After selecting Ryan Shazier with the 15th overall selection yesterday the Steelers will move forward with the task of bringing young talent to their aging team. Tomlin and company went out of their way to point out that they will not be drafting according to need last night, but something tells me they will need to address their two biggest needs during day two of the draft.
Supposedly this year’s draft is “full of receivers capable of being starters in the 2nd round” and many believe the Steelers will look to fill this need with their 2nd round pick. If this is the case many expect the Steelers to pick Allen Robinson out of Penn State.
The way I see it there is likely to be some trades in the first ten picks of the second round by teams looking to move up in order to secure the guy they really covet. If this is the case the Steelers could luck out by having solid options at both receiver and cornerback, their two greatest areas of need. This would allow them to have the best of both worlds, finding value at a position of need, filling the depth cart while not breaking from strategy. Here are some players I feel the Steelers should target in the second round of today’s draft.
If the Steelers decide to go receiver:
Cody Latimer ~ Indiana
Latimer is likely to be gone by the time the Steelers pick but if a few teams trade up to get the remaining quarterback prospects he could be the one who falls. As I detailed in the Day One preview, Latimer is a tough receiver with size and speed. He would be a perfect complement to Antonio Brown and would improve the Steelers passing game immediately
Allen Robinson ~ Penn State
Robinson would be the big target Roethlisberger was supposedly promised and given his ties to Penn State and his popularity in the region his selection would go far to energize the base. I’m not buying it. I don’t believe the Steelers will use this pick on a receiver and if they do I don’t believe they will take Robinson with the value of the talent that is likely to be on the board when their turn to pick arrives.
If there is a run on receivers and Robinson is available I say go ahead and select him. He has the skills to be an NFL starting receiver. The defense is a more pressing need for the Steelers though and that is why I’m not in on Robinson being the sure pick.
Marqise Lee ~ USC
Part of Lee’s slide down the draft board comes from familiarity with his flaws given the nature of the USC program. Throughout most of his Trojans career the program was in flux and eventually crumbled in public view. Lee never really had that moment to stand out on a larger scale that may have been afforded him if he had attended another institution or had the probationary penalties facing the program had not been so severe.
While there are questions about his knee, Lee is a dynamic receiver who could excel in the right system in the NFL. While Latimer is my favorite of these three he is likely to be off the board when the Steelers get to pick and if Lee is available I wouldn’t give a second thought to selecting him.
If the Steelers decide to pick a Cornerback:
Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
The small school prospect has the athletic ability and unlimited potential to be viewed as the best cornerback that came out of this draft ten years down the line. However there is just so much of an unknown when selecting a player like this. It’s the Hail Mary option. Going for it all.
I would love the Steelers to take a chance here, but as I watched his highlight video I had to search good for the correct spelling of Ricardo Colclough and if Ricardo Colclough’s name comes up in a description of you then that should be all the red flag needed to pass. 50/50 shot at being either good or bad in the end, but he is likely to hit one of the extremes of that scale.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
This is the player I would select if I was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I am not and they will likely pick someone not even mentioned in this article. The Steelers have their own boards and own rankings that only apply to the Steelers. They will inevitably select whoever they want to no matter the analytical suggestions that it may not be the best choice because they can and because they always do.
SJB reminds me of a young Ike Taylor in many ways, mostly because of his raw skill. However unlike Taylor SJB played at one the largest and most tradition laden programs in the country and therefore is slightly more polished given the level of coaching that comes with attending such a football factory. He will instantly upgrade the secondary giving it the type of weapon it has not had at cornerback in decades. He fits in perfectly with the direction the NFL is heading in terms of gameplay, a direction the Steelers will inevitably have to assimilate to meet the demands of no matter their resistance to change. SJB is the future of the Steelers secondary if they are smart enough to draft him
Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
Here is the one I would be interested in. If the Steelers are using this draft to build a new defense and Nix happens to be available then I say you go get him. DT is no longer the Steelers most pressing need, but it is in no way a strength. If you selected Nix and factor in Shazier you have a pretty dynamic middle of your defense forming and I would love to see how the draft progressed from there.
Prediction: The Steelers select SJB with their 2nd round pick.
Well, leave it to the Steelers to select someone I completely left off of my predictions list. With the 15th overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers selected inside linebacker Ryan “Icebox” Shazier of Ohio State. The speedy Shazier has been described by Mike Tomlin as a “defensive playmaker” and will likely get a shot to compete for a starting inside linebacker shot to begin training camp. While I personally would have rather seen the Steelers select CJ Mosley who went Two picks later to the Baltimore Ravens or cornerback Darqueze Dennard the team seems to be keen on Shazier and if he is part of a youth movement on the defensive side of the ball than I am all for the pick.
Much like the entire defense the Steelers linebackers corps is in need of repair. While the secondary seems to be in more dire shape I am all but certain it is a position that will be addressed as the draft progresses. During the post selection press conference Mike Tomlin praised Shazier saying:
“His production speaks for itself,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “His tape says he doesn’t need my endorsement. He plays with a lot of urgency. He was a significant contributor and really improved through his stay there.”
Tomlin added: “Quite frankly, the guy has no holes.”
Shazier will join Lawrence Timmons on the interior of the linebacker corps in the 3-4 defense. Along with Jarvis Jones and likely Jason Worilds the corps will have the pleasure of matching up against Johnny Manziel for the foreseeable future as the Texas A&M quarterback was selected by Cleveland after they traded up to the 22nd pick. In what perhaps is an omen for the future of Jonny Football the Browns also used the 22nd overall pick to select eventual flops Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden.
The overall goal for the Steelers in the 2014 draft needs to be to obtain as much young defensive talent as possible. In the first round the Steelers will likely target a cornerback with the 15th overall pick to anchor the future secondary, a secondary very few of the current Steelers will be part of, aside from safety Shamarko Thomas. The Steelers could also look to fill voids at WR, LB, and along the Offensive Line if the right player falls to them. 15 is a hard spot to leave given the level of talent that can be had and for a team with so many needs trading up makes little to no sense. There are many possibilities and I will touch on a few.
So I will lay out some of the scenarios I see the Steelers facing in the first round tonight, but for those with no patience I will jump to the conclusion:
With the 15th overall pick the Pittsburgh Steelers select: C.J. Mosley LB Alabama
In the end I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers went with a linebacker even though most mock drafts have them selecting a cornerback or wide receiver. If either Dennard or Gilbert remain on the board I would select them ahead of Mosley in that order. Given the nature of the NFL and it’s copycat mentality cornerbacks are likely to be a hot commodity this season and many teams may choose to trade up in order to get one of the top 2 at the position. If this is the case the Steelers are likely to be left with a scenario of selecting Kyle Fuller, which may be a reach, or going with the best available player which at pick 15 may wind up being C.J. Mosley.
With other positions at more demand the Steelers could even face a scenario in which they move back a few picks and add a pick in the later round and are still able to get Mosley. Mosley would fill a need for years to come and help the Steelers towards a trend of adding young depth to their aging defense. Unless a top receiver or Ebron are available cornerback is the pick why not take the second best linebacker.
Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan
Dennard would be the best fit for the Steelers but as each day passes i become more certain he will be off the board by the 15th pick. He is big, fast, and tough and would quickly become the anchor of the secondary. I remember watching Dennard run his 40 during the combine and hearing the announcers speak about how much of a match he would be with the Steelers at 15. However given the board the Giants may get to him first.
Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
Kyle Fuller will be good but I will be disappointed if the Steelers select him at 15 given that there is likely to be a better value on the board. To select Fuller would be to draft to fill needs as opposed to acquiring talent which must be the Steelers main goal in this draft if they wish to avoid massive collapse in the upcoming years.
Taylor Lewan T Michigan
This could be the wild card. If the draft turns into tradefest ‘99 the Steelers could happen themselves into a top-notch tackle. The Steelers have used high picks on the offensive line for the past few years, but with little success. Lewan will be a starting tackle in the NFL and if available the Steelers should take advantage of the possibility of gaining some permanent depth on the offensive line.
What if the top two cornerbacks are off the board?
If the 15th pick comes and both Dennard and Gilbert are off the board than I would look to the best overall player. If Aaron Donald somehow remains on the board, which he won’t, I would be willing to select him and completely change the defense to a Tampa 2 or at the very least add more elements of it to the base defense to fit his skill set. He is that good of player and given that he is a product of Penn Hills and Pitt he would be a player that would add maximum excitement among the fan base. A more likely Scenario would be seeing tight end Eric Ebron or safety Ha Ha Clinton – Dix slide in which case I would select either of them giving the edge to Ebron.
Unfortunately given the recent black cloud hanging above the Steelers in terms of luck the selection may come to a pair of linebackers UCLA’s Anthony Barr and Alabama’s C.J. Mosley. While Barr has been rated higher by many draft experts the opinions of draft experts are in many ways meaningless because very few people in the world actually have a mastery of scouting and the NFL draft. This includes a majority of the people employed by NFL franchises to be such experts. Barr will be good but C.J. Mosley is perfect for the Steelers. He is a natural leader who leads by example. If the Steelers are truly to have a youth movement on defense they will need a leader and I don’t see anyone besides Jarvis Jones being able to fill that role on the current roster.
Mosley would be a great fit but linebacker is not their most pressing need and there are other options later in the draft. So there is also the possibility they trade the pick up or down to target another player.
2 Trade down scenarios:
Trade down with the Jets to get the 18th selection and select C.J. Mosley.
The Jets need for a cornerback may be more dire than the Steelers. If the Steelers can move back a few spots while picking up a third round pick this could be the perfect opportunity for the Steelers to avoid reaching selecting a linebacker in the first round.
Packers 21st overall pick
Much like the Steelers the Packers have pressing needs on defense however theirs is to fill a hole while the Steelers is to achieve depth. Moving back to the 21st pick the Steelers could select Indiana receiver Cody Latimer. In many ways he is the perfect addition to the passing game given his combination of speed and size (6 foot 3, 215 pounds, 4.44 40 yard dash). He also proved to be one of the strongest receivers at the combine impressing teams by finishing first in the bench press. The Steelers are likely to stay where they are but this would be an opportunity to fill a pressing need without reaching while adding more picks to improve depth and take advantage of the deep draft.
Trade up Scenario
This is the less likely scenario concerning trades however I could see the Steelers trading up to the 9th spot with the Buffalo Bills in order to draft Eric Ebron . This seems to progressive of a move for the regressive Steelers front office, but looking back at this draft five years into the future Ebron may be among the top 5 players. While Roethlisberger would prefer a large receiving target an elite tight end could be a better long term asset. The Steelers are in no position to give the aging Roethlisbergr a final approval over a draft pick especially given the fact that it is quite likely that Penn State’s Allen Robinson will be available in the second round. This draft needs to be about acquiring as much young defensive talent as possible which means the receiving weapon they choose must be top notch.
At one point I had the ultimate experience. I could just see it all and was like woah.”
That is what he said.
He said it to two other old guys who walked up to him hoping to see what he was seeing.
Through a small break in the fencing at the end of the line of the portajohns that made up the back perimeter of the Prospect Park Bandshell the long-haired man stared into his binoculars and watched Robert Plant. He was the happiest man in the Park.
I noticed him halfway through the concert. We too were on the outside looking in, enjoying the show for free. However we were under a tree with pastel party cups filled with Rolling Rock and an array of fine meats and cheeses. We were accompanied by a Beagle puppy.
Not my man.
He had an old Led Zeppelin T-shirt on, well-worn from years of following his childhood heroes, and a long mane of gray, white and formerly brown hair. I would guess he had seen Led Zeppelin many times before. He had experience. He brought nothing with him that would weigh him down. He was armed with only binoculars. There is a chance he got onto public transportation with them around his neck both before and after the show.
I think I saw the point of the evening that he referred to as the “ultimate.” It may have been right after I first noticed him. He had made connection, he found his sweet spot. I saw him adjusting the focus on his trusty binoculars. I saw him bend his knees and find the perfect position.
Than he froze.
He was transfixed. For that moment his dream of being front row for a Led Zeppelin show was a reality. It was right there before his eyes. It was as close as he would ever get. While at first I had worried about the man wondering if he was staring into a crack in the portajohns I soon realized he was not a pervert, he was a Led Zeppelin fan, and he was enjoying the night more than everyone else in the park that night could ever understand.
Two years ago today I published an article titled “Is Weezer’s Pinkerton the Best Emo Album of All TIme?” in the early weeks of trying to create a website called the Secret Party Room. The website wasn’t successful, the article was. In those two years everything has changed yet one constant has been that people contact me about the article wanting to talk about how Pinkerton made them feel. It’s weird.
It’s been found residing in the deepest darkest crevices of the internet. It’s been posted on Weezer message boards which has brought about international inquiries. The whole reason I unlocked SPR (which is actually this site right now) is because I was getting so many requests to read the article.
Two years have passed and it hasn’t gone away and because of that I would consider it the most successful thing i’ve written. Other pieces have been read by many more people, but no one reacted to them, especially in the prolonged manner as they did to the Weezer piece.
Part of that seems to be because of the nostalgia that comes with Weezer from a generation who has seen music go to shit or at least some type of fecal matter that doesn’t interest them. If you liked Weezer in 1998 what do you like now? Why do you like it? Do you like anything?
For me the article is drenched in nostalgia for a time in which I had just moved to New York and wanted to become a writer. Since then it has happened and it isn’t really the glorious trade I believed it to be when blessed with the good fortune of ignorance towards the situation. It’s still pretty great though. If your still reading I’ve already accomplished something. In an age of instant gratification and attention spans measured in nanoseconds I’ve coerced you to read five paragraphs. The average news article read by the average reader would end right here.
Oh you’re still here? Well than, lets talk about Weezer. After rereading the original article I still believe that Pinkerton is the greatest Emo album of all time. For the exact same reasons. However I realize that the main point I was trying to make two years ago was buried in the deepest levels of subtext. Weezer disappointed many of their fans and for a large percent of that demographic it was the first time they had to break up with a band. It was too much and we were too young. Sellouts had to be rejected. Little did we know what was on the horizon. The end of the music industry as it had been for decades came about because of the Internet and music lovers ability to download music illegally much easier than buying it traditionally.
In the age of mp3 players and Winamp it was much easier to get an album P2P than it was to find it at the lone record store left in your town and pay $15 for a clunky product that you needed to take various steps to put in a format that allowed you to listen at your convenience. The music industry moved slower than technology, hung over from their decade of cocaine excess and long nights partying with Lit predicting that their success had no expiration. Wrong. Only rap music got it right and they did that by realizing kids buy their music and that you had to find a way to get it directly to them.
There were no rock and roll mix tapes or compilations. The entire Internet was a compilation and more choices meant more bands which meant more crap which meant a mediocre final product.
This is what I wanted to touch on in 2011 and perhaps I just wasn’t ready. Pinkerton was my great young love and The Green Album was the breakup that inevitably followed. Part of me has never gotten over the Green album and how much I didn’t like it. How foolish I felt for loving Pinkerton so much and how I had to admit that maybe I had over hyped the whole thing. It was the Kelly Bray of albums. It was that first love that was so perfect that upon competition you had to think maybe it wasn’t perfect at all, and maybe you don’t know what perfect is, and maybe nothing will ever be perfect.
However just like that first love as an adult you realize you weren’t wrong at all for giving your heart to a band that moved you and maybe how you felt at the time was dead on. It’s all about the moment and in that moment Weezer’s Pinkerton was the best shit I had ever heard. It is still really good, but perhaps because of the nostalgia surrounding it. Perhaps because when I hear it I can picture myself sitting in my parent’s basement listening to it on headphones not knowing that life wasn’t going to stay that simple and joyous forever.
Breaking up with a band is perhaps worse than breaking up with a girl when you are young because young love doesn’t know the temporary nature of itself. Young lovers know love through the lens of Romeo and Juliet and My So Called Life, young music fans aren’t aware that bands sell out. Or more specifically they beleive it won’t happen to them and their band. Like the neighbor on local news who after the teenage girl next door is busted selling Oxycontin to her gym teacher says “I would never believe this could happen here!” It happens everywhere and it happens with every band and it happens with every relationship. True love is eternal, but general love has an expiration date.
Weezer was different. Weezer wasn’t very dark, but they were, just in a completely different way. While Soundgarden was singing “Alive in the superunknown. First it steals your mind And then it steals your soul” Weezer was singing “I want a girl who laughs for no one else, When I’m away she puts her makeup on the shelf.” (Soundgarden superunknown and Weezer’s Blue album came out months apart) Both are different shades of dark. Soundgarden is a very literal blackness, their words are what they mean. Chris Cornell literally wants you to know that the superunknown will steal your mind before it steals your soul. Both will be stolen in that order and that is it there is no explanation why. However with Weezer there is a lingering question of “Why do you want the girl you like to pretend she doesn’t exist unless you are in her presence?” “Why do you have an inability to trust women when they are out of sight?”In 1998 Soundgarden was passing their expiration date, yet who would have thought Weezer wouldn’t stay fresh forever?
Pinkerton exists in a sea of why. “Why is this so dark, you just made a really successful album?” Pinkerton is an album that perfectly describes the college experience and rightfully so as Cuomo wrote it while attending Harvard. College for the modern white male is a time of exploration, dissatisfaction, acceptance, comfort, and then rejection, in that order. So is Pinkerton. Now in 2013 at the age of 30 I can view Cuomo’s career as a success, simply because he made those first two albums. Even if I think everything he made after was poo, now I know it doesn’t matter because those first two albums where just so impressive. Artists don’t do that anymore, at least not with me, they don’t captivate people, they don’t make people think I want to sound like this guy when I play. Maybe they do, but I am one who learns from heartache and The green album is a perfect example of musical heartache.
Pinkerton was the last moment of me being a music fan and the Green album was the beginning of me liking music. I was never going to put as much heart into a band again, I couldn’t handle the let down, just as no one sits by the land line at the age of 30 hoping their girlfriend will call. It took me until the age of 30 to see why Pinkerton meant so much to me. Here I am with a back that feels like it is made of particle board and runny dog shit, a knee that pops when I stand up, and grey hairs popping up at an alarming rate, but I really can’t complain. I did a few things so far in my life and that is impressive because some people never accomplish a thing. Some musicians never write a song that anyone wants to hear. Some musicians never get to even play a show.
Weezer made two great albums and we should all be thankful. They made a multitude of crap and everyone should let them be. Like young love it wasn’t going to last forever and they were getting older themselves.
So here I am two years later and I am still making my case for Pinkerton being the greatest emo album of all time, only this time I’m doing so to fight for the young man who wanted to be a writer who had something to say. He doesn’t really come out very much anymore, he’s tired after a long series of long days work, but when he does he is ready to go fight for what is audibly right. Even if he has never gotten over that first time a band let him down in a way only girls had before.
Originally published by The Contributor on July 9th, 2013
A recent piece by Louis Nayman — “In Defense of PRISM” for In These Times — has brought about a wide array of criticism from the left who see the labor organizer’s argument as falling too closely in line with the Obama administration’s. Surveillance, privacy and whistle blowers are hot topics that transcend party lines. It may be one of the few things the far right and left agree on, although they view it from a different lens. Among the many debatable quotes from the Nayman piece is this piece of fiction:
As people who believe in government, we cannot simply assume that officials are abusing their lawfully granted responsibility and authority to defend our people from violence and harm.
This argument can, of course, be debunked by anyone with even a moderate understanding of history. The government has a track record of lying, why should we assume they just stopped?
One of the most poignant responses to Mr. Nayman’s piece came from Marcy Wheeler, who published “In These Times We Can’t Blindly Trust the Government to Respect Freedom of Association” on the blog Empty Wheel. In debunking Mr. Nayman’s arguments, Wheeler makes many good ones of her own.
Among the best are her response to Nayman’s argument that, “We should do all we can to assure proper oversight any time a surveillance program of any size and scope is launched.” To which Wheeler responds:
[A] big part of the problem with these programs is that the government has either not implemented or refused such oversight. Some holes in the oversight of the program are:
- NSA has not said whether queries of the metadata dragnet database are electronically recorded; both SWIFT and a similar phone metadata program queries have been either sometimes or always oral, making them impossible to audit
- The FISC does not itself audit this metadata access and — given Dianne Feinstein’s uncertainty about what queries consist of — it appears neither do the Intelligence Committees; Adam Schiff recommended this practice but Keith Alexander was resistant
- The government opposed mandated Inspector General reviews of the Section 215 use in the last PATRIOT Act renewal; while DOJ’s Inspector General is, on his predecessor’s own initiative, reviewing its use, he’s only now reviewing the program as it existed four years ago
- DOJ and CIA’s Inspectors General have limited ability to review what FBI and CIA do with the unminimized data they get form NSA’s Section 702 collection (though DOJ’s IG does have the authority to review what the NSA does)
- The government refuses to count (and doesn’t appear to document) what happens with the U.S. person information “incidentally” collected under Section 702 that is subsequently searched or read