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 Post subject: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:55 pm 
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For giggles and sh*ts (not sh*ts and giggles; I do things in the proper order), here's one man's "plan" for the Pittsburgh Steelers once this whole lockout fiasco is in our rear view mirror:

DEFENSE

1. Re-Sign Ike Taylor

Gotta have Ike back. Though he just turned 31 years of age, he's a workout hound who is unlikely to lose his speed over the next few years. Accordingly, I'd give him a deal in the middle tier of recent #1 corner contracts. Something along the lines of 5 years, $35 million with a $8-9 million signing bonus. That's a lot of dough, but I believe Ike is worth it.

2. Let William Gay, Anthony Madison and Keyaron Fox Sign Elsewhere

I'm not anti-Gay. I'm really not. But I believe our dear #22 has reached the point in his career where he "is what he is," and that's thoroughly mediocre. The Steelers can do better, and re-signing Gay, in my view, is more likely to prevent improvement than provide improvement. Madison is easily supplanted by the rookie defensive backs (Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen).

As for Fox, he's replaceable by an up-and-coming Stevenson Sylvester. And the Steelers also have Larry Foote to plug the middle if necessary.

3. Sign Free Agent Cornerback Richard Marshall (Carolina)

In a bloated free agent cornerback market, Marshall (26 years old, 5'11", 189 lbs., solid coverage skills as starter last two years with 7 total interceptions and 16 passes defensed, and also solid in run support) pretty much tops the "second tier" guys. He's young and quite good and, under the tutelage of the Steelers' defensive coaches, has an excellent chance to get even better. It'll take a bit of money to sign him, but with William Gay leaving and McFadden slated to make only $2.5 million per season for 2011 and 2012, the Steelers should have the room for him. I'd suggest a deal around 4 years totalling $17.5 million ($5 million signing bonus).

4. Sign LaMarr Woodley to a Long-Term Deal

This may not be possible if the Steelers sign Taylor and Marshall, but I hope the team makes the necessary outlay. In my view, it would take about 6 years at about $50 million ($8 million signing bonus, $20 million of "guaranteed money"). That's similar to the Harrison deal.

5. Re-Sign Chris Hoke, Ryan Mundy and Nick Eason to Small Deals

None of these three gentlemen figure to be hot commodities on the free market, so the team should be able to bring them back on 1- or 2-year deals on the cheap. All represent decent veteran depth, with Hoke being the most important and valuable.

With these moves, your 2011 Steeler Defense would look something like this:

LDE Ziggy Hood; Aaron Smith; Cameron Heyward (R)
NT Casey Hampton; Chris Hoke
RDE Brett Keisel; Nick Eason; Cameron Heyward (R)
LOLB LaMarr Woodley; Jason Worilds
LILB James Farrior; Stevenson Sylvester
RILB Lawrence Timmons; Larry Foote
ROLB James Harrison; Jason Worilds; Chris Carter (R)
LCB Richard Marshall (FA); Bryant McFadden; Curtis Brown (R)
FS Ryan Clark; Will Allen
SS Troy Polamalu; Ryan Mundy
RCB Ike Taylor; Bryant McFadden; Crezdon Butler; Cortez Allen (R) or Keenan Lewis

OFFENSE

1. Sign Free Agent Guard Darryn Colledge (Green Bay)

Just a hunch, but it seems unlikely that Green Bay will re-sign the 29-year-old veteran guard. He's a fairly mobile guard at 6'4" and 304 lbs., and he's shown equal facility in run- and pass-blocking. He won't be a scalding hot commodity and can likely be inked to a reasonable 3-year deal at about $8-10 million ($3 million signing bonus). With the Steelers lacking high-end interior line prospects to take over at guard, this would be a nice move.

2. Re-Sign Doug Legursky and Jonathan Scott

Neither of these guys should break the bank, and I'd like to see Bronco brought back on a 3-year deal worth about $3-4 million and Scott returned to the fold with something around that as well. Legursky has proven his value as a C/G swingman and Scott, despite my misgivings, proved to be about adequate as a back-up offensive tackle. Given the Steelers' wretched injury history along the offensive line, these guys are likely to see more than a few snaps in the coming years.

3. Let Willie Colon, Trai Essex and Mewelde Moore Sign Elsewhere

In my humble opion, Colon will price himself out of the Steelers' plans and find another team willing to pay him significant money based on his 2009 performance. As for Essex, the versatility of Legursky, the re-signing of Scott, the return of Starks and the drafting of Marcus Gilbert render him expendable. Mewelde Moore, though one my favorite Steeler role players, can be ably replaced by Baron Batch.

4. Tender Dennis Dixon

I'm assuming that, with three years of service, Dixon will be a restricted free agent under the terms of the new CBA. If so, I'd set a second-round tender on Dixon and bring him back.

5. Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress (Prison)

In my "why-the-hell-not?" move, I think re-uniting Plax with Roethlisberger could potentially reap a big reward for the team (with little attendant financial risk). Big Ben gets his legitimate Big Receiver and Plax gets another shot in the city he originally called his professional football home. Fresh out of the joint, I think Plax could get a 2-year deal heavy on incentives (something like $5 million, with a $1 million signing bonus). Think about Plax as the Steelers' third receiver -- even if he has lost a step, he would still be a huge weapon, particularly in the red zone.

6. Cut Antwaan Randle El

Pretty much an easy call given #5 and the fact that he doesn't play special teams.

Here's your 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers offense:

WR1 (DWTS Champion) Hines Ward; Plaxico Burress; Arnaz Battle
LT Max Starks; Jonathan Scott; Tony Hills or Chris Scott
LG Chris Kemoeatu; Ramon Foster; Keith Williams (R)
C Maurkice Pouncey; Doug Legursky
RG Darryn Colledge; Ramon Foster; Doug Legursky
RT Flozell Adams; Jonathan Scott; Marcus Gilbert (R)
TE Heath Miller; Matt Spaeth; David Johnson
RB Rashard Mendenhall; Isaac Redman; Jonathan Dwyer; Baron Batch (R)
FB David Johnson
QB Ben Roethlisberger; Byron Leftwich; Dennis Dixon
WR2 Mike Wallace; Emmanuel Sanders; Antonio Brown

SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Sign Free Agent Kicker David Akers (Philadelphia)

We all know the Eagles drafted a kicker. It sure would be nice for the Steelers to nab the 36-year-old (but still quite good) Akers out from under Philly and bring him to Pittsburgh on a reasonable 2- or 3-year deal. In my view, he would be an upgrade from Suisham.

2. Re-Sign Punter Daniel Sepulveda

With Coach Tomlin reportedly "real comfortable" with Sepulveda's third ACL surgery, I think the Steelers can bring him back on the cheap.

3. Re-Sign Long Snapper Greg Warren

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. League minimum or a tick above.

And here's your 2011 Steelers special teams:

P Daniel Sepulveda
K David Akers
LS Greg Warren; Jonathan Scott; James Harrison
H Daniel Sepulveda
KR Antonio Brown; Emmanuel Sanders; Curtis Brown (R)
PR Antonio Brown; Curtis Brown (R)

There you go. The only other free agent I would consider would be Darren Sproles, but I think he'll be a bit pricy and Baron Batch and Isaac Redman can likely fill the third-down role if the Steelers don't want to let Mendenhall do it. My plan has the Steelers signing three free agents (Marshall, Colledge and Burress) plus a kicker, which is about par for the course for the team.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:01 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Thoughts?


I think I'm with you on all points except for bringing in Plax and letting Randle El go.

I think Plax is poison and I thought Randle El was a surprisingly welcome #4 option last year, plus he ads 'trickery' to the playbook (or serves as an 'emergency QB' if things should ever get so grave!). I say give the guy one more year.

And I might like to keep Fox, but if there are younger/cheaper options I wouldn't be too sad/mad to see him go. I don't know enough about the 'backups' to know if keeping Fox would be worth it or not.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 4:12 pm 
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What do you think about the possibility to let Ike walk and go after Nnamdi Asomugha? If you are going to spend big at CB then why not get one that can catch? I don't think we will have the budget to sign two FA corners as you suggest. Its probably going to be McFadden or a young guy on the other side.

On the O-line, they still have to decide about Flozell, so that's one more decision to make. I'd probably try and sign Colon first, then have a camp battle at RG. I doubt they would spend much money there, they are pretty extended with all the other big contracts on the club.

I don't hate the Plax idea, but I doubt he wants to be a #3-4WR at this point, so he'd probably just cause more trouble than he's worth. Hey Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are avaialble ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 4:55 pm 
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Knowing the Steelers, they will bring in a guy like Marshall and that will be it.

And why Plax? They have four very good receivers and a great tight end. No need for him.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
What do you think about the possibility to let Ike walk and go after Nnamdi Asomugha? If you are going to spend big at CB then why not get one that can catch?


I was going to suggest this, but it's crazy because the Steelers NEVER sign a big name FA.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:42 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
What do you think about the possibility to let Ike walk and go after Nnamdi Asomugha? If you are going to spend big at CB then why not get one that can catch?


I was going to suggest this, but it's crazy because the Steelers NEVER sign a big name FA.


The easiest reason is that Asamougha would never sign a 5-year, $35 million contract. But I believe Ike will.

There's a big difference between paying $7 million per annum for a player and paying $12-15 million per annum for a player...


Last edited by J_C_Steel on Wed May 25, 2011 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:46 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
And why Plax? They have four very good receivers and a great tight end. No need for him.


You're grossly overrating what the Steelers have. They have one very good receiver (Wallace), one aging but still good receiver (Ward), one young but promising receiver (Sanders), one young and fast but raw receiver (Brown), and one aging receiver who can't create separation (Randle El). How you get "four very good receivers" out of that crew is beyond me. Only one of them pulled in more than 1,000 yards receiving last year.

Bringing in Plax -- a guy who never got in serious trouble in Pittsburgh and had a good relationship with Big Ben -- to compete for third wide receiver snaps simply makes the Steelers a better team. Name me ONE receiver the Steelers have who can be the tall red zone receiver they've been lacking? Even with limited snaps, Plax would be a legitimate weapon (provided he's in good shape) and push the young receivers to get better.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
On the O-line, they still have to decide about Flozell, so that's one more decision to make. I'd probably try and sign Colon first, then have a camp battle at RG. I doubt they would spend much money there, they are pretty extended with all the other big contracts on the club.


Flozell Adams is signed through the 2011 season.

And Willie Colon has made a lot of noise about the kind of deal he's looking for. Personally, I don't think he's worth big bucks. Especially not with second-round pick Marcus Gilbert waiting to become the starting RT in a year or two (if he fulfills his potential).


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:04 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
And why Plax? They have four very good receivers and a great tight end. No need for him.


You're grossly overrating what the Steelers have. They have one very good receiver (Wallace), one aging but still good receiver (Ward), one young but promising receiver (Sanders), one young and fast but raw receiver (Brown), and one aging receiver who can't create separation (Randle El). How you get "four very good receivers" out of that crew is beyond me. Only one of them pulled in more than 1,000 yards receiving last year.

Bringing in Plax -- a guy who never got in serious trouble in Pittsburgh and had a good relationship with Big Ben -- to compete for third wide receiver snaps simply makes the Steelers a better team. Name me ONE receiver the Steelers have who can be the tall red zone receiver they've been lacking? Even with limited snaps, Plax would be a legitimate weapon (provided he's in good shape) and push the young receivers to get better.


They went to a Super Bowl with those four. They can all make big plays. They did it last season. Heck, go back and watch the Super Bowl. They made plays in that game too. The reason there was only one 1,000 yard receiver is because Ben spreads the ball around so much. Look at the total number.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:21 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
They went to a Super Bowl with those four.


The Steelers went to the Super Bowl with Cedrick Wilson in 2005. Does that make him a "very good receiver"? No.

It's a bad argument.

bucco boy wrote:
They can all make big plays. They did it last season. Heck, go back and watch the Super Bowl. They made plays in that game too.


Actually, they failed to make quite a few plays in that Super Bowl. Sanders went down fairly early with an injury, Brown was pulled from the offense after looking lost on several plays, and Wallace was inconsistent in his routes. I watched and re-watched that game several times.

While all "can" make "big plays," you can say that about nearly every wide receiver in the NFL.

You claimed that the Steelers have "four very good receivers." That's simply not true. Sanders and Brown were rookies in 2010. They are unproven and cannot be considered by any reasonable, non-homer football fan to be "very good receivers" yet. Antonio Brown has 21 TOTAL catches as an NFL receiver (including playoffs). He's not "very good." He's fast and raw. As an analogy, David Tyree made a "big play" and maybe the greatest catch in NFL history in Super Bowl XLII and didn't make another catch ever again. He was not "very good," my friend.

Hines Ward, we can all agree, is in decline. He's still good, but no longer "very good" in my estimation. He dropped more than 400 yards receiving from his 2009 numbers. While some of that can be attributed to playing with backup quarterbacks the first four weeks, not all of it can. Hines is definitely slowing down and probably only has two or three years left.

bucco boy wrote:
The reason there was only one 1,000 yard receiver is because Ben spreads the ball around so much. Look at the total number.


Roethlisberger spread the ball around plenty in 2009 and the Steelers had two 1,000-yard receivers. Though the first four games hurt the overall numbers, better receivers get more opportunities. If Ward in 2010 was as good as Ward in 2009, he would have had more catches and made more plays. He declined a bit.

In my view, bringing in Plax on an incentive-laden deal would both (1) improve the team, and (2) push the sophomore receivers to work harder and earn their spots.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:31 pm 
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Plax is going to be 34. He hasn't played for three seasons. Everyone knows about his work ethic. Why would you want to sign him?

The receivers are the least of the Steelers problems. They had two rookies who will only get better. Wallace who is on the brink of stardom and Ward who everyone including myself said he was washed up and he still is a quality NFL receiver.

Worry about the secondary. That's what they need more than anything and I am not talking about just cornerbacks.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:43 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
Plax is going to be 34. He hasn't played for three seasons. Everyone knows about his work ethic. Why would you want to sign him?

The receivers are the least of the Steelers problems. They had two rookies who will only get better. Wallace who is on the brink of stardom and Ward who everyone including myself said he was washed up and he still is a quality NFL receiver.


Ward's still good, but not "very good." I took issue with your statement that the Steelers have "four very good receivers." You appear to have backed off that comment, though, so no worries.

As for Plax's work ethic, it was quite good under Tom Coughlin. I have a feeling that Mike Tomlin would be able to handle him better than Bill Cowher ever did. Also, given Plax's skill set -- tall, good leaper, willing to go over the middle -- he would be a solid complement to the short and fast stable of receivers the Steelers already have. He would also come quite cheap with little risk.

It's just a thought.

bucco boy wrote:
Worry about the secondary. That's what they need more than anything and I am not talking about just cornerbacks.


I'd say re-signing Ike Taylor and bringing in talented Richard Marshall would help quite a bit. At safety, Steeler fans were robbed of seeing Will Allen at 100% last year due to injury, but he's a very solid back-up safety, and Ryan Mundy has made strides as well. I certainly believe that the Steelers should be locking for Ryan Clark's heir apparent (in fact, I wanted the Steelers to move up in the second round to draft UCLA safety Rahim Moore), but the Polamalu/Clark combination is still among the best in the NFL.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Mike Wallace is neither "skinny" nor "small".

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Do I re-sign Plaxico Burress? No. Sorry. Not going to happen, and the WR corps now features three pretty good young receivers (Wallace, Brown, Sanders).

And the Steelers receiver yardage was down last year in large part due to the fact that Ben was suspended for 4 games. The Steelers ranked dead last in the NFL in passing yardage after four games.

Sign Ike, or trouble is coming. The DB who can actually cover a guy is Ike. Ike takes the No. 1 receiver out of the game. Green Bay had to change their game plan to get Jennings open since Ike made him disappear in the first quarter. They moved Jennings into slot, forcing Taylor to trade off coverage since in the Steelers system, Ike stays on the outside, covering deep routes solo, while slot receivers are covered by the nickel back, with safety help.

In any event, the Steelers without Ike are in deep, deep doo-doo.

They are not going to sign a guy like Asomugha. Too much money for one player in a system defense. We can debate the wisdom of passing on a great CB in the modern passing game, but it is what it is.

Re-sign Taylor. McFadden plays RCB for 2011. Curtis Brown helps out as nickel CB. Last year's training camp and preseason star, Crezdon Butler, plays some this year.

Butler is the guy to watch for. He was way too raw and inexperienced with Steelers zone coverage looks to play last year. Now, with a season of experience, and with very good size and make-up speed, he could be a solid nickel CB, angling to take over the McFadden spot in 2012.

Brown does his year of tutelage, like all defensive rookies, and is a factor in 2012, at which point the Steelers have three talented CB's (Taylor, Butler, Brown), along with Troy.

That secondary will work. Offense? Starks back at LT, a healthy Pouncey at C, and some help at RG and the offense will do just fine, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:15 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Do I re-sign Plaxico Burress? No. Sorry. Not going to happen, and the WR corps now features three pretty good young receivers (Wallace, Brown, Sanders).

And the Steelers receiver yardage was down last year in large part due to the fact that Ben was suspended for 4 games. The Steelers ranked dead last in the NFL in passing yardage after four games.


All true, but none of that takes away from the fact that Plaxico Burress' skill set is not possessed by any of the current Steeler receivers. If he came cheap and with little financial risk, he could reap large rewards for this team -- particularly in the red zone, where the offense often struggled.

It's unlikely, but I think it would make the team a bit better, if only to push the young receivers to improve.

Bucfan wrote:
Sign Ike, or trouble is coming. The DB who can actually cover a guy is Ike. Ike takes the No. 1 receiver out of the game. Green Bay had to change their game plan to get Jennings open since Ike made him disappear in the first quarter. They moved Jennings into slot, forcing Taylor to trade off coverage since in the Steelers system, Ike stays on the outside, covering deep routes solo, while slot receivers are covered by the nickel back, with safety help.

In any event, the Steelers without Ike are in deep, deep doo-doo.


Unless they can replace him with a comparable player, you're right. But Ike's demands are "top 5 corner money" right now. That's about $10-11 million per annum. And I'm not sure the Steelers would be wise to invest that some of money in a 31-year-old cornerback.

That said, I believe the Steelers should be able to sign Ike to something less than "top 5 corner money," in the range of 5 years, $35-38 million, $8-12 million signing bonus, with $14-18 million of the contract guaranteed. If Ike can get more than that on the open market, good luck to him.

Bucfan wrote:
They are not going to sign a guy like Asomugha. Too much money for one player in a system defense. We can debate the wisdom of passing on a great CB in the modern passing game, but it is what it is.


So what do you do if Ike demands Asomugha-like money?

In my view, the Steelers should then look at Johnathan Joseph (solid corner from Cincy).

Bucfan wrote:
Re-sign Taylor. McFadden plays RCB for 2011. Curtis Brown helps out as nickel CB. Last year's training camp and preseason star, Crezdon Butler, plays some this year.


If you look at ProFootballOutsiders metrics, McFadden ranked among the 10 worst corners last season in terms of percentage of passes completed, length of passing gains to his side, and lost battles for jump balls. Not only that, but McFadden has suffered nagging injuries in each of the last three years that limited his effectiveness down the stretch.

Pencilling in McFadden as a starting cornerback on the Steelers for 2011 results in the same problems the team suffered in 2010.

That's why I believe an upgrade at the other starting corner spot -- like Richard Marshall -- would be worth it. Marshall is a second-tier corner who will sign a far more reasonable contract than Asomugha, Ike or Joseph. And he's only 26 years old, so his best football is likely ahead of him. I'd love to see what Marshall can do with great coaching from Perry and LeBeau, and in a solid defense, after he toiled on a terrible defense in Carolina for the last few seasons.

Bucfan wrote:
Butler is the guy to watch for. He was way too raw and inexperienced with Steelers zone coverage looks to play last year. Now, with a season of experience, and with very good size and make-up speed, he could be a solid nickel CB, angling to take over the McFadden spot in 2012.

Brown does his year of tutelage, like all defensive rookies, and is a factor in 2012, at which point the Steelers have three talented CB's (Taylor, Butler, Brown), along with Troy.


Counting on Brown and Butler, who are totally unproven, as nickel and dime backs is supremely risky. I would like to see one more veteran player in there, moving McFadden to nickel and letting the youngsters fight it out for the dime position. Thats' the "win now" proposition for pass defense.

Bucfan wrote:
Offense? Starks back at LT, a healthy Pouncey at C, and some help at RG and the offense will do just fine, thank you.


What do you think of Darryn Colledge as a RG option? Obviously, the Steelers aren't going to go after Logan Mankins or a top-tier guard, but Colledge has the size, quickness and smarts to excel in the Steelers man-on blocking scheme.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:35 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
So what do you do if Ike demands Asomugha-like money?


Laugh him out of town.

Ike's good, but not Asomugha good.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:23 am 
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Well, JC. Here is a great reason for the Steelers not to take a look at Plaxico. Ron Cook says they should. :D

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11149/1149995-87-0.stm

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:00 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
All true, but none of that takes away from the fact that Plaxico Burress' skill set is not possessed by any of the current Steeler receivers. If he came cheap and with little financial risk, he could reap large rewards for this team -- particularly in the red zone, where the offense often struggled.

It's unlikely, but I think it would make the team a bit better, if only to push the young receivers to improve.

Burress' skill set involved a large degree of being able to catch the deep ball. Years in jail did not help that skill set. I really just do not see an upside to bringing in a guy who will be the number 4 receiver, with the risk that he flames out and wastes a roster spot in the process.

J_C_Steel wrote:
Unless they can replace him with a comparable player, you're right. But Ike's demands are "top 5 corner money" right now. That's about $10-11 million per annum. And I'm not sure the Steelers would be wise to invest that some of money in a 31-year-old cornerback.

Ike is going to get paid. I don't think that any other potential free agent matches Ike's size, skills and production. A free agent signing (other than Asomughu, who is not going to be signed) will not "replace" Ike. Only Ike can "replace" Ike on the 2011 Steelers.

J_C Steel wrote:
That said, I believe the Steelers should be able to sign Ike to something less than "top 5 corner money," in the range of 5 years, $35-38 million, $8-12 million signing bonus, with $14-18 million of the contract guaranteed. If Ike can get more than that on the open market, good luck to him.

Ike wants to remain with the Steelers. He is going to get interest, but I doubt that many teams other than the Steelers are willing to go more than 3 years on a contract offer. If the Steelers go four years, $35 million, with $12 million signing bonus, and large salary the fourth year, he probably signs.

J_C_Steel wrote:
So what do you do if Ike demands Asomugha-like money?

Just say, "No."

J_C_Steel wrote:
In my view, the Steelers should then look at Johnathan Joseph (solid corner from Cincy).

He is a good number 2 corner. But replace Ike with Joseph? He is not good enough to be the number 1 corner on a crap defense like the Bungles (Hall is their number 1), so expecting him to replace Ike is not an option I like.

J_C_Steel wrote:
If you look at ProFootballOutsiders metrics, McFadden ranked among the 10 worst corners last season in terms of percentage of passes completed, length of passing gains to his side, and lost battles for jump balls. Not only that, but McFadden has suffered nagging injuries in each of the last three years that limited his effectiveness down the stretch.

Pencilling in McFadden as a starting cornerback on the Steelers for 2011 results in the same problems the team suffered in 2010.

McFadden was playing well before the injury during the Bills game. He was not the same player after, and then had problems with his knee and with an abdominal injury.

McFadden's injury history was a huge reason why he was ineffective the second half. If he is healthy, he is the second best CB on the Steelers, behind Ike, even if the Steelers sign somebody like Joseph.

J_C_Steel wrote:
That's why I believe an upgrade at the other starting corner spot -- like Richard Marshall -- would be worth it. Marshall is a second-tier corner who will sign a far more reasonable contract than Asomugha, Ike or Joseph. And he's only 26 years old, so his best football is likely ahead of him. I'd love to see what Marshall can do with great coaching from Perry and LeBeau, and in a solid defense, after he toiled on a terrible defense in Carolina for the last few seasons.

We are talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are not the Cowgirls, the Redskins, etc.

Look, they just do not sign free agents to step in as starters. And as far as I am concerned, more power to them - 3 Super Bowl appearances in 6 years, two Lombardies, four playoff appearances, 9-2 playoff record over the past 6 seasons. Let other teams sign guys, drop a ton of money on free agents, etc.

J_C_Steel wrote:
Counting on Brown and Butler, who are totally unproven, as nickel and dime backs is supremely risky. I would like to see one more veteran player in there, moving McFadden to nickel and letting the youngsters fight it out for the dime position. Thats' the "win now" proposition for pass defense.

Steelers do not sign free agents, but they do give playing time on defense to 2nd year players who have developed as hoped. Troy, Ike, Timmons, McFadden, Woodley, etc.

The canard that the Steelers "never play rookies" is completely false relative to offensive players. Pouncey, Starks, Sanders, Wallace, etc. played quite a bit and logged numerous starts.

The guys who do NOT play as rookies are the defensive players due to Lebeau's "system." I am as impatient as the next guy, but the Steelers defense requires that players be where they are supposed to be. Rookies don't have the knowledge of the system to be entrusted with that responsibility.

Butler is not a rookie. It sucks to high heaven that the team cannot use this time to get him even more experience, but he is a very talented and physically gifted guy who needed to learn the system.

He learned. He is a legitimate CB prospect for the Steelers this year, IMO.

J_C_Steel wrote:
What do you think of Darryn Colledge as a RG option? Obviously, the Steelers aren't going to go after Logan Mankins or a top-tier guard, but Colledge has the size, quickness and smarts to excel in the Steelers man-on blocking scheme.

Colledge is a bit undersized for the Steelers, IMO. Look at who they have drafted to play OL - freaking huge guys, not 305 lb. guys.

Green Bay runs a true zone-blocking scheme in their running game. The Steelers reportedly run a type of zone-blocking, but watch games against the Browns, Ravens, etc. - man-to-man, power blocking.

Colledge would have a tough time matching up with the defensive tackles in the AFC North in that type of scheme, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Can't wait for football! Anyway...

Bucfan wrote:
Burress' skill set involved a large degree of being able to catch the deep ball. Years in jail did not help that skill set. I really just do not see an upside to bringing in a guy who will be the number 4 receiver, with the risk that he flames out and wastes a roster spot in the process.


Well, the Steelers actually agreed with me on this one and brought Burress in for a nice long look and a lobbying effort by Roethlisberger and others. He would have made a very nice addition to the 2011 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers, particularly given Emmanuel Sanders' nagging foot problems, Hines Ward's age, and the utterly unproven guys behind them (Antonio Brown, Limas Sweed, Tyler Grisham, etc.).

Bucfan wrote:
Ike is going to get paid. I don't think that any other potential free agent matches Ike's size, skills and production. A free agent signing (other than Asomughu, who is not going to be signed) will not "replace" Ike. Only Ike can "replace" Ike on the 2011 Steelers.

Ike wants to remain with the Steelers. He is going to get interest, but I doubt that many teams other than the Steelers are willing to go more than 3 years on a contract offer. If the Steelers go four years, $35 million, with $12 million signing bonus, and large salary the fourth year, he probably signs.


Turns out the Steelers got Taylor on the cheap -- 4 years, $28 million, $9 million guaranteed. Absolutely fabulous job by Kevin Colbert. Kudos all around, and welcome back FaceMeIke...

Bucfan wrote:
McFadden was playing well before the injury during the Bills game. He was not the same player after, and then had problems with his knee and with an abdominal injury.

McFadden's injury history was a huge reason why he was ineffective the second half. If he is healthy, he is the second best CB on the Steelers, behind Ike, even if the Steelers sign somebody like Joseph.


Here's a huge area of disagreement between us. The advanced defensive metrics measured McFadden as one of the worst starting cornerbacks in the NFL in 2010. Watching him play confirmed this, as he was routinely beaten on long and short routes. At no point in the season was McFadden playing consistently well. Once McFadden started getting dinged up -- something that has happened to him in each of the last three years and is unlikely to improve with his age -- he became an utter liability. To suggest that McFadden, right now, is a better corner than Johnathan Joseph, is fanciful and based on nothing tangible.

If the Steelers play McFadden and William Gay in the secondary for the bulk of the 2011 season, the defense will struggle mightily against any offense that has the ability to pass the ball.

Bucfan wrote:
We are talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are not the Cowgirls, the Redskins, etc.

Look, they just do not sign free agents to step in as starters. And as far as I am concerned, more power to them - 3 Super Bowl appearances in 6 years, two Lombardies, four playoff appearances, 9-2 playoff record over the past 6 seasons. Let other teams sign guys, drop a ton of money on free agents, etc.


Here, you're just wrong. The Steelers DO sign free agents to step in as starters, albeit infrequently. They signed James Farrior to step in as a starter. They signed Jeff Hartings to step in as a starter. They signed Ryan Clark to step in as a starter. They signed Flozell Adams to step in as a starter. When there is a need for the team to pick up a solid, not spectacular free agent to fill a hole, the Pittsburgh Steelers have shown a willingness to do so.

If the Steelers want to improve their secondary, they should cut McFadden (and his $2.5 million cap hit) and trade for the Eagles' Asante Samuel (who carries a modest $5 million cap hit, and likely wouldn't cost anything more than a 3rd or 4th round draft pick). That would represent a significant upgrade from McFadden.

Bucfan wrote:
Steelers do not sign free agents, but they do give playing time on defense to 2nd year players who have developed as hoped. Troy, Ike, Timmons, McFadden, Woodley, etc.


Again, the Steelers DO sign free agents to plug holes when needed. And the secondary is leaking like a punctured water balloon...

Bucfan wrote:
The canard that the Steelers "never play rookies" is completely false relative to offensive players. Pouncey, Starks, Sanders, Wallace, etc. played quite a bit and logged numerous starts.

The guys who do NOT play as rookies are the defensive players due to Lebeau's "system." I am as impatient as the next guy, but the Steelers defense requires that players be where they are supposed to be. Rookies don't have the knowledge of the system to be entrusted with that responsibility.


Agreed, which is why, for 2011, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen will likely not be counted on for anything other than special teams. The Steelers need to get better play from their corners, but it's unlikely to come from the 2011 draft class.

Bucfan wrote:
Butler is not a rookie. It sucks to high heaven that the team cannot use this time to get him even more experience, but he is a very talented and physically gifted guy who needed to learn the system.

He learned. He is a legitimate CB prospect for the Steelers this year, IMO.


Crezdon Butler, who I watched play at Clemson, has a fifth round pedigree for a reason. He has good size and straight line speed but he lacks good change of direction skills and does not take good angles on the ball. He has some physical gifts, I'll grant you, but counting on him to challenge the starters and become even an average starting cornerback in 2011 is far-fetched.


Last edited by J_C_Steel on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:09 am 
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I had hopes that the Steelers would be able to sign a FA like Richard Marshall, but they're still way over the cap.

The Steelers top 5 salaries for 2011:

Ben Roethlisberger: $11.6 million
Lamarr Woodley: $10 million
Troy Polamalu: $6.4 million
̶F̶l̶o̶z̶e̶l̶l̶ ̶A̶d̶a̶m̶s̶:̶̶ $̶5̶ ̶m̶i̶l̶l̶i̶o̶n̶
Aaron Smith: $4.6 million

With Flozell is already gone, next in line is Casey Hampton at $3.9 million.

I think they have to get Troy and Ben to restructure their contracts to ease the burden this year. The guys on NFL Radio said the most likely thing you'll see teams doing is adding a year or two to contracts and giving large signing bonuses to make up for the lowering of the salary. It wouldn't hurt to extend Woodley so he's less of a cap hit this year, also. If they don't, or can't, do those things, then obviously more guys are going to have to be cut. I really wouldn't want to see that.


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