Chattin’ Thread for the Month of May

For the slowest time of year, it’s the monthly chattin’ thread.

For those of you dying to know more about me (please, please, don’t push; we ask that you form an orderly queue, there’s room for everyone), I spoke with Ricardo Silvestre, who exhaustively covers the NFL for the Portuguese site, NFLemPT.com. He also does NFL play-by-play for Portugese television which is way more interesting than anything I have to say. Either way, you can listen to the podcast here (and here’s the link to the post).

Alright, make with the chattin’.

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  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    A Portuguese podcast? I guess there’s a new line for the resume: Ryan Wilson, international man of mystery.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    After the draft, Merrill Hoge said that the Bengals have the best young talent on offense in the NFL. I was surprised to hear this, as I think our young guys on O are as good or better than theirs. We’ve got Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Pouncey, Gilbert, DeCastro and Adams who all either are or have a strong chance to be top players. And it’s not like Ben or Heath are ready for the old folks home, either. If we have a reasonable amount of health and player development (and retain at least two of the WRs), this could be the core of a great offense for a while.

    • Jfishel

      Maybe they do have the best young talent. The whole offense is revamped over there. We have a good mixture of old and new talent on offense. Ben, Colon, Mendenhall, Miller, and Johnson are all vets. Wallace, Brown and Sanders are arguably vets too now.

  • Alex Lawson

    So. The Steelers have moved Colon to left guard. Their planned starting O-Line is: Adams, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert. I am somewhat excited, but I worry that Adams is going to get Big Ben killed – BUT he cannot be worse than Jonathan Scott…….

  • Cols714

    Oh my, they did it. They are actually moving Colon to guard.
    Seems legit to me. I’ve been against this move for about ever because Colon was a pretty good RT on a line that was awful at tackle.

    However after drafting Gilbert and Adams, it finally makes sense and I think this line will be pretty damn awesome.

    • Rob D

      I’m stunned..Seems to me that many of the experts out there, including some who actually played the position, were adamant that Colon could not play G. So we take a guy who has been off for two years and plug him in there. Hope it works out. Actually, I think DeCastro will take that job by mid season or so anyway. I don’t think Adams will start at LT as rumoured though. I see it …as STarks (yep), DeCastro, MP, Colon and Gilbert.

      • LoungeLegal

        I think DeCastro is starting week 1 but Adams only starts if someone gets hurt like Gilbert did. I’m pretty excited about this o-line….I can’t remember ever typing that without first wishing for sarcasm font!

        • Cols714

          I don’t know, Adams might be the best LT (other than Gilbert) on the team right now. Gilbert may be the better LT right now but if they don’t want to keep moving him around I can see them starting Adams at LT.

          • LoungeLegal

            I agree with not moving people around. It seems silly to me to move a guy to LT then RT later…I mean in all the years I was an NFL coach I never did anything like that.

          • LoungeLegal

            I agree with not moving people around. It seems silly to me to move a guy to LT then RT later…I mean in all the years I was an NFL coach I never did anything like that.

          • LoungeLegal

            I agree with not moving people around. It seems silly to me to move a guy to LT then RT later…I mean in all the years I was an NFL coach I never did anything like that.

          • LoungeLegal

            I agree with not moving people around. It seems silly to me to move a guy to LT then RT later…I mean in all the years I was an NFL coach I never did anything like that.

          • LoungeLegal

            I agree with not moving people around. It seems silly to me to move a guy to LT then RT later…I mean in all the years I was an NFL coach I never did anything like that.

  • Eric

    Ed Bouchette says: Adams-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Gilbert.

    https://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/116406-ed-adams-to-lt-gilbert-stays-at-rt

    Theoretically this puts the best 5 on the field but we’ll see how it plays out in training camp. If that combination holds up, I would still expect some growing pains in the first half of the season. Hopefully by the second half of the season things stabilize.

    • Randy Steele

      Who knows. Jim Wexell is skeptical about this report, and in a thread on the SCI site, he questioned the veracity of Bouchette’s source.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Just wanted to give a thumbs up to the podcasts. And I really liked it during the season when you had a guest who covered or was a fan of our opponent that week — they provided a really good and different perspective than I usually get.

  • callouswhisper

    Let the youngsters take their lumps now and by mid-season I am confident this oiline will be best in AFC North and one of best in AFC. If they are Ben and O can go from 20 points game to near 30 and be a threat to win a Sb from both sides of the ball.

  • Cols714

    I wonder if the newly slimmed down Essex is going to be the primary backup at LT and could even start there if Adams isn’t ready.

    He started there at OTAs, which doesn’t mean much, but he’s also player there in the past and he really lost a ton of weight and worked to get himself in shape.

    I’m just trying to figure out what the backup plan is at LT if Adams isn’t ready to start.

    • Jfishel

      The backup plan will end up being a healthy Starks. Starks might even start this season so Adams can learn, provided he comes back from his injury. At least, I hope that’s the case. I shudder to think of Scott or Essex at LT. Scott would be better than Essex I think, if only because he has more experience at slowing down the edge rush while getting plowed.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    On last night’s AFC North preview, the ESPN three guys (Edwards, Wiley, Polian) all picked the Steelers to come in third and miss the playoffs. Somehow, I like us being underdogs and under-rated. Polian had the absurdly-specific guess that we’d have the same record as the Bengals but lose a wild card spot on a tiebreaker.

    • Cols714

      Yeah. This is so dumb. The Steelers missed the #1 seed in the playoffs last year due to one play by the Ravens. A play where LeBeau went nuts and played press coverage. A play where Joe freaking Flacco threw a perfect ball and one where Torrey Smith didn’t drop it.

      Because of this one play, the Steelers’ 12-4 season has been completely downgraded. From the way people talk about them, including lots of Steelers fans, you’d think they went 9-7 and eaked into the playoffs. You’d also think that they’ve lost tons of talent and starters. When really, we lost a slow old ILB, a DE who didn’t really play at all and when he did he was awful, and a slow old WR who was only allowed to stay on the team because he’s an icon and they rightfully wanted him to hit his milestones.

      They also had an injured QB for the end of the season and two of the best OLB in football were rarely on the field together.

      • Intropy

        I think most of the feeling that they barely made the playoffs has to do with the injury-crippled state of the team at the end of the regular season.

        Also, for your “one play” even with all that perfect throw and not drop, nine times out of ten OPI that flagrant gets called. The stars really had to align on that one.

      • callouswhisper

        It would never have come to that play had Ben not thrown that complete brainfart Int to Suggs when Steelers were moving the ball at will against Ravens.

    • Rob D

      I love being dismissed as also rans. We seem to have terrific seasons when the popular opionion goes against us.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    QOTD: Which Steelers player are you hoping will make the biggest leap forward this year?

    • Cols714

      1. Ziggy – he needs to be the player he was at the end of 2010, not last year. He was not that good last year.
      2. Cortez Allen – If he plays well and Lewis continues playing well we have a great secondary
      3. Worilds, although if he’s getting playing time then something has gone wrong.

      • nuub

        Stevenson Sylvester. I’d like to see this kid compete with Larry Foote for some playing time..

    • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

      Manny Sanders and Weslye Saunders.

    • Eric

      I don’t know if this fits into the “biggest leap forward” idea but my hopes are:

      1. Colon – Stay healthy and transition well to guard
      2. Adams – Ability to start as a rookie
      3. Pouncey – Stay healthy
      4. DeCastro – Be as good as advertised
      5. Roethlisberger – Stay healthy

      I think the defense will take care of itself, there are good reserves at most positions so the Steelers can weather some short term injuries. If we can just get good offensive line play I think the sky is the limit for this year.

      • Cols714

        OK and all, but what about biggest leap forward? I mean we all hope that those guys stay healthy and all. But who are you hoping takes a leap in play?

        • Eric

          Staying healthy would be a big leap forward for Colon, Pouncey and Roethlisberger!

          • callouswhisper

            Willie Colon & Ziggy.

    • Rob D

      Hmmm…this is a toughie, Easy!

      I went through the roster in my mind for a few hours today and settled on a few. Heyward, Curtis Brown, Sanders and Saunders, Ziggy (who hasn’t progressed as I had hoped) and ultimately settled on..

      Ta-daaaa……Big Ben. I”m hoping the smart “take what he D gives you, throw the ball away when needed, keep throwing to the TE until the stop it” guy we saw slice and dice NE shows up more this year. There will be games where his particular genius at improv and getting out of the pocket will be welcomed but I hope that the fact that our new OC knows how to get the backs involved and have them moving when they catch it will help BB reach a new level. I’m excited to watch the next 4-5 years of Ben’s prime because I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Just a programming FYI: new post up on the return of the fullback!

  • Eric
    • Rob D

      Hilarious.

  • Jfishel

    The Ravens may get buried early this year. Many players missing OTA’s, an opening schedule against the Bengals, Eagles and Pats, no Suggs, another injury at OLB to Mcadoo for the season. I don’t know how much more offseason they can handle.

    • Rob D

      I always hesitate to say a team is due for a fall but the Ravens IMO clearly are. Suggs is the huge one but they’ve lost too many LB’ers. Their O-line and QB are sketchy. We shall see but I truly believe the Bengals are for real and ready to contend.

  • Rob D

    Summertime..and the living is easyyyyyy…

    Heading to Chicago for the BluesFest kids..can I pick you up anything?

    I’ve reached that point where I am more worried about all the changes with the Steelers than excited. That will pass and then I will head into my irrational exuberance stage where everything is coming up roses. To then be followed by my sober second assessment which will have me on pins and needles until the first KO of the first game. Then begins the annual torture of the season.

    I think I should enjoy the offseason more since my gut takes a beating during the short season. The trials and tribulations of being a STeeler fan!

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    QOTD: In the last four drafts, Colbert has taken clusters of players at
    several positions in the first six rounds, and most are still on the
    roster. How would you order these groups, in terms of your confidence in their
    future production?

    DL: Hood, Heyward, Ta’amu

    LB: Worilds, Stevenson, Carter, Spence

    CB: Lewis, Brown, Allen

    OL: Pouncey, Gilbert, DeCastro, Adams, Scott

    WR: Wallace, Sanders, Brown

    As a side note, in these 4 drafts and 6 rounds, Colbert has used a total
    of 3 of his 27 picks on the other positions (QB, RB, TE, S, P, K): 5th
    and 6th round RBs Rainey, Dwyer and Summers.

    • Eric

      From most confident to least confident:

      1. WRs

      2. OL

      3. DL

      4. LB

      5. CB

      The question of productivity for WRs is easy, since we have a good sample already. The question of how confident you are that the Steelers can keep all of them is better question!

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        I’d put it as:
        1. WR
        2. OL
        3. CB
        4. DL
        5. LB

        I’m very confident in our WRs and OLs, and pretty confident that at least 2 of our CBs will develop into at least #2 and #3 CBs. I could see just about any of the DL or LBs being either good or off the roster in a few years, with the exception of Heyward (who’s range seems higher, like between solid starter and star). I’d love to see Ziggy and Worilds develop, but I’m skeptical they’ll reach the top range of their potential and feel like they’ve under-performed their draft slots so far for what we’ve come to expect from Colbert at those points.

    • Rob D

      Hmmmm..
      MOst to least:

      1. DL I think Heyward has a breakout season this year as I think I saw enough flash plays last year from him to get me REAL excited about his potential. Hood seems to have realized he needed to get bigger/more fit to survive the NFL and I expect him to be an above average player for us for years to come. Ta’amu was a very smart pick at a position of need and Mayock loves him. I love Mayock. Ergo…..lol

      2. OL Pouncey and DeCastro are the best interior line prospects in the last 10 years according to many..and we have both of them! Cool. MP just has to stay healthy and DD just has to hit the field as a starter which should happen sooner than later and definately this year. Gilbert is solid. Adams never had many worries about his talent level ,,it was mostly various other problems and he looks like he really wanted to be a Steeler. He has a lot to prove to Colbert and Tomlin who took a chance on him. I love the fact that the kid took it upon himself to appeal to the Steelers personally. I like our O-line starters /prospects a lot ….

      3. WR Tons of talent but I worry about the attitude of the big money crew souring over time. Fine line between cocky confidence and overbearing ego trips. Still, if Wallace signs and Sanders gets that foot to behave and Brown contnues his spectacular rise….its a splendid collection of disparate talent.

      4. CB I like all these guys but they need to play a lot more ball to form an opinion on them. A lot of potential but I am not sure what we have yet.

      5. LB I thought Worilds would be better…make more of an impact. STevenson is a nice piece but I don’t see future starter in him as others seem to. Spence is intriguing but I want to see what role he plays and wonder if his size will mean a lot of injuries. He’s a very VERy smart kid with terrific instincts though. Overalll, we’d better hope Harrison and Woodley stay healthy. I would be very worried if James went down again this year. We need a Pro Bowl level year from both those guys.

  • Randy Steele

    Well, I guess I’m talking to myself, but for what it’s worth, Mewelde Moore is now an Indianapolis Colt. I thought Moore played very well in Pittsburgh during his four-year career with the Steelers. He was a savvy, tough, third-down back who almost always moved the chains.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Reunited with Arians. Maybe at some point we’ll be talking about Pittsburgh Midwest.

  • Rob D

    Dudes, Dudettes, any space aliens monitoring this group..

    Do you think the STeelers are going to sign a vet RB? With Mendy out and only Redman really having some sig. NFL carries and Mwelde signing elsewhere…I wonder. Redman goes down and we are looking at some talent but very little to non existent experience from the likes of Dwyer et al. Just wondering..

    • Randy Steele

      I doubt it, Rob. At least, from what I’ve read, the Steelers’ coaches seem happy enough with the running backs they have on the roster.

      • Rob D

        Okey dokey….thanks for the input Eric and Randy..

    • Eric

      I don’t think so. Running back is probably the only position were experience isn’t necessarily an asset. A young guy is physically in better shape and the only mental aspect is understanding blocking assignments on pass plays.

  • Rob D

    The story I hate the most this time of year is the old “I know what it takes NOW to crack a roster spot in the NFL!” one. The latest is Dwyer who suddenly realizes being in shape, at the proper weight and actually …uhhhhh..working out with experts like many NFL’ers do would be constructive.

    They work their whole lives towards a goal; playing pro football and yet they don’t understand they can’t train on beer and twinkies in the offseason..lol..

    Come on, man!

    :)

    • Eric

      Well I think the problem is that most of them don’t “work their whole lives towards a goal”. Most of the time they get to the NFL on sheer talent. Not to mention that they are often enabled throughout their lives. So it’s not surprising that many of them don’t “get it”.

      Besides, complaining about the stupidity of youth is the priveledge of old guys like us!

      • Rob D

        LOL..ain’ it the truth,Eric!

        Want to help me get these damn kids off my lawn? Then we can sit back on the porch and complain about the weather and whatever else comes to mind. I suggest taxes for starters…

        Seriously..I guess as you age, you realize that opportunities have to be pounced on and you rarely get a second chance when the bigger ones come along. It’s frustrating to watch a young person NOT take the bull by the horns because you can reference times when you missed the boat for whatever reason.

        • Eric

          Your last paragraph nicely summarizes the moment a person goes from being “young” to “old”.

  • Rob D

    http://nflfilms.nfl.com/2012/07/06/cosell-talks-the-evolving-chess-match/

    Interesting synopsis of the evolution of offense in the NFL. Someone at another site said that Noll took the best ideas of Lombardi and Gillman/Coryell and blended it to make the 70`s Steelers…AND that if you look at the weapons at WR, TE and the new O-line players we may have a similiar thing going with this team eventually. Probably not the 70′s Steelers ..lol ..but a team that will be very versatile.

  • Rob D

    Not sure how much weight to put behind it but I just read a story about Spence that seems to indicate he could get some snaps as a starter this year. Seems to be a very bright guy who is extremely self assured. Hope that he continues to impress the coaching staff..The comments kind of remind me of Zach Thomas when he was with Miami. Deemed too small to play but just keeps MAKING plays…lol

  • Cols714

    The Browns are so stupid. Not only did they take the world’s oldest rookie QB, but they just spent their 2013 2nd rounder on a WR who missed all of last year and only played one year of college.

    All this after they took Greg Little in 2011 and he couldn’t have dropped more passes if he tried.

    Dummies.

    BTW, I think for some reason I got banned from Steelers Depot. i wonder if it was because I told them they were wrong about Wallace being traded, wrong about Colby Fleener, and just generally wrong about everything.

    • Eric

      Has anyone ever used such a high pick in the supplementary draft? Has any supplementary draft player ever become a good player? And I am not asking sarcastically, I can’t think of an example for either.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        This article lists a few, including Cris Carter, Kosar and Jamal Williams

        Cols, welcome back. Maybe you and Eric will start a trend with some posts… it has been sloooow.

        • Eric

          (wind whistling)

  • Cols714

    Training camp starts soon. Anyone think the Steelers will make any surprising cuts? I don’t see it happening myself.

    • Rob D

      don’t think so either. We dumped so many guys like Ward, Kemo, Hoke, Farrior et al , I don’t think we have much left to trim.Basically, everyone I thought should be gone IS gone.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      It is kind of a difficult question to answer. If a guy is likely to be cut, like Jonathan Scott or Chris Scott, then it wouldn’t be a surprise. And if it would be a surprise, as it would for about 45 guys on the roster, then it isn’t likely. I guess the one of slightly more likely surprises, although I doubt it would happen, would be for Casey not to recover. But even with that, he’d likely be PUPed because we have little NT depth. I guess Mundy or Allen could lose a battle with Cromartie-Smith or Rolle.

      • Cols714

        Oh. Jon Scott for sure. I forgot about him. It really does seem likely that he gets cut this year.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Great news on Tomlin.

    • Rob D

      Yep.. Noll, Cowher, Tomlin..nice set of hires there, STeelers.
      This team has a chance to win multiple SB’s if they can stay healthy and keep hitting on players in the draft. I was a little worried when they hired Tomlin over Whisenhunt and Grimm as those guys had a huge experience edge in the Steelers organization over the young upstart. From Day One of his tenure, those worries faded away, He’s the working template for the modern NFL coach who is young enough to relate to the new kids and has enough gravitas to make the vets sit up and listen.