Most of “Steeler Nation” would agree that Guard, Nose Tackle, and Inside Linebacker are the positions with the most issues surrounding them entering the 2012 season. All three positions need either upgrades and/or talented bodies to fill the vacated spots on the roster, and Pittsburgh will likely be looking at all three spots early and/or often this April in the Draft.
While the Steelers’ most glaring needs exist at Guard, Nose Tackle, and Inside Linebacker, there exist some other holes/needs for upgrades at different positions on their roster which the Front Office might consider filling and upgrading this April as well. Thus, I would like to do a short breakdown of six other positions which the Steelers could look to target in this April’s Draft, and why Pittsburgh would consider going in those different directions.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has been saying all week that “Tyler’s our starter” throughout the week, referring to the Tyler Palko vs. Kyle Orton debate, but not everyone thought the Chiefs coach was telling the truth. In fact, most folks thought he was bluffing.
With over 1,800 votes in our poll conducted on Wednesday, 75 percent of voters predicted Kyle Orton would start against Chicago. Not should start but will start. People thought Haley was holding out for a competitive advantage, making the Bears prepare for both, and that ultimately Orton would start.
Right now, all indications are that Palko will indeed start and I don’t see that changing in the next few hours.
As to why the Palko vs. Orton debate is still alive just a few hours before the game, Haley has never actually said “Tyler is starting on Sunday” – maybe that’s just semantics on my part — and, along with that, he did not take an opportunity to fully commit to Palko starting when asked by a Chicago radio station last week. That’s why some of us are still sitting here on Sunday morning wondering who the starting quarterback will be, despite Haley claiming Palko is the starter all week.
We’ve never really gotten a straight answer from Haley this week on exactly why he believes Palko gives the Chiefs a better chance to win, which could suggest there is no legitimate answer. Sam Mellinger of the KC Star takes a deeper look at the decision to start Palko and comes up with at least one plausible explanation for Palko’s appearance. I don’t totally agree with it but at least I understand it (unlike some of Haley’s attempts to defend the Palko decision this week).
If Palko does start, the next question is how short is his leash.
33-year old cornerback Terence Newman has been banged up a little bit so far this year, but when he has played, he has been really good. Newman has played in 7 games for the Cowboys so far this year and he has 25 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 4 interceptions (one returned for a TD) and 6 passes defensed. Newman has now played in 126 games in his first 9 years with the Cowboys and he has 514 tackles, 122 passes defensed, 32 interceptions (3 returned for TDs), 2 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries and 17 tackles for a loss. The Cowboys need Newman to stay in one piece the rest of this year, because he appears to have plenty left in the gas tank.
Last Sunday there wasn’t a lot to be disappointed with. The Seahawks came to Pittsburgh and the Steelers responded to week one’s disaster by shutting out their opponent. All that being said, the Seahawks are a disaster of a team, and not much can be read into this win. Based on the way the Seahawks played, that score should have been 45-0, not 24-0. The total domination of an opponent was a fun thing to watch as a fan, but this really doesn’t tell us what kind of shape the Steelers are in right now. Are they a top-tier team after being blown out by the Ravens and then beating the Seahawks, or are they just middle of the road? Are they too old to compete with the really hot teams in the league right now? … [ href="http://nicepickcowher.com/2011/09/23/steelers-still-have-lots-to-prove/">visit site to read more]
href="http://nicepickcowher.com/2011/09/23/steelers-still-have-lots-to-prove/">Steelers Still Have Lots To Prove – href="http://nicepickcowher.com">Nice Pick, Cowher – href="http://nicepickcowher.com">Nice Pick, Cowher – A Pittsburgh Steelers Blog
Wilbert Montgomery hasn’t donned a Eagles’ jersey in a long, long time but he’s still the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. Montgomery played in 100 games in 8 years with the Eagles and he carried the ball 1,465 times for 6,538 yards (4.5 ypc) with 45 TD runs. He also caught 266 passes for 2,447 yards (9.2 avg) with 12 TD grabs with the Eagles. Montgomery rushed for at least 1,220 yards in a season three times for the Eagles. He also caught at least 40 passes in four years for the Eagles. Montgomery also represented the Eagles in two Pro Bowls. Wilbert Montgomery was one of the more underrated running backs in the NFL.
30-year old Tony Romo’s season ended early due to a fractured collar bone but he’s still the Cowboys’ starting QB without a doubt. Romo played in 6 games for the Cowboys last season and he completed 148 of 213 passes (69.5%) for 1,605 yards with 11 TD passes and 7 INTs (94.9 QB Rating). Romo also carried the ball 6 times for 38 yards (6.3 ypc) last season. Romo has now played in 89 games in his NFL career and he has completed 1,326 of 2,070 passes (64.1%) for 16,650 yards with 118 TD passes and 62 INTs (95.5 QB Rating). Romo also has carried the ball 136 times for 413 yards (3.0 ypc) with 3 TD runs in his career.
38-year old Jon Kitna replaced Romo in the starting lineup when he was injured and he showed that he still has a lot left in the gas tank. Kitna played in 10 games for the Cowboys last season and he completed 209 of 318 passes (65.7%) for 2,365 yards with 16 TD passes and 12 INTs (88.9 QB Rating). Kitna also carried the ball 31 times for 147 yards (4.7 ypc) with 1 TD run last season. He has now played in 138 games in his NFL career in which he has completed 2,671 of 4,432 passes (60.3%) for 29,658 yards with 168 TD passes and 163 INTs (77.5 QB Rating). Kitna has also carried the ball 310 times for 958 yards (3.1 ypc) with 11 TD carries in his career.
27-year old Stephen McGee finally got onto the field last year and he held his own. McGee played in 2 games for the Cowboys last season in which he completed 22 of 44 passes (50%) for 238 yards with 2 TD passes and 0 INTs (81.4 QB Rating). McGee also carried the ball 13 times for 74 yards (5.7 ypc) last season. The Cowboys have to feel pretty good about their #3 QB right about now.
VERDICT: The Cowboys got a lot of production out of the QBs in 2010 even with the injury to Tony Romo. The Cowboys hope that Romo can stay healthy in 2011.
NY Yankees Sit Atop AL East, But They’re Nowhere Near Safe at This Point
The New York Yankees are in a position that many around baseball didn’t see them in at this point in the year: first place in the AL East. Thanks to the struggles of longtime nemeses the Boston Red Sox, the Bronx Bombers are 16-9, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays atop the AL East.
But, just because they hold the early lead, don’t think for a second that the division race is over; if anything, it’s just getting started.
For one thing, we’re just beginning the second month of baseball this season. For another, while the Yankees hold a lead, the AL East race is wide open. Fifth-place Boston is just five games out of first, and have won 10 of 15 since their 2-10 start. The Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles have all looked great at points in the early-going, and none of them (except maybe Baltimore) figure to be going anywhere.
But, it’s not just the competition New York needs to worry about; there are some issues on their own roster that need to be addressed.
The offense is working just fine; the Yankees rank sixth in the league in runs scored and first in slugging percentage, and haven’t showed any signs of slowing. Even with Derek Jeter still struggling to find his groove, most of the other Yanks have been raking, including notorious slow starter Mark Teixiera.
But, there are some lingering issues in the rotation that have yet to be addressed. CC Sabathia has been his usual lights-out self this season, while A.J. Burnett looks much improved. But, after them, things get messy in a big hurry. Phil Hughes is hurt (and pitched terribly before he got hurt), Ivan Nova can’t be trusted to pitch reliably, and anyone who thinks Bartolo Colon can keep up his strong form thus far for more than another couple of weeks is kidding themselves. This team is thin in the rotation, and while the bullpen is improved, they’re hardly untouchable.
Rafael Soriano has looked eminently hittable, and while Mariano Rivera is his usual dominant self, the rest of the bullpen doesn’t inspire much fear. Joba Chamberlain’s velocity is down, David Robertson hasn’t had his second turn through the league, and it remains to be seen how long they can all hold the rotation together.
The fact is, the Red Sox are coming on, and the rest of the division’s planning on sticking around, too.
New York’s not in trouble yet, but with the issues they still have in the rotation, they’re hardly sitting as pretty as their early lead would suggest. They should be seen as the division favorites (especially given Boston’s woes), but the Yanks aren’t shoe-ins by any stretch. They’ve got a long road ahead of them, and unless they find more starting pitching, I don’t know if they’ve got enough to take the division crown.