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bigben07MVP

Post-Draft 55 Man Roster/Depth Chart Prediction

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55 minutes ago, turtle28 said:

@kurgan Maybe it’s me, but I think Eric Ebron will play a lot as a true TE, I think he’s the starter over McDonald. And, actually, I think the Steelers are going to run a lot of two TE sets w/ he and Vance on the field together, especially on 1st downs. Maybe Ebron is more of an H-back then true inline TE, but he’s not going to be running WR routes or something. He’s a TE, a new era TE/move TE that’s come around more this decade as offenses have become more and more pass happy.

I also definitely think Cain makes the team and possibly Switzer for his special teams ability and ability in the slot as well. 
 

So, I get that you’re probably not going to do this “for your exercise,” but the reality is that the Steelers will list their TEs & WRs as such IMO:

WR1: Smith-Schuster, J. Washington, Cain

WR2: D. Johnson, Claypool, Switzer

TE1: Ebron, Gentry

TE2: McDonald

Perhaps they keep Christian Scott-Williamson for blocking purposes, but if they keep a FB again and so think they do keep Derek Watt, they’re probably not keeping 4 TEs. I’m not sure they’d keep him over a 5th and 6th WR like Cain & Switzer.

I appreciate you thoughts, but you are sorely mistaken if you think he is gonna play as a tight end.  I did an extensive breakdown on the thread that on his signing and he is a big slot WR.  His size has him listed as a TE, but if you see how he was used in Detroit/Indy, he is clearly a big slot.  He does not block, he does not play Inline, and he runs sophisticated WR routes down the field.  He has never played as an H-Back/Move TE.  He is a mismatch slot weapon.

Without going too far down the personnel rabbithole, it doesn't really make a difference.  If he is on the field with Vance and a RB, you can call it 12 personnel... to me it is 11.  IF he is out there with Gentry/CSW and Vance, you can call it 13, I will call it 12.  Bottom line, if you make him TE #1, and he goes off the field, who is his primary replacement?  Another WR.

Also, you cannot keep Cain, Swtizer and CSW.  You'd have to make cuts somewhere else.

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1 hour ago, kurgan said:

I appreciate you thoughts, but you are sorely mistaken if you think he is gonna play as a tight end.  I did an extensive breakdown on the thread that on his signing and he is a big slot WR.  His size has him listed as a TE, but if you see how he was used in Detroit/Indy, he is clearly a big slot.  He does not block, he does not play Inline, and he runs sophisticated WR routes down the field.  He has never played as an H-Back/Move TE.  He is a mismatch slot weapon.

Without going too far down the personnel rabbithole, it doesn't really make a difference.  If he is on the field with Vance and a RB, you can call it 12 personnel... to me it is 11.  IF he is out there with Gentry/CSW and Vance, you can call it 13, I will call it 12.  Bottom line, if you make him TE #1, and he goes off the field, who is his primary replacement?  Another WR.

Also, you cannot keep Cain, Swtizer and CSW.  You'd have to make cuts somewhere else.

That’s why I said Ebron is a TE in today’s offenses’ mold. I guess you can call it a big slot but it’s the same thing. It’s just semantics. I get it but your kinda like trying to create a new position for a player that plays the way he does when in reality that player is still known by NFL and college teams as a TE. No, it’s not an in-line TE, but it’s still a TE on their roster.

The perfect example for me as a Redskins fan is Jordan Reed. Reed couldn’t block, he would be a blocker off the line of scrimmage most times on 1st down and short yardage. For example, if he got locked up on a DE as a blocker like with Ebron, it was a nightmare, but then on 2nd and 3rd downs he was a big slot/a TE they moved to the slot or even outside, but still, the Redskins listed him as a TE on their roster for 7 years.

And as for CSW, I said that would be the roster cut I’d make. The Steelers are a pass first team with Ben on the field and have been all decade and basically since the Bus retired. They’d keep a 5th, maybe even a 6th WR over keeping CSW IMO. Cain and even Switzer have the potential to be used more in their pass first offense then a big blocking TE like CSW, especially Switzer bc of his special teams ability.

Edited by turtle28

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On 5/1/2020 at 6:52 PM, turtle28 said:

If healthy last year the Steelers were better than the Bills for sure and the Colts and Broncos? Why are they even in the conversation as being playoff contenders?
Those teams all got better this off season. Take a close look at what the Colts have done via free agency and the draft.  They were a few wins from being a play-off team last year. One thing about them is they are physical on both L.O.S.  They ran the ball fairly well against the Steelers last year.  They are building a very SF 49'ers type of physical team. Broncos got faster on the outside and have improved.  Last year this time people laughed at the Bills. In fact, AB didn't want to go there when a trade was worked out because he didn't look at them as a contender either.  Many fans laughed and made jokes about getting traded to lowly Buffalo. Good thing he didn't go.  If he was focused on football and went there, they would have been even better.  Buffalo has also quietly assembled a solid team. These teams and others are doing that as well.  

The Steelers were equivalent to the Bills last year w/o Ben, Juju, Conner & Tuitt. So, if any number of those players are healthy last year the Steelers would’ve been a playoff team for sure.

No doubt that the offense would have been better with any and all of those players. The fact is they were 0-2 with them all healthy before Ben went down. Had the Steelers had a veteran back-up QB, they probably make the play-offs. Mason and Duck were thrown in there way before they were ready. They did better than they should have. Teams played to their inexperience down the stretch. Not bashing my team at all, just stating the facts without making excuses.  If Ben is healthy with the defense, who knows how far they could have gone.

I definitely think the Steelers will compete for the AFC North Div Championship but most likely the Ravens will win the division again. It’s between the Browns & Steelers for the #2 but if the Steelers are healthy, I still think they are better. The Steelers and Browns may both make the playoffs this year as the wild card teams. 

The Ravens are another team that stacked up on some talent through both free agency and the many draft choices they had. I think the Steelers will be better than people think, but I am also watching several other teams in the AFC as well.  The Colts, Ravens, Broncos, and Bills are better teams provided they can stay healthy at key spots as well.

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Adding a bunch of high priced FAs in FA & adding some draft picks does not guarantee a team wins 3 or 4 more games in a season, especially in an off-season with COVID-19 and they have a new QB 38 who's 38 and is on his first new team in the NFL since being drafted in 2004. That's a hell of a of a lot of change. That much change didn't work for the Redskins in 2000, the Eagles in 2011, the Browns last year and I don't think the Colts will improve much. I think they're an 8-8 team. The Steelers are a lot better than the Colts, the Browns should be better in their 2nd year removed from a lot of change, the Titans are better than them, the Texans are better than them, the Bills are better than them and I think the Raiders may be better than the Colts this year.

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10 hours ago, turtle28 said:

Adding a bunch of high priced FAs in FA & adding some draft picks does not guarantee a team wins 3 or 4 more games in a season, especially in an off-season with COVID-19 and they have a new QB 38 who's 38 and is on his first new team in the NFL since being drafted in 2004.

I agree that adding a bunch of guys doesn't guarantee wins. However, adding the right guys does typically bode better for teams. Phillip Rivers is not a mediocre QB.  He is still in the upper end of QB's. His experience bodes well and they got him some weapons. That defense looks like it will be better as well. I am concerned about the Colts in the trenches. The look like they have gotten a lot more physical and can push some teams around on both sides of the ball. I am not letting my black n gold homer glasses keep me from giving credit and respect where it is due. Getting the right veteran players will typically help especially when you don't have the practices, OTA's, mini camps, etc to learn. I agree with you, but I feel that will hurt the rookies much more than the veterans that they signed. 

That's a hell of a of a lot of change. That much change didn't work for the Redskins in 2000, the Eagles in 2011, the Browns last year and I don't think the Colts will improve much. I think they're an 8-8 team.

I agree that a lot of change can also hurt a team. I don't think the Colts tried to do what the Redskins, Eagles or Browns did with trying to spend on big names to translate to wins and championships. I think the Colts are building through the draft. Even though the Ravens signed some big names, they also have a ton of young draft choices that will eventually take over. Unlike the Bengals of some years back, I think that the Ravens front office and coaches have proven that they know how to utilize their talent and retool rather than rebuild through free agency while the young guys develop. I am by no means bashing the Steelers nor do I think that our team is not improved and won't compete. I am simply acknowledging that other teams appear to have gotten better as well. We won't know until the games are played. 

The Steelers are a lot better than the Colts, the Browns should be better in their 2nd year removed from a lot of change, the Titans are better than them, the Texans are better than them, the Bills are better than them and I think the Raiders may be better than the Colts this year.

Many fans thought they Steelers were a lot better than the Bills and Jets too last year. Those teams improved and beat us ( I am not dismissing the fact  nor am I using the excuse that the Steelers didn't Big Ben).  A lot of teams appeared to draft well and at least on paper got better. My hope and desire is that the Steelers can finally put it all together, go into the play-offs healthy and finally hoist Lombardi Trophy #7, but it isn't going to be a cake walk. There are some teams that seem to be shifting in power from some of the traditional strong teams (Bills and Colts are a few in my opinion that are).  I like what the Colts GM and coaches are doing to build a solid roster/team. That is no knock to Pittsburgh, just sharing my opinion. 

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On 5/2/2020 at 8:16 PM, turtle28 said:

That’s why I said Ebron is a TE in today’s offenses’ mold. I guess you can call it a big slot but it’s the same thing. It’s just semantics. I get it but your kinda like trying to create a new position for a player that plays the way he does when in reality that player is still known by NFL and college teams as a TE. No, it’s not an in-line TE, but it’s still a TE on their roster.

The perfect example for me as a Redskins fan is Jordan Reed. Reed couldn’t block, he would be a blocker off the line of scrimmage most times on 1st down and short yardage. For example, if he got locked up on a DE as a blocker like with Ebron, it was a nightmare, but then on 2nd and 3rd downs he was a big slot/a TE they moved to the slot or even outside, but still, the Redskins listed him as a TE on their roster for 7 years.

And as for CSW, I said that would be the roster cut I’d make. The Steelers are a pass first team with Ben on the field and have been all decade and basically since the Bus retired. They’d keep a 5th, maybe even a 6th WR over keeping CSW IMO. Cain and even Switzer have the potential to be used more in their pass first offense then a big blocking TE like CSW, especially Switzer bc of his special teams ability.

To me, a tight end is like George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Austin Hooper, Zack Ertz... you get the idea.  I know there are not a lot, but Ebron is not any of those guys.  He is not even Vance, who may not be a top 20 TE, but he is actually a TE.  Zach Gentry to me is more of a TE than EE.  CSW for sure is.

I get that it is easy to say any dude that is over 250 and wears an eligible number is a TE, but to me it is not that simple.  And, I don't really care what is modern and new and what is old, as evidenced by the guys above.

To me a TE is a guy that you can stick as the EMOL and block/chip a DE on run plays.  Yes, all of the flex out stuff is a bonus, but can you get in a 3 pt stance, get dirty, and at least tie or help on a DE on a base run play?  Kittle can, Kelce can, Hooper and Ertz can.  Vance and CSW for sure can, and reports are Gentry can.

EE cannot. Has not.  Never has. Not in college, not in Indy, not in Detroit.

Has he lined up there in the red zone and PA pass run a route? Yes.  Has he 'stalked' blocked as an EMOL?  Yes, and it was embarassing.  (He literally stood up and danced in front of a OLB, who it was clear was supposed to cover him since Indy wasn't fooling anyone... so it was effective if very ugly.)

I'll take it a step further... most TE's in the NFL, much to my chagrin, are asked to play H-back roles of playing off the LOS and lead blocking on running plays.  They pull, move and chip on running plays, functioning as a more athletic old school FB.

Guess how many snaps I found EE doing this??  Less than 10.  And guess what he did in those plays??  Ran a seam route/shallow crosser, or cut off backside.

NOW, all this being said, (as I said in my breakdown), he maybe was not asked to do a lot of that in Indy/Detroit/college.  Maybe he was not asked to be a true TE.  Maybe he can... maybe we will try... IDK, but I cannot be just like... OK the TE position is set since we signed EE.  If you look at his tape at all, and look at how we have used TEs in the past, he does not fit.  He does fit as a big WR that we liked when we had Bryant, Coates, and the like that we had for a bit.  Also, I am not knocking the signing... I like how EE will fit in our system.  He is a matchup nightmare in the RZ, is fast enough, and runs great corner/go/Drag routes, which is what Ben likes to throw.  I can imagine the RZ packages that will be installed that might have EE and CC on the same side, or CC, EE and JJSS in trips to one side, and Vance as a TE on the other.  Talk about stressing a defense.

In defense of CSW... let's imagine a world in which Banner and Chuks have to play on the OL.  With the impetus to improve the running game, what TE can you put that you know can block the DE? That job has always been the 6th lineman the last coupla years, but what if the 6th lineman is say Wiz.  You can't ask him to play an eligible OL.  No, you want an old-school grinder TE that can block on running plays and run seams on PA.  That is CSW.  

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@kurgan I'm not trying to "call you out" or something, but do you have any proof of CSW blocking chops, other than his size? If so I'd like to see it, because I really want to like him. 

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29 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:

@kurgan I'm not trying to "call you out" or something, but do you have any proof of CSW blocking chops, other than his size? If so I'd like to see it, because I really want to like him. 

I remember reading that he showed he could handle himself as a blocker in Alex Kozora's TC reports last year. 

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2 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

I remember reading that he showed he could handle himself as a blocker in Alex Kozora's TC reports last year. 

Nice! I keep looking for any scrap of information about him. I'm rooting for him hard because he's such a cool story. Plus, he's giant.  

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@kurgan We’re talking past each other. I'm not arguing how EE will be used. He’ll be used in the exact way you say.

I'm saying the Steelers will not list him on their roster/depth chart as a WR. He’ll be listed as a TE.

For your depth chart you seemed to overthink things IMO by putting EE as a WR and then, cutting two WRs, one of two which will almost assuredly make the team - either Cain or Switzer - in order to make room for CSW a big TE who could be put on the practice squad and called up if  the Steelers have injury.

This isn't the Jerome Bettis era, the Steelers will keep Cain or Switzer for Ben’s passing attack or both - if needed - over a 4th string blocking TE.

 

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21 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

I remember reading that he showed he could handle himself as a blocker in Alex Kozora's TC reports last year. 

yea... he was praised for blocking and even at one point Tomlin mentioned that if he could block DE's that he would make the roster.

@turtle28, I have no doubt he will be listed as a TE.  Just like Big Dan is listed as a DE.  I am talking about usage and what we expect to see.

I look at roster construction a bit different.  If, as we agree, EE is being used more as a slot WR... you would be keeping 6th and 7th WR over #3 TE with a defined role.

We can all agree that JJSS, DJ, JW, CC are WR 1-4.  I am saying that EE is WR #5... Cain and Switz would be 6 and 7.

I would personally love to have Gentry and CSW available to do TE stuff if Vance goes down in game, or to have defined roles in certain games.  If Vance goes down in game, Gentry would be the only TE that could do TE things in this scenario.  I am not counting on EE or CC to do TE things.  You would be killing certain things in your playbook.

I would even love a scenario in which you keep a WR #6 (say Cain) and CSW on the 55 and mix and match based on game plan.  I didn't have either on my 55 b/c I wanted an extra lineman, but I would be good with that.

Regardless, the Steelers might do as you say and roll with EE, VM and ZG as the 'TE room.'  This would especially happen if Banner/Chuks don't have to play together. One could be the power TE.

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