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Old 07-15-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers Q&A

Steelers Q&A
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s/steelers/QA/
Posted July 13, 2009 2 :11 PM
Scott Brown

Hi Scott,

I was wondering if you could settle a debate that I had with my son. I believe that Lawrence Timmons was on the field for more defensive plays than Larry Foote, because of his inclusion in several of the third-down packages. My son says that Foote was on the field more (not counting special teams). Who is right?

Ed Smith of San Antonio, Texas

Hi Ed,

I think your son has you on this one. I was able to get from the Steelers the number of snaps each player had in all of the 2008 regular-season games except for the opener against the Texans and the early November contest against the Redskins. In those 14 games it is close, but Foote logged 474 snaps compared to the 444 snaps Timmons had. I can't imagine that Timmons played that much more than Foote against the Texans and Redskins to close the gap vis a vis the number of snaps each one played.

Had Foote stayed with the Steelers through this season, Timmons probably would have surpassed him on the depth chart and in snaps. The reason Foote wanted out of Pittsburgh is because he saw that the Steelers were grooming Timmons for a more prominent role -- one that he will play this season.

Scott,

Sirius NFL radio was discussing rumors that Heath Miller is likely to be a cap casualty after his contract is up. I, like many other fans, believe that Miller is probably the best free agent we have left to sign and would like to see a deal get done. He may be the best player left to be a free agent, but is he the most important free agent left? We do have a similar player in Spaeth, who was a fairly high draft pick, to replace him. When Ryan Clark went down awhile back the Steelers sure were short handed. Who are the likely free agents for next year and who are their current backups? Does lack of depth at any of the positions make any of the guys seem more indispensable than Heath Miller?

Tom Sedlacko of Rocky River, Ohio

Tom,

Interesting questions. I don't know how much I'd put into those rumors about Miller becoming a cap casualty. He is one of the more underrated tight ends in the NFL and a vital part of the Steelers' offense. Even if the Steelers don't sign Miller to a long-term extension before the start of the season they could use a franchise or transition tag on him after the season to buy more negotiating time. Also, if there is no collective bargaining agreement in place before next February, Miller will only be a restricted free agent after the season.

I haven't seen enough from Matt Spaeth to think he could step in for Miller at tight end without the Steelers experiencing much of a drop off at the position. Miller is that good and Spaeth is still that unproven. That is why I will be very surprised if this season is Miller's last one with the Steelers.

The position I am watching in regard to free agency is nose tackle. Casey Hampton isn't getting any younger and his age coupled with the weight issues he has had may be why the Steelers have yet to sign him to a contract extension. Having a guy who can clog the middle and occupy several blockers, as Hampton has done so well over the years, is critical in a 3-4 defense. And those kind of players are not easy to find so I'm anxious to see if the Steelers gamble that Hampton has some good years left as well as the discipline to not lose control of his weight and give him a long-term deal.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Q&A

I wish we could get over the Miller talk and get him signed.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Q&A

I agree with you Galax, I wish we could just get him signed witch I think we will it's just a question of when.
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