Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Starks tag means

The Steelers' transition tagging of Max Starks means that Alan Faneca's days in Pittsburgh are over.

But it also means that Willie Colon is looking at a move to guard or even center – which is also a possibility – if not Colon, then Kendall Simmons could be shifted to center.

The Steelers weren't at all happy with center Sean Mahan's play and will be looking at different options there.

Darnell Stapleton will also get a serious look.

Does this mean the Steelers won't look for an offensive lineman in the draft? Nope.

Marvel Smith is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2008 season and given his back problems, the team is unlikely to re-sign him. Plus, they don't want to hand a starting spot to Chris Kemoeatu.


keona said...

Starks is not up to it.

Terrible decision.

kelly said...

This decision makes me nervous. Starks wasn't even in the top 3 OT's on the team based on losing his starting job and now he may get paid like he's top 10 in the league? And how is his knee? Hopefully the Steelers can get a contract done and not have to pay a one year hit of 7 mil.

I've always liked the idea of Simmons at center and I think Colon would be better suited at guard. Does Stapleton have a shot at starting at center?? Mahan, in my opinion can't cut it and would be much better at LG. Let him and Kemo battle it out.

Any way you slice it, I think we need a couple of O-line picks on day one.

Anonymous said...

good move. Starks played very well, albeit in limited action this year. Kelly, he was the #3 OT this year, which I believe puts him in the top 3. 6.8 is a lot of jack but they are confident that he will sign an extended contract or leave via FA. I believe they will draft a LT and a C. Kemo/Colon play RG, with Simmons moving to LG, and Starks at RT.

keona said...

Rubbish. LT against the dolphins in slush.

Against the rams 2 sacks were by Starks directly. Pathetic player.

Dale Lolley said...

They realize they aren't going to be able to re-sign Faneca. They are close with Starks and wanted to give themselves some time.
Stapleton will get a shot a center.

keona said...

INSIDE INFO: source says coaching staff and front office at odds over Starks and Draft Options

Some VERY interesting stuff, that if true, really shows that the Steelers Front Office and Coaching Staff (namely Bruce Arians) are not on the same page.

Someone very close to the Steelers provided the following info:

... the front office just shoved Max Starks down Bruce Arians's throat as the Steelers close in on a long-term deal for a guy Arians had benched. "If they match any contract for him," the source said, "and then he's standing on the sideline during the game, the guys who have the same name around here are going to demand answers." The source also pointed out that a long-term deal -- and the tenure that would go with it -- will force the staff -- which always has questionable tenure -- to look at Starks with more respect than the Starks who had only one year left on his contract.

... the coaches who "had to have Mahan" are now backpedaling and saying, "oh, hey, man, we knew he was just a backup." The source doesn't appreciate the lack of accountability, "and I'm including Tomlin in that, too."

... a center is a strong draft possibility, but then the source slipped into disgust. "We're going to draft a center, we're going to draft a guard, we're going to draft a tackle, draft, draft, draft. Hey, we only have six picks. That won't fix all the problems."

... Corey Williams was a Steelers target in free agency, but the Green Bay defensive end was recently franchised. Asked if the Steelers are interested in Justin Smith, who was Dick LeBeau's first draft pick back with the Bengals. "Nope," my source said. "They think he's strictly a 4-3 end."

... Ryan McBean will help next season, "at least on special teams as one of those Keisel-type wedge-busters because he's big and he can run." But so could Shaun Nua. And so could Lee Vickers. "That's what I said, so I asked if he'd turn his shoulder at contact and I was told that he won't, that he has the necessary lack of intelligence at the point of contact." The source also said that McBean works out at the facility every day and impressed the coaching staff with the way he finished the season.

... Clark Haggans could return. It's being written by some that Haggans definitely won't return, as if he's disliked by the organization, but that's far from the truth. "It could turn out the way Deshea turned out," the source said. "Remember? They didn't think he'd be back, but they scooped him up once the price was right." It's the same scenario with Haggans, he said, but that LaMarr Woodley is held in higher regard now than Townsend's expected successor Bryant McFadden was back then.

... the running back situation could remain intact, and this nugget also raised my source's ire. "The OC is really big on Gary Russell, thinks he'll be the new guy we all want to see back there." When I responded that I, too, like Russell, and that Najeh Davenport needs replaced as the No. 2, The source agreed: "Right. If Russell has anything, let him show us as the No. 3, because he still hasn't shown enough to warrant that much optimism."

What's obvious here is that the front office and the coaching staff are not in sync on personnel. It's clear that Arians has way too much input and clearly has Mike Tomlin's ear. Does anyone think that's a good thing? When Cowher was the coach, the FO couldn't bigfoot him and shove moves down his throat like they did to Tomlin with the Starks transition tag. Cowher was too large a figure to have that done to him, but it's clear the FO doesn't feel the same way about Tomlin/Arians.

At the same time, it's clear the coaches and FO disagree about the needs in the upcoming draft. I think the front office will take control of this draft so if anyone thinks we're drafting 3 offensive linemen, they had better be prepared for a surprise come draft day. I think the Steelers draft one OLmen fairly high, but that's it because drafting more than one just doesn't make any sense if Starks and Essex and Kemo are still on the team next year. The part about the running backs is also very distressing. If they have such confidence in Russell, why didn't he even dress for almost the whole year? I wouldn't be counting on a guy who flunked out of school and sat around a year allowing himself to get woefully out of shape.

If the front office runs this draft, a DE and a RB will be taken high. If the coaches get their way (like they did last year with Spaeth and Sepulveda), then count on several OLmen

Dale Lolley said...

Way to regurgitate information that is not your own, especially with me knowing exactly who your "source" for that info is.
Of course that same "source" wrote the same thing this week that I said last week - the re-signing of Starks will mean that Colon moves inside to guard.

keona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keona said...

Who Dale do you think the Steelers will actually get in Free Agency?

Who have the Steelers targeted in Free Agency? Corey Williams + who else... Players perhaps out of running through money e.t.c.

Who do you believe will be the Steelers first round pick? Players that you know the Steelers are keen on that will be with us in 08.

Would the Steelers have selected Revis... and not Timmons if both were there at pick 15 last year?

If you answer these questions I will never be a smartarse to you again... I mean that. I will forever bow down to your information and you as a person. I would respect you as a person (I already do as a matter of fact) and a person who has quite the sources at the Steelers.

Trust me on that!

Thanks for the banter Dale. Honestly I think you are terrific. Don't let the little 'mumblings' and 'drivel' I may write affect you.

I was probably having a bad day.

Take care.

Dale Lolley said...

Don't sweat the small stuff. I don't.