Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another Day At The Office

Today should be a huge day for players who played high school football in the Western Pennsylvania region to get drafted.  One was selected by the Steelers in Ohio State OT Mike Adams. Adams grew up in Farrell, PA but played his high school football in Dublin, OH.  The Steelers obviously went with 2 offensive linemen to attempt to shore up an area of need.  Stanford's David DeCastro has the ability to come in and have an impact right away at a OG slot.  As does Ohio State's Mike Adams who can become the third tackle behind Willie Colon and Marcus Gilbert.  It can happen that these players can make an impact immediately but also they can create a higher level of competition at these positions.  The third round selection, ILB Sean Spence is a solid inside linebacker who can make plays from sideline to sideline and penetrate the gaps.  Today(Day 3 of the Draft)can be very interesting.  The Steelers have 7 choices remaining.  You can find some gems in these 4th through 7th rounds.  The Steelers have 4 seventh round selections and may use a few to trade up in a round.  But one of the Steelers best 7th round selections of all time is DE Brett Kiesel.  We will find out when training camp rolls around.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One pick at a Time

Interesting time of the year for the draftniks out there.  Who are the Steelers going to draft or who should the Steelers draft in the First Round.  The Steelers front office has done very well in their # 1 selections during the last decade.  Picking #24 leaves the door open for a pick that could surprise many Steelers fans. But it looks good that Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower may be available at selection #24 Thursday night. And by the way, the Steeler faithful will be watching this draft closely like they have done in the past.  Rumor has it that the Baltimore Ravens may attempt to trade up and move ahead and choose Hightower before the Steelers make their selection.  It is just a rumor but it could happen.  Anyhow, what do the Steelers need?  Defensive Backs=Yes, Linebacker=Yes, Defensive linemen=Yes, Offensive Linemen=Yes, TE=No(with acquisition of Leonard Pope), Wide Outs=Maybe(depends on status of Mike Wallace), Running Backs=Maybe(depends on Mendenhall's injury status), QB=No(not yet).  There are a lot of players I like in this draft that the Steelers can get in mid to late rounds but one they should consider maybe in the first round is Wichita Falls, TX Midwestern State U. OG/OT Amini Silatolu.  Only a Division 2 player, this guy physically reminds me of former Steeler Carlton Hasselrig.
Remember in the 2011 drfat, only 4 Division players were selected. Let's take it one pick at a time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Interesting Stuff

Are the Washington Redskins in a panic mode or is this trade yesterday for the better of the franchise. Granted Robert Griffin is a very talented and intelligent player and can be explosive running the football combined with talent throwing the football. BUT, the Redskins gave up a lot. A First and Second rounder this year going to the St. Louis Rams to move up to the second position in the draft, plus a First rounder in the 2013 and 2014 NFL draft. Can I remind the football fans out there what Coach Mike Ditka did a decade ago, trading the entire Saints draft to get the opportunity to draft U. of Texas RB Ricky Williams. What did Ricky Williams do for the Saints? Basically very little and I really do not think Ricky Williams had the sense of urgency to play football. The Washington Redskins have averaged 6.6 wins a season in the last 20 years. Redskin owner Daniel Snyder has been hiring and firing coaches on a regular basis. On the flip side, a talented quarterback is a major part of the puzzle to develop a franchise. Baylor's Robert Griffin is talented, but I think the Redskins gave up too much. Just my opinion, If I was the Redskin brass, I would have traded my 2012 #1 selection to the Green Bay Packers for talented back-up QB Matt Flynn, who is ready to play immediately. Very interesting stuff. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

P.M. time

Lots of talk flying around nationwide media circles, the NFL Network, and especially the Indianapolis sports media about what is up with Peyton Manning. Manning will go down as one of the top QB's of all time. It is very difficult to say who the best quarterback is and will be in NFL history, but certainly Peyton Manning name is mentioned around these circles. Manning wants to continue his career and probably not with the Indy Colts. It looks like the Colts are going to draft Andrew Luck with the first choice in late April's draft. But could they make a analytical change and draft Baylor's QB Robert Griffin. I doubt it but stay tuned. Getting back to Peyton Manning, I think the guy should retire. He has had 4 neck surgeries in the past 2 years with 3 operations on his neck in 2011. Manning is cleared to play football but this is not elbow surgery in his non-throwing arm. Peyton Manning loves the game of football but in my opinion, he should continue in the game in another capacity. He is very close to 36 years old. He is well spoken, has excellent football IQ, and has the potential to be another Jim Harbaugh(not as a player)but as a coach. Manning is going to the Hall of Fame and he has nothing left to prove. It is not worth it to potentially injure his neck again with some violent hit. His football future is on the sideline in a coaching capacity or up in the booth expounding on the game.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coming to an End

I took a short break for a while and a lot has happened. What a stellar career Wide Out Hines Ward has had. He has more receptions that both Lynn Swann and John Stallworth combined and all of us know that Swann and Stallworth are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hines Ward gave the Pittsburgh Steelers 14 real good years. The question I have is? Does Hines Ward still have gas left in his tank? Is another NFL team going to claim him and give Ward ample opportunity to compete for a starting position. Lynn Swann had 5462 yards receiving and Stallworth had amassed a total of 8723 yards. Hines Ward has over 12000 yards receiving and 85 touchdowns. Ward still can play plus he has the ability to block but he has lost some of the quickness he possessed. He has stated over and over again that he wants to continue playing but in my humble opinion, I think Hines Ward should retire. He has what it takes to become a commentator for the NFL Network. He also has the potential to become a football coach. Imagine if he was an assistant at his alma mater U of Georgia and came into a recruits house for a home visit. I think he could coach receivers in time at the NFL level. Hines Ward has great knowledge of the game and he needs to implement this knowledge to the game of football in some capacity. Good luck Hines Ward and thanks for a great career in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stability is needed

The coaching carousel continues at the U. of Pittsburgh. This is hard to fathom, but Pitt may be setting a NCAA Division 1A record for the number of Head Football Coaches it has had in the past 13 months. Let's start with Coach Dave Wannstedt who finished off his stay at Pitt in early December, 2010, then came Coach Mike Haywood who lasted less than 3 weeks. Then Pitt had an interim coach, Coach Phil Bennett(who is now an assistant at Baylor), to coach the Bowl Game last January. Next Pitt hired Coach Todd Graham from Tulsa, who bolted Pitt within 11 months of signing his contract. Now Pitt is going to have Coach Keith Patterson, an assistant to Coach Todd Graham, direct the bowl game in Birmingham, AL on January 7, 2012. And coming up shortly, Pitt will hire another coach to take Pitt into the future. That is 6 Head Coaches in 13 months(of which 2 were interim). With all this going on, the U. of Pittsburgh left the Big East and joined the ACC. I know some of the coaches that the Pitt administration is interviewing, but I have no idea who the Pitt Panthers should hire. I know one thing, the U. of Pittsburgh football program needs stability. The coach that they do hire needs to remain here for some period of time. Is playing at Heinz Field a problem for the program. Many experts say NO and some say Pitt needs its own on campus stadium. The administration really needs to hire the correct coach for this Head Football Coaching Position. They cannot be hasty with this hiring. The Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC)football is no walk in the park so the Pitt Panther Football Program needs to be stabilized.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Look at drafting a Quarterback

Injuries are piling up this season at a rapid rate. When the NFL has a physical 16 game schedule and a 4 game pre-season schedule, numerous injuries are going to occur. Big Ben Roethlisberger is very fortunate that he did not suffer a torn ACL or a broken ankle after a Cleveland Brown defensive player rolled up into his leg area. What a tough guy and a team player Big Ben is, coming back into the game last Thursday after this injury and basically playing on one leg. This is Roethlisberger's 8th NFL season and he will be 30 years old this Spring. There is a lot of gas left in his tank but I think the Steelers should draft a quarterback in the April 2012 NFL draft to be brought along at a nice pace to replace Big Ben down the road(similar to what Green Bay did with Brett Favre and Aaron Rogers). Big Ben would be an excellent teacher for this young QB if he is drafted next April or the April after, but the Steelers need to develop a young QB. Roethlisberger's back up QB's now are Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon. Batch is near retirement and has the potential to be a real good quarterback coach for someone. Former #1 draft pick Byron Leftwich and also Dennis Dixon have the ability to play but have injury histories. Do you spend a #1 draft pick on a quarterback? That is a good question? The Steelers may need to address their offensive line issues at the number 1 slot in April because they have had multiple injuries to their O-Line. Then the next question, can you find a QB later on the draft? I like a quarterback out of Texas A&M named Ryan Tannehill. Does Ryan Tannehill have the ability to be a #1 selection next April. Maybe or maybe not. Tannehill may slip into the mid-rounds especially if Andrew Luck and USC QB Matt Barkley become early entries. The Pittsburgh Steelers draft in the past years under Kevin Colbert have been productive especially in the first and mostly in the second rounds. But in my opinion, the Steelers need to start looking at a young quarterback.