Saturday, April 07, 2007

Back From the Dead

Jeebus. I was all set to catch up on the two weeks of Steelers' news I missed while raising my son (who's now talking, walking, and in a few days we'll be sending him off to boarding school -- parenting is pretty easy once you get the hang of it) and then Sammy Freakin' Sosa hit a dinger against the Red Sox.

The good news, I guess, is that the a-holes at MLB decided to let the a-holes at Comcast charge me $150 for the baseball package. I fully understand that this was an argument between two filthy rich outfits arguing over who was going to make more dough ... at my expense, of course. I'm just glad the two sides could put away their greedy needs long enough to screw me. Thank you. Thank you very much. Anyway...

Sosa, who's back with the Rangers, hit a bomb of JC Romero in the bottom of the sixth. This is the same dude who pretended he couldn't speak English during the Congressional Hearings in the spring of 2004, and subsequently lost 50 pounds of muscle before suddenly becoming an opposite field singles hitter in 2005. I think he's back on the juice.

So, Steelers-wise, what's going on? Well, not much, really. It's amazing how far behind you can get in two weeks of not paying attention to all the internets chatter, but in that time, the only real news to come out of Pittsburgh was the confusion surrounding the Tyrone Carter re-signing. I'm happy he's back, and as SteelerBill points out, I'm even happier about Mike Tomlin and Ike Taylor becoming best buds.

I'm sure Tim will be absolutely shocked to hear this, but I think Ike will be better in 2007. He'll never rack up picks like Champ Bailey or Asante Samuel, but that's obviously because he can't catch, not because he's necessarily horrible in coverage. Whatever, I think Tomlin's taking the exact right approach. He knows Taylor's a big part to this defense, and anything the new head coach can do to make it easier for him to play well, it sounds like he'll do.

Still -- and I've said this before -- I'd be okay with the Steelers taking a cornerback in the first round. I know JJ Cooper disagrees -- and that's cool -- but the more competent defensive backs you have, the better.

In news that I haven't repeated at least 30 or 40 times on this site, Cols714 asked this interesting question way back on March 31:
[SCI] is claiming that the Steelers may take Jon Beason at 1.15. Anyone know anything about this guy?
Well, Mike Mayock loves him. He's from the U, and I think Mayock has him at the top of his draft board for OLBs, ahead of Lawrence Timmons. After hearing Timmons looked winded and out of shape during his Pro Day, I'd be fine if the Steelers passed on him. Also -- and this should make Eric happy -- Mayock likes Poslusnzy ... but as a weakside linebacker in the 4-3. I don't know if Pittsburgh feels similarly, but if they do, he won't be in Pittsburgh ... unless the team is transitioning to the 4-3 next season (just kidding). As I'm scrolling through the comments, I see Eric already posted Mayock breaking down film on most of the guys we've been talking about (told you I was behind -- well, more than usual).

Alright, I have been in and out, perusing the comments over the last week, but I missed this and it's great stuff, courtesy of Easy Like Sunday Morning:
Was on vacation in the Caribbean last week and ran into Monte Kiffin, the very well-regarded defensive coordinator of the Bucs. He was an extremely nice guy and was diagramming plays over breakfast while he was also on vacation (in case you wonder if these guys are serious about their jobs).

I thanked him for bringing Tomlin into the league and mentoring him. He said that the head coach of the University of Cincinnati was chagrined when Kiffin called, saying “Shoot, you found him” and “after you talk to him, you’re definitely going to want to hire him” (it must be nice when someone calls your boss and he says such things). He also said what you’ve heard in the press about what happened in Pittsburgh and Tampa before that, that Tomlin blew everyone away as soon as they spoke to him as a potential replacement for Herm Edwards as DB coach.

In terms of the Bucs, he said that they need to get better on defense and need to draft a bunch of defensive players. I thought this was interesting, since it is different than what some others have written about Tampa going mainly with offense in the draft. Maybe that’s just what a defensive coordinator would want and say, and he certainly might not volunteer inside information to a random stranger on vacation, but he seemed like a sincere guy. I doubt they’d pass on Calvin Johnson, though.

I also wished him well this year and also wished his son well, too. I think Lane will need it more than his dad, who has already been successful…
That was awesome -- thanks.

In other news you probably already knew about, Brian Bassett has starting Rookiepedia for people (like me) who don't know a lot about some of the college guys who are looking to get drafted every April.

So, let's see, the draft is three weeks off, and I still don't know who the Steelers should draft. Mostly because I think the team doesn't have one glaring need (you can read the details of why I think this here). I know, I know, there are a bunch of needs, but most of what went wrong with last season isn't easily blamed on a player or position (unless you think the club should draft a quarterback at 1.15 ... and the coach quit, so we can't blame him either). Whatever, with only days to go, let's hear the one player you'd like to see Pittsburgh take at 1.15. (And please don't say Joe Thomas or Calvin Johnson; ideally guys who might be available.)

I'll get things started. And because I'm so indecisive, I'll go with a list:

1. Adam Carriker. I like the idea of Keisel getting some reps at linebacker, even if only for a handful of plays a game.

2a. Patrick Willis. I don't expect him to be here, but he might fall Big Ben style. If he's available, I'd love for Pittsburgh to take him.

2. Levi Jones Brown. I don't expect him to be around either, but if he is, good. (Though rumors have the Steelers hearting Joe Staley, just not at 1.15.)

3. Jon Beason. Wexell and Mayock have convinced me he could be really a really good outside linebacker, though Mayock says he's still a little raw (but who isn't).

4. Darrelle Revis. Like I said above, you can never have too many good cornerbacks.

5. Daniel Sepulveda. I actually shocked myself by not putting him at No. 1

Also, anybody who lists wide receivers or running backs will be charged the HSS subscription rate.