IX - It's got be both wonderful and incredible tough to be Maurkice Pouncey's brother, Mike. Incredible for obvious reasons, but tough because Maurkice has cast an awfully long shadow that his brother will try to make his way out of next season as a rookie. Doug Farrar, a contributor the past two years in my preseason annual, writes an article for Yahoo! about Mike relishing this competition with his bro. In fact, it sounds like there may be a friendly brotherly wager going on between the two about this April's draft.
"I've got to be drafted higher than Maurkice -- 18th or better," Mike said.
When asked what would happen if he wasn't, his message was clear. "I'd never hear the end of it. I want to beat him at everything. We compete with each other with anything we do. I have to get into camp and I have to earn a starting spot and I have to play great like he did."
We've discussed about the possibility of the Pouncey twins being reunited in Pittsburgh, but most believe he'll be off the board when the Steelers select at No. 31. Mike did meet with Coach Mike Tomlin at the Combine yesterday though.
X - The date to use the transition tag on Ike Taylor or anybody else has come and gone. There was some speculation that the Steelers might use the transition tag on Taylor. Ultimately it didn't happen, meaning the Steelers no longer have exclusive rights to Taylor during free agency -- whenever that may be. The loss of Taylor via free agency would obviously be a big setback for the Steelers in 2011 and even 2012. And from the sound of it, Taylor may not be interested in offering up any sort of hometown discount for the team that drafted him back in 2003. Why? Because his agent Joel Segal is one of the best in the business and clearly in Taylor's ear that a lucrative payday is awaiting him on the open market.
In 2010, Business Insider Law Review recognized Segal as the ninth-most powerful sports agent in America. Segal was one of only two agents to represent multiple first-round draft picks each year from 2006-10. Segal is so good that he got a six-year, $54 million contract for cornerback DeAngelo Hall with the Washington Redskins after the Oakland Raiders released Hall less than a year into a seven-year, $70 million deal.
"This is a good time for me to be a free agent," Taylor said. "Teams (have seen) my tape. They know my consistency. What I'm doing now, I've been doing for a long time. People are finally paying attention."
Read the rest of that article and you may agree with me that the likelihood of Taylor returning to Pittsburgh in '11 is far slimmer than we imagined even just a week or so ago. At least the Steelers and Taylor have already begun preliminary talks about a new deal, so hopefully the two sides get on the same page while the CBA mess sorts itself out.
XIII - Sorry, I just am not too inclined to pour through Scouting Combine reports to try to bring you guys any sort of interesting analysis or commentary about this year's proceedings in Indianapolis. This article more or less sums up my feelings about the Combine, though my reluctance to spend too much time analyzing the event has more to do with me feeling like I can do a better job writing about other topics rather than thinking the event itself is a waste of time. Thankfully for us, plenty others are perfectly willing and interested in scrutinizing and writing about the Combine. So, Day Three Combine notes from the following solid sources:
- Football Outsiders
- National Football Post (morning offensive line workouts).....NFP (afternoon tight end workouts)
Jim Wexell at Steel City Insiders sorts 'through the prospects who are talking to the Steelers, and finding one who genuinely interests them'. ($ subscription - Wexell's worth the investment though if you're contemplating subscribing)
- SB Nation has an ongoing stream with everything you could possibly want to know about from Indy.
IX - How about a fun little article about six Combine workouts some would prefer to witness in place of decidedly unentertaining drills like the three-cone drill or shuttle.
XL - NFL.com has a worthwhile read about the ongoing CBA negotiation process. Perhaps one of BTSC's more legal-minded readers can explain the whole decertification process. Or, if you haven't yet or had forgotten about it, you can read momma Rollett's research about the subject from last fall.
XLIII - And to conclude, how about a video? The quality isn't great, but it's a Casey Hampton highlight reel, so I don't care. Big Snack is easily one of my top-five Steelers from the past decade.