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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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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:21 am 
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Roethlisberger and Harrison already restructured their contracts, RTJR. Also, the Steelers are currently under the cap, as they had to be as of 4:55 p.m. yesterday when the players ratified the CBA and the new league year officially started.

The Steelers are under the cap, and the best way to create more cap room is to come to a long-term deal with LaMarr Woodley. That could open up as much as $6-7 million of cap space. That would allow the Steelers to, if they wish, approach the Eagles about a trade for Asante Samuel (cap hit ~ $5 million). If the Steelers acquired Samuel, they could cut McFadden (cap savings ~ $2.5 million).

Casey Hampton will not be cut, as the only backup nose tackle on the team is Chris Hoke.

Oh, and the Steelers can't restructure Polamalu's contract, because he is entering the final year of his deal. The Steelers should be negotiating an extension with Polamalu, which would ensure that he's a Steeler for life and would also reduce his cap hit for 2011.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:32 am 
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Good news, everyone -- Woodley's here to stay:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11217/1165410-100.stm

Not only that, by halving his cap hit, the Steelers are now MORE than $5 million under the cap. The team has some wiggle room now if they want to shake up the secondary or look at offensive line options.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:55 pm 
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They will never sign Samuel. He can't tackle and the Steelers want their corners to support the run. Not saying he is a bad idea, but he is not their type of corner.

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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:59 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
They will never sign Samuel. He can't tackle and the Steelers want their corners to support the run. Not saying he is a bad idea, but he is not their type of corner.


They wouldn't have to sign him; just trade for him.

I also think it's unlikely, but Samuel would vastly improve the Steelers' secondary. He's not a particularly good tackler, that's true. Yet this team requires more pass defense, not more run-stopping support.

Here's hoping that one of Keenan Lewis, Crezdon Butler and Curtis Brown steps up BIG this season...


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:16 pm 
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I knew they had to be under, but I couldn't find anything at the time they said they made the deadline. Good that they did.

I know they've signed Hayward, but I haven't seen where they've signed any of the other draftees. There's a couple million there.

With FA happening after the draft this year, I think they're going to be signing cheaper than they would have under normal conditions. A CB might still be possible.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:34 pm 
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All drafted rookies have been signed, RTJR. The last to sign was Curtis Brown, who signed earlier this week.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:39 pm 
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There it is then. I haven't been able to find anything about the Steelers lately for some reason.

Anyway, there really doesn't seem to be any CBs left that would really be the upgrade we need. Looks like we're stuck with what we have, unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Only Asante Samuel via trade, RTJR. And it's unlikely that the Steelers would acquire him.

Our hopes are pinned on the Lewis/Butler/Brown trio. Step up, kids!


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 Post subject: Re: J_C_Steel's Tentative Post-Lockout Plan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:02 pm 
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I'm not enthused.


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