SL Discussion Thread for Week of Feb. 28

This is your thread to talk about … well, whatever you want.

Now that FanHouse has officially gone away, I’ll have more time to write about the Steelers here, so that’s something.

– In case you were worried about the Steelers messing up their draft status by going to the Super Bowl, picking No. 31 isn’t much of a concern for the front office. (I imagine they’d have even less problem picking No. 32.) [Post-Gazette]

– Here’s a seven-round Steelers Mock Draft. The people with enough knowledge of the college game to do a seven-round mock draft never cease to amaze me. How many of them turn out to be accurate? Probably not many, but I still respect the effort. The only pick I know of that anybody correctly called after the fourth round was Wilson’s call on Daniel Sepulveda in 2007. He even nailed the freakin’ round, and we’re still talking about to this day because it was, without question, the coolest thing that’s ever happened on the Internet (even cooler than this) [Behind The Steel Curtain]

– More great moments in unlicensed Pittsburgh sports merchandise. [PSAMP]

– And for some YouTube action… random videos from 1975? Awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Can someone explain to me why the TV networks will be paying the NFL even without any games. I have seem several articles that have said this is the case and that that is why the league has no problem shutting down the games.

    But what’s in it for the TV networks? They can’t have signed the contract while drunk.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      Presumably, the networks either got a lower price or longer terms in exchange for the deal. I think I also read that the league has to pay the money back, with interest, on some schedule. I’m too lazy to check though, this labor crap is not my cup of tea.

      • GlennW

        > Presumably, the networks either got a lower price or longer terms in exchange for the deal.

        The NFLPA is making precisely this claim and is in fact in the process of suing the NFL over the issue (I would imagine that the matter would be dropped if an agreement on a CBA is reached). But if the money must eventually be paid back anyway, I don’t know if the claim has any merit.

      • GlennW

        > Presumably, the networks either got a lower price or longer terms in exchange for the deal.

        The NFLPA is making precisely this claim and is in fact in the process of suing the NFL over the issue (I would imagine that the matter would be dropped if an agreement on a CBA is reached). But if the money must eventually be paid back anyway, I don’t know if the claim has any merit.

    • GlennW

      Apparently the Special Master ruled on this matter just last week, and the NFLPA’s collusion argument was rejected. Also, there are no specific terms or a timetable for the NFL returning the money to the networks, just a general agreement that the matter be negotiated in “good faith”. What a country:

      ‘Now that certain documents from the case heard by Burbank have been made public (albeit in redacted form), we know that some extended TV deals had “lockout clauses” — specifically, deals with DirectTV, CBS, NBC and FOX. According to Burbank’s ruling, the CBS and FOX contracts had pre-existing provisions that would require the networks to pay rights fees in the event of a work stoppage of any kind. The most interesting revelation about this in the Burbank decision is the notion that “the parties would negotiate a refund in good faith.” In other words, there was no specific timeframe in which owners would have to return the money, and those conditions were not set out. The owners then added work stoppage language to the extended ESPN and NBC deals; both of those deals were signed in 2010.’

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Documents-show-owners-planned-for-lockout-in-TV-?urn=nfl-326341

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Ryan’s Robo prognostication was truly remarkable. A couple of years ago, I scoured the mocks and that season not one got a single Steelers pick right. By that, I mean that none named a player the Steelers picked, regardless of round.

    I’d bet that after the first 20-25 picks, the accuracy of mocks is less than 10% and closer to 1%. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t fun, though.

    • JJ Cooper

      Hey ELSM,

      Check out Ted’s Mocks from last year–they were posted to FanHouse by me. If you look at the first one, he ends up getting three of the Steelers picks (Pouncey, Gibson and Sanders). His third scenario adds Jason Worlids name to the mix. http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/19/mocking-the-steelers-three-different-scenarios/

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      JJ, thanks for the link.  Ted does seem like one of the best mock draft producers.  And I’d bet that naming 4 picks out of 27 college players he listed is a very high success rate compared to other mocks.  

      It also reinforces, for me at least, that even the best mocks have many more misses than hits.  It sort of reminds me of trying to pick who the Super Bowl winner will be before the season: fun, interesting as a thought exercise (it makes you think through the issues), but low predictive accuracy.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Roughly Steelers 15-20 roster spots seem to be up for grabs every year.  I took a stab at which spots are most likely to be filled by a new player in 2011. 

    In ranking our free agents, I made assumptions on how likely we are to resign them (meaning, I think it is more likely that we can sign Hoke and Spaeth than Ike, but I also think it is also more likely we’ll resign Ike than William Gay).  I also didn’t include Dixon or Sweed, who were on IR for most / all of the season.

    With 1 meaning “most likely to be replaced,” here are my guesses for the top 25 open spots:

    1.  OT: Tony Hills
    2.  DT: Steve McClendon
    3.  ILB: Keyaron Fox
    4.  RB: Mewelde Moore
    5.  CB: Keenan Lewis
    6.  CB: Anthony Madison
    7.  OT: Jonathan Scott
    8.  RB: Jonathan Dwyer
    9.  CB: William Gay
    10. S: Will Allen
    11. LS: Greg Warren
    12. OG/OT: Trai Essex
    13. OT: Chris Scott
    14. DE: Nick Eason
    15. WR: Arnaz Battle
    16. CB: Ike Taylor
    17. QB: Charlie Batch
    18. P: Sepulveda / Kapinos
    19. PK: Shaun Suisham
    20. CB: Crezdon Butler
    21. WR: Antwaan Randle-El
    22. ILB: Larry Foote
    23. S: Ryan Mundy 
    24. TE: Matt Spaeth 
    25. DT: Chris Hoke 

    It wouldn’t shock me if any of these players is not on the 2011 Steelers, but I certainly hope that Ike is. Not surprisingly, there are two CBs in the top 10 and three in the top 15. Along with Ike, we clearly have a lot of work to do at CB this offseason. Also not surprisingly, there are four OLs in the top 15. 

    There are also two RBs in the top 10. Because the only RBs not on this list are Rashard and Redman, there’s a good chance we’ll have a new body or two at running back in 2011. 

    Who would you move up or down this list? Anyone I’m missing?

    • Randy Steele

      Given the interest the Steelers are showing in tight ends for the next draft, I wouldn’t place Spaeth this low on the list, especially because his contract needs to be renegotiated this year.

    • DC in ATL

      I think Jonathan Dwyer is unlikely to be gone after the Steelers kept a roster spot for him all season. He looked good in limited use, and is only 21 I think.

      Maybe Dennis Dixon could be on this list?

    • DC in ATL

      I think Jonathan Dwyer is unlikely to be gone after the Steelers kept a roster spot for him all season. He looked good in limited use, and is only 21 I think.

      Maybe Dennis Dixon could be on this list?

    • countertorque

      I would switch Randle-El and Ike. I think the FO will put a high priority on keeping Ike if they can and I’m not sure Randle-El’s production deserves any kind of offer.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        They could cut Randle El, as he isn’t cheap. Last year, he signed a 3-year, $7mm contract.

    • Cols714

      I think Scott is staying, and I want him to stay, especially with the way he played in the playoffs and Super Bowl. I also don’t think that Hoke, Mundy, and Foote are in an danger of leaving.

  • Crons79

    I love the weekly show. I drive truck two days a week and always listen on my trip. If you guys could answer a question I have on the show I would really appreciate it. Do you think it helped Big Ben to have the first 5 weeks of the season off? (4 games + bye week) Do you think this is something they would employ in the future to extend his career and keep him able to complete the season with playoffs? I think if they move to a 18 game season they would have to do this. Love to hear what you guys think on the show.

  • Randy Steele

    Given how surprisingly well many of the quarterbacks performed during the combine, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine as many as four of them taken during the first round. And that might be good news for the Steelers.

    With the addition of a couple QBs to the first round as well as couple other surprise players or two, one of the better quality tackles might drop to within reach at 1.31. (Caution: Avoid Nate Solder! Although he ran fast, he managed only 22 reps on the bench press — a pitifully weak performance.)

  • Randy Steele

    I’m also wondering if the Steelers’ interest in Carnell Lake as a Secondary Coach might somehow foreshadow an interest in Rahim Moore, a likely late first-round, early second-round pick for safety/nickel.

    Moore looked pretty good at the combine and looks as if he’s Wexell’s new number one pick for the Steelers this year.

    • Cols714

      I’d forgotten how awesome Lake was. I’be be totally happy Rahim Moore.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        I’m a huge Lake fan. Of Moore is anywhere as good, I’d be very happy with him as our pick.

  • SteelerBill

    Good observation by you Randy…..were you the one that pointed that out over at SCI as well?

  • SteelerBill

    Good observation by you Randy…..were you the one that pointed that out over at SCI as well?

  • Finnegans Wake

    The only pick I know of that anybody correctly called after the fourth round was Wilson’s call on Daniel Sepulveda in 2007.

    My Steelers draft guesses have been hit or miss as most folks’, but I did hit Ike Taylor (correct round) and Tank Summers (ditto), Joe Burnett (think I had the round), and IIRC I did have Sepulveda on some mocks. AQ Shipley. Omar Jacobs, unfortunately. It’s not impossible if you follow visits.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Good picks, FW. It is interesting, with all the talk of “don’t believe anything teams say before the draft,” that we often pick guys we bring in to interview.

  • Xraider23

    What do you think about the availablity of Robert gallery being available? Playing LG?

    • Cols714

      I say pick him up. Gotta be better than kemo.