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Old 08-19-2009, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Rookie class impressing, with one exception

NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rookie class impressing, with one exception
As noted, at least in part, in my last post, the Steelers rookie class is looking like one of its best in quite some time.

It's early, of course, but defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Sonny Harris, wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett, tight end David Johnson and center A.Q. Shipley look like players who from this draft class who can contribute if not immediately, then down the road.

Add in impressive rookie free agent signings Ramon Foster and Isaac Redman, and you have what could be a very strong group.

The one disappointment? Guard Kraig Urbik, a third-round pick.

In the moments following the draft, when the Steelers brass spoke about this draft class, Urbik was the one guy who was pointed to that they felt had a chance to push for a starting job.

Right now, he's barely pushing for a roster spot.

The former Wisconsin star has looked tentative in one-on-one blocking drills. And he didn't seem to get a lot of push in the first preseason game against Arizona.

If Urbik fails to materialize as a player – and I'm not writing him off yet – the Steelers will almost be forced to spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman in 2010.

Of course that was said the past two offseasons as well and the team hasn't made that move yet.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

Shipley is way better then Urbik ever was and he's proving it again. Start giving A.Q. some looks at Guard.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

Ahh well. Even if Urbik turns out to suck, it looks like we're doing pretty well. If Foster or Shipley ends up being a contributor, we still come out ahead on the O-Line front anyway.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

while i'd like to hear better about our rookie lineman, fact is even the #1 lineman in every years draft is gonna look sucky going up against the likes of a. smith, hampton and keisel every day in practice.

word is urbick isnt a 1 on 1 drillmeister and looks much better as part of a unit.

im not gonna panic yet. our defenders make cohesive veteran nfl lines look like they suck.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

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Ahh well. Even if Urbik turns out to suck, it looks like we're doing pretty well. If Foster or Shipley ends up being a contributor, we still come out ahead on the O-Line front anyway.
Exactly. Through in Legursky's improvement... and we may be looking pretty dang good.

But again, who knows what the problem is. Urbik could surprise everyone.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

I wouldn't bury Urbik just yet. Its a bit pre-mature to declare Shipley the second coming of Mansfield or Webster to.

As for the article even if Urbik pans out and becomes a player. I still hope the Steelers use an early pick on an OL next year.

Yes I understand this unit was good enough for the Steelers to win it all. But put this in perspective.

Starks-3rd round
Kemoeatu-6th round
Hartwig-7th round
Stapleton-undrafted if Essex-3rd round
Colon-4th round

I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.[/QUOTE]totally agree with you. its pretty bad when teams trade ahead of us to draft the 5th or 6th LT taken in the 1st round. its even worse when teams are taking 2 centers we are targeting in the 1st on top of the 5 or 6 tackles.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

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I do buy in the concept the longer an OL does play together as a unit the better they will become. But it still wouldn't hurt for the Steelers to add a first round pick talent to this current OL group.

Problem is when the Steelers pick so late the top OL are all gone. I know this but with this team loaded almost at every spot it wouldn't hurt to trade up to get a top OT or an interior OL one time.

I'm not complaining either about the OL but just throwing that out there. You know the purpose of a message board to discuss.
totally agree with you. its pretty bad when teams trade ahead of us to draft the 5th or 6th LT taken in the 1st round. its even worse when teams are taking 2 centers we are targeting in the 1st on top of the 5 or 6 tackles.
Yep. funny thing is, supposedly the Browns aren't quite getting what they thought they were getting.

Depending on how this line does this year, I am not sure I want a top round pick going to hte OL next year and I DEFINITELY don't want to lose a pick for it. Consider this. We only have one guy under the age of 30 for the DL... maybe under the age of 33 by this time next year. We have no one that can step up into the LB role now that we have lost foote. I am not comfortable with our backups there. I'd want a decent guy in the 2nd or 3 round there. CB's seem to be pretty good, but we definitely need to develop a new, young safety as well.

So as I see it, it really isn't worth trading a pick, since we are going to have to find talent for those positions....

and don't forget, we MAY lose our FS AND/OR our NT.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

there's no mention of the tank in that article...
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rookie class impressing, with one exception

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We have no one that can step up into the LB role now that we have lost foote. I am not comfortable with our backups there. I'd want a decent guy in the 2nd or 3 round there.
you mean a decent guy like bruce davis (3rd round)?

this is EXACTLY what was said when we let go of porter in regards to foote. 1st round pick timmons IS stepping into that role now that we lost foote. in the past 3 years we have spent a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick on lb's (and still have plenty of back up's waiting in the wings).

on the flipside, look at what carolina has done to their offensive line with their top 3 picks in the past few years.

its time to balance things out.

kevin colbert and tomlin seem pretty comfortable with k. fox stepping in if anything happens to an ILB or olb.
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