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Thread: Chickillo spot not safe?

  1. #1
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    Chickillo spot not safe?

    Devilís Advocate: Security For Anthony Chickillo


    BY*MATTHEW MARCZI*APRIL 20, 2017 AT 10:00 AM


    You may recall for the past several offseasons that I ran an article series called The Optimistís/Pessimistís Take. I used it to explore different issues and topics the*Pittsburgh Steelers*were facing and took a positive or negative approach, examining each side in a separate article. This is essentially the same idea behind that, only condensed into one article for every topic.

    In this version of the idea, Iíll be playing the Devilís Advocate for both sides of the issue, looking at the best-case and worst-case scenarios in trying to find the range of likely outcomes of what is likely to happen for the Steelers relating to whatever topic the article is covering.

    When it comes to the process of trying to construct a championship roster, the reality is that there are a ton of moving parts, and several ways to acquire said parts. There are a lot of things that can go right or wrong in not always predictable ways, so I think itís helpful to try to look at issues by seeking out the boundaries of the likely positive or negative results.

    Topic:*How likely is third-year outside linebacker*Anthony Chickillo*to make the 53-man roster?

    For the past couple of years, the Steelers have carried five outside linebackers. Though that is not uncommon, it seemed to have become the norm. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, they return four of those five linebackers, minus*Jarvis Jones.


    Based purely on the perceived pecking order by the end of last season, it would seem that Chickillo was ahead of*Arthur Moats, when they needed somebody to start while*Bud Dupree*was out. But that wonít be the case anymore.

    While he had a couple of hustle sacks, Chickillo on a down-to-down basis may have been the Steelersí least effective pass rusher, certainly less effective than their starters, and less effective than Moats as well, who has always been at least competent throughout his tenure with the team.

    We are looking at a draft in which it is very realistic that the Steelers draft two outside linebackers, though, and that will most likely mean that one currently on the roster will not be in September. Chickillo has an edge in being a core special teamer, but he also has the burden of retaining eligibility for the practice squadócue exultations that he will obviously be claimed.

    Letís assume for this scenario that the Steelers do draft a pair of outside linebackers, and they do so within the first four rounds. Letís also assume that both of them are going to make the roster. What happens after that?

    I donít think we have an answer in April. Chickillo and Moats will have to compete for an opportunity to retain their roster spot. In Chickilloís favor is a cheaper contract. In Moatsí favor is more consistent pass rushing, an exemplary locker room guy, and greater versatility within the defense.

    Which side do you lean closer toward?



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    Lean towards the younger less paid player in this case..

    They are about equal in productivity on the field..

  3. #3
    Heresy! How dare you besmirch a HOF LB like that! - - Coach

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  4. #4
    Unless someone pushes him off the roster he's going to be safe. He's a backup/special teams guy and I don't see him ever getting beyond that with this team.

  5. #5
    As long as chickillo is our 4th or 5th OLB I'm fine with it. He helps on ST and is cheap

    1. Dupree
    2. Harrison
    3. Rookie
    4. Moats (emergency ILB backup too)
    5. Chickillo

    (I doubt the Steelers draft 2 exclusive OLB when having a very young Dupree)
    Last edited by Litos; 04-20-2017 at 01:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litos View Post
    As long as chickillo is our 4th or 5th OLB I'm fine with it. He helps on ST and is cheap

    1. Dupree
    2. Harrison
    3. Rookie
    4. Moats (emergency ILB backup too)
    5. Chickillo

    (I doubt the Steelers draft 2 exclusive OLB when having a very young Dupree)


    My line of thinking too!!!!!!!




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  7. #7
    I love posts that are made purely to needle other posters. Who cares about Chickillo? Besides Coach? His reply should be entertaining.

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  8. #8
    He'll probably have a spot unless we land two impressive rookies in the draft - which I would be very happy with.

    I just never saw the explosion out of Chickillo that would suggest that he's capable of any more than a couple sacks a year in spot duty

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    With Jones not asked back and now an official bad first round pick, its going to take two OLB's better to take Chickillo off the roster.

    My $.02
    Last edited by Coach; 04-20-2017 at 03:14 PM.
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  10. #10
    I think Moats has more to worry about than Chickillo does. At the beginning of the season, Moats was logging about twice as many snaps per game as Chickillo. At about week 6, the gap closed and in week 7, it reversed. By week 10, Chickillo had almost double the snaps as Moats. Then Dupree came back and it became the Dupree and Harrison show. Chick ended up starting 7 games, had 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Moats started 5 games, had 21 tackles and 3.5 sacks. But, Chickillo looked like he was playing better before Dupree came back. So, if he keeps it up, he should be safe.

    Moats is the guy that would be on the chopping block. And, since they have some cap space, these should be football decisions, not financial ones.

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  11. #11
    One thing the article says about the draft double dipping at OLBer.

    they have what 8 picks?


    Needed is

    OLBer
    WR
    RB
    TE
    FS
    QB
    CB
    ILB
    and possibly a DE if they want a pass rushing DE

    if they grabbed a prospect for all their possible wants, might not have room to double down.....
    in order to shine a light so bright, darkness must be present

  12. #12
    With Brown, Bryant, Rogers, DHB, Coates and Ayers and Hamilton when we normally only roll with 5-6 WRs I would call WR a want more so than a need. Could we grab 1 if there is value at the position, sure, but not nearly a need as compared to some other thin areas of the squad.

    I look at TE in much the same light. It seems the FO is more than willing to give Green a 2nd go round. With James looking fairly solid, Grimble showing some potential and DJ as a utility 4th I would classify this as a want more than a need as well. Do I think Green makes it through a season? Hell no, but I would wager they gamble on him. Again if a weapon falls into our lap we could certainly take 1, but more of an upgrade wanted than need.

    RB, now there is a need with nothing behind Bell but Fitz and Knile Davis.

    I would classify needs as RB, OT, DL, OLB, MLB, CB, S
    Then a luxury pick of QB, WR, TE or a defensive double dip.
    It's all jus speculation until Tombert starts shooting picks tho
    Last edited by Fiji Mariner; 04-20-2017 at 10:46 PM.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMC View Post
    Moats is the guy that would be on the chopping block. And, since they have some cap space, these should be football decisions, not financial ones.
    Agreed. And the article notes that Chickillo had "hustle sacks," apparently not reviewing Moats' production, which consisted of 2.5 "hustle sacks" and1.0 "unblocked Gildongs."
    Quote Originally Posted by Elfiero View Post
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    With Jones not asked back and now an official bad first round pick, its going to take two OLB's better to take Chickillo off the roster.

    My $.02
    that was very "Madden deep",

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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiji Mariner View Post
    With Brown, Bryant, Rogers, DHB, Coates and Ayers and Hamilton when we normally only roll with 5-6 WRs I would call WR a want more so than a need. Could we grab 1 if there is value at the position, sure, but not nearly a need as compared to some other thin areas of the squad.

    I look at TE in much the same light. It seems the FO is more than willing to give Green a 2nd go round. With James looking fairly solid, Grimble showing some potential and DJ as a utility 4th I would classify this as a want more than a need as well. Do I think Green makes it through a season? Hell no, but I would wager they gamble on him. Again if a weapon falls into our lap we could certainly take 1, but more of an upgrade wanted than need.

    RB, now there is a need with nothing behind Bell but Fitz and Knile Davis.

    I would classify needs as RB, OT, DL, OLB, MLB, CB, S
    Then a luxury pick of QB, WR, TE or a defensive double dip.
    It's all jus speculation until Tombert starts shooting picks tho
    agree except for OT, that's a luxury pick, Gilbert at ProBowl level and signed long term, Villanueva progressing in strides despite the little time playing the position so there's margin for inprovement and cheap as they can come, then Hawkins back from injury is like having another 4th rounder in this draft and finally Hubbard who surprised everyone in spot duty

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiji Mariner View Post
    With Brown, Bryant, Rogers, DHB, Coates and Ayers and Hamilton when we normally only roll with 5-6 WRs I would call WR a want more so than a need. Could we grab 1 if there is value at the position, sure, but not nearly a need as compared to some other thin areas of the squad.

    I look at TE in much the same light. It seems the FO is more than willing to give Green a 2nd go round. With James looking fairly solid, Grimble showing some potential and DJ as a utility 4th I would classify this as a want more than a need as well. Do I think Green makes it through a season? Hell no, but I would wager they gamble on him. Again if a weapon falls into our lap we could certainly take 1, but more of an upgrade wanted than need.

    RB, now there is a need with nothing behind Bell but Fitz and Knile Davis.

    I would classify needs as RB, OT, DL, OLB, MLB, CB, S
    Then a luxury pick of QB, WR, TE or a defensive double dip.
    It's all jus speculation until Tombert starts shooting picks tho
    I think if you look at needs on a year to year basis, you are correct. And, some teams draft like that, we need this right now, draft this. I don't think the Steelers view it that way. I heard it best described recently as a 3-year draft bucket. Look, most rookies don't impact. That is a fact. Most are seating in, even the good ones have growing pains, they play, but they are not solving a problem until year 2. Most it is year 3. So, ideally, why not draft in that mindset. If we have XYZ needs this year, but in 2018, we have ABC positions where the players are not under contract or are aging or can be upgraded, then your current draft pool should not only be XYZ, but it should also include ABC. Now, maybe not as immediate, but in the 2nd/3rd/4th rounds, those guys probably won't seat in as rookies, will likely start that transition as 2nd year guys, and be there in the 3rd season, so if you draft a guy in R3 with the expectation he would start in Y3, you have actually used your draft pick wisely, because your player is ready when he is needed. So, you might want to include needs RST in that group of 2017 draft needs...which has now grown to ABC, RST, and XYZ.

    It is why, when I look at "needs",. instead of looking to include this position, I look to exclude this positions. Ben is nearing the end and Jones is only inked for 2-years, so QB is on the list. Bell will probably be signed long-term, front office would know, so starting RB is off the list, but depth and a #2 is needed, although De'Angelo Williams said on his twitter account, don't rule out a return. Anyway. At TE, Green should be the #1 and James is our #2, but this draft offers a chance to upgrade. The "need" falls out of the 3-year bucket, but the upgrade and talent keeps it on the list as possible. I also feel the Steelers feel that the 3rd round pick is a luxury they did not expect, so they might use it as such....to draft a guy in the top 100 as a luxury. At WR, only Brown is secure and behind him, you have a glut of questions in that 3-year window. So, it should be a need. While we lost an OT that never played, they retained Hubbard and get Hawkins back. The rest of the spots are pretty solid. I do not see OL as a need, although I don't think you can ignore the offense draft after draft and it keep chugging along. I do not have OL as a need. Tuitt isn't signed long-term. In Y3, all your depth is gone. We don't have a true 6th DL. So, I can see DL as a need. We could use a starting OLB to replace Harrison one day. OLB is a need. Same with ILB. Same with CB. Mitchell is signed for 2-years and is @30. FS is a need. We don't have a legitimate slot corner. It is a need.

    So, the only positions I can truly eliminate would be OL and TE, and I think TE stays because of the depth of talent in the draft and some uncertainty with our guys. The only position off the table for me is OL. And, I draft any other spot if the talent of the player left at that position is greater than the talent at other positions. In essence, if Fournette fell to me in the first, I would draft him. It might not sit well with Bell, but I would not be struggling again if he pulls a hamstring in the AFCC game. And, when he comes off the field for a breather, the defense would be going....awww, shit.....

    So, that is how I view the draft. I don't look to include positions or even players anymore, I look to exclude positions that I think I have settled for a 3-year window and I look to exclude players I don't want. Then, I stack my board with players I want based on talent and draft the board.

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  17. #17
    I agree that you aren't getting a problem solved in a draft but since DL left they certainly aren't afraid to plug a rookie defender in take some lumps and look for improvement. They got that from Burns, Davis and Hargrave. The guys they take in the first two rounds will be expected to contribute by middle season for sure.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerSask View Post
    I agree that you aren't getting a problem solved in a draft but since DL left they certainly aren't afraid to plug a rookie defender in take some lumps and look for improvement. They got that from Burns, Davis and Hargrave. The guys they take in the first two rounds will be expected to contribute by middle season for sure.
    I agree that they have simplified the defense to allow younger players to contribute, but if your desire is to win against the Pats, and that seems to be everyone's motivation right now, if you go back to the AFCC game and really watch it, you will see them using route concepts that forced switches by the safeties and the corners, and they did this to Davis' side for the majority of the game. In several instances, they easily pulled Davis out of position, had two guys running with 1 receiver and another running free. That won't be corrected in a draft, it is corrected as Davis grows in knowledge and learns route concepts well enough that he recognizes those trade offs. They did not do that to Mitchel, they just attacked his tendency to crash the run by using play action (or the flea flicker) and got the WRs behind him.

    The Pats attack weaknesses and if you trot out a glut of young players, that is what they will do, use complex routes to confuse them and cause breaks in coverage. So, if we draft young guys and plug them in as rookies, we need to expect those types of growing pains. No perfect answer to this issue.

  19. #19
    We lost 2 linebackers this offseason, more likely we draft 1 OLB and 1 hybrid who could play inside or outside.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    With Jones not asked back and now an official bad first round pick, its going to take two OLB's better to take Chickillo off the roster.

    My $.02
    Coachspeak for " Quit threatening my GWH at lb" lol

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