Chattin’ Thread for the Week of July 30

Training camp is officially underway which means our summer vacations are over. Feel free to discuss Antonio Brown’s new deal, Mike Wallace’s lack of one, or anything else…

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  • Yoni

    So the Steelers have the 3rd highest projected wins total according to Football Outsiders (behind only the Patriots and Packers). And that includes an offensive line *deduction* (due lack of continuity which the model values highly). I’ll eat my hat if our o-line is worse this year than last year.

    I’m actually fairly confident that our offense will be stronger than our defense, because it can sustain injuries to anyone apart from Big Ben and still be fairly effective. On defense though, I think losing someone like Ike, Troy, or Deebo would be very problematic.

    Either way it seems we are a strong bet to be competitive…again. Nice to be a Steelers fan.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      I’d agree that the OL should be significantly better in 2013-14, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it is more inconsistent in 2012-13 than it was last year. After Starks came back, I thought it was pretty consistent (and not bad) last year. With possibly 3 of 5 starters never having taken an NFL snap at the position they’ll be playing, some blown assignments and confusion are highly likely. If the talent upgrade is larger than the inconsistency increase, the OL will be better this year. And that certainly could happen and hopefully will. But I wouldn’t bet eating my hat on it, unless my hat resembled Carmen Miranda’s.

      • Eric

        The Steelers offensive line has been very consistent over the last half decade… just not in a good way.

  • Rob D

    I expect a slow start out of the gates just to get everyone on the same page. We stay healthy (which they rarely do) and this team is a bona fide SB contender. Losing Ben, Troy or either of Harrison/Woodley and they are in trouble just like most teams who lose their best players. I’m most worried about (a) Ben getting killed early because someone screws up a blocking scheme (b) Harrison starts a deep decline in play due to neck, eye and back injuries from the last few years (c) Troy gets banged up and this time out for season.With his helter skelter style and at his age, it’s not an unlikely event IMO.

    I think we paid our dues last year with the ridiculous injury rate and seemingly losing two starters after every playoff game. With a little luck, I love this team’s chances.

  • ryan

    So I don’t have any strong opinions about the Steelers’ sorta kinda return to the run game. It sounds like Haley could still pass as often as BA, just with better situational awareness.

    As for Wallace, here’s my question: if the Steelers are willing to give him $10 million (La Canfora says that’s the ballpark and the organization is very much interested in getting something done … after Mike reports), what’s the hold up? I know he makes the offense better but if Pittsburgh doesn’t think he’s worth more than $10 million then … well, he doesn’t have many options. He can a) sign his $2.7M tender, play out his contract and hope he’s not franchised; or b) sit on his couch. That’s about it.

    If he comes to camp, I’m guessing the two sides could continue to negotiate assuming he’s willing to take something in the $10M range. Other than that, there’s not a lot to talk about, right?

  • ryan

    Re-sign Troy Smith NOW

    • LoungeLegal

      Coach Cowher could not be reached for comment

  • Randy Steele

    Is anyone else feeling uneasy about the state of the linebackers thus far?

    Yes, it’s only training camp, and it’s early, but other than Woodley’s dominating performances during practice, I’ve yet to read or hear much about the linebackers that inspires real confidence, although Chris Carter is reported to be playing strong.

    Could it be that this is the year the Steelers’ vaunted linebacker corps takes a step or two backward?

    • Yoni

      If Harrison can’t stay healthy, then yeah I’m a little concerned. We struggled with pass rush a little last year, especially when Deebo was out.

      I’d like to see Timmons step up his game. He can be a beast on those x-blitz/delayed blitzes up the middle.

      At the very least, it would be nice to see Worilds, Carter, Sylvester, or Spence take a big step forward.

      My expectations are at an all time low with Worilds. Can’t stay healthy and doesn’t produce much when he is.

      I do think Sylvester is a player and I’d like to think he is the heir to Foote.

      We could see a lot of turnover next year if these guys don’t impress. I’m not sure of their contract status, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Deebo, Foote, Worilds, and Sylvester all gone.

    • ryan

      Randy, we just talked about this on today’s podcast. It’s like you’re reading our minds.

      • jfishel

        I just don’t see us taking a step back if we can remain healthy. If we remain healthy we basically get back 3 great lineman. Timmons, who can move back to his natural position inside, Deebo, and Woodley. That would be a huge improvement. Additionally, they should get more help from the DL this year if things pan out. A lot of IF’s, but that’s training camp for ya.

  • ryan