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Before I Go...

Thanks to all of you for maintaining the discussion in the diaries. Sorry for the lack of content as I get ready to head out of the country for a week or so. While I'm away, several of you will be posting to keep the site fresh...thanks in advance. Some thoughts before I go:

*The big news out of mini-camp was of course the Alan Faneca situation. On Saturday, Faneca said this would be his last year as a Steeler. As the negative reactions rolled in, Faneca's agent came to his defense, saying:

"It's just absolutely 100 percent not right, and that probably is bothering Alan absolutely more than anything else in this whole deal. What else could Alan Faneca have done since he's been a Pittsburgh Steeler? This is a blue-collar kid from a blue-collar background who epitomizes absolutely everything what a Pittsburgh Steeler should be about."
He has a point. He goes on to say that there's a number of ways that the organization and Faneca could come to an agreement that would pay Faneca the money he deserves (or at least close to it), without putting the Steelers in salary-cap purgatory for years to come. The whole situation saddens me because it's now clear that 'business' trumps all in the NFL, even in the Steel City.  

*Interesting diary by Desroko discussing Brett Keisel's potential new role as a rover. I kinda like the idea actually. All I hear and read about is how athletic Keisel is, but it rarely translates to big plays during games. Freeing him up to run more freely might actually reap substantial dividends.

*One more thought about Faneca...I'm not entirely convinced the Steelers aren't making a mistake concentrating on re-signing Polamalu rather than Faneca. As spectacular as Troy is, I'm not sure he can have the same impact that Faneca can on a game. The bottom line is Faneca anchors an offensive line that is nowhere near as experienced and strong as it has been in years past. Furthremore, there's nothing more important than a cohesive, experienced offensive line. I don't care how many skill players you have or how good your defense might be. If you can't protect the quarterback and free up running lanes with your line, you have no chance in this league. Take Faneca away and who knows how ugly things could get. And, you can't just throw in any old guy to replace a savy, seasoned masher like him. Troy, for all his unique talents, I believe is more replacable. And, even though he's younger than Alan, he's a ticking time bomb considering how fast and wreckless he plays the game. I've changed my opinion on this before, so perhaps I'm just being emotional now that it's clear Faneca is out the door, but for now I feel we're making a mistake forcing our captain, premiere lineman, and best teamate out of town.