IX- Danny Smith, the recently hired special teams coach in Pittsburgh was profiled by the Steelers own website about his preparation and approach to the upcoming NFL draft and specifically the NFL Combine that wraps up today. I have read and heard a lot of trepidation about Smith since his hire throughout Steeler nation but I personally have confidence in the hire and think the article sheds a light on an intelligent, thoughtful teacher in the mold of Dick Lebeau.
X- Jim Wexell’s work is usually behind a paywall, so when he posts a freebie it’s worth passing along. He mentions the Steelers interest in two big name college players that might be in their sites on day two of the draft. Wisconsin’s high mileage back, Montee Ball, and USC’s career leader in receptions Robert Woods are both mentioned as possibilities for Steelers after the first round. Both of these guys fit the mold of highly productive college players that the Steelers love to target. I don’t see either as having game changing explosion, but perhaps Todd Haley’s offense isn’t as interested in that as Bruce Arians old chuck and run offense.
XIII- Those sneaky patriots are back at it again. They are confusing the league, union, players, agents, and other team’s front offices by extending Tom Brady’s deal for another 3 years for just (just?) an extra 27 million dollars. The Details are starting to leak out now and professional rumor mongers over at PFT have exposed that Brady is actually getting a raise. Although the reports are Big Ben is currently restructuring his contract, adding years to the deal doesn't sound likely. Personally I wouldn't be horribly opposed to throwing a few more years after Ben in an effort to do something similar. His contract is up after the 2015 season, and he would only be 34 going into 2016.
XIV- It’s not often that a player can accumulate 2,395 carries for 10,135 yards and 56 touchdowns over their career and never have a winning season, but Steven Jackson has done just that in his 9 years in St. Louis. Reports are coming in today that he is voiding his player option for 2013 and will test the free agent market for the first time in his career. Early suitors include the Falcons who are expected to need help in the backfield with Michael Turner’s impending release. Just to answer the commenter who will undeniably ask if the Steelers can sign Jackson, the answer is a resounding "NO!"
XL- Mock Drafts Updates- Since it's draft season (When isn’t it?) I will try to throw in a few interesting mock drafts from around the web into each "Six-Pack" to keep the community updated on who the Steelers might have their sights set on for April 25th. Walter Football has the man with the shrinking spine listed as the Steelers pick in the first round, and our friends over at Mocking the Draft have Pittsburgh selecting defensive tackle Jesse Williams from Alabama. Williams is not someone I have seen connected to the Steelers much and I really don't see the team spending another first round pick on a defensive lineman.
XLIII- Thoughts on where Mike Wallace ends up in Free Agency? My Guess is maybe Arizona or St. Louis, but Ron Rivera recently hinted that the Carolina Panthers might be a potential landing spot. Cam Newton throws a quality deep ball and Wallace could take over as the burner in the offense. That could allow Steve Smith to play a more possession type receiver role and extend his career for a few more seasons.