Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Richard Menthol and Linus Sweets Need Nicknames

Here's what I know: Richard Menthol and Linus Sweets, even as part-time players, will have a much bigger impact than any offensive lineman the Steelers would've landed with the 23rd pick. I'm not suddenly abandoning my NO RUNNING BACKS IN THE FIRST ROUND draft philosophy, but given there was a run on o-linemen leading up to Pittsburgh's selection, it wouldn't have made much sense to reach for, say, Duane Brown, a converted tight end who Mike Mayock had going in Round 3.

The question, though, is if the addition of two offensive skill position players will be enough to offset the traveling circus currently constituted by Smith, Kemoeatu, Hartwig, Simmons and Colon/Starks. Bruce Arians mentioned something about featuring both Menthol and Willie Parker in the backfield at the same time, and assuming Hines, Santonio and Linus (along with Heath) get plenty of snaps together, it certainly seems promising. We'll see (I'm skeptical).

Yesterday, Finnegans Wake put forth an interesting idea on how to unglut the roster at wideout and running back. Cliff's Notes: send Nate and a fifth-rounder to the Cowboys for Marcus Spears, and find a team with an immediate need to unload Najeh for a Day-2 selection.

It seems like most of us here are split on Najah -- some like him for what he is: a reliable third-down back/spot starter who can block, catch and play special teams. Others are concerned that he could be a system running back and not worth whatever it is he'll make in 2008.

I get that, and don't necessarily disagree. I think Dookie's future comes down to how Menthol performs in training camp because, in a sense, they occupy very similar roles on the roster. I don't suspect it'll happen, but if Menthol holds out for any period of time, Davenport makes the team. Whatever, I'm down with the trade; it's more than what the Steelers would get if they released him.

I'm a Nate apologist and still not convinced he'll be crowded out of playing time. Somebody mentioned it in the previous thread, but who knows what kind of numbers Sweets will put up as a rookie. More importantly, perhaps, is that Arians LOVES Washington. I can't imagine they get rid of him.

Of course, it's a Catch-22 of sorts for the Steelers: if Washington has s break-out '08 the team won't be able to afford him; if he craps the bed, they won't want him. The chance of the former suggests Pittsburgh should think about dealing him; the fact that there's very little experience behind Hines and Holmes suggest they shouldn't.

Shorter version of this post: I got nothing.

Oh, and this is the best thing I saw on the internets yesterday.