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Monday, August 31, 2015

Steelers trade for Scobee

The Steelers on Monday traded for placekicker Josh Scobee, who had spent all of his career in Jacksonville.

On the surface, it seems like a move made out of desperation. But when you look a little deeper, it appears the Steelers might have made an upgrade not only over Garrett Hartley, but over Shaun Suisham - at least in some aspects - as well.

Scobee has long been one of the better long-distance kickers in the league, making 62 percent of his career kicks from 50 yards and beyond. And, perhaps more importantly, he is a legitimate kickoff guy.

Scobee had an off season last year on field goal attempts, making 20 of 26 - though three of the misses were beyond 50 yards - but he had 63 kickoffs and just 20 of them were  returned.

Suisham had 89 kickoffs last season, but 54 were returned.

Hartley, well, he wasn't much of a kickoff guy at all. In fact, he just wasn't good at it, kicking line drives that failed to make it into the end zone.

Scobee's career make percentage of 80.9 percent isn't as good as Suisham's 84.1, but what the Steelers will give up - at least for this year - in made field goal percentage, they'll gain in kickoffs.

The big thing with Scobee is that he'll cost the Steelers $3.4 million this season. He'll be a free agent at the end of the year, so they'll likely go back to Suisham. The Steelers and Jaguars are splitting Scobee's salary.

That could be enough to still do something with Kelvin Beachum before the season starts, but time is running out on that.

* The Martavis Bryant suspension news came down today.

I'm not going to delve into it to greatly, but I did clear up a couple of things.

This would have been Bryant's third positive test. The first puts you in the system and for the second, you are docked two game checks. The third positive test now results in a mandatory four-game suspension.

Obviously, the Steelers knew about Bryant's other positive tests. It's likely a big reason why they selected Sammie Coates, who has a similar skill set to Bryant, at least in terms of speed and size, in the third round of the draft this year.

Also, both Bryant and Le'Veon Bell will be permitted in the Steelers practice facility during their suspensions.

This was not always the case. The league used to ban players who were suspended from team facilities during those periods. Now, that is only the case, at least for banned substances, if the suspension is under one year in length.

If the player is suspended for PED usage, they are not permitted in the facility at any time.

* The team made its roster cutdowns today to 75. The only players that stood out to me were safety Ian Wild and receiver C.J. Goodwin.

Wild, who also has lined up at linebacker at times, might have lost out to Jordan Dangerfield's knockout blow on special teams against the Bills. I still think he'll be a possibility to come back on the practice squad.

Goodwin also was released in the first roster cutdowns last year and was signed back to the practice squad. But he missed a significant portion of training camp with a shoulder injury, which hurt his chances.

In many cases, the first cutdown is made to make sure the team has enough players at each position to get through the final preseason game.

Don't read too much into players being let go now.


Marc said...

i would be interested to see how scobee has kicked in cold weather. it's a big difference.

Dale Lolley said...

It is, but nobody really kicks well in cold weather. Even Justin Tucker doesn't boom the ball once it gets to be late November and December.

The thing the Steelers like about Scobee is that he has shown the ability to perform all the other kicks, directional, pooches, etc. They weren't thrilled with Hartley.

Anonymous said...

they weren't? so without the hammy this or some other move could have happened?

I like it though. With our potent offense and an atrocious defense we need all point possible, and if needed beyong the 50 at times, where Tomlin simply shied away from Suisham

adamg said...

Another local paper implied Scobee lost his job to a rookie kicker. Hopefully the Steelers didn't give up much to get him.

kelly said...

I assuming the trade was for late round (7th) pick. Any chance the Jag's are going to eat some of Scobee's salary, as part of the deal?

datruth4life said...

Dale, was a 6th round pick next year too much to give up for Scobee? Would the team have been better served saving that $3.4M against the cap and just picking up one of the kickers let go at the cuts on Saturday?

Also, I might be of the minority, but I think the Steelers can do better than Josh Harris to back up Williams the first 2 games. I'd keep J. Chisholm. He at least gets positive yards and can pass protect. With Harris, talk about someone who looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane.

And lastly, With the team trading 5th (probably ends up being a 4th) and 6th round picks next year, would you say the Steelers are going mostly all in to try and get a Super Bowl this year?

Dale Lolley said...

I don't think a sixth was too much to give up. They needed a veteran kicker who also gives them something on kickoffs. Scobee certainly does that. No guarantee he would have cleared waivers to make it to them.

And who, exactly, would have kicked for them on Thursday? There's also the matter of playing next Thursday as well since they have the opening game. They wanted to get somebody in who could get acclimated, not have to worry about that going into their first game.

And yes, the Jags are eating some of the salary.

Anonymous said...

So Dale, based on your last paragraph, what chances do you see Ian Wild at landing on the practice squad?? His ILB/Safety versatility certainly seemed to speak to the coaches based on how much he was used everywhere. I cant figure out if his lack of playing time on saturday is bad for him or related to what your last paragraph says

Lance Williams said...

If it was weed, it would take 2 stage 2 positive tests. There's a special exception for weed.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not going to guess whether Wild gets signed somewhere else. Too many variables. I believe they would like him back.

adamg said...

I see Velasco was cut by TN. I know they brought back Legursky, but would the Steelers be interested given he played well for them a couple years ago? Or doesn't Munchak like him?

Dale Lolley said...

They are unlikely to make another move there at this point unless they have another injury.

Mark said...

Maybe I'm reading this wrong,but wasn't it 4 failed tests? First he gets caught and enters stage 1. The next time he gets caught he enters stage 2 and gets fined. The first violation in stage 2 is another fine (page 21, only applies to weed). And the 2nd violation in stage 2 is the suspension.

adamg said...

It's not clear if Bryant was suspended under the old policy, the new policy or a combination of both.

Anonymous said...

Velasco was so good filing in for Pouncey that year, he was a dependable starter for the entire season and unless age has really caught up with him I'd strongly prefer him over Legursky.

Anonymous said...

Appeals are heard on Tuesdays. How is it his appeal was denied yesterday? And he had 5 days upon notification of his suspension to file his appeal. When he was asked about it a few days ago he hadn't received any official notification. So how is his appeal already denied?

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