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Tag:Flozell Adams
Posted on: September 12, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Steelers RT Willie Colon could be lost for season

The Steelers could be without RT Willie Colon for the rest of the season. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

If there was a bright spot for the Steelers following their Week 1 whupping at the hands of the Ravens, it was that they emerged from the game embarrassed but injury free. A day later, they couldn't even manage that; according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, right tackle Willie Colon could be done for the year.

"Steelers Willie Colon has torn triceps, will have surgery Tuesday, per agent Joe Linta to PG. Likely to go on IR," Bouchette tweeted Monday. "Willie is obviously devastated," Linta added. "But he vows to be back and give the Steelers more good years." 

It's amazing how quickly perceptions can change. Two days ago, coming off a spiffy preseason, the Steelers looked like one of the best teams in the league. After a 35-7 drubbing that including seven turnovers against the Ravens, they suddenly look old, vulnerable and middle-of-the-pack. And now it appears that they've lost their starting right tackle, who also missed the 2010 season with an Achilles injury.



Colon entered the offseason as a free agent and there was speculation that he wouldn't return to Pittsburgh. But the team ended up signing him to a five-year, $29 million deal.

As for what this means going forward, well, not much. The Steelers' offensive line has long been a weak link, and losing Colon, while clearly bad news, doesn't automatically doom their playoff hopes. The front office has several options: they can move rookie second-rounder Marcus Gilbert to right tackle (he played there and on the left side during the preseason), give the job to veteran Trai Essex, or get Flozell Adams, who manned the position capably last season, on the horn and gauge his interest in returning to Pittsburgh.

It's not exactly the start the Steelers were looking for, but they're also quite familiar with winning football games with an o-line held together by duct tape. The biggest issue will be if Ben Roethlisberger can withstand the weekly beatings coming his way.

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Posted on: April 23, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Flozell Adams will not retire in 2011

Posted by Andy Benoit

Shortly after the Steelers’ Super Bowl XLV loss, Flozell Adams told reporters he was contemplating retirement. The soon-to-be 36-year-old offensive tackle has logged 13 hard-fought seF. Adams (US Presswire)asons in the NFL, 12 of which he completed the full 16-game schedule. At some point, fatigue is bound to take over.

For Adams, the point will not come in 2011. Is agent, Jordan Woy, recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Flo is planning on playing. We will need to talk to Pitt (once lock out ends) and determine his role and if it will be with the Steelers.’’

That conversation with the Steelers will shape Adams’ future. He’s due $5 million in 2011, which is about double what he’s worth. The Steelers will also be getting Willie Colon back after (the rising right tackle missed all of 2010 with an Achilles injury). Even if Colon is not the player he was before his late summer surgery, he’s still almost certain to be nimbler than the lumbering Adams.

If the Steelers dump Adams (and the guess here is they will), an extended lockout could really be beneficial for him. In an extended lockout, more teams may be looking to plug holes in their offensive line with experienced veterans who don’t need many practices to learn a system.

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.22.11: Sand-bagging special



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In case you missed the CBSSports.com draft chat with Andy Benoit, Will Brinson, Rob Rang and Mike Freeman (with a cameo appearance by yours truly), you’re in luck. Click the link for the archived version.
  • Read this story from Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez about the potential of players sand-bagging their baseline concussion tests. It’s scary, and I’m sure it will happen.
  • All Falcons WR Roddy White wanted was some of his jerseys framed. Now, he’s asking for an arrest warrant to be taken out on the person who, according to White, is demanding $10,000 for the jerseys to be returned. Apparently, the two originally had agreed on a $400 fee for each jersey to be framed.
  • Former Ravens coach Brian Billick on why it’s so hard to get that first-round quarterback pick right. Money line: “I am living proof that if you miss on a first-round quarterback, as I did with Kyle Boller, you end up broadcasting games and writing about the NFL instead of coaching.”
  • Boomer Esiason sympathizes with any future Bengals QB. Said Esiason: "I have to completely sympathize with Blaine Gabbert if he does get drafted by the Bengals. I do believe he would make a great fit there, but as Cris (Collinsworth) and I both know, he is going to have to be a better player than advertised in order to be successful there because of the lack of support."
  • Lynn Chandis, who starred on Steelers teams in the 1950s and is second only to Gayle Sayers for career kickoff return average, died at the age of 86.
  • Positive news story of the day! Falcons owner Arthur Blank has donated $3 million to the Child Protection Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Nice gift.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Pittsburgh Steelers

Posted by Andy Benoit

 

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:





If you’d told the Steelers at some point during last fall that Ben Roethlisberger would get the ball with 2:07 remaining down six in Super Bowl XLV, they probably would have taken it. That final drive was about the only thing that did not go Roethlisberger’s way in 2010 (suspension aside, of course).

The Steelers, despite a depleted offensive line, got within arms’ reach of a Lombardi Trophy thanks to the emergence of young playmakers Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown.

And, of course, thanks to their perennially staunch defense. Troy Polamalu took home Defensive Player of the Year honors (no matter what the humble safety says, the award was well-deserved) while the star-studded linebacking corps welcomed a new sensation: inside ‘backer Lawrence Timmons.



NFL Offseason

Don’t be shocked if Emmanuel Sanders supplants Hines Ward in the starting lineup sooner than later. This is more about Sanders than Ward. The second-year wideout is already Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to target in spread formations (granted, in part because Roethlisberger prefers to work the slot from four-and five-wide sets). Sanders has the quickness and tempo change to beat man coverage, and he showed marked improvements in understanding the offense as his rookie season wore on.

These days, Ward, 35, runs like he’s playing in sand. But he can still produce. His 59 catches for 755 yards last season were a drop below the back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons he had coming into the year, but his famous (notorious?) blocking remains sharp.



1. Offensive Tackle 1
After watching him lumber through last season, it seems like RT Flozell Adams is nearing that age where Tuesday afternoons and Saturday nights start feeling the same and relatives start dropping subtle hints about the dangers of driving after dark. No way the Steelers pay Adams the $5 million he’s due in 2011. The Steelers can go for the best OT available overall given that LT Max Starks is coming back from injury and could move over to the more-fitting right side.

2. Right Guard
Ramon Foster is not the answer. A simple review of last year’s front line personnel changes reveals that coaches will do just about anything to keep the undrafted utility man out of the starting lineup. Backup G/C Doug Legursky has better mobility than people think, but it’s not enough to make up for his lack of phone booth power.

3. Defensive End
Aaron Smith turns 35 in April and has missed all but 11 games over the past two years. Ziggy Hood was supposed to be primed to start by now, but the ’09 first-round pick does not have the power to be a true anchor outside. Hood must develop the type of agility that’s made Brett Keisel a force; it’s a tossup whether he will. Keisel will be 33 in September but shows no sign of decline. However, the Steelers like to draft players two years out, so finding at least one understudy still makes sense.



A run at a record seventh Lombardi Trophy is clearly not out of the question, though the Steelers won just 17 games combined in the seasons following their last two Super Bowl appearances. The defense is aging but not aged. The offense should only be better.

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Posted on: February 9, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Pondering the future of Flozell Adams

Posted by Andy Benoit
F. Adams (US Presswire)
With the season finally over, Flozell Adams has a decision to make. Will the veteran offensive tackle retire or continue his stellar career?
Adams, 35, sat out most of last offseason but only because teams weren’t chomping at the bit to sign him. Adams is under contract with the Steelers, but there’s next to zero chance the Steelers will pay him the $5 million he’s due in 2011.

The only time Adams has spoken about the matter was in the minutes following the Super Bowl. And he said then that he would address the issue later. Many thought he’d retire if the Steelers won (a Jerome Bettis-like ride into the sunset, if you will).

“Playing all the seasons I have, you have to keep perspective on things,” Adams told the Beaver County Times. “Even though we lost, it was still a great season. Unfortunately we lost, but we made it here. We tried to do the best we could, but we didn’t get the win.”

If Adams does return to Pittsburgh, it’d likely be in a backup role. Young right tackle Willie Colon will be back from his Achilles injury, and Adams does not begin to have the quickness to man the left side these days.

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Posted on: February 6, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Flozell Adams injured; questionable to return

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (7:21 p.m.):
Early in the second quarter, Adams returned to the game.

----------

DALLAS – Late in the first quarter, the Steelers got a double dose of bad news.

One play after Packers WR Jordy Nelson caught a 29-yard touchdown pass, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger was pick-sixed by Nick Collins to give Green Bay a 14-0 lead.

But perhaps even worse, Steelers RT Flozell Adams was injured near the goal line on the interception return, and he’s out of the game for now. He’s questionable to return with a left shoulder injury.

He’s been replaced by backup Trai Essex.

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Breakdown of the 2009 Packers-Steelers shootout


B. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Conversation overheard in the media center this week:
 
Media Guy A: Maybe it’s just me, but why does it feel like we’re going to get a surprising offensive shootout on Sunday?

Media Guy B: Because last time these two “great defenses” squared off it was an absolute scoring fest.

That scoring fest was a 37-36 instant classic in which a Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace 19-yard touchdown on the final play resulted in a 37-36 Steelers victory. It was a fitting end considering that a Roethlisberger to Wallace 60-yard strike had been the first play of the game.

All week both teams have downplayed the relevance of last year’s shootout. And for good reason. The Packers, with dynamite tight end Jermichael Finley in the lineup, had a slightly different offensive structure than what they’ll have this Sunday. And the Steelers were without strong safety Troy Polamalu.

That said, this was barely a year ago, so what we saw is not entirely irrelevant today. Here are some of the key X and O elements from that contest (tip of the cap to Greg Cosell of the NFL Matchup Show for helping with some of the ’09 details).

PACKERS OFFENSE VS. STEELERS DEFENSE

Inside blitzes

Last time:
The Steelers attacked early with a lot of what’s called Fire X blitzes (having the inside linebackers cross each other to rush the passer). They were successful on a few occasions, though Aaron Rodgers amazed with his ability to deliver throws with defenders bearing down on him. Rodgers also built a lot of locker room cred by popping back up when he did get drilled.

This time: Inside blitzing has been a staple of Pittsburgh’s attack this season. James Farrior recorded six sacks on the year and rising star Lawrence Timmons was a thousand times better than his three sacks suggest. If (IF) the Steelers blitz, their interior ‘backers will be a big part of it.

Corner weakness

Last time:
The Steelers did not have No. 2 corner Bryant McFadden last season (he was in Arizona) and their coverage suffered. Ike Taylor, Willie Gay and Joe Burnett rotated throughout this game. Veteran Deshea Townsend was the nickelback. With so many players altering positions, and with no Polamalu helping out, the entire secondary lacked continuity and consistency.

This time: McFadden is not a stud, but he stabilizes the left corner slot. Willie Gay, who was unfit for a starting job last season, is in a more-fitting nickel role. Gay still has occasional issues on the inside, but this cornerback unit as a whole is in the upper half of the NFL.

Spread formations

Last time: The Packers frequently aligned in the shotgun with four and five wide receivers. This was to take advantage of the thin, “Polamalu-less” secondary.

This time: Given the way Rodgers has played, Green Bay’s depth at wide receiver and the fact that it’s virtually impossible to run on Pittsburgh, expect plenty of spread formations again.

STEELERS OFFENSE VS. PACKERS DEFENSE

Multiple formation throwing

Last time:
Pittsburgh relied on a variety of different formations to attack the Packers through the air – most of them of the spread variety. The objective behind this was to make Dom Capers simplify his complex defensive scheme. Mission accomplished. On the 11-play game-winning drive, Green Bay never rushed more than four.

This time: Pittsburgh will likely make a more concerted effort to establish the run, but it would make sense to do so out of spread formations. Spreading the field prevents the Packers from cluttering the box. The fewer bodies the Packers have roving around the box, the fewer options they’ll have for confusing Ben Roethlisberger and the offensive line.

Charles Woodson defended Hines Ward

Last time: This was when the packers were in more traditional sets (two and three wide receivers). Woodson, the ’09 Defensive Player of the Year, was utilized as a cover corner on what the Packers believed was Pittsburgh’s most dangerous wide receiver.

This week: Woodson has evolved into more of a safety in Green Bay’s scheme. (When he plays traditional corner coverage, it usually means the Packers are being passive.) But if the Packers do use Woodson as a cover corner, it’s likely he will face Ward again. That would be an excellent physical matchup. Plus, Green Bay’s other corners, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, are both better equipped than Woodson to handle the blazing downfield speed of Wallace.

Early pass-rush prowess

Last time: Before they got passive in the second half, Green Bay was effective with their zone blitzes. Clay Matthews, in particular, stood out.

This time: Matthews has only gotten better, but the rest of the Packers pass rush has leveled off just a bit. Brad Jones, the starter last season, joined the host of Packers on IR long ago. Replacement Erik Walden is athletic but battling an ankle injury this week. Still, straight up, Green Bay’s pass rush as a whole has an advantage on Pittsburgh’s O-line. Right tackle Flozell Adams doesn’t begin to have the movement skills to handle Matthews, and with center Maurkice Pouncey likely out, you have to wonder if the rest of the line will effectively communicate on blitz pickups. (Offensive line coach Sean Kugler credits Pouncey’s development as the driving force behind the line’s improvement against blitzes.)

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Matchup breakdown: Steelers O vs. Packers D

R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

In the AFC Championship, the Steelers surprised everyone by coming out running against the Jets. On paper, Pittsburgh’s banged-up offensive line was overmatched against New York’s third-ranked run defense. But on the field, the opposite proved true.

With Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey possibly out this Sunday (ankle/foot), one might think Pittsburgh would be inclined to come out throwing. After all, backup Doug Legursky has a noticeable lack of power, while Green Bay’s nose tackle B.J. Raji has a noticeable abundance of it.
 
But despite the Legursky-Raji mismatch, don’t be surprised if the Steelers once again rely on Rashard Mendenhall early on. Running the ball shortens the game and keeps Aaron Rodgers off the field. More than that, it decreases the number of times lumbering right tackle Flozell Adams has to fend off lightning pass-rusher Clay Matthews (Adams vs. Matthews is a mismatch that makes every member of the Steeler organization shudder; it’s hard to imagine the Steelers won’t concoct some form of tight end help for Adams.)

Early in the season, the Steeler offensive line and third down back Mewelde Moore struggled mightily with blitz identification. They got the pass-blocking issues in order down the stretch, but with two weeks to prepare, you have to figure Dom Capers will design at least a few new complicated zone exchanges and delayed A-gap blitzes.

What’s more, whether he’s blitzing or feigning a blitz, slot cornerback/rover Charles Woodson is the key to Green Bay’s pressure schemes. If it’s Woodson vs. Ben Roethlisberger in a presnap chess match, Steelers lose.

Super Bowl experience will have a pretty huge impact on this game as well. Here's Hines Ward on that subject:


Running the ball would ameliorate those unfavorable passing game matchups for the Steelers. But more than that, the Steelers may very well feel that they have an advantage against the Packer run defense anyway. Yes, Doug Legursky, left tackle Jonathan Scott and right guard Ramon Foster all lack the power necessary to generate downhill movement as run-blockers. But left guard Chris Kemoeatu doesn’t.

Kemoeatu is one of the most mobile blockers in football. When he gets to the second level and faces linebackers, he’s frighteningly nasty .The Packer defense did an excellent job at keeping inside linebackers Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk clean from blockers this season. (Why do you think the inexperienced Bishop and resoundingly average Hawk were the only two Packers to record 100-plus tackles?)

But the Steelers, who run two-tight end base personnel, could give those inside linebackers problems by shifting to three-receiver personnel (which would involve replacing Matt Spaeth with wideout Emmanuel Sanders). The Packers almost always use a 2-4-5 alignment in nickel defense. With only two downlinemen, Kemoeatu would have a clear path to Bishop or Hawk (and remember, in nickel, one of those inside ‘backers will be off the field). In that case, Mendenhall could run inside, or, if he’s lucky, get isolated on the edges against outside linebacker Erik Walden (an impressive athlete but very callow run-stopper).

Roethlisberger is Pittsburgh’s best playmaker, but the run game could very well be Pittsburgh’s best chance at a seventh Lombardi trophy.

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