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Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Fri May 23, 2008 12:23 pm

From all the new comments by the coaching staff, it seems like Kemoeatu will be the LG come 9/7/08. In addition, I think it's reasonable to assume Marvel will be the LT and Hartwig will be the C. With that in mind, I think we can pencil in the entire left side of the line. So now it's down to a battle for 2 more positions with 3 players battling it out. One can only play RT while one can only play RG. Colon can obviously play either. Who sits the bench?

Starks getting paid almost $7 million to sit?
Simmons just got a contract extension.
Colon seems to be a coaching staff favorite.

This is going to be interesting. I think it's almost universally agreed by the competent fan community that Simmons needs to be the odd man out. He's coming off shoulder surgery, and I haven't heard anyone raving about his talents lately. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Simmons would be an ideal game day reserve for the entire interior 3 positions. (better than Mahan)

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Hi5Steeler » Fri May 23, 2008 1:15 pm

the problem here is were all taking shots in the dark. None of us know until we watch practice with our own eyes. So were all just relying on articles found online to make our expert assessments.

I believe tomlin along with the o line coach will make a much better guess than ck or any of us.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Fri May 23, 2008 1:17 pm

Everything you are saying has an element of truth; however, it's not exactly a shot in the dark either. We've seen all these guys play extensively with the exception of Hartwig.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Hi5Steeler » Fri May 23, 2008 1:24 pm

I dont recall seeing kemo play at all?

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Pittsburgh » Fri May 23, 2008 1:40 pm

Hi5Steeler wrote:I dont recall seeing kemo play at all?



Personally Niether did I.
But i've heard talk that he showed himself proper last Preseason/Camp(obviously cause he is 5th round talent and made the sqaud.)
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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Hi5Steeler » Fri May 23, 2008 1:42 pm

I wouldnt worry about his being drafted fifth round. Mistakes are always made....tom brady sixth round.....that tall saints receiver seventh round.

its rare but it does happen. not to mention undrafted players becoming superstars

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 pm

Hi5Steeler wrote:I dont recall seeing kemo play at all?

Then you just were not paying attention. I've watched the guy out of the corner of my eye since he was drafted and I have always liked him. We've had a chance to watch him in camp, pre-season, and on a few occasions when he has started. I'm not saying the sample size of his snaps is large, but it's large enough to formulate a decent idea of what we are getting when he steps on the field.

Here's my take on his play for what it is worth...
First and foremost, he is a 350 pound man with a nasty attitude. That's never a bad place to start. He actually moved VERY well for a man of his size and plays light on his feet. He is no where near as mobile as Faneca or even Kendall Simmons, but he is still capable of pulling effectively. He will occasionally get beat in pass protection due to poor technique, but I don't expect to see him get beat any more frequently than Faneca did. Kemoeatu will sometimes get beat in pass protection because he gets caught leaning too far forward against a quicker guy who beats him with a move. This guy will NOT get beat by the bull rushes you see collapsing our pocket ala Kendall Simmons. In terms of his ability to line up in the running game and maul straight ahead on a DT or DE, he may the BEST lineman in the Steelers' roster. He will be a clear upgrade in this department over Faneca. He is nasty and strong and will actually generate movement, not what we have come to expect in stale mates and/or guys getting blown into the backfield. I expect to see Kemo occasionally generating the kind of movement that can disrupt LB pursuit angles in that D linemen will get knocked back into the LB pursuit lanes. Blocks of this nature are HUGE and sorely missing from our offense. You effectively block 2 defenders with one block. Kemo may not work in space against LBers as well as Faneca, but he is so big, he makes it hard for them to get around him, and his overall effectiveness is more than acceptable. Bottom line, I think we are taking a small step back from Faneca in some ways, but a step forward in other ways. Faneca's real strength was pulling, but a guard might only pull 2-5 times in a game. Kemo should have started over Simmons last year.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby 955875 » Fri May 23, 2008 2:27 pm

By far, the very BEST thing that can happen is that Simmons gets hurt early in camp. Not a season ending injury, just something that will bang him up enough so that he cannot practice.

This event puts the coaches in a very easy situation where they can put their $7 million dollar bench rider from last season back at RT and shift Colon over to RG. We then have Smith, Kemo, Hartwig, Colon, Starks which I think is ultimately our best combo. If this group performs well then when Simmons is ready to play the coaches can easily use the exuse of not wanting to disrupt what is working leave him on the bench. He then becomes a decent game day back-up for Kemo/Colon.

Before you all start patting me on the back, keep in mind that our coaches/FO could fuck-up my lil scenario by leaving Colon at RT and putting the pussy Mahan at RG..

I will puke if that were to happen.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Hi5Steeler » Fri May 23, 2008 3:20 pm

ive read mahan is a good guard. better than center thats for sure.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby mental.apparition » Fri May 23, 2008 3:50 pm

Colon has never played guard and he's better than Simmons? I don't see how. Simmons defended the position last year (against your default '08 LG starter) and there is nothing substantial to say that will change this year.

Ditto for RT. Colon beat Starks last year. What has changed besides a contract to say Starks is the RT starter?
Could you really be that fuckin' dumb?

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Fri May 23, 2008 4:50 pm

mental.apparition wrote:Colon has never played guard and he's better than Simmons? I don't see how. Simmons defended the position last year (against your default '08 LG starter) and there is nothing substantial to say that will change this year.

I guess you haven't watched Simmons play.

mental.apparition wrote:Ditto for RT. Colon beat Starks last year. What has changed besides a contract to say Starks is the RT starter?

If the choice is Simmons at RG and Colon at RT or Simmons at RG and Starks at RT, I'll take Colon at RT. So we do not disagree on that point.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby 955875 » Sat May 24, 2008 4:10 am

Colon may not be a better guard.. However, it seems when he is beat it is because of speed getting around him. I do not recall Colon ever really getting manhandled the way I see Simmons getting routinely handled.. Shit, Jamaal Williams clubbed Simmons out of the way with one arm AFTER he handled the C.

Simmons is just plain weak at the point. I do not think Colon would be as weak. I also do not think Starks is the shit..

What is comes down to is that I think our line would not get pushed around as much with Colon/Starks as it does with Simmons/Colon.

Neither combo is "ideal"

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby mental.apparition » Tue May 27, 2008 11:55 am

If Simmons is 'routinely' manhandled and Kemo 'should have' started last year, where the fuck is Tomlin and why didn't he make the change? Tomlin said 'every spot was open' as camp started last year. Colon beat out Starks. Why couldn't Kemo beat Simmons if he so horrible?

Most of the struggles by Simmons were due to playing between Mahan and Colon. Very few teams attacked the Steelers straight up last year and those three weren't as cohesive in handing off twisting, stunting DTs and LBs as could be expected.

Yes, Simmons will give you a WTF was that!!?? moment in most games. But the truth is very few NFL lineman don't get their asses handed to them once or twice a game.

An example is that '06 Chargers game 955875 highlighted, as bad as Simmons looked on that play, Williams (maybe the best NT in the game) fuckin' owned Hartings and Faneca for the entire game. That game showcased the fact that Hartings and Faneca were done as top tier NFL linemen.

It might not be saying much but as of right now, Simmons is the best guard on the team and nobody can point to another guard on this roster and say 'He's better than Simmons' without completely talking out of their ass. Kemo had one good game in a blow out against KC scrubs. Even then he was blowing assignments and the respected Hartings called him out on it. That isn't significant enough experience to claim he is better than Simmons. After that you've got nada in game experience.

We'll see what happens come Sept 7.
Could you really be that fuckin' dumb?

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Tue May 27, 2008 12:22 pm

955875 wrote:Colon may not be a better guard.. However, it seems when he is beat it is because of speed getting around him. I do not recall Colon ever really getting manhandled the way I see Simmons getting routinely handled.. Shit, Jamaal Williams clubbed Simmons out of the way with one arm AFTER he handled the C.

Simmons is just plain weak at the point. I do not think Colon would be as weak. I also do not think Starks is the shit..

What is comes down to is that I think our line would not get pushed around as much with Colon/Starks as it does with Simmons/Colon.

Neither combo is "ideal"

I agree on almost everything; however, I do think Colon could be a better guard than tackle due to arm length.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Zorro » Tue May 27, 2008 12:32 pm

mental.apparition wrote:Most of the struggles by Simmons were due to playing between Mahan and Colon. Very few teams attacked the Steelers straight up last year and those three weren't as cohesive in handing off twisting, stunting DTs and LBs as could be expected.

Yes, Simmons will give you a WTF was that!!?? moment in most games. But the truth is very few NFL lineman don't get their asses handed to them once or twice a game.


I think Simmons has more than a couple WTF moments every game. He may know what he is doing, and he may move well, but he is WEAK. Because he is so weak, he routinely gets bull rushed or whipped by a move because he has to compensate for being so weak by being overly aggressive. He never generates any movement in the run game; again, because he is weak. Simmons has 1-2 WTF moments that actually cause the Steelers pain every game. He has another 3-4 WTF moments that go unnoticed by most fans because they didn't actually cause pain. Simmons is clearly awful. The sample size of this is more than large enough to make a solid conclusion as such. I believe Kemo is a better player, but the mental aspect of his game remains a question mark.

I do not remember Hartings calling out Kemo after the KC game. I actually remember Kemo playing well. What did Hartings say?

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby lynchcowher » Tue May 27, 2008 6:40 pm

Simmons definately DOES have more than just a couple WTF moments each and every fucking game he plays. Though now, I really don't see them as WTF moments, just more of the same ol' same ol' from that diabetic motherfucker. You gotta hand it to him....... he's consistant.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Deadguy » Tue May 27, 2008 9:04 pm

I dont recall seeing kemo play at all?
(edit, didn't read MA"s post prior to replying)
Im sure someone will have a better memory of this, but a couple of years ago Kemo had a monster game against Kansas City... the following week... didn't do so well. I think he was making mental errors... something like not being able to pick up some stunts. I've always heard he had the physical ability minus the mental capacity. This was all two years ago, so I hope he's improved. Maybe one of the former "gurus" could be of more insight.
Last edited by Deadguy on Tue May 27, 2008 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Line starting to take shape

Postby Deadguy » Tue May 27, 2008 9:46 pm

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06293/731573-66.stmgiggity
Thought he was going to kick some ass after this, but Simmons ended up coming back and Kemo went down hill.... think he played poorly in the Raider game. May have led to Ben being concussed. :shock:
That was only his second year pro, maybe he'll be ready now.
The Chiefs play a basic 4-3 defense that does not use a lot of stunts and games with their defensive linemen.
Any chance of the Ravens agreeing to switch to a basic 4-3?

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