All The News That Fits

The trade-off is news for a boss who will pay the freight, and so it goes for the lucky football reporter in town tabbed to inform us about the Steelers' plans in late March. But, really, it was all a confirmation of what we've known here.

Kendrell Bell will be kept on the field, Coach Bill Cowher confirmed Thursday, and that the pass rush just might be as culpable in the defenses' problems as the coverage.

What the lucky stabber in Phoenix failed to mention is that the Steelers hope Bell knows the defense well enough to play linebacker in the 4-1-6 dime scheme and that Joey Porter can move back to his natural rush end position on third down. Otherwise, it's back for another try at rush end for Bell.

Neither was it mentioned in today's report of another growing possibility: The Steelers could draft a defensive end for their base instead of a safety in the first round. A replacement for Kimo von Oelhoffen was almost drafted in the second round last year, but former employee Tom Donahoe got wind of the Steelers' interest in Ryan Denney and moved up just in time for the Steelers to be left with Antwaan Randle El. This could be the year that defensive end is finally nabbed.

And, yes, Cowher confirmed Thursday that the Steelers will be looking to first find a safety in the draft instead of a cornerback, a move that was cemented by the lesson we all learned in the playoffs, that Chad Scott is the team's best cornerback and a move to his natural safety spot wouldn't be wise at this point.

Cowher, on Thursday, also confirmed that if the team doesn't find a safety in the draft, it will find one later in the free-agent market.

All of the news that was fit to print in one day – after a week of character studies and weather reports – concluded with another confirmation of what we'd been reporting here: Marvel Smith will move to left tackle to replace Wayne Gandy and that three others will compete at right tackle.

It was a rare outpouring of information from the coach of the Steelers, but in today's media, you eventually get what you pay for.

By Jim Wexell
Steel City

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