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Old 04-28-2008, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default Steelers stockpiling weapons

Steelers stockpiling weapons
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, April 28, 2008

Fans of offensive football, rejoice. The Steelers more than adequately addressed their skill position needs when they drafted Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall and Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed with their first two picks.
"I feel good about those two guys because I do believe they are weapons," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I feel fortunate that they were sitting on the board."

On the second day of the draft, the Steelers got around to patching some of their holes on defense. Unfortunately, they didn't get around to acquiring younger players in the trenches, unless you count the Steelers taking UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis in Sunday's third round and announcing that he'll play linebacker.

As for acquiring more interior linemen to help stop the likes of Jacksonville's Fred Taylor on key third-down situations, the Steelers struck out.

"It is impossible in any year to address the entire team. There's going to be positions you don't draft," director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. "Quite honestly, I'd love to get a player at every spot, but that's unrealistic."
One round after selecting Davis, the Steelers selected their only lineman of the draft with the 130th overall pick -- Texas offensive tackle Tony Hills, who missed the end of his senior year after breaking his leg.

While discussing Hills' future with the Steelers, assistant coach Larry Zierlein was asked about a current player on the roster who is expected to contend for a starting job in 2008.

Chris Kemoeatu's star is on the rise.

In the team's strongest endorsement of Kemoeatu to date, Zierlein said the left guard job is Kemoeatu's to lose.

"Chris is going to get the shot," Zierlein said. "I'll tell you what: I have a lot of confidence in that guy."

Zierlein's explanation for the Steelers' faith in Kemoeatu, a sixth-round pick in 2005, offered insight into the team's draft strategy of bypassing linemen early.

"He was ready to play last year," Zierlein said. "He was ready, and Kendall (Simmons) kind of won the thing, but it was close. When we came out of training camp, preseason games, the grades were close. But this kid is ready to play."

Kemoeatu, the heir apparent to departed veteran Alan Faneca, shores up a position that wasn't addressed in the draft.

And while the loser of the Sean Mahan-Justin Hartwig competition at center is expected to receive a look at left guard, it will probably be as Kemoeatu's backup.

Prior to yesterday, the coaches rarely mentioned Kemoeatu's name.

Now he has a good chance of starting.

"The thing I told him (Kemoeatu) the other day, 'It's obvious to me, when you see blitzes, you understand it all. Just become a little more vocal,'" Zierlien said. "He understands things. I like him, I really do. I think he's going to be a good player."

Seeing is believing.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_564644.html
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

its nice to see them stockpiling weapons, but what good are they going to be if ben is laying on his back?
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by TackleMeBen View Post
its nice to see them stockpiling weapons, but what good are they going to be if ben is laying on his back?
C'mon, hon - aren't we getting a little ahead of ourseves by assuming that the OL is going to suck this season? We have no idea and we won't until TC is just about over and we've played a few preseason games where we are with the OL. There are a lot of "what if's" about that line and we don't have crystal balls to be able to predict that the line is going to suck or succeed.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by TackleMeBen View Post
its nice to see them stockpiling weapons, but what good are they going to be if ben is laying on his back?
With some of the new options, Ben has more targets to get it out of there quickly. I think the WR and RB positions are play-making positions and should help Ben with getting rid of the ball more quickly. Would I have liked to see the Steelers go after lineman? Sure! But the draft didn't play out that way for them. They took what was left and I think they did a great job working with what they had available. I'm excited about next season.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by TackleMeBen View Post
its nice to see them stockpiling weapons, but what good are they going to be if ben is laying on his back?
Without Mahan getting destroyed at center, and without Faneca or a guard having to help on the inside instead of helping the tackles on the outside, the line should be better. It all starts at the Center position and they addressed that bringing in the veteran Hartwig. Now with him anchoring the line, the gaurds can play their assignments first and that will spread out to the tackles for our blocking schemes. Plus, with 2 more weapons, Sweed and Moore, on 3rd downs, Ben will have more people to throw the ball to, with Moore being a really good hands back on 3rd down.

Again, I stress, its great to question not drafting lineman, but who at the 23rd pick would have "fixed our problems" or what trade made sense to go up to get a tackle when we already have 3 high payed tackles on the roster?
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
C'mon, hon - aren't we getting a little ahead of ourseves by assuming that the OL is going to suck this season? We have no idea and we won't until TC is just about over and we've played a few preseason games where we are with the OL. There are a lot of "what if's" about that line and we don't have crystal balls to be able to predict that the line is going to suck or succeed.
i am going ahead thinking they are going to suck so when they dont, i will be overjoyed..lol..
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by Dino 5 Rings View Post

Again, I stress, its great to question not drafting lineman, but who at the 23rd pick would have "fixed our problems" or what trade made sense to go up to get a tackle when we already have 3 high payed tackles on the roster?
i am not questioning the 23rd pick, b/c that is going to be a great steal.. but the other picks i am having issues with.. maybe with the exception of Sweed, b/c we all know that ben wanted a tall WR
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by TackleMeBen View Post
its nice to see them stockpiling weapons, but what good are they going to be if ben is laying on his back?
It looks more and more like the plan is to shuffle players....If I had to guess, in the end we will see:

LT: Smith/Hills
LG: Colon/Simmons
C: Hardwig/Legursky (I hope)
RG Kemo/Mahan
RT Starks/Essex
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
It looks more and more like the plan is to shuffle players....If I had to guess, in the end we will see:

LT: Smith/Hills
LG: Colon/Simmons
C: Hardwig/Legursky (I hope)
RG Kemo/Mahan
RT Starks/Essex
i am really hoping that the new center is what was missing from the OL. i am tired of cringing everytime i see a defender in the backfield and ben running for his life. if not,well i guess we are in for a long season, giving the fact that we have a very hard schedule..
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers stockpiling weapons

Well, there it is. All the OL talk was smoke, and they were looking for weapons all along. When I suggested this inanother thread, I was told I was wrong, but it sure sounds like the Steelers FO thinks their OL is going to be vastly improved this year.
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