I've been following along just reading threads and peoples comments on the recent releases... One thing thats surprising me is the fear in peoples posts. This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, trust the system.
As for the players cut... Lets run through some stats...
Aaron Smith has 32 tackles the last 3 years. This can be replaced by subbing in a waterboy. Legend in the true Steeler communities but him being gone will not effect us.
Has been a blocking and penalty liability for sometime. Not worth the cap money. He was benched twice this year for performance. What are we really losing here? Can be replaced with a 4th round selection is this draft.
I am a fan. Love the man. Father time caught up. Last year he had 78 tackles and 2 sacks. Those are not good/ not terrible ILB numbers but what isnt shown is the pass coverage, the missed tackles and speed loss. What we will lose in leadership and mentality we will gain in youth and athleticism. Trust in LeBeau.. the gap will be filled.
All of us loved Hines. But with Hines we all saw the writing on the wall. He was never fast but age has made him slow. We have 3 amazing young talents on the rise and a 30 year old vet in Cotchery who offered more. Hines had 381 receiving yards last year and lets be honest, some of that was forced to get the 1,000 catches. A mid to late round pick should add depth. Otherwise, Derrick Williams could fill the gap.
I am not as high on the 1st rd LB pick as some seem. I think we can groom something lower in the draft. Butler and Lebeau have shown ability to groom young LBs.
Rd 1) Peter Konz
Rd 2) Stephen Gilmore
Rd 3) Bernard Pierce
Rd 4) James Michael Johnson
Rd 5) Janzen Jackson
Rd 6) Lucas Nix
Rd 7) Blair Walsh/ D' Anton Lynn / Kellen Moore