June is a great time to work on things, because there's nothing to post about in the NFL (unless you're on the edge of your seat about Chad Johnson going to jail, but if you are, this isn't the website for you. Try TMZ). In the past, Blitzburgh had been sort of haphazardly organized between quick hits from Bam, longer recaps and essays from your truly, and George's big statistical breakdowns. Looking towards this upcoming training camp and 2013 season, I think Blitzburgh will likely move more toward Bam's style of quick opinions on goings-on in Pittsburgh.
For a better comparison, we're probably going to be more like WHYGAVS than Jesse's in-depth work on Faceoff-Factor. There will of course still be more practical relationships with this site, such as getting ticket deals with TiqIQ. If gambling is your thing, we keep up with top 5 sports betting sites. But in general, I'll still be raving about how Heath Miller is the perfect football player, Santonio Holmes is the whiniest, and everything can be fixed with a better pass rush.
It's just that putting together long, in-depth posts can't be the norm if I'm going to have anything to say about Nick Williams. It's a 7th-round defensive lineman; just apply whatever you know about Steve McLendon. Those posts will come and go as interesting topics arise, but I think it's in everyone's best interests to stick to short newsworthy items day-by-day.
Meta-posts always kind of bugged me on blogs, so here's an image of Heath Miller being better than the Cleveland Browns:
Some more stuff on a few of the rookies coming up.no comments
I have no idea what a BLESTO scout is, but the position will now be filled by former Steelers defensive back/special teams captain/king of downing punts at the 1-yard line, Chidi Iwuoma.
This is exciting news to nobody but me, because I own this jersey:
Yes, I am that kind of hipster.
Been working on some stuff about the Steelers' rookies this year, but I want to get that all done before they start publishing. It's May; if you're hurting for football news, buy Madden or something.no comments
With Rashard Mendenhall moving on to Pittsburgh, Part 2 in Arizona and Emmanuel Sanders settling for a one-year deal before he likely leaves for greener pastures, depth on offense was going to be an issue for the Steelers. When the sun came up on Friday, the Steelers had three running backs: Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and Baron Batch. Batch came in highly touted for a late draft pick and was expected to assume the role of 3rd down back after Mewelde Moore departed. Batch hasn't impressed in his short time in Pittsburgh and it looks like he'll have to hold his job against the incoming LaRod Stephens-Howling.
That left Redman and Dwyer to battle for the starting job. Both are thick power backs capable of blasting through tacklers, but the lack of speed and agility between the two backs doesn't bode well for an every-down running game. Redman and Dwyer are basically the same player, but they need a Rashard Mendenhall type in front of them to handle the bulk of the work. That brings us to Le'Veon Bell. He's about the same size as his two new backfield mates, and with a 4.6 40 time, he doesn't have elite speed. Given that, it seems like they want more of the same from the running back position. I'd be interested to know what they like in Bell moreso than Eddie Lacy, but that's what Kevin Colbert's scouts get paid for.
One round later, the Steelers chose Markus Wheaton out of Oregon State to fill out the wide receiving corps. The aforementioned Emmanuel Sanders is in a lame duck year as a receiver, but fortunately that means he'll be playing for a new contract. The problem is going to be whenever Brown or Sanders gets hurt and now the offense is featuring Jerricho Cotchery. Wheaton will get plenty of chances to play this season.
As for the rest of the draft, the Steelers are still hurting for a backup safety to groom behind Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark (and inevitably play when one or both of those guys get hurt, which one or both of them will). The presence of David Paulson and Matt Spaeth diminish the need for a tight end to get some reps in case Heath Miller isn't ready to go.
With their major, immediate needs filled thus far in the draft, the Steelers are in a position to take the best player available on the last day of the draft. They'll lean towards a safety, but if a guy they like doesn't come along, I don't expect them to reach for one.
I'm also not sure if this is the year or not that the Steelers put some serious stock into grooming a new backup QB. It's not a pressing need for the team, with Bruce Gradkowski shoring up the position, but this could be a good year to find a backup. Without any real stars at QB in this draft, second-tier passers are falling into the later rounds. If Kevin Colbert likes one of them on Day 3, I'd expect him to take the opportunity.
He has a luxury on the final day of the draft though; one that he didn't have the first two days. He doesn't need anything in particular. That gives him the option to take what he wants. That's a much better position to be in.no comments
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed running back LaRod Stephens-Howling to a one-year deal, according to the team's website. With only Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman on the depth chart at the moment, the Steelers had a definite need to att RB depth. Stephens-Howling is expected to play mostly special teams and third downs rather than being the new feature back to replace Rashard Mendenhall.
It's nice to see a former Pitt Panther join the Steelers (and hey, maybe they'll draft Ray Graham this weekend) and bolster the depth in the backfield a little bit. It doesn't change the desperate need for a real starter, and likely won't alter Colbert's draft strategy tonight.
I'm on the record as hoping Eddie Lacy falls to Pittsburgh in the second round. This signing has done little to change my stance. It might not happen, but expect the Steelers to address that position before the end of the draft. As the rounds go on, the strategy will shift to "best player available" but if they have to reach a little bit to get someone at the RB position, they probably will.no comments
Meet Jarvis Jones, the former-DE, future-OLB that will be joining the Steelers this fall. He was the consensus pick from the mock drafts, and Kevin Colbert made a number of people just look a little smarter. James Harrison's replacement might not start right away, but with the instability on the right side of the defense (sorry, Jason Worilds fans), Jarvis could find playing time sooner than later. He'll certainly have his chance to take the starting job in training camp.
If you know me, you know I like this pick. In a pinch? Draft more linebackers. If the defense were ten linebackers and Troy Polamalu, I'd be fine with that. Jarvis Jones pretty much closes the door on Jason Worilds' career. The front seven has a lot of youth in the mix. The next ten years will depend on them living up to their draft pedigree. Jones' tape says he can motor. Brett Keisel (and eventually Cam Heyward) are going to have to open lanes for him to prove he belongs in the NFL.no comments