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Old 02-17-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky
by Michael Bean on Feb 17, 2011 5:05 PM EST

Let's continue with our overview of each and every Pittsburgh Steelers player whose contract expired after the 2010 season. We've got a number of guys to discuss whose future hinges on a number of interrelated and complicated factors. Here's one though that's not at all difficult to wrap our heads around: Doug Legursky.

The back story: Legursky joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2008. Much to the chagrin of the infamous former BTSC reader Robert Ethan, Legursky didn't quite make it out of camp that year with a spot on the 53-man roster. The Marshall grad however was signed to the practice squad early in the '08 season after Marvel Smith was placed on IR with a back injury.

Legursky did make the team the following season in '09, appearing in 8 games with no starts. It wasn't until this past season that Legursky really had an opportunity to make an impression on his coaches, teammates and fans. Legursky played some at guard, was deployed in jumbo packages as a lead blocker around the goal line, and finally, filled in for the injured Maurkice Pouncey at center in the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. His performances against the Jets and Packers garnered solid reviews, and almost certainly cemented his status as someone the Steelers would like to bring back.

'Free' but not really:

Though Legursky is a free agent, he's not really free at all. Why? Because he's an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, which means he has no more than two accrued NFL seasons. ERFAs can only sign with their prior team, provided the team makes a qualifying minimum offer. In other words, unpack your bags Mr. Legursky, you're hanging around the 'Burgh for at least another season. The question though is whether or not the Steelers decide to offer more than just the bare-bones one-year minimum deal to Legursky. I doubt it, but it's a possibility for sure since he'd only become more expensive to retain once he became a restricted free agent after this season.

What I'd do: I've seen this idea thrown around, but would it make sense to maybe use Legursky at center and Pouncey at right guard? That would give the Steelers a pretty solid interior to their offensive line in '11. Even if the Steelers do draft a guard early on in this year's draft, it's not a slam dunk that he'd be ready and able to play at a high level as a rookie. Maybe, maybe not. We know though that Legursky can hold his own, and I doubt Pouncey would struggle too much making the transition to guard. Perhaps in '11 you move Pouncey back to center and roll with your second-year guard then?

Not likely, I know. So what about Legursky's value at guard? It's harder to say. What we do know is that the dude is strong as an ox, and pretty darn nimble and quick to boot. Legursky set weight room records at Marshall in the squat (705 lbs) and hang clean (430 pounds). Ridiculous. And to think he's probably gotten even stronger and certainly more agile, flexible and explosive since joining the Steelers.

Color me a believer be it at center or guard. He'll turn 25 this summer meaning he's young and inexperienced enough still to believe that his best football is ahead of him, yet old enough now to have learned the nuanced mental aspect of his craft since leaving college.

Even if Legursky is a guy the Steelers believe in, I suppose there's no reason to offer him more than a one-year minimum deal, which would be somewhere in the 400-500k range I believe. I would tell Legursky to work hard this offseason, whoop some ass in camp and the preseason, earn a helmet, and a nice two-year extension is his at some point early in the '11 season
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

I like Legursky backing up center and guard. If he can beat out someone for the RG roll then fine. Pouncey is our center for the next decade, we shouldn't mess with that. I actually think we should move Willie Colon back inside to RG and go with Starks, Kemo, Pouncey, Colon, Adams for 2011. Have Legusky back up Center and Guard and Foster and Scott to back up the other Guard and Tackles.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

I am a huge fan of this guy after the palyoffs. It always bothered me that he couldn't beat out Foster at RG though??!! I've heard that Colon to RG thing for a few years on this board but it doesn't appear the Steelers will ever do that and they seem to believe he is a very good RT. Next year we should have a decent starting line adn some depth. Draft a CB in the 1st round and G in the 2nd and we are on our way!
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

I find it hard to believe the Steelers will only sign him to a 1 year deal. The author admits the upside is very good and he has performed very well when called upon. When someone is an Exclusive Rights player, that is an opportunity for the team to get a multi-year deal at a reasonable price. The reason being is because Legursky could get a 3 year deal that will pay him far more than he'll get on his 1 year deal. Legursky won't want to gamble on a 1 year deal in the hopes that he's not injured or doesn't ride the pine and another team pays him more in 2012. The Steelers will make the deal because they could have a great backup center and potential starting RG for less than the NFL average. My prediction is a signed 3 year deal worth $5 - $6 mil.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:39 AM   #5

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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

They really should sign him for 3 years. There is no reason _not_ to.
Plus, I am sure he likes it in Pgh. Only way he leaves is if a team
is offering him starter $ and starting job, which, could happen,
I guess.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

wow i didnt realize he was that strong. i like him and would much rather see him playing then Essix. hopefully we resign him
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

He is a definate keeper after his performance this season!
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Doug Legursky

Keep him, when someone went down he performed well. Hey maybe he can be a starter someday.
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