The Pittsburg Steelers have been firting with danger when it comes to cap relief. The near perfect season came at a price. Even high priced reciever Plaxico Burress has been let go and the Steelers were able to renegotiated the contracts of several players during the actual 2004 season, the Steelers are still only 100,000 dollars under the cap.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
The Steelers will go into the 2005 season as a Super Bowl favorite because most of their key players return, especially eight of the nine who participated in the Pro Bowl. One of those who probably won't is RB Jerome Bettis, a late addition to the Pro Bowl. Bettis will not take a sizeable pay cut like he did before last season, especially after he led the team in rushing and posted seven 100-yard games. But the Steelers are committed to Duce Staley and feel they have a capable backup in Verron Haynes. The only loss that might hurt is WR Plaxico Burress, who is an unrestricted free agent, but the Steelers might put the franchise tag on him to keep him for one more season. G Keydrick Vincent, who has started 27 games the past two seasons, will probably leave as an unrestricted free agent, but he will be replaced by former No. 1 pick Kendall Simmons, who was the starter. . . .
If the Steelers decide not to re-sign ILB Kendrell Bell, who is an unrestricted free agent, they have several options on their roster to replace him. Larry Foote, who started all 18 games in 2004, will be the starter, but the team could move OLB James Harrison to the inside. Harrison is a lot like Bell -- an explosive player who is 245 pounds and loves contact. Harrison proved to be a disruptive player when he started four games at outside linebacker last season because of injuries. Harrison is not real tall (5-11), but he uses his strength and lower body to get good leverage on blockers. . . .
The team needs to make a decision on OLB Alonzo Jackson, their No. 2 pick in 2003. Jackson was drafted as a situational player, a third-down pass rusher, but he has not shown a consistent ability to do that and is usually deactivated for games. The Steelers should have the 260-pound Jackson do one of two things: Put on more weight and become a defensive end or lose weight to gain more quickness and learn how to play the run and drop in coverage.
Posted by SloMo at 5:52 PM
Monday, February 07, 2005
Questions, questions, and more questions arise about Bettis coming back for the 2005 season. A lot of people seem to be wondering what’s going to happen to Bettis. Will he be a factor next year? What will his role be on the team? Here are some statements from Bettis himself to help all you people wondering anyone of those things.
“It’s physical; it’s the physical nature of the game, if I can do it. People saw me at the end of the season and said he looks great. What people don’t understand is physically it takes a toll on you.”
“If I do come back next year and in week or two Duce goes down, can I muster it up for another 14 weeks? That’s the question I have to ask myself. The role has changed, but the expectation hasn’t. If I’m asked to step in there, can I continue what I was able to do this year? That’s what I have to ask myself.”
Posted by SloMo at 6:05 PM