Steelers looking forward to 2012 ‘Block Party’

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Listening to General Manager Kevin Colbert and offensive coordinator Todd Haley over the weekend, you’d think the Steelers new offense will be more exciting than the Bingo Long’s Traveling All-Stars. Let’s not forget that Haley and his lack of offense were fired by the Kansas City Chiefs last year.

Haley will unveil and deliver his new and improved playbook to the team next week. And the Steelers appear ready to ground and pound at next year’s block party after selecting six offensive players in this year’s seven round draft.

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DREAM COME TRUE—Ohio State offensive lineman Mike Adams runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis Feb. 25. The Steelers selected the Farrell, PA native in the second round. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Steelers entered the draft needing help on the offensive line, a line that allowed nearly 200 quarterback sacks over the last four seasons.

Filling their most pressing need, the Steelers selected guard David DeCastro, who is 6’5”, 316 pounds, from Stanford University with the 24th pick overall. DeCastro earned first-team All-American honors by the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association.

“We’re not going to anoint or hand anyone a job,” said coach Mike Tomlin. “They got to earn it. And to earn it you got to get an opportunity. He will start at right guard at our rookie only mini-camp. He’s a tough guy. His tape displays that.”

DeCastro is listed at 316 pounds, but played under 300 pounds in college. Stanford ran a pro style offense with a lot of pulling a trapping similar to the “Counter Trey” made famous by the Washington Redskins in the ’80s. A lot of heavy personnel groups with two tight ends, two backs and often times six offensive linemen giving them an advantage in the running game.

The only negative with DeCastro is that he is light in the butt. In the 2011 Bowl game against Virginia Tech, defensive tackle, John Graves bull rushed DeCastro and sacked quarterback Andrew Luck resulting in a safety.

Hey Colbert here is a tip. Heinz Field in December and January is not exactly the Rose Bowl. This California boy is not built to play against the 350 pound NFL nose guards on North East football fields in the winter.

DeCastro, grew up as a Seattle Seahawks fan and hated the Steelers after they beat Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

Now that he has to face the Baltimore Ravens and 375 pound Terrence “Mount” Cody and 350 pound Haloti Ngata twice a year, he may begin to hate the Steelers all over again.

The Steelers draft almost went up in smoke in the second round when they selected, 6’7”, 325 pound, Ohio State’s Mike Adams.

Adams got 99 problems, but marijuana is no longer one of them according to his agent, Gateway High School graduate, Eric Metz.

Adams fell to the second round after failing a drug test for marijuana at the NFL Combine. He was also suspended for the first five games of 2011 for accepting improper benefits along with a handful of teammates in what is known as “Tattoogate.” Determined to be selected by his favorite team, Adams drove to Pittsburgh and met personally with head Coach Mike Tomlin, General Manager Kevin Colbert, and team owner Art Rooney II.

Adams, a Farrell, Pa. native whose family moved to Dublin, Ohio when he was 12-years-old has been a Steelers fan since he was 4-years-old. He attended Dublin Coffman High School where he was an All-State selection as a junior and senior.

“He’s a very, very happy young man,” said Metz. “I have the happiest second rounder who ever walked the planet.”

Third round pick Sean Spence, who is 5-feet-11, and 231 pounds, played outside linebacker at the University of Miami, but will move to inside linebacker with the Steelers.

Spence is the first Hurricane to record 100 tackles in consecutive seasons since Jon Vilma, of New Orleans Saints bounty fame, did it in 2002 and 2003.

In 2007, Spence and his Northwestern High School won the national championship.

The Steelers traded their sixth round draft choice to move up in the fourth round to select, 6’2”, 350 pound nose guard, Alameda Ta’amu of the University of Washington. With Casey Hampton turning 35 and recuperating from ACL surgery, they made the trade so they could select one of the best two nose tackles in the draft.

“I’m excited to play with Troy Polamalu, because he represents a lot of the Polynesians out here on the West Coast, and the Samoans out here,” said Ta’amu. “To be able to play next to Troy, I’ve heard a lot of stories from my coaches that have coached him, and they say that he’s the best football player overall that they’ve ever played with because he knows the game. I will be honored just to meet Polamalu.”

In the fifth round the Steelers selected the fastest player in the draft, Chris Rainey is a 5’8”, 180 pound track All-American and running back from Florida. He was All-SEC first-team and became the first player in Florida University history to lead the team in rushing, receiving, punt-return and all-purpose yards.

“I can out run Mike Wallace,” said the confident Rainey. “The only guy who I never was able to out run is my older brother Rod “He Hate Me” Smart, who played in the XFL and NFL. My best friend is Maurkice Pouncey. We watched the draft together.”

The Steelers traded away their six round pick, but had four picks in the seventh round and made the most of them.

The Steelers drafted former Valley High School superstar, Toney Clemons. Clemons is a 6’2”, 210 pound receiver who has 4.36 speed in the 40. He began his career at the University of Michigan before transferring to Colorado. Great bloodlines. His cousins are Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Stevie Breaston, who played at Woodland Hills, and WNBA star Swin Cash of McKeesport. His brother Wes played running back in the NFL.

With their second pick in the seventh round, they selected David Paulson, a 6’3”, 250-pound tight end who played at Oregon. Paulson’s talent has never been in question and he has good speed and soft hands. Close to a dozen tight ends led or tied for their NFL team lead in catches, receiving yards or touchdowns last season.

The Steelers were looking for a clone of William Gay when they selected 5’10”, 187 pound defensive back Terrence Frederick of Texas A&M. Frederick is short and makes up for it by being slow. Just like Gay.

The hometown team got a steal with the last selection. Kelvin Beachum of SMU is as good as any offensive lineman in this draft. The 6’2”, 305 pounder was a four-year starter who played left tackle. He started 52 games at SMU and he’ll make every team pay for passing over him.

Mike Tomlin is one of the top coaches in the NFL. It wasn’t easy for him to replace Bill Cowher after Cowher had so much success in his 15 seasons here. He was under the microscope from the start, the scrutiny even more intense than normal because he was a first-time head coach and because he is Black.

Many in the city felt he got the job instead of Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm because of the Rooney Ru
le, which is named after Steelers owner Dan Rooney and is designed to encourage minority hirings at the NFL’s highest levels.

Are the Steelers, who have been the Roman Empire of the NFL since 1992, are beginning to show signs of crumbling? Art Rooney II suggested that quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger need to “tweak” his game and the Steelers need to get back to running the football.

Art needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut.

Big Ben is the smartest quarterback in Steelers history to win a Super Bowl. Terry Bradshaw couldn’t spell CAT if you spotted him the C & A and the Chief Art Rooney Sr., never criticized him publicly.

Rooney II has been critical of Big Ben and coach Tomlin in the offseason. After the Steelers got “Tebowed” and knocked out of the playoffs there was been plenty of blame to go around. So why hasn’t General Manager Kevin Colbert received any?

In 2008, Colbert drafted Limas Sweed in the second round, Bruce Davis in the third round, Tony Hills in the fourth and Mike Humpal in the 6th. None are still part of the team. Rashard Mendehall was the first round selection and is out with ACL knee injury. Dennis Dixon was picked in the 5th and is the team’s 4th string quarterback and Ryan Mundy is backing up Ryan Clark. By the way, Colbert’s 2007, 2009 and 2010 drafts were equally as bad.

Hey Art, maybe Colbert needs to “tweek” his approach to the draft.

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