Steelers Q & A: Scott Brown Answers Your Questions
Brown, Scott, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review Steelers writer Scott Brown answers your questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Read older questions in the archives.
Q: How about Jason Taylor in black and gold? Does this idea seem out of bounds? Would he fit with the team? Would he cost too much to "rent" for a year or two?
-- Tony Sayegh of Sacramento
I think Jason Taylor would be a great addition to the Steelers (or any team for that matter). He is a local product, is great in the community and is still a heck of a player. Does a homecoming for the Pittsburgh native have any chance of happening? In a word, no. I can't see the Steelers giving up a high-round draft pick that the Dolphins would almost certainly demand in a trade for Taylor.
Their philosophy has long been to build through the draft and, as you pointed out, Taylor probably is a "rent a player" at this point in his career. As the extracurricular activities that have so angered Bill Parcells suggest, he is already eyeing life after football, and it is hard to imagine the six-time Pro Bowler putting off whatever Hollywood ambitions he has for more than a couple of more years, if that.
Plus, the addition of Taylor could stunt the growth of second- year man LaMarr Woodley. Taylor would have to play outside linebacker in the Steelers' defense, and his addition would undoubtedly mean more waiting for the promising Woodley since the Steelers have a Pro Bowler in James Harrison at right outside linebacker.
Again, it would be great for Taylor to finish his NFL career in Pittsburgh, but I just can't see the Steelers' meeting the Dolphins' asking price for him, especially since they have Harrison and since Woodley appears poised to become the latest in a line of former college defensive ends that starred after making the transition to outside linebacker with the Steelers.
Check out Scott's View from the Press Box blog entry for his latest take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Q: I know the draft was only a little more than a month ago but I can't help but speculate as to who the Steelers will target in the '09 draft. All of the '09 mock drafts I have seen project the Steelers taking a defensive lineman like Tyson Jackson from LSU. Wouldn't it be better for the team to draft a center that can anchor the offensive line for the next 15 years like Webster, Dawson, and Hartings? There will be two very good ones in next years draft in Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas and Alex Mack from Cal.
-- Jason Moore of Atlanta
Where in the name of Mel Kiper are you finding mock drafts for 2009? I appreciate your passion but I think it is a little too early to start thinking ahead to next year's draft. Let's see how this year's class pans out (not to mention 2007 first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, among others) and how the season plays out before we start identifying needs for 2009.
I agree that if the Steelers can find a center that can continue the string of excellence they have had at the position that they should draft him. Remember, though, that enough teams passed on Webster in 1974 that the Steelers were able to snag him in the fifth round. And that Jeff Hartings played guard for the Lions from 1996- 2000 before moving to center after he signed with the Steelers.
Point is, the Steelers don't necessarily have to take a center with their first-round pick to find one that can become a fixture in the middle of the offensive line. I would hope, for their sake, that the Steelers draft the best players available -- something they did this year when they took running back Rashard Mendenhall and wide receiver Limas Sweed with their first two picks even though they had more pressing needs elsewhere.
The Steelers surprised a lot of folks by not drafting a defensive lineman this year. That, and the fact that Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel will all be in their 30s by the start of the 2009 season is probably why the mock drafts you have seen have the Steelers taking a defensive lineman. …