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Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby thesteelhammer » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:19 pm

About time the major media outlets start asking this question!

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_578368.html?source=rss&feed=9

Steelers offseason focus seems puzzling


By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, July 19, 2008

Didn't realize the Steelers had such a pressing need at running back, what with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall in the first round, the signing of free agent Mewelde Moore and the strange courtship of Kevin Jones.
Wish the Steelers were this dedicated to stockpiling players at other positions of need -- defensive end or defensive tackle; either one would suffice.

Wonder what Willie Parker thinks about all the wheeling and dealing at his position?

On second thought, maybe it has something to do with Parker breaking his right fibula almost seven months ago, and the Steelers being concerned that he won't be ready for the start of the season.


Just speculating. But nothing about the Steelers' pursuit of former Detroit Lions running back Jones makes sense unless you factor Parker's injury into the equation.
Don't the Steelers have enough running backs already? Didn't they draft Mendenhall in the first round when they had a greater need for a defensive or offensive lineman? Didn't they recently release Najeh Davenport, who produced as many 100-yard games (one) as Jones did last season?

Jones, who chose the Chicago Bears over the Steelers earlier this week, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 23 -- three days after Parker's injury.

Prior to his knee injury, Jones had rushed for 581 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed three games in 2007, making it a total of 11 missed games in four seasons.

Injuries have plagued Jones in the NFL.

He rushed for 689 yards and six touchdowns after missing four games in 2006, rushed for 664 yards and five touchdowns after missing three games in 2005. He's had one 1,000-yard season -- his first -- but he's never played a full season in the NFL.

That should raise a host of red flags. But it apparently did not, given the Steelers' fascination with him.

Here's an idea for the Steelers. Why not sign free agent Anthony "Booger" McFarland for some much-needed depth on the defensive line? Use the money meant for Jones to sign him. Sure, McFarland, who has started for two Super Bowl teams, is recovering from a torn patella tendon that caused him to miss the entire 2007 season. He's a gamble. But so is the injury-prone Jones.

Back to Parker. After suffering his first significant injury as a pro, the Steelers drafted a running back in the first round for the first time in 19 years.

That sent Parker a message, loud and clear, that the Steelers' loyalty extended only as far as his last carry before the injury. The team then signed Moore as a third-down back/kick returner and cut Davenport before checking out Jones.

Not only did the Steelers not sign Jones, they left the remaining running backs on the roster to wonder what the heck is going on. To be sure, they're not the only ones scratching their heads in confusion.



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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby big kole » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:50 pm

Yeah right we should REACH on an OT or DE that far down in the draft who we have rated as a mid to late second rounder...just pick him anyway.Never mind te fact that we are passing up GREAT players at a need position.Now I know some think RB wasnt a need position but if u watched what happened to ourrunning game AFTER FWP got hurt then u now that it was a need position.BTW Ido happen to agree about McFarland.If he can pass a physical hes worth a rusk but everything else about drafting late second round talent in the first round of the draft is hogwash.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby stillthere » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:54 pm

Mendenhall while I am hoping is a stud for years to come is an unproven player. I have a feeling Kevin Jones may do pretty well in Chicago even though he probably will not start full time. This article does not say much of anything other than the writer believes DLine is the pressing need that is being ignored by the front office. I am jonesing for camp and all that good shit that will be upon us in a few weeks.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby RoethlisCrosby87 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:22 am

I like the philosophy of drafting the best player available, which is obviously what we did this year. We should pretty much be set at QB, RB, TE and WR for the next couple of years. Don't get me wrong, I am worried about the D-Line and O-Line as well. But there's no point in "reaching" for a 2nd-3rd round o-line talent in the first round if that player is only as good as the guys we have now. If we don't draft lineman on day 1 next year I will be very worried. I believe this year's tough schedule will tell us a lot about the kind of team we really are.

Let us not forget that our o-line was blocking for the league's leading rusher in FWP until he went down in WEEK 16. And altough our defense sputtered down the stretch, the first 3/4 of the seasons stats were good enough for us to still end up with the number one overall defense in the NFL. We have pretty high standards in Pittsburgh; lots of teams fans would be ecstatic with those kinds of results.

Hopefully Tomlin will learn from his rookie campaign and not work the team quite as hard down the stretch. It will be important for this veteran defense to stay fresh towards the end of the season or we will be looking at the same results as last year. With Ben at the helm and so many weapons on offense, our o-line does not need to be the best in the league, just sufficient. Division games will be extremely important this year. Cleveland is the favorite but we have beaten them like 9 or 10 straight times? The other teams in our division are still afraid of us. Besides, I like us better as the underdogs anyway.

Cheer up Pittsburgh! It's almost football season! I can't wait. Just got my Sunday Ticket too. I'll be reppin the Burgh in Vegas as proud as always, win or lose.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby The Fan Of STEEL » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:09 am

I agree that the Steelers taking Jones would have left a big question mark. We did not take him though. We took a look at him to see what he had and there is nothing wrong with that. As far as the draft goes... Who the hell were we supposed to take at that point in the draft? We had an excellent draft. I do wish we would bring in another O-lineman or two before camp starts. LCB is still there. Who else is worth a damn out there?

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby jstallworth82 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:00 am

There aren't many OL or DL that are available in FA or waiver boards that can come in and do much and there were no OL or DL in the draft at the time they picked who even with a great camp would have been able to start or even contribute this year. So why waste a pick or money on someone who 1 can't help you this year, and 2 may not ever help you. Maybe an off year this year gives us a chance to P/U a couple good Linemen. But I do not see us rolling over to get a OL/DL. Pittsburgh goes 11 - 5 and wins division this year.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby thesteelhammer » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:34 pm

You all are missing the point.
They didn't DO anything to be in a position to address their primary needs.
LIKE TRADE UP IN THE DRAFT.
or Trade for an established player.

The POINT IS WE STILL HAVE PROBLEMS ON THE O & D LINES.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby jstallworth82 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:21 am

They made attempts to trade up but they couldn't find the right deal and who really was available to move up for? And as far as making a trade ok for who? Who was available that we could afford or give someone up for? I agree that they need help on both lines but to waste a pick or spend a ton for an unknown is just as bad. They did the best thing with what the deck dealed them. It is easy to sit here and say what they should have done.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby Nel » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:38 am

6 OT
1 OG
2 DT
3 DE

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft

I think what I posted above is accurate.

Those positions were picked in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft before the Steelers selected Mendenhall at position 23.

So among those 12 there must have been a few viable trade-up opportunities for the Steelers to help the O-line or the D-line.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby The Fan Of STEEL » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:51 am

Right, you just trade up because you want to. To trade up, you have to have a team willing to do that and you have to have something they want. You also have to be willing to give up alot to get what you want. We had an excellent draft, one of the best ever. Do we still have problems with our O-line? Sure, at the end of the season we did. I'll wait and see what adjustments they are making with the line this season.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby jstallworth82 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:08 pm

Nel, What were you willing to give up to move into the top 6 picks? our first plus next years 2nd or 1st plus whatever for an O-Lineman or D-Lineman? I could just see your drafts every year. Trade away 3 picks to get 1 pick. And after all that the Lineman you pick most likely sits at least 1 year before he can play and then at least another to get aquainted with the play of the NFL. You just do not understand the way teams draft and why. But keep on whinning maybe someone else may agree that it is good to trade 3 picks for 1 possible, expecially a Lineman. If I were a GM for another tem I would love your way of thinking and I would trae with you in a heartbeat to get what you don't want. Call the Steelers maybe they will agree with your way of thinking.. Let's see trade our number 1 pick plus next years 2nd round plus FWP plus Ben R. for a Offensive Lineman. Great move.....

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby thesteelhammer » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:49 pm

Meanwhile:
NE signs a 10 year veteran who started at OT for the jets last year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AokQWeIXxXkQdDCozZ_ZZQJDubYF?slug=ap-patriots-signings&prov=ap&type=lgns
Not saying this guy would have been the answer, just saying our Front Office has not addressed two huge areas of concern. Make all the excuses you want. The O-line and D-line are both huge questions marks, and not enough has been done to insure they show improvement.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby Nel » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:44 pm

jstallworth82 wrote:Nel, What were you willing to give up to move into the top 6 picks? our first plus next years 2nd or 1st plus whatever for an O-Lineman or D-Lineman? I could just see your drafts every year. Trade away 3 picks to get 1 pick. And after all that the Lineman you pick most likely sits at least 1 year before he can play and then at least another to get aquainted with the play of the NFL. You just do not understand the way teams draft and why. But keep on whinning maybe someone else may agree that it is good to trade 3 picks for 1 possible, expecially a Lineman. If I were a GM for another tem I would love your way of thinking and I would trae with you in a heartbeat to get what you don't want. Call the Steelers maybe they will agree with your way of thinking.. Let's see trade our number 1 pick plus next years 2nd round plus FWP plus Ben R. for a Offensive Lineman. Great move.....


jstallworth82, I simply pointed out that a dozen linemen were selected out of the first 22 spots. I think the Steelers gambled that they would not have to trade up in order to draft a very good OL, but the gamble failed and they took Mendenhall at 23. I am not sure what a trade-up would have been worth; it depends on the draft position reached.

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby darthsteel » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:46 pm

thesteelhammer wrote:Meanwhile:
NE signs a 10 year veteran who started at OT for the jets last year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AokQWeIXxXkQdDCozZ_ZZQJDubYF?slug=ap-patriots-signings&prov=ap&type=lgns
Not saying this guy would have been the answer, just saying our Front Office has not addressed two huge areas of concern. Make all the excuses you want. The O-line and D-line are both huge questions marks, and not enough has been done to insure they show improvement.

they adressed it by gettig mahan the hell out out of the middle!
the brain trust probably came to the conclusion that they would have a solid line with the subtraction of mahan .
maybe not great, but potential for a solid unit if the center play is much improved!

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Re: Trib-Review questions Steelers Off-season Focus

Postby lynchcowher » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:08 am

Hartwig will be a slight improvement over Mahan, that'll help..... Let's just hope Tomlin pulls his head out of his ass for at least a couple more seconds, and realizes Simmons is just as big of a problem...... Maybe even a bigger problem.

Getting those two off the field alltogether would at least give us a chance to improve.

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