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2013 PITTSBURGH STEELERS PREVIEW

June 26, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Pittsburgh Steelers (1977 - Pres)

 

2013 PITTSBURGH STEELERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW 

LAST YEAR: 8-8, 3RD IN AFC NORTH 

HEAD COACH: MIKE TOMLIN, 7TH YEAR 

 

The Steelers missed the playoffs in 2012 and the reason why was simple….No running game and the injuries to QB Ben Roethlisberger.  When Big Ben got hurt, the Steelers were 6-3 and were well on their way to making another playoff birth.  Roethlisberger hurt his throwing shoulder and his rib and the Steelers went 2-5 the rest of the way.  Ben wasn’t the only key player injured as TE Heath Miller suffered a torn ACL in week 15.  Both are back and will be ready to go in 2013.  

The Steelers weren’t able to run the ball the way Pittsburgh fans are used to.  They ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing in 2012.  They believe they finally found an answer to the running game by drafting Le’Veon Bell in the 2nd round from Michigan State.  Bell is a physical back with good size (6-1, 230) and has quick feet and excellent agility.  The Steelers feel Bell could be a “30” carry-a-game-back.  The Steelers OL is intact for 2013 led by C Maurkice Pouncey and OT Mike Adams.  Roethisberger loses WR Mike Wallace who signed with Miami.  WR’s Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown will be counted on to spread opposing defenses.  Pittsburgh must find more options on offense to take the pressure off Roethlisberger. 

On defense, the Steelers were as good as it gets in 2012.  They ranked 1st overall, 2nd in run defense and 1st in pass defense.   What is incredible about the ranking on defense is they did this with many injuries.  One player who will be missing is LB James Harrison.  Jason Worilds may be counted on to step in for Harrison.  The defense also lost DB Keenan Lewis, who signed with New Orleans.  Troy Polamalu missed 9 games with a calf injury and the Steelers need him to return to form.  Pittsburgh returns every other key player on defense and they went with defense in the draft.  In the first round, the Steelers selected Georgia LB Jarvis Jones (6-2, 245), the most dominant player in college football.  S Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse) was taken in the 4th round, CB Terry Hawthorne (Illinois) was taken in the 5th round, LB Vince Williams (Florida State) was selected in the 6th round and DT Nick Williams (Samford) was chosen in the 7th round. 

DC Dick LeBeau is one of the top coordinators in the NFL and for him to keep the Steelers defense at the top with all the injuries, is a testimony to what he can do.  LeBeau always finds a way to maximize his personnel.   GM Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin always find ways to draft and develop talent players who can stop in and make a contribution.  If this team stays healthy, they will return to the playoffs in 2013.

 Pittsburgh Steelers (2002 - Pres)

 

2012 IN REVIEW: 

TOTAL OFFENSE: 332.8 (21ST)

RUSHING OFFENSE: 96.1 (26TH

PASSING OFFENSE: 236.7 (14TH

TOTAL DEFENSE: 275.8 (1ST)

RUN DEFENSE: (90.6) 2ND

PASS DEFENSE: 185.2 (1ST)

 Pittsburgh Steelers (1968 - Pres) 

2013 STEELERS DRAFT: 

1 (17) - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia;

2 (48) - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State;

3 (79) - Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State;

4 (111) - Shamarko Thomas, S, (Syracuse);

4 (115) - Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma;

5 (150) - Terry Hawthrone, CB, Illinois;

6 (186) - Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma;

6 (206) - Vince Williams, LB, Florida State;

7 (223) - Nick Williams, DT, Samford

Top Picks Analysis: Jones said he would never get past the Steelers and sure enough he didn't. It's like the whole league conspires to give Pittsburgh impact 3-4 players. Poor 40 times sent Jones crashing out of the top 10, but the Steelers got a Terrell Suggs-like steal in the first round. Second-rounder Bell is a big back who doesn't run like one most of the time, while Wheaton will have some value as a potential vertical threat, something needed after Mike Wallace fled to South Beach in free agency.

Best Value Pick: The Steelers may have found their successor to the declining Troy Polamalu in fourth-round choice Thomas, an undersized, high-energy thumper on the back end.

Questionable Calls: Taking Bell over Alabama's Eddie Lacy and Wisconsin's Montee Ball is going to make that a microscope pick. The thought process is that Pittsburgh wants big, physical backs to take advantage of the late-season weather in Western Pennsylvania but Bell just hasn't shown the nastiness as runner the Steelers expect from their backs.

Summary: Age has slowly crept up on the Steelers and this was the most important draft for Pittsburgh in years. The Steelers have moved on from former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison and really can't count on the oft-injured Polamalu any longer. Jones is a perfect fit as an edge player and Thomas has a chance at safety. Getting Landry Jones, a Ben Roethlisberger- like clone, albeit without the escapability, was also a nice depth move.

FINAL GRADE: B

Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Northwestern DE Brian Arnfelt; Northern Illinois LB Alan Baxter; Utah WR Reggie Dunn; San Diego State OT Nik Embernate; Penn State OT Mike Farrell; Notre Dame OL Mike Golic Jr.; Louisiana-Lafayette DE Cordian Hagans; UAB G Chris Hubbard; Florida DT Omar Hunter; Hawaii LS Luke Ingram; West Virginia C Joe Madsen; USC RB Curtis McNeal; Baylor C Ivory Wade; Michigan State DT Anthony Rashad White; West Virginia WR J.D. Woods

Pittsburgh Steelers (1968 - Pres)

2013 STEELERS SCHEDULE 

Sept. 8 TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:40 p.m.

Sept. 22 CHICAGO BEARS, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Minnesota Vikings (Wembley Stadium, London), 1 p.m.

Oct. 6 BYE

Oct. 13 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Oct. 20 BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 p.m.

Oct. 27 at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m.

Nov. 3 at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m.

Nov. 10 BUFFALO BILLS, 1 p.m.

Nov. 17 DETROIT LIONS, 1 p.m.

Nov. 24 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.

Nov. 28 at Baltimore Ravens, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 p.m.

Dec. 15 CINCINNATI BENGALS, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.

Dec. 29 CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m.

 Pittsburgh Steelers (1977 - Pres)

 

2013 STEELERS ROSTER 

Active                       

  

#

  
  

Name

  
  

Pos.

  
  

Ht.

  
  

Wt.

  
  

Age

  
  

Exp.

  
  

College

  

76

Adams, Mike

OT

6-7

323

23

2

Ohio State

28

Allen, Cortez

CB

6-1

196

24

3

The Citadel

69

Arnfelt, Brian

DE

6-4

298

23

R

Northwestern

20

Batch, Baron

RB

5-10

210

25

3

Texas Tech

45

Baxter, Alan

LB

6-0

238

22

R

Northern Illinois

68

Beachum, Kelvin

OG

6-3

303

24

2

SMU

26

Bell, Le'Veon

RB

6-1

244

20

R

Michigan State

84

Brown, Antonio

WR

5-10

186

24

4

Central Michigan

31

Brown, Curtis

DB

6-0

185

24

3

Texas

15

Brown, Justin

WR

6-3

209

22

R

Oklahoma

80

Burress, Plaxico

WR

6-5

232

35

12

Michigan State

9

Butler, Drew

P

6-1

204

24

2

Georgia

54

Carter, Chris

LB

6-1

248

24

3

Fresno State

72

Cheadle, Justin

OG

6-2

290

24

1

California

25

Clark, Ryan

FS

5-11

205

33

12

Louisiana State

89

Cotchery, Jerricho

WR

6-1

200

31

10

North Carolina State

42

Cromartie-Smith, DaMon

S

6-2

210

26

1

UTEP

66

DeCastro, David

OG

6-5

316

23

2

Stanford

13

Dunn, Reggie

WR

5-9

178

24

R

Utah

27

Dwyer, Jonathan

RB

5-11

229

23

4

Georgia Tech

51

Embernate, Nik

G

6-4

304

22

R

San Diego State

92

Fangupo, Hebron

DT

6-0

324

27

1

Brigham Young

71

Farrell, Mike

OT

6-6

303

23

R

Penn State

50

Foote, Larry

LB

6-1

239

33

12

Michigan

73

Foster, Ramon

G

6-6

325

27

5

Tennessee

49

Garvin, Terence

LB

6-3

221

22

R

West Virginia

22

Gay, William

CB

5-10

190

28

7

Louisville

77

Gilbert, Marcus

T

6-6

330

25

3

Florida

18

Gilreath, David

WR

5-10

169

24

2

Wisconsin

21

Golden, Robert

S

5-11

202

22

2

Arizona

67

Golic, Jr., Mike

OT

6-4

300

23

R

Notre Dame

5

Gradkowski, Bruce

QB

6-1

220

30

7

Toledo

39

Green, Isaiah

CB

5-10

180

23

1

Fresno State

67

Hagans, Cordian

DE

6-4

299

24

R

LA-Lafayette

30

Hawthorne, Terry

CB

6-0

190

23

R

Illinois

97

Heyward, Cameron

DE

6-5

288

24

3

Ohio State

96

Hood, Ziggy

DE

6-3

300

26

5

Missouri

2

Hrapmann, Daniel

K

5-9

164

24

1

Southern Mississippi

74

Hubbard, Chris

G

6-4

286

22

R

UAB

71

Hunter, Omar

DT

6-0

318

23

R

Florida

48

Ingram, Luke

LS

6-5

258

22

R

Hawaii

85

Johnson, David

TE

6-2

260

25

5

Arkansas State

46

Johnson, Will

FB

6-2

238

23

2

West Virginia

95

Jones, Jarvis

LB

6-2

245

23

R

Georgia

3

Jones, Landry

QB

6-3

221

24

R

Oklahoma

99

Keisel, Brett

DE

6-5

285

34

12

Brigham Young

79

Long, Joe

T

6-5

304

23

1

Wayne State (MI)

69

Madsen, Joe

C

6-3

310

23

R

West Virginia

62

Malecki, John

OG

6-2

298

25

2

Pittsburgh

 

Malone, Nigel

CB

 

0

 

R

Kansas State

82

McCoy, Jamie

TE

6-3

240

25

1

Texas A&M

40

McFadden, Marshall

LB

6-1

233

26

1

South Carolina State

90

McLendon, Steve

DT

6-4

280

27

4

Troy

39

McNeal, Curtis

RB

5-7

191

23

R

USC

83

Miller, Heath

TE

6-5

256

30

9

Virginia

19

Moore, Kashif

WR

5-10

175

24

1

Connecticut

8

Moorman, Brian

P

6-0

174

37

13

Pittsburg State

14

Moye, Derek

WR

6-5

210

24

1

Penn State

81

Paulson, David

TE

6-4

246

24

2

Oregon

43

Polamalu, Troy

SS

5-10

207

32

11

USC

53

Pouncey, Maurkice

C

6-4

304

23

4

Florida

33

Redman, Isaac

RB

6-0

230

28

4

Bowie State

57

Robinson, Adrian

LB

6-1

250

23

2

Temple

7

Roethlisberger, Ben

QB

6-5

241

31

10

Miami (Ohio)

47

Rolle, Brian

LB

5-10

240

24

2

Ohio State

88

Sanders, Emmanuel

WR

5-11

180

26

4

SMU

87

Spaeth, Matt

TE

6-7

270

29

7

Minnesota

51

Spence, Sean

LB

5-11

231

23

2

Miami (FL)

34

Stephens-Howling, LaRod

RB

5-7

185

26

5

Pittsburgh

6

Suisham, Shaun

K

6-0

200

31

9

Bowling Green State

55

Sylvester, Stevenson

ILB

6-2

231

24

4

Utah

74

Ta'amu, Alameda

NT

6-3

348

22

2

Washington

24

Taylor, Ike

CB

6-2

195

33

11

Louisiana-Lafayette

29

Thomas, Shamarko

S

5-9

217

22

R

Syracuse

94

Timmons, Lawrence

LB

6-1

234

27

7

Florida State

47

Tuitupou, Peter

TE

6-4

246

25

R

San Jose State

23

Van Dyke, DeMarcus

CB

6-1

187

24

3

Miami (Fla.)

41

Ventrone, Ross

DB

5-8

195

26

2

Villanova

35

Victorian, Josh

DB

5-10

190

24

1

Louisiana Tech

60

Warren, Greg

LS

6-3

252

31

9

North Carolina

11

Wheaton, Markus

WR

5-11

182

22

R

Oregon State

61

Whimper, Guy

T

6-5

315

30

8

East Carolina

91

Williams, Nicholas

DE

6-4

309

23

R

Samford

44

Williams, Vince

LB

6-1

250

23

R

Florida State

4

Wilson, John Parker

QB

6-2

215

27

4

Alabama

48

Wilson, Kion

LB

6-0

230

26

4

South Florida

56

Woodley, LaMarr

OLB

6-2

265

28

7

Michigan

65

Woods, Al

DE

6-4

307

26

4

Louisiana State

17

Woods, J.D.

WR

6-0

203

23

R

West Virginia

93

Worilds, Jason

OLB

6-2

262

25

4

Virginia Tech

Reserve/Injured

                       

  

#

  
  

Name

  
  

Pos.

  
  

Ht.

  
  

Wt.

  
  

Age

  
  

Exp.

  
  

College

  

37

King, Justin

DB

5-11

197

26

5

Penn State


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