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Old 02-03-2008, 05:51 AM   #1
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Default Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

Chasing receivers has cost Steelers
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 3, 2008

PHOENIX -- The Steelers are playing a dangerous game of chicken with respect to their wide receivers since losing Plaxico Burress to free agency following the 2004 season.

Burress now stars for the New York Giants, who face the undefeated and heavily favored New England Patriots today in Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"I've been dreaming about this my whole life," Burress said about playing in his first Super Bowl. He left the Steelers as a free agent before the 2005 season, missing an opportunity to play in Super Bowl XL.

Sure, the Steelers won a Super Bowl without Burress, but so what? Burress' absence only shows the lengths the Steelers have gone to replace him.

Overcompensating in their efforts to find another Burress, the Steelers have ignored a growing void on their interior lines.

In each of their last three drafts, the Steelers have selected a receiver. In 2006, the Steelers drafted two receivers -- Santonio Holmes in the first round and Willie Reid in the third. In 2005, the first draft after Burress' departure, the Steelers took Fred Gibson -- a tall receiver in Burress' mold -- in the fourth round. Gibson was beaten out for a roster spot by undrafted free agent Nate Washington. The Steelers also signed free-agent receiver Cedric Wilson prior to the 2005 draft.

The Steelers attacked their receiver problem in recent drafts with high draft picks. They used a similar strategy with tight ends, selecting Heath Miller in the first round in 2005 and Matt Spaeth in the third round in 2007.

As for the Steelers not placing a similar emphasis on drafting offensive and defensive linemen as high as receivers and tight ends, let's just say their past is catching up with them.

Since 2005, the Steelers have drafted seven linemen -- four on offense, three on defense. However, they didn't select any higher than the third round and only one has developed into a starter (tackle Willie Colon).

In fact, the Steelers haven't drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since Kendall Simmons in 2002. You have to go back to 2001 to find the last time they drafted a defensive lineman in the first round (Casey Hampton).

The Steelers also selected receivers in the first round in 1999 and 2000. That brings the count to four receivers and tight ends taken in the first round in the last nine years.

The Steelers clearly placed a greater emphasis on improving the receiver position with high draft picks than any position on the roster.

But instead of solidifying themselves at receiver, which they still haven't done, the Steelers also created a problem on their interior lines. All three of their defensive line starters will be 30 and older next season.

Starting with this year's draft, the Steelers no longer have the luxury of ignoring the offensive and defensive lines in the early rounds. And despite their best intentions of selecting receivers high in the draft, they still haven't found a legitimate replacement for Burress.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_550580.html
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

In my opinion Burress wasn't that great to begin with.

Totally in agreement that the Steelers have neglected the o-line and the d-line and it is definatly coming back to haunt them. We have to take a lineman in the first round no matter what, that is our weakness and that is what we need to focus on.

Everything else is solid enough that I think that we can afford to not draft anything else in the first three rounds besides linemen.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

Quote:
they still haven't found a legitimate replacement for Burress.
Santonio Holmes:

2006: Games - 16 / Receptions - 49 / Yards - 824 / AVG - 16.3 / TD - 2

2007: Games - 13 / Receptions - 52 / Yards - 942 / AVG - 18.1 / TD - 8

Plaxico Burress:

2000: Games - 12 / Receptions - 22 / Yards - 273 / AVG - 12.4 / TD - 0

2001: Games - 16 / Receptions - 66 / Yards - 1008 / AVG - 15.3 / TD - 6

I guess Holmes is just chopped liver? I'm not stating Holmes is a better WR than Burress right now, but I do feel Holmes is making very nice strides and is capable of becoming just as good as Burress (while being able to speak English) and is proving to me to be a very capable "replacement".

It's amazing, Burress has one good year while making the Super Bowl and now every other story and mouth is calling for Plaxico Burress and WR's 6'5" and up. Amusing. I was not hearing many screaming for one when Randle El threw a 43 yard td pass to Hines Ward in XL. Now all of a sudden.....
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarylandSteeler View Post
In my opinion Burress wasn't that great to begin with.

Totally in agreement that the Steelers have neglected the o-line and the d-line and it is definatly coming back to haunt them. We have to take a lineman in the first round no matter what, that is our weakness and that is what we need to focus on.

Everything else is solid enough that I think that we can afford to not draft anything else in the first three rounds besides linemen.
Agreed I was never big on burress either and hopefully we will have a sucsefull draft this year and get our lineman and reciever.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

I`ve only seen two full Steelers games on tv,clips on youtube and videos on nfl.com,but what I`ve seen of Holmes has been real impressive.He looks a class act.
Holmes,Hines,Miller,Washington...I`m more than happy with the Steelers receivers.
I think that the O and D lines and ST need sorting out.

Appendix : I don`t know much about Ameican Football.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

I agree about the o-line problem we need to address that first. Plax was not a team guy in my eyes because, right after the afc champ. game vs cheaters he moaned about not getting the ball enough hell when we threw it to him in that game he dropped several passes. Now it seems alot of people have forgot about that and, he has said some stupid things as well. I like the Wr we have and, give it a chance with an improved o-line Ben is only going to get better. Lets face facts if Brady had to play with our oline lets just say he would not be in one piece right now. God I hate the cheaters please let the g-men pull off the upset.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

OK, so Plexiglass is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread just because his team is in the SB this year? I guess his dissing of the team and city and his historically shitty work ethic are all forgotten now. Whatever.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

Everything is great when you're going to the SB. Burress took the year off from practicing and somehow spins that into a heartwarming story of his heroic effort to play with an injury all year. The NFL makes me sick right now.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

I don't miss Plexico either, 1 good year doesn't mean anything.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Chasing receivers has cost Steelers

I'd take Santo over Plexiglass any day of the week and twice on Sundays. It gags me having to hope he has an outstanding game today and the Giants can come out on top. Let's see what a sweetheart of a guy he is if the Giants lose and he has to deal with their fans.
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