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|03-26-2010, 03:25 PM||#1|
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2010 Steelers Offseason Preview
Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 Offseason Preview
March 26, 2010 by Andy Benoit | Ben Roethlisberger 2010, Steelers free agents 2010, Steelers mock draft 2010, Steelers quarterback 2010
The film has been reviewed and the judgments passed. Hereís the look on the Steelers.
No quarterback has better physical tools than Ben Roethlisberger. Heís known for his sandlot skills, but last season Roethlisberger also proved sharp in the presnap game. What really stood out was his chemistry with smooth tight end Heath Miller and the wide receiving corpse. Hines Ward was his usual self. Santonio Holmes was arguably the best route runner in football (noteworthy considering how flawed he was in this department as a rookie and sophomore). Mike Wallace showed superstar potential. So did running back Rashard Mendenhall, with his fluid yet powerful downhill burst. The offensive line was spectacular at times and absent-minded at others. RT Willie Colon was the most reliable all-around blocker. Power from mobility made LG Chris Kemoeatu the teamís most valuable lineman.
The loss of Troy Polamalu meant everything. Without its star, the secondary could no longer disguise coverages or cloak unfavorable matchups. Also, the run defense became overly reliant on the inside linebackers, which isnít the worst thing but, as Pittsburgh discovered, clearly not ideal. Casey Hampton was an absolute monster. Few NTís have his lateral quickness and leverage. LaMarr Woodley was a first-class star, even though he didnít draw near the amount of attention that James Harrison did. Both players were dominant against the run. Still, it wasnít enough to compensate for the secondaryís crippling inconsistencies.
Top 5 Needs
Ike Taylor is fantastic, but heís it. William Gay is a liability as a starter, and nickel back Deshea Townsend should only be re-signed as a last resort.
2. Outside Linebacker
Woodley and Harrison are both top 5 OLBís, but their backups, Andre Frazier and Patrick Bailey, are both undrafted young veterans with minimal experience.
Speedy Ryan Clark was granted his wish to return, but versatile Tyrone Carter will likely leave. That leaves third-year pro Ryan Mundy as the primary backup. Anyone who saw the Raider game last year knows Mundy isnít ready. He lacks elite athleticism anyway. Newcomer Will Allen was signed primarily for special teams.
4. Offensive Lineman
The starting five is set, but with last yearís third-round rookie Kraig Urbik being a disappointment, depth is a question.
5. Defensive End
Free agent Travis Kirschke is likely gone. Last yearís first-round pick Ziggy Hood is raw but can replace him. Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel are both in their 30s, but neither is slowing down (assuming Smith is healthy). That said, depth could be an issue, and the future must be planned for at some point.
Interesting read.. he makes some good points
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