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Around the North: An interview with Steelers Gab Editor Matt Loede

Here at Sports Gab Network, we have a real good staff of writers, and a couple good ones right here in the AFC North. So for the next couple days, we’ll catch up with some of our North bloggers, and today we chat with Steelersgab editor Matt Loede, as he answers some questions about the rival Steelers:
What grade do you give the Steelers offseason via Free Agency? They have added some old faces to help get this team back on track.
I give them a “B,” as to me the feeling of bringing in the old faces represents that these guys know the system, and some will be able to help out right away.  Larry Foote will add depth at LB, Antwaan Randel-El will give them an option at WR, and Bryant McFadden upgrades the secondary.  They never seem to add big name free agents, but yet they add guys they feel will help their system, and usually don’t miss on these types of guys.  They hope they will make enough of an impact to have it pay off during the season.
How do you grade the Steelers Draft? Drafting Jonathon Dwyer could be the steal of the draft, how do you feel about that?
I love Dwyer, as I think at 229 pounds he can run over some guys, and add that ‘pound the rock’ instinct back to the run game the team seems to have gotten away from over the past few years.  I think the drafting of a couple linebackers and of course the first round center from Florida Maurkice Pouncey was a pick that many had predicted.  I like the pick in that it again, sends a message they are going to protect Ben Roethlisberger as well as build a line that can open holes for the running game.  Overall, to me the draft was a ‘C+’ or ‘B-,’ but could be higher if Dwyer has a solid first year. 
If the Steelers start off hot with whoever the Quarterback is, does that person have a shot at keeping the Job?
Nope.  You cannot justify paying Ben Roethlisberger the amount of money that he is slated to make in 2010, which is just over $8 mil, to sit the bench.  The team is hoping that Byron Leftwich, who right now will be the starter vs Atlanta September 12th, can hold down the fort, and if needed, will be a guy that can come in and make some plays if need be.  I do like what Dennis Dixon brings to the table, and to me, I hope he gets more looks as a guy that can make plays in certain situations.
How will the Steelers be able to protect leads late this year, unlike this past season?
Well, again, they went out and got Larry Foote back, and he was pretty solid in this same system in the Super Bowl year two years back.  They also drafted for some depth at the LB spot, as this was an area that seemed to wear down late in games.  They also had issues in the secondary, and with Troy Polamalu being healthy, and Bryant McFadden coming back via a trade with the Cards, they feel the defense will be better.  I look for LaMarr Woodley to have an All-Pro Year, and combined with James Harrison, they should make life tough again for offenses, but need to be more consistent late in games.
Will Big Ben ever get the same love from Steeler Nation again?
Just win games, and the love will be there.  Steeler fans have a special relationship with players on the team, and they feel like a jilted lover right now left at the alter by their bride.  They put their trust in Ben after the motorcycle accident, and then after the first case last offseason, only to then be betrayed again this offseason with the case in Georgia.  The fans are mad, and they have a right to be.  If Ben though can do the right things, turn his life back around, and win games, the fans will be back to normal with him halfway through the year.
How long until Mike Tomlin is on the Hot Seat?
Three seasons, two division titles, one Super Bowl win, it’s gonna have to take a total collapse, and I am talking like a 4-12 year for Tomlin to be on the hot seat.  The concern is why he hasn’t been extended, and there is talk that maybe the front office people feel he won Super Bowl XLIII with Bill Cowher’s team.  It’s time for Tomlin to simply put his fingerprints on this team once and for all, and for he and the club to build on the late winning streak for a season ago.  I can’t see him being on the hot seat unless this team is awful and for all the wrong reasons.
What is your Win/Loss Prediction this year for the Steelers?
Last season the Steelers had a five-game losing streak, yet still won 9 games and missed the playoffs only due to tiebreakers.  So for people to write them off and think they are going to be a pushover is a big mistake.  If they can handle the first few weeks without Roethlisberger, this team will be fine.  I can still see them winning 10-11 games, and making a run at Baltimore for the AFC North title.  At that point, anything can happen.

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3 Responses to “Around the North: An interview with Steelers Gab Editor Matt Loede”

  1. Kory says:

    Why is this on here? Really, does anyone give a shit about the Squeelers?

  2. Chris says:

    It’s called getting a look into the mind of the enemy. Seeing where our rivals feel they are so we know the thinking we’re up against.I see nothing wrong with it

  3. Kory says:

    What is this we’re crap? Are you on the field?

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