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Old 04-26-2010, 07:16 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit


Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/25/e...-to-sit/#cntnt
4/25/2010 9:35 PM ET By JJ Cooper

Mike WallaceThe Steelers loaded up on outside linebackers during the 2010 draft, which may seem puzzling to casual fans considering that outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are two of the best pass rushers in the league and will hopefully be the Steelers' starters at the position for several years to come.

But if you look at the history of the Steelers' defense under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, it shouldn't be surprising to more knowledgable Steelers fans--rookies never start for LeBeau and often they take three, four or even five years to become starters.

Here's the breakdown of when the Steelers' current projected starters moved into the starting lineup.

Started as rookies: NT Casey Hampton.

Started in their second year: SS Troy Polamalu, OLB LaMarr Woodley, DE Aaron Smith, *CB Bryant McFadden

Started in their third year: ILB Lawrence Timmons, CB Ike Taylor

Started in their fifth year: DE Brett Keisel, OLB James Harrison.

Added as unrestricted free agents: FS Ryan Clark, ILB James Farrior.

* McFadden started in his second year because of injury, but didn't become a full-time starter until his fourth year.

It wouldn't be shocking if second-round pick Jason Worlids or fourth-round pick Thaddeus Gibson take years to replace Harrison, it wouldn't be any difference than the path Harrison took to replace Joey Porter. In Harrison's case, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in his second year as a starter.

It's also a good reminder that just because cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis and defensive ends Ziggy Hood and Sunny Harris didn't make dramatic impacts as rookies last year, it doesn't mean they are behind schedule. The reality is that in Pittsburgh if you play defense your career often begins in your second year.

In case you're looking for a comparison, here's a breakdown of when the Steelers' offense broke into the starting lineup. Note that no matter where you

Started as rookies: QB Ben Roethlisberger, TE Heath Miller.

Started in their second year: WR Hines Ward, WR Mike Wallace, OT Max Starks, RB Rashard Mendenhall, OT Willie Colon, TE Matt Spaeth.

Started in their fourth year: OG Chris Kemoeatu,

Started in their fifth year: OG Trai Essex

Signed as unrestricted free agents: C Justin Hartwig.

It's hard to say who the Steelers' 11th starter is on offense. If you want to say it's a fullback, the projected starter is a second-year man (either Tank Summer or David Johnson) who has not been a starter before. If you say it's a tight end than it's Spaeth as listed above. Whichever way you pick the general message is the same--the second year is usually when the Steelers work a new player into the starting lineup. Exactly half of the current starters broke into the lineup in their second year.

Maurkice Pouncey is a projected starter from day one of his career, but the rest of the 2010 draft class will likely consist of inacitve players or special teams contributors, that's just how the Steelers do it.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

OK...was anybody surprised by this? I think the only immediate help we received during the draft was by upgrading our starting secondary by bringing back McFadden.

Rookies in the Steeler program just don't start generally because we're not "rebuilding" very often.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

The biggest improvement from the draft will be the special teams.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

Rooney did say that he wanted to see the younger players ready to play earlier in their career, but you're right with this draft. The only two guys that I could see getting playing time their rookie years is Pouncey and Dwyer.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlastFurnace View Post
Rooney did say that he wanted to see the younger players ready to play earlier in their career, but you're right with this draft. The only two guys that I could see getting playing time their rookie years is Pouncey and Dwyer.
Agreed. Depending on Sweed, I dunno if Sanders will dress.

Ward
Wallace
Randle El
Battle
Sweed

I could see Sanders eventually replacing Battle on the depth chart this year.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

Quote:
Originally Posted by truesteelerfan View Post
OK...was anybody surprised by this? I think the only immediate help we received during the draft was by upgrading our starting secondary by bringing back McFadden.

Rookies in the Steeler program just don't start generally because we're not "rebuilding" very often.
thats because the steelers dont rebuild... they RELOAD.

hehe ive seen that on someones sig.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

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Originally Posted by fat4jc View Post
Agreed. Depending on Sweed, I dunno if Sanders will dress.

Ward
Wallace
Randle El
Battle
Sweed

I could see Sanders eventually replacing Battle on the depth chart this year.
He has to beat Sanders in training camp and pre-season if he wants to be in the team IMHO
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

I think you will see Sweed catching passes from JaMarcus Russell before he starts for the Steelers.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

I think it would be safe to say that Pouncey will be a starting this year. I would say that Dwyer will also be in the game quiet a bit relieving Mendenhall.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Expect Most Steelers' Rookies to Sit

No excuse why a number one should not see playing time. Unless he is not a true number one or we are loaded. Which we are not.
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