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Kevin Colbert Thinks Steelers Could Be More Active In Free Agency Market This Year


Ever since Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert came on board prior to the start of the 2000 season, the organization hasn’t generally been very active in free agency outside of signing their own free agents. I have been illustrating this recently in a series of post dedicated to the topic. However, in a Wednesday afternoon interview on ESPN 970, Colbert said he thinks this offseason could be different from the norm.

“I think there’s a possibility we could be more active in the free agency market this year than we have in the past,” started Colbert. “Not only from an availability standpoint or from a depth requirement standpoint, but also from a cap situation that we haven’t been able to some types of things in the past, because quite honestly we had more work to do just to get into compliance.

“So it’s a different group finishing this season than it has been in the past. It’s probably a throw back to the early 2000’s when we were trying to put it together. At that point, we were a little more active in free agency with a James Farrior and a Jeff Hartings, and so on and so forth. So it’s kind of cyclical, but I think we could more active in free agency, but again, the market will dictate that and how much we’re able to get in compliance with the cap, or get under the cap, will dictate how much we’ll be able to add from the outside.”

Currently, the Steelers are roughly $10-12 million over the cap depending on where the final per team 2014 number comes in at. That number, as daunting as it might look, will go away fast as the expected release of tackle Levi Brown will clear $6.25 million right off the bat. If the contracts of wide receiver Antonio Brown and linebacker Lawrence Timmons are restructured between now and the start of the new league year, the Steelers will easily be in compliance. In addition, Colbert as said recently that a few contract terminations could be on tap as well and that of course will clear additional cap space.

Way back in 2000, the Steelers signed four unrestricted free agents from outside the organization during the prime signing period and another three the following offseason. In the offseason leading up to the 2004 season, Colbert and company signed four unrestricted free agents from outside the organization. While I would be surprised if we saw that kind of movement this offseason, Colbert certainly makes it sound like at least two or three might be added. If he does, however, he of course won’t break the bank and overpay in the process.

Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen in regards to signing other team’s free agents this offseason, Colbert also said he expects some things won’t change.

“Generally, the philosophy will stay the same. Keep your own if at all possible and get the right draft picks,” he said.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • LayDownTheHammer

    With the way this team is drafting, we better.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I think the Steelers have to be active in free agency as a necessity. They have too many positions in the starting lineup that need to be filled and they can’t fill those positions fast enough just using the draft.

  • Ken

    The Lamar Woodley situation seems to be the biggest cap problem, because he is always injured. It doesn’t appear to help the cap much to cut him either. Best scenario is that he actually gets in the kind of shape to stay healthy and contribute.

  • Jason White

    Yeah I agree. They need to perhaps sign a cornerback, OLB, FS or a DE (Preferably 2 or 3 of those with the possibility of starting one or two if you have to) Signing a corner or a safety removes the urgency to to fill both positions early in the draft.

  • WIINGY

    They have 24 players under contract in 2015. And two of them are Levi Brown and Woodley. They will be way under the cap in 2015.
    First year cap hits are usually pretty low with how the Steelers structure them.

    After Ike, Levi, and Woodley they should be around 10-11 million under. Extend Ben will add more room.

    I think they will figure out a way to lower Troy and Heaths cap hit either through extensions or pay cuts.

    They will have plenty of room to work with to extend Allen and sign a few Free Agents. Maybe Worilds and a CB ( Shields, DRC, etc.)

  • WIINGY

    He’s as good as gone. The Steelers will eat the dead money in 2015 ala Willie Colon this year. Post June 1 cut will save them $8 million.

  • Jason White

    Its really gonna only help as a post June 1st cut. Personally I would rather he take a half decent straight up pay cut and stick around for one more year as depth because as ineffective as he’s been it could be worse. Chris Carter could be the number one backup. Personally I believe Woodley is gonna be a post June 1st cut because its hard to justify paying a backup that kind of money unless they feel Jarvis isn’t ready to start full time. Gonna be an interesting few months.

  • WIINGY

    I like Donald Brown from San Diego for ILB. Linval Joseph for DE.

  • Callentown

    If they don’t want to stay at 8-8, they need to make something happen in FA.

    It can’t all be weighted on the draft – too random and takes too long for the team to get them contributing, especially on defense where we need the most help.

  • WIINGY

    They have drafted some decent players. Losing Keenan hurt them along with Spences injuries. I thought last years draft was solid albeit we will learn a bit more about Jarvis and Wheaton this year.

  • WIINGY

    What some don’t understand as well is, a free agent Cornerback will have a lower first year cap hit than Ike’s final year.

    So all the vets in their final contract years need to be addressed either through cuts or extensions.

  • Callentown

    Tru dat!

  • dkoy85

    Good deal. Personally I hope they go safety and nose tackle in FA. I know McLendons done a good job but I think he’d be a monster at DE.

  • WIINGY

    Yeah but if Wood stays Worilds is gone. I don’t see him taking a pay cut.

  • WIINGY

    I like McCullers out of Tennessee in the draft. AS for free agency I think there are more available DEs. And McClendon played pretty good ball IMO. I think our run D suffered from failing to set the edge and relying on rookie linebackers to fill the lanes. Missed tackles in the secondary as well. Hood/Keisels DE spot is a big void. I like Linval a Joseph from the Giants. He’s 25 and has been a Beast for NY. Massive size, and would fit well in the 3-4.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Decent doesn’t cut it, and the late-round drafting has been horrible. Wait a few years to decide on this draft.

  • WIINGY

    I agree they need to look at free agents. You can’t expect to build a team exclusively through the draft.

  • dkoy85

    Oh yeah, i agree I think McLendon played really well but I still think his better position would be DE but I wouldn’t mind grabbing a DE in FA… we need to fill that void and why sign Hood if they can get an upgrade through FA?

  • Shawn Winbush

    Man,we have gotten sooo spoiled with winning and greatness,we act like the damn sky is falling because we went 8-8 for 2 seasons.Relax,the cupboard isn’t bare at all.Yes there are changes needed on both sides of the ball,and they will be made. If you can’t tell this team is committed to getting great again fast,go root for someone else. Every team is going to have lean years,if our lean years is 8-8,I’ll take that.All of this dogging the FO and the coaching staff is ridiculous.Like we’re the freakin Browns or Jags.Show some patience,Geez!

  • 243546

    I can see it. 2014 doesn’t look great in terms of the cap, but 2015 should be a lot better. That should give the FO some flexibility in terms of structuring a deal that works for the team and the player. They may not be able to give someone the money they are looking for this year, but can give them what they want over the next two or three years.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I would like to see maybe Sam Shields brought in for a look this year

  • Guest

    Time to change the course since its led to mediocrity the past 2 years. How about a free agent db or 2 and plain our young players instead of losing them. I think we’re due for some innovation.

  • Paul Barracliffe

    Time to change the course since its led to mediocrity the past 2 years. How about a free agent db or 2 and playing
    our young players instead of losing them. I think we’re due for some innovation.

  • cp72

    Donald Butler is the San Diego linebacker and Brown is a running back from Indy. I like both of them.

  • WIINGY

    I’m with you on not signing Hood.

  • WIINGY

    The front office has to take a little heat. After all, we’ve been 8-8 two season in a row. Which IMO is unacceptable having a franchise quarterback.

  • JT

    Only Levi is a definite cut. Even then, IF they cut Woodley he’s post June 1st and has zero FA impact. They’ve stated several times already that extending Ben will be a summer project, not a priority.

  • WIINGY

    Yeah, Keenan Lewis’s first year cap hit for NO was $2.25 million. We can’t absolutely sign free agents, and we will.

  • cp72

    What do you consider terrible? Antonio Brown is a pro bowler (6th round) Beckham is the starting LT (7th) Vince Williams started at inside backer (6th) Cortez Allen (4th) McClendon and Ramon Foster street free agents. That’s 6 starters after round four.

  • dkoy85

    I see what you mean but when you have an aging franchise QB every year is important. I’m optomistic about next year and feel really good about 2015.

  • WIINGY

    agreed, along with Verner and munnerlyn.

  • WIINGY

    yep, Donald Butler! doh!

  • JT

    I think you can say Tomlin has, for the most part, improved every year since 2007. I think when you bring in a new coach, that’s about all you can expect when it’s a team chock full of veterans where it’s hard for rookies to contribute, learn, and grow. I think that’s part of why we’ve seen better drafts in recent years: the rookies have had opportunities. That’s a bit of double edged sword, because it means there’s not a lot of talent ahead of them. But if they ever were to can Tomlin, it wouldn’t be for the second coming of the chinned one and the whole learning process would start all over again. Let’s not be the Browns.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Brown is the only legit one. Beachum and Vince are only there because we have no one better, and Cortez Allen is barely good enough right now to merit a #2 CB in the NFL.

  • WIINGY

    The Woodley cut will be used for rookie signings. Still available room for Free Agents. If they keep Ike Taylor then they deserve to lose and be looking for employment along with him next year.

  • WIINGY

    Cortez Allen played injured at the start of the year. When was the last time you saw Ike Taylor turn his head around and play the ball like Allen? or take one to the house like Allen?

    He’s been solid ever since he’s been here.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    If you look at the tape, Ike has much better overall cover skills. That means coverage/shadowing, taking away routes, physicality, and tackling fundamentals. Cortez is still very very raw in all of them. Not saying he can’t get there, but Cortez will be happy if he reaches Ike’s pinnacle (which is sadly declining too) in his career.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I feel like Verner might be to much though, and I don’t know much about Munnerlyn as in age, and his role in the Panthers defense

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Ooh! The little hair on the back of my neck just stood up! By listening to what he has said recently, I get the feeling I’m going to be happy. I think Colbert will find a way, by either getting some pay cuts or out and out cutting people to get what they need — a little breathing room. That’s what I’m talking about! Have no fear. They will not do anything stupid like splurge on the high-priced first waive of free agency, but that fine with me because I do want them to pick their spots.

    I would be happy with a trade down, followed by picking CB, S, WR. I know they might have someone fall in their lap somewhere and we can all handle that. But after the draft, they might only be able to get a couple of FA’s, which is also fine. Remember there are a lot of back-ups that need signing as well.

    Just reading what he’s said makes me hope and again become optimistic for the future. No need to panic. It takes time to build a winner.

  • shawn

    many of us believe that we will have to be more active this year … not painstakingly so … but yes 2/3 good or solid pick ups … no name depth FA’s will not do the trick this year … we had a great draft last year … 2 more years of equal drafts and we will be back on track … my personal choice is below … dont think they will go this way but would love to see it !

    1. TE- Ebron/ Amaro … trade back pick up an xtra 3rd
    2. WR- Jordan Matthews … think he will go in 2nd n hopefully fall to us
    3. FS – Kenny Ladler – Vandy … from trade down pick up
    3. CB- Stanley Jean Baptiste- Neb .. Comp Pick
    4. ILB – Shayne Skov – Stanford
    5. OLB- Michael Sam – Missou … think he will fall after coming out
    5. CB- Aaron Colvin – Okla … great opportunity can sit a year and heal
    6. FS- Tre Boston- NC … one of the most undervalued DBs
    7. RB/KR Dri Archer/DAT – either choice great for change of pace + KR
    7. Project Player – Comp Pick …. pick ur choice

    these are pretty realistic but obviously would need a little luck and opportunity, but could make changes according to what happens real time … but like that it fills our top needs on Offense while still focusing on Def and picking up several DBs !!! am flexible with many of the choices but i think this provides the feel for what i think we should do !

  • Eric MacLaurin

    If the steelers changed course every time they were average for 2 years in a row they wouldn’t be the steelers.

  • shawn

    i think last years draft was good .. and u are WAY off base on Cortez … he is a stud … clear and simple … will be one of the best in AFC in next couple of years

  • shawn

    true that … say it again

  • shawn

    Cortez has already shown that he is better than ike ever was …. and ike pretty much admitted that he will be better … if u know football u see it … Tez does everything better … i do think he has a bit of a confidence issue that needs more playing time … dont like that he plays off the ball so much

  • shawn

    i think one splash player on Def, one solid Def player and a depth guy would be more than adequate for our FA moves this year … i dont think that is asking too much

  • Shawn Winbush

    fellas..please.Ben is just turning 32.he’s years younger than Peyton,5 years younger than Brady.Heck,Brees is gonna be 35.He’s not close to being done.we weren’t a team looking like we were headed for 2-14 in 2014.We finished 6-2.looking promising.and for the last 2 years,we have lost games we should have easily won..,,we will be fine.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    I’d love your strategy of trading down but the Steelers never do it. However, there’s no way a tall CB like SJB will be free at the end of the 3rd rd, Shayne Skov (who is one of my top 2 ILBs along with Borland…and I said that on this website before Mayock said it) in the 4th, and Dri Archer/DAT in the 7th. Sam doesn’t fit our scheme; he is neither a 3-4 DE nor a 3-4 OLB. I see him as a 4-3 DE/OLB, more the former than the latter if he can gain weight.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Reply to your last 2 msgs on this same thread: I’m not sure if you’re a football n00b, but you NEVER evaluate a draft class after their rookie seasons. As I remember, the 2008/2009 draft classes also looked great after 1 year. I’m not saying Cortez isn’t good, I’m saying that he is DEFINITELY not Ike. Go back and watch any game last season. Honestly, just do it now. I am not kidding when I specifically mentioned coverage/shadowing, taking away routes, physicality, and tackling fundamentals. Cortez plays in the #2 role and there are many games when Ike does better than him covering the #1 WR! And the dropoff in most teams between #1 and #2 WR is a lot. There’s simply no way that Cortez is better than Ike at this point, or “ever was” as you say. Simply not true. Just watch the tape. It doesn’t lie.

  • shawn

    I do think SJB will be there in the late 3rd .. might have to do a little trading to get him but wouldn’t be much … u are right steelers dont trade down much, but doesn’t excuse that they shouldn’t try …

    not sure what u are saying about Shayne in the 4th and Dri Archer/DAT in the 7th … Shayne is projected 4th round and i think Dri Archer is 7th Round … DAT will prob go early 6th .. … but u get my point … there is wiggle room for us to maneuver

    Dont know about Sam … what exactly is he not able to do as an OLB in our system … but i’ll defer to that area as I’m no means an expert on LBs nor our 3-4 scheme

  • LayDownTheHammer

    I wouldn’t trust projections if I were you. I would look at the tape yourself and make your own conclusions. If you haven’t seen official game tape of these prospects, then no need to speculate. Just leave it to people who do watch the game tape.

  • shawn

    u are right … tape doesn’t lie … i watched him the last 3 years … not judging by his performance …. judging by his skills … he has that “it” i know it when i see it … he is light years ahead of ike … its just a matter of time before it translates on the field … I’m sure of it ! know dbs, played the position … know what to look for … like the other poster said … he turns his head … which ike never learned to do … thats one of the first things u learn even in pee wee league …

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Please, no more. Spare me the unsubstantiated, illogical, and uncogent. I don’t care about “it” factors and pee wee football. I’m done with this conversation.

  • shawn

    what are u talking about … projections and game tape have nothing to do with each other ???

    Projections is all we have … SJB will not go before mid 3rd … I’m pretty sure of that … otherwise i have no idea what u are trying to say … I’ve seen all the guys above … except Sam … also not much Ladler …

    i was asking about why u think Sam could not play in our system or are u just regurgitating what others think ??

  • shawn

    u are right and u surely know everything … no need to bother with posts and blogs as ur opinions are the only definitive answers that need to be expressed !!!

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Projections mean nothing to me. Only the tape.

    Since you mentioned SJB, historically, CBs tend to shoot up real fast. Just last week only 2 CBs were “projected” to go in the 1st rd but now that number has been “projected” to 4.

    Sam is 6’2 256. He played 4-3 DE in college and thus does not know jack about dropping into coverage etc. so LB will not work especially in a 3-4 especially with his limited athleticism. He’s too short (borderline) and light for an NFL 4-3 DE let alone a 3-4 DE. Of course, he can learn all these but it’s going to take a long long time and the team who picks him will want to use him remotely soon after he’s picked. Same deal with Clowney – he’s a 4-3 DE, not a 3-4 DE.

  • shawn

    tape has nothing to do with people shooting up the boards !!! the only reason people will shoot up the boards from here on out is after this weeks combine and follow up pro days … which hello mcfly .. is not tape … u are obviously a newbie with football or just not that experienced or think u know a lot more than u actually do …

    please dont respond to anymore of my posts and spew that nonsense to others that are gullible enough to believe that crap !

  • steelster

    shawn, I think laydown the hammer makes good posts. He knows football. I’m not saying you don’t but he has some great reasons as to why the steelers shouldn’t draft a big wr in the first round

  • shawn

    Disagree … TE/BIg WR is the easy choice for the 1st round … and not reall impressed with his posts either … makes a lot of bonehead comments

  • steelster

    What do you guys think of cody Hoffman from byu? Watched him on youtube and he has great hands and he is big. Watch his catch against Georgia tech, not bad. He is projected to go in the 4th or 5th round because he only has around 4.6 speed.

  • shawn

    haven’t seen him … right now purely on tape i think Jordan Matthews will be the best of all of them (the bigger guys) reminds me of Jordy Nelson on GB … obviously Sammy looking the best of all WRs … will take a look at him .. i put a mock up above this … really like the idea of Big TE/Wr 1st and subsequent rounds hitting on the Def especially DBs … but would prefer a trade down while getting our guy and want that RB/KR change of pace guy in the 5th or beyond … so basically i want 2 offense the rest Def …. just so happens i prefer the offense to be in the 1st round … dont see a DB i like that has 1st round ability

    will look at BYU guy … what ever happen to them … they had some great Wrs back in the 80s

  • steelster

    I have a question what the hell is a upvote and do I get one for posting this comment

  • Rob

    I’m with hammer on Cortez. I think he has potential, but as of yet you can’t consider him the savior at corner. Honestly, I think our offense could be top 5 if we get Ben another receiver and a quality pass catching TE with height and speed to compleat Heath and I’m tempted to hope they go that way in the draft, but in the end my love for the Steelers is all about defense and I hope they trade up in the first to take a real game changer.

  • steelster

    I think the steelers need to draft a tackle at some point for depth and give the current group some much needed competition. So you like Jordan Matthews over Jarvis landry. I think landry is a clone of anquan boldin.

  • shawn

    watched tape of the guy … good hands, athletic, football smarts … sounds mature … decent speed although more of a possession guy but does find end zone a lot … would be nice if he gained 10-15 lbs … but definitely like him in the 5/6th round … upgrade over Moyer for sure !

  • steelster

    yes, they could be top 5 in offense and fun to watch if they go that route and would be in a lot of shootouts. However, it might make them a bottom 5 defense. I prefer balance and right now the much higher need is on defense.

  • shawn

    haven’t looked at Landry … will look at him … i personally like Benjamin and would be happy to get him if he passed the FO test and fit the Organization and had a good head on his shoulders, etc … i just think he fits what we are missing and consistent 800+ yd seasons with 8-9 TDs in the RZ would be great to get from him as our number 2 …

    I think Jordan Matthews while not the mismatch that benjamin is will put up more catches and yds in the NFL and be more of a traditional #2 ( 70 catches, 1100 yds)

    I just think that we need as much RZ help as we can get and a 2nd top TE and/or Big Wr would go along way in doing that and push our offense up by several pts a game !

  • shawn

    They can get the Top TE and still concentrate on the rest of the draft on Def … i think that would be the best way to go and be to their benefit … and if we are really lucky they could trade down and end up picking up a Decent Big Wr to boot … fingers crossed

    While Cortez still hasn’t lit it up … neither did Keenan before his breakout season and i see a lot more skills/potential in Tez than Keenan … i would be very surprised if he doesn’t turn into one of the better corners in the AFC with consistent 5 Int seasons … i really think its only a matter of time … best DB we have had – potential wise in a long time !

  • steelster

    many scouts say Benjamin has poor hands. We don’t need another Limas sweed as you know. I would rather draft a guy that has great hands like landry at least you know he is going to be a solid pro. Too much risk with Benjamin and the steelers can’t afford to make a mistake.

  • Rob

    I agree. The think is it’ll take a year for these defenders to develop. I’d be willing to go top 3 rounds D or at least top 3 of 4 rounds. We just have to be aggressive and take the right players. I’d like to see a safety, corner, pass rusher–you know how I feel about woirlds, and I really feel we either need a de in the mold of Arron Smith or move McClendon out to end and find a nose tackle to get this defense back to where it was. We might not be able to get them all this year, but we need to get quality players with starting grades not the typical scrubs and long-shot developmental players we’ve been drafting lately.

  • shawn

    If its not a high pick i wouldn’t waste a pick on an OL … outside a project at 7th round or UDFA … dont see the need … would be nice to have an extra 1st rounder but they are so hit and miss … would much rather give beachem a shot at LT for the year … and gilbert and adams battle it out for RT … maybe Munchak can turn them softies into something … or maybe once we get out of cap hell we can pick up a decent LT in FA

  • shawn

    He’s no Limas …. his hands are fine … but between him or the TE ill take the TE … only risk benjamin would be has nothing to do with his play … would be the type of person he is … off field, work ethic, etc …

  • Rob

    Let’s hope you are right about tez…. They will take whoever the highest rated player is when they draft, in just hoping they move up to take Mack

  • steelster

    they would have to move up far to get mack and give up too much. We need high picks. Would like to see them move down like many people have suggested.

  • steelster

    it’s good to have high football standards.

  • Rob

    He’d have to fall to 7 or 9, but I bet we can get him for a decent price and trade down with the rest of picks to recoup what we lost… Either that or take Pyror and then trade back into the first to grab Dennard… If course, it all depends on how these two run at the combine this weekend.

  • shawn

    why trade up and lose picks to get a stud when u can trade down and gain picks to get a stud that fills a starter role …. makes no sense to me !

  • shawn

    that was funny and there was ur up vote …

  • steelster

    thanks shawn

  • Rob

    Mack reminds me of Lloyd… The way we’ve been drafting in later rounds lately, I’d rather the sure thing. I’d be a lot happier with Mack and jones as our future than woirlds

  • steelster

    it’s a shame markus wheaton got hurt last year because this guy can really play. 4.45 speed with good hands. I live in Oregon and watched him play at Oregon state and was really excited when the steelers drafted him. If the steelers draft a receiver early where does this leave him in developmental terms. I really think they want J co back next year, big ben loves him.

  • shawn

    if we got another Lloyd then heck ya i would trade up … but otherwise i would rather go with the sure thing and trade down … but I’m with u with Worilds … he’s not worth half what he will be getting … i did like his play and looks like he has that dip to the outside down pat now ,…but no way am i comfortable with paying him 8mil a year

  • Rob

    He’s only had a half season of productivity. I honestly hope he prices himself out of being a steeler. I’d rather give woodley the chance to change his off season training and hope he stays healthy and plays 16 games. We can develop someone behind him. I just don’t see woirlds ceiling as being as high as woodley or any of the most recent backers. I see him as slightly better than Clark Haggins. He’s just good enough to stick in the starting line-up but bad ebough to hold us back

  • shawn

    i think u are right … i would be surprised if he stuck around and got more than 10 sacks …. good work, but he’s not worth the money would rather develop somebody else …

  • Rob

    Let’s hope if he stays, we are both wrong and he performs. Like you said, we have too many priorities to keep playing around with that position. I just hope they have enough sense to keep woodley for a least year as insurance if they do sign woirlds.. It really bothers me that he’s asking for a commitment to be the starter from the steelers. If he were that good, he wouldn’t need them to coddle him.

  • shawn

    i think wheaton will be fine … i like his skills and think he will be productive .. i think he would best be served in the slot and pick up a Big #2 WR either this year or next … JCo can serve as the #3or 4th in the meantime as he is clutch and good for the youngsters to be around …

  • WIINGY

    Well last year, Ike didn’t show much of any cover skills.

  • WIINGY

    Sorry you’re wrong. Taylor sucked last year. He got beat like rented mule.

    Swaggin

    “Taylor, who will be 34 in May, was terrible. He allowed 71 receptions for 1,043 yards, the most in the NFL”

  • WIINGY

    Munnerlyn basically pulled a Keenan Lewis. Finally shined in the last year of his rookie contract.

  • WIINGY

    I just figured out, you can give yourself an up vote.

  • steelster

    well wingy at least you now have one

  • cp72

    Yeah he’s pretty small for we typically like in a corner.

  • dkoy85

    Tell me how many times Tom Brady or Peyton Manning even missed the playoffs let alone went 8-8 back to back seasons. Why is it they can do it and the Steelers can’t? Sure, Ben is not in their league but he is an elite QB. When your franchise QB misses the playoffs back to back years because of lack of talent around him while Brady and Manning are constantly being surrounded with players who fit the scheme and play well then why is it okay for them to go 8-8 two years in a row? Being “spoiled” is far different than having expectations that an organization as great as the Steelers could figure out a way to get Ben into the playoffs and fail to do so.

    Oh, and serioisly- saying Ben can be in the league as long as Brady and Manning is wishful thinking. Have you watched Ben’s style of play? I hope he lasts another 5 years but assuming that and saying “Eh, Ben has another 5 years so we’ll let the previous 8-8 season slide and go 8-8 again this year” is a horrible way of looking at it. Maybe you should raise your standards.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    We need help on defense. I could see 2 guys brought in from FA there but we still need to sign our core team. Not sure on how much we can spend on FA. It will have to be the bargain barrel again for us.

  • srdan

    You are cherry picking. He wanted to play in NO and was willing to help them out.

  • srdan

    I like the talent, but doesn’t fit the scheme unless were changing.

  • srdan

    I think there is something to be said for continuity. Why argue against what works? Yes, what works goes through lows as well sometimes, but I trust the methods. Innovation is good, but change for the sake of change is not.

  • srdan

    I agree, he has the potential. I dont think that the steelers drafting a WR is a direct hit on Wheatons snaps or development. I would guess that a tall WR is the target, which is a different skill set than Marcus. Of course there will be some impact, but competition often gives positive results.

  • srdan

    Um….I’m more of a cup half full type of guy. Nobody is perfect, bt our drafts are far from bad.

  • srdan

    Youre shooting from the hip. What exactly are you comparing these drafts to to call them bad?

  • srdan

    Saying we should be active is easy. Yes, there are holes. But what this team needs is not on the market. Orakpo will not be in black and gold, and there are no shutdown corners. Dontari Poe or Ngata or not on the market either.

    People often think that players should be great on any team they play on. I consider Bettis and Farrior exceptions. They were guys that the rooneys targeted that were the type of person you want in your community and lockeroom.

    I have made peace with my free agency hopes that are shattered every february and march as a steeler fan. What helped me get over it is our consistent inactivity in the FA market, followed by long runs in teh playoffs. lol

  • LayDownTheHammer

    After the measurables people look to correlate all that by watching tape again. Very few people shoot up the boards based on the Combine alone (Poe, Margus Hunt, etc).

    Very original calling me a newbie and telling me not to respond anymore to your posts, saying that despite my telling you the exact same things in a previous post.

    I know people like you. Don’t know jack squat but are only interested in getting the FINAL WORD on everything. If you can’t understand the logic and reason and evidence and substance I’ve been saying then you have no business arguing like a fool.

    I hope you realize how idiotic your posts have gotten, from calling size/speed “translatable at all levels” to the “it” factor and much more that I don’t care to waste my time on. Everyone will see your posts in the future and see exactly how little reason and logic you use.

    So go ahead, I’m sure you are by now compelled to reply to this post even though I have warned you against ever replying to any of mine. Because you want the final word. So go right ahead, write your pointless drivel that you always write; I promise you I won’t even see what you reply.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Cowher’s. In a previous post I’ve expounded on the 1) lack of impact 1st round players and 2) lack of 4th-7th round legit NFL players that Tomlin has drafted. And I also gone at length as to how it is Tomlin and not Colbert (the constant between the Cowher and Tomlin years) that was the difference. If you go and look at these draft picks you’ll see what I mean.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    I appreciate it man. I’m glad to see someone appreciates real evidence. This shawn guy reminds me of Richard Sherman’s quote “A lion need not concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.” Just ignore him.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Honestly I don’t pay attention to stats but rely on what I see. I do realize Ike was far from perfect but at this point, if you had stuck Cortez in the #1 slot he would have fared MUCH worse than Ike because he is still quite raw and not ready of covering the #1 WRs in the NFL. Not saying he can’t get there, but the only thing he can trump Ike with right now is his athleticism and INT-grabbing (but of course, he overpursues the ball too much and has 1-2 tackles per game he whiffs on completely as a result)

  • shawn

    You should read ur posts … make no sense at all .. warning people … what are u 12 ?? these forums are for people to discuss different ideas and opinions … and i would bet and am fairly confident i know a lot more about football than you … and a better talent evaluator as well ! your track record as you say means jack crap as i dont know you … nor do you know me

    everyone has their opinions and we all are better and worse in different areas with strengths and weaknesses in different areas as well … what i said is true … tape is not going to be shooting people up the draft at this point … every tape of nearly every player has been watched 1000 times over by now … what will change peoples minds and shoot up n down the board from here on out is workouts, interviews and backgrounds … NOT TAPE

    its funny as i think u are the one who needs to get the last word … i could care less, I’m sure of my points and knowledge and always open to other point of views which you appear not to be

    I said Speed & Size translates at all levels … everyone knows that except apparently you lol ! Granted you have to be a football player and by that i mean perform on the field … when i said non-football players …i guess you were apparently to obtuse to recognise that Davis has always been famous for picking obscure players that were more known for their speed than performance on the field … if you got a baller, then the speed n size transfers to the next level and is the constant …

    yes … and if you dont understand the “it” factor in sports then wow … u really just dont get it ! Every coach out there knows it and talks about it when they see it ! I called you out because you obviously lack a solid background and insight into football … you know enough to think ur smarter than you are … but I’m sure you’ve already been told that in ur life … dont know ur age or knowledge level, but gonna guess on the younger side and never played the game at any organisational level and pride urself in performing fantasy football …

    word of wisdom, which I’m sure u won’t take … but open ur mind a little and dont think ur always the smartest person in the room … NO ONE EVER LEARNED ANYTHING FROM LISTENING TO THEMSELVES !

  • shawn

    I know a lot of people on here think we need the most help on the defensive side of the ball, but there was a great post a while back that someone provided that actually showed we are further from avg on Offense than Def … and actually we could afford to improve that side of the ball more …

    I do think we need to improve our D … but go back and look at the scores/games and you can actually see our Def only played a handful of bad games … over the season i would say they actually outperformed our Off …

    I am in the mindset that we could address our offensive needs Big TE/WR + RB/KR change of pace back with the 1st & 6th Rounds … and the rest of the Draft concentrate on Def … especially DBs … and could fill most of both our Offensive and Defensive needs

    It also appears that most of the value for DBs are in the 2-4th round so that 1st Round pick on Offense would not take much away!

  • srdan

    Point one I can see how an argument can be made. But keep in mind that due to our success under Tomlin we are drafting much later. The highlights of Cowhers drafting are 7 and 43. Picks #11 and 16. The only player that has been drafted higher than either is Timmons, and I don’t think you should have a problem with him.

    Keep in mind that 4 out of 7 drafts that tomlin has had it was with picks 23 and lower. Please don’t overlook this.

    I am not so quick to give Cowher credit for drafting well in later rounds. If anything, I would take it away from him. Cowher benefited greatly by having Dick Lebeau who was the pioneer for drafting players for the 3/4. Especially 3/4 OLBs. I firmly believe that Joey and Haggans are first round talents in todays drafts due to most of the league running a 3/4 now, nut just the steelers. The other highlihgts are Aaron Smith and Kiesel (who I am not nearly as high on as most on this forum). But rather than calling Cowher a better drafter than Tomlin, I would give him credit for developing Kiesel and Smith, since it took years before they hit the field.

    When the league started moving to a 3/4 and competition for college DEs to convert was high, Cowher and Colbert drafted Alonzo Jackson.

    Point 2 I wont even address. I’ll just leave you with starters AB, Beach, and Allen.

  • http://batman-news.com Tony P

    I guess, it just goes to show, how “bad” we have drafted the last couple of years. Let’s face it, they have been horrible !!!!!!! Who is responsible for that, GM ??? or the Coach ???

  • shawn

    there is a reason you get more down votes than anybody else ….

  • shawn

    the last draft was excellent .. ya we need a couple more years to see for sure, but it looks pretty good so far … 2 more similar drafts and we will be doing pretty well … especially if we nail it on a couple DBs …. i say pick a bunch throw em agains the wall and see what sticks !

  • shawn

    i think this is the case and the FO knows it and especially considering the latest comments by Colbert

  • srdan

    Shawn, I agree.

    THis team is finally getting over the hump of Cowher’s last two drafts, and Tomlins second draft. Those 3/4 years left a lot of holes on the team. Luckily they were preceded with Big Ben who has helped mask a lot of deficiencies on the team.

  • shawn

    good observation on every player not being the same for every team… sometimes environment, scheme and team culture is everything … but i am hopeful they make a play or 2 in FA … we have a lot of holes … i haven’t looked at all the FA out there but i have a hard time to believe that one or 2 of them doesn’t fit the bill for us ??

  • shawn

    a few bad drafts yes .. but last years was excellent … even better if JJ pans out !

  • srdan

    Why would you rather give Woodley a chance? He is at the age when steelers release linebackers. See Levon Kirckland, Porter, Haggans…..

    Lets assume best case scenario, he changes his workout schedule and by miracle plays 16 next year. He is a 30 year old OLB playing for the steelers. For comparison Joey was 29 when he left.

    That boat has sailed, time to get younger.

  • shawn

    i think we are back on track with drafts lets hope the trend continues this year … i would love to draft 3-4 DBs and see what sticks … worked out well for the 80s niners

    if u really look at draft history, rarely does a team get more than 2-3 decent/good players in one draft … its those drafts where you get 4-5 starter/contributors that a team can really make up ground … i think we did that last year and hopefully do it the next couple of years as well !

  • srdan

    What the heck are you talking about?

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Drafting later is fine but I don’t use that as an excuse for worse draft picks. Historically in drafts there is not very much of a dropoff in terms of talent of capability to produce throughout the first round especially if there’s a need. It doesn’t change the late rounds failures either. I agree about AB but Beach and Cortez I’ll defer on…just by being a starter doesn’t mean the pick has become as good as those players Cowher took in the late rounds. Other starters we have had included Ramon Foster, Rashard Mendenhall, Bryant McFadden, and heck even Daniel Sepulveda, but you’d be hard-pressed to call any of those legit NFL starters. And that’s just on our team; count how many starters on the Raiders or the Jag-offs are legit NFL starters. We’ll see where they are on the roster a few years from now, although I want to believe there is hope for Allen albeit still being raw.

    Well, RE: Cowher drafting v. developing – I think this is a minute issue because if you don’t call MT’s drafting a failure then it’s his developing of players that is a failure, as you alluded. The late rounds are all about finding potential fits into your system. Sometimes I think Tomlin’s late round picks are just randomly picked. It’s a lot easier to develop a player if his body and mental attributes fit your system. And how about MT’s delinquent draft of 2012? That is pure drafting problems and MT has only himself to blame. Never did Cowher do anything like that and thus they fit our “Steelers Way” system. Now MT the “players coach” who can’t discipline anyone, picks a whiny pothead who is harder to coach than anyone else on the team, a lazyass who ended up making one of the dumbest DUI decisions I’ve ever seen, and a girlfriend-threatener whose speed never took off.

    And while I am at it, another fault of MT is that he keeps bozos too long (what in God’s name are Curtis Brown and Chris Carter doing on this team?) but let so many good prospects go early in camp cuts (future legit starters on other teams: Kraig Urbik, AQ Shipley, heck even Ta’amu if you disagreed with the above paragraph).

    The record doesn’t lie my friend, Tomlin is digging this team down the drain. I’ve already predicted that we won’t win any SBs for the rest of the MT reign so you can keep a tab on that for me. What we both will agree on and hope is that MT can use his brain and learn how to draft/develop better players than he has thus far.

  • shawn

    baaaaaaa

  • srdan

    Good reply. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    Your logic is strongly flawed in the first few sentences. I am not sure how you can say that the top 8 players of the first round are not of better quality than the last 8. If nothing else you have more choices because less have been taken. There is a reason teh NFL lets teh worse teams draft first.

    You keep mentioning these late round picks by cowher that are better than what Tomlin has done. Who exactly do you have in mind? Please keep in mind that I don’t give him credit for OLBs because we were “stealing” those players since we were pretty much the only ones running a 3/4. When he got competition…Alonzo Jackson.

    Let’s give Tomlin and his staff credit for developing James Harrison.

    I can’t disagree with you. The Mendy draft set us back. Funny thing I remember the media saying how great the Steelers did. Judging classes after their rookie year is the wrong approach. But it did not set us back as much as Cowhers last two drafts. They were horrendous. Especially if you want to use your term of a “whiny pothead”.
    .
    You conveniently put Ta’amu in two opposite containers, and use both to slight the current administration.

    I have lost count of all the people that swore that a young energetic players coach that happens to be black with limited HC experience was going to doom a storied franchise. They were wrong, and I will continue to put my eggs in the Rooney’s basket. Therefore, I will disagree with you that we will not win another one with tomlin, I expect at least one before Ben retires.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    The quality is better from top to bottom, I agree, but contribution should not be. Using a combination of BPA and need, 1st rounders should be able to contribute the closest to “immediately”.

    OK, here are just some of Cowher’s 4th+ rd gems: Ike, Foote, Keisel, Aaron, Haggans, DeShea, etc. These were all legit contributors to our D, legit NFL players, and key cogs of our SB run(s). And I do agree with you that Cowher’s last 2 drafts set us back, but if MT was a good drafter/developer/whatever you want to call it, then his drafts would have paid dividends now. I’m sorry, but Marcus Gilbert is the laziest player on the team and Mike “Whiny pothead” Adams can’t learn technique even if his life depended on it.

    I’m disappointed you brought race into this; I could give less of a rat’s ass on what race the coach is. I would have liked to put my eggs into the Rooney’s basket but as I did my research and dug deeper, there’s actually very little that they do draftwise/developmentwise – that’s all Colbert (who’s been the constant in the Cowher-MT years), MT, and his coaches.

    I hope you’re right about the SB…I trust my judgments and will stand by my statement but I really hope I’m totally wrong.

  • Rob

    Joey had Harrison pushing behind him for playing time. It was easy to let him walk. I don’t think woirlds is comparable to Harrison on his best day and harrisons worst. Joey also had 2 or 3 highly productive years after he left, which means we could have kept him and been alright. Woodley was very productive when he was on the field last year.

  • srdan

    Worldis play since he was put at LOLB last year was as good OLB play I have seen in black and gold since Harrisons MVP year. He was more impactful than Woodley ever was.

    I was wrong on Joey, I checked the stats and you are right. He had 17.5 sacks two years after he left. That is a lot. But in general I trust when house hold names are let go by the steelers that it was done at the right time. I guess the jury is still out on this one, but I’m betting 93 is our starting LOLB next year.

  • Rob

    I’m going to have to strongly disagree with you on Woirlds performance last year. He had 8 DECENT games and that’s after he was demoted in pre-season. I certainly don’t remember him making many game changing and momentum swinging plays the way Harrison, Timmons, and woodley did/do–at least not when we need them. I don’t trust him and I want nothing to do with him. Check out woodley’s stats when he was on the field last year. The guys a beast.

  • srdan

    Maybe I’m missing something. 5 sacks in 11 games.

    But aren’t you tired of saying “check out woodley’s stats “””WHEN HE WAS ON TEH FIELD”””…

    I am.

  • Rob

    Well, he only played pieces of most of those games. I believe he played 6 full games. 5 sacks looks better in that light. He’s usually good for about one a game. Sigh… And yes, yes I am sick of saying when he’s on the field… Troy supposedly changed his offseason workout program last year and had a good year.. Maybe Lamar could do the same. I’d rather keep both woirlds and woodley and let them fight it out for who plays–keep them hungry. I just don’t like the idea of letting someone good walk for someone unproven

  • Shawn Winbush

    I’m all for having high football standards.I been a Steeler fan for 35+ years..I witnessed the highs and lows.And a few in-betweens like the last 2 years.I’m saying 2 mediocre years doesn’t spell doom.let the FO and coaching staff do their jobs,we will get back to prominence quickly.

  • srdan

    I agree with you, there is uncertainty. I compare woodley to Gronk in a way. A great TE but his body is giving out at an early age. Wood is a great OLB, but his body is giving out. There are a lot of injuries in this sport, but some people recuperate fast. Woodley is not one of them. And as humans, the older we get, the slower we recuperate. (I have scientifically proven this with my hangovers..lol)

    I guess teh way I explain it to myself is that if wood goes to another team and does well, I would be pissed. But I woudl also understand why the steelers let him walk. If Worldis goes to another team and does well, I’ll just be pissed. But if we sign 93 and he doesn’t perform (highly doubful IMO), I would understand why they kept him over woodley.

    But I say all this now, if mid season wood had 10 sacks for antoher team and 93 had 2 for us, i would be pissed…ahahha

  • Rob

    Ugghh it’s frustrating. If they keep woirlds I hope you are right about him. I will say this: if they do let woodley walk, they better sign an impact defender in free agency like Jarius Byrd.

  • shawn

    hammer “doesn’t pay attention to stats” … maybe he should !

  • shawn

    2009-2013 have been solid drafts !

  • shawn

    amazing how fast his prime went … still feels like yesterday he was up n coming !

  • shawn

    last years draft was good … its pretty evident although a couple more years we will know for sure how good, I have been saying all along that we need to be more active this year in FA regardless of our past history of not being active and colbert just confirmed it … actually we used to be more active … seems we have slowed down the last few years .. look at the quality guys we got from the mid 90s to mid 00s … Greene, Bus, Hartings, Farrior, Clark …. aren’t we due ?? i can’t even recall anybody decent we have picked up over the last several yrs … reason to never get in cap trouble ! I think over the next 2 years as we get more cap friendly we will pick up a couple good players … we definitely need it !

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Allen was a second year player who was injured I have always been an Ike fan, Allen is raw as was Ike his first several years…Beachum will only get better, Foster is solid, Williams can get better and did as the season got better,

  • shawn

    Allen is fine … his missed tackles last year was mostly due to him playing off the ball too much giving extra cushion because of his early injury and compensating … Allen shut down Gronk a couple years ago so there is nothing wrong with his cover skills .. all he needs is more playing time … HAMMER is clueless if he thinks Cortez would have faired worse than Ike last year covering #1 !

  • shawn

    I guess Hammer conveniently forgets Tez’s performance against the Pats and Gronk a couple years ago …. one of the biggest reasons we beat them that year !

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Agree on Cortez and Ike being raw. Not a big Foster fan, I think he’s serviceable at best. Beachum and Williams – rookies I don’t like to judge until a few seasons down the road – but this offseason is key for them to change the trajectory of their futures.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    If anybody ask me, I say the best way to get a FA who can contribute right away; a Nose Tackle. Forget a NT in draft, I have my eye on Paul Soliai who would easily start and commands attention from opponents.

    Also if we can’t afford Ike Taylor (he’s got to accept a pay-cut at reasonable rate) i’d like for us to be aggressive with going after Chris Harris, a RFA from Denver Broncos who should be a 2nd tender player. He’s a pretty good cornerback with good upside left still.

    Directions i’d like to see is a NT, S, and CB in Free Agency, the rest within draft. Resigning Jason Worilds will be the recap of our off-season if we keep him. He is a hot commodity now.

  • sean mcmartin

    just have to keep in mind,Ben is not getting younger. If they have to buy on credit today ,go for it..after Ben there is no guarantee they will get a franchise QB right away..one pro bowler is not a dominating team..

  • WIINGY

    No, actually I’m not. A lot of teams back load contracts. The first year, in a lot of contracts is the smallest cap hit.

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