Monday, April 25, 2005

Drafting the Needs

Tight end was the only spot where immediate help was needed, and the team addressed it by taking Heath Miller, the top player at that position. He is a skilled receiver who will gives QB Ben Roethlisberger another option in the middle of the field. Another receiving target was added in WR Fred Gibson. He needs to get stronger, but he has size, athleticism and the ability to create separation. . . .

CB Bryant McFadden is tough and aggressive and plays the run as well as the pass. He doesn't have to start this year and likely will be used in nickel and dime formations. Trai Essex is a natural left tackle, but the coaches think he can play every line position but center. G Chris Kemoeatu is a mauler who is a good fit for the Steelers' power running game. Essex and Kemoeatu will add depth to a unit that lost G Keydrick Vincent and RT Oliver Ross as free agents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Though the team signed free-agent WR Cedrick Wilson, it wants to be able to go four deep at the position. Don't be surprised if the Steelers take Matt Jones of Arkansas, a converted quarterback. He's big and has the speed the Steelers desire at the X position opposite WR Hines Ward. Also, Pittsburgh has a history of using college quarterbacks at receiver: Kordell Stewart, Antwaan Randle El and even Ward.

If the team waits until the second or third round to find a tight end, big, athletic Kevin Everett of Miami will be a possibility. Cornerback is an area of need even though the Steelers are content with starters Deshea Townsend and Ricardo Colclough. Chad Scott's release leaves an opening for a top backup in the nickel or dime defense. The team would consider taking a cornerback in the first round if he were the highest rated player available. Michigan's Marlin Jackson is on the team's radar because he has the size (6-1, 198) and physical ability to be strong in run support.

The Steelers might not want to take a defensive end in the first round because they don't need immediate help there. But if USC's Shaun Cody slips to No. 30, the team will have to look at him as a possible replacement for von Oelhoffen in 2006. Cody would be a good fit for the team's 3-4 defense because he can play either end or tackle. Also look for the Steelers to draft an inside linebacker on the second day. After losing free agent Kendrell Bell, the team needs to add depth.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Back of the Bus

The Pittsburg Steelers will know before the draft, which is a couple of weeks from now, weather RB Jerome Bettis plans to play another season. Bettis was helpful enough earlier on when he restructured his contract to help put his team under the salary cap.

Although he took a pay cut don’t look for that to be the reason if Bettis doesn’t return. Bettis has sad publicly that his body has taken a beating and doesn’t know for sure if he will be back for the 2005 season.

Bettis also knows that if he was to return it would be as the number 2 running back behind Duce Staley, which was pretty much his job this past season. Bettis was sure to tell people that he accepted his position on the team and would do what was better for the team. Either way if Bettis stays or leaves, I wouldn’t still expect the Steelers to draft a running back of some sort.