Blog Entry

And They're Off

Posted on: February 28, 2009 4:19 am

James Harrison wants to retire a Pittsburgh Steeler.  Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu could have been a Jet but decided to stay where he was at.  Whispers and rumors that Colts center Jeff Saturday was willing to switch to position at guard to play for the black and gold all were naught when he resigned for three years to remain Peyton Mannings MVP.  Byron Leftwich said not to count him out as the Steelers backup quarterback, then there’s also Charlie Batch.  So what about Dennis Dixon?   

This past week, free agency began in earnest and Steelers personnel management, like the other 31 teams have been busy adjusting their roster and making offers.  Faced with having thirteen players as unrestricted free agents, including two viable backup quarterbacks, Kevin Colbert and the rest of the Steelers front office are working to retain as many of the Steelers current players as possible.  Of course, it’s probably not going to be feasible.

One of the top priorities, according to Colbert, is getting the NFL’s DPOY’s contract extended so that he can finish his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler.  It will happen, it’s just symantics.  Biggest problem is the terms, especially due to the situation with the CBA and the “uncapped year”.  

Of course we’ve seen the Steelers place a franchise tag on OT Max Starks, again.  There was a tender to restricted free agent Willie Colon.  One wonders if the idea was to actually keep Colon, or use that tender in lieu for a first round draft pick, something that the Steelers could use, seeing that they’re 32nd in the draft this year.  Chris Kemoeatu could have taken the same route, the exact same route, that former Steelers guard Alan Faneca took and become a player for the J.E.T.S. but he declined the offer and decided to stay with the black and gold.  Okay, the Steelers did offer him good money, but the Jets did offer Kemo a little more.  Fullback/tight end Sean McHugh will be staying.  McHugh actually made a difference in the Steelers running game when they put him in at the FB position, rather then the TE position.  

What was surprising is the release of OT Kendell Simmons.  Simmons went out for the year in the first Ravens/Steelers game with a torn Achilles tendon.  What’s not surprising, they probably will not be resigning punter Mitch Berger.  Okay, so Berger wasn’t the best, but I believe the reality is that punter Daniel Sepulveda will more then likely be returning after sitting the season out with a torn ACL.  

There’s still a lot of time left in the off-season for contracts to be signed and players cut.  WR Nate Washington will probably end up being a starting WR somewhere else and CB Bryant McFadden is testing his value on the open market and it is doubtful that he’ll return.   Restricted free-agent SS Anthony Smith did not receive a contract tender and it’s questionable if Marvel Smith will return.  

Of course we’re all wondering just who will be the Steelers backup quarterback with both Batch and Leftwich in the FA market.  Makes it even more interesting that Leftwich hinted that he might prefer being a backup in Pittsburgh to a starting QB somewhere else.




Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2009 10:33 am

And They're Off

hey Mom,

Hope all is well with you, haven't spoke much lately, I've been on the road pretty much since mid-October. Just came home to get my knee scoped (success first time pain free in 3 years) and next weekend heading back overseas. Hope the weather in SC is better than here... how's the remodeling going ? LOL

Great post as usual. I think Byron Leftwich will resign with the Steelers, I don't see a huge market for him as a starter so if he's going to back someone up, why not do it with a team that are always a threat to go to the Super Bowl. I think that the management will come up with the money to keep James Harrison happy and in Pittsburgh for a long time. They can't help but see what's happened to the Ravens LB situation there overnight with Bart Scott already gone and Ray Lewis not far behind. This "uncapped year" is going to throw everything into a mess like MLB IMO, but we'll see.

I heard that the Lions are wanting both Nate Wasington (they love WRs in Detroit !) and Bryant McFadden. I read in a blog somewhere that the Steelers were interested in Leigh Bodden. I like this guy and hoped he was going to sign in New England, they had him in this weekend but couldn't get anything done. Didn't know Daniel Sepulveda tore an ACL last season, wondered what happened, he's an excellent punter.

Of course, up here everyone is abuzz with the Matt Cassel trade, which I think will benefit both the Patriots and the Chiefs. Cassel will get a chance to start and with Dwayne Bowe, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Johnson they will be much improved. We all will be sorry to see Mike Vrabel go, but I think it was time to make a change there. He was known as the "Swiss Army Knife" by the other players because he was so versatile.

All the best to you, looking forward to the draft soon

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2009 7:46 pm

And They're Off

Good job!  I think the Steelers have done a good job holding down the ship while all the other teams in North seem to be falling apart.  I think the should keep Leftwich and put Batch on the coaching staff.  They did this with a backup several years ago and I can't remember his name.  I think he played for the Bears before the Steelers.  Anyway, get Harrison signed and life will be good.  Can't wait till Sept.

Since: Sep 8, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2009 12:38 pm

And They're Off

Mom, as always a great blog.  I am very happy for you and your Steelers - they seem to have it all going for them.  Big Ben is really big - I saw him on the David Letterman show after the Super Bowl and was surprised at how big he really is.  And to play the SB with broken ribs - he is one determined young man. 

May the 2009-2010 year be a good one for the Steelers.......................

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2009 12:08 pm

And They're Off

Steelerspwn, thanks.  Yes it is an exciting time to be a fan, if the core players stay together there's a viable shot of a back to back. 

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2009 6:13 am

And They're Off

Great read mom. Leftwich knows if he stays with the Steelers, he has a better than average chance of seeing some playing time imo. Ben is such a stud, he takes some shots Surprised . It's a very exciting time to be a Steeler fan!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or