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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

(Admins I'm not sure where to put this article since 1/3 of the article is about Vick, 1/3 of the article is about training camp, and 1/3 is about the Steelers approach to free agents. - mesa)

On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk
Sunday, August 02, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thank goodness training camps have opened because those desperate for football stories to talk about can now revert to real tales rather than fantasies, such as why the Steelers are the best team for Michael Vick.

Not only has that been reported by normally sane writers and broadcasters, but I saw one oddsmaker put the Steelers and New England Patriots as 4-1 favorites to sign the 29-year-old quarterback who has not played since 2006. I put the odds higher for the Steelers signing me to run the wildcat offense than them signing Michael Vick. The Steelers would have more interest in Brett Favre than Vick. Right now, I'd re-sign Kordell Stewart before I'd ever put in a call to Vick's people if I needed a quarterback.

Dan Rooney may reside in Ireland, but he has not lost his mind, nor has his son, Steelers president Art Rooney.

The civil lawsuit against Ben Roethlisberger in Nevada would pale as a distraction to signing Vick for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

Let's forget about the groups that would protest the signing of Vick for a moment, put aside the whole "Ron Mexico" affair before his dog-fighting conviction, forget how the media would hound him and the Steelers for who knows how long, forget those Steelers who have dogs of their own who might not appreciate a dog-killer as a teammate. What would you do with him if you did sign him? He's not even eligible to play until October.

The Steelers have Dennis Dixon as their No. 3 quarterback, someone who could push Charlie Batch for the backup job to Ben Roethlisberger. Dixon is every bit as capable of running the wildcat offense as is Vick, if that's what the Steelers want. Dixon might be better at it counting that he is younger and actually has been practicing and playing the past few years while Vick made license plates or whatever they do these days behind bars.

Vick once was a dynamic quarterback, although I do not recall seeing him in any Super Bowls with the Atlanta Falcons. And what he might bring to the Steelers for a play here and a play there would be far less than the problems he would cause them.

The Steelers just do not sign people like Michael Vick. Look at their history. They may have stuck by some of their own players who got into trouble, but they do not invite potential trouble inside their own locker room, especially when it's such a marginal piece as Vick.

Plus, they and their fans already ran a quarterback out of town who had the talent of a Michael Vick and not a hint of arrests or trouble. Kordell Stewart got a bad rap here for whatever reason, even though he started in two AFC championship games, played in a Pro Bowl and was voted by his teammates as their MVP. No one quite knew how to harness his talent, though, and had him throwing when he should not have been and then fell in love with a prolific passer who came and went without much team success.

Those who think the Steelers have any interest in signing Michael Vick have no idea.

Cheap? Think before you talk

Once you get a reputation, it sticks. I've had fans ask me why the Steelers did not sign any high-profile free agents this year. One fellow, in June, asked if the Steelers would sign anyone before training camp.

Let's not mention that any free agent available in June already would have been bypassed by the entire NFL, but, when I said they likely would not sign a free agent, the response was, "Those cheap Rooneys!"

Hey, pal, cut them a break, they just won their second Super Bowl in the past four years. And chief among the reasons they have won their two most recent championships is their approach to free agency. They spend the money. Their annual spending is tight against the cap. They just try not to throw much of it away.

The Steelers are good at keeping their own, at least those players they really want to keep. The most recent example is tight end Heath Miller, who signed a six-year, $35.3 million contract extension the past week. Another is offensive tackle Max Starks. And there are plenty of examples before them.

As I've pointed out before, the Washington Redskins have had little success since owner Daniel Snyder began spending wildly on free agents the past decade. They do not award Lombardi trophies to the owner who dishes out the most money to other teams' free agents.

When free agency took hold in the NFL in 1993 with a salary cap, it was supposed to spread the wealth throughout the league and give every team an even shot at winning. I believed that was not true, that while every team conceivably does have an equal shot because of the cap, it's the smart organizations that would dominate.

That is why the Steelers and New England Patriots keep making the playoffs and contend for Super Bowls, why the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens are consistently good, and why teams such as the Arizona Cardinals just did not get it (until they raided the Steelers for their coaches).

This ain't Tiddlywinks

Remember how Hines Ward bristled the past two training camps when Anthony Smith or some other defensive back delivered blows to a wide receiver coming across the middle?

Well, they're not supposed to do that in practice, but, if I were coach Mike Tomlin, I'd encourage it now and again this summer.

Every year, fans want to know how this receiver or that looked in spring practices, and every year the answer is the same -- they all look good, provided they are not dropping passes. How can you not look good in the spring? There are no pads and no threat someone like Ryan Clark is going to belt you coming over the middle with your outstretched arms in a spring practice.

But, when a defensive back on occasion smacks a receiver in training camp, it leaves all receivers with a little doubt as they run their patterns. How he performs knowing he is going to get hit as he reaches for a pass may be more important to a receiver's makeup than his speed.

That's why it would be nice to see someone smack Limas Sweed early this summer, and rookie Mike Wallace as well. Let's see how they respond, because the Steelers have some decisions to make at that position and that's one tool they need to evaluate.

First published on August 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09214...#ixzz0N3AzLuES
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

Good stuff. Hope that answers all of those questions for the screaming Michael vick fanboys out there
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

Come on Ed you can do better than that....This stuff is so stale brother......Get in touch with the issues that are going on with the team now.........Not forever ago.......
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

Think he is just elaborating on stories that pertain to the Steelers. Pretty good read.

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

great read!
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Enough with the Vick talk + more

Sorry folks - already posted.


Let's keep all talk on that POS in the 300+ page Vick thread that has been ongoing.


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