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Steelers Fall Short Of Getting Jake Long

Fifth year offensive tackle, Jake Long, was the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The Dolphins drafted Long after they finished their 2007 season winning just one regular season game. Much like the Steelers, the Dolphins do not have one player they drafted in 2008 remaining on the roster. The four-time pro bowler signed with the St. Louis Rams. Late last night, right before Long agreed to terms with the Rams, it was reported that the Steelers tried to reach out to Long and give him an offer. Long must not have found the offer interesting, but what does this tell us about the Steelers moving forward and where they stand on tackle Max Starks.

The Steelers may not have had enough cap space to give Jake Long the kind of money he was looking for. However, this does tell us that the Steelers are looking to improve their tackle position yet again this season. Over the past several seasons, the Steelers are hammered by the media about their offensive line, and over that span, the Steelers have really tried to dig deep into the NFL Draft to re-vamp their offensive line. Drafting: Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, David DeCastro, and Mike Adams to name a few. However, how happy are the Steelers with these guys?

It seems that over the past three seasons, the Steelers have been trying to find a replacement for tackle Max Starks. However, no one seems to fill in and produce the way Starks does at protecting Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side. The Steelers will most likely give Starks a one-year minimum contract to keep him for the 2013 season. However, with the Steelers’ attempt to get Long, will they go after another big name free agent? Andre Smith and Sebastian Vollmer are still out and available to sign. These two players will most likely be cheaper than Long when they are signed because they have not had the success that Long has had.

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  1. DrGeorge

    March 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Left OT remains a priority for the team, as I mentioned in the previous post. We knew the Steelers had issues with Starks when they cut him and then resigned him last year. He came into the league with questions about his footwork. Those concerns proved well founded. Starks is a solid right OT, but has struggled with speed rushers at left OT. Whether A. Smith or Vollmer would be an upgrade, I’ll leave to K. Colbert and the coaches. But if the Steelers pick up Vollmer (for example), they would probably move Starks back to right OT — if they can afford to keep him. Mike Adams did not exactly distinguish himself at right OT, and Ramon Foster didn’t impress there either. Starks is probably better than either of them. But at least the team is trying to address this deficiency. That’s encouraging news.

  2. Brandon Sweeney

    March 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for the comment Dr. George. Yes, the Steelers seem very weary to say the least on the tackles we have right now. I believe Marcus Gilbert is our best talent we have on the roster. Max Starks seems to make the team barely each year, and they have been trying to replace him, but injuries amd low production from the other players have kept Starks there. Will they address this early in the draft again? Or will they find a free agent cheap? Thanks for the comment again!

    • George H

      March 19, 2013 at 12:33 am

      There are basically 3 starting caliber LTs in the draft this year in the first round. Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson are all projected to go top 12 or so, Joeckel perhaps going first overall. Drafting another tackle might not seem too smart at this juncture. The Steelers invested early round picks on offensive line lately and eventually if they all turn out to be starting caliber players then eventually we are going to have to pay them all and a team in our financial situation, allocating the majority of the salary cap to o-line might not be money well spent. I do believe a string o-line can make up for offensive deficiencies,yet this team still has other needs to address in the early rounds of the draft this year, primarily defense. I think it’s more likely now that Starks is brought back yet again and whatever money the FO has to spend would be better spent on a CB, WR, OLB, or RB. I’ve mentioned in recent posts that I am in the camp that we need to draft playmakers on defense in the early rounds this year. If the FO gas a little money to spend via free agency, I would look at a Brandon Lloyd or another CB. I’m not overly enthused by the CBs in tbevfjrstvrd this year and would much rather target a Safety, OLB, or possibly Eiffert the TE.

      • George H

        March 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

        Apologies about the typing. I’m writing this through my phone lol.

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