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View Full Version : Why OL/LB should be our Priorities in 2008/Where we're headed...


Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 01:28 AM
Why We should re-youthenize our OL.

We're getting Old at key positions.

Hartings just retired:

* - Jeff Hartings was solid up until last season. I knew he was going to have to retire. He had nothing left in his knees. However, I felt that he was outplayed by Chukky last year. Every half decent Interior defensive lineman he played against, blew him up. Jamal Williams walked him right into Ben quite a few times.

** - Now we have the overpayed and under-proven Chukky Okobi, the generally unknown Sean Mahan, the completely unknown Marvin Phillip, and the position-less, as in he never found a pro-position that suited him... Kendall Simmons. Even if a guy isn't a great Center... not a man of Tony Mandarich measureables... I'm worried about the Centers connection with Ben, and his selflessness to take all the abuse in the center of the line.

*** - Kendall can't seem to get Shotgun snaps figured out, and we're going a little more pass-happy... I don't think he can wrassle the starting job. Not to mention the fact that he's not any more stout than Jeff Hartings was, and he didn't have to call line-protections AND snap the ball. Kendall isn't the youngest either, He has over 6 years in and has had only played 2 full seasons. He is being moved to COMPETE at Center. They're not confident to keep him at a position he's played for 6 seasons because he can't handle it. So this leads me, and could lead you to believe that he won't be resigned next season when his contracts up.

**** - Sean Mahan... What do we know about him. He has identical size to Jeff Hartings, in fact he's 2 lbs, heavier. From what I've dug up, he's played some Center and Guard at Notre Dame. However.. Looking at the past 3-4 Years, the Tampa Bay OL has had one of the worst Offensive lines in the NFL... At least in the top 4 for worst... Considering you had SF, Arizona, Houston and Tampa are my top 4... So, Frankly, he was a RG/C for one of the worst Olines in the league.. So I'll hold my opinion on camp and pre-season.


***** - Chukky Okobi got his new big contract this past offseason. The Cowher era deemed him worth the coin. But there's plenty of times we've disagreed with Cowhers choices. On the other hand, I only saw him get blown up once. And it was his 2nd snap in the first game he started for Hartings. Kendall still has too many issues at RG, and at this point C is a dire attempt to save a 1st round pick from being considered a bust. Larry Zierlein has been quoted saying, in summary, "I don't want any players without versatility... I want my Guards to be able to play C or Tackle." He doesn't want C, G only players. Hence they're working out Okobi and Phillip at G. Okobi looked good, though slower, but I think he has a strong chance to be our Center.

******* - But why did we grab Marvin Phillip in the 6th last year to.. bring in Mahan, Move Simmons to G...and already having Okobi... It's crowded. However Phillip still found a way to stay on the roster. I'm on the fence. I loved his fire in pre-season, I remember Colon slapping some guys around. I remember the next play, a guy went after Colon and Phillip was watching his back and come in and rile it up. He's quick enough to do the pulling/trapping. One of the guys I saw blow up Okobi and Hartings.... Haloti Ngata... the premier DT in 2006 and Pac-10's most feared defensive player... never made 1 TFL or sack on Phillip. I think Between what we have here, we are set at C... regardless of how we arrange them.

What are we going to do about Faneca?? (Guard Section)

* - The writing is on the wall either way. Faneca isn't an injury risk per se (Knock on wood). Missing only 5 games in his 10 year career (3 were his first 3 games in which he didn't start). He's been all-Pro, Pro-Bowler, he's a future HOFer and is the 1st or 2nd best Guard in the NFL. He's definitely worth keeping. However the fact he's so proven, he's that old. 31 years old. While his pass blocking was never his most braggable trait, he's still an amazing Guard. However, how many years can he stay at that Premier of a player. He's on his 3rd contract, how many years after he signs will he decline. Is he worth being the top paid Guard in the NFL. Right now, yes, but in 2-3 years? The thing about the Dockery/Steinback signings are, even though they're not at Fanecas level... they're in their prime. Faneca is in the sunset of his career, and wants paid as if he's at the same level in the just before noon of his career. I want him resigned, with a lot of back-loaded money, so he won't hurt us, and if he's unhappy, put in a trade deal.

** - If Faneca does re-sign, LG won't be a need for 2-3 years, but what about after 3 years... that's the prime of you career so, to find his replacement in rd 1 next year (Will Arnold, another big LSU Product) Arnold can stay at RG until he de-thrones Alan.

*** - If Faneca doesn't re-sign, I don't want to Franchise tag him. I would let him leave. He's definitely worth Franchising, if that were the case, but if we're going to not re-sign him long term, then, we should give him the dignity of picking his retirement location. Then it's imperitive we find his replacement from next years draft (Again Will Arnold.). I Like Chris Kemoeatu but frankly, I don't think he's the answer at LG. However I love him as a "Phonebooth" RG. I got sick last year as any half decent DT walked our C/RG right into the backfield (Except the Okobi-Kemo game) I think he'll get re-signed and be given a fair opportunity at RG. I think RG is between him and Cameron Stephenson.

**** - So if Faneca isn't re-signed what will our line look like... and is that picture we get in our head, solid? No. Kemo/Stephenson are RG's all the way, Stephenson doesn't have the athleticism to keep up after Faneca. Kemo is too "Phonebooth" guy. Colon has the ability to do it... but he's really undersized and as much as I love the kid, that desire to be the best can only takes him to his ability limitations. Possibly Mahan, but again to the fact that he was at best an RG on a weak Tampa Bay team. So personally, I don't think we have a future at LG. Even if Faneca stays.. we need his heir apparent.

***** - Another reason we can go after a Guard in rd 1... is our lack of needs. Regardless of who leaves or whatever, you can't tell me 1 position is more needed than a 1st round Guard. We had a hell of a great 2007 Draft.


TACKLE. I'm Starks Raving mad.

* - I don't think Starks is going to be in the long term Answer. I don't like Trai Essex. So in my opinion, I think Capizzi is atleast the answer to RT. I've seen him in action and he's damn good. I don't think Starks should be extended unless he really improves this season. Essex was average in his few starts at LT. They tried putting Marvel in at 65%, they weren't comfortable, neither am I.

** - So if Capizzi is the heir apparent to LT, then LT isn't a dire first round need. Marvel's contract is up after the 2008 Season (Yea i'm looking ahead, but tell me one guy that doesn't plan his franchises future). That means Capizzi has 1 season to show something for LT. If he has potential in Zierleins eyes, then LT isn't a first round need (Which it isn't necessarily because next year has guys listed right now in the 3-4 rd range with ability at LT.).

*** - Trai Essex and Marvel Smiths contract expire in the same offseason, Trai is a marginal player ranked as a 7th rounder by most people... and Marvel has a pinched nerve and is clearly on the decline and is only a slightly above average LT.

**** - If Capizzi Isn't seen as the Heir apparent at LT, we need to address it, because there is no one to play and Marvel Smith isn't the type of player I want to give a 3rd contract to. Again the guys I think would be the answer at LT or RT is Pedro Sosa or Gosder Cherilous. I want them anyways because there's Potential to be tackle-less other than Capizzi.




Summary!

Here's how I see things.

Depth Chart

LT: Marvel Smith -> Trai Essex -> Jason Capizzi
LG: Alan Faneca -> Sean Mahan
C: Chukky Okobi -> Sean Mahan -> Marvin Phillip -> Kendall Simmons
RG: Chris Kemoeatu -> Willie Colon -> Cameron Stephenson -> Kendall Simmons
RT: Max Starks -> Willie Colon -> Jason Capizzi

Here comes the thing people need to realize.

The Players in Yellow have potential to not be with the team after the 2007 season. Meaning we could be losing potentially 3 Starters and a vet. I hope if we can only take one it's Faneca. Hopefully we can Re-sign Kemo as well.

The Players in Aquamarine have potential to leave to be gone after the 2008 season. see a problem yet? Only Capizzi has potential for LT if we lose everyone. We could potentially have 4 new starters in the next 2 seasons. As much as I like our Young guns, I don't think we have any probowlers. We need some talent. We obviously aren't the Patriots and for some reason we haven't really developed late round or mid-round talent.

Marvel/Starks/Essex aren't worth Re-signing IMO.. We need to add some top teir talent to that line.

Guard is my biggest concern. Adding Will Arnold in round 1 gives us a monster RG, that will be almost ready to take LG, he'll provide Competition to Faneca if we re-sign him... if not he gives us an immediate solution.

LB is my next biggest concern, but adding a top LB next will give us a great LB Core.. either OLB/ILB doesn't matter there's tremendous talent. From what I hear, We're going to use Woodley like Kirkland at Buck... so That means we'll still have no LOLB's. Haggans has a contract up.. meaning LOLB could be a 1st round potential as well. Chris Ellis would fill this need beautifully.

Then Tackle again, I think Capizzi will show LT potential, but grabbing an T here gives us a guy that can still play LT, The great thing about next years draft is that the OL depth is amazing. Pedro Sosa or Gosder Cherilous, both are solid and maulers, but have LT Footwork. Pedro would add to an all Rutgers Line we're building.

Then LB again, this will give us depth at LOLB, and we could create some competition, I'd get a guy that can Play ILB/OLB here instead. I Like Shaun Crable. He has 34 OLB Size/power, 43 OLB speed/cover ability. So he'll give us 4-3 Ability and he could line up anywhere. I think thats where LeBeau is taking this team. Anyone could line up anywhere. How can you pick coverage up when... Timmons/Polamlau are just roaming, LaMarr Woodley could be playing Buck, SOLB, or 4-3 DE. Chris Ellis could play 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE as well, Crable could play DE, any LB Spot (34 or 4-3)... LeBeau can lineup anyone anywhere... beautiful.

Then I'd Look at RB, We're supposedly signing Kevan Barlow to a 1 year deal. We have Russell and Mosley in the rafters, who if Russell gets back into his amazing Gopher days, he could be near Calvin Johnson type talent level. He has to prove that though. Barlow is a stop gap.. and As though I try to play devils advocate and when someone says "We need a bruiser RB, or a Tall WR, because the only way to be successful is to have a 7'5 WR, and 300lb RB", I don't think it's a necessity. However I think it's a luxury we can afford to get. We could go in the FA market for one, but all the good ones cost too much, and we still have to re-sign how many OL, Polamalu, Roeth. Without knowing if Russell can be effective, so I look for a guy filling that role for us. Lance Ball is perfect. We were enamored with Mo-Drew. Lance Ball is a guy that came from a traditional Steeler offense, but they were moving to more of a spread offense. He's 5'9, 230lbs, and runs in the 4.4-4.5 range. He doesn't have Hunts unimpressive speed, but he's compact and a powerful runner. He's used to Heinz field like conditions in winter. He's an excellent receiver. I'd say he's an excellent #2 RB. He'll have people saying "He's not fast enough for his size". However, he doesn't have an injury history, runs like he's Bettis-sized and is fast enough to take it to the house on occasion.

Then I'd debate... because i've filled depth and talent the 6th/7th round are just upside guys.

I added a Guard for a future behind Faneca, A starter at LOLB, Chris Ellis, Then a Tackle that could play LT if needed. If not he's at worst a monster mauler RT. A Front 7 versatile player that could theoretically play any of the front 7 positions except Tackle. Giving LeBeau another monster "toy" to help make the defense even more tough. Adding Lance Ball gives us a compact short yardage back and ST demon, until he gets more acclimated to our offense he can be the real #2 RB, Willie Parker with the backup duo of Gary Russell and Lance Ball. Thats 3 Compact and Powerful RB's. Ball is the short Yardage and Reliable game grinder, Russell is your more dynamic RB, homerun ability with power and vision... and we all know Willie. So.. how would I finish the last 2 picks?

A raw, diamond in the Rough OT. At this point, Capizzi, Sosa and Colon (In my opinion) Will be the only Tackles on the team at this point.

Adding Arnold (And figuring we still have Faneca.. even if not) we'll have a plethora of Guard talent... Kemo, Arnold(With Faneca), Colon, Mahan, Stephenson, Stapleton can all play OG.
And Center is pretty solid,
We added our future TE's in 2007.
QB would be nice.. not a need.
RB: Got Ball in 5.
FB: Could use one, but we have Kuhn/Robbins behind Kreider, however we're using more single back sets. We can get one in UDFA.
WR: We added tons, I think we have enough on the roster, the contest will be between Ced Wilson, Nate Washington, Willie Reid, Eric Fowler, Dallas Baker, Eric Delauriars, Chris Jackson.. I think someone will emerge. Though in 2008 it would be nice to make sure someone can fill in at #1, I'd rather a more possession oriented receiver than Holmes who's more dynamic big play guy.
TE: our future has to be on our roster.
OT: Adding 1 in the 6th.
OG: Too many..
OC: We have enough.

DE: Could possibly use another one, but Between Eason, Jones and McBean we'll have 2 solid Backups and spot starters
NT: Might be nice for some depth, but frankly, Hoke and Hamp have some years left and they're both still working perfectly.. plus McBean and Aaron Smith can play UT next to hampton.

OLB: Added 1.5 in the draft, my 7th rounder
ILB: Could add one in the 7th, but frankly... I think Crable would be fine, he could take over for Foote, giving us one sickening defense. With Timmons at ROLB, Crable at RILB, Woodley at LILB: Ellis at LOLB, that gives us a very young and immensely talented LB core. Still, LOLB is lacking a backup, so I think I'll add a guy there in 7.

CB: I know Rico is on a contract year, as is McFadden, but I think Between ***, McFadden and Colclough, we'll have the cap to sign everyone again and we'll have clearly one of the best corner groups in the league

FS: I think we'll keep Clark and Smith, and Clark can play FS,SS. McFadden could play some FS.
SS: I would like to add depth behind the safeties. But I think Mike Lorello could do that.

So without further adu, my 6th round pick Mike McGlynn, who is a G/T swingman, He could be a solid RT. Kinda as a bigger Yanda. Or if he's gone or rises further Akim Millington, Illinois a Big G/T prospect. he has RT Size, and he has Solid speed. Gives us depth for losing 3 OT's. 1 too old, 1 under-achieving, and Trai Essex hasn't shown he's a solid depth player, so we'll be young, and have depth in the trenches...

As for my last prospect, adding another Linebacker. I know.. 3 linebackers in one draft.. after a draft where we got 2 in the first 2 rounds. I don't care what Scheme Lebeau or Tomlin want to run, but they want players to defy scheme, which I gave them in Crable, Ellis and now Darrell Robertson. Robertson is another tweener thats under the radar. at 6'5 260lbs he runs in the 4.68 range. Has extremely long arms and he's powerful. Then Since Crable is at RILB, Robertson would give us another 34OLB, 4-3 DE and a special Teams ace.




***'s pre-liminary draft.

Round 1) Will Arnold, G, LSU - Could be the next Alan Faneca/Steve Hutchinson.. he's that good.
Round 2) Chris Ellis, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech - Gives us a Merriman like LOLB. Timmons is our "Lloyd", Woodley our "Kirkland", Ellis would be our Kevin Green with Joey Porters OLB abilities.
Round 3) Pedro Sosa, LT, Rutgers - RT size with LT footwork and potential. give us young T options with little to no risk involved as their all good.
Round 4) Shawn Crable, OLB/ILB, Michigan - He can play any front 7 position but DT. Giving us another monster that LeBeau can freely move him around.
Round 5) Lance Ball, RB, Maryland - compact, powerful and fast... Could be our version of Mo-Drew.
Round 6) Mike McGlynn, RT/RG, Pittsburgh, a local that knows how to play in Heinz stadium and has a speedy back in Larod Stephens, so he'll be perfect at RT.
Round 7) Darrell Robertson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech - another solid size/power/speed guy to play at LOLB. We'll have a full corral of LB's and Front 7 Players for LeBeau or Tomlins expense.

After that, just giving you a heads up... we'll likely need a true #1 WR(2009), a #2 QB (Rd 3-4), a CB, and NT would be the ..

Which if we were lucky enough. I mean again I write this with extreme anticipation of my rankings thus far.

2009 here's Who'd I'd line up.

1) Jaison Williams, 6'4 WR 235lbs, he's about as fast as Dwayne Jarrett, but he's much much more physical than Jarret and less of a "Character" issue
2) Jack Ikegwuono, 6'2 202 lbs CB and would be perfect for zone or Cover 2.
3) Bobby Reid, 6'3, 220 lbs. Basically a Vince Young clone with better accuracy, but not as elusive. he's not a runner per se.. but he'll make a solid backup as he has upside to WR in a slash role.
4) Brian Soi, Utah State. He's a NT, and gives depth as both Hamp and Hoke will be getting close to double digits.


Now I understand the draft mocks are extremely controversial with how much time between the 08 & 09 drafts and how these draft picks work out.

I was just trying to convey how I see the team right now. I basically was trying to get it into lame mans terms and very detailed. I just merely expanded on the Drafts in the future.

So I hope everyone understands. I see Vandy trying to get everyone to understand why we need OL Help majorly next year. I want to help.

Our 2 weaknesses are at OL/LB. I think I would have addressed that.. Lance Ball is just for 2 reasons.. a compact workhorse and 2, that would really piss off Ravens and Maryland Fans. I

Sorry for the rant, but I think is was Helpful.

richdg
05-08-2007, 07:45 AM
Boy do you have to much time on your hands, or what!?!? Ha Ha! Over all nice job.

steelernation77
05-08-2007, 09:05 AM
I think you're putting a little too much faith in Capizzi.

IMO we go LT first round next year because of the depth a that position in next year's draft. Then we go G in the second and possibly RB or ILB in the 3rd.

If we get a solid LT we can move Marvel to RT.

HorusKing
05-08-2007, 10:17 AM
I don't understand why the steelers didn't make the transition to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defense that the coach is known for instead rebuilding a 3-4 defense that was in decline? Doesn't make any since to me.

TheGunShow
05-08-2007, 10:28 AM
I can't believe you would take Willie Colon out of the line up! Behind Faneca he was our best o-lineman last year. Put him at RG and hope Starks or Essex can handle RT this year and we'd be so improved at guard getting that worthless pile Kendall Simmons out of the line-up that you could put me at center and we'd be better off than last year.

LT- Marvel Smith
LG- Alan Faneca
OC- Mahan, Okobi, Phillips, whoever
RG- Willie Colon
RT- Starks, Essex, whoever

Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 10:52 AM
I think you're putting a little too much faith in Capizzi.

IMO we go LT first round next year because of the depth a that position in next year's draft. Then we go G in the second and possibly RB or ILB in the 3rd.

If we get a solid LT we can move Marvel to RT.

Have you seen him play? I have, the kid has feet like you wouldn't believe, he's quick, he's huge and powerful. He's a tactician as well. I'll go into more depth later.

steelernation77
05-08-2007, 11:39 AM
I don't understand why the steelers didn't make the transition to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defense that the coach is known for instead rebuilding a 3-4 defense that was in decline? Doesn't make any since to me.

Well really all they needed for the 3-4 was a pass rusher. We have one of the top D coordinators for a 3-4. All the players understand the scheme already so we don't have to teach them a whole new defense.

Plus the Tampa 2 is for wusses and "paper champions" (little Lee Flowers love)

richdg
05-08-2007, 12:36 PM
IMO, the best line we could use this coming year, would be: LT Smith, LG Colon, C Faneca, RG Kemo, and RT Starks. Resign Faneca long term to provide leadership and make all the calls. Let Starks go after the sason if he doesn't improve. If Starks is gone, hello Jake Long to take over RT for the next 12 years or so. Most of the rest of the OLmen can be cut after this year. Keep Phillip, maybe Essex, and the rest can go. Maybe the new rook, he is cheap, and who knows.

mikehop05
05-08-2007, 01:16 PM
helluva write up, im really interested to see who makes the team this year, and what our depth chart will pan out to be

mikehop05
05-08-2007, 01:17 PM
IMO, the best line we could use this coming year, would be: LT Smith, LG Colon, C Faneca, RG Kemo, and RT Starks. Resign Faneca long term to provide leadership and make all the calls. Let Starks go after the sason if he doesn't improve. If Starks is gone, hello Jake Long to take over RT for the next 12 years or so. Most of the rest of the OLmen can be cut after this year. Keep Phillip, maybe Essex, and the rest can go. Maybe the new rook, he is cheap, and who knows.

i like the line, and that whole scenario... i dont think anyone would complain one bit if we landed jake long... though picking at 32 that may be hard to do ;)

richdg
05-08-2007, 02:38 PM
Ha Ha! Love the positive thinking. But we most likely will be somewhere between 10-20 again. I wish we were better, but I don't see it this year. To much change going on.

Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 05:19 PM
IMO, the best line we could use this coming year, would be: LT Smith, LG Colon, C Faneca, RG Kemo, and RT Starks. Resign Faneca long term to provide leadership and make all the calls. Let Starks go after the sason if he doesn't improve. If Starks is gone, hello Jake Long to take over RT for the next 12 years or so. Most of the rest of the OLmen can be cut after this year. Keep Phillip, maybe Essex, and the rest can go. Maybe the new rook, he is cheap, and who knows.

I don't like that OL.. because Faneca is out of his element, Colon doesn't have the size/capability of full-time LG.. Kemo is perfect at RG.

Fine let Starks go after next season.. Get Jake Long, a guy thats a first round RT... so who is going to replace Smith and Essex at LT. I have hopes of Capizzi doing it, but there's no guarantee. When both Tackle spots are suspect you don't draft an RT in round 1. Get Sam Baker or Kirk Barton, who can play LT.

Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 05:22 PM
Ha Ha! Love the positive thinking. But we most likely will be somewhere between 10-20 again. I wish we were better, but I don't see it this year. To much change going on.

I don't know, we really improved, contrary to what some believe. Our ST cost us the playoffs and Ben cost us the rest. We only lost Morey, Bailey, and Porter... We added some real young talent and frankly, if Ben corrects himself, and the coaching does what it has promised.. build their schemes around players instead of Cowhers, plug them into my scheme.. I don't hold us out of the AFC North Championship race.

Now Rich I don't mean to kind of single you out, but you seem to be the pessimist of this group and even though I may be overly optimistic, and your overly pessimistic, keep an open mind as well. You seem set that we're going to be mediocre and there's no reason why we can excel.

richdg
05-08-2007, 05:30 PM
Colon is a 6-3/335 T. That is prototype size for a NFL G. He can easily handle the job. The only real question is Faneca at C. But in the words of Cowher "Faneca can play anywhere on the line", This after Faneca played the last 8 games at LT a few years ago.

As for me being a pessimist, no. I am a realist. Most teams do worse after they change their coach. 2 of the most important units are filled with questions, OL and DB. Some of our "coaching" choices leave a lot to be desired. Why a team that won a SB 14 months ago, is taking coaches that have failed in other places is beyond me.

Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 05:47 PM
Colon is a 6-3/335 T. That is prototype size for a NFL G. He can easily handle the job. The only real question is Faneca at C. But in the words of Cowher "Faneca can play anywhere on the line", This after Faneca played the last 8 games at LT a few years ago.

As for me being a pessimist, no. I am a realist. Most teams do worse after they change their coach. 2 of the most important units are filled with questions, OL and DB. Some of our "coaching" choices leave a lot to be desired. Why a team that won a SB 14 months ago, is taking coaches that have failed in other places is beyond me.

But Rich, taking Coaches that failed in other places.. the only guy I can think of per-se is Ligashesky.. Because STL was a piss-poor ST team.. but they werent bad at defending the Kickoff or Punt, they were bad on returns.

LeBeau failed in cincy... he worked out pretty good for us. There's countless guys who "failed" in one situation and flourished in another.

I agree about the questions.. abotu OL... thats only because of Contracts and because last years play.. I'm not concerned about DB because Tomlin has done amazing jobs with Tampa's secondary and coached up a good Minnesota secondary. But he had the same issue in Minny that he could end up of having here. Your DB's can only hold coverage so long... unless you get a pass rush, and thats what we did.

You do realize that Noll was considered a failure in SD, and then later a mastermind in Baltimore and Pittsburgh..

LeBeau failed miserably in Cincinnati, but he's the reason we got to the superbowl 2 years past.

NME
05-08-2007, 08:36 PM
The problem I have with some of these scenarios is the exclusion of Sean Mahan. Not that I particularly care one way or the other for Mahan, but he was only just brought in this offseason and at one point was guaranteed to be the starting center (though if he is obviously outplayed, I suspect that guarantee would not hold much water). You have to figure that if you bring a guy in as a free agent with aspirations of taking over for arguably an all-time great at his position that he's going to at the very least be starting somewhere on the o-line, even if it is at right guard.

I'm curious, while we're sort of on the subject, about Jeff Hartings. When he came over as a guard from Detroit, was he considered among the top guards in the league? I honestly do not recall, so if anyone does, I'd love to know.

Mr. Stiller
05-08-2007, 08:55 PM
The problem I have with some of these scenarios is the exclusion of Sean Mahan. Not that I particularly care one way or the other for Mahan, but he was only just brought in this offseason and at one point was guaranteed to be the starting center (though if he is obviously outplayed, I suspect that guarantee would not hold much water). You have to figure that if you bring a guy in as a free agent with aspirations of taking over for arguably an all-time great at his position that he's going to at the very least be starting somewhere on the o-line, even if it is at right guard.

I'm curious, while we're sort of on the subject, about Jeff Hartings. When he came over as a guard from Detroit, was he considered among the top guards in the league? I honestly do not recall, so if anyone does, I'd love to know.

He was a Pro-bowl Alternate on a few occasions but was not a starter in the Pro-bowl.. but when you think of that time.. that was Orlando Pace/Larry Allen times... there was alot of guys that were better than him..

Frankly I think Faneca was a large part of Hartings trips to the pro-bowl at Center.. Yes I think Faneca was that damn good.

I'm unset about Mahan... He has a chance at RG/C.. I'd rather see Kemo, a big phonebooth guy at RG, than 2 small guys. Because frankly, we've had too many guys walk our RG/C right into the QB on too many occasions. I think Mahan at C is fine.. I still think Phillip or Okobi is the answer. I don't want him at RG because Again, I want a Big Mauler who can ACTUALLY handle some NT's

PittPete
05-09-2007, 10:04 AM
Let's see. Capizzi starting at LT with superbowl aspirations; an undrafted free agent stepping into a starting role because.......he had quick feet against what type of competition? that has as much chance of happening a s an undrafted running back taking a team to a superbowl victory(whoops ok but Willie is an anomaly). I hope your confidence is justified in this guy because we do desperately need a Lt. when John Jackson left we struggled for a few years until Wayne Gandy stepped into the picture. When he left I had hopes in Marvel smith but what we see is what we get here; he is ok but will never be a dominant LT. I dont know why you dis Colon. He was magnificent at Rt last year and despite his height I think he could be a good RT. And blaming Ben for anything last year when he had to run for his life is worse than saying we are going to pick 10-15 in the draft(OK, maybe not). With Kemo and Colon on the right side, I think our line will be tough as nails. If I see Simmons and Starks there to start the season, it's time for heavy medication.

NME
05-09-2007, 11:41 AM
This would have become clear anyway, but I know very little about offensive linemen.

Is Kemo really that much better than Simmons, or is this a case of wishful thinking?

Also, how in particular has Simmons distinguished himself as a bum? It seemed to me he was supposed to be this tremendous guard prior to being diagnosed as a diabetic. What is it about Simmons that makes right guard such a vulnerable position on the Steelers' offensive line?

Mr. Stiller
05-10-2007, 12:19 AM
Let's see. Capizzi starting at LT with superbowl aspirations; an undrafted free agent stepping into a starting role because.......he had quick feet against what type of competition? that has as much chance of happening a s an undrafted running back taking a team to a superbowl victory(whoops ok but Willie is an anomaly). I hope your confidence is justified in this guy because we do desperately need a Lt. when John Jackson left we struggled for a few years until Wayne Gandy stepped into the picture. When he left I had hopes in Marvel smith but what we see is what we get here; he is ok but will never be a dominant LT. I dont know why you dis Colon. He was magnificent at Rt last year and despite his height I think he could be a good RT. And blaming Ben for anything last year when he had to run for his life is worse than saying we are going to pick 10-15 in the draft(OK, maybe not). With Kemo and Colon on the right side, I think our line will be tough as nails. If I see Simmons and Starks there to start the season, it's time for heavy medication.


I forget who he was playing, but I was Partying at IUP one game night, and we went there.. and Thats when I first met Capizzi. He handled a DT and DE on his own, for most of the game.

I think he has a learning curve. I'm not dissing Colon. I think he's undersized for T. I'd like to see him be an LG, But here's why I don't want him at RG.

I want a HUGE MAULER. I'm sick and tired of seeing mediocre lineman blow up our interior line.

Examples: 50% of Baltimores successful sacks last season, were from the Interior of the line.

The Hit that took Ben out of the Atlanta Game? yep, it was from the interior.

If we get a freaking Phonebooth guy like Kemo at RG, The pocket won't collapse when Ben snaps the ball.

I think Colon is the little athletic guy. I'd love to see him stay as a backup.. not because I don't think he's good, but because he can play LG, RG, RT. I want to see Starks and Kemo on the right side because I want some size on that line.

Hartings and Simmons were jokes for taking on NT's. Jamal Williams threw them BOTH around like rag dolls at the same time. Now I understand it's Jamal Williams... But seriously... Simmons struggled with Everyone, even Ngata... Marvin Phillip shut Ngata down. Now when our Starting RG can't stop guys that our 3rd stringer at Center shut down, I'm skeptical.

Mr. Stiller
05-10-2007, 12:23 AM
This would have become clear anyway, but I know very little about offensive linemen.

Is Kemo really that much better than Simmons, or is this a case of wishful thinking?

Also, how in particular has Simmons distinguished himself as a bum? It seemed to me he was supposed to be this tremendous guard prior to being diagnosed as a diabetic. What is it about Simmons that makes right guard such a vulnerable position on the Steelers' offensive line?

Well it's his lack of Strength.. It's playing to guys positives.

Simmons was a college RT. We threw him at RG. When you have a RB like Bettis, it's not a big deal because Bettis will hit that DT that Simmons can't hold. When you have Willie Parker, or start passing more (Like we did last season).. A DT in the backfield is the worst thing you can have. Simmons can't hold up against the DT's, if they were content with his RG play, he wouldn't be getting worked extensively at C. I like Kemo and was begging for Manuel Ramirez. A big big mauler that can have guys like Jamal Williams, Ngata/Gregg, the Jax duo.. I mean I want to stop seeing the interior blown up.

Simmons never had the strength to hold the point, they used him as a mobile Guard. However, once he developed Diabetes, his mobility and mobile power severely decreased.

Kemo has issues with his job, but frankly.. I don't care what it is.. just put him at RG and tell him to nix the NT.

PittPete
05-10-2007, 09:47 AM
totally agree about Kemo; nobody got an inch on him. He made some mental mistakes as all new linemen do when they start in the NFL but he is one solid piece of beef. I would prefer Colon over Starks though. Max has slow footwork on the pass rush and got beaten on a regualr basis. Willie is far quicker and has the fabled mean streak. I still think Marvel Smith would be our best bet there if we could ever develop a LT.

Mr. Stiller
05-10-2007, 06:54 PM
totally agree about Kemo; nobody got an inch on him. He made some mental mistakes as all new linemen do when they start in the NFL but he is one solid piece of beef. I would prefer Colon over Starks though. Max has slow footwork on the pass rush and got beaten on a regualr basis. Willie is far quicker and has the fabled mean streak. I still think Marvel Smith would be our best bet there if we could ever develop a LT.

I agree... However, I do remember the fabled game in NC when our RT, the fat waste of Beef... holding off the NFL's best Defensive end... yea.. Maxt Starks absolutely shut down Julius Peppers.. Which makes me wonder something.. How much was this knee injury that was kept quiet hurting him... He supposedly had a knee injury early in camp and reinjured it during the season..

Like I said.. I still believe in his potential.. especially after his play in the NC game.

JayA55
05-11-2007, 09:26 PM
I don't understand why the steelers didn't make the transition to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defense that the coach is known for instead rebuilding a 3-4 defense that was in decline? Doesn't make any since to me.

Because our Dcoord is a 3-4 guru, and it's the scheme that won us a SB. We'll be running both packages though.

As far as our draft, why would OLB be a need?