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Old 05-03-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' projected starting lineup

Steelers' projected starting lineup

May, 3, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com


The AFC North blog is continuing its series on projecting the starting lineup for each team in the division. Next up is the Pittsburgh Steelers:

OFFENSE

QB Ben Roethlisberger: Only fourth quarterback who began his career in the Super Bowl era to reach 80 wins in 113 starts (Tom Brady, Roger Staubach and Ken Stabler were the others).

RB Isaac Redman: Favorite to replace Rashard Mendenhall, who is expected to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

FB David Johnson: Let's see how much the fullback gets onto the field in Todd Haley's offense.

WR Mike Wallace: Restricted free agent wants a long-term deal after becoming first Steelers wide receiver to start a Pro Bowl since John Stallworth in 1985.

WR Antonio Brown: Last year's team Most Valuable Player became first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 return yards in the same season.

TE Heath Miller: His 12.4 yards per catch were a career high for the seven-year veteran.

LT Mike Adams: If he isn't the starter here as a rookie, the second-round pick should be at this spot by next season.

LG Willie Colon: The Steelers thought about moving Colon from tackle to guard last season. The addition of Adams makes it more viable this year.

C Maurkice Pouncey: Ankle injuries have hurt the Pro Bowl lineman in his first two NFL seasons.

RG David DeCastro: The first-round pick could flip to left guard but he played primarily on the right side at Stanford.

RT Marcus Gilbert: He continued to get better and better every week as a rookie last season.

DEFENSE

LDE Ziggy Hood: Now that Aaron Smith is gone, Hood is ready for a full season of starting.

NT Casey Hampton: Could start on PUP, which would push Hood to nose tackle and Cameron Heyward into the starting lineup.

RDE Brett Keisel: He's more than just a beard. His 37 quarterback pressures led the Steelers last season.

LOLB LaMarr Woodley: Had nine sacks in his first eight games before hamstring injury slowed him down.

LILB Larry Foote: Will compete with Stevenson Sylvester for James Farrior's spot.

RILB Lawrence Timmons: Last season showed he is more comfortable playing inside linebacker than outside.

ROLB James Harrison: Has produced at least 8.5 sacks in five straight seasons.

LCB Ike Taylor: Topped the Steelers with 20 passes defensed, which was seven more than anyone else on the team.

SS Troy Polamalu: Second among safeties in interceptions (19) since 2008.

FS Ryan Clark: Led the Steelers with 100 tackles, nine more than Lawrence Timmons.

RCB Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen: The starting spot left by William Gay, who signed with Arizona in free agency, is up in the air at this point.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...tarting-lineup
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

I disagree with this writer on several positions, particularly on the OL where I believe the starting lineup will be: Gilbert-Foster-Pouncey-DeCastro-Colon and at NT where I believe Steve McLendon will start if Big Snack is not ready to go.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

Yeah, Hensley is clearly not intimately informed about the team. McLendon would almost assuredly be the day one starter if Hampton couldn't go, and if it wasn't him, it would only be because Ta'amu was extremely impressive. Why start a DE at NT when you have two other NTs? It's also rather unlikely that Adams is ready to play LT week one, or even during his first year.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

I have less issue with Jamison Hack-ley thinking that Hood may start at NT, when Tomlin has said he could play some there. Doesnt mean he plays the whole game there and McClendon could rotate in.

I have less belief that Mike Adams will start at LT, when Gilbert is likely to get the reps there. Adams hasnt seen NFL competition yet, he was suspended part of the season for selling jerseys for tattoos, he hasnt been to the weight room and hasnt got the pot out of his system yet.

I cant see you trusting Ben's blind side to a guy that hasnt faced NFL pass rushers, only benched 19 reps and still smells like weed. Maybe in 2013.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I have less issue with Jamison Hack-ley thinking that Hood may start at NT, when Tomlin has said he could play some there. Doesnt mean he plays the whole game there and McClendon could rotate in.

I have less belief that Mike Adams will start at LT, when Gilbert is likely to get the reps there. Adams hasnt seen NFL competition yet, he was suspended part of the season for selling jerseys for tattoos, he hasnt been to the weight room and hasnt got the pot out of his system yet.

I cant see you trusting Ben's blind side to a guy that hasnt faced NFL pass rushers, only benched 19 reps and still smells like weed. Maybe in 2013.
I know you're not truly 100% serious, but still, the weed has little impact unless he's a daily user. It won't affect him in OTAs, training camp, preseason, ect. He'll be okay in that department. You're right that he won't start at LT though. I COULD see him at RT, and while I think he will be there by mid-season, I don't think we begin the season with him as a starter anywhere on our line. I'm not pleased about that decision, as I think he'd be an upgrade at RT even as a rookie, but it is what it is. We hardly ever start rookies unless they absolutely blow away the competition. I really am hoping that Adams does, though.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

I think he mentions the weed because I am sure they will test him and make him pass before they allow him on the field. Also, as mentioned, the strength concerns need to be figured out. Depending on the way he strength trains he might not be as weak as we think. I can bench over 400lbs but I couldn't do 225lbs 20 times because I don't do high rep workouts, maybe he is the same way. Football is a game of explosion, 10 seconds of explosive speed and/or explosive power followed by 30 seconds or so of rest, so IMO the question is what is his max weight bench? If thats low too then they need to get him lifting ASAP, there is enough time for him to be able to start if he applies himself, and I would love to see it. Also if Hampton isn't ready I could definitely see Ta'Amu starting right away or at least by game 2.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

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Originally Posted by tanda10506 View Post
I think he mentions the weed because I am sure they will test him and make him pass before they allow him on the field. Also, as mentioned, the strength concerns need to be figured out. Depending on the way he strength trains he might not be as weak as we think. I can bench over 400lbs but I couldn't do 225lbs 20 times because I don't do high rep workouts, maybe he is the same way. Football is a game of explosion, 10 seconds of explosive speed and/or explosive power followed by 30 seconds or so of rest, so IMO the question is what is his max weight bench? If thats low too then they need to get him lifting ASAP, there is enough time for him to be able to start if he applies himself, and I would love to see it. Also if Hampton isn't ready I could definitely see Ta'Amu starting right away or at least by game 2.
Well, obviously he'd have to pass a test. I think he meant that the weed would actually affect him physically, and that very well could be the case if he was/is a regular, habitual user, but I'm not well versed in this subject, so I can't say for sure that it would. However, if he only smoked here and there and doesn't anymore, then there won't be any affects on his physical play.

As for the strength, you have a right to be concerned. As you said, there are two ways to judge "strength" when it comes to weights (one set weight x reps or one max rep), but you also mentioned that football is a game of explosion. If he does indeed have strength of the one max rep type, we still have the task of transitioning that to an explosive type of strength. That means he'll be doing a lot of explosion exercises to focus on his fast-twitch muscle fibers and get his football strength up to par. Therefore, if he is just naturally weak, he has work to do, and conversely, even if he turns out to be "weight-room" strong, we still have to help him translate that into "football" strength. Still, all of this is speculation anyway. Who's to say that he couldn't be a Pro Bowler and only bench 225 19 times? Maybe his legs, positioning, hands, footwork, technique, ect. all make up for it. Regardless, if he doesn't start by mid-season this year, I still see him being our starter next year and for years to come.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

I think David Johnson is on the chopping block. David Paulson is more of a H-Back/TE and would cost about 375k where DJ would cost 1.2M. If Paulson can impress then he will take DJ spot...cause he is NOT a FB in ANY system.

The Steelers are flirting with the idea of moving Colon to G; so if his knee holds up and Adams can be impressive then we could see Gilbert-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Adams...that is a BIG if though.

McClendon could be the starter without Hampton but I think that Ta'amu is a better player and could drop McClendon down the depth chart a bit. Either way we will be playing like usual with a DL by committee.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

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Originally Posted by dyce23 View Post
As for the strength, you have a right to be concerned. As you said, there are two ways to judge "strength" when it comes to weights (one set weight x reps or one max rep), but you also mentioned that football is a game of explosion. If he does indeed have strength of the one max rep type, we still have the task of transitioning that to an explosive type of strength. That means he'll be doing a lot of explosion exercises to focus on his fast-twitch muscle fibers and get his football strength up to par. Therefore, if he is just naturally weak, he has work to do, and conversely, even if he turns out to be "weight-room" strong, we still have to help him translate that into "football" strength. Still, all of this is speculation anyway. Who's to say that he couldn't be a Pro Bowler and only bench 225 19 times? Maybe his legs, positioning, hands, footwork, technique, ect. all make up for it. Regardless, if he doesn't start by mid-season this year, I still see him being our starter next year and for years to come.
Agreed, he could make up for it in technique, you never know till you see it. I agree that football conditioning is a little different. I played in high school and college and my coaches always encouraged fewer reps and tons of weight. IMO, and evidently my previous coaches too, max rep power is most important, it's the best preparation for blocking, pass rushing, etc. Ultimately the way I look at it is: he was a starter in college, he was a 2nd round pick, and the STEELERS liked what they saw evidently, so he must be a pretty good blocker as he is right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dyce23 View Post
I think he meant that the weed would actually affect him physically, and that very well could be the case if he was/is a regular, habitual user, but I'm not well versed in this subject, so I can't say for sure that it would. However, if he only smoked here and there and doesn't anymore, then there won't be any affects on his physical play.
If he's clean enough to pass a test then it won't affect his play. We touched on medical marijuana (I'm in California where that is legal) in my nutrition class and it's affects are extremely small while not actually under the influence of it (not currently smoking it).
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' projected starting lineup

Quote:
Originally Posted by 55BaileyFan View Post
I think David Johnson is on the chopping block.
let's hope

Quote:
Originally Posted by 55BaileyFan View Post
The Steelers are flirting with the idea of moving Colon to G; so if his knee holds up and Adams can be impressive then we could see Gilbert-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Adams...that is a BIG if though.
As you said IF Adams is starting quality, IF Gilbert steps up a bit, and IF they move Colon to Guard because of this, then we will have an excellent line! If Adams is ready to play at NFL level and Gilbert looks good, then IMO moving Colon to guard would be a no brainer, the line would be top notch.
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