Somewhere, I’m on record as saying that I don’t care if Mike Wallace sits comfortably on his couch this summer because he wants more money. My only issue with that strategy is that unlike previous offseasons, the Steelers have a new coordinator.
And to hear Ben tell it, Todd Haley’s offense is, well, frustrating. So it stands to reason that Wallace would have a better chance of learning it if he were on the premises instead of taking mental reps from home. So that’s my only reservation, although it’s sort of a big one.
I think it’s sweet, all this talk about the return of the fullback to the Steelers’ offense, and even the mention of getting reacquainted with the running game. But let’s not all hop into the way-back machine at once because none of this means that Pittsburgh’s going to run the ball a lot more than they have in recent seasons.
I talked to Joel Thurmond and Andy Benoit about it in recent podcasts and the thinking about what we can expect in 2012 is some variation of “Haley will fit his scheme to the players,” which is another way of saying “It’s not unreasonable to think that the Steelers will throw almost as much as they did in previous seasons with Bruce Arians calling the plays.”
Our good buddy Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner has a weekly podcast with NFL Films’ Greg Cosell. In the latest episode, they recount the AFC North draft haul and because I know many of you are among the laziest people on Earth, I transcribed the Steelers-related bits.
You can listen to the entire podcast here, and the Steelers talk starts around the 52-minute mark. Also worth noting: Farrar loves David DeCastro. Cosell likes him too, but was also a fan of Kevin Zeitler, the guy the Bengals took with their second first-rounder after passing on DeCastro with their first first-rounder (Cincy took CB Dre Kirpatrick instead).
I’ve wanted to have Andy Benoit on the podcast for a while now and finally got him on the horn Wednesday night. Andy’s the founder of NFLTouchdown.com, and he’s written for the New York Times, CBSSports.com (his weekly Film Room posts were especially awesome), and he recently joined Football Outsiders. The dude loves the Xs and Os minutiae, which is exactly why I wanted to talk to him.
We discuss the obvious (what Todd Haley will bring to Pittsburgh’s offense), the not-so-obvious (seriously, we spend the first six minutes of the show debating just how far the American Office has fallen in a post-Carell world), as well as the fortuitous. (The Steelers finally checked the suggestion box stuffed with thoughts on how to best utilize Willie Colon’s talents — never mind the T-Rex arms, he’ll be fine — and it sounds like he’s moving from right tackle to left guard.)
Anyway, Andy was awesome. Great insights into what we can expect from Haley (bunch formations? slip screens? more three-step drops?), thoughts on Big Ben’s ability to read defenses, and a look around the rest of the AFC North.
Okey doke, let’s make with the chattin’…
After hearing Ben’s comments last week about Todd Haley’s offense, and how it’s slightly more complex than internet schoolin’, I figured it made sense to talk to people who had actually watched Haley’s offense closely in recent years.
So I enlisted the help of Joel Thorman, the NFL editor at SBNation, as well as the guy behind Arrowhead Pride, SBNation’s Chiefs blog. Surprisingly, Joel liked Haley, which is something you seldom hear because we’re usually preoccupied with visions of the insane sideline rants or the Nixonian accusations of wire-tapping.
For the slowest time of year, it’s the monthly chattin’ thread.
Despite my initial reservations, I’ve come around on Todd Haley, OC, even if he seems to lack basic people-person skills. But this is football; yelling, screaming, cursing and stomping aren’t out of the ordinary unless you’re Tony Dungy. A potentially bigger issue: doing a 180 with the Steelers’ offensive philosophy under Bruce Arians, a philosophy that, in general, had plenty of success. (Yes, I know, it wasn’t perfect. There were things to complain about but it could’ve been much, much worse. On this we can agree, right?)
In recent days, Big Ben has weighed in on Haley’s vision for what the Steelers’ O should look like and, well, it doesn’t sound a lot different than what we’ve become accustomed to. Which is to say, despite suggestions about getting back to running the ball, Haley plans on airing it out. During an appearance on the Rich Eisen Podcast, Señor Roethlisberger spoke to the (media driven?) run-first perception:
JJ brought it up on our draft preview podcast, Ted mentioned it midway through the first round, and according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, the Steelers were this close to trading up to grab Stanford guard David DeCastro, the guy they eventually ended up with at No. 24.
First, the particulars:
It is a week from the end of the three-day NFL Draft, which most experts believe saw the Steelers tally one of their better hauls in recent memory. Moreover, thanks to some unbelievable, bust-your-tail reporting by Steelers Depot, names of the 12 undrafted free agents signed by Pittsburgh were released within a few hours after the draft, or about 36 hours sooner than usual.
The Steelers may still make some minor roster moves before late July when they open training camp in Latrobe. But their training-camp roster appears mostly set. Thus, I will do our first projected Steelers’ 53-man roster for 2012, with a few caveats, since this projection seemingly has more flexibility and thus will likely change more often than in recent years:
Posted in 2012 steelers, Analysis, Cool Stuff, Daily Camp Updates, Defensive Line, Draft, Free Agency, Front Office, Offensive Line, Offseason, Preseason, Wide Recievers
Fake Troy still has great hair. (ryan wilson)
We talked about it on the last podcast, and Gerry Dulac mentioned it earlier this week: it’s reasonable to assume that David DeCastro will be a starter from Day 1. (The only issue is whether it’ll be at right or left guard; the Trib’s Mark Kaboly mentioned that he heard it’ll be the right side with Ramon Foster moving to spots to his left.)
But second-round pick Mike Adams will likely spend his rookie season on the bench. Ultimatley, the front five will look something like this: Adams/Colon/Pouncey/DeCastro/Gilbert with the understanding that we can swap the tackles and guards. But the PG’s Gerry Dulac asks for some patience in the meantime.