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  1. #1
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    Default Steeler Article

    Are Steelers being fair with Hampton?

    As you may know by now, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Casey Hampton will become a free agent on March 5.

    The team's front office has two options available to keep Hampton from hitting the open market.

    The first one is that they could negotiate a long-term contract of approximately four years and hope to get a deal done before next month.

    The other option is that the Steelers could elect to make Hampton their exclusive franchise player which would guarantee his rights with the Steelers for one more year. By making Hampton the franchise player, the Steelers would have to pay him the average of the top five salaries ($6 million) at his position for next season.

    The latter option would indeed make the most sense because Hampton is 33 years old and probably has only one or two quality years left in him. Furthermore, the Steelers donít have a young player at that position being groomed to take over for Hampton.

    If the Steelers believe they still have the makings of a championship caliber team, retaining Hamptonís services for another year seems paramount.

    The problem, however, is that Casey Hampton doesnít want the franchise tag. He wants a long term deal or nothing at all. Hampton has gone out of his way to say so. He said that a one-year contract worth $6 million would be considered a slap in his face for all that he has done for the organization. Hampton added that there would be problems if he is franchised and denied the opportunity to seek out the highest bidder in free agency.

    Well isnít that just too bad, Casey. Should we have a pity party for you now?

    Let's see. The United States' unemployment rate is near an all-time high. Thousands of Americans have lost their homes over the past five years. Haiti just lost a couple hundred thousand people to an deadly earthquake and the survivors are left without much of anything. But Casey Hampton would consider it a slap in the face to get only $6 million to play for one season. Thatís pretty bold stuff coming from a guy who canít even play all three downs.

    Maybe Hampton should have worried about his contract status when he kept coming into camp 40 and 50 pounds overweight. Perhaps if former Head Coach Bill Cowher and current Head Coach Mike Tomlin didnít have to babysit him for the last five years, Hampton would have had a new contract by now.

    Not only that, but Hampton is going down a long and ugly road by virtually ordering the Steelers to keep the franchise tag off him. Does he really think Pittsburgh will be sympathetic to an often out of shape, part-time player that kicks and screams like a baby because he is ďonlyĒ getting paid $6 million.

    To play football?

    For one season?

    Good luck with that.
    ************************************************** *****
    Do general managers in football have a shelf life?

    I can remember the great coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh, saying that coaches have about 10 years until they need to move on.

    I wonder if it's the same with general managers.

    Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' Director of Football Operations, has basically been the team's general manager for the past decade. His work leading up to the Steelers 2005 Super Bowl win was excellent.

    Over the past three years, however, Colbert seems to have lost his touch, as he has made some puzzling decisions.

    1) Despite having a myriad of other needs, Colbert drafted linebacker Lawrence Timmons when they didnít need a replacement for Larry Foote. Three years later, it is still questionable to whether Timmons is an every down player at that position.

    2) He has destroyed any room the Steelers had under the salary cap by making offensive lineman Max Starks the franchise player for two consecutive years, which paid him $8 million or so per season. It wasnít as if Starks was a highly sought-after player that would have received a contract offer in free agency that the Steelers could not have competed with. After all, they were apparently willing to give him $8 million for a season. This was a situation ultimately brought on by the loss of All-Pro left guard Alan Faneca. Wouldnít it have made more sense to have franchised Faneca and worked out a long-term deal with Starks?

    We all know that Faneca did not want the franchise tag, but the situation might have just forced him to work out a long-term deal with the Steelers that both parties could have lived with. There was no need to franchise Starks. This was just a knee-jerk move by Colbert who was panicked that he might lose another veteran offensive lineman in successive years.

    3) The drafting of backup tight ends and punters in the third and fourth rounds of the 2007 draft made no sense considering that the offensive line needed rebuilding and the defensive line was beginning to age.

    4) The decision to roll with William Gay at cornerback and let Bryant McFadden walk didnít turn out that well.

    It would be difficult to ignore the situation the Steelers are faced with. They are in a position where they have to consider resigning Hampton, cornerback Deshea Townsend, and safety Ryan Clark to keep this team ultra-competitive.

    Let's face the facts here. It is not the Steelers' way is to sign 30-plus year old veterans to long term deals. They have always had young guys behind their key veterans that were being groomed to take over.

    But, last year, the Steelers did not have a replacement for James Farrior and were forced to sign the aging linebacker to a longer contract.

    They do not have young replacements for Hampton, Townsend, Clark, or even Bryan McFadden (as it appears that William Gay, who was exposed in theMonday night game against Denver, is highly questionable to become anything more than a weakness in the secondary). Those are a lot key defensive positions that have no clear direction in the future.

    In addition, the much-maligned offensive line is still much-maligned.

    With Colbert's inability to get much from the draft after the second round the last four years, you have to wonder where all these players are going to come from. Itís not a time to panic, but I canít say that Iím not concerned.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    What happened to CB/FS Roy Lewis from Washington? I read where tomlin was praising the kids abilities in 2008 and then he was cut in 2009.

    From the draft look over the past 6 or 8 years how many times Colbert has tried to address DL, OL, LB and failed. Rian Wallace, Adibi, Bruce Davis, Tony Hills, Drew Caylor, Phillips from Cal, Orion Harris, Sean Nua, Ryan McBean, ....and a large portion of those aren't 6th or 7th round flyers.....

    QB
    1 11 Ben Roethlisberger QB Miami (Ohio)
    5 156 Dennis Dixon QB Oregon
    5 163 Brian St. Pierre QB Boston College
    5 164 Omar Jacobs QB Bowling Green State

    RB
    1 23 Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois
    5 169 Frank Summers FB UNLV
    7 240 Cedric Humes RB Virginia Tech
    7 242 J.T. Wall -- Georgia
    7 244 Noah Herron RB Northwestern

    WR
    2 53 Limas Sweed WR Texas
    7 227 Dallas Baker WR Florida
    1 25 Santonio Holmes WR Ohio State
    3 95 Willie Reid WR Florida State
    4 131 Fred Gibson WR Georgia
    3 84 Mike Wallace WR Mississippi

    TE
    3 77 Matt Spaeth TE Minnesota
    5 167 Charles Davis TE Purdue
    1 30 Heath Miller TE Virginia
    6 194 Matt Kranchick TE Penn State
    7 241 David Johnson TE Arkansas State

    OL
    4 130 Tony Hills T Texas
    5 156 Cameron Stephenson G Rutgers
    4 131 Willie Colon T Hofstra
    6 201 Marvin Philip C California
    3 93 Trai Essex T Northwestern
    6 204 Chris Kemoeatu G Utah
    6 197 Drew Caylor C Stanford
    6 177 Bo Lacy T Arkansas
    3 75 Max Starks T Florida
    3 79 Kraig Urbik G Wisconsin
    7 226 A.Q. Shipley C Penn State

    DL
    1 32 Evander Hood DT Missouri
    4 132 Ryan McBean DE Oklahoma State
    4 133 Orien Harris DT Miami (Fla.)
    7 228 Shaun Nua DE Brigham Young
    7 212 Eric Taylor DT Memphis
    6 205 Ra’Shon Harris DE Oregon

    LB
    2 59 Alonzo Jackson LB Florida State
    3 88 Bruce Davis LB UCLA
    6 188 Mike Humpal OLB Iowa
    1 15 Lawrence Timmons LB Florida State
    2 46 LaMarr Woodley LB Michigan
    5 166 Rian Wallace LB Temple
    5 145 Nathaniel Adibi DE Virginia Tech

    CB
    5 170 William Gay CB Louisville
    2 62 Bryant McFadden DB Florida State
    2 38 Ricardo Colclough CB Tusculum
    4 125 Ike Taylor CB Louisiana-Lafayette
    3 96 Keenen Lewis CB Oregon State
    5 168 Joe Burnett CB Central Florida

    S
    1 16 Troy Polamalu DB USC
    6 194 Ryan Mundy FS West Virginia
    3 83 Anthony Smith DB Syracuse

    Other
    4 112 Daniel Sepulveda P Baylor

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Link? I'm curious as to who wrote that article.

    TIA.

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    MP.... but none of those DL/OL guys are 1st/2nd rounders either except Hood and Hood looks good. I mean there's not been a DL guy besides Hood drafted in the first 3 rounds. The only OL guys drafted in the first 3 rounds are Starks and Essex (both 3rd rounders) and neither are great.

    You get into the 4th-7th rounds picking guys in the trenches and you are truly relying on a lot of luck and either Colbert and his guys have no luck, can't recognize line talent or a combo of the 2. Probably a combo of the 2. It's to the point where we need to address the lines in the first 2 rounds cause Colbert and co. aren't getting it down in later rounds

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    MP.... but none of those DL/OL guys are 1st/2nd rounders either except Hood and Hood looks good. I mean there's not been a DL guy besides Hood drafted in the first 3 rounds. The only OL guys drafted in the first 3 rounds are Starks and Essex (both 3rd rounders) and neither are great.

    You get into the 4th-7th rounds picking guys in the trenches and you are truly relying on a lot of luck and either Colbert and his guys have no luck, can't recognize line talent or a combo of the 2. Probably a combo of the 2. It's to the point where we need to address the lines in the first 2 rounds cause Colbert and co. aren't getting it down in later rounds
    Seems like common knowledge that games are won and lost in the trenches for the most part yet, as you pointed out, we haven't made that a point of emphasis. Even the worst GM in the league should be able to hit on first round picks. Not like it is astounding a GM has a good first round track record.

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    I would imagine it's harder than we think pulling the trigger on who to draft.

    When given the plethora of information that these guys have on each player, one can probably get lost in the numbers and have his perception skewed.
    Sweet *** sig thanks to Kipper.Hidden Content

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel City View Post
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    I would imagine it's harder than we think pulling the trigger on who to draft.

    When given the plethora of information that these guys have on each player, one can probably get lost in the numbers and have his perception skewed.
    Nobody is ever going to be perfect at it. But still, some GM's are much better at it than others......

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    Seems like common knowledge that games are won and lost in the trenches for the most part yet, as you pointed out, we haven't made that a point of emphasis. Even the worst GM in the league should be able to hit on first round picks. Not like it is astounding a GM has a good first round track record.
    Tell that to Detroit or the Raiders.

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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Tell that to Detroit or the Raiders.
    Touche'


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by DrKnow View Post
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    Are Steelers being fair with Hampton?

    As you may know by now, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Casey Hampton will become a free agent on March 5.

    The team's front office has two options available to keep Hampton from hitting the open market.

    The first one is that they could negotiate a long-term contract of approximately four years and hope to get a deal done before next month.

    The other option is that the Steelers could elect to make Hampton their exclusive franchise player which would guarantee his rights with the Steelers for one more year. By making Hampton the franchise player, the Steelers would have to pay him the average of the top five salaries ($6 million) at his position for next season.

    The latter option would indeed make the most sense because Hampton is 33 years old and probably has only one or two quality years left in him. Furthermore, the Steelers donít have a young player at that position being groomed to take over for Hampton.

    If the Steelers believe they still have the makings of a championship caliber team, retaining Hamptonís services for another year seems paramount.

    The problem, however, is that Casey Hampton doesnít want the franchise tag. He wants a long term deal or nothing at all. Hampton has gone out of his way to say so. He said that a one-year contract worth $6 million would be considered a slap in his face for all that he has done for the organization. Hampton added that there would be problems if he is franchised and denied the opportunity to seek out the highest bidder in free agency.

    Well isnít that just too bad, Casey. Should we have a pity party for you now?

    Let's see. The United States' unemployment rate is near an all-time high. Thousands of Americans have lost their homes over the past five years. Haiti just lost a couple hundred thousand people to an deadly earthquake and the survivors are left without much of anything. But Casey Hampton would consider it a slap in the face to get only $6 million to play for one season. Thatís pretty bold stuff coming from a guy who canít even play all three downs.

    Maybe Hampton should have worried about his contract status when he kept coming into camp 40 and 50 pounds overweight. Perhaps if former Head Coach Bill Cowher and current Head Coach Mike Tomlin didnít have to babysit him for the last five years, Hampton would have had a new contract by now.

    Not only that, but Hampton is going down a long and ugly road by virtually ordering the Steelers to keep the franchise tag off him. Does he really think Pittsburgh will be sympathetic to an often out of shape, part-time player that kicks and screams like a baby because he is ďonlyĒ getting paid $6 million.

    To play football?

    For one season?

    Good luck with that.
    ************************************************** *****
    Do general managers in football have a shelf life?

    I can remember the great coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh, saying that coaches have about 10 years until they need to move on.

    I wonder if it's the same with general managers.

    Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' Director of Football Operations, has basically been the team's general manager for the past decade. His work leading up to the Steelers 2005 Super Bowl win was excellent.

    Over the past three years, however, Colbert seems to have lost his touch, as he has made some puzzling decisions.

    1) Despite having a myriad of other needs, Colbert drafted linebacker Lawrence Timmons when they didnít need a replacement for Larry Foote. Three years later, it is still questionable to whether Timmons is an every down player at that position.

    2) He has destroyed any room the Steelers had under the salary cap by making offensive lineman Max Starks the franchise player for two consecutive years, which paid him $8 million or so per season. It wasnít as if Starks was a highly sought-after player that would have received a contract offer in free agency that the Steelers could not have competed with. After all, they were apparently willing to give him $8 million for a season. This was a situation ultimately brought on by the loss of All-Pro left guard Alan Faneca. Wouldnít it have made more sense to have franchised Faneca and worked out a long-term deal with Starks?

    We all know that Faneca did not want the franchise tag, but the situation might have just forced him to work out a long-term deal with the Steelers that both parties could have lived with. There was no need to franchise Starks. This was just a knee-jerk move by Colbert who was panicked that he might lose another veteran offensive lineman in successive years.

    3) The drafting of backup tight ends and punters in the third and fourth rounds of the 2007 draft made no sense considering that the offensive line needed rebuilding and the defensive line was beginning to age.

    4) The decision to roll with William Gay at cornerback and let Bryant McFadden walk didnít turn out that well.

    It would be difficult to ignore the situation the Steelers are faced with. They are in a position where they have to consider resigning Hampton, cornerback Deshea Townsend, and safety Ryan Clark to keep this team ultra-competitive.

    Let's face the facts here. It is not the Steelers' way is to sign 30-plus year old veterans to long term deals. They have always had young guys behind their key veterans that were being groomed to take over.

    But, last year, the Steelers did not have a replacement for James Farrior and were forced to sign the aging linebacker to a longer contract.

    They do not have young replacements for Hampton, Townsend, Clark, or even Bryan McFadden (as it appears that William Gay, who was exposed in theMonday night game against Denver, is highly questionable to become anything more than a weakness in the secondary). Those are a lot key defensive positions that have no clear direction in the future.

    In addition, the much-maligned offensive line is still much-maligned.

    With Colbert's inability to get much from the draft after the second round the last four years, you have to wonder where all these players are going to come from. Itís not a time to panic, but I canít say that Iím not concerned.
    He makes some good points. My only question is whether the problem is talent or development?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Well isnít that just too bad, Casey. Should we have a pity party for you now?

    Let's see. The United States' unemployment rate is near an all-time high. Thousands of Americans have lost their homes over the past five years. Haiti just lost a couple hundred thousand people to an deadly earthquake and the survivors are left without much of anything. But Casey Hampton would consider it a slap in the face to get only $6 million to play for one season. Thatís pretty bold stuff coming from a guy who canít even play all three downs.

    Maybe Hampton should have worried about his contract status when he kept coming into camp 40 and 50 pounds overweight. Perhaps if former Head Coach Bill Cowher and current Head Coach Mike Tomlin didnít have to babysit him for the last five years, Hampton would have had a new contract by now.

    Not only that, but Hampton is going down a long and ugly road by virtually ordering the Steelers to keep the franchise tag off him. Does he really think Pittsburgh will be sympathetic to an often out of shape, part-time player that kicks and screams like a baby because he is ďonlyĒ getting paid $6 million.

    To play football?

    For one season?

    Good luck with that. [/HIGH-LIGHT]


    Amen to that!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel City View Post
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    I would imagine it's harder than we think pulling the trigger on who to draft.

    When given the plethora of information that these guys have on each player, one can probably get lost in the numbers and have his perception skewed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    Nobody is ever going to be perfect at it. But still, some GM's are much better at it than others......
    Having a need and finding the right player to fit your system...keys to success...like baseball I imagine if you can hit .300 in the draft...you are doing good.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Great read and well written. I agree on some points but would also like to point out that just drafting trench players on day one is not the answer. It is about getting the best available player when you pick.

    Personally I would rather grab a great WR with our pick then reach for the 4-5th best OL / DL left on the boards when we pick. The Steelers almost always are drafting in the back half (18-32) and by then the top trench players are usually gone.

    Would you rather see them reach for an lower rated trench player with their first pick and hope he does well or grab a no brainer at another position?

    You have to balance things out I agree. You can't just ignor needs and only grab BPA all 7 rounds, but the guys in the top 3 rounds have to be ones who help you out and become starters sooner then later. You can't waste those picks on reaches just to fill a need.

    When you reach for a player he has to be one that if it don't work out, your not stuck paying for his steriods and hookers for the next 5 years and letting him hold your cap issue's hostage.

    I am all for getting a great DL or OL prospect this year and every year, but if they are all off the board by time your team picks you can't blame the GM / Coachs for grabbing a no brainer and not reaching just to fill a need.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    [quoteHampton has gone out of his way to say so. He said that a one-year contract worth $6 million would be considered a slap in his face for all that he has done for the organization.][/quote]

    What I find humorous about this is that the ONLY one's in Pittsburgh who he has done anything for is McDonalds and Dunkin Donut! Did you see his fat *** at the pro bowl last week? His shadow did more work than he did! This is only a couple of weeks removed from the season...just how friggin fat is he going to show up in camp???
    No one ever says "It's only a game," when their team is winning!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Steeler Article

    Let me put things into a little perspective. And this is to Casey and all the poor underpaid players. (The following is an excerpt from a much longer article speaking about the TV broadcasts themselves.)

    According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

    In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

    Footballóat least the American versionóis the rare sport where it's common for the clock to run for long periods of time while nothing is happening. After a routine play is whistled dead, the clock will continue to run, even as the players are peeling themselves off the turf and limping back to their huddles. The team on offense has a maximum of 40 seconds after one play ends to snap the ball again. A regulation NFL game consists of four quarters of 15 minutes each, but because the typical play only lasts about four seconds, the ratio of inaction to action is approximately 10 to 1. (At the end of a game, if one team has a lead and wants to prevent the other team from scoring again, standing around and letting the clock run down becomes a bona fide strategy).

    The most surprising finding of The Journal's studyóthat the average game has just 10 minutes and 43 seconds of actual playing timeóhas been corroborated by other researchers. In November 1912, Indiana University's C.P. Hutchins, the school's director of physical training, observed a game, stopwatch in hand, between two independent teams. He counted 13 minutes, 16 seconds of play. During last week's Wild Card games, Mr. Crippen, the football researcher, dissected the broadcasts and found about 13minutes, 30 seconds of action.
    Now assuming that the defense is on the field for 50% of the plays and Casey plays every down, (which he doesn't), that's 7 ****ing million dollars for 5 1/2 minutes of work. Get a life!!!!

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