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Old 04-24-2010, 12:52 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans
http://community.post-gazette.com/bl...k/default.aspx
By Bob Smizik | Saturday 12:45 a.m.

Say this for the Steelers, they don’t draft to please their fans.

As far as being positive about Day 2 of the NFL draft, I'm not sure what else there is to say.

No question, there was a major letdown in the Steeler Nation when the team took outside linebacker Jason Worilds from Virginia Tech in the second round and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders of SMU in the third.

The Steelers needs for a cornerback, inside linebacker and defensive lineman were bypassed Friday in the second and third rounds of draft, which sent a rush of disappointment through the team’s fan base.

Before anyone gets too crazy with criticism, try to remember the Steelers not only do this for a living, they are a lot more vested in the success of the team than the average fan.

Still, the failure to attempt to upgrade a secondary that literally cost the team the playoffs last season in the rounds where starting talent can be found is baffling.
(Count me among the completely baffled unless the Steelers have decided to write off this upcoming season. - mesa)

Worilds is highly regarded, but he plays a position manned by James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley, neither of whom is expected to be in decline any time soon. The Steelers selected Worilds with linebacker Sean Lee was still available, although they seemed to have a greater need at that position than outside, with James Farrior, 35, a starter, Larry Foote, who will be 30 in June, the top reserve, and Lawrence Timmons, perhaps better suited for the outside, as the other starter.

On top of that, Lee is the ultimate high-character athlete, and a local favorite who played at Penn State in college and Upper St. Clair in high school.

But the Steelers were not drafting for their fans.

The drafting of Sanders, ranked as 17th best at his position by one rating service, was even more puzzling. The Steelers might lack long-term depth at wide receiver but they do not have a crying need.

No question, the Steelers will look for help at cornerback, inside linebacker and running back today in the final three rounds of the draft. But they left a lot of people wondering about their failure to address their pressing needs in the early rounds.


Posted: Bob Smizik | with no comments
Filed under: James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Lamarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Sean Lee
Apr 23 2010
`Roethlisberger Effect' impacting draft

Friday, 11:45 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger, not surprisingly, was nowhere to be seen while the NFL draft was taking place in New York City. But ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski maintains the Steelers quarterback was a powerful influence in the selection process.

Wojciechowski wrote on ESPN.com that Roethlisberger’s recent trouble have made character a higher issue than ever in the draft and teams are looking for the anti-Roethlisberger.

Of Roethlisberger, who was suspended for six games this week by the NFL for violation of the player-conduct policy, Wojciechowski wrote, ``His John Blutarsky [Animal House] behavior and spectacularly poor judgment was evident as the first and second rounds unfolded.''

Wojciechowski called it the ``Roethlisberger Effect,’ and said that it ``has made owners and general managers even more skittish -- at least, more sensitive -- to the character strengths and flaws of potential first-round picks.’’

Here’s the story. -- Bob Smizik

Clausen's fall linked to Big Ben fallout

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/colum...8&sportCat=nfl

Wojciechowski By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com


NEW YORK -- Want to know one of the reasons Tim Tebow was the 25th pick of the NFL draft?

Answer: The Roethlisberger Effect.

Want to know one of the reasons Jimmy Clausen was a first-round no-show, free-falling out of the top 10, out of the top 20, even out of the Aaron Rodgers Misery Zone before his agonizing wait ended with the Carolina Panthers taking him halfway through the second round?

The Roethlisberger Effect.

Ben Roethlisberger's NFL career began in this city six years ago with a handshake from then-league commissioner Paul Tagliabue, as well as the sudden responsibility of being named the 11th overall pick.

It ended -- at least, temporarily -- in this same city two days ago with a six-game suspension and a harsh, public condemnation from Tagliabue's iron-fisted successor and bro-mance hug expert, Roger Goodell.

Something happened to Roethlisberger between April 2004 and April 2010, not all of it good. Two Super Bowl rings happened. But so did a motorcycle accident and two troubling off-field incidents involving the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback.

The cumulative effect of those documented incidents, especially the recent Big Ben boozefest in Milledgeville, Ga., forced Goodell and the Steelers to act. Roethlisberger was repudiated by the NFL, by Steelers' management and even by some Steelers' faithful. If he were any more radioactive, he'd need a hazmat suit.

Roethlisberger wasn't here at Radio City Music Hall and the NFL draft these past few nights. But the trickle-down effect of his John Blutarsky behavior and spectacularly poor judgment was evident as the first and second rounds unfolded.

Start with the St. Louis Rams' decision to choose quarterback Sam Bradford as the No. 1 overall pick. It's easy to take Bradford's football skills to prom, but the depth of his character also played a significant part in the selection.

Anyone who thinks Bradford was taken No. 1 because he can throw an 18-yard out isn't paying attention to the evolving reality of the NFL. These aren't simply football decisions anymore. They've become financial decisions. Team image decisions.

Bradford becomes not only the face of the Rams but also an investment in the franchise portfolio. We're talking about tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed signing bonuses, salary and incentives. So here's guessing Rams officials must have loved his answer when asked about Roethlisberger and his conduct.

"Obviously there's things out there, people out there [who] are going to try to bring you down," said Bradford in his post-draft news conference. "I think as long as you surround yourself with good people and place yourself in good situations, you can eliminate a lot of the possibilities of bad things happening."

Hear the sigh of relief all the way from St. Louis?

There is no margin of error with that pick, that round and that playing position. If you get it wrong (see, Ryan Leaf … JaMarcus Russell … Cade McNown … Michael Vick) it often can cripple your franchise for years.

Is Tebow a better, more polished quarterback prospect than Clausen? Absolutely not. But the Roethlisberger Effect has made owners and general managers even more skittish -- at least, more sensitive -- to the character strengths and flaws of potential first-round picks.

"I think there's been some trend toward that during the last couple of years," said one prominent player agent. "I don't know if it's so much Roethlisberger."

Fair enough. But did the concerns about Clausen's maturity level, real or imagined, contribute to his descent from a projected mid-first-round pick to the second round and the 48th overall pick?

"I'm sure they contributed to it," the agent said.

I've covered a handful of Clausen's games at Notre Dame. I've interviewed Clausen. He's different, but not in a bad way. Of course, showing up in a stretch Hummer limo to announce he would attend ND was so gaudy that Touchdown Jesus covered his eyes. Getting a sucker-punch black eye in a late-night/wee-morning altercation near campus wasn't a career high point. And it's fair to say he wasn't always the most popular player on the roster.

But Clausen played hard last season. He played hurt. And he played in an offensive system that prepared him better for the NFL than what Tebow ran at Florida.

Instead, the Denver Broncos eventually traded up and traded multiple picks to get Tebow, while Clausen was stranded on the island of misfit football toys. It didn't help that Clausen is still recovering from the after-effects of offseason toe ligament surgery. Or that there's a feeling among some evaluators that Clausen's head is almost touching his talent ceiling.

But Tebow is a first-rounder and Clausen is a second-rounder because the Broncos had more trust in Tebow's combo platter of skills. They trusted that he could be coached up, that his mechanics could be further improved and that he could lead. And there were no bruise marks on his maturity chart.

Clausen didn't inspire that same level of faith. His first-round hopes were partly undone by his past rather than enhanced by his future. Time will determine whether the Broncos or the Panthers made the wiser choice.

However it shakes out, intangibles matter. As our own Mel Kiper Jr. says, Tebow would be the No. 1 pick if everything were based on intangibles.

Meanwhile, if Roethlisberger were in this NFL draft and his baggage included the Lake Tahoe and Georgia incidents, no way would he be the 11th selection again. "I'm not sure he would have gone in the first [round]," the player agent said.

Clausen is no Roethlisberger. Not even close. But Big Ben's big mistakes weren't forgotten in the war rooms or executive offices of NFL teams this week. Right or wrong, Clausen was part of the collateral damage.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com. Hear Gene's podcasts and ESPN Radio appearances by clicking here.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

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Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans
Yeah, they didn't get who I wanted

so now I'm gonna bitch about it and call them all busts!!

Two words people: Lewis and Burnett

They didn't suddenly died leaving us with nothing at cornerback
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:10 AM   #3
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Yeah, they didn't get who I wanted

so now I'm gonna bitch about it and call them all busts!!

Two words people: Lewis and Burnett

They didn't suddenly died leaving us with nothing at cornerback
For Tomlin and Colbert's sake...they better hope that Lewis and Burnett are an answer to their needs. So far, there is no evidence that they are.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

Watching ffffing Bruce Gradkowski tear them a new one is a repeating nightmare that I have
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

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For Tomlin and Colbert's sake...they better hope that Lewis and Burnett are an answer to their needs. So far, there is no evidence that they are.
There's not much evidence they aren't either, at least so far.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

Another outside linebacker and WR.... really?
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

When did Steeler Nation forget we have a player named Troy that spent most of last season injured. Go back and look at the passing numbers in the games Troy played. When Troy is healthy that secondary can play the way they are built to play. With 5 CB's flying off the board in round 1 there was no chance of getting an elite CB prospect. I'm glad they went with the center. Not only will he be our center for many years to come, he can start now at RG until he's ready to take over. With 7 picks left I think people are over reacting. Colbert is known for finding talent in the middle to late rounds, lets see what he pulls off tomorrow.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

If we did everything to please the fans our two-time Super Bowl-winning QB, who hasn't been charged with anything or proven guilty, would be gone, A head coach who won a Super Bowl in his second season would be fired, and we would have deemed Mendenhall a bust already before the time he stepped onto the field this previous season. But hey ... as long are the fans are happy.

I don't agree with the picks, but considering the amount of success we enjoy as a franchise, I'm not gonna doubt them.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers ignore needs, disappoint fans

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Originally Posted by BlastFurnace View Post
For Tomlin and Colbert's sake...they better hope that Lewis and Burnett are an answer to their needs. So far, there is no evidence that they are.
Yeah...and not one but BOTH. Gay doesn't even deserve nickel corner. I really wanted Kyle Wilson. You can never have enough great CBs. Pouncey looks like te right choice and he's growing on me but why couldn't the Steelers trade back into th first round to get Wilson? Teams were trading down. They could have given up a 2, 4 and a 2 next year. Pouncey and Wilson together would have kept me smiling.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:22 AM   #10
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When did Steeler Nation forget we have a player named Troy that spent most of last season injured. Go back and look at the passing numbers in the games Troy played. When Troy is healthy that secondary can play the way they are built to play. With 5 CB's flying off the board in round 1 there was no chance of getting an elite CB prospect. I'm glad they went with the center. Not only will he be our center for many years to come, he can start now at RG until he's ready to take over. With 7 picks left I think people are over reacting. Colbert is known for finding talent in the middle to late rounds, lets see what he pulls off tomorrow.
We didn't forget about Troy...problem is if he goes down again...our defense is up the creek and the Bengals and Ravens really improved on offense. We haven't done anything to improve our defense for next year. That's the concern.
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