Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Steelers OTA Story Lines

As the Pittsburgh Steelers Organized Team Activities kicked off here this week, let's take a look at some early stories that could be developing in the organization.

Back Up Quarterback
I'll make a bold prediction: Ben Roethlisberger WILL start Week 1. Call me crazy, but I think it's his year.
Larry Foote will replace James Farrior as the
Steelers defensive signal caller.
(Photo from Steelers.com)

After that, the Steelers currently lists four other QBs including Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Troy Smith and Jerrod Johnson. My question is who is going to win the two remaining spots on the roster?

I love Charlie as much as the next guy, but when is it going to be the right time to tell him to stop coming back and just offer him an assistant coaching position? That's basically what he does now. Pittsburgh wasn't even willing to play him last year against San Francisco when Ben was hurt, why keep him on the roster as a quarterback?

Leftwich has been a solid option as a backup, but injuries have kept him from being able to do that these past few seasons.

Smith was brought in early in the offseason, which gives me a belief that he could be sticking around. Showed that he can do something when in control in San Francisco, so wouldn't mind if he takes Leftwich's role as Big Ben's back up.

As for Johnson, a replacement for Dixon? A big, athletic quarterback? Oh yeah, Dennis is still a free agent, so don't think we won't bring him back for another option as a backup.

Replacing Farrior
No more James Farrior means no more defensive signal caller. Seeing who will step up inside will be pretty interesting. The elder of the group, and who Dick Lebeau has stated will be the new Farrior will be Larry Foote.

Although Foote is experienced, he's also past his prime. I'd love to see Lawrence Timmons become the signal caller of the future. Timmons has developed into a great former first round selection and I think becoming the defensive captain could be his next step.

With Foote up there in age, it'll also be fun to watch guys like Stevenson Sylvester and third round pick Sean Spence pick up some time at that inside backer spot.

Mike Wallace
Obviously, he won't show up to these workouts but that means young guys like Toney Clemons and Marquis Maze can fight for extra reps and get to showcase their skills.

Willie Colon will be seen at left guard this season.
(Photo from Steelers.com)
Clemons, to me, is going to develop into a very viable weapon. He has the skill set to be dangerous early in his career, much like Antonio Brown. This could be a big year for Emmanuel Sanders, if he can stay healthy and I also think Jerricho Cotchery jumps out as one of Big Ben's new favorite targets.

Offensive Line
Who will be the starting five protecting Big Ben this season? Not really a question, but a more exciting scenario for me. The Steelers could have the youngest line in the league, which also means they could have the most inexperienced team in the league.

Earlier last week, the story broke that Willie Colon will move to left guard meaning we could see both David DeCastro and Mike Adams start come Week 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment