Steelers

Offseason Needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

1. Wide Receiver
It’s starting to look like the Pittsburgh Steelers will let Mike Wallace sign elsewhere, opening up a hole in their receiving corps. Ben Roethlisberger has asked for a tall receiver in the past and instead was given Wallace (6’0″), Antonio Brown (5’10”) and Emmanuel Sanders (5’11”). This is a deep class of receivers, making it the perfect time for the Steelers to finally grant Big Ben his wish.

2. Outside Linebacker
James Harrison turns 35 in May is only a shell of his former self. The Steelers may chose to save some money and cut him loose this offseason. Jason Worilds will be first in line for his starting job, but some depth is needed.

3. Offensive Line
The Steelers continue to surround Ben Roethlisberg with one of the league’s worst offensive line. As he enters his 10th year in the league, protecting him becomes even more important. Max Starks and Ramon Foster are unrestricted free agent who may be let go. The Steelers may do some reshuffling of the line, so it’s tough to say which positions need to be filled, but they definitely need to address the situation.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Steelers, Team Needs Leave a comment

Mike Adams disappoints in Steelers debut

The Pittsburgh Steelers gambled on Mike Adams in the 2nd round of the draft, taking a chance on a guy who never lived up to lofty expectations at Ohio State and who failed a drug test at the combine.

So far, it’s a gamble that hasn’t paid off. Adams was forced into action when Marcus Gilbert went down with an injury early in the Steelers Sunday night loss in Denvar. One the third play of his career, he was called for a penalty. He then went on to allow one sack and two hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.

Adams clearly has the size and athleticism to play at this level, but he’s never demonstrated the consistency necessary to handle the demands of the NFL. Gibert is expected to play this week against the Jets, so Adams will be back on the bench. But his performance certainly doesn’t instill confidence should Gilbert or left tackle Max Starks go down at any point this year.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Rookie Notes, Steelers Leave a comment

Adrian Robinson impressing at Steelers camp

Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie linebacker Adrian Robinson‘s stock is rising, according to Chris Adamski of CBS Sports. Robinson entered camp with little chance of earning a spot on the 53-man roster due to the Steelers depth at linebacker, but his performance could make for a tough decision for the Steelers coaching staff.

Adamski currently has Robinson on the outside looking in on his projected 53-man roster, but notes that if James Harrison or Jason Worilds starts the season the PUP list, it would open up a spot for Robinson.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Rookie Notes, Steelers Leave a comment

Mike Adams’ job already in jeopardy?

The Pittsburgh Steelers handed the starting left tackle job to 2nd-round pick Mike Adams, but after a shaky debut his job may be on the line.

In a span of just nine plays Adams allowed 2.5 sacks. He then suffered a knee injury which will keep him out of the Steelers next preseason game, preventing him from quick redemption. To make matters worse, the Steelers have activated veteran Max Starks from the PUP list.

While the Steelers haven’t publicly stated that Adams’ job is on the line, this recent series of events certainly doesn’t bode well for him. After all, Adams isn’t a 1st-rounder who entered camp with high expectations. He’s physically gifted, but had a reputation at Ohio State for being lazy and doing just enough to get by on the field. He needs these preseason games to prove he’s matured and can handle the pressure of the NFL.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Steelers Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers take the smart, patient approach to the draft almost every year and it is one of the key reasons why they are perennial contenders. While other teams reach to fill needs, the Steelers sit back and wait for someone to fall into their lap.

This year was no different as the Steelers landed David DeCastro, who will step into an immediate starting role and should be a key piece to their offensive line for the next decade.

Mike Adams was a calculated risk in the 2nd round. He’s had a number of off-field issues, including a failed drug test at the combine, and on the field often looks lazy and disinterested. But the Steelers did their homework on Adams and apparently feel comfortable bringing him aboard. He perfectly fits the mold of the type of lineman they like, so if they can keep him motivated, he’ll be a steal.

I was surprised by the selection of Sean Spence because I’m not sure how he fits into the scheme in Pittsburgh. He’s sort of a strong safety/linebacker ‘tweener, which made him an ideal fit at weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense. But in Pittsburgh he’ll be forced to play inside. I have a hard time envisioning him as anything more than a special teams guy in Pittsburgh.

Alameda Ta’amu is another prospect who perfectly fits the Steelers scheme, but also comes with a lot of questions. Ta’amu is an elite talent, but can’t stay in football shape. He’s battled weight issues since high school and it’s tough to break those habits once you’ve reached this level.

Chris Rainey is an explosive offensive weapon. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers use him because they really haven’t had a player with his skill set in the Roethlisberger era.

Toney Clemons has the size the Steelers need at receiver, but he’s a longshot to make the final roster cuts.

I really like David Paulson but he’ll have a tough time finding a job in Pittsburgh. He’s a good fit for their offensive scheme, but Heath Miller and Leonard Pope already have two roster spots locked up. He’ll compete with Weslye Saunders for a job, but there’s no guarantee that either makes the final cuts.

Terrence Frederick will compete for a backup job with Cortez Allen, Walter McFadden and others.

Kelvin Beachum is a versatile lineman, which could help him earn one of the final spots on the offensive line. His upside may be limited, but he could carve out a career as a backup.

Overall, this was a fairly strong draft for the Steelers. They only landed one guy who projects as a guaranteed future starter (DeCastro), but Adams and Ta’amu have the upside to potentially develop into steals down the road.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Steelers 1 Comment