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Morning Java: Give or take an inch

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column from the Steelers’ South Side HQ weighs Ryan Shazier as the first-round pick as well as the greater position of need that wasn’t addressed.

Here’s Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert answering my question about corner:

The news coverage, by beat man Alan Robinson.

Aaron Donald goes to the Rams, by Jerry DiPaola.

Here’s the full first round on the tracker.

Here’s an AP pic of Shazier and Hugmaster General Roger Goodell in New York:

And here’s a Shazier highlights video from 2013, one that makes him look like … man, I wouldn’t even say he looks like a safety. Between his build and his speed, it’s almost like watching a blitzing corner. Take a look:

Blogginess from the scene: We’ll all be able to better size up Shazier when he meets with the Pittsburgh media today at 3 p.m., but we might not have a completely reliable account of his actual size. Even in an NFL world where 16ths of an inch are included in scouting reports, the Steelers’ initial release to us in the press room had Shazier at 6-0, this despite most reports listing 6-1. Within a half-hour, the Steelers passed out another release — seriously, they re-did the entire thing just for this one digit — to change it to 6-1. … If the kid makes 143 tackles, like he did at Ohio State last season, I strongly suspect no one will care. … Tomlin and Colbert both took care to not rub Sean Spence out of the picture, insisting he’s looking good in workouts. Remember, this was supposed to be Spence’s spot before that awful knee injury that included nerve damage. … Tomlin’s broad smile every time Shazier’s speed was mentioned was telling. I’d be stunned if this wasn’t his guy, but that’s only a guess on my end. Tomlin walked into that room invested on letting us know how strongly he felt. … It was also easy to tell that both were prepared to be asked about corner. It’s not like they don’t see the same things. … ESPN was predictably nauseating with the Johnny Manziel drama, but at least it had a happy ending for the Browns. And I emphasize ending because this is usually the beginning and ending of all the warm and fuzzy for Cleveland fans. They’re champs at the draft, dead last when it counts. … Know who else the Browns got at 22nd overall? Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn. … Doug Whaley, the former Upper St. Clair and Pitt standout who’s also one of the most intelligent people I’ve known, took quite a stand with his Bills in trading up to get Sammy Watkins. I’ve always said this, but if you believe in your player, go get him. Now, Buffalo’s got a target for E.J. Manuel. … In all honesty, I’m more interested in Day 2 of this draft than Day 1 from the Steelers’ standpoint. This is a team with many holes. One’s been addressed, but not the biggest.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog. I’ll call attention again to the NFL Draft Primer published on this blog a couple days ago.

>> Jussi Jokinen is the new Cris Carter, continuing with today’s NFL theme. In other words, all he does is catch touchdowns. Josh Yohe reports in advance of tonight’s Game 5.

The Penguins are establishing their identity, per Rob Rossi.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, our Chipped Ice blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News, including the sad word of the unexpected passing of Marty St. Louis’ mother.

Here are highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel.

>> What’s up with the Pirates’ bullpen? Travis Sawchik analyzes in advance of this weekend’s series at PNC Park with — seriously, them again? — the Cardinals.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Riverhounds take on MLS-bound Orlando City tonight at Highmark, and I dare say that being winless through five would feel like a faded memory with a positive outcome in this one. Beat man Matt Grubba will cover.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> I’ll be covering Game 5 tonight. Thank you, as always, for reading.

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.


  1. Matt hoffman says:

    I wonder who the Pirates will call up tonight? I would like to see our hometown boy (Bicknell, IN) Nevin Ashley given a chance. He went 3-5 last night with a home run and is batting .388!!

  2. Jonathan says:

    .388! If we bring him up now, it might cost us MILLIONS in 6 years! Maybe we can just get by with 24 players for awhile.

  3. Wild Bill says:

    Said it on the draft thread last night, but let me repeat. The Pens should be hungry to finish their series tonight. The Boston vs Montreal series must now go through at least Monday night, and could go through Wednesday. The next series, therefore, will start Wednesday or Friday. The Pens could get several days of precious rest. This game is the one, Pens. Finish it!

  4. Wild Bill says:

    All linebackers look pretty good if the defensive line keeps the o line off of them. Shazier played behind a capable line. How will he do with us? Probably well in his second or third year, maybe the second half of this year.

    But now we will get the corner we need, please? DK is right, the Steelers better be right.

  5. JoeyBats says:

    Shazier is NOT the pick I would have made…..of course, I’m not betting my job on it either. ;-)

    I sureope Colbert & Tomlin are right …….given who was left on the board at the time, I would have chosen Dennard.

    Anyway……go get us a CB and a WR today!

  6. Naje says:

    DK… challenge: can you go one month without using the trite, “Look,….” to start a paragraph?


  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s Ramblin’ Rose Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: A Busy Day For 2014 Drafts

    Prospect Watch: Big Game For Josh Bell, Harold Ramirez Returns to Lineup

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates MiLB recap: 5/8/14

    7 Rumbunter

    Twitter And The Pirates ‘Stand Around Challenge Win’

    8 Green Weenie

    The Problem With Lefties…

    5/8: Outlaws, Vin DiMag, Kiner, Captain Willie, Doug Drabek, AVS, Kendall, Wild Walk-Off, More…


    Trying to make sense of the Pirates’ first 34 games

    10 Pirates 101

    How the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Lineup Has Performed Since Starling Marte was Dropped from Leadoff

    11 Saber Bucs

    The Real Pedro Alvarez

  8. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Cardinals vs Pirates Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Olt, Castro, Rizzo go deep as Cubs avoid sweep, hammer Sox 12-5

    14 Beaver County Times

    Scouts: Polanco did right by turning down Pirates’ offer

    15 Pirates Site

    Pirates pitchers weigh in on pitch execution

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Lack of runs Reds’ most alarming issue

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    CC Sabathia made huge impact during short time with Brewers

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: Keep playing Bourjos

    19 Fangraphs

    What is Gregory Polanco Worth?

    20 SB Nation

    If MLB Advanced Media ran the world …

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Film Room: An emerging athletic defense took another step forward in Round 1

    The Standard is The Standard: Post Round 1 selection show


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    European Golden Shoe: Suarez, Ronaldo, Messi & Costa

    23 BBC Football

    FA commission: Four-point plan splits football opinion
    Life expectancy: Which football fans are Premier League?

    24 World Soccer

    European leagues on collision course with FIFA over Qatar


    25 Pensburgh

    Thursday Pens Points: Everyone Contributes

    Rob Scuderi: Past and Present

    Dan Bylsma offday press conference recap

  10. Pucknutz says:

    Ya Bill.
    I for one will be sorely disappointed if the Pens don’t come out smokin tonight and put the Rangers away.
    This game “is” the one….a “no playin around stick it to em” win will set the tone for the rest of the run.

  11. DJ says:

    Had Bucs brought up Polanco sooner and he had some failure we’d have gotten him cheaper.

    Friggin’ BMTIB.

  12. DJ says:

    Will be there. Let’s rock this house.

    Mother’s Day weekend wishes: Bury Rangers, Habs/Bruins go 7 and Habs prevail.

  13. Jandy says:


  14. Jandy says:

    pot stirrer :P

  15. Jandy says:

    You goin to the game DJ?????

  16. DJ says:

    Biggest reasons don’t want Bruins: Rask and Chara.

    Made it easy on both last year. Zero net front presence and no pucks deep and pounding Chara on retrievals.

  17. likeabugonarug says:

    DK – The “Friday Column” link links to Wednesday’s column.


  18. DJ says:

    Absolutely, Jands. Me and my two sons.

    We’ll be bringing it home, for sure.

  19. Jandy says:


    Have fun, and make sure to bring home the win :D

  20. DJ says:

    Broken garage door woman.

  21. Jandy says:

    PK Subban is a good reason not to want the Habs, but I STILL prefer them over Boston. Carey Price is like Lundqvist, you hammer him and once he lets one in, it’s a steady flow…

  22. Jandy says:

    LOL! I resemble that remark :P

  23. As you’d expect, the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel. Good. Now we’ll see how well the Steelers drafted and see how they turn out.

  24. DJ says:

    Subban has been lights out but with you on the better match-up.

    Don’t want to even think about reliving the nightmare against Bruins. Want an angst-free spring.

  25. Pucknutz says:

    ” angst-free spring”
    LOL…. you got that right !!!!

  26. DJ says:

    Etch it!

    [Co-opted from bugster]

  27. BillyBaduka says:

    Enjoy the game. Let’s go Pens!

  28. DJ says:

    I like the Shazier pick. Not just an NFL combine guy. He’s been very productive on Saturdays. Son of a chaplain (for you Lucky) and seems like a high character kid despite the OSU background (also for you, Lucky).

    And who knows? Fails at ILB and we’ve still got a helluva safety.

    [smiley face].

  29. Wild Bill says:

    Go for it, DJ. I’ll be watching with one of my favorite beverages!

  30. chethejet1 says:

    Steelers used to hit it out of the park on number one Picks in the Cowher/Colbert era. Mike “bay of” Tomlin just are underwhelming at best. When I hear he was just to good to pass up, that means they were hoping one of they players they really wanted were gone. Should have taken Martin the tackle and put him at LT or at worst RT. Like Dejan says, they better have a really good draft to keep hope alive.

  31. The Pirates will have their first Sunday night game broadcast on ESPN from PNC Park this Mother’s Day and I naturally hope to see it.

  32. Dom says:

    Shazier has never or at least rarely played on the side that he will be on opposite Timmons.

    I can see why they would want to try that experiment again after it worked so well for Jason Worilds.

    Tomlin did say though that they might move Timmons over.

  33. DJ says:

    I’m thinking if Fuller or Gilbert were there they would have gone DB.

    I’m in favor of getting best player available but with a slight eye toward need. We had a number of positions of need and ILB was certainly one of them. We also needed to get faster and this kid appears to be a player.

    Maybe we get another Ike (but with hands) in Rounds 2 or 3.

  34. I just heard Pirates President Frank Coonelly explain on 93-7 the fan that while he understands the fans’ frustration and is naturally thrilled with the progress Gregory Polanco has been lately making in the minors, the Bucs are not about to call him up until he’s had more minor league experience. So that’s that, unfortunately, at this time.

  35. NormL says:

    There have been hits & misses since 1992. The Shazier vs Mosely debate will rage for years!

    1992 Leon Searcy OT Miami
    1993 Deon Figures DB Colorado
    1994 Charles Johnson WR Colorado
    1995 Mark Bruener TE Washington
    1996 Jamain Stephens OT North Carolina A&T
    1997 Chad Scott DB Maryland
    1998 Alan Faneca G LSU
    1999 Troy Edwards WR Louisiana Tech
    2000 Plaxico Burress WR Michigan State
    2001 Casey Hampton DT Texas [l]
    2002 Kendall Simmons G Auburn
    2003 Troy Polamalu DB USC [m]
    2004 Ben Roethlisberger QB Miami (OH)
    2005 Heath Miller TE Virginia (my wedding date – will he outlast us?)
    2006 Santonio Holmes WR Ohio State [n]
    2007 Lawrence Timmons LB Florida State
    2008 Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois
    2009 Evander Hood DT Missouri
    2010 Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
    2011 Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State
    2012 David DeCastro G Stanford
    2013 Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
    2014 Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State

  36. DJ says:

    Translation: Polanco needs more practice signing his name to a long-term deal.

  37. Cutch’s parents were in the ministry, too. What do we think of him?


  38. Jandy says:


  39. DJ says:

    Not too shabby, Lucky.

  40. scapper says:

    Here’s hoping it’s not up against a Pens game.

  41. DJ says:

    Uh oh.

    Another Iginla move in the making?

  42. Jandy says:

    Pens win hands down! ;)

  43. Wild Bill says:

    P-G reports the Cowboys were going to take Shazier with the next pick if we hadn’t. Are we smart, or is Dallas lucky??

  44. Nate83 says:

    I think it was a reach to take Shazier at 15 but if they really liked him and couldn’t find a partner to trade down then you have to take him no matter where you pick. Being an Ohio State fan I love the kid. He is an insane athlete that has a motor that never quits.

    When I think about how many 6 yard passes the Steelers give up on 3rd and 5 to continue drives I can see their thinking. I think he can drop into coverage nicely and prevent some of that. I almost look at him as the linebacker equivalent of Polumalu. He is very instinctive and I can see them moving him around when he has a few years under him. He will need to get a little bigger. He has already added 12 pounds since his Senior year which is a good sign. High character guy who will work hard and get everything out of his physical skills.

  45. DJ says:

    Big question: Can Shazier’s Mom belt the anthem?

  46. Jandy says:


  47. Jandy says:

    Look out, DJ’s on a roll!

  48. Nate83 says:

    He actually reminds me of DeMarcus Ware who the Cowboys lost. It’s an interesting pick. I will be curious to see how it turns out. It could cost Tomlim or Colbert their jobs or they could look like geniuses. Shazier easily goes this high if he is 2 inches taller and has another 20 pounds on his frame.

  49. DJ says:

    I thought that was Rossi’s fave.

  50. Wild Bill says:

    He did just turn 22 years old. The size should come. A young draftee like Bell last year.

  51. Dom says:

    I am about to drop MAJOR news!!!

    You will never watch ESPN the same way again after reading this. Remember you read this here first. had a draft tracker that noted each team’s selection as the draft went along. However, the draft tracker noted who was selected minutes BEFORE it was announced on the podium. If CBS Sports had prior knowledge, then so must have ESPN.

    If anyone was watching the draft coverage right before the Pats were up, Chris Berman and the gang were going on and on how New England needed to address their offense. Then, as the commissioner was walking to the podium if you look carefully, you would have simultaneously noticed the gang look at a monitor on their desk. Mel Kiper Jr then said something to the affect of, “I’m thinking a defensive lineman here.” Sure enough the Pats took Dominique Easley, which was a reach. Actually, calling it a reach was a tad of an understatement. Meanwhile, a solid TE in Jace Amaro, who would fill in nicely for Aaron Hernandez, was left on the shelf.

    I remember years ago Chris Berman was accurately predicting selections right and left just seconds before they were announced. I’m 100% certain he did it when Dwight Freeney was selected in 2001 by the Colts. If someone has access to youtube, do me a solid and search for a video when he was drafted. If it exists, posts it here. I thought Berman just knew his stuff.

    Nope. That’s not the case at all.

    If you don’t believe me, look at CBS draft tracker online for the draft as you’re watching the draft and you will see that they will state who is being drafted before they’re announced.

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is there any way we can get the Browns on Hard Knocks ? I’d tune in for by play between Jimmy Haslem & the homeless guy alone.

  53. Dom says:

    What they media wont tell you about that exchange is that the homeless guy was the Browns previous GM.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    I do not like the Steelers pick of Shazier at all.
    I saw many mocks that didn’t even have him listed in the 1st round, those that did had him going at #21 at the absolute earliest !

    CB and WR were more pressing needs, and they whiffed. Now one must hope that some gems are found in the later rounds.

    Shazier has never played the side he will be plugged into for the Steelers. That experiment has worked so well before………… and, since it takes years to learn LeBeau’s D, this pick has 3-4 years of non-production written all over it. Sigh.

    I hope I am 100% wrong on this ……….. the kid looks to be a great athlete, but man, you pass up your 2 greatest areas of need for a super reach. Does not make any sense.

  55. bpn8pitt says:

    Mixed feelings about Shazier. While the speed looks nice, you wonder how he’s gonna handle big backs, TEs if the middle is where he’s destined. Remember he doesn’t have Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith in front of him, so I hope the hell he can get off a block.

    Look, Dejan said it (Naje). For all the talk about Jarvis Jones last year, he had one sack and only 8 starts. After going 8-8 the last two years, I dont think the red shirt model cuts it anymore. I hope he figures out the D a little quicker than usual.

    Dennard slipping makes me wonder. But I find it hard to believe him, HaHa and Pryor will all be busts. Lets hope in two years we aren’t woulda coulda should with Shamarko, Mitchell and Shazier.

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    He has this knack of running into the guy with the ball.

  57. Dom says:

    I agree 100%!!

    Dennard WAS the right pick.

    In the Steelers defense I believe this was a bad draft for first round talent. There were at least ten selections that could have been considered a reach. This is a deep draft in the sense that a fifth rounder could have been a third rounder last year but the first round talent was below average.

    I have nothing against Mr. Shazier. He did do 25 reps at the combine. But he’s still going to have to put on 10-15 LBS to be an ILB.

    Hopefully, we can pass on LBs for the next few years.

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    :) I think we have a winner.

  59. SeanAY says:

    Yesterday, and in days past, there was trepidation about reaching for a need instead of taking the best player on the Steelers’ board.

    Today, they pick the best player left on their board – one who fills a need at ILB, by the way – and the trepidation is that they didn’t fill their need.

    Deep breaths, people.

    Was I initially thrilled with the pick? No, to be honest. But a potential stud linebacker unit of Jones, Timmons, Shazier, and Worilds is pretty intriguing.

    They’re going to address defensive back, probably in this second round. I think that’s a given, if only because they don’t have enough bodies there.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    So did Huey Richardson. :)

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    Of course they know who is picked. There were a couple of times last night that TV was 2 picks behind. The NFL has put the strong arm on ESPN & The NFL Network about leaking the picks ahead of time. Jason LaCanfora of CBS isn’t following the company line.

  62. Nate83 says:

    Well if you are going to have one skill defensively that is the one I would pick.

    Even being an Ohio State fan and Shazier fan I wasn’t a fan of the pick at first but the more I thought about it the more I talked myself into likeing it. This team couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down for the last 2 years. There is more then one way to fix that. Shazier could be the way nobody was considering.

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    Any Broncos slated to go in the next couple days ?

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bye bye Jason LaCanfora.

  65. theplanisworking says:

    I eagerly await his production in 2016.
    That is the normal learning curve for linebackers in LeBeau’s D.

    I like Shazier as an athlete…….. but most ‘mocks’ didn’t list him in the 1st round. Super reach, which the Steelers could not afford to do. Let us hope, I guess.

  66. SeanAY says:

    Honestly, I’m not sure. I don’t work closely with football.

  67. I think they were 1-11 or something close, right Sean?

  68. Doesn’t mean there weren’t decent ballplayers there, though.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pretty awesome basketball season though. That must have been fun.

  70. SeanAY says:

    If you really like and want the player…and you know he won’t be available if you trade down…don’t you just take him if you have the opportunity?

    It’s like playing euchre and not taking a trick because you want to save your trump for later. Why?

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    Notice how deftly Sean distanced himself from the football team. :)

  72. SeanAY says:

    I’m waiting to hear some good news aout our center. He blew it up at the Portsmouth Invitational a few weeks ago, and probably put himself on the radar of a handful of teams that want a 6-11 guy that can shoot 3’s. Should know any day now if he makes it to the Chicago pre-draft camp.

    Fantastic kid. Couldn’t think of anyone on our team more deserving of being rewarded for his hard work.

  73. Actually, all I’m really hoping for right now is that the Pens wrap it up tonight and that Liriano has indeed recovered enough from his groin trouble so he can pitch better against the Cardinals tonight than he did vs. Toronto when he went only 3.5 innings last Saturday.

  74. SeanAY says:

    That’s not me being diplomatic, that’s me being honest. I don’t know because I really don’t spend any time with the coaches or around the team. Hell, I only worked two football games this year.

  75. Nate83 says:

    Will he just be relieved of his job or found in a river somewhere after Vinny takes care of him :)

  76. bpn8pitt says:

    I thought Ohio State boasted one of the better defensive lines in the Big Ten, Nate.

    The Steelers D Line is not what it once was. All those long runs and lack of sacks by the defense in general.

    Shazier is quick, but if Cam Smith, Heyward et all cant draw a double team, he’s gonna have a guard running into him.

  77. CDBrewer says:

    Frequent lurker, but haven’t posted in a long time.

    I wanted Dennard too, but I live in Seattle and I wouldn’t be surprised if they think Shazier can drop into deep coverage and Lebeau has another weapon to confuse qb’s.
    I’m not trying to justify it, I wanted Dennard in that spot, but as I turn it in my head, that makes sense given the HUGE db’s out here.

    Also, I love that the Browns got Manziel and SO glad they didn’t get Bortles. I have little belief Manziel doesn’t blow up somehow – personality, throwing, injury. Huge risk in all 3 areas.

  78. Dom says:

    DK, your article in the link above is for yesterday’s column.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    LB’s can have immediate impact as well. Both Hawk (Another diminutive Buckeye) and Matthews had good first year impacts with the Pack.

    Ohio State plays some sophisticated defenses. I liked him when I saw him play in Madison. I was surprised by the pick but I’m open to it. I trust their scouting.

    The Bears drafted a CB in the first three rounds for the first time since drafting the great Peanut Tillman. I think teams feel they can get diamonds in the rough at that position in later rounds.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is it possible that Tom Savage will be the next player picked ? Mainly because the Texans can’t really take Derek Carr. Can they ? That would be like having Adam LaRoche & then trying to sell the fan base on Andy LaRoche. Oh, sorry. Bad example.

  81. JohninOshkosh says:

    The homeless guy I have the most interactions with (couple. times a week) always says to me, “God bless you, sir.”

    So, I would count that as good advice! My guy is a Brewers fan though.

  82. Nate83 says:

    If you like the talent you pick him and worry about the rest later. If the guy is good he will figure out a way to contribute and he will be playing for 10 years or longer. Who knows what the defensive line will look like throughout that time. They showed signs of being better towards the end of last year.

    Don’t get me wrong I personally would rather of them picked Denard but I’ve wathced to many drafts to judge anything until many years down the road. The Steelers have had many drafts that the critics loved that turned out horrible and vise versa. Shazier has great character and his combine was impressive not to mention his actual career at OSU. If not for a few inches and pounds he would have been ranked much higher.

  83. Rob says:

    One thing I hope Shazier does for the Steelers will be his ability to drop back in coverage. With his speed hopefully he can plug the hole that has been in the middle of the field. This should also free up Troy to play his natural position which should strengthen the secondary.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ohio State plays Dick LeBeau’s defense. He installed it for them. Should cut down on the learning curve.

  85. CraiginVA says:

    Shazier might turn out to be a fine player, and by itself this might be a good pick, but the sequencing of the picks is where the problem comes in. They had a chance to get a top tier D-back or WR. Eight D-backs are now gone. If they want one now, they’re probably going to reach, which may or may not pan out. If it doesn’t, you’ve blown out a second or third round pick that could have been used on a player more appropriately slotted there. It just ripples on down through the draft. When you have needs and you don’t address them when you have the chance, you may not get another chance.

  86. Robert says:

    It’s amusing that people think a few weeks of Polanco is worth millions of dollars. Maybe he can be a 3-inning closer too. When it’s not your money or your business…

    Would also like to point out the Pirates started 4 games under .500 and then went 69-39 to get to 26 over by August 8 last year. It’s baseball. 162 games. Chill.

    As far as the Steelers, the best defenses relied heavily on linebackers. Glad to see them address it. In the 2nd round, I think they should go corner. Jean-Baptiste, if he’s available, is my preference. Then, WR in the third.

  87. CDBrewer says:


  88. GAWTS2009 says:

    agreed. Would’ve loved the pick if we traded down to the end of the first but he’ll be solid just a bit early in the draft.

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    Jim Tressel named president of Youngstown State.

    Will his first directive as president be to ban students from getting tattoos ?

  90. bpn8pitt says:

    I gotcha.

    They used to fine those LBs later in the draft and off the street (Harrison). Now we have, 2 #1s and 2 #2s there. The question is are you going to get that high end production for spending that high of picks on the group?

    The same can be said for the offensive line. There’s #1s and #2s there too.

    I guess im saying of the two groups, the production didn’t exactly match the pedigree in 2012 and 2013.

    But what do I know Nate? I was high on Mendenhall/Sweed a long time ago. :)

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    A tattoo on every arm & a new car in every driveway ! Happy days are here again !

  92. Nate83 says:

    I was as well. Especially Sweed. I thought he was the steal of the draft.

    The fact Denard was there and they still took Shazier actually makes me more confident that this is the guy they wanted. They must see something in him. I’m a measurables are overrated guy. Football players are football players. He has already added 12 pounds and the game is getting faster so maybe size at linbacker isn’t as important as it use to be. Having watched him at OSU I can tell you he is shockingly fast and more importantly quick. Great instincts and nose for the ball. It would have been interesting to see what they would have done if Fuller wasn’t picked right before. Although I thought they had always been higher on Denard.

  93. TJA says:

    Happy Mom’s Day/Weekend to all you mom’s out there!

  94. Nate83 says:

    I agree. You can’t have two failed franchise QB’s from the same family. Carr family does not equal Manning family.

  95. SeanAY says:

    They were getting those guys late in the draft and off the street back when they were the only team looking for 3-4 pass rushing linebackers.

    It’s easy to find guys like Jason Gildon, Joey Porter, James Harrison, et al when no one else has any use for them.

    After that dominant 2001 defense showed the league that the 3-4 could still be a factor, and Dom Capers tried to poach Gildon away for big money in his stint at Houston, it was over. Dallas moved to a 3-4 and took DeMarcus Ware; five years before, that would have been a guy the Steelers would have stolen without anyone knowing who he was.

    The Steelers have not been able to find those kinds of guys the same way again.

  96. Jandy says:


  97. Jandy says:


  98. Thundercrack says:

    I noticed him on twitter last night too. He was way ahead of the tv coverage

  99. Thundercrack says:

    I have read nothing leading up to the draft, but was the Steeler’s pick a ‘super reach’?

    Are you saying drafting that position is a super reach or that particular player is a super reach?

  100. Naterosboro says:

    Guess that’s why the tell you balls and bats can leave the field of play and to be paying attention. That man could’ve had an expensive dental bill.

  101. Nate83 says:

    +++ Seanay.

    I’ve been saying that for the last 3 years. The undersized linebacker that use to fall to the Steelers in the 3rd or 4th round doesn’t exist any more. They lost their advantage with many teams switching to 3-4. I even questioned if they should consider switching to a 4-3 before last years draft since Timmons had yet to prove himself and Foote was getting long in the tooth and obviously Spence was injured and Jarvis Jones wasn’t on the team yet. It also would have matched what Tomlin was use to running when he was a Defensive coach.

  102. They already have that at YSU. Tressel built that program, too.

  103. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I agree John…very easy to miss a guy who plays a cerebral d-back game because so much of what they do depends on where everyone else is in coverage. What’s the best thing you can say about a d-back at times??? He is right where he’s supposed to be…

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s where the part about the cars came from. :)

  105. They didn’t play anybody’s defense at the end of last season. Very disappointing. Then, 2 defensive guys go in the first round.

    I’m probably the biggest Buckeye fan on the planet, but I’m still disappointed with the overall defensive play under Urban.

  106. Naterosboro says:

    Darqueze Dennard should’ve been the pick. Until the games are played, you won’t convince me otherwise.

  107. Gotcha.

    And, don’t get me wrong, I have always like Tressel. I went to YSU for 2 years and met my wife there and was happy when he built that program and was successful at OSU.

    But, I like him less now than I used to. He’s made some bad choices to say the least.

  108. chethejet1 says:

    HMMM OSU plays a sophisticated defense. Really? I would probably use the word porous. And of course the so called same system learning curve really helped Hayward blossom.

  109. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree, Chet. After back to back 8-8 seasons, lets see how everybody feels about a red shirt if the D starts out slow.

    Its neat though. Maybe Johnny Football, Gordon and Cameron week 1.

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! I guess we have a different definition of sophisticated.

    Was leader of a defense on a club that went 24-2 the last two seasons. Put up some monster numbers against quality opponents and blew away scouts at the pre-draft trials.

    Guess we have a different definition of porous as well.

  111. scapper says:

    That’s the least they can do for the money those kids bring in.

  112. I probably wouldn’t use the word, porous, John, but I’m still upset with the number of points and yards they gave up to Michigan, MSU and their bowl loss to Clemson.

    They had some good defensive showings, especially against Wisconsin, but still gave up way too many points IMHO.

  113. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’ll agree we won’t know till the games are played.
    Dennard never really impressed me at #15.
    I found Shazier to be interesting (pre-draft) because of his speed and toughness.
    I just figured they would go CB or WR because of need….Not that they didn’t have a need at LB next to Timmons.

  114. Jandy says:

    No Brooksie at the morning skate. Here’s hoping Borts will play.

  115. I predict that Bashaud Breeland, a cornerback at Clemson, is the “Best Athlete Available” when the Steelers pick tonight in the 2nd Round.

  116. Naterosboro says:

    Absolutely there’s a need at ILB. And this kid [Shazier] is certainly a great athlete who is a great tackler. I just felt the need at CB was so great. Add to the fact that there is a drop in the talent level after the 1st Rd. at DB, and that made it clear to me they had to go CB in the 1st round. Dennard is a great press coverage corner, with above average speed who can also tackle.

    I guess I’m also upset that the player I wanted is now on the Bengals. I’m not that happy about Ben having to throw against Dennard 2x (possibly 3 if they meet in the playoffs) a season for the rest of his career.

    I guess I’ll have to hope that he doesn’t turn into the pro I think he will.


    {because NOW is never as important as 6 seasons from NOW}

  118. Naterosboro says:

    Now that I’ve had some more time to think about it……

    Dennard still should’ve been the pick.

    But, if the Steelers can get back to stopping the run like they used to (Shazier can certainly help in that department), and they can get back to pressuring the QB like they used to (and Shazier can help in that department), then the DBs (especially CBs) don’t have to be world beaters.

    With the way the NFL is going though, it wouldn’t hurt to have a shutdown corner.

    Guess the Steelers feel they can find this player today…

  119. I was never excited about Dennard. He doesn’t jump off the page/screen at me. I did like Justin Gilbert and am sorry the Brown got him. He and Joe Haden could be quite the pair.

    The Steelers were so, so weak at inside linebacker. This Shazier Kid, with the recent 4.36 40, could be the answer to the center of the Steelers defense.

    At least Troy will hopefully be freed up to go back to playing Safety. That’s like adding TWO players.

  120. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Definitely aggravating that Gilbert and Dennard are now in our division.

  121. Milo,

    You are a Tweet Twerp here. Any word yet on who the Bucs are bringing up tonight? Chris Dickerson? (because he does the little things SO MUCH better than Gregory Polanco!)

  122. I know Tressel made some “bad choices.”

    But I like him. I want him to succeed in life. I think he has lots to give to other folks, especially young folks. I think the good he has done far outweighs the bad.

    And I am certainly not going to be the one to “cast the first stone.”

  123. Naterosboro says:


    The Pirates offense has not been the reason for the 14-20 start. While it’s been streaky, they’re 8th in the NL in runs scored. Middle of the pack.

    But, pitching & defense, 2 reasons for the Pirates 94 wins last season (2013 Rankings (NL): Pitching (ERA): 3rd (3.26), Pitching (Strikeouts): 3rd (1261), Pitching (Homeruns): 1st (101), Defense (Fielding%): 9th (.984)) are near the bottom of the NL so far.

    2014 Rankings (NL (out of 15 teams)):

    ERA: 3.90 – 11th
    Runs (Earned Runs): 148 – 12th (136 – 12th)
    Strikeouts: 238 – 15th
    Walks: 99 – 6th
    Homeruns: 36 – 10th

    Fielding Percentage: .981 – 10th (actually not that far off the 2013 number)

    So looks like the pitching not being anywhere near the level last season has really hurt this team.

    Maybe Polonco helps the fielding percentage (perhaps more in the speed dept. as Snider & Tabata both have 1.000 Fielding% so far), but he certainly wouldn’t help the pitching which has been in the bottom half of the league.

    Or maybe you’re right. Maybe he has a Yasiel Puig effect and just adds extra life to this team and they go on a run. Personally, I think the pitching has to get right for the Pirates to have any shot at the playoffs this season.

    I guess we’ll find out in 28 days…..

  124. Johnny Rosboro’s Son,

    I do not disagree with one word you wrote above!

  125. Double amen on that.

  126. Snider’s 1.000 Fielding % is an aberration. Ask Cumpton.

    But your post is excellent.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:


  128. Nate83 says:


    They have to get off the field on 3rd down. There is no reason this can’t help as much as a defensive back since it has been the underneith passes that have hurt this team the most.

  129. Nate83 says:

    So what I’m hearing is you want to become a buckeye fan instead of a badger???

  130. Wise comment, Bilbo Bagens!

  131. My guess is when Hades freezes over, that’ll happen, Nate.

  132. Naterosboro says:

    Absolutely. Thought it was very funny when I read that on Guess you gotta go advanced stats on ol’ LunchBoxHero to get the complete picture…

  133. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not a chance, Nate! Am a fan of the BIG, though, and like to see players from the conference do well at the professional level in football, basketball and hockey.

  134. Nate83 says:

    I’m a fan of all Big 10 teams as well. I’ve never understood the fans (most of them are Michigan fans) that root against the other Big 10 teams in bowl games or out of conference games. I think I’ve told you before the Wisconsin and Michigan State would be the other two programs I like to see do well the most. I really like the coaches and programs at both schools.

  135. CraiginVA says:

    The Puig effect was also helped by the fact that the Dodgers starting pitchers were named Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, etc., so yeah, pitching. Maybe pitching and Polanco, but definitely pitching.

  136. Nate83 says:

    Dodgers NL pitching rank by month last year.

    April (9th)
    May (9th)
    June (8th)
    July (1st)
    Augest (1st) and it wasn’t even close ERA of 2.02 which seems almost impossible for an entire month.

    Don’t get me wrong Puig helped but the pitching and Hanley Ramirez going on a tear every bit as good as Puig’s helped more then ESPN will ever let you know.

  137. hockeymonster says:

    For DJ and anyone who thinks pouliot is close to helping the pens:

    Caught some of the most recent portland/edmonton game on dvr and am very sorry to report that Pouliot still has a looooong way to go. Way too nonchalant in dzone and especially by the net. Saw some flaws offensively too but didn’t watch enough of the game to comment in detail.

    1st of all, his play along the boards is borderline comical. I’ve consistently seen him defend the boards by turning his backside into the puck carrier out of hope that he’ll be able to pin him along the boards with his backside. This approach makes it impossible for him to disrupt any cycles with stick on puck cuz his stick is pointing in the wrong direction. This comical approach obviously won’t work in the NHL and probably will be useless in the AHL as well. Heck i’ve seen junior players roll off his “check” so what are pros going to do?

    He needs to focus on being stout down low. Skate into the puck carrier with low base and knock them off the puck with your forearm using your legs as leverage. This way you have a chance to disrupt cycle and regain possession. Facing the wrong direction won’t be helpful.

    By the net, nonchalant doesn’t even begin to describe his cavalier attitude towards defending the front. This has been a persistent issue for him every time I’ve seen him play, including WJC and memorial cup last season. Combined with his lacking play on the boards my assessment that he’s 2-3 years away from helping the pens may be optimistic.

    Now for the record, i don’t say this cuz i think he’s a bust or bad prospect. I hope the pens are pointing these flaws out in no uncertain terms because if they don’t, he will be a bust. With his skating ability, vision and instincts his upside is most definitely in tact. However the want to and tenacity he needs to be a pro needs to amped up, BIG TIME!

  138. Andrew says:

    Not as big a NFL follower as other’s here, like the game but with only 16 games and hours of programming to fill the amount of analysis is over the top.

    My one lasting memory of the most recent 8-8 is Polamalu playing inside linebacker, I think that classifies as a position of need. Receiving talent can be found in later rounds, especially in today’s NFL were the adjustment period is non-existent.

    When the Steelers’ defense was good did they ever have elite corners? Dennard reminds me of Ahmad Carroll.

  139. Andrew says:

    It appears to be Brent Morel.

  140. really? says:

    Really? You are an expert aren’t you. All those mock drafts were accurate right? Tell me about how good those corners were. What were their strengths? Why is Shazier a bad pick? What is the difference between Vince Williams as a starter and Ike Taylor a starter. Both aren’t starter quality. Please actually look at a player and the team before you go off on their pick. Steelers haven’t taken a CB in 17 years in the first round. Their last three WR that made teh team they got in the third round or later. Why? Because they are a dime in a dozen. Tell me who the best CB was from the last draft, and how he did last year. You will fine none were game changers. Every now and again there is a Revis or a Peterson but not in this draft. Again Mel Kiper and the boys are doing Mock Drafts to get you to read. They have no inside information on who the team wants or where the team is taking their defense.

  141. really? says:

    Dejan why do you have Safety as more of a need then ILB?

  142. Andrew says:

    If I remember correctly a lot of Ohio States defensive struggles were because of their secondary making reads like a AA high school football team.

  143. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for the info. I will store it away in a deep corner of my brain and hopefully will be able to retrieve it when he eventually plays at the NHL level. Who knows maybe I’ll know enough about hockey by then to actual comment when he does play for the Penguins. Don’t expect me to give you any credit though because I won’t remember how that information got there.

  144. Nate83 says:

    Corresponding 40 man move? Or is he already on the 40 man? Is Oliver still hanging on by his fingertips?

  145. hockeymonster says:

    No problem. And i feel your pain :)

    Here’s hoping internet connection in portland is working.

  146. Look, I appreciate the editing, Naje. :)

    I take pride in writing how I speak, for the most part. Helps keep the tone conversational. I try not to overuse any term in the process, but the priority is on keeping the reader moving through the piece.

  147. Andrew says:

    Morel is on the 40 man, I think the only one be discussed who was not is Chris Dickerson.

  148. Karen22 says:

    There won’t be a conflict, because Pens win hands down TONIGHT!

  149. I’m certain that I didn’t rank needs in the column. I pointed out what other options were, including wide receiver. Obviously, no one could consider WR a more glaring need than corner. Read it again.

  150. NMR says:

    You can make the numbers say what you want.

    Anybody thats played the game knows that Puig willed those pitchers to do better, you nerd.


  151. Nate83 says:


  152. Nate83 says:

    Well that hurt just a little. I consider myself a geek more then a nerd.

    My son just tells me I’m an idiot. His instragram, google information generation has passed me up on sports knowledge. That and he has infinite more time then myself to follow such things.

  153. Nate83 says:

    Timmons just gave you the middle finger. That guy has been moved around to much. Leave him be and let him dominate.

  154. Nate83 says:

    Who’s this Dejan guy? Is he some kind of mustard?

  155. Dom says:

    Huh? Where did you read that?

    It was only noted that safety was a position of need.

  156. Tom P. says:

    I sat in Section 13, Row A at PNC for the last game of the 2012 season. It was Chipper Jones’ last regular season game. I was nervous the whole game for the very reason depicted in the video. Nice view of the game, though (and the measley 4 hits the Pirates got against Ben Sheets and 8 relievers who each got their one inning of work in.

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    Mel Blount, Rod Woodson, Ike (other than bad hands) . . .

    Although regular position was as an elite safety, present coach Carnell Lake filled in pretty good when he had to.

  158. buggee says:

    We’ll be in section 104, row Y!

    (luv being referred to by the host of this blog, the esteemed DK as a “lunatic”. make me feel like I totally belong to something bigger than myself (as hard as that is to believe))

  159. Nate83 says:

    Loved Carnell Lake. Smart player who go the most out of his abilities. Many did a lot less with more talent.

  160. NMR says:

    Geeks and nerds are closely related, but distinctly different species of egghead ruining baseball.

    Idiots are those who read and believe what the geeks and nerds write.

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m hereby starting my campaign for Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews as the Steelers 2nd round pick.

  162. They were run on consistently, too, which, to me is like watching the Steelers give up massive yardage on the ground. I, for one, have been spoiled by both, I’m sure.

  163. NMR says:

    Poor Andrew Lambo just can’t catch a break this season, injured when the Pirate need a callup.

    Except when he was handed the 1B job, of course. ;)

  164. bpn8pitt says:

    Those saying ILB was a need?

    I didn’t think Williams was terrible, and they did sign Moats for depth.

    “Well, now Polamalu can go back to his natural position”. Yea. In coverage.

    You sure about doing that? Only time I thought Troy was effective last year was near the line of scrimmage.

    When Shazier is sitting and this secondary is getting burned, remember what you posted here today.

  165. JohninOshkosh says:


    There are gems hiding in the Friday afternoon posts.

  166. Where do you derive all this hockey knowledge, Monstrosity? Are you really Mario Lemieux? C’mon, out with it.


  167. Good thing you and Nate are friends. One might think you didn’t like him.


  168. JohninOshkosh says:

    Like everything, though, from American childhood scholastic deficiencies to politics to the eroding of societal institutions, it is the internet, and not geeks and nerds, that is ruining baseball. :)

  169. “And some day, the Age of Men will end. But not this day! For Frodo!”

    Sorry, bpn. The last line just hit me that way. No offense.


  170. It’s pronounced “Day-un”.

    BTW, have you any Grey Poupon?

  171. Beautiful! Made me chuckle.

  172. Dom says:

    Ryan Shazier is the 12th LB they drafted since Tomlin took over.

  173. toochca says:

    And he won’t be the last one either!!

  174. toochca says:

    Sorry, forgot the winking emoticon!! ;)

  175. bpn8pitt says:

    Its fine. Just annoyed how some people ignore history right in front of them with line backing corps. None of those guys had an impact their first year. Heck, took Worilds over 3 years.

    16-16 doesn’t allow for redshirts in my opinion.

  176. Bullpen Nate,

    I stand by my insistence that inside linebacker was the weakest part of Steeler defense last season.

    Troy and others had to alter the way they played their positions to cover for the inadequacies there.

    If Steelers are not allowed to make another draft pick today and tomorrow, THEN we can discuss whether inside backer or cornerback are needed more in 2014.

  177. It took Keenan Lewis 3 years to start.
    It took Cortez Allen 3 years to start.
    Why would a corner back start sooner than a linebacker?

    Face it: not too many rooks start on the North Shore.

  178. Bashaud Breeland, cornerback from Clemson.

  179. bpn8pitt says:

    Maybe your right Groat.

    Troys still can gonna play rover at times. 1. He’s a coverage liability. 2. Shazier wont know the defense.

    Safety was an option at 15 too.

    Like Milo said yday. They had to have Shamarko…With him and Shazier, Timmons and Troys aging body, how are they gonna cover all these monster TEs?

  180. toochca says:

    Didn’t it also take Troy a year before he started?

  181. bpn8pitt says:

    That was because of the talent in front of those guys, coming off 12 win teams.

    8-8 you need rookies to play IMO.

  182. JAL says:

    Snider’s suspension upheld, will serve it tonight and tomorrow, putting Tabata back at leadoff

  183. BillyBaduka says:

    I bet Manziel can’t outrun Shazier.

    I look forward to seeingthis LB corp chasing and sacking Manziel.

  184. bpn8pitt says:

    Point taken, but remember Ben Roethlisberger isn’t getting any younger while it takes guys 2-3 years learning the intricacies of the Lebeau defense.

    Depth and 12-4 records buy time. Not back to back 8-8 seasons.

  185. BillyBaduka says:

    + many

    The more I read and think about this pick. The more I like it.

  186. Nate83 says:

    Unfortunatley I don’t think he has much time left in a Pirate uniform. He seems like a really good teammate that enjoys playing the sport. Hopefully he catches on somewhere else. He showed glimpses this year of turning it around but at the end of the day he is only batting .228 and he plays average defense at best.

  187. BillyBaduka says:


    A man is usually not fully grown/matured physically until 24-25. No more height gain, but mass.

    Now some never mature in other ways but that’s a different subject.

  188. BillyBaduka says:


  189. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think I will ever love it but I convinced myself not to hate it and at least like it. I just thought they had other needs but at least they didn’t do what the Cowboys did. O-line with the 3rd worse defense in the history of the sport that just lost what may have been their best player in DeMarcus Ware. I’ve never seen a team that has consistently not been relevent but everyone still wants to talk about them.

  190. bpn8pitt says:

    NMR, headed to game tonight.

    Found out yesterday Sandy Alderson is a Marine. Served in Nam, infantry no less. 2/1 I believe. I was 1/8.

    Also helped foster sabremetrics somewhat. Neat article out there on the web.

    Later, buddy.

  191. BillyBaduka says:

    Bingo. This was a little reach only because of size, not a big reach at all.

  192. JAL! One of my favs!

    How ’bout dem Pittsburgh Power!!!

  193. Andrew says:

    All true, I was referring more to the Dick LeBeau era. Outside Ike, whose ability always seems to be in debate, Steelers’ teams have had some fairly pedestrian corners and managed elite defensive numbers.

  194. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirates/Redbirds game is on MLBN tonight.

    Weekend predictions:

    Pens win tonight in impressive fashion.

    Bucs take 2/3 from St. Louis while the Brewers are swept at home by the Yankees.

    Wild even the series tonight against the Hawks.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all! Happy Mother’s Day to my late Mother and Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely wife, who only vaguely knows or cares that this blog exists!

    Game thread is up!

  195. Naje says:

    Dejan…I understand moving through the story. And I understand style and tone, especially yours. Maybe I’m seeing “Look,” too often in sports stories. And I’m certainly hearing too much of, “Look,” on the talk shows. “Look,” has certainly taken over the overused and quite stupid, “Certainly…” There was a time not too long ago, that you’d hear “Certainly,” uttered by every meathead on the air for about five years. Meathead #1: the team of Greenberg and Golic. Certainly.

    But, as to reading your columns, it’s as if I can plug in the “Look,” with my eyes closed.

  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    You mean like William Gay and Bryant McFadden?


  197. Naje says:

    And that last line is a compliment, certainly…i think. Or that I’ve read every column and game story and blog entry and thoughts before sunrise and…for the past 10 years. :-)

  198. Andrew says:

    That could certainly be true, I don’t follow any college team closely I just remember watching several of their bigger games and just shaking my head at the amount of blow overages, especially TEs down the seam.

  199. NMR says:

    Looks like you’ll be getting the best game of the series. Enjoy, buddy!

  200. Nate83 says:

    Lucky it was a very strange team to watch defensively last year. You would see tremendous individual efforts on one play often from mulitple different players and then a just complete lapse of concentration on other plays. You couldn’t watch that defense and not think that it would be dominate with all the elite athletes but the stats and play said otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fickle has a much reduced role going forward.

    Shazier was the one consistent. I’m not sure Roby with make an impact in the NFL unless it’s on the police blotter. I like Hyde a lot. I hope he lands in a good situation. Bad timing for him with running backs being so dispensible in the NFL.

  201. theplanisworking says:

    TC, that particular player was a reach. He was projected late first, or early second round. I feel the Steelers might have blown this pick …….. because to play LB for the Steelers, there is a 3 year learning curve, and he will be switching sides of the field.

    If the Steelers picked at say #25, this pick wouldn’t be so bad. At #15, it is awful, at least to me. Plus, the 2 biggest areas of need are still not addressed.

  202. theplanisworking says:

    How bad is he?
    He is a second round talent that the Steelers picked at #15. I don’t need to be an “expert”, I just see they reached.

  203. theplanisworking says:

    YSU has no standards anymore, so it is a good fit.
    I wish him well.

  204. theplanisworking says:

    ” You can make the numbers say what you want. ”

    Yet another reason never to trust stats guys. :)

  205. BillyBaduka says:

    They definitely have greater needs.

    My thoughts on liking the pick are aided by the fact I wasn’t sold on Dennard at 15.

    I look at it this way, they did help the corners/pass defense by helping the pass rush. If Worilds returns to late last year form and Jones improves, they have 4 legit pass rushing linebackers.

  206. BillyBaduka says:

    Sean Ay

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. The days of getting premier OLBs in later rounds and FA are over. You’re timeline is perfect.

    Only way to not pick this type of player early is to switch to 4-3. Then one has to compete with other 4-3 teams for pass rushing DEs so it really doesn’t change things much.

    Until it’s illegal to touch the QB, there’s a premium on pass rushers.

  207. BillyBaduka says:

    Where does the second round talent come from?

    Shazier has a first round grade on the 4 sites I checked, ESPN, CBS, NFL and Walter.

    He’s ranked as high as 11 and as low as 24 and that was by Kiper.

    I wanted a CB too, but one of the best ways to improve CBs is with a pass rush.

  208. BillyBaduka says:

    ++++ ++

  209. BillyBaduka says:


  210. BillyBaduka says:

    + many Groat.

  211. BillyBaduka says:

    It would be great to have a shutdown corner.

    I’m not sure there was one to be had in this draft.

    Combine Gilbert and Dennard and you’ve got one but all the CBs had some holes.

    Gilbert, questionable tackling and raw

    Dennard, great instincts but avg speed (4.51 is not above avg for NFL corner) and injury concerns (2013, started all 14 games. 2012, played most of season with sports hernia injury that required two off-season surgeries 2011, missed three games. 2010, season-ending knee injury and missed five games.) may be bad luck, may be not.

    Fuller, great skills, vision but over aggressive

    Roby good athlete but inconsistent and off field issues.

    Dennard is the most “pro ready” and shoul be a solid corner. I don’t think he will ever be shut down.

  212. BillyBaduka says:

    Just Dijon… :)

  213. BillyBaduka says:

    I like both of them or Desir, CB.

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