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Old 01-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

Black and Gold primarily need secondary help
http://www.meadvilletribune.com/spor...yword=topstory
By Matthew Digiacomo

January 18, 2010 —

It turned out to be an early offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, so you can bet head coach Mike Tomlin, general manager Kevin Colbert and the Rooney family will have their homework done come the 2010 NFL draft in April.

To be honest, it is not that hard a test.

The Steelers’ downfall was, of all things, its defense. The “Steel Curtain” turned into a Venetian blind, and no one was able to close the slats. And the biggest reason for that was the secondary.

Pittsburgh still finished fifth in total defense in 2009, allowing 305.3 yards per game. The rushing defense was also fifth at 89.9 yards per game. But the passing defense faltered to 16th in the league, allowing 215.4 yards per game.

A lot of that can be attributed to knee injuries to Troy Polamalu, which forced him to miss the majority of the season. Still, it can not all be blamed on injury. What’s need are a healthy Polamalu and an upgrade coming from the No. 18 pick in the draft.

The question is where?

Cornerback is the obvious choice, and there are a couple worth their weight in first round contract money. The two that stand out to me are Florida’s Joe Haden and Florida State’s Patrick Robinson.

Haden is considered the top cornerback prospect in this years draft class after declaring he would leave early. His plusses are many — good speed, quickness, leaping ability and the experience of playing against a lot of top receivers in college. His biggest weakness is his youth, but a few games in the NFL will take care of that. He may not make it to the 18th pick, but he could fall into range for the Steelers to trade up.

Robinson is another first round prospect, rated the top senior at the position. He has decent size at 5-11, 194 pounds and comes with good speed (4.42 in the 40). He is more seasoned than Murphy, but has less upside. It should also be noted that upside only counts if they reach that potential (just ask the Raiders about Jamarcus Russell). As for the draft, I think Robinson will fall into the lower third, meaning the Steelers could trade down to get him and pick up a few extra picks, which would be an added bonus.

A couple other guys to keep an eye on are South Florida’s Jerome Murphy and Indiana (Pa.) CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.

I really like this Murphy kid. He might not be as fast as some of the other corners with his 4.48 speed, but he will hit, has good ball skills for the position, can return kicks and has good size (6-1, 185). Plus, he comes from a school that has a recent history of solid NFL cornerbacks — Mike Jenkins for the Dallas Cowboys and the Steelers’ own Trae Williams.

With a first name that means “born on Sunday, how can you go wrong with Owusu-Ansah. Sure, he comes from a small college, but that does not mean he isn’t a special talent. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds with an average speed of 4.48 in the 40, he would add size and speed to the Steelers’ secondary. He is coming off a shoulder injury and we will have to see how he performs at the combine. If he does well, he could rocket up the draft charts.

If the Steelers opt to upgrade the other safety spot, and help create more depth if Polamalu gets injured again, there are two guys that lead the pack — Tennessee’s Eric Berry and Taylor Mays out of USC.

Berry is a playmaker, much in the mold of Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed. It would probably be a stretch if the Steelers take him, especially since it would likely require them to trade up into the top 5 of the draft. However, his size — 5-foot-11, 200 pounds — might make a move to cornerback a good fit. He has great vision, instincts, reflexes and speed to go with very reliable hands.

Mays could also be moved to corner. His speed (timed electronically at 4.32 in the 40) is out of this world and when you put that with his size (6-3, 230), there is not a receiver in the NFL he would not be able to match up with physically. He would need to work on his backpedal, change of direction and coverage skills, but if he brought it all together ... WOW! Mays also has the size to team with Polamalu to create one of the most formidable safety combinations in the NFL ... ever. And unlike Berry, he may fall to a spot worth trading up.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

No Earl Thomas?

I'm not sold on Mays. The WOW factor is there but watching USC games, I saw a lot of mistakes. He would need to be big time coached up. I still think we should go OL this year. Watching the Ravens and now the Jets, these teams invested in 1st Round OL and it is paying off. They can run the ball effectively no matter what the situation. I am really liking Iupati. At 18, we would be able to pick the top player at that position and I think this guy will be a beast.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

We have so many needs, Best available should be followed.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

Some guy from .............the Meadville Tribune??? is suggesting that Taylor Mays could play CB, but then he says he would need to work on his backpedal, change of direction and coverage skills????

That is like saying that Casey Claussen could play WR, but would have to work on his route running, pass catching and blocking. Sorry Mesa..........should have skipped this fishwrap link.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhogday View Post
No Earl Thomas?
That is what I was thinking as well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

i say we fill the other safety spot if eric berry is still there they take him and earl thomas would be a steal in round 2 if hes there but if we can get taylor mays i say we take him
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

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i say we fill the other safety spot if eric berry is still there they take him and earl thomas would be a steal in round 2 if hes there but if we can get taylor mays i say we take him
Berry will not fall out of the top five spots and Thomas for sure is not going to fall to the second he want even fall out of the top 20 in the first round.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

We can get a FS in the second round -- Reshad Jones.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

aye where is earl thomas.

this article is written with bullshit Taylor Mays at Corner my God whoever wrote this needs help lol.

Earl Thomas may have more potential than Joe Haden but isn't even mentioned lol, yet they mention 4-5th round prospects.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Black and Gold primarily need secondary help

theres another way to help the secondary..and thats to get more pressure on the QB which our front 7 did not consistantly do this season, solid pressure on the qb helps make our current seconday alot better....just thought i'd throw that out there..
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