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Old 03-25-2006, 08:12 AM   #1
DIESELMAN
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Default Pass on LenDale White.....

Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are excited about the latest mock draft from Fox Sports. Somehow bruising running back LenDale White has fallen all the way to pick #32. Perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers can fly in Snoop Dogg for draft day, allowing him to oversee the passing of the torch from Bettis to White.

There is a slight hitch in this romantic scenario. The Steelers don?t need another Bettis.

Snoop Dogg may be a Steelers fan. White and Mr. Dogg may be good friends. And White played for the USC Trojans like starting safety Troy Polamalu. That?s where the connections to the Steelers end.

While Jerome Bettis is synonymous with ?Steelers Football?, the team didn?t march through the playoffs in the traditional fashion. Bettis was the face of the Steelers, but for media purposes only. Of course, he was also a strong locker room presence and his teammates love to watch him bowl over the opposition.

The offensive line did seem to play better with Bettis running behind them, but that undervalues Bettis? nifty footwork and his intelligence. Bettis may have understood the blocking schemes better than any of the linemen. He could make anyone look good.

The Steelers ground attack often carried Cowher?s teams through the regular season, but Bettis and company did little to deliver another Super Bowl trophy to Pittsburgh. The 2005 playoffs weren?t any different.

QB Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game helped the Steelers win three playoff games on the road, not the storied running backs. Granted the image of a run-first offensive philosophy helped Bill Cowher and Ken Whisenhunt confound opposing defenses, but the Steelers struggled to run the ball at all during January.

RB Willie Parker?s home run style also signals a changing of the guard. One touch and Willie is gone, as he demonstrated in the Super Bowl. Parker isn?t in there to wear down the defense like Bettis did. The offense also doesn?t revolve around Parker like it did Bettis, at least at one point a few years ago.

The offense now revolves around Roethlisberger. There is no torch to pass to White. The franchise quarterback owns it now, and Bettis would tell you that is how it should be.

The eminent re-signing of Verron Haynes helps emphasize this point. Parker, Haynes, and Duce Staley should prove adequate for the 2006 season. The Steelers will buy another year to take stock of what they have in Parker and the draft can offer some depth in the form of a player such as RB Wali Lundy (Virginia).

More pressing is finding additional weapons for Roethlisberger. In this regard, White would be a wasted pick. The Steelers will not build an offense around him.

Chasing the same folly as finding Bettis? heir apparent, the Steelers could search for the next Plaxico Burress. TE Heath Miller is already the imposing target that Burress never was. And you can cross the former battery mate of Roethlisberger, WR Martin Nance, off your list. Nance didn?t impress anyone during the combine or the Miami (Ohio) pro day. Maybe the Steelers gift Nance to Roethlisberger early on Day 2.

Cowher may be enamored with QB/WR Michael Robinson (Penn State), but Robinson won?t provide much help in the near term. Jason Avant (Michigan) would seem to be a Steelers receiver, but that slips back into the Bettis-centric model.

Risking sounding clich?, the Steelers lack a downfield threat. Roethlisberger tends to look long, often ignoring his safety valves and the underneath routes. Sinorice Moss might fit, but the Steelers wouldn?t look past a blue chip defender to grab him.

The wide receiver picture is muddled, but the Steelers should let White slide right by then if that oppurtunity presents itself.

By: Jim Russell
SteelCityInsider.com
Date: Mar 25, 2006
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

Interesting and well thought out piece....

I know everyone is drooling over White..but...

First of all..I cant see him dropping to 32....

And I agree...there are other more pressing needs...Parker, Staley, and Haynes are enough..they may go RB in rounds 2-4...but no higher
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

we say they are enough until Parker cant handle the load or run up the middle and grind out 3 4 yards on a play that should get nothing. Parker going to run over Urlacher ? We going to be able to outrun a speed defense ? Prolly not. Parker had alot of games where he didnt do much and if we didnt have that brusier back, we may have had a few more losses and not even been in the playoffs. Staley would be great if he wasnt so injury prone and such a question mark going into season. If White is there, i would definately take him without question. and WHEN Staley gets hurt, then we are holding our breath each time Parker carries the ball, Haynes is then our guy if anything happens.

As much fun as it would be to see ben throw it up 40 times a game, Would we win soley on his arm when teams are playing the pass only (insert Marino career here) I dnt care if Ben could throw for 6000 yards a season and th completes 28 of 35 passes each game.. if we dont win it doesnt really matter much.

Having White and Parker along with Bens arm and our Defense would make for a well rounded team. Staley wont be around much longer so i do think is important if someone is available such as White to grab them. Bettis stats may not have been impressive, but over and over when he came in to finish off a game and run people over or be able to get that short yardage first down or TD... the lift that gave our team and often the crowd is irreplaceable.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

I just looked at that Mock draft, i dont agree with alot of it and i dont see White falling that far anyway. There may be a few Rb's avaialable at that spot, just not sure which ones and in reality, the Steelers cannot go too wrong in anyone they select in this draft because we are drafting for depth and we need it at alot of positiions. Whatever they do, i just hope that they dont do a WR in round one.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

If Haynes is re-signed I believe it indicates the Steelers will not see RB as their most pressing need in the draft.

Subject to someone high on their board unexpectedly hanging around for pick #32, a deep threat WR, LB and OL rank as higher needs than RB.
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

lendale isn't another bettis, lendale is a beast and would be a every down back, something willie will never ever ever ever ever be. sure he breaks long runs that make his stats look nice, but lendale will break some too, and he'll break tackles and pick up consistent yards something willie can't and probably won't be able to do. with that said, foxsports mock draft was f'n stupid and shouldn't even be allowed to be posted on the internet, lendale will be gone before we pick.
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

What I like most about that peace is that Moss would fit, agreed there, But I also agree that you dont let a top notch DB or Safety go at 32 to pick Moss either...especially since we could get a guy like Skyler Green who would be a solid reciever and a force on PK?PR
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

This guy makes nice points, but it's just more speculation...he doesn't really know anything more than any of the rest of us.
I still think the Steelers look for a Thunder/Lightning thing, because all it did for them last year was win a Super Bowl.
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

One reason the pass worked so well for us in the playoffs was because teams planned to stop the run because that's what we did all year. In the Indianapolis game we ran away the clock in the fourth quarter. Who do you put in on 3rd and short? Not Willie.

I think Duce can get the job done but I can't say he will be healthy the whole season. I think we all know him well enough to want another good, big RB. He won't slide that far but if for some reason he does, even though it's not a pressing need, how can you possibly pass on Lendale?

Certainly I'll take RB Wali Lundy in the later rounds if he's the best available.

I'm hoping that a top ranked talent slides, either the #2 WR, or #3 RB, #2 Safety, or #2 OLB.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pass on LenDale White.....

I agree with Diesel somwhat. Our we going to continue to be the bruising, pounding running team we were? Or our we goig for a faster more finesse running game that can throw too? Bettis was awesome, but with Kordell, Tomszak, and Tommy, we had to run, and pound the ball and hope to keep scoring low. Ben gives us a chance at scoring everytime he steps on the field. Our offense may change, because our qb did.
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