Pittsburgh Steelers General Thread

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Steelers' started by Don Wassall, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    As was mentioned elsewhere, six time Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro was unexpectedly released. Supposedly he has a bad ankle but he only missed five games the past three seasons after missing none the four seasons before that. If I pick up any local knowledge that sheds more light I'll post it.

    DeCastro wasn't quite as good as Alan Faneca, another perennial Pro Bowler at guard for the Steelers who finally made the Hall of Fame this past year, but he was only a notch below. He was far and away the best starter on their offensive line until slipping some last season and it's a shock to see him unceremoniously released like this unless he's about to announce his retirement, and even if that's the case he should have been afforded the respect to go out on his own terms.
     
  2. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    The Steelers o-line will be much more sumo without the All Pro DeCastro. One of the more annoying picks of past April's draft was the Steelers drafting of Dan Moore from Texas A&M. The rest of that A&M O-line were White athletes if I recall and I felt were just as good as Moore who of course enjoyed all the pre-draft hype. It's a typical Colbert pick.
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    T Alejandro Villaneuva signed with Baltimore, so as of now the Steelers project to have a 4/5 Black o-line after starting two and three Whites in recent years. And even at center there will be media and DWF clamor to start rookie Kendrick Green, so the line could well be all sumo this season.
     
  4. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Pouncey also retired - my guess is this will be Ben's last season in Pittsburgh - they certainly did not help him out with addressing the O-line.
     
  5. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    They could be back to as low as 3 Whites starting if Ebron remains the starter at tight end, maybe even 2 if J.C. Hassenauer, the current listed starter at center, is replaced by the rookie Green. Then it would be just Big Ben and T. J. Watt. Derek Watt is the "starter" at fullback but is mostly a WSTD who almost never touches the ball.

    The two potential bright spots are rookie TE Pat Friermuth, and good old Robert Spillane, the super-overachiever who is always ready to step in and outperform any injured linebackers.
     
  6. El Gringo

    El Gringo Guru

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    Here’s that famous hit when Spillane stonewalled Derrick Henry!
     
  7. Bucky

    Bucky Hall of Famer

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    Very interesting they let go of one of the best Guards in the League! We'll see where DeCastro ends up. And with that move, Big Ben will have only 1 returning starting OL next season.
     
  8. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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  9. Snowplow

    Snowplow Newbie

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  10. Leon Sandcastle

    Leon Sandcastle Guru

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    Vince Williams just retired from the NFL. None of his 8 years with the Steelers were particularly notable, but his production was solid for a sixth rounder. Will Spillane finally hear his name called, or will Pittsburgh scoop someone off the streets to play next to Devin Bush?
     
  11. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Steelers drafted ILB Buddy Johnson out of Texas A&M in the fourth round this year. But Williams' unexpected retirement certainly does help Spillane's chances as he should get the nod for at least this season due to his experience, until the clamoring once again begins that he's "too slow" or missed a tackle or took a poor angle.
     
  12. Bucky

    Bucky Hall of Famer

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    Some more good news! To me Spillane looks like one of those guys too good to hold back. Everytime he's on the field, he's cracking skulls. Let's hope he gets the initial starting nod and runs away with it.
     
  13. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's an article on Robert Spillane that doesn't have any earth-shattering news, but it does confirm that Spillane is currently firmly ensconced as a starter. And it doesn't call him unathletic, so it's got that going for it too.

    Steelers' Robert Spillane eating off 'full plate' as he preps for 1st year as full-time starter

    by Joe Rutter

    Until Devin Bush’s season-ending ACL tear in Week 6 last season, Robert Spillane had played nine career snaps at inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Instead of replacing Bush like he did in 2020, Spillane will be playing alongside the former first-round draft pick when the Steelers open the season Sept. 12 at Buffalo.

    It’s an unfamiliar situation for Spillane, particularly in the wake of eight-year veteran Vince Williams’ retirement on the eve of training camp. The Steelers won’t have Williams available to provide a safety net at the position, putting more of an onus on Spillane to produce in his first full season as an NFL starter.

    “Of course it puts a little more on Robert’s plate,” inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky said Thursday. “That’s what you want, a full plate when you play in the NFL. … It puts more on his plate, but not any more pressure.”

    Spillane already has ascended further in his NFL career than most expected when he went undrafted out of Western Michigan in 2018. Released by the Tennessee Titans during his rookie season, Spillane was signed the following winter by the Steelers and played in eight games, with all but one snap coming on special teams, in 2019. That was the year Bush arrived as the 10th overall selection in the NFL Draft. Bush’s rise to an NFL starter was immediate. Expectations for Spillane to play a significant role in the Steelers defense were, um, not as lofty. That didn’t deter Spillane from preparing himself to eventually play regularly, if not start.

    “I’ve always had confidence in myself,” he said. “People never thought I’d be here right now. Just the fact I’m here as a number one linebacker next to Devin Bush in this unbelievable defense, it feels special to me. But I don’t take it lightly, and I don’t take it for granted.”

    To hear Spillane tell it, doubters might have come from within his own household. “Even some people in my family might say, ‘What are you doing? You’re not going to be out there. We don’t necessarily believe in you,’ ” he said. “But it’s having that faith in myself the whole way through, even when the odds weren’t in my favor. It’s trusting in myself and my abilities. Good things kept happening.”

    When Williams retired, it left Spillane, at 25 years and seven months, as the oldest inside linebacker on the Steelers roster. He and converted safety Marcus Allen are the only players at the position who were in an NFL training camp in 2018. That experience — as limited as it is for Spillane — has made him a mentor of sorts at a position that counts Buddy Johnson, Jarvis Miller and Calvin Bundage as players trying to earn a spot on the 53-man roster or practice squad. “It’s weird calling myself a veteran, but this is my fourth year in the league,” Spillane said, “so I have the ability to help those younger players grow into the role they can possibly grow into.”

    Even before Williams retired, Spillane was targeted to take regular snaps next to Bush. The Steelers’ decision to release Williams in March — he re-signed the next month at a greatly reduced salary — was an indication of the organization’s belief in Spillane.

    “Either way, I was looking forward to taking that next step in my career this year,” he said. “I’m excited to keep learning from Devin, to give him the information I have. We play really nicely off each other. It’s really fun to be out there with him.”

    Bush wore the helmet with the green dot and relayed the defensive signals until his injury. Spillane wore it until he missed the final four games of the regular season with a knee injury.

    The job likely will return to Bush provided he is fully recovered when the season begins. Spillane is ready to have that responsibility, too. “For me, it’s easy to make the calls. It’s comfortable making the calls,” Spillane said. “I think he’s comfortable making the calls, too. We play really well off each other. We have communications about it every day.”

    Spillane said he and Bush also have spent extra time in the film room studying tendencies. This attention to detail doesn’t surprise coach Mike Tomlin.

    “It’s about cooperative work and communication in a tandem,” Tomlin said. “It’s cool from my perspective because it’s generational. I watched it happen with Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier when they were young. It’s really kind of born out of that and has been passed down from duo to duo over the years in that room.

    “That’s one of the cool things that happens in this environment.”

    https://triblive.com/sports/robert-...r-1st-year-as-full-time-starter-for-steelers/
     
  14. Extra Point

    Extra Point Hall of Famer

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    One of the advantages of having a linebacker such as Spillane is that he can make the correct calls.
     
  15. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    The Steelers just traded for Joe Schobert. My guess is that Urban is going to cleanse the Jaguars defense of all White players in the next few weeks.
     
  16. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    That probably means Spillane will be demoted as Bush isn't going to be a backup any time soon as he was a first round pick two years ago. So if that happens it's a net loss for starting White LBs.
     
  17. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Spillane will hopefully be a solid rotational player. Schobert is a damned good LB and I am glad he escaped Urban Meyer in Jacksonville.
     
  18. Bucky

    Bucky Hall of Famer

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    Schobert to Pittsburgh?! Friggin awesome.
     
  19. Freethinker

    Freethinker Hall of Famer

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    I’m with Don, this is a net loss. I don’t care about the Steelers or Jaguars. I care about Schobert and Spillane. Both were starters and now it’s back to the bench again for Spillane. Hopefully Bush has further injuries and we could see a rare 3 out of 4 line backing core.
     
  20. Rocky B

    Rocky B Mentor

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    Bush plays no better than Spillane...
    I watch all of the games...
    Bush got beat by a tight end last night on a pass route.
    Spillane gets beat the week before by a wide receiver and he just isn’t very athletic.
    Holy crap, the stuff we have to listen to......
     
  21. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Bush was wearing some kind of dress the night he was drafted. He posts lots of goofy stuff on Twitter. In other words he seems to be yet another prima donna on a team that Mike Tomlin lets do whatever they want, Chase Claypool and Ju-Ju being prime examples following Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell. The Steelers have no discipline and leadership and now collapse at the end of each season/beginning of the playoffs on an annual basis.

    Bush is also coming off a torn ACL, so how effective he'll be is a big question. In the best case scenario, Watt, Schobert and Spillane all start, but in the NFL the best case scenario very rarely occurs.
     
  22. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    As I write this, it's still a mystery as to what the Steelers gave up to get Schobert. Best I can find is "late round draft picks," which if true is dirt cheap for one of the top linebackers in the league in the prime of his career, which makes me wonder if even Schobert is being pushed toward backup status either this season or next.
     
  23. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    The Steelers did take his full contract with the trade. I think this was more of a white purge move by Urban Meyer than anything else. Schobert is a good player, very productive and he does his job well - tackling.

    I’ll be curious to see what the details are of the trade as well.

    I also would not be surprised if Tomlin lets Haski ns start the next game in an attempt to have him jump over Rudolph who has looked very good in the first two preseason games.
     
  24. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Steelers have always been shrewd when it comes to salary obligations. This is from one of the local bird cage liners: "Schobert will make $7 million this season, according to Spotrac.com. But even if his contract says he has three years and 29.75 million remaining for 2022-24, the Steelers could get out of it next offseason by releasing Schobert without having to account for any “dead” cap money."
     
  25. Sean89

    Sean89 Guru

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    27 year old LB, tackling machine, forces fumbles, plays well in coverage, real nose for the football.

    Available for late round pick ?? What am I missing here ... Besides the obvious!
     

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