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How do you guys/gals feel about the draft?

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I think Cowher( unintentionally) set the standard for successful team in the salary cap era building.  Build the team then draft the QB.  

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55 minutes ago, jebrick said:

I think Cowher (unintentionally) set the standard for successful team in the salary cap era building.  Build the team then draft the QB.  

Yep, I think most other people think the opposite.  Chuck Noll started to build the Steelers around Mean Joe Greene.  Great player, great pick and great foundation for the defense of that era.  Coach Noll and the Steelers made the same mistake in 1983 by passing on Dan Marino and opting to draft Gabe Rivera to build the team around.  That probably cost them at least a Super Bowl, two and arguably maybe more.

I agree with you jebrick that Coach Cowher felt like he could build a great team around the QB.  Neil O'Donnell and Kordell Stewart never became elite let alone upper echelon QB's.  O'Donnell had very good accuracy, but was limited in his overall QB production especially if the team fell behind. Kordell was electrifying and could be at times downright scary with his running and deep passing, but if you kept him in the pocket and required him to play to what the defense gave him, he struggled trying to force it and caused turnovers and missed opportunities.

If you remember early on in the Cowher era, they were successful drafting good talent, but rarely got to keep it because other teams offered more money.  They lost Chad Brown to Seattle who offered him an insane (at the time) $7 million signing bonus.  They lost a great one in Rod Woodson, the arguably the best young RT in the NFL, Leon Searcy and eventually a solid, but unspectacular Brentson Buckner as well. They had problems with competing with other squads in paying their foundation/core players competitive salaries. 

There is a lot of merit in what you say as Cleveland tried to build their team around Tim Couch before adding other talent. The same can be said by many other teams like the Texans with David Carr, Chargers, with Ryan Leaf, Seattle with Rick Mier, etc.  I think a lot of team Gm's and even us fans, felt like the team should have been built around a solid to great QB.  Unfortunately, there are swings and misses at the QB spot as well.

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7 hours ago, Steeler Hitman said:

Yep, I think most other people think the opposite.  Chuck Noll started to build the Steelers around Mean Joe Greene.  Great player, great pick and great foundation for the defense of that era.  Coach Noll and the Steelers made the same mistake in 1983 by passing on Dan Marino and opting to draft Gabe Rivera to build the team around.  That probably cost them at least a Super Bowl, two and arguably maybe more.

I agree with you jebrick that Coach Cowher felt like he could build a great team around the QB.  Neil O'Donnell and Kordell Stewart never became elite let alone upper echelon QB's.  O'Donnell had very good accuracy, but was limited in his overall QB production especially if the team fell behind. Kordell was electrifying and could be at times downright scary with his running and deep passing, but if you kept him in the pocket and required him to play to what the defense gave him, he struggled trying to force it and caused turnovers and missed opportunities.

If you remember early on in the Cowher era, they were successful drafting good talent, but rarely got to keep it because other teams offered more money.  They lost Chad Brown to Seattle who offered him an insane (at the time) $7 million signing bonus.  They lost a great one in Rod Woodson, the arguably the best young RT in the NFL, Leon Searcy and eventually a solid, but unspectacular Brentson Buckner as well. They had problems with competing with other squads in paying their foundation/core players competitive salaries. 

There is a lot of merit in what you say as Cleveland tried to build their team around Tim Couch before adding other talent. The same can be said by many other teams like the Texans with David Carr, Chargers, with Ryan Leaf, Seattle with Rick Mier, etc.  I think a lot of team Gm's and even us fans, felt like the team should have been built around a solid to great QB.  Unfortunately, there are swings and misses at the QB spot as well.

Searcy was overrated, Strzelyczyk  was better IMO and also more versatile as he could play 4 places on the OL. A player like that would fetch a nice wage today thats for sure. Cowher and donahoe had their own faults, lets not forget that.  Cowhers teams were better tacklers and the game was different back then.  They lost players and replaced them decently  but I never cared for some of the FO's decisions back then.  As a fan, just roll with the punches and learn to eat dirt once in a while. No way they have great drafts every year, and we can't expect them to replace gr4eat players when they retire or move on.  I doubt we ever see a Troy at SS or Harrison at OLB , it's just not happening, but maybe good player can play there, and maybe a great player turns up at another position. 

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Under Cowher, the Steelers rarely/never paid for a 3rd contract ($C3).  The Pats and Ravens do the same today.  when those players leave they become comp picks.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, 3rivers said:

Searcy was overrated, Strzelyczyk  was better IMO and also more versatile as he could play 4 places on the OL. A player like that would fetch a nice wage today thats for sure.

I disagree with you here my friend. Leon Searcy was a hell of a player.  I agree that he may have been over-paid, but he and Tony Bosselli gave the Jags the best set of tackles in the NFL at the time. I too loved Strzelczyk because he a "Steelers" type of guy.  He was hard work, effort, toughness and bleed Black N Gold.  However, no way he was the talent or athlete that Searcy was in my humble opinion. One of my favorite Steelers LT's was John Jackson who was a 10th round draft pick.  He was never elite, but pretty damn good at everything.  I remember seeing him get abused by Pat Swilling in a pre-season game against the Saints, but he took his lumps and got better.  Again effort, hard working, toughness, team loyalty mean a lot in Pittsburgh, but doesn't always trump talent.  Jackson was good, but wasn't the talent of Orlando Pace either. That's all I am saying.

Cowher and Donahoe had their own faults, lets not forget that.  Cowhers teams were better tacklers and the game was different back then.  They lost players and replaced them decently  but I never cared for some of the FO's decisions back then.  

We are in agreement that they tried, but we didn't always like the results.  Getting Kevin Green was one of their best additions.  They kept core players in place like Jerry Olsavsky who replaced Chad Brown.  See comments above about Justin and Jackson and ditto with Jerry.  I was a fan of his going back to HS days and loved him at Pitt.  He was no Chad Brown though.  Another guy who was born to be a Steelers type of player. 

I think the fact that Coach Cowher and Mr. Donahoe didn't see eye to eye many times hurt their work relationship. Coach Cowher had his philosophy and Mr. Donanhoe had his and they never seemed to meet in the middle. The team chose to keep Coach Cowher and let Mr. Donahoe go off to Buffalo.

As a fan, just roll with the punches and learn to eat dirt once in a while. No way they have great drafts every year, and we can't expect them to replace great players when they retire or move on.  I doubt we ever see a Troy at SS or Harrison at OLB , it's just not happening, but maybe good player can play there, and maybe a great player turns up at another position. 

I somewhat disagree because at some positions the Steelers have had a tradition of bringing in solid, good and greats: C: Clack, Webster, Dawson, and Pouncey. OLB Russell, Ham, Merriweather, Lloyd, Green, Gildon, Porter, Harrison, Woodley and hopefully we will be able to add the name Watt to that list. I love Troy and I think he was great in our defense.  He should be enshrined in the HOF along with former SS Donnie Shell (travesty that he is not in the HOF).  However, we have had the same tradition at MLB (Davis, Lambert, Little, Kirkland, Farrior, Shazier, (hopefully Bush). They all are not HOf'ers, but you can get some good to great or even elite.  I think that elites come along in every era. I grew up a Bradshaw fan, but he is not anywhere the complete QB that Big Ben is.  Put Ben on the Steelers 72 - 82 and they may have 7 or 8 rings with that team and defense that Bradshaw had around him.  Bradshaw is a HOf'er and I believe that Ben will be as well.  I don't believe (nor do I want to) that that is the end of our great QB play forever.  Is Mason Rudolph the next Joe Montana? Probably not, but you never know. If he isn't the team will certainly do its due diligence in finding the next QB. 

P.S. I am not trying to have the last word or debate every point. I am just enjoying the conversation in the thread. I appreciate your and everyone else's input and responses.

 

Edited by Steeler Hitman
P.S. Addition

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1 hour ago, Steeler Hitman said:

I grew up a Bradshaw fan, but he is not anywhere the complete QB that Big Ben is.  Put Ben on the Steelers 72 - 82 and they may have 7 or 8 rings with that team and defense that Bradshaw had around him. 

I too grew up watching Bradshaw. I've been a Steelers fan since the Batman uniforms. I'm sorry, but the rules were so different back then, any QB today would be hard-pressed to have the gaudy numbers QBs now enjoy.  CBs literally mugged WRs back then, and going over the middle was taking your life into your hands. QBs got hammered on just about every throw.

Ben would have had a decent career, no doubt. Maybe even HOF. He is a big strong dude, and compared with players back then, he'd be a monster. However, not very many QBs threw it deep like Bradshaw, and that includes Ben. And MANY QBs became gun shy anticipating getting clobbered trying to throw it.

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8 minutes ago, cjfollett said:

I too grew up watching Bradshaw. I've been a Steelers fan since the Batman uniforms. I'm sorry, but the rules were so different back then, any QB today would be hard-pressed to have the gaudy numbers QBs now enjoy.  CBs literally mugged WRs back then, and going over the middle was taking your life into your hands. QBs got hammered on just about every throw.

Ben would have had a decent career, no doubt. Maybe even HOF. He is a big strong dude, and compared with players back then, he'd be a monster. However, not very many QBs threw it deep like Bradshaw, and that includes Ben. And MANY QBs became gun shy anticipating getting clobbered trying to throw it.

I agree 100%.  The game and era were different.  Bradshaw had a cannon and seemed to be more accurate throwing deep than intermediate or short.  Heck, Kordell and Niel probably could have won a SB or two with that team around them.   I was not by any means bashing Bradshaw, nor am I (despite throwing Niel and Kordell's names in the hat) dismissing a HOF'er and the franchises most successful QB's accomplishments. I am just pointing out that Bradshaw was not the most accurate QB and threw a lot of INT's, even in the SB's.  Kordell like Gilliam and Bradshaw had a penchant for the deep ball and struggled with accuracy. Whereas Niel was a chain mover and with the Steelers dominant defense and running attack (along with Swann, Stallworth and company) could have managed that offense pretty darn efficiently.  I am playing Madden/fantasy in my opinions here. 

I love Bradshaw the QB and wouldn't have traded him for anyone not named Roger Staughbach or Ken Anderson. :DxD SB XIII would have been a complete blow-out had Stallworth not gotten hurt.  He was unstoppable and would have been the MVP had he played in the second half.  Bradshaw was magnificent in taking advantage of what the defense gave after they doubled Swann and did a great job of shutting down Franco for the most part. His ability to read defenses and play calling was tremendously under-rated. Bradshaw was also one of the toughest QB's that I ever seen play the game. I remember he got knocked out against the Cardinals one year and came back after halftime and led the Steelers back to victory.  He was one ne tough son of a gun. Bradshaw is still the GOAT in Pittsburgh despite others who were more accurate, more skilled, better runners, better athletes, etc. He collected SB winning rings!

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I have a feeling, just a feeling I'm gonna eat crow on guys like Sutton Smith and Zach Gentry. Idk why I feel that way, these are guys I dont have high Hope's for but I have a feeling, not necessarily as rookies but in their first contract they're gonna amount to guys we are at least satisfied with.

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3 minutes ago, wwhickok said:

I have a feeling, just a feeling I'm gonna eat crow on guys like Sutton Smith and Zach Gentry. Idk why I feel that way, these are guys I dont have high Hope's for but I have a feeling, not necessarily as rookies but in their first contract they're gonna amount to guys we are at least satisfied with.

If you eat crow (and I’ll share the plate w/ you) on Gentry I will be very pleased. The TE well is extremely dry so I almost think we need to hope he works out. 

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If he is as good as Jesse James I'll be happy. I think that's his ceiling and I'm okay with that IF he gets there. I worry about Smith's strength at the point of attack and Grays mobility. I've been super critical of the latter end of this draft but they're late round picks for a reason. I'm thrilled with the first 4 picks. 

I've also been critical of Bud and while my feelings haven't changed the roster there is what it is so I hope he can at the very least match last years numbers. Will it be good enough? Probably not but if he doesn't get worse I mean I feel like it can be satisfactory.

I hope VW doesn't start for a couple reasons. I like the idea of Bush and Barron starting more and VW is excellent on ST. 

I'm not gonna lie, while I dont love our depth at ILB I hope Matakevich gets one more year because of his ST ability.

Dionte Johnsons ball security is a little concerning especially if they want to use him on punt returns and sure, we are gonna miss AB a bit but I think this WR corps is gonna shock the hell out of a lot of ppl in a good way.

I think I echo what everyone else has said a dozen times already. I'm very worried about the TE position. If Vance stays healthy there is nothing to worry about but I think that's against the odds. After him....its not a good look.

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On 7/22/2019 at 3:17 PM, Steeler Hitman said:

A lot of teams lose coaches and coordinators. That is just part of the game.  Teams want to give coaches a chance to grow and move up in their profession.  Sometimes they leave because of differences with the coach.  I thought losing Ron Ernhardt and Bobby April really hurt Cowher's staff.  Losing a coach like Munchack hurts as well.  This just seems to be the way of the NFL.

oh, i agree about losing coaches but i am curious if any HC lost as many as cowher did during his time. i know its goes with having a winning program, but whats so strange is tomlins coaching tree doesnt have any branches...........wonder why that is?

 

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On 7/24/2019 at 6:22 PM, muncher said:

oh, i agree about losing coaches but i am curious if any HC lost as many as cowher did during his time. i know its goes with having a winning program, but whats so strange is tomlins coaching tree doesnt have any branches...........wonder why that is?

 

Largely because they have had more assistants that are nearer the end of their career than the beginning. At the coordinator positions, they have had:

Offense: Arians (promoted from Cowher's staff), Haley, Randy Fichtner

Defense: Lebeau (holdover from Cowher), Keith Butler

Of those guys, Arians went on to have a decent career and is still coaching. Haley had already tried his hand at HC and was unsuccessful. While he wanted to be a head coach again, it wasn't likely. Lebeau never had been a failed HC also, but didn't seem to have the desire to try again. And Fichtner/Butler are still with the team. While Butler is largely mediocre, Fichtner just completed his first year as OC. They have generally had older coaches under Tomlin so far.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2019 at 7:55 PM, Magnus-Viktor said:

Shazier was a lot more explosive/dynamic and a lot better.  I hope Bush is better than what I saw.  Shazier in college was a heck of a lot more impressive to me than Bush.  Plus, as I said, they wasted a whole season by ignoring ILB last year.  We have a closing window.  They wasted a good chunk of it due to that. But yeah, lets take a 4th round S in 1 and a 3rd round WR in 2 instead lol.  Could've easily packaged those up for Vander Esch and been done with it.  Now we're short picks next year as well.  

 

Shazier could add weight.  You aren't going to make up that inch plus.  Length and speed are more important than weight.

So, based upon Combine measurements, here are some pretty decent ILB/MLB types who compare similarly to Devin Bush at 5' 11"  234

Denzel Perryman - 5' 10 3/4  236

Mychal Kendricks - 5' 11 1/8"  239

Eric Kendricks - 6' 1/4" 232

Bobby Wagner - 6' 3/8"  241

Lavonte David - 6' 5/8"  233

Vince Williams - 6' 3/4"  233

Wesley Woodyard - 6' 3/8"  227

Darren Lee - 6' 3/4" 233

Deion Jones - 6' 7/8" 227

Reuben Foster - 6' 1/4" 229

Roquan Smith - 6' 7/8" 236

He outweighed 7 of them, and was almost a carbon copy of 2 others...

 

And there have been some pretty decent, productive, modern era ILB/MLB in the NFL were 6'-ish or less...

Lance Briggs - 6' 5/8"  242

Navorro Bowman - 6' 1/2"  242

Jonathan Vilma - 6' 1/2"  233

Lawrence Timmons -  6' 7/8"  234

Larry Foote -  6' 7/8"  231

Jon Beason - 6' 1/4"  237

Sam Mills - 5'9"  229

Lofa Tatupu - 6'  238

Stephen Tulloch - 5' 11"  241

Pisa Tinoisamoa - 6' 3/8"  231
 

Personally, I'd rather have a stout 5' 11" guy at 235, than a 6'1" guy at 230...not all guys have the body to add weight effectively, without losing atheticism, and while I did not check 40-times, 3-cones, shuttles, etc, I'm fairly certain that Bush is more athletic, overall, than 80% of these guys...and the fact that we already know how athletic he is, at that weight, and knowing he's not likely going to be asked to put on much more to his frame, well, I think judging him solely based upon his height is not an accurate indicator of his success in the NFL.

Same concept for CBs who are 5'11" or shorter...just because you are 5'9", or 5'10", doesn't mean you are relegated to a nickel/slot role...is it somewhat of a disadvantage??  Sure.  Critical for success, or a major barrier than needs to be overcome to be successful??  No.  Heck, look at QB and Russell Wilson...

So, is Bush's 5'11" height ideal??  No.  Will it hamper his success??  Not all by itself, it won't...not anymore than a 6'3" guy who runs a 4.75...maybe Bush gets beat by a few TEs in coverage...okay...but he'll likely be right in their hip pocket to make the tackle...the 6'3" ILB with 4.75 speed may get beat on a route due to speed, AND, won;t be able to make the tackle, because he'll already have been beat...just one example...

 

EDIT:  I can't believe I forgot Zach Thomas (5'11" 242), Derrick Brooks (6' 235), Al Wilson (6' 240), and if you want to go a little old school, Tom Jackson at (5'11" 220)

Edited by Ward4HOF

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:33 AM, muncher said:

even taking that into consideration, it seems as tho the only one cowher could have moved up for was culpepper

so thats 1 time he didnt make a move for a qb.

that being said, culpepper may have never been on their draft list. we see it every year players that the steelers wont even consider because of various reasons even tho they are projected to go high

 

Culpepper was a scrub.  Hated that guy.  So dumb.  Couldn't read a defense.  Highest fumble rate of any player in history throughout his first 5 years or so as well.  He threw a great deep ball though.  But look at his weapons.  Great OL.  Best WR to ever play the game, along with the #3 WR to ever play the game, an elite #3 in Jake Reed, a home run hitter at RB in Robert Smith.  That O was absolutely loaded.  Yet they still get blanked 41-0 by the Giants in the NFCC because he was dumb as a box of rocks and couldn't compete against a good D that could pressure him and cover guys at all.

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On 8/9/2019 at 11:18 AM, Ward4HOF said:

So, based upon Combine measurements, here are some pretty decent ILB/MLB types who compare similarly to Devin Bush at 5' 11"  234

Denzel Perryman - 5' 10 3/4  236

Mychal Kendricks - 5' 11 1/8"  239

Eric Kendricks - 6' 1/4" 232

Bobby Wagner - 6' 3/8"  241

Lavonte David - 6' 5/8"  233

Vince Williams - 6' 3/4"  233

Wesley Woodyard - 6' 3/8"  227

Darren Lee - 6' 3/4" 233

Deion Jones - 6' 7/8" 227

Reuben Foster - 6' 1/4" 229

Roquan Smith - 6' 7/8" 236

He outweighed 7 of them, and was almost a carbon copy of 2 others...

 

And there have been some pretty decent, productive, modern era ILB/MLB in the NFL were 6'-ish or less...

Lance Briggs - 6' 5/8"  242

Navorro Bowman - 6' 1/2"  242

Jonathan Vilma - 6' 1/2"  233

Lawrence Timmons -  6' 7/8"  234

Larry Foote -  6' 7/8"  231

Jon Beason - 6' 1/4"  237

Sam Mills - 5'9"  229

Lofa Tatupu - 6'  238

Stephen Tulloch - 5' 11"  241

Pisa Tinoisamoa - 6' 3/8"  231
 

Personally, I'd rather have a stout 5' 11" guy at 235, than a 6'1" guy at 230...not all guys have the body to add weight effectively, without losing atheticism, and while I did not check 40-times, 3-cones, shuttles, etc, I'm fairly certain that Bush is more athletic, overall, than 80% of these guys...and the fact that we already know how athletic he is, at that weight, and knowing he's not likely going to be asked to put on much more to his frame, well, I think judging him solely based upon his height is not an accurate indicator of his success in the NFL.

Same concept for CBs who are 5'11" or shorter...just because you are 5'9", or 5'10", doesn't mean you are relegated to a nickel/slot role...is it somewhat of a disadvantage??  Sure.  Critical for success, or a major barrier than needs to be overcome to be successful??  No.  Heck, look at QB and Russell Wilson...

So, is Bush's 5'11" height ideal??  No.  Will it hamper his success??  Not all by itself, it won't...not anymore than a 6'3" guy who runs a 4.75...maybe Bush gets beat by a few TEs in coverage...okay...but he'll likely be right in their hip pocket to make the tackle...the 6'3" ILB with 4.75 speed may get beat on a route due to speed, AND, won;t be able to make the tackle, because he'll already have been beat...just one example...

 

EDIT:  I can't believe I forgot Zach Thomas (5'11" 242), Derrick Brooks (6' 235), Al Wilson (6' 240), and if you want to go a little old school, Tom Jackson at (5'11" 220)

There's a big difference from a stumpy 5'11" to nearly 6'1".  Vince Williams always seemed bigger to me.  But 2" is a significant difference.  I'd much prefer 6'1" 230 to 5'11" 235.  I don't like short, stumpy players.  I know some defy their measurables and are good regardless, but if we're looking in a vacuum, that's my thinking.  

I'd take Vander Esch at 6'4" 256 with 34" arms at 4.65 over Bush with 5'11" 234 with 32" arms at 4.45.  Broad, vert and bench are very comparable.  That is especially true with a better 3-cone and SS, and given that Vander Esch was #19 and Bush was #10.  That is irrelevant at this point though.  We have what we have, and don't have what we don't have.    I watched the first part of that preseason game, and I saw a stumpy ILB out there and figured that had to be Bush.  Sure enough it was.  I hope he's a stud, since we have him.  He just don't check many boxes for me.  He literally checks only 2 boxes for me.  He is the right position, and he runs a 4.45.  Otherwise he's the opposite of what I look at for the type of players I like.

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