The Curtain Call, Part 2: Steelers free agents, Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Pittsburgh steeler france. We are back talking about who's coming. Who's coming back to the steelers next. Go back still. Current dot com joined is always the fabulous. Jeffrey benedict. Defense is all about compliments. Now we've got to build each other up after that the terrible playoff performance. That's what it comes down to but defensive side before even talk about any players should the steelers invest even like a single draft. Pick in the end of this defense. They're full of draft fixes. It is should the steel like is it time for them to focus completely a on offense when it comes to drafting guys. I don't think you see a first round pick unless unless all the offensive linemen are gone. Then i could see it. Probably a few. You're gonna have some defensive backs you got to replace you know this year at least one next year. Some more they're pretty. they're pretty good shape. You probably need another outside linebacker just for your number three but other than that mostly offense but i think you'll see you'll see more balanced than a lot of people would like i know we all. We all tend to do that. Like the offense. These works so just draft ten players on offense and trade back and get all the and maybe some of them are good But that's how the steelers ever work the no matter how much we want them to like. So they'll they'll get a good but there's not a lot of there's not a lot of holes on defense speaking of big holes but depre- that's that's a massive one to try to fill if he goes but of course coming off the acl Be worth a little bit more or a little bit less which might benefit the steelers. He someone you look at a sack totals in the house developed in you. Watch the film and how you rexha game. How is a game changer. It would really suck if the steelers lost this guy. Is there any world where he is back in the black and gold next year. I don't think there is and this is the sad thing. This is the sad thing you know this. A huge duprey fan. Anyone who knows me from behind the steel curtain. I have been a bud. Dupree apologised when he was considered a bust. I have been like no. He's actually better than you think. It just doesn't show up in stats. let me. Just let me just in honor a budgie pre. Let me give you some numbers here all right weeks. One through twelve weeks bud dupree played. Are you ready for this steals at forty one sacks almost four game they average almost four game three point seven three a game seven of their first eleven games were under a hundred yards rushing allowed as over sixty percent of the games. Sixteen percent Interceptions in eleven games as one point four or five interceptions per game and they had a seventy one point five passer rating against sense bud pre was injured and was no longer on the field. And i'm alex smith fan. I think he's good. You can get into him But they had fifteen sacks those games that's two point five per game over a sack per game lost once bud dupree one out. They had one of six with under one hundred yards rushing allowed. They arrived rush. One hundred rushing over eighty percent of their games before it was thirty five percent of their games. they had two interceptions in six games. That's one interception. Every three games instead of one and a half as interceptions per game average and they had a ninety two point nine passer rating against but do pre makes a huge difference on the field. Much bigger than just his stats. He is a phenomenal player. He is the guy who buys into team i stat. Second e. is that guy and whoever signs him granted it needs to be a team that runs a three four and ideally has a pass rusher at the other spot. A young stud pass rusher at the other spots that you're just like we want to turn that guy loose and we need the other side to be held down. Really well bud dupree dude. Before he was getting sacks he was keeping quarterbacks in the pocket he was limiting rushing yards. He was limiting passing short screen passes on his side. The dude is an absolute game wrecker. Who in the last two years has learned how to turn just being from a guy who creates havoc to a guy who can finish a play so for me. Bud dupree is my favorite steeler and this is it that was like week. That awful game against the ravens was the last that awful win against the ravens was his last time in a steelers jersey and that breaks my heart and I love you bud dupree and you're gonna terribly wherever he goes he's going to do it and i'm glad he's gone. I'm like it's depressing. That's the most depressing about this season. So yeah go say what you say. I'm a minute i thought that. Make you smile with that. Too new stocky comment but You know what. Bud dupree meant so much when he got hurt the locker room. After that rams game everyone was like down l. mansions over that. That's really how it felt. And that's what happened the interview. Like how could this deal's not bring this guy back like they not eat to find the money to bring him back. He means too much to this team in october. They bring him back. I'm gonna be like freaking out. Like i'm going to be drunk for a week. I don't even know like it's gonna be crazy for me if they don't see. I'm getting my hopes up right now. I'm getting excited. No he's gone. He hits he's just gone people. If he comes back we would have the best theory. We'd have the best We'd be so good with alex. Smith outside legit. Let's let's move down. Smith exercise with really quick. This is why bud dupree has got the reason. Bud dupree has gone is because alex highsmith is legit. Alex highsmith is legit. He was a rookie this year. There was a lot of drop off. He did not work. Well with cameron heyward when they moved into the other side. He'd work was the steph onto it. He just doesn't have experience with those guys but by himself is individual talent. He is a really good player. He can do the things bud dupree gave them. He's just not at bud dupree level especially right now. He's not quite the athlete. Bud dupree is. He doesn't give you that Quarterbacks are gonna escape the pocket more. We're going to deal with that again. You know with bud. Dupree came in the steelers. Stopped giving up yards to quarterback scrambling. It just stopped happening That play against miami and the playoffs will continue to be when favorite place ever or their quarterbacks. Like i can just run out of the pocket. Bud dupree no. Oh you out of the pocket. I'm going to run you out of the game. And it's like it's like quarterbacks you see it like they just don't leave the pocket because bud dupree is there and he's like come on. Come on out here. Come on guys come out. And they're just like no it's okay cam heyward can fall on me. That's fine. i'm not leaving this pocket and having bud dupree like send me into next week. And that's Was a steeler fan. You gotta love that. You've gotta just love that. So but alex is the real deal. You have to let bud dupree go simply for the fact that where the snaps like. You can't play these guy sixty percent of the snaps you can't. Tj watt sixty percent. You can't play bud dupree sixty percent and you can't play alex smith sixty percent. You can't do it. They're all too good bud. Dupree has to go and that's awful. It's sad but that's what happens when drafting alex highsmith. You let. that's why you drafted outside. Smith he has lived up to expectations. More bud dupree gone. Let's move on from no one one more question. I'm sorry ono. In hindsight in hindsight would you have given the cam. Heyward deal to cam heyward before the season started. Or would you let cam lock this offseason in order to keep a depre- in the black and gold see. Now you're gonna cam still can't hayward cameron heyward is. He is the heart and soul of that defense. You look at him after that playoff loss when he came out and talked about how the defense failed. That man is a steeler. You know what i'm saying. That may and gets it. And he is the exact guy you want leading this locker room. My favorite the best interview show on in the world is bud. Dupree show bud buddy interview with cam heyward. It's phenomenal how he ribs cam. I love that video. I watched that periodically. It's the best you know what. Yeah you gotta go cam heyward. But wherever bud dupree goes i salute you. You're still my favorite steeler until you the day you leave your my favorite steeler. You're going to be one of my favorites steelers of all time and wherever you go. Tear the league up please. Don't go in the afc north speaking speaking that cam heyward being huge leader thing. The that's what the offense needs a out of one of its skill players. You know what i if anyone could be that like. That's a rookie. I've watched not nausea harris. Speak a lot in press conferences. He is a good dude. He seems like he's a passionate dude. And if he if he can be what hayward is to the defense as a leader. Then i'd be all for drafting him in the first round who you know who was cameron heyward on offense jerome bettas. Absolutely the man and the team just rally behind him. That was it was crazy how much he was loved. If you could find that that's worth the first round pick of it's a running back that's worth lately. Harris if you if the if the steelers that dude no-brainer. Yeah twenty four. I don't think it's the combine that would get him picked. It's what he does interviews with the team is. It's what would make him pick by the steelers at twenty four If he's that good of a leader who knows if even last twenty four it's going to be one of one of the things to watch and see us as non insider types. Obviously we know a ton about this team but not the day to day operations. No one's ever really gonna know until years later when guys are retired and write their own books sort of thing. I don't get good film on isaiah. A harris broadcast angles are terrible for evaluating people. I don't get The all twenty two. I don't get that With college guy so. I can't really break down. But if he's a nick chop if he's a nick chubb for me. That's a no-brainer. Take him in the first round. Because nick chubb would have had over a thousand yards on this steelers team and the offense would have been substantially this year. This dealer team with the injuries the offense they ran nick chubb with a gain. Two thousand yards on this team. That's just. He has that level of vision connor and sell just beyond what connor and snell can do. He's just that much better. If he's a nick chubb talent wise and he kind of interviews. Yeah go for it. And he's he is division guy. So i can definitely see that. He's the big time sees the whole but moving back to the defense back the. Yeah the like. It's so much fun to talk about. The offense though. Middle linebacker is gonna be really interesting. Of course roberts planes in our fay. I think we can both just guarantee he's coming back at the steelers won one hundred percent if they are. They somehow did that. You'd be like who has taken charge of the steelers wired vita they love the cleveland browns now on on the same note though of course devin bush is going to be going to be coming back. Changed the defense completely way. Better instantly with him back on the field. There's two guys that are really interesting vince. Williams who's under contract. He could be a guy that could earn the steelers some money back by cutting him. He's definitely like a heart and soul type but is he the linebacker for the modern. Nfl aleve that hugh. But the other guy. Avery williamson who they traded for. He's still the the bulk tackler. He's the guy that just gets guys. Down i think the pairing between every williamson devin bush would be one of the premier inside duos in the league. So i'm curious. Your thoughts i if it came down to being able to bring williamson back and if that meant cutting vince williams and say that saved you million bucks would you do that. Is that something you'd be interested in or is this vince. Vince williams linebacking group. No matter what yeah. i'm going vince. I'm events fan Let me let me get you some stats on devon bush here because people people think about about vince williams From what they've most recently saw which was him getting exposed and coverage a lot. But let me get you. Some numbers here vince. Williams in the first six weeks five games played right two sacks ten tackles for loss and three. qb hits in five games. that's on pace for like six and a half sacks thirty tackles for loss like are you kidding me. He was like at the front of the league at that point after devon bush left right after he was gone. Vince williams had one sack four tackles for loss and one. Qb hit in ten games ten games. That's the different Difference devon bush makes this defense early in the season people were like devin bush. He keeps getting beaten coverage. He's an all these crazy assignments. What are the steelers doing with him. And by the way. Vince williams the best linebacker in the nfl and devin. Bush is gone. Vince williams have actually play like in coverage and things and they're like ooh vents out devin. Bush is going to be back. And if he plays a full season vince. Williams is as much is like you. You say avery williamson would really let avery williamson would let devon bush. He's a playmaker. Devon bush was as a rookie devon bush who he is now who he was in. His second season is better than that. Guy better than. He wasn't his rookie season. And he let vince williams be that playmaker his speed to the ball. His ability coverage is ridiculous. The stuff they were doing with and we talk about like the defense ended up getting pretty boring and vanilla and predictable at the end and teams are able to solve it. What they were doing in the first five weeks like people didn't understand what they were doing. What are they doing with with devon bush and when you look at it. They're really like he like my tallinn's drawing like derrick brooks type of stuff from tampa bay. He's doing that kind of stuff. Devin bush was playing like derrick brooks level. Nfl football as a second year player in the nfl. And vince williams. Animals gonna add in. Mike hilton also had phenomenal early stats. He obviously was injured. Came back from injury. Didn't do the same thing but he was also phenomenal while devin bush was there. Devon bush is going to be in coverage. She's gonna be that dude. You're going to see vince. Go off again. If devon bush is healthy and back in and who he was in his second year. So i'm going vince. Williams absolutely want percent. Okay now before we get to any of the backups. On any linebackers we got. We got some other positions. We should burn through. I most notably the two corner spots the to starting corner spots. Those are the guys that the steelers could potentially cut and save a decent chunk of money. If that's the road they go. But on the flip side. I think the steelers the steelers fans no steelers fans at least now. The steelers cannot draft a corner worth crap. They cannot do it for whatever reason. I think the best corner. They've ever drafted. Taylor was ike taylor like this amazing elephant corner. No i don't know if you've ever made a pro bowl actually like it's one of the things like this team. The way they built their cornerback room right now was smart by just doing it through free agency. Could this deal is be bold enough to cut either. These corners like are both heynen nelson coming back for sure next year because of their inability to find other guys with as. We talked about drafting quarterbacks. I'm going to bring up one of my favorite little tidbits of information. Sorry to hijack the show for the time But the steelers defensive backdraughts were went. Dick lebeau was gone. This is the craziest thing. Dick lebeau left the steelers to go be the head coach of the bengals. Right he left. He came back in two thousand four. He left in nineteen ninety six in that span of time. The steelers drafted ike taylor toy paula. Malu chris hope and chad scott the best defensive back. They've drafted since then. Ready for this william gay. That's it like in in a short span of time. They have all these guys and then boom. They couldn't draft again while dick lebeau was here the first time their best d. while he was defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator the first time their best defensive back they picked was willie williams undersized guy drafted in the fifth round their best sense william gay fifth round draft. Pick undersized guy. that's that short. Little gap in between they were very good. Steelers should never draft a cornerback. Again look at justin lane. I know i know he's got a thing with us already but justin lane. I'm sorry ain't that dude you're just not that dude james pierre took your job So yeah don't draft anybody. Don't sign them free agents For me nelson and hayden when they're gone this defense socks like when they are both gone. This defense is terrible. one of them has gone. It's not as good hayden nelson. Last people i would. I would cut everyone on offense. I cut vince williams. I would cut cam. No not cam heyward. I've got to it before. I would cut hayden or nelson find a way to make it up. Don't get those two guys gone and frankly a lot of arguments you see where you would let one of those guys go. You're saving that money already to spend it to sign sutton or hilton. Who are not at that level. They are not a hayden they're not a nelson and joe haden look. He's not who he wasn't when he was younger but he every game he's gone. This team just gets exposed on the right side in pass coverage absolutely gets exposed every single game hayden is out. Hayden is still that dude so for me. Those who have to stay. Do you think either of those two could be getting an extension. Because i believe they're bolstering the deal to gay just as money. I'd extent hating. I extend him a couple of years. Nelson more questionable. It depends on if you can replace him Hayden his in. This defense is perfect. Like when i when. I broke down film on how this defense evolved last season. They put so much on. Joe haden with with one qualification. Joe haden has one qualification to his game and that is he's deep or he covers short and that's it that's the only qualification you have if you give him that. Like joe haden your job on this. One is to cover deep. He's phenomenal. if you're joe haden your job on this time is to cover the short area. He's incredible if you're joe. Haden lockdown this guy. No matter what route he runs he can be because he's just his speed. Isn't there right. He's not as fast as he was when younger. And that's it. If you give him that one thing he is phenomenal. If you give him just part of the field to cover locks it down love. Joe haden is a playmaker gotta stay. Yeah i agree. I completely if they cut him. I'd be pretty upset by that. That would be a sad day. In my household i will not lie. But we're going to more corners here. Mike kam-sun a really feels like they're gonna come down to one of those guys and going back to that jerry dulack report that i've been talking about a little bit today. He said between the two he said it's not hilton. Who'd become back which was a little surprising to me. But that's the steelers insider guy. I'm curious to know your thoughts between those two. Who would you bring back. would you bring back either. Would you bring back both like w- what do you think in there. That is interesting that he said sutton over hilton because like mike hilton. Mike tomlin football. Mike helton plays mike tomlin football. He is exactly mike tomlin. Do like that is mike tomlin's definition of a defensive back. I'm a big fan if they lose my hilton. Who's taken that role who's blitzen. They don't have another defensive back who can blitz trail edmonds. can't blitz like my hilton. Ken i might kill them was a beast early in the season before his injury. And there's your qualification. One hundred percent if they're looking at him after that injury and be like mike helton's not mike helton anymore. He's not gonna be that dude he's going to be a bit slower he's going to be a bit less and it's just not going to work out then you gotta go sutton For me mike helton in that slot blitzer role which has become a very valuable commodity in the current nfl. Especially with a lot of the motion. We use a lot of the outside. Plays jet jet sweet stuff like that. A guy like mike hilton is a really important piece to have on your team. I don't know if maybe that maybe the idea is he's going to fetch too much and there's no way we can pay him and cameron sutton is going to be cheap. Because who's gonna cameras wanting to be a starter. They're not you know. He's not that dude he's not a starter he's a great backup he's a great rotational guy. i'd love to have them both back last year. I said there are the top we have the best top for. James spear makes one expendable and to me. That could be either of them. That could be either of them But i will warn you if it's sutton sutton it comes back. He is not going to overtake mike. Hilton's role in the nickel. They're have to redesign the nickel defense if they do that. If you're number three corner your nickel defense isn't what it was and it's not going to be as good because sutton cannot blitz. He's terrible at it. he's absolutely terrible at it in run support. He's not good. He's passable. he's not good. He can make tackles. Yeah you can do stuff at times. But he's no mike helton. He doesn't read the run lanes he doesn't read it like mike helton does he does. He just doesn't cameron site and cannot be that dude he's a great coverage guy. He's kind of that. That jack of all trades master of none And if he does have the strength it is just straight following guys deep even even like if he replaces if he replied to me he he is the guy that would let you let nelson go because he can be that guy he can be steven nelson. He can't be joe haden. When nelson's out cameras sutton can fill that role. When joe hayden's out and camera something goes in the right side of that past events exposed. Because he can't do it hating us So for me. I guess. I'm backtracking a bit. I'm saying you could see sutton brought back in nelson like oh that would be an option for the steelers will happen Whoever they keep going to change things. 'cause you losing hilton hurts the sutton hurts to. I don't know that's that's a hard one for me. I go back and forth on it constantly. Yes that's going to be one of the things. I don't think anyone blitz is in the. Nfl michael does. I think he said who's the best blitzing defensive back like hell. Yeah the two thousand nine hundred. Logan ryan was close to that and he wasn't this anymore they use them differently so moving on. We got a little bit of time left. So let's hit up a couple other backups before we look at a little bit of special teams but when it comes to outside linebacker spots like it could be the four spot could be the fifth spot tomei Denny or cassius marsh com ogden. E- e okay. I learned how to say his name. So i say get denny dang yeah olasunkanmi adeniyi. The only is i cake on. This is off any was number. Two in special teams snaps number two on the team behind only jordan dangerfield who by the way is also a free agent So it's another year where your top special teams guys are. Free agents like last season i could see olah brought back. Because of that. If he's cheap but he was nothing on defence like he played a lot of snaps and he did nothing. Great dude like he gives good effort he just. He's not that guy. He's a college defensive end. He is not an outside linebacker. But he's he's reliable on special teams cassius marsh. I like him better on the field than than i like him. Better on the field So for me. I would bring back marsh of those two which which again leaves you another lurch with special teams 'cause There and g. Ron elliott right. He's he's gone again. But i mean you assume you won't be back but then last year he was back and like who knows he's he's that guy that the can just be like. Hey jay ron. You're you're playing. You won't play football again. He's like sure yeah he he's just going to the person you call and there's no one else left to play for you but it of feels like but just flipping over the special teams as we round out our podcast here chris. Boswell someone steals could restructure even save a million bucks in the cap jordan berry. He had probably the best year of his career in two thousand twenty are both those guys destiny comeback jordan berries back. I you know. I like having a salient on the. I like that It just kind of nice kind of we could find another one steelers. When was the last time. The steelers had a good partner. I mean for goodness as we drafted daniel sepulveda's uneaten workout. Yeah that do do draft crush the steelers grabbing. He had these incredible hang times and then he just gets hurt and can't do it ever again. It was ridiculous. But yeah. I think thornberry's upon her. I don't care if he comes back. I tell you what there's another opponent that could be drafted crazy high. The kid from miami. I can't remember his name but could be a partner that goes in like the first three rounds again. Then that'd be great. I hope. I mean if you're not really bad maybe he brings you value. I suppose i suppose but looks like we're at top of the clock jeffrey. So i think it's time to sign up but we got we got. We got when we got. We got cover. Who's that when we didn't get to the defensive line. Oh who i miss. Tyson allow guy. Cover him real quick. Go for tyson alu alu. I think he's gone. But i would love to be back. I mean like he's that guy he's he has been so good in that role he's not going to give you a ton of snaps when he has played on east apps he's not that great But when you limited snaps noise to come in and just brek people's face he's comes in erects people's face And i love that. I love that about him. So i hope i'd love to see him. Come back but you also move on with him. Though one of the things like it bugged me. I if if i was in nfl player. He's one tackle away from four hundred his career just bog me. Three ninety nine go. yeah i'm done. Whatever that means nothing to me bringing back that would bug me substantially. It'd be like no. I'm going to come back the second oldest player on the team behind. Ben exactly that like go with her one you one more year for tyson al. I guess we'll have to wait and see but as as we get to the end of our show. Is there anything else you you wanna plug in throughout their by new film room series that i'm gonna take to get me through the draft. I look through it. And i'm gonna go through. I think a great thing. I don't know i don't know if people latch onto it but i'm going to go through the entire season one week. A time Tomorrow is week one. I'm gonna pick a player. Maybe two depending on if they play right next to each other And and kind of look at the steelers what they did right what they need to do looking forward to next season and for game one new york giants week one of the two thousand twenty season i go back look at benny snell's only hundred yard game of his career so far Why he got there and what we can take into next season. It's really good It's largely about the offensive line because he saw it wasn't just one hundred yards this the offensive line. So that's a great. That's a great one to look for And i'm gonna continue that series with week to the week after so each week is going to go. We're going to go for us. Seventeen weeks on that. We found. Yeah looking forward to that for sure for myself Make sure to click over behind the steel curtain dot com. Tomorrow i should have an article up on trae lance that fit that mock draft that. Cbs throughout their in the universe might be possible. Might might not be. But you should read my story and find out the way i feel about it but Just make sure click overdoing that listening to the entire family of podcast from behind steel curtain. We got tons of content tons of content. More than anyone else. I guarantee it when it comes to your pittsburgh. Steelers mixture clicking over Listen to all our stuff. Great stuff every single day. Some some podcast stuff only Some youtube stuff stuff everywhere. Just make sure you're checking out the website guys. Thank you so much for tuning in. This was the first edition of the curtain. Call the latest podcast of behind still current families. So thank you so much for tuning in Make sure to tell friend and come back next week. We'll have more fun all the way up until next season until i guess we got know some more enemies but until then my name is michael. Back in for jeffrey benedict. Thanks for hanging out with us. We'll talk to you soon.