Fifth Quarter Report: 2016 Steelers, continued
by Ivan Cole
The Team, Part Three: Defense and more
Defensive line coach John Mitchell fired a lot of people up last spring singing the praises of Daniel McCullers. He wasn’t necessarily wrong in doing so. Big Dan did improve. It’s just that no one could have anticipated how big a first impression the rookie Javon Hargrave made.
Matt Freed, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
by Ivan Cole
The Team: Offense
Let’s re-establish a basic professional football truth at the outset. Franchise quarterbacks do not grow on trees. We don’t usually define them as such, but they tend to be generational players, as in if you are lucky, one will come along every quarter century or so.
By Hombre de Acero
The Steelers bye week went well, as neither AFC North rival logged a victory and as several key players appear to be returning to practice, if not full health. But before the Steelers arrive in Baltimore for their all-important showdown with the rival Ravens, this corner of Steelers Nation must first resolve these 5 Smoldering questions:
1. The Steelers activated Ladrius Green from the PUP list during the bye week, and Mike Tomlin’s assessment was positive. Although some Steelers beat reporters do still do not expect him to play this season, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have nearly two weeks to make a decision on whether to activate him or not.
Should the Steelers opt to activate Green, who should they cut to make roster room for him?
Gene J. Puskar, AP photo
The more I look at this draft, the more I feel as if the Steelers have sold out, if you will, to the guys they think have “hearts and smarts,” even if (or perhaps even especially if) they are considered raw and untutored. Since every player taken in the draft, beginning with Round One Pick One, is going to have shortcomings somewhere or other, I’m wondering if they wouldn’t rather deal with deficiencies of technique and experience than take a guy who thinks he knows what he’s doing.
I wrote those words as part of yesterday’s profile of Javon Hargrave, and started to ponder how Coach Mitchell might deal with him. As I looked up information on Mitchell I realized he deserved his own article, and here it is. In fact, I’m going profile all of the position coaches who are dealing with the new draftees during the coming weeks, because the players chosen are not the entire equation. Some of how they turn out is going to depend on how well they work with their coaches, and how well their coaches work with them. Read more