Leave your thoughts in the comments on these moves and how it effects us going into the draft for the comment contest.
Two big things have been going on in Steeler's land the past few days. First, the Steelers have actually made some waves in free agency. Normally, they only sign their own free agents and maybe bring in one outsider. This year, they have made more signings in one day than in the past 5 off-seasons combined. They started off as they usually do, by signing one of their own in Ryan Clark. Many reports had Clark effectively gone. He had scheduled a visit to the Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Steelers seemed to be bringing in his replacement by interviewing Will Allen of the Bucs. Much to everyone's surprise, a new 4 year, $14 million contract was reported between the Steez and Clark yesterday afternoon. Even more surprising was that Will Allen was also signed. Bringing in Allen provides safety depth and also helps to improve the special teams. Allen was a special teams standout for Tampa as the special teams captain. Due to this move, you can probably kiss Tyrone Carter goodbye. Allen signed for 3 years, $4.4 million and is only 27 years old.
My Read: I love both of these moves. Ryan Clark is a perfect fit to play alongside Troy. Without Troy, he isn't so great, but Troy allows Clark to roam around the deep middle and crush anyone who dares enter his territory. As for Will Allen, some have compared his current situation to the one that allowed us to get Ryan Clark at next to nothing from the 'Skins. Plus, we could definitely use the special teams help.
Continuing on with the improving the special teams theme, the Steelers signed WR and special teams ace Arnaz Battle, formerly of the 49ers to a three year deal. The move seems fitting since we imported the 49ers' special teams coach to replace Bob Ligahesky, earlier this off-season. You would think the Steez would be done with moves but they weren't. An old face is coming back to the burgh in Antwaan Randle-El. He signed a three year deal and was the Redskins second leading receiver last season.
My Read: While in the 'burgh Randle-El was great on special teams as a returner and probably will challenge Stefan Logan for that position next season. Unless Logan can get himself involved in the offense (I would love to see him get in there and catch screens but since we are the worst screen team in the league, I am not holding my breath), he may not be back next season. But with the departure of Willie Parker, he could stay on as Kick Returner and backup RB. Then Randle-El can handle the punt returning duties and third WR slot. Randle-El's return could also mark the return of the trick play since he was featured prominently in most of them in his first stint as a Steeler. No one can forget his picture perfect pass to Hines in the Superbowl. It was better than any pass Ben threw in that game. I am very happy to have him back. Our four receivers are better than almost any other in the league right now. Hines, Santonio, Mike Wallace and Randle El. I'd love to see Randle-El in the slot. Lastly, signing Randle-El and Battle could signal the end of Limas Sweed's time with the team.
In their final move of a very busy day, the Steelers added some O-line depth by bringing in Jonathan Scott of the Bills, reuninitng another player with a former coach. Our new O-line coach, Sean Kugler, was the Bills O-line coach last season. Scott is a versatile lineman, starting two games at right tackle and six at left tackle last season for the Bills.
My Read: Nice to see depth being brought in that is experienced. I think it speaks highly of Scott that his former coach wanted to keep working with him. I think Tony Hills is probably gone after the move and this should be a wake up call to Urbik to get his stuff together.
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