge. The Steelers need an infusion of young legs to complement their veteran talent.

"We could use young people, young developing people in a lot of areas,'' Tomlin said. "If I could identify anything at this point, I would say we need young, big people.''

Some of the players on the Steelers' wish-list will be on display this week in Mobile, Ala., when the nation's top college seniors prepare for Saturday's Senior Bowl.

Expect Tomlin and his coaching staff to target those players matching two of the Steelers' primary areas of need: the offensive and defensive lines.
"Because you need big, strong men in the interior on the rise,'' Tomlin said. "We're older in those positions.''

The Steelers haven't drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2002. They haven't selected an offensive tackle in the first round since 1996.

Among the returning starters, left tackle Marvel Smith will be 30, right guard Kendall Simmons will be 29 and center Sean Mahan will be 28 at the start of next season.

Left guard Alan Faneca, who's a free agent and isn't expected to return, is 31. Tackle Max Starks, another free agent whose return to the Steelers is also uncertain, is 26.

Defensively, the need to get younger, especially up front, is even more pronounced. Was 2001 really the last year that the team took a defensive lineman in the first round?

The numbers don't lie. Defensive end Aaron Smith will be 32 at the start of next season. Nose tackle Casey Hampton will be 31, defensive end Brett Keisel will be 30 and backup nose tackle Chris Hoke will be 32 when the Steelers open the 2008 season. Fourth-round draft pick Ryan McBean, the youngest and least experienced member of the defensive line, is 24.

That's not old, as in ancient. That's old, as in time to reload.

Individually, the key members of the defensive line have impressive credentials. Analyzed separately, however, they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush and weren't as stout against the run.

All of which means there's no sense delaying the inevitable any longer. Tomlin's Steelers must get younger on the defensive and offensive lines, or prepare to face the consequences.

Last year, the Steelers selected linebackers with their first two picks in an obvious attempt to address a position the team has traditionally overlooked in the early rounds of the draft. Lawrence Timmons was the first linebacker selected in the first round since 1991.

Experience is great, but too much experience is no longer an alternative for a Steelers team whose goal is to become younger in the trenches.
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

hey at least he is targeting the o-line and d-line... not liek colbert, "a RB in the first" crazy talk...
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

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Originally Posted by Rhee Rhee View Post
hey at least he is targeting the o-line and d-line... not liek colbert, "a RB in the first" crazy talk...
colbert wants a RB in the first?
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

nobody knows what colbert wants..lol.
at least he is pointing in the right direction. he reminds me of cowher on how he goes after the spots that will be weak and not the spots that are weak. like our corners, and i guess u could say we are thin at RB, willie=amazin, najeh=good enough, russel=could be next laurence moroney(two headed monster for us, haynes=3rd down back. we could use a different goal line back, najeh was great this year but we need youth.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

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colbert wants a RB in the first?
Smokescreen.

What GM reveals what he is actually going to do in the draft?
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

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Smokescreen.

What GM reveals what he is actually going to do in the draft?
Agreed

OTOH Tomlin pretty much announced the Steelers were taking Timmons weeks before the draft - lol
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

"Coach Mike Tomlin said it best at the final news conference of his first season in charge. The Steelers need an infusion of young legs to complement their veteran talent."

I think Tomlin has hit the 'nail' on target (finally!). Not only we need young talented players but also it's time to get rid of some of the older underachievers.
To the likes of Hampton and Faneca, I would say, "thank you for your great contribution, but it's time to part with you".

We are in dire need of good DBs, especially safeties. We also need a couple of good DTs and DEs so that we can go into 4-3 schemes as needed. With the players we have, it would be hard to do that. Guess who did well against the Pats offense? Eagles and Giants.


"Individually, the key members of the defensive line have impressive credentials. Analyzed separately, however, they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush and weren't as stout against the run."

Amen to that.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

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Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
colbert wants a RB in the first?

No, people take everything out of context, he stated that they can draft at any position besides QB, and TE. That drafting a RB would not be out of the question.
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

Trying to go for first downs should be his mantra when you have 3 min left in a game....
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tomlin's mantra: Youth must be served

We'll be taking an O-lineman in the first round. No worries there folks. Most likely D-line in the 2nd round, then O-line again in the 3rd, and filling the rest of the draft with DBs, and WRs, maybe a RB really late.

We don't need QB
We don't need TE
We don't need a P
We don't need a K
We don't need LBs
We don't need RBs (well maybe a new #2 guy)
We may need Corners but we are pretty loaded there, just need guys to play better.
We don't need Safeties, either type.
We need a Center, A tackle and at least 1 guard on offense
We need a young nose tackle to groom, and a DE to groom and get time for injuries.
Oh, and we need special team monsters.
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