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Wednesday Wakeup Call: The desperate draft

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column tries — and fails — to take seriously the notion put forth by Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert that the Steelers aren’t rebuilding.

You’ll find in that column my preference for the No. 1 draft pick, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, and as a result — knowing I wouldn’t have space to elaborate all that much in the column — I spent the entire opening of the TribLIVE Radio show on the topic.

Here’s video of that segment …

… as well as the full one-hour radio podcast.

Here’s Lacy’s results from the recent Pro Days. You have to love how .03 of a second in a sprint is allegedly enough to knock him out of the first round in some estimations, even though he’s had a bit of a hamstring.

Here’s an exceptionally detailed Lacy outlook from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel around the time of the Scouting Combine.

And here, for the fun of it, is a widely varied and excellent collection of Lacy highlights, all from his senior year with the Tide. Pay particular note to his pass-catching, something not all that common with a back built on tree-trunk legs …

So, I want to hear from you: We’re one day away, and who’s your pick at No. 17?

Do you think positional need should weigh into the Steelers’ call at all?

>> How has Colbert fared over the years? Our Alan Robinson breaks it down.

>> James Harrison meets the Cincy media and claims he doesn’t hate the Steelers. He gets his own segment in the podcast above.

I will say this for him since that radio show: By nightfall, he posted links to this Associated Press article on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, accompanied by the following five words: “I don’t hate the Steelers.”

>> Tough night for the hockey team, possibly tougher for Brooks Orpik.

Here’s what Jarome Iginla had to say afterward …

>> Terrific night for the baseball team, especially terrific for Jeff Locke.

Oh, and if you missed highlights because the game wasn’t on local TV, here’s the official batch.

>> I’ll visit with John Steigerwald on TribLIVE Radio today at 1:30 p.m.

 

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Milo Hamilton says:

    Who would have ever thought the Pirates would have been able to keep their heads above water until Brandon Inge got back?

  2. Brandie says:

    They have acquitted themselves quite nicely.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    I never knew they were guilty………….. ;)

  4. Frank Farrrell says:

    I’m a Clemson fan (hence why this would be my pick) but DeAndre Hopkins is easily has the best hands I’ve ever seen in my entire life, absolute playmaker, great personality (despite the BS report about him trashing a hotel room, which will be refuted once facts come out). I know Steelers re-signed Sanders but Hopkins is a future-Pro Bowler no question. Unbelievable talent. Don’t believe me, watch his Chick-Fil-A Bowl highlights against a pretty good LSU secondary. Dude is a monster.

    DK: Welcome, Frank, and thanks!

  5. John Castellano says:

    Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Lacy. I’d like the Steelers to draft Jarvis Jones (seems like a favorite by a few major media outlets) or even trade down for a player like Manti Teo.

  6. Frank Farrrell says:

    Thanks Dejan, no problem. I’m a huge fan of your columns; keep up the good work.

  7. Joseph says:

    That’s a really great Alabama o-line highlight video. Not sure how it showcases why we should draft Eddie Lacy.

    DK: Yeah, a lot of the plays do that, no question. But you also see stuff to like about the back.

  8. Alex B says:

    Eddie Lacy absolutely shouldn’t be the pick at #17. Highlight reels are fun to watch, but often misleading. Lacy’s stock has been slipping recently, getting winded at his pro day was a bit of a slight on his work ethic. I’d say he’s an early second rounder at best now. He also had the luxury of running behind four highly touted NFL prospects (Warmack, Fluker, Barrett Jones in this draft, Cyrus Kouandijo is a projected 1st rounder in 2014), but did less with his carries than other guys such as Johnathan Franklin, Mike Gillislee, and Gio Bernard who should all be available for us in the second or beyond.

    I think the only way I’d be comfortable with us drafting Lacy is if he slipped to our pick in the second, or if we traded back from 17 and stockpiled some extra picks, but that’s a bit complicated to forecast accurately.

    Personally, I feel like the Steelers could go in several different directions if they stay put at 17 – Kenny Vaccaro, Jarvis Jones, Cordarrelle Patterson, Arthur Brown, or either of the top guard prospects should they slip a la David DeCastro – and we have a lot of flexibility options. The only two prospects commonly mocked to us I dislike are Eifert and Lacy, which isn’t an indictment on their skill as much as I think it wouldn’t be us getting the best value for the pick.

    DK: That’s good input, and welcome to our place. All I’ll add is that I don’t describe that video as a reason to draft him. Limas Sweed had a tremendous college video, too.

  9. Frank Farrrell says:

    do you think he’ll still be available for the Steelers though? If he is I’d take him in a heartbeat.

  10. Alex B says:

    Also; forgot to include DeAndre Hopkins in my list, as a post above me reminded me.

  11. Michael says:

    Lacy would be an awful pick, representing terrible (read: Troy Edwards-like) value. If a position player must be taken, let it be Tavon Austin, Tyler Eifert or Cordarelle Patterson (in that order). Let’s be honest, Jarvis Jones will be the pick if he’s there but I’m of the mind the Steelers should go offense early. Sorely lacking playmakers.

    DK: Agreed emphatically. So why go with a short-yardage receiver who will touch the ball at most 10 times a game over a back who touches it 25?

    And you never explain why Lacy would be an awful pick.

  12. Pete D. says:

    I’m completely in favor of drafting Lacy with the Steelers’ first pick. They need someone that can carry the load and give a jolt to a running game that hasn’t been like we’re used to seeing as of late. But also as a Penn State alum and committed Steelers fan, I would love to see Pittsburgh pick up Mike Mauti at some point. (No, not with their first pick obviously). I know he’s probably not the pass rusher that the Steelers need and his injury risk certainly has a lot of people second guessing him, but he’s such a great story and having met his family, I can’t help but root for him. It’s a somewhat impractical pipe dream, I know, but watching him in the black and gold would be an absolute pleasure. Just seeing him with the team, even as a special teamer (he can certainly tackle like an NFL player), would put a smile on my face if only for my non-unique, homer reasons.

  13. Frank Farrrell says:

    just read a mock draft sending Dee Milliner to Pittsburgh. I sure wouldn’t mind that, even with the reports of his multiple surgeries.

  14. Alex B says:

    That scenario is entirely plausible; it’s not like we have staggering depth at inside linebacker, and Larry Foote is on his last legs. Plus, if I’m not mistaken, I believe the Steelers have met with Mauti at both the combine and Penn State’s pro day. The interest is certainly there.

  15. Dax Whittle says:

    Ben is the key to the Steelers making a Super Bowl run. Having lineman to keep him off of his back are the key. I know Eddie Lacy would be a nice addition, but I would rather go with a Pro Bowl Guard if Womack or Cooper are available. We could have one of the best lines in football if one of those guys are there. Guard also seems like the fastest position to make an impact as a rookie for the Steelers. Kendall Simmons started as a rookie and he was picked at the bottom of the first round. I like Ramon Foster, but if you can get a guy to plug in at the spot opposite DeCastro, you gotta get it done.
    I think the only impact players we could get are the two guards and Tavon Austin. The guys on defense don’t do anything til second or third year.

  16. theplanisworking says:

    One thing is for certain,
    come draft day, the Steelers will probably pick someone we never heard of.
    Someone will slip down, or they have someone rated highly that we just dont know.

    I wouldnt draft Lacy just because I feel the Steelers have more pressing needs elsewhere, such as CB, S, LB.

    Lacy may be a nice back, he may not be.
    If he falls to the second round, get him.

    What I do know for certain, is that Tomlin/Colbert cant miss with this draft. They havent had too many good picks the past few years, and another “meh” draft will hurt the franchise.

  17. Joseph says:

    To actually answer the question and be less snarky: since we brought Sanders back, I wouldn’t mind a player like Codarrelle Patterson if he fell to us, since he’ll have some time to refine his game and there are a few interesting, tall receiver prospects that we could pick up in the later rounds as well. I also wouldn’t mind Jarvis Jones. I wouldn’t mind Xavier Rhodes or Kenny Vaccaro. I also wouldn’t mind Eifert because you’re not getting much value trading down in this draft anyway, so you might as well stay where you are and draft who you want to draft if you can’t move the pick, I suppose. Not feeling too excited about this pick in general. Seems Colbert has already tried to temper our enthusiasm by claiming that whoever was drafted wouldn’t be expected to contribute their first year, anyway–though why I’m trusting anything a GM says around this time, I’m not sure.

  18. Mizery says:

    I don’t want Lacy at 17. Not because I don’t think he is good, but I don’t like the idea of drafting a position that has a 4 to 5 year life span. I would take Vaccaro because Clark and polamalu aren’t getting younger and I think Jarvis Jones is a steal at 17. I would love for them to trade down, but everyone is trying to so probably won’t happen. Wr’s are pretty average overall in this draft and not excited enough about any of them to draft in first round. A fourth round WR can be just as good. I also don’t like Eifert because even if we get him we would have to use him. We like our tight ends to block more than anything,

    DK: Is it just me, or is no one here really laying out why they don’t like Lacy?

  19. Joseph says:

    The idea that the rookie wouldn’t be expected to contribute their first year also really makes me think that the top of their board skews defense.

    Speaking of their board, did anybody read the great Lance Zierlein article from last year, in which he discloses that the Steelers do a mock draft of their own–only every team picking is the Steelers? I found that to be fascinating.

  20. Adam S says:

    DK I feel that they should pick Vaccaro if he is still there. He is very good at everything from coverage to stopping the run. He can cover the slot when they are in nickle and if Troy gets hurt then he would be the first guy to step in. They really have no depth at safety. I think that Lacy is a good back but they can get a good back in 2 or 3.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, this is where I put in the “big Hippo” pants and do a PSA for Dejan:

    Welcome to all the new posters…….. we are very glad to have you here!
    To help identify you, please go to Gravatar.com and pick an avatar.
    Its free, quick, and easy…………….. Thanks!

    We now get you back to your regularly scheduled blog…………. 8-)

  22. Konstantin says:

    Looking more and more like we’re getting NYR in first round. Islanders probably played their way to 6th, and Winnipeg is likely finished. Sportsclubstats.com shows odds as essentially even between Rangers/ Senators, but Ottawa’s extra game is huge. Plus, like with the Flyers last year, this matchup just feels like its been brewing for about the last month.

    Not the typical reward you’d expect for winning conference by ten points in a 48 game season. Argument to be made its a tougher matchup than seeds 2-4 will get.

  23. theplanisworking says:

    DK, I dont like Lacy, because I feel he is a product of Alabama’s system, and O-Line.

    I dont think he is worthy of a 1st-round pick.
    2nd round? Yes.

  24. theplanisworking says:

    Just saw a mock that has Tyler Eifert, a TE from Notre Dame as their first pick.

  25. Michael says:

    Thanks, DK. Appreciate your response. I think Lacy would be an awful selection based on his perceived value and the seemingly wide held belief that he is not a top 17 player in this draft. I think RB can be addressed later in the draft, perhaps even with multiple selections.

  26. Joseph says:

    In my opinion, Eddie Lacy just isn’t that great of a running back. He’s a consistently strong runner and nimble enough for somebody with his leg strength, but he’s not a game-breaking back that is special enough to warrant that high of a draft pick. A significant number of college running backs had a higher percentage of big runs (15+ yards) than Lacy. Also, I don’t think he’s a good fit for the direction that our run blocking schemes seem to be going in, in terms of integrating zone principles and drafting offensive linemen that are more agile than overpoweringly strong.

    I don’t believe running backs, unless they are elite, which Eddie Lacy is not, are worth first a round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. Regardless of the number of touches they may get, they just don’t offer you the amount of comparative value to justify the early round pick. Does that lay it out well enough, whether you agree or not?

    I think Christine Michael out of Texas A&M would be interesting, and he worked out for Coach Kirby. I think Zac Stacy from Vanderbilt could be another intriguing option in the later rounds. Heck I would also roll the dice and bank on Marcus Lattimore’s future with a mid-round pick before I drafted Lacy with pick 17.

  27. Jim S says:

    Tyler Eifert is the pick. Lacy is great, but they stand a better chance of finding a solid RB after Eifert than they would of getting a stud TE after Lacy.

  28. Mizery says:

    I agree DK. Not hating on the talent just hating on the value of the position. I can’t say I don’t like him. Part of the problem with the Steelers running game last year was the blocking. A guy can’t run if the line doesn’t create a push at the LOS. Maybe these young guys can do it this year and give the running backs space.

  29. Mizery says:

    Eifert comes up a lot. Kiper is trying to use his draft persuasion on this one.

  30. theplanisworking says:

    I dont think Eifert is worthy of a 1st round pick either.

    TE and an avaerage RB arent worthy of the #17 pick.

    Colbert does have a tough job this year.

  31. Jim S says:

    This feels better than the “smoke & mirrors” start last year. I think they’ve earned an 11-9 record. They will have a hard time ever going on a long winning or hot streak (like 8 in a row or 15 of 19) because they play so many close, low scoring games. But, for the same reason, as long as they can get decent starting pitching and give the pen a break more often, I don’t see 15 of 19 losing streaks, either.

  32. Jim S says:

    Te’o will not be taken by the Steelers or any other team in Rd 1. He’s not a 1st Rd talent, plus you have to question his mental toughness & confidence at this point. Physically, he got swallowed up vs Bama (and Pitt). He’s deserving of 3rd or 4th Rd, at best IMO. Why take a chance earlier? I don’t see it.

  33. Jim S says:

    By your reasoning, RBs should always be taken before WRs simply because they touch the ball more? Doesn’t work that way. Teams pass for far more yards than they rush for these days. Very few teams even consider RBs in Rd 1 these days.

  34. Jim S says:

    Agree totally on the “must go offense first” comment. Your stud QB is in his prime. You’ve already let his receiving core slide, his all pro TE is a question mark. Take Eifert.

  35. Jim S says:

    I would question the wisdom of taking a guy in Rd 1 that may have had multiple surgeries. Too much risk. There are other studs to be found who are healthy.

  36. Reading says:

    TE Ertz from Stanford should be the pick. For running back, draft R. Graham from the other side of the Training Complex in the 3rd round. Ertz is the next H. Miller, T. Gonzalez, etc.

  37. Brandie says:

    Is Kyper a draft Jedi? Will he use his draft Jedi mind tricks to get the Steelers to select Tyler Eifert? Stay tuned…

  38. theplanisworking says:

    No, but it would take a Jedi Mind Trick to get his hair to move! ;)

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, and Miss Brandie……..
    before I retire for the night, lots of Hippo Good Wishes for your interview.

    Knock Em Dead, kid!

  40. Reading says:

    The 1938 Pirates got some pub last night as the Waner Brothers were the last brothers to hit back-to-back homers in MLB until the Uptons yesterday.

  41. Brandie says:

    Thank you sir. I will do what I can to make you all proud.

  42. walt says:

    DK would you feel bad if Mr. Huntingtons moves was the best thing to happen and him get fired ?

  43. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    DK – I think you present some interesting arguments as to why to take Eddie Lacy. It is possible that he is a guy that “could” make an immediate impact.
    I wouldn’t be totally against it, but it seems like #17 is a little high to take him.
    My concerns on Lacy (and there are concerns with everyone) is that he strikes me a little lazy and possibly injury prone.
    Also…I have not seen much production in the NFL out of Alabama players in recent years.
    RB Trent Richardson (who went much higher to the Browns last year) showed some flashes, but he doesn’t strike me with that much upside.
    I’m usually against trading down, but if there was ever a time to do so, this is the year.
    The Steelers could sure use another (for example) second round pick to help secure their broad range of needs.
    IF this took place, perhaps Lacy could be taken later in the 1st round.

    I’m against the Steelers 1st round pick being a QB, TE or OL.
    Again….Too many more pressing needs.
    I’ve gone back and forth on who they should take.
    I lean more towards an OLB (Mingo, Jones) or WR (Patterson, Hunter….Maybe Austin), but wouldn’t be against either DB positions.

    All in all….This is a VERY important draft for the Steelers.
    I think highly of Kevin Colbert, but he’s been missing in recent drafts.
    He has to come up with a strong one this weekend.

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    I think Lacy is a good back but a reach at 17. As others have mentioned he had a great line. There’s a legit concern that he is a product of Alabama system. Mark Ingram was the first RB taken in 2011 (28). He hasn’t shown much in NFL. Yes, he’s with a pass first team but NO has got decent production from Pierre Thomas during that time and no one is suggesting Thomas is great. Ingram can’t get past Thomas on depth chart.

    I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of posts saying what is wrong with Lacy. He looks like a solid RB. I like Lacy, just not at 17. If Steelers trade down and get Lacy, great.

    I just think to fill all the positions this team needs, that it makes more sense to take another position in Rd 1 and look for multiple backs later. One in the 2-4 range and another late or undrafted. There is a better chance getting an RB post Rd 1 that can contribute year 1 than any other position.

    All that being said, from a team need standpoint I agree with the points in your podcast on why to take Lacy. The best way to get Ben and the passing game going is to get a legitimate run threat.

    A team can be good by simply getting good players in the draft. To be great, a team that builds almost exclusively in the draft needs to get maximum value in as many rounds as possible on top of getting good players.

    That’s why I think taking Vaccaro, a legitimate pass rusher if available, Patterson or Eifert in first then taking RB later has more potential to address team needs. But if they take Lacy and can get value from picks 2-4 it could be a very good draft and address team needs.

  45. Ghost says:

    NO to Kenny Vaccaro, please. A number of mentions of him here recently. But I’ve heard that he is s.l.o.w. Even if that’s based on a bad day at the invitational in Indy last month, I say we don’t touch him. The last thing we need is a defensive back running around who is vulnerable to getting burned. Safeties aren’t “plug-n-play” in Dick LeBeau’s defensive anyway, so wait a few rounds and pick up a kid who needs a little polishing, perhaps, but who can really fly. This worked out perfectly with Ike Taylor. And lest I remind you, Troy Polamalu was mostly a special teams and bench player, his rookie season.

  46. Drew71 says:

    Dejan, I don’t think anybody is saying they don’t like Lacy. I think the sentiment is they don’t like him in the first round.

    Alabama’s system doesn’t always translate to the pros. Huge OL. Strong RB. Run over smaller college players, especially as you reach the secondary. Straight forward.

    So while it is not universal, Tide backs, by NFL standards rather than in absolute terms, can’t cut, can’t quickly accelerate (game speed rather than clock speed), and with the notable exception of Lacy, can’t catch.

    NOT saying they are useless, just that they often fit the description of part time RBs.

    If Lacy had played for, say, pitt, with its system and line, I wonder how he would have done and where he would be rated. We’ll never know (though some will claim to).

    Is this system judgment fair? NO. Are there exceptions and might Lacy be one of them? Sure. But with the history and Alabama’s system, I would have to be awfully sure before punching Lacy’s ticket at 17.

    And I’m not. Maybe smarter people than me in the Steelers’ draft room are.

    DK: Right. I guess what throws me is looking at his being .03 seconds off expectations in a sprint and saying that could drop him a round.

    As you suggest, NFL scouts look for different things. How does a guy handle, say, running into a large, powerful foe right at the line, leverage, leg drive, continuation, desire … ?

  47. Drew71 says:

    Dejan: Re your need vs talent Q…my thoughts:

    1. Loser organizations go need-only in the early rounds of the draft
    2. But you can overcompensate. If the best at 17 was a QB???
    3. So talent with a recognition of need. In some fashion for which I couldn’t guess, rank all picks in straight order, then secondarily rank them by some level of need.

    The talent evaluators who are, um, talented, get that balance right. But I think the balance favors talent.

    PS – the scale of need is different in rounds 1-2 and late rounds. Take the best available player if he’s a QB in round one? No way. But in round six? Yeah, maybe.

    PPS – there are other factors too, of course. Who has to be replaced NEXT season due to pending free agency but where there is no obvious need today? Who are the 10 to 25 obvious immediate impact guys in each draft? Do you have a HUGE gap between two players which might encourage you to pick a medium need guy at 17 over the next guy on your list who is a higher need position? (That’s how you get a guard in last season’s first round.) And if another team calls and offers X to trade up, what is the value of X and what is likely to be available in their slot?

    So. Put all that together and I have no freaking idea.

    So nevermind.

    DK: That is really well done, Drew. I’d think that there’s as much value in having a base foundation like this as there is in having an accurate, informed big board of the student-athletes themselves.

  48. Drew71 says:

    I’m happy to see Locke pitch so well but I am not gonna lose my mind over one excellent outing.

    I’ve watched him pitch. I’ve seen the action of his ball in person, sometimes very close up.

    I think his top end is back-of-the-rotation starter.

    Fine. Nothing wrong with that.

    Bottom Line: in my opinion, Locke is neither the problem nor the answer for this rotation.

    The problem is a terrible #4. If you wish, maybe a questionable #3.

    The problem is compounded by no AVAILABLE depth, at least until some injuries clear.

    Did I say “until”? I meant “if”.

  49. JoeyBats says:

    I have the Steelers needs in Round #1 as….”MANY” :-(
    .
    * Edge Rusher ==> Jarvis Jones
    * Wide Receiver ==> Tavon Austin
    * Running Back ==> Eddie Lacy
    * Safety ==> Kenny Vaccaro
    * Tight End==> Tyler Eifert

    Lacy is a reach @ 17. I would prefer the Steelers take Tavon Austin…he’s the BIG PLAY MAKER they need……however, my guess is that Austin will be gone at that point, taken earlier in Rd # 1. I think that Colbert and Tomlin choose amongst Eifert, Jones and Vaccaro and I believe JARVIS JONES gives them the best return for their selection IF they decide to stay @ #17 slot.

  50. Thundercrack says:

    Well Locke had one thing going for him last night – he threw with the correct hand.
    Nice job. Go Wandy!

    —————————————————————————————–
    The Phillies will face lefthanded starters (Jeff Locke and Wandy Rodriguez) on each of the next two nights. They are 29th in baseball with a .539 OPS vs. lefthanded pitchers.

  51. MadTurk says:

    Drew you are making to much sense. Who are you really?

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  53. JAL says:

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/35092/sweetspot-tv-all-underrated-team

    18 PBC Site

    Locke, relievers silence Phillies in pitchers’ duel

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_23_pitmlb_phimlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Veteran Inge returns to Bucs ready to show versatility

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130423&content_id=45581708&notebook_id=45581722&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    10 Favorite Baserunning Memories

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20264

    20 Fangraphs

    Where Have All the Stolen Bases Gone?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/where-have-all-the-stolen-bases-gone/

  54. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Bengals James Harrison insists no grudges held against former-employer Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/23/4258012/steelers-bengals-Harrison-denies-grudge

    5 Burning Historical Mock Drafts Tomlin-Colbert Edition

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/23/4255324/steelers-draft-questions-2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says Team Needs Quantity Of Draft Picks Due To Departures

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-gm-kevin-colbert-says-team-needs-quantity-of-draft-picks-due-to-departures/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Bayern Munich 4 Barcelona 0: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/champions-league/10013507/Bayern-Munich-4-Barcelona-0-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 23rd April, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-23rd-april-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Another Streak Ends and No One Cares. Pens lose 4-2.

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/4/24/4259468/another-streak-ends-and-no-one-cares-pens-lose-4-2

  55. JAL says:

    One More Rainy Day Deep Purple 1968 Off their first album, which included the hit Hush. This album more progressive rock than their later hard rock/metal sound.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    You’re not playing along correctly Drew.
    We are supposed to be ecstatic about Locke and believe that JMac will pitch every time like he did in his last start.

    And we’re supposed to complain about the game being on the radio.
    Next comes us clamoring for Inge to take half the playing time away from Pedro.

    I would have thought you would have gotten that by now.

  57. Drew71 says:

    How’s this?

    “Why did those morons sign Olde Inge; now start him.”

  58. Drew71 says:

    Roberto F.

    Was that mean? I so hate it when I’m mean.

  59. John Lease says:

    Teo? Please, no drama queens.

  60. John Lease says:

    I’m worried that Inge keeps on hitting .250. He’s yesterday’s news, and shouldn’t be taking at bats from Pedro(unless it’s a lefty). And in that case, I’d rather have Harrison playing third.

  61. John Lease says:

    If Sanchez stinks again(and the odds are good), does Irwin return? And why hasn’t he pitched in AAA since his return, did he get hurt after ONE start?

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    Borderline snide.

  63. SJB says:

    I think I know how Buffalo does it. On top of not getting the respect from the Penguins (or most teams) as a team that they should be scared of losing to from a skill standpoint, the less than very physical play of the Sabres lulls the Penguins into a lax attitude and a game that would better be server at an inter-squad scrimmage. It’s one thing to beat a team you just can’t get up for but one that also doesn’t do much to invoke much animosity or desire to compete during the game is equally hard to beat. Combine the two and you get what we saw in the last two games.

    That’s why I’m hoping for the Rangers in the first round. They are a team that will make the Penguins play their best and force them to get off to a good start. The last thing they want to open the playoffs with is a team they know they should beat. If they can get past the Rangers, that should set them up better for the Caps, which I know they will see. The Caps are the one team I’m afraid of now more than Boston, Montreal or the NY teams.

  64. Drew71 says:

    Borderline?

    I’ll try harder next time.

  65. Jandy says:

    I love it when you’re mean. ;)

  66. Drew71 says:

    Just his feelings

  67. Jandy says:

    “I’m happy to see Locke pitch so well but I am not gonna lose my mind over one excellent outing.”

    Drew, Dahling, you lost that a looooonnnggg time ago :)

  68. Drew71 says:

    SOMEbody has to be.

    This place is so cordial.

  69. Jandy says:

    Keep up the good work!

  70. Jandy says:

    Shout out to Brandie…go git ‘em girl….good luck with the interview.

    Now, I gotta get my butt back to that bid…going to try to wrap it up today :)

  71. Thundercrack says:

    I’m willing to give Inge a month or so.
    I’m especially interested to see what he can do with the glove and as a pinch hitter….I’ve seen enough of JHay in those roles.

    DK: ‘I’ll take Things That Pirates Fans Debate’ for $200, Alex!’

  72. theplanisworking says:

    since when were we talking about cordial cherries???

  73. scapper says:

    Yep, been saying that about the Caps for over a month. Scary team, especially if you don’t stay out of the box. Ovie is possessed right now.

  74. gregenstein says:

    I’ll second this motion, except I’m not as big on Austin. Still, I think he’ll be gone anyway. Any of Vaccaro, Jones, or Eifert would be fine by me. I agree Lacy seems a bit of a reach.

    Essentially, they have so many “needs” right now that anything other than QB, P, or K would be acceptable.

  75. gregenstein says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t say Pittsburgh drafting Mauti is impossible. It’s just not going to happen before the 5th round is all. Somebody is going to draft him, and hey, the Steelers have needs everywhere.

  76. Patrick says:

    Te’o certainly IS 1st round talent. That’s not even really debatable. You don’t have o believe me, just look at every mock draft of every NFL insider from Mayock to Casserly. They get paid a lot of money to be able to tell the difference between 1st round and 3rd or 4th round talent.

  77. Patrick says:

    Jarvis Jones wont last till 17th. I haven’t seen him getting past New Orleans on any mock draft. Sure it COULD happen, but everyone seems to have him going between 6-13.

  78. Damon says:

    The Rangers with their system would make every game closer, but I still think the Pens beat them in the first round. It’s funny because the Pens are capable of winning their first 12 games in the playoffs, but given recent history and the fact all these great players coming back may cause the team to need time to re-gel scares me in the first round. Last night against Buffalo was a little scary too because the awesome system play the Pens have had recently wasn’t really there. I hope they don’t regress into bad habits. I may be waaaaay too over-reactive, but……it’s one thing to go into the playoffs as one of the favorites to come out of the East, but it’s another to be THE favorite and/or win the Cup. Makes every game and series so stressful because they are supposed to win….

  79. Patrick says:

    RB is a position that is becoming archaic in the NFL. I’m not saying I like it, just saying that its the reality of the NFL the last 3-4 years. Like TE or G the RB position is going to become, IMO, somewhat of a luxury pick that teams drafting late in the 1st/early 2nd.

    I will say this: this is the weirdest and most difficult draft to measure and predict since the 2000. No clear franchise QB and a embarrasing buffet of future all-pro defensive players. If you are looking to add defensive help this year you almost cant go wrong. But if you need a QB…well…better luck next year.

  80. Damon says:

    I was happy to hear Morton had such a good outing…May is coming soon, so insert Morton into #4….

  81. Patrick says:

    WR is a loaded position this year. No matter who they draft in the 1st there will be a guaranteed player to fill that role with the 49th pick. They would miss Patterson and Austin, but kids like Patton, Terrance Williams and maybe even Keenan Allen would still be there for their second pick. And ANY of those kids would be a great addition. In some years those kids would be 1st rounders themselves.

    WR is deep this year. Don’t think they wont get a playmaker for Ben. They wil and just because it isnt a 1st doesnt mean he isnt good. Wallace, Sanders and Brown were all taken in the 3rd round or later, and they turned out pretty good I think.

  82. Damon says:

    Only good thing is the Pens wouldn’t see Boston (if they win their division) or Washington until the 3rd round – they would play the #8, then next at best the #4 (Montreal or Toronto). That said, if the Caps made it to the 3rd round, they’d be on just as much a roll as the Pens….would be interesting. Just can’t see how the Caps would match up with a Pens team healthy and on a roll….

  83. Patrick says:

    No way Milliner falls past 13. Jets just lost Revis and the Lions, TB and NO comprised the three WORST secondaries in football last year. Milliner is the one and only true shutdown corner available this year. He is the next Revis/Champ Bailey. Guys like him come around once every 2-3 years. No way he lasts to 17.

  84. Thundercrack says:

    I saw his start.

    What about my feelings?!

  85. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks for being my editor.

    BTW, we are allowed to debate this right? I mean we haven’t quite beaten it into the ground…deep into the ground…like we have the Front Off…..

    :-)

  86. Dom says:

    I respectfully disagree with the idea that the Steelers should reach and take Lacy at #17.

    Perhaps I would agree if Kenny Vaccaro, Jarvis Jones, Xavier Rhodes, and Barkevious Mingo are all gone, then I could understand with the reach. In which case I would really hope they’re able to find a partner to trade down.

    The Steelers are not a now team. If finding a RB was the last piece of the puzzle in order to building a championship caliber team then I would agree. However, we’re not a now team. I think we’ll be lucky to win eight games next year. We have to take the best available at one of our many positions of need.

    Also, we most likely will be able to draft someone like Monte Ball or Jonathan Franklin. I think grabbing one of those guys in the second round would be a higher pick of higher value than drafting Lacy in the first.

    This isn’t to say that Lacy would be an awful choice. I just think there would be better options.

  87. Brandie says:

    Jandy,

    Good luck with the bid. Thank you for the shout out. Have a wonderful day, Lunatics.

  88. Bizrow says:

    I don’t think its so much who the Steelers take in the first round as how well they do elsewhere. Based on the little I know, and the names floating around out there, any of the proposed choices will work.

  89. DK said the other night on the “Goodbye Roberto” thread that we could talk about anything, any time, so let the beating begin.

  90. Bizrow says:

    We don’t know diddle about baseball, we are just fans ;-)

  91. NMR says:

    Very much so. But I think we still have to look at the results of the Morton and Liriano rehabs no different than spring training for other pitchers.

    Happy to see the stuff is back. Could care less about the runs/hits/strikeouts/walks.

  92. Patrick says:

    Lacy is a first round talent. And in other years he would have been a great pick. I look around the league and see the change in philosophies by nearly every team as an indication that the RB position simply isnt as neccesary as it once was. Atlanta released Michael Turner. St Louis released Stephen Jackson. It goes on and on..

    Whether its spread offenses or the read option, teams are doing all they can to keep the ball in the QB’s hands.

    I will say this: Lacy is the ONLY RB worthy of a 1st round selection, by anybody. If the Steelers take him it won’t be horrible. I just think there will be players with more ability to make an impact in todays NFL available at 17.

    And Austin is just too small. Hes the product of a system that played in one of the weakest conferences in DIV I. He is to small. For every Steve Smith and Wes Welker there are 5 Johnson’s, Moss and Owens. The kid is 5’8″ and 180. I don’t care what his pro sheet says. If he is 5’10″ then I’m 7′. Hes just to small and his stats are inflated.

  93. Thundercrack says:

    Speaking of Jeopardy, Greg Brown said at the end of last night’s broadcast (on the radio) that someone told him that a recent ‘answer’ on Jeopardy was:

    “This team raises The Jolly Roger after every win”

  94. NMR says:

    Great stat, TC.

  95. Patrick says:

    All these people in favor of a tight end….you folks do realize Miller is only 31 right? Yes he is coming off of knee surgery, but lets not set his longship afire and push him down the Ohio just yet.

    Even if he was washed up. TE is hardly the most glaring need for this team. They had the best TE in the AFC last year and went 8-8. I’m thinking they might have more glaring needs than a guy that gets the ball 4-5 times a game and is used primarily for blitz pickups.

  96. Steve says:

    The NFL is a passing league and the Steelers have moved in that direction even if their fans can’t accept that and long for the days of The Bus running behind Alan Faneca. I take Tyler Eifert if he’s available. Catches everything. Improved blocker. Heath Miller may not even be able to start the season on the active list. Find a capable back in a later round.

    Ultimately, I think the Steelers take a linebacker, receiver, running back and safety/d-back in the first four rounds.

  97. pattonbb says:

    I’m a huge Lacy fan. Think he’d look great in Pittsburgh. I was saying that in here when everyone else (DK included) was clamoring for a chance to draft Te’o.

    With their 1st pick, I’d love to see the Steelers take either Lacy or the cb from FSU, Rhodes. Rhodes is a physical beast capable of separating the ball on every hit, plus he has speed and great coverage skills.

    Lacy ran behind a great OL, no doubt. But that OL wasn’t 10 yards downfield when Lacy was running through LB’s and DB’s. Ask Georgia or LSU about that. Or Notre Dame.

    Jarvis Jones? No thanks.

    If they don’t go with Lacy, does anyone think taking Marcus Lattimore with a 3rd or 4th rd pick make sense? Do you think the Steelers could afford to draft him, then let him sit a year? I know there’s a lot of questions about that knee, but he was without a doubt, the best offensive player I saw last year (prior to the gruesome injury).

  98. Steve says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller start out on the PUP list. At 31 his career is far from over but he had a significant knee injury in the last game of the season. He’ll only be nine months removed from that when this season starts.

  99. Thundercrack says:

    It was actually at the bottom of that article about Grilli that someone posted the link yesterday. (from the Philly paper)

  100. kr70 says:

    Kevin Colbert might like going into the season with “what we have now” I doubt Mike Tomlin would agree. The steelers have so many needs it really doesn’t matter who they take first just as long as the player is a player who fills one of their needs

  101. JMB says:

    I’ve been on the Lacy bandwagon since the ‘Bama/ND game, so you’re preaching to the choir with me.

    No one else around that spot -17- impresses me as much as Lacy. Lacy will be an impact RB.

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s 6’3″. Is that tall?

  103. Patrick says:

    I know Miller will, be PUP’d. He probably wont be back to full form until the start of November, maybe not all year.

    And nothing against Eifert or Ertz, both are great players and would make considerable contributions. And I am not mute to the growing trend of 2 TE sets proliferating the league. But that’s not the offense Haley runs, and TE simply isn’t the most glaring need this team has.

    The NT is the most crucial component in the 3-4. Everyone thinks its the OLB. It isn’t. LeBeau’s system works only if you have an immovable object object occupying 2 blocker filling the B gap. Forces everything to the outside and allws for all the stunts and twists that free up the OLB to make plays.

    Both of their safeties are over 32. The FS is the 2nd most important position behind NT in the 3-4.

    WR and OLB are both clear positions of need. Even RB is a position of more need than TE.

    Again, Eifert and Ertz are GREAT players. Eifert will be a future probowler, no doubt. I just don’t see the fit this year for the Steelers.

  104. Vette60 says:

    Hmmm…Caps are playing very well right now and their PP is just sick. Over 25% conversion rate.

    Pens have played very well (minus a game this year) against the Rangers the past couple of seasons…I think that if they get them in the 1st round, while it will be tight, they will prevail.

    Boston would be tough for sure, same with the Caps – really can’t stand the Caps more than any other team (ok, maybe not more than the Flyers). Whole organ-i-zation just is grating…

    Last night’s game was a tough one. MAF juggling the one that was batted in was a tough way to give up a go ahead goal.

    Only saw the third period, can someone provide more details on what happened to Orpik other than an “Upper Body Injury”…

    Have a great day everyone.
    Randy in RVA

    PS. Don’t know NEARLY enough to comment on the Steelers and the draft. Just hope that the have a real solid draft to fill some of the holes that they have. Last year was a tough one and really don’t want a repeat of that.

  105. NMR says:

    For the year, the Sanchez/Jones platoon has hit .319/.420/.536, good for 3rd best production from the 1B position in the National League.

    The Pirates biggest problems against left handed pitching have been Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, who have combined to hit .150/.225/.275. Much more is needed out of those two based on their career averages.

  106. SeanAY says:

    True story. Watched it with my own eyes last night.

  107. Patrick says:

    Kiper sucks. Moyock, Casserly and McShay are far more reliable and accurate. Kiper is still around because of his name and his RIDICULOUS hair cut.

    He and the “worldwide leader” deserve each other. Clown shoes.

  108. Dom says:

    Miller is actually 30 till October. I believe the rationale behind drafting a TE is due to the fact that Miller is due $6 million in 2014 and will be a free agent in 2015. If we do not take Eiffert, there could be Zach Ertz in the second round or maybe either Travis Kelce or Vance McDonald in the third.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cutch seems uncharacteristically impatient right now. Maybe that’s his move when he’s going bad.

  110. tomp says:

    The Rangers, will smoke the penguins in the 1st round.

    Penguins have no heart, and Crosby will be a no show.

    Now is the time for NH to be shopping Jeff Locke for a decent SS who may be major league ready, or very close to it.

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    Walker is basically Clint Barmes right handed. Look for Ye Olde Inge (Thanks Drew, I only steal from the best) at 2B against a lefty or two.

  112. Frankie says:

    Teo to Vikings or Giants in First Round

  113. Frankie says:

    If he is available at 17 look for the Steelers to trade pick with the Bears who love him and need a TE.

  114. tomp says:

    I want to seeInge come through in a pinch hit AB, before he is anointed as a great NH signing.
    He will be a disappointment , for sure.
    Still don’t like that the pirates are carrying 3 guys(Barmes, Mc donald, and Inge) that are pretty much the same player.

    Need a lefty hitter or 2 on the bench.
    This team currently constructed, in not going to win.
    They need a guy like Presley for his bat, and his speed , more than a has been like Inge or Mc Donald.
    Too bad Tabata is such a dog, and has no trade value at this present time.
    Just shows to show you, that getting in shape means very little, if the mental side still needs work.

  115. NMR says:

    Agreed. Doesn’t seem to be working himself into hitters counts nearly as much.

  116. tomp says:

    There is just something about Inge that rubs me the wrong way.

    He looked annoyed , while he was being coaxed by the dugout to give the Zoltan sign.
    And of course, he gave a half hearted one to boot.
    Even though J mac is a terrible hitter, i think he brings much more to the clubhouse, than Inge will.
    But due to the 1 million price tag Inge carries, he will be with the team for awhile, unless he gets hurt.
    The Pirates need a lefty bat on the team, much more than Brandon Inge.

  117. NMR says:

    I don’t think you do this during the season(although it literally couldn’t hurt), but if this inability to hit from the right side continues for a second year, the team has to sit Neil down this winter and ask him to give it up, don’t they?

    Not like they’re going to make him any worse.

  118. NMR says:

    Well at least your giving him a fair shot before forming an opinion…

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    I suggest you learn a little about him & then he won’t rub you the wrong way. And besides, I happen to think James McDonald is a pretty good hitter.

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s actually kind of encouraging that we’re 2 games over .500 without Cutch being the driving force. He will put it together.

  121. tpbco says:

    Lacy=Ingram=Richardson…Too high to take at 17 and his style is really not that much different than what they already have. For RB, I like Franklin (UCLA) in the 3rd, got speed and hands.

    Austin, just too damn small. Sorry.

    I like Patterson, Eifert or Vaccaro. Although I started calling for Eifert back in February when I read the details of Heath’s injury. No question in my mind he will not be back before Halloween and don’t know how good then. Do you want Spaeth starting…or David Johnson? I can’t go there. Not unless they can get Patterson and he, inspite of his lack of big time experience, can come in and be at least the #3 receiver.

  122. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  123. I have to like him for not wanting to give that stupid hand thing. He’s 35, not 16. Zoltan signs diminish with age, I believe.

  124. Did they get the answer?

  125. Dom says:

    I agree. I think someone of the likes of DeAndre Hopkins could fall to us in round 2. IMO, there isn’t too much of a variance between Austin and Hopkins. We should pass on wide receiver in the first round.

  126. SeanAY says:

    Yup. It was the first question of the show, even.

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    The point is he gets it. Winning and camaraderie go way beyond Junior High School hand signals. For me, it was cute for about 15 minutes but it’s so last year.

  128. NMR says:

    I tried not to beg for that response, but it is exactly what I was thinking.

    It’s encouraging that the Snider/Martin/Marte are carrying the load while Cutch/Walker/Pedro are heating up.

  129. pattonbb says:

    The Zoltan thing would be cool if it wasn’t flashed every single time somebody reached base. Show it to me after a 2 out rbi single, or after somebody stretches a single into a double.

    Just my opinion.

  130. Agreed. It’s like a WR celebrating for 15 minutes every time they catch an 8-yard slant.

    Do it at the end of a victory if you must.

  131. tomp says:

    Like how Tiger fans were rejoicing when Don Kelly replaced him on the roster?.

    I just don’t think he fits a need on THIS team, as it is currently constructed.
    Would rather the Pirates use the 24th/25th roster spot on a lefty bat, who can run.
    What does Inge really offer, that Harrison can’t?, besides 10 years of age.

  132. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  133. Excellent. Probably somebody from Philly.

  134. tomp says:

    If that is going to be the criteria, then Inge probably won’t be giving it to for a long time.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    Jimmy McGuire has worked for Jeopardy for 13 years as part of the Clue Crew. He’s from Pittsburgh and graduated a couple of years behind me at Allderdice.

  136. tomp says:

    If Cutch wants it done, you do it!!.

  137. NMR says:

    I don’t think you’re going to get an argument out of anybody that Brandon Inge is a shabby signing.

    It’s the whole don’t-like-how-he-looks narrative that is silly.

  138. tomp says:

    You mean John Mc Donald?

    For a pitcher, James is not bad, for an infielder John is not good.

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  140. NMR says:

    How many times have you seen John McDonald play?

    If you think he and Brandon Inge are redundant, it can’t be many.

  141. 21sthebest says:

    +More than Lucky gave.

  142. tomp says:

    The body language is my main gripe with him.
    Whatever, no big deal.
    I just hope he is not going to be counted to come through in a big spot, because he is the last option.
    I guess we shall just have to wait and see.

  143. 21sthebest says:

    “What does Inge really offer, that Harrison can’t?”

    I realize Inge is at the end, but Harrison looks like he’s learning to ice skate when he plays defense. I hope to never see Harrison again.

  144. NMR says:

    But how does he wear his hat?

  145. tomp says:

    Go have another gin and tonic, it’s almost noon.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is that all you got ? I figured as much.

  147. tomp says:

    Many times.
    Inge and Mc donald are no hit, decent glove, over the hill , right handed , that have seen their better days.
    How is that for being similar?.
    Inge has the better ability to hit a baseball farther, Mc Donald has the ability to catch/field a baseball better.
    Other than that they are quite similar, and are not really good anymore.

  148. Dale Biesecker says:

    If we’re lucky enough, we gotta take Tavon. Even with fewer touches, teams will have adjust for hiss presence on the field. Players with his offensive skill set are too rare to let them slip by.

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where does that job fall on the 200 best jobs list? Must be pretty high. :-)

  150. 21sthebest says:

    I’m sure it’s higher than both of ours.

  151. Bizrow says:

    Eifert fills two needs, an offensive weapon and a Tight End to back up Heath

    With all the holes the Stillers have, they need to do things like that,

  152. Thundercrack says:

    Harrison seems like the one younger player that has gotten a chance to prove himself.

    And he hasn’t stepped enough – or at least not on a more consistent basis

  153. cmat0829 says:

    Nice smorgasbord of topics on the blog this AM….. me thoughts:

    1) Steelers definitely need a RB but Lacy at 17 is not the right slot in terms of his ‘value’. I dont think it is necessary to reach on a RB when it is proven that solid and good NFL RBs can come from anywhere in the draft. What about taking a later round chance on Latimore from South Carolina coming off the injury? Steelers need to put the “D” back in defense…go for pash rushers and solid secondary talent please.

    2) The Inge (cringe) debate… it is cool to discuss Inge’s role and value, etc…(cue Aretha Franklin, “that’s what blogs are for”) but in my view we shouldn’t use it as yet another proxy fight in the front office opinion war. A player like Inge, a veteran who I’m assuming brings a presence as well as some skills/versatility, is what pretty much every team looks to have on their roster… and I tend to think he will be a good contributor. He should play 2B tomorrow because Neil is really really bad against LHPs right now. Really bad.

    3) Give it up, yet again, for the Pirates who just flat out know how to build a bullpen (and there are quite a few teams that have bullpen issues right now to be sure). Grilli has been awesome (better than Hanny, subjectively and objectively); Melancon is excellent; Watson is very very good; and Hughes does have talent if he can get his emotions in check and exhibit better control. And Jose Contreras will be a very very good addition and likely takes the Hughes 7th inning role when he comes to Pittsburgh soon. Now, they just need Karstens to get healthy to be the long guy/spot starter and we will be set. Grilli/Melancon/Watson/Contreras/HughesorWilson/Karstens is the bullpen folks… with Gomez down in Indy stretched out to start if he is needed. If Hughes continues to struggle he can go to Indy and Wilson can stay in the ‘Burgh.

  154. Dom says:

    I would be okay with him. I’d like it if they knock out one of their more pressing needs but it is more important to get value in my opinion.

  155. aglebagel says:

    I would love to get Tyler Eifert. I admit that I have no idea how he blocks, but I remember in the game against BYU he had a couple of Larry Fitzgerald-esque go-up-and-get-it catches that really made me say, “Wow, who IS this guy?” He could be a great endzone option for Ben.

    Maybe we’ve all been brainwashed into this line of thought, but taking a running back who is anything other than truly special in the first round is not worth it. We were all saying the same thing after we drafted Mendenhall, too, and we turned out to be right.

  156. NMR says:

    False.

    John McDonald is an excellent defensive infielder, primarily shortstop, who is no worse now than he’s ever been despite all the pointless old age jokes you hear.

    Brandon Inge is a decent defensive 3rd baseman that can also play 2nd in a crunch. He also has a completely different batting profile as McDonald has shown much better bat control and strikes out around 10% less while Inge has the ability to hit for more power.

  157. pattonbb says:

    Who says you have to wait until noon for a gin and tonic? All of these new blog rules are confusing me. I like it better when we just argued over how Pedro was wearing his hat and who deserved to call themselves a “real fan”.

  158. 21sthebest says:

    The best thing he’s done, IMO, is break up Verlander’s no hitter because he swung at a pitch he never should have swung at.

  159. gregenstein says:

    I don’t care what defense you run, the FS is never the 2nd most important position. Not to say it is unimportant, but in the 3-4, I don’t see how it could rank ahead of DE, OLB, ILB, SS, or CB. That said, defense in football is the essence of what a team is about. 1 bad cog anywhere can really undo a lot of good work by 10 others.

    As for Eifert, I do realize Miller likely has a few more good years in him. Haley has stated he would run an offense that best suits his personnel. Eifert is a weapon. Unlike QB, there’s plenty of room on the field for 2 TE’s, especially if one of them can double as a fullback like Arians did. I also don’t see a WR being available worthy of the 17th selection. Austin if he’s available, but I doubt that.

    All that said, I can’t honestly say who I’d pick until I see who’s available, which I won’t know until Saturday because I’m not watching it Friday night. I have some paint that I need to be sure dries up properly.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    I look at Harrison and Presley about the same. Very popular for their energy and the excitement they can bring when they’re hot, but neither a 25th guy on a contending team. And certainly not 24 and 25. And while I’m not a big fan of the Inge signing (yet) he can fill both their positions, and more, defensively. A 2-fer.

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ah, the good old days. :-)

  162. Naterosboro says:

    MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    Yea, I want my props.

  163. gregenstein says:

    “Maybe we’ve all been brainwashed into this line of thought, but taking a running back who is anything other than truly special in the first round is not worth it. We were all saying the same thing after we drafted Mendenhall, too, and we turned out to be right.”
    ————————————————
    Well said. LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson…those are the type of guys I would consider with a 1st round pick. Lacy to me doesn’t quite fit that bill, though I’d welcome him with open arms as a 2nd round pick.

    This is the Pirates equivalent of not paying top dollar for a closer. Unless you’re getting Mariano Rivera, you can find someone who can cover it. Those resources are better allocated elsewhere.

  164. NMR says:

    Bryan Morris and Vic Black also pitching very well out of the pen down in Indy.

  165. As are some others. Their pitching has carried them to their current 13-6 record. Hitting has been OK, but not overwhelming.

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just got back from the bar, did I miss anything ?

  167. Naje says:

    DK…so much data out there that suggests very, very few first round running backs produce on a level that other first round picks produce. Not sold on Lacy… seems like, from his highlights, that he could be a Bettis-lite type… he is definitely thick around the middle, but not from the feet up, like Bettis. Light, quick feet like Bettis and maybe that’s sustainable, but there’s a mountain of data about taking RBs in later rounds or as free agents and using two or three or four of them to get the most out of the position.

    When we look back at the 2008 draft and think of Mendenhall being taken 23rd overall, was he really worth that pick? Was he really that productive? He was out for their SB run due to injury, had a couple of solid years, fumbled a bit more than most would like and had a couple of run-ins with not playing or practicing or paying attention to detail. Not saying Lacy is comparable, but taking RBs in the first round is a real risk, especially when there are so many solid RBs available in every draft in the later rounds.

    DK: You’re right. And for the record, I don’t take issue with the Mendenhall pick. He became a viable feature NFL back, and the Steelers did plenty of winning with him. But you’re right about the data, almost all of it due to injury.

  168. Naje says:

    You’re drunk. I can smell the lemon and lime from here.

  169. Naje says:

    You working on those Derby numbers yet? Keep me posted… I’ll get mine sorted out when the post positions are announced.

  170. Jandy says:

    Since you had too many cordials ;)

  171. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m usually the same way. I wait for Battaglia to make the odds & go from there.

  172. Jandy says:

    Good-bye Roberto? What did I miss?

  173. NMR says:

    Jerry Sands still stinks.

  174. Jandy says:

    +props

  175. Naterosboro says:

    As evidenced by my avatar, I keep good company. And we’re always the smartest men in any room.

    Comes with the territory.

  176. CWalton_67 says:

    Agree on Lacy.

    Beer hockey leagues > NHL. Horrible call on Ott goal last night. Obvious that referees simply did not want to skate an additional 5 minutes.

    Why have video review only to ignore the obvious?

  177. He was banned from the blog on Sunday.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure about that on the goal. OUR announcers seemed to think, while it may have been an incorrect call, the video didn’t meet the standard to overturn the on-ice call.

  179. NMR says:

    I’m not at all opposed to swapping the Inge/Presley/Harrison spot for an 8th reliever, if the team gets to the point where the bullpen truly is overworked.

    Certainly not ideal, but you gotta play to your strengths.

  180. Very good point. And you know they will be overworked by July at this rate. Need we use last season as an example?

  181. JohninOshkosh says:

    Next Wednesday, right?

  182. AL says:

    Not sure what made me think of this but…..does anyone know if a Penguins player ever scored a goal while being shorthanded by 2 men?

  183. Jandy says:

    Ouch. I wasn’t on Sunday, working on this darn bid!

    Thanks, Spunky

  184. There is a lot of explanation on the Pirates’ thread that day. If you have some time later, look at it.

    There were some problems with some folks and some nonsense DK was putting up with and he put an end to it.

  185. Naje says:

    Yes… they draw for the pills next Wednesday…

  186. Drew71 says:

    Sometime mid morning, I see that Milo posted my wife’s wedding vow.

    “For me, it was cute for about 15 minutes but it’s so last year.”

    Not bad for a drunk.

    Him, too.

    - ye olde drew

  187. JohninOshkosh says:

    Naje:

    I really like Goldencents in the Santa Anita. But the extra furlong at the Downs might do him in. That’s why I think I’ll go with Verranzo who had sluggish splits at the Wood but looked good at the finish.

    For a Perfecta I might consider throwing in Normandy Invasion. Looks like a good finisher. Always look for good finishers in the Derby because it’s usually the longest distance the colts have run. Not a “name” bettor by any mean but like Normandy Invasion’s name as well.

    As always, will wait for the draw and forecast as well.

    Looking forward to it. My wife and I are invited to a Derby party. First one I’ve been to. My wife is going to wear a hat and everything.

    Hope you can make it there.

  188. casper in a-town says:

    Hey Biz — I’m not against picking Eifert, because I value the importance of a tight end in this league, especially in our offensive scheme (assuming we’re still in the dink and dunk mode). However, I don’t like the pick if the goal is that he back up Heath if and when he comes back healthy. I wouldn’t like wasting a first round pick on someone who will ultimately be a back up.

  189. Jandy says:

    Here’s one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LS67HK7aBU

    And I can’t stand frggin Richards.

  190. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, I agree with you, didn’t make myself clear, I would think that when Heath gets back on the field, you’d be running a two TE offense, so they would both be on the field, especially in passing situations.

  191. Naterosboro says:

    Stolmy Pimintel tho.

  192. AL says:

    That’s it! I knew I’ve seen one before!
    Thank you Jandy.

  193. Jandy says:

    because it’s the garage league :/

  194. theplanisworking says:

    I have asked you to quit insulting garages!!!! ;)

  195. Naterosboro says:

    Got this from mlbtraderumors.com

    Pirates closer Jason Grilli told ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider required) that he wouldn’t trade his past trials and tribulations in his career because they’ve made his new role that much sweeter. Grilli relishes the chance to be “The Guy” at the end of games, and he was encouraged last season by then-teammate Joel Hanrahan telling him, “Grilli, you can definitely do this.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/04/central-links-grilli-cubs-valverde.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  196. Bizrow says:

    Thats from a pretty nice writeup on ESPN Insider

  197. Milo Hamilton says:

    (Hiccup).

  198. Bizrow says:

    + a bunch

  199. WVStarship says:

    Agreed. I’ve been watching hockey since before the Pens were a franchise and that has to rank in the top 5 worst calls I’ve ever seen. If they’re not going to use video replay properly then why bother?

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    What am I missing?

  201. PetroSteel says:

    The Pirates:
    I say we give this team a chance before being soo damn negative all the time…
    Maybe Locke has found his groove and will be a very successful starter???
    Maybe JMac has figured it out???
    Maybe Inge was a good signing???
    Maybe Huntington isn’t as bad as we thought (Gabby and Snider are looking pretty good right now)???
    They are playing very good ball right now. Who cares how they’re doing it (low scoring, close games, etc, etc, bla, bla, bla,). They are winning!!! They have a good team. They have good leaders and good coaches and good players (Maybe even a good GM that is making good moves).
    I know it’s been a long time (I’ve lived through it all).
    Maybe it’s time that we are happy about what they are doing until they prove us wrong. So far it’s been pretty good.

  202. Trey says:

    Just got home from the game in Philly. Much better than my first trip there – kicked out for being in the wrong seats and wearing Pirates gear as well as a buccos loss – but man, I still hate that place. Got a freakin’ flat on the turnpike about 10 miles from the exit. Shouldn’t ever go back. Awesome game from Locke.

  203. SJB says:

    I would be Mario has done at least once.

  204. SJB says:

    oops…”bet”

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me three times, seek professional help.

  206. Madturk says:

    Now I know why this thread is called the wake up call

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  208. 21sthebest says:

    You’ve been fooled?

  209. theplanisworking says:

    Fool me 4 times, be an Apologist. 8-)

    I am surprised the Bucs are over .500 so far.
    I am not going to Plan the Parade yet……….long way to go.
    Given the histories of the Collapses, I am being uber-cautious til mid-September.

  210. PetroSteel says:

    Well Milo, you shouldn’t be a Pirates fan anymore…Non of us should. Because they have certainly fooled us more then enough times. Maybe we should close PNC Park and get them outta town.
    oy vey

  211. theplanisworking says:

    You mean someone is awake??

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    People that can just turn that off weren’t really fans in the 1st place.

  213. NMR says:

    Over/under 50 times this same exact conversation happens between now and August?

    I’m taking the over all day.

    Good lord, we get it.

  214. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m waiting to hear what Neal thinks the metrics say this team’s record should be,
    :-)

  215. 21sthebest says:

    I was hoping Nutting hired Bill Livesey to keep Neal from looking at those metrics.

  216. NMR says:

    It’s a running joke, but yeah…wow. Absolutely dominating.

    I just realized he’s only 23. This may be his 3rd time through the Eastern League, but he’s still right around the average age.

    I could see the team pushing him like Kyle McPherson last year since Stolmy is in his last option year. Get him a cup of coffee this September and see if he can be part of the staff next spring.

  217. JohninOshkosh says:

    NMR

    You would make a poor bookie.

    98 days until August. Over/Under should be set at 98 x 2 or 196 allowing for twice a day conversations.

  218. JohnH says:

    Are we allowed to discuss the mental side of things? or how to train for the mental side of things?

  219. NMR says:

    Clearly gave everyone too much credit.

  220. JohnH says:

    Being 6’4″ I consider myself an expert in tall and I would consider that tall.

  221. JohninOshkosh says:

    Early prize for the debate of the year was yesterday’s Chef”s hockey/baseball/television or lack thereof debate.

    It was like I slammed a full Mad Dog 20-20. I still have a headache.

  222. NMR says:

    Glad I wasn’t alone.

    Actually made me feel a bit guilty since I assume thats exactly what the hockey/football crowd thinks of most Pirate conversations.

  223. Naje says:

    Well that’s some good insight…and solid picks, each. Enjoy the Derby party…be careful of those mint juleps, they sneak up on you.

    I will be there for at least part of the racing day…and, weather permitting, will be at the KY Oaks the day before. It’s billed as Louisville’s Day at the Races… there will be about 110,000 people there that day and Derby will have at least 150,000. Good luck and have a great time at the party… you may want to take a “Derby Pie” with you. Look it up online and see if you can get one shipped, unless your hosts already are having some at the party.

  224. NMR says:

    Great opportunity for him. Hope he can hit enough at the big league level to let his good eye play out.

  225. Baywatch says:

    Afternoon, Everyone! Can’t wait to see if Wandy’s back out there, throwing his darts again! Hope we ADD TO Halliday’s already INFLATED ERA (6.04)!

  226. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sorry about that one. I just couldn’t help myself. I guess I need to lay off the sauce.

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

    Reminded me of South Park’s Chef getting upset when they made fun of Scientology,

  228. JohninOshkosh says:

    It wasn’t you, man.

    Besides, it led to one of Dejan’s all-time best gems with that 8 track zinger. That one goes into the Hall of Fame.

  229. Naje says:

    Can’t wait till we’re having actual baseball conversations about baseball games and situations instead of everyone pointing fingers, playing the blame game and resorting to pro/anti sentiments.

    They are a good team…they’ve increased their margin for error (where in years past they couldn’t afford one or two mistakes from anyone) and they’ve got a bit of confidence in the lineup and in the pitching staff.

    There are so many people here who know the game, are passionate about the game and can discuss actual baseball strategies and personnel… I have a feeling we’ll get there this year. No unicorns involved.

    Win or be fired. No cheap shots. No tv contracts. No GM can’t do anything right. Just baseball.

  230. Dom says:

    This would be an ideal avatar for someone on this blog if we do draft him.

  231. Ghost says:

    After reading this exchange, I’m deducting 10 from Tomp’s column and putting into Milo’s.

  232. Milo Hamilton says:

    Have the doctors examined the sandwich ?

  233. NMR says:

    That is terrifying.

  234. Jandy says:

    pffffffft!!! :P

  235. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think that just switched me over to Eddie Lacy.

  236. Jandy says:

    :;snicker::

  237. Jandy says:

    Go back to sleep :P

  238. Jandy says:

    I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a good thing I had this bid to work on, or *I* would have been the one getting kicked off the blog!

    This blog needs a like button.

    It also could use and “ignore” button.

    Just for dorktards like the one mentioned above.

    :)

  239. Jandy says:

    I just lost my lunch :(

  240. Dom says:

    Yep. Their prognosis was delicious.

  241. MadTurk says:

    What’s wrong with the other eye?

    Drew take it?

  242. Ghost says:

    Still seeing way too much love here for Kenny Vaccaro. He’s slow, guys and gals. Not sure what his appeal is, other than the fact that pundits list him as the only first-rounder among safeties. Steal one or two safeties later in the draft who are projects but who have more of an upside. At No. #17, go for the purest stud available who isn’t a QB. Vaccaro isn’t that guy.

  243. Bizrow says:

    And its a two sided conversation, both sides feel strongly about their points of view.

    I’d say, it should not be surprising to anyone that if you take one side or the table, the other side will respond.

    I don’t think its the same old, same old argument

    Its going to happen, and it is talk about baseball

  244. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, we need a difference maker here

  245. The Gunner says:

    The bullpen is sure getting their share of work thus far. This is a huge concern long term.

  246. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  247. Bizrow says:

    Hope but, you know, that expect thing ;-)

  248. NMR says:

    Team is playing well > fool me once/don’t mess with Texas isn’t the same old argument?

    As Dejan would say, the things Pirate fans debate…

    *rolls eyes > sips coffee > shakes head*

  249. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos are good at that……….. :)

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, you calling me again? ;)

  251. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  252. theplanisworking says:

    I think he may have a fight with “Subway Jared” on his hands……

  253. theplanisworking says:

    Not enough bread to make a Lacy sub………. ;)

  254. Arriba Wilver says:

    It may have started out that way, Biz, but it ended up with chef calling hockey fans dumb, hockey irrelevant outside of Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers rubes. It went way beyond the merits of which game should be shown last night. JMO

  255. Bizrow says:

    No, I don’t think it was what was ticking Dejan off.

    Basically you are saying, IMO, you cannot argue with someone that feels either good or is worried about the club.

    Basically it appears that your message is no disagreement allowed in the future of the PBC,

    There was no Hokahey, Bay, Nuttin is cheap, or other such topics. One person said he was encouraged, another said, I’ve been fooled before?

    We’re going to have those types of conversations all the time, if this is banned, what can we talk about here?

    Just sayin.

    DK: No sports topic is banned. None. Zero. Not sure how much more clearly this can be stated.

    I’ll roll my eyes at stuff, such as watching a really informed discussion on the NFL Draft — with a lot of newcomers — gradually disintegrate into the same old Pirates stuff. But it doesn’t mean it’s banned. Nothing is banned.

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    What are we talking about again? I thought we were talking about the Great Hockey Game over Baseball Game on TV last night debate?

  257. cherokee23 says:

    Whatever your smoking, I hope the stuff i have is better!!

  258. NMR says:

    Good lord.

    THAT is what you think is being proposed?

    Take a step back, man.

  259. cherokee23 says:

    agree….well done!

  260. theplanisworking says:

    I recall someone said years ago, that the “worst” picks in the first round were picks 14-20. You weren’t a bad enough team to get a top 10 pick, and you weren’t good enough to make the playoffs. You were in the “meh” part of the first round.

    Agreed we need a difference maker there, but from all the names I see in the mocks going to the Steelers, I dont see a difference maker. I see some good players, but no one outstanding.

  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  262. Ghost says:

    Plan,
    I’m no expert on the draft, but what you say strikes me as being the case. There’s talk of a number of teams looking to possibly trade down this year. Somebody here a few days back said half jokingly that maybe we should move up then. I seriously like that — buy when everybody wants to sell, and visa-versa. Moving into the top ten would cost us less than it usually would, for the above reason and because we’re closer than we normally are already being at #17. We should play the hand we’re dealt and make the most of it.

  263. JAL says:

    In honor of what seems to be the theme of the blog today

  264. Naje says:

    Except when the 16th pick of the draft is Troy Polamalu, yeah, those 14 through 20 picks generally are tough spots.

  265. theplanisworking says:

    If we can get extra picks by trading down, we should explore that.
    With so many teams looking to trade down, I dont see that happening.
    Colbert has already said he wont trade up, so I hope he makes a good pick.

    No reaches.
    No projects.
    No Hippos. ;)

  266. Ghostc says:

    Getting back to a safety for the Steelers, apparently Shamarko Thomas of Syracuse isn’t considered of first round timber. Well, how about grabbing him in the second round then? This guy is a *stud.* Best 40 yd time at the combine, best bench, verticle — pretty much everything. From some reports I’ve read, this guy is Troy Polamalu incarnate, flying everywhere and blowing up plays. They say he needs to tone it down a little and learn more patience, hence he’s not projected as a first-rounder. But hey, if he were completely polished already he’d be projected as a top ten and probably not be available.
    About a month ago I posted on USC’s T.J. McDonald, Tim’s son. I still like him as an early-to-mid-rounder, too.
    And just for fun, if John Boyett of Oregon is available in the late rounds — or better yet, after the draft — he is to Ryan Clark what Thomas is to Polamalu. Boyett will last until a late round at least because he’s had patella surgery on both knees and missed 2012. But he plays like Ryan Clark, only, as he is getting his speed back after surgery, he’s probably a step faster than Ryan. Ran 4.57 at his pro day and that will improve as he gets further away from his surgery. Vicious, vicious hitter with tremendous upper body strength (second only to Thomas in BP at combine). I know of him because he went to my high school and his dad was my weight training instructor when I very first took weight training. ;) But seriously, Boyett is the kind of late round (or undrafted) player we could steal that has a big upside at minimal cost. Get him into camp.

  267. theplanisworking says:

    I would submit the following for anyone’s thoughts………….

    the steelers moved up what, 10 spotys to get Troy? Bot, bet KC is still kicking themselves for that trade………..

    anyway, coming out of college, troy was injury-prone, but a ferocious hitter. His rookie season, he looked totally lost out there.
    Then, LeBeau was named DC again in 2004. His system allowed Troy to be a “roamer”, and make many plays.
    I submit that if LeBeau didnt become DC again, troy may not have been as successful. Maybe he would have…………. but most DC’s dont have dedicated “roamers”.

  268. Pucknutz says:

    Yes, Mario did it .
    Scored even strength, down 1 man, down 2 men, power play, penalty shot.
    All in one game!!!
    New Years Eve 91 or 92 I think.
    Actualy I was there but I don’t remember too much after the 2nd period! LOL

  269. Ghost says:

    “If we can get extra picks by trading down…
    Colbert has already said he wont trade up.”
    Colbert probably isn’t given to gamesmanship, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he trades up after all, if the right opportunity presents itself. I’m guessing that it will be a buyer’s market moving up this year, with sellers competing against each other. Or maybe the Steelers are already content that at least one of their first-round candidates will definitely still be there by #17. Will be fun to see what they are up to.

  270. Ghost says:

    Your comment here perfectly compliments my post below (sorry for the self-serving plug, but it’s true. :) )

  271. Pucknutz says:

    5 goals in different ways in one game (shorthanded, full strength, powerplay, penalty shot, and empty net) (December 31, 1988, against the New Jersey Devils; only player to accomplish the feat) – Not an officially recognized NHL record

    I was close but not completly correct. Above from Wikipedia,might be correct.

  272. Ghost says:

    Gotta go. Kid’s got a baseball game.
    See everyone tonight.
    Go Wandy!

  273. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  274. Pucknutz says:

    Still not sure about down 2 men, have to try and find it.
    Really seems to me he did, maybe not that game.

  275. cosmo says:

    I’d like to see Lattimore, but not til 5th or 6th. But they would need to pick up another back somewhere. Not enough depth to have the luxury of having Lattimore redshirt a year and heal.

  276. Jim S. says:

    We’ll see if anyone drafts him in the first round. I know I wouldn’t do it. He’s not very big, certainly not very physical, and he doesn’t make up for it by being fast or a particularly big hitter. And he is going to have a very difficult time establishing himself as a leader, which was supposedly a big chunk of his value as of Nov. ’12. I’d love for the Steelers to grab him in a middle round, but first round? No way! Some stupid team not located in Pittsburgh can do that. And that assessment is coming from a huge ND fan!

  277. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, John Lease.

  278. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Patrick. Jones would be great to draft at #17. Unfortunately, I don’t see him being there.

  279. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. The small extra value we’d get from the top WRs at #17 as opposed to grabbing a very good one in the next couple of rounds is more than offset by the dropoff in talent at several other positions of need by not addressing those needs at #17 and wating until Rd 2 or 3.

  280. Jim S. says:

    Great, get Mauti. Much later.

  281. Jim S. says:

    I would show Mr. Colbert the door if this draft is a bust and the team is .500 or worse this year. I guess we won’t know for sure by then how good the draft will be, but it will start to take shape. We need at least one draftee to find the field an awful lot this year. In my opinion, Colbert and Tomlin have botched recent drafts and the cap. We are so screwed with the cap it is ridiculous. For those that want to give them a pass because the team has been good every year until this past one, I would say we are in for a rude awakening the next few years as the talent continues to slip. Any team that counts Gradkowski, Spaeth and Gay as their only free agent newcomers and has lost several starters is not in a good position going forward. A few weeks ago we were told that Baltimore was decimated and in worse condition than the Steelers. Doesn’t look that way now, plus they are loaded with draft picks. And they don’t miss on many drafts. It pains me to say that because I despise Harbaugh and all things Ravens. Their Super Bowl was truly a fluke, as there were 6-8 teams better than them all year until the last month, but they have prepared for the future better than the Steelers have.

  282. MadTurk says:

    Hippos yes if they can play nose tackle

  283. Jim S. says:

    Ok, DK. It isn’t that I don’t like Lacey. I just don’t like him at #17. At #49, maybe. Or, grab a different RB in 3 or 4.

  284. Jim S. says:

    The team with no heart, not nearly as much talent, and a buffoon for a coach as well is the Rangers. The Pens will CONTINUE to dominate them.

  285. Jim S. says:

    I love Graham, but I don’t think he is a #1 RB. He can contribute, but we need a starter.

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t mind tomp. He’s just trying to make friends.

  287. Jim S. says:

    Because the manager puts more value on veterans bringing “intangibles” than actual production. If you are forced to prove a guy’s value through production on the field, you are forced to replace him if he isn’t getting the job done. If you can continue to say #’s really don’t matter with a guy like Inge, which is what I expect to hear if/when he hits .206 with bad underlying stats, then you get to keep playing your buddy 3x per week.

  288. Jim S. says:

    I think, among Austin, Jones and Eifert, Eifert will be the only one left at #17. He’d be a good pick but I’d also take Jones if he somehow slips to us.

  289. Jim S. says:

    Great stat on the Phils’ ineptitude vs. lefties, which was on full display last night. Couple that with the fact that Wandy is pitching well now, generally pitches well early in the season, and I like our chances to be 12-9 by tonight.

  290. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think he’s a horrible signing. Don’t get me wrong, the guy can’t hit very well. But, he does put up decent #’s vs lefties. We know Pedro is struggling vs them. I think he is a better option than Pedro vs some lefties. And Inge can play 3b very well. I don’t want to see him start more than 1x per week, though. Now, in the context of already having McDonald on the bench, I agree that adding Inge is not an upgrade to the bench. That is too guys on your bench almost every night who cannot hit. In fact, McDonald is basically a Barmes-lite. Fields, but cannot hit at all.

  291. Jim S. says:

    Moving up is very risky when we lost so many starters and no longer have depth. I mean, we actually signed Matt Spaeth, William Gay and Bruce Gradkowski. We need several starters. You don’t fill those needs by trading away picks. The hole just gets deeper.

  292. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Ghostc.

  293. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed that NT is most important position in 3-4.

    Gotta disagree on FS.

    ROLB is the second most important. It is the primary rush position in a 3-4 defense. Without pressure from that spot, the pressure is inconsistent at best and non existent at worst. All great Steeler defenses running a 3-4 have had pressure from the weak side, Lloyd, Porter, Harrison.

    While Woodley may get in shape and return to form, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his numbers dropped when Harrison started getting hurt last few years. It’s easier to account for Woodley because TE is lined up on that side to chip or double team with OL or RB. Plus right handed QBs see the strong side rush.

    It’s not as easy to double team rush from strong side if weak side rush necessitates shift to that side or double team.

    3-4 was originally brought in as a run defense. It was not until Lawrence Taylor that the league realized the potential for the blitz from the weak side linebacker. Ever since, the ROLB that can force blocking schemes to account for them has been the standard for the 3-4.

    A great FS can cover up a lot of weaknesses on a defense and can have an impact in a 3-4 or 4-3 but it does not rank above the primary pass rusher on the defense. In a 4-3 that can be either DE. But there have been more dominant LE rushing the passer than LOLB because the DE can bull rush better than an LB and even if LE is pushing their blocker back and can’t make sack, they disrupt the play, Reggie White, Strahan. Still a greater number of RE that are primary rushers in 4-3, Richard Dent, Charles Haley, Jared Allen.

    The exception to the 3-4 ROLB rule could be early 90s Bills. That worked for them because of Bruce Smith who was by far the best pass rushing RE in a 3-4 ever. But the league hasn’t seen any one like Smith since he retired. Kevin Greene is another exception but there hasn’t been another Greene either.

    Of the leagues top 20 in sacks it breaks down by position:
    RE 3-4: 1
    LOLB: 1
    DT: 1 (some DEs moved here late in career but the bulk of their sacks came as DEs)
    LE 4-3: 3
    RE 4-3: 10
    ROLB: 4

    No LE from a 3-4 and no LB of any kind from 4-3 are on the list.

    The weak side is the primary rush in any defense and a good pass rush can cover up for a weak secondary even better than a great FS.

 
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