Watch Tower: Enough Talk of 2009 Steelers Free Agents, Time to Focus on Football

We’re one game into the 2008 season, and that means that the Steelers have cut off all contract talks until season’s end. Their motive is simple: The focus needs to be on the action between the lines. It is time for the media (bloggers included) to follow suit.

Steel Curtain Rising had all but banished any talk of contracts or impending free agents….

….that was until Ed Bouchette published a column titled “Team likely to rue the off season…” and then a related question came up again in Bouchette’s semi-daily Q&A with fans. * Not to be out done, the Tribune Review’s John Harris followed suit mid-week with a column that implored the Steelers to chuck the negotiation blackout policy and resign Marvel Smith and Chris Kemoeatu.

Let’s see if we get this straight:

  • the Steelers start with a convincing win against the supposedly up-and-coming Houston Texans…
  • they’ve got their biggest division rival on the road this Sunday…
  • for the moment at least, the AFC favorite New England Patroits appear vulnerable…

…and the Pittsburgh media is already focusing on 2009 off season gloom and doom?

Steel Curtain Rising’s regular readers know very well that this site is firmly on the record in favor of resigning Marvel Smith and/or Chris Kemoeatu off the market. The offensive line’s domination of the Texans justifies this position.

Likewise, the resurgent line play (after all of one game) is certainly fueling the “Oh my God, the sky will fall if we lose these guys” stories. Fair enough, but contracts and legalese claim too much attention from sports media as it is.

There’s little doubt that the Steelers will be in a difficult spot if they lose Kemoeatu, Smith, Essex, Colon, and Starks, but if that happens they’ll be plenty of stories to write about that starting next February. What’s more, they’ll actually be some news to report instead of just filling up space with idle speculation.

Instead of focusing on “what will happen if…” why not focus on the reason why the Steeler would miss one of these players – namely their performance on the field. (Click to see Steel Curtain Rising’s final word on the Steelers 2009 free agency situation.)

*Bouchette, interestingly enough, seemed to back off this position somewhat in his Tuesday chat with fans, perhaps he wants to hedge his bets….

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2 thoughts on “Watch Tower: Enough Talk of 2009 Steelers Free Agents, Time to Focus on Football

  1. Kemoeatu is not in a position to be demanding a contract; he’s started one game of a 16 game season.

    No disrespect to Smith, but just like Faneca before him, the team gave you an extension once. You have to have everything working in your favor with this team (character, ability, age and health) to get a second extension.

    Smith’s definitely in their future plans if he can show he’s going to be healthy for the long haul. He’s done a great job in his career here, but he has to know that missing four games with a back injury last season trumps all contract extension desires. Yes, he’s been a great player, and that’s what they expected with the first extension they gave him. To join the Hines Wards, the James Farriors and the Jerome Bettises of the franchise and get that second extension past the age of 30, he’s gotta show he’s healthy enough to justify it.

  2. Agree completely. My only point with this post was that there is enough news about “real football” for the PG and Tribune Review to write about what’s happening now, not what might or might not happen in February.

    Also, while Steel Curtain Rising has beat the “shore up the offensive line” drum for a long time, the truth is that solid performance over isn’t enough to say, “OK, chuck everything we’ve done for the last 15 years and sign these guys right now.”

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