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Old 05-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
steelerchad
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Default Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

I love the draft and direction the Steelers are going with the guys they cut. But, I've always said that teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, and Raiders make too many changes and don't allow their teams to ever gel. The Eagles were an example of this last year. With the moves they made, they easily had playoff talent, but it didn't start to come together until it was too late.

The optimist in me says that Pouncey stepped right in at a Pro Bowl level so DeCastro and maybe even Adams could do it also, but the realist says that both playing at that kind of level this year is highly unlikely.

In addition, we'll have a new LG. So 3 of 5 new guys on the line. Our WR's are good, but still very young. Our RB is hurt and Redman has taken advantage when he's gotten a chance to carry the ball, but can he carry the load successfully all season. And maybe the biggest concern of all is a new OC and system. Sure, Haley should be a huge upgrade, but will his system take off right away in year 1.

Defense doesn't have as many changes, but we did lose our captain and that spot is a big ? currently. I'm hopeful our young DE's step up this year, but that still remains to be seen.

I'd like to think 12-4, but am worried to say the least about 2012.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

I don't think so, and I think they are mostly positive changes.

Sure we have 2 rookies on the line, but when you factor that both are upgrades, it's a plus. Sure, adams may have some growing pains, but i highly doubt he can do worse than scott did. I'd rather deal with growing pains and flashes of greatness than just plain flat out, below the line play.

We have an elite qb who will be just fine under a new offensive system.

defense will still be solid. only big change is farrior leaving, but im not even sure if that's a big loss at this point in his career. timmons knows the defense well enough at this point to take his place as the defensive signal caller. or foote. with a top defense, no way we do less than 9 wins this season. our secondary might even be stronger than last year as lewis becomes more comfortable at the #2 spot, and cortez allen/curtis brown with a year under their belts
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

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Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
I don't think so, and I think they are mostly positive changes.

Sure we have 2 rookies on the line, but when you factor that both are upgrades, it's a plus. Sure, adams may have some growing pains, but i highly doubt he can do worse than scott did. I'd rather deal with growing pains and flashes of greatness than just plain flat out, below the line play.

We have an elite qb who will be just fine under a new offensive system.

defense will still be solid. only big change is farrior leaving, but im not even sure if that's a big loss at this point in his career. timmons knows the defense well enough at this point to take his place as the defensive signal caller. or foote. with a top defense, no way we do less than 9 wins this season. our secondary might even be stronger than last year as lewis becomes more comfortable at the #2 spot, and cortez allen/curtis brown with a year under their belts
I tend to agree with most of your points. Just a little worried, because I see the teams that always change too many parts at once have little success. But then again, those teams aren't the Steelers, so we'll probably be fine as usual.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

I think DeCastro is going to be a beast and a HUGE upgrade at the guard position. Colon is not a "new" lineman, nor new to the guard position, but he will need to adjust. I think he too will be a large upgrade at the position since it's his natural position and his body style fits it better. He'll be rock solid if he can stay healthy.

Adams concerns me protecting Ben's blindside though. I think Adams will eventually blossom into a good, if not great, pro left tackle, but my brain tells me that he'll probably have some rookie growing pains to start. I hope I'm wrong, but hopefully the Steelers can find good insurance in Essex or J. Scott or maybe even re-sign Starks if he can get healthy.

I think Redman will be fine and be a pleasant surprise for us this year behind that o-line. He runs hard and with conviction. I have no worries he can carry enough of the load with help from Dwyer, Clay, and/or Batch/Rainey.

Haley will VASTLY improve this offense, but that too could come with some growing pains. It may take some time for the players to learn his system and for Ben to morph into a more complete pocket passer type QB. Given time and committment, I have faith Haley will have success here like he has elsewhere.

I agree with you, the biggest question mark is at ILB and who will fill Farrior's shoes. I have hopes that Polamalu is the man who will step in and fill that leadership role, but I'm not quite sure who will be able to replace him on the field at his position. Sylvester, to date, hasn't shown he's capable of being anywhere near Farrior's caliber, but maybe he'll make some strides this season.

I'm not too worried about DE as we have both Hood and Heyward and between them, we should be fine or above average.

I like your prediction. 12-4 or 11-5 sounds possible.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
I don't think so, and I think they are mostly positive changes.

Sure we have 2 rookies on the line, but when you factor that both are upgrades, it's a plus. Sure, adams may have some growing pains, but i highly doubt he can do worse than scott did. I'd rather deal with growing pains and flashes of greatness than just plain flat out, below the line play.

We have an elite qb who will be just fine under a new offensive system.

defense will still be solid. only big change is farrior leaving, but im not even sure if that's a big loss at this point in his career. timmons knows the defense well enough at this point to take his place as the defensive signal caller. or foote. with a top defense, no way we do less than 9 wins this season. our secondary might even be stronger than last year as lewis becomes more comfortable at the #2 spot, and cortez allen/curtis brown with a year under their belts

Now, who can argue with that?
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

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I think DeCastro is going to be a beast and a HUGE upgrade at the guard position. Colon is not a "new" lineman, nor new to the guard position, but he will need to adjust. I think he too will be a large upgrade at the position since it's his natural position and his body style fits it better. He'll be rock solid if he can stay healthy.
Actually he is in fact new to the guard position. And it's obviously not his "natural" position if he's never played it. That, however, does not mean that he won't be an above average guard and an improvement over Kemoeatu and Legursky over the last few years.

Other than the change in offensive coordinators, I do not see any of the changes as major at all or foresee much of an issue with in the future.

Larry Foote will replace James Farrior as the voice of the defense. This is a role that he already understands. It is likely that Foote was brought back with this in mind to fulfill Farrior's role for a couple of years when he's gone, so this should not be an issue at all. I do not see a leadership gap in this particular area at all.

Keenan Lewis (presumably) being the new starting CB...well, William Gay wasn't even the starting CB week 1 last year, so it's not like that has been a position of great stability. However, I have a lot of confidence in Lewis, who already played the outside corner role that he is expect to play last year (if you'll recall, Gay moved to the nickel when Lewis came on the field). Lewis logged over 500 snaps last season, and I believe that he is ready for the pressure. While I think it would be unreasonable to expect the passing defense to be as good as it was last year during the regular season, I see a lot of talent and depth behind Ike Taylor with Lewis, Allen, and Brown.

On the offensive line now. DeCastro is by all reports a plug and play guard. It's nearly inconceivable that he will not be at least as good as Ramon Foster in his rookie year. It is also worth noting that he will be sandwiched between two players that are already very comfortable with each other with Pouncey, an All-Pro, and Gilbert, who were college teammates and close friends. That should ease his transition come game time when he knows he can count his side of the line being on the same page. He is also a student of the game that is dedicated to being the best he can be, so he doesn't worry me at all.

Willie Colon moving to both a new position and the other side of the field will of course raise question marks, but again, we have to keep in mind that the overall quality of play from the LG spot in recent years has not been particularly great to begin with. Colon is easily the most physically gifted player to fill the spot since Faneca left, however, and he is already a veteran of the line, and has known for a month already of the change, so the transition should not be overly bumpy.

The big question out of every question is of course Mike Adams at left tackle week 1. Obviously he can't even take the field for about another month, so there's no way to know much about him just yet. I do not worry about his supposed strength concerns, however, because he is a professional now, with a professional staff there to watch over him, get him to eat right, get him in the weight room, etc. It can also not be discounted just how significant his ties to the team are and how that will motivate him to give the team the best he has to offer. As a diehard Steeler fan, it crushed him to learn that he was not on the team's board, and then to be drafted by them anyway is huge. He probably feels indebted to them, and he's said all the right things so far, wanting to prove himself off the field first and foremost. The cards are stacked in his favor to succeed, but only time will tell.

What will help every lineman, however, is the pressure from all angles on Roethlisberger to protect himself better. He met with Rooney, who told him to tweak his game to stay healthy. All reports from players indicate that Haley's new system is designed to keep Ben in the pocket, get rid of the ball faster, and get the ball to the backs, a pressure valve that the offense used only sparingly under Bruce Arians. If the line doesn't have to block as long for Ben this year, then they're simply going to look better regardless of whether or not they actually do play better.

Last, but not least, are the injuries. Brett Keisel is still not 100%, but he still presumably be up to full-speed soon, so I don't really worry about that. Casey Hampton and Rashard Mendenhall are both reportedly working on their own off to the sides during OTAs, which is a great sign. Right now I would say it's looking fairly decent for Hampton to be ready to go week one. If not, McLendon has already started a couple games. I have confidence in him. It's impossible to know much about Ta'amu, but John Mitchell spoke highly of him and pointed toward some things that he and the Steelers will do to make him a better Pittsburgh Steeler. When he gets rookies, he breaks them down and strips them of everything that they learned in college and he teaches them what HE wants them to do. Ta'amu also said that he partially modeled his game around Hampton, so there's that too.

I honestly do not rule out Mendenhall being ready to at least dress week 1, even if he is not ready to start. I do not think he is destined to miss the first six games on the PUP list. Even if he has to miss the first 2 games or so and they have to keep him on the roster, it would be better than not having his services for the first 6 weeks. He presumably will not be up to full speed right away, but also keep in mind that he'll be running behind a better offensive line, so he may end up having a better season than last year despite recovering from an ACL injury. In the meantime, I have full confidence in Redman even for the long haul. I would have no qualms about giving him the start 16-20 games a year. The guy's a complete back who plays with his heart on his sleeve. He's been a workhouse his entire football life until he got to the NFL.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

i feel 100% confident WITH the changes. decastro and colon will be better than any conmbination of guards they've fielded since faneca left.
gilbert has a year of experience under his belt ,
adams would be my only source of doubt but they have all summer to put a contingency plan in place incase he's not up to the task.
haley's new system may cause a few communication problems early in the season
while players are still getting acclimated , but i see it this way...IT'S A NEW SYSTEM !!! .. our opponents won't have a clue what to expect without arian's predictable nonsence
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

nope
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

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Actually he is in fact new to the guard position. And it's obviously not his "natural" position if he's never played it.
He was listed on nfldraftscout.com as a guard coming out of Hofstra.

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...2006&genpos=OG

And I could be wrong, but I think he may have seen a little playing time at guard early in his pro career with the Steelers. I could be mistaken though.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do the Steelers have too many changes in 2012?

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Originally Posted by Buddha Bus View Post
He was listed on nfldraftscout.com as a guard coming out of Hofstra.

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...2006&genpos=OG

And I could be wrong, but I think he may have seen a little playing time at guard early in his pro career with the Steelers. I could be mistaken though.
Colon played his entire college career at guard, if i'm not mistaken. Which I may very well be. I believe he had some time a guard with us early as well.

EDIT: Played a lot of guard at Hofstra, most of his draft profiles we're set up as OG prospect, Steelers selected him as a tackle. Colon is a natural guard from the looks of it. This may be a good move.
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