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Steelers spending time with families of draft prospects

San Diego Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Two members of the Steelers’ 2012 draft class wound up getting into trouble with the law during their rookie seasons and that’s led to a different approach to researching prospects this year.

General manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin each talked about the team’s decision to start spending more time with the families of players they are considering drafting. Colbert said that Tomlin has been proactive about speaking to family members of players the team drafted for a few years and that the rest of the team worked to “extend the program” this time around by speaking to relatives at or after pro days.

“I just think it helps us develop a more complete picture about who and what a player is, and maybe more importantly, what he is capable of being,” Tomlin said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “I think the more you look at where they come from and who they come from, it helps you paint that well-rounded picture.”

Defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu, a fourth-round pick last year, faced a laundry list of charges after a DUI incident that featured him nearly running over a police officer while trying to avoid capture. The team cut him in November, but brought him back to the practice squad a couple of days later. They did not bring back fifth-round pick Chris Rainey, cutting him in February after the running back was arrested for hitting his girlfriend. Rainey had other legal issues during his rookie season and has not landed with a new team.

No team can thrive if they regularly miss on draft picks, especially not ones transitioning their roster the way the Steelers have been doing over the last couple of years. A little extra research and knowledge about who they’re picking can only help teams avoid problems like Pittsburgh faced last year.

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34 Responses to “Steelers spending time with families of draft prospects”
  1. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 23, 2013 10:57 AM

    The Steelers are ahead of their time. The Rooney Rule, and now this.

  2. morganstan100 says: Apr 23, 2013 11:10 AM

    Ironic that the Steelers fans are the first to accuse the Ravens of signing criminals. Hope they read this article over the crow and humble pie they’ll be having for lunch today. Yikes!

  3. tvjrc603 says: Apr 23, 2013 11:16 AM

    Ahead of their time, LOL!

    You mean like how they took Mike Adams? Even his own mother could have told you he was overrated…she might even be better than him! LOL!

    Let’s see what drastic reaches they can make for mediocre players this year! LOL @ pitiful, decrepit Steelers!!

  4. tvjrc603 says: Apr 23, 2013 11:22 AM

    Just make sure you don’t let Ben spend any time with their families…try to stave off the next assault charge for as long as you guys can! Of course, he will be hurt by Week 4 anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter so much if he goes to the slammer, right? LOL!!!

  5. Steeley McBeam says: Apr 23, 2013 11:24 AM

    Adams was mocked as a first round talent who dropped because of off field issues. He was dominant in the run game last year before he was hurt.

    Know what you’re talking about.

  6. bigbensbailbondsman says: Apr 23, 2013 11:28 AM

    Just make sure you keep Ben away from their families! For as long as you can, anyway…

  7. bigbenownsthenfl says: Apr 23, 2013 11:29 AM

    This is what elite is all about. We our the standard for the NFL. All teams are measured against the Steelers. We are the benchmark. All you trolls can comment if your team has at least 6 super bowls! That’s what I thought….crickets chirping!!!

  8. peytonwantsaflag says: Apr 23, 2013 11:35 AM

    Ben has first dibs on families with women between the ages of 18-22

  9. morganstan100 says: Apr 23, 2013 11:44 AM

    I just looked up the word “elite” and couldn’t find anything about losing half your games.

  10. cincylaw says: Apr 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    While Big Ben takes the prospective players’ sisters out for drinks.

  11. brownoholic says: Apr 23, 2013 12:25 PM

    I heard they’re dubbing this new practice “The Rainey Rule.”

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 23, 2013 12:31 PM

    Doesn’t every team already research everything they can possibly figure out about these guys? What team wouldn’t talk to family members and why not?

  13. navyeoddavee9 says: Apr 23, 2013 12:41 PM

    603: Ben was NEVER charged, if u are gonna chime in, get a clue first!

  14. bigbenownsthenfl says: Apr 23, 2013 12:48 PM

    I just looked up “elite” and it doesn’t have a picture of flacco throwing up hail mary’s!

  15. staff2cj says: Apr 23, 2013 12:50 PM

    Hope there’s security in place while entertaining family members

  16. gbmickey says: Apr 23, 2013 12:57 PM

    Too bad the benchmark is with the Pack and the 13 titles. Of course the Pittsburgh trolls avoid the talk of the 30 something years leading up to the Super Bowls because they were terrible.

  17. notoriousjebus says: Apr 23, 2013 1:02 PM

    This is really intrusive and totally unnecessary. These teams can talk to prospective player’s college/high school coaches, teachers, friends, classmates, in addition to the extremely extensive background checks done by NFL security.

    Doing extended interviews with someone’s family is totally inappropriate. Talk to them once and move on.

  18. nickster31 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:26 PM

    tvjrc603 says:

    Let’s see what drastic reaches they can make for mediocre players this year! LOL @ pitiful, decrepit Steelers!!

    Really? DeCastro was projected to go in the top 15 picks, and we picked him at 24. Smith was projected to be a first round pick, and we got him in the 2nd. Ta’amu was projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round, and we got him in the 4th.

    Yeah, lots of reaches there.

  19. nickster31 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:31 PM

    gbmickey says:
    Apr 23, 2013 12:57 PM
    Too bad the benchmark is with the Pack and the 13 titles. Of course the Pittsburgh trolls avoid the talk of the 30 something years leading up to the Super Bowls because they were terrible.

    Really? You mean back before there was only 1 champion per year?

    Look, I know you are bitter about us having more of the trophies that were named after your coach than you do, but don’t hate.

    Since the Super Bowls started, there is no team in the NFL with more hardware than us.

    Hate on…makes us laugh!

  20. morganstan100 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:43 PM

    bigbenownsthenfl says:
    Apr 23, 2013 12:48 PM
    I just looked up “elite” and it doesn’t have a picture of flacco throwing up hail mary’s!

    I just looked up “hail marys” and it said the following:

    a. use of apostrophe is inappropriate
    b. what Big Ben said in the interrogation room

  21. Stiller43 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:46 PM

    Steelers lost 5 games last year on the last play of the game…and another one by 6 points when they had 8 fumbles and 3 picks. They’ll be just fine.

  22. ftomasic1961 says: Apr 23, 2013 2:17 PM

    gb, yeah, let’s count 13 titles back before THEY CALLED IT THE SUPER BOWL…which is the only measuring stick of true champions, not dusty old ‘championships’ with a bunch of part time players, college rejects, and other non professionals in an era where no one cared…

    i will stick with the superbowl trophy and six shiny ones that mark the greatest team in history.

  23. haterzinc says: Apr 23, 2013 2:59 PM

    Up until big bens injury they were 6-3 and Ben was leading the league in 3rd down completion percentage…..roughly 55%. Correct me if I’m wrong. He was clearly not ready to return from that injury and the team suffered because of his absence and because of his injury…..suck it haters injuries are a part of the game and steelers were decimated by them last year….Harrison, Woodley, Troy, a brown, Ben, Ike Taylor….

  24. brownoholic says: Apr 23, 2013 3:16 PM

    Remember that when your MLB team wins that lame old world series, ftomasic1961. Must mean NOTHING if its been done for soooo many years….

  25. gbmickey says: Apr 23, 2013 3:39 PM

    Flomo and Nickster of course you dont care because the Steelers sucked back then. As i did once before I gave a history lesson to Steeler fans. The steelers were part of the NFL since 1933 playing the same competition and for the same championship as the Packers. Yet prior to the Super Bowls they won 0 championships yes I said 0. No wonder you want to forget the pathetic past. Disregard previous titles? Spoken like a true troll.Not to mention the NFLdoesn’t agree, look it up.

    There is a reason Green Bay is referred to as Titletown.

  26. scoobies05 says: Apr 23, 2013 4:40 PM

    serious question for steeler fans. would you count pre super bowl titles if they steelers had won any? my guess is of course you would. packers have the most titles in the nfl. thats according to the nfl. i mean why not start counting since the league expanded to a 16 game schedule or 32 teams. they all count..you cant just decide

  27. mr86ism says: Apr 23, 2013 5:01 PM

    Blow hard GB fans. We laugh at you. You know why people have no problem dismissing your lame championships? Because the league voted to ban blacks from the league! Oh, you don’t remember? Funny how that part of history escapes you. So you keep those championships and that great white hope that one day things will return to when you dominated.

    But until then, its just the mid-west. The place we all refer to as where dreams go to die

  28. mr86ism says: Apr 23, 2013 5:10 PM

    …and oh yea I don’t mind all the bathroom Ben comments. I actually think they’re kinda funny, but just know…we laugh at you as you prep for your ‘Sunday mass’ while dancing to your Michael Jackson collection. Mmm taste the hypocrisy

  29. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 23, 2013 6:51 PM

    scoobies05 | Apr 23, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT
    serious question for steeler fans. would you count pre super bowl titles if they steelers had won any? my guess is of course you would. packers have the most titles in the nfl. thats according to the nfl. i mean why not start counting since the league expanded to a 16 game schedule or 32 teams. they all count..you cant just decide

    In today’s world only the ravens are important until the next team wins the SB. History for the NFL starts with the Super Bowl …if you think otherwise you are older than me…and that is old.

  30. antibenapalooza says: Apr 23, 2013 7:07 PM

    Big Ben does not own the NFL. He does own a reputation that tarnishes Pittsburgh’ image.

  31. morganstan100 says: Apr 24, 2013 7:30 AM

    Amen to that!

  32. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 24, 2013 9:20 AM

    serious question for steeler fans. would you count pre super bowl titles if they steelers had won any? my guess is of course you would. packers have the most titles in the nfl. thats according to the nfl. i mean why not start counting since the league expanded to a 16 game schedule or 32 teams. they all count..you cant just decide

    S serious question for one who is preaching logic to steeler fans. The facts all count as does missing evidence lost under questionable circumstances. You can’t choose to ignore the significance of the missing evidence and why it’s missing. So please don’t preach logic to steeler fans…it’s insulting when a raven fan does it.

  33. scoobies05 says: Apr 24, 2013 9:55 PM

    please explain what one has to do with the other. your insistence on contiuously rehashing a closed case is borderline pathological. and as usual you avoid the topic at hand. i asked a serious question which you cant answer. twice i have given you a pretty logical answer to your question but you just ignore it. man up and answer a question

  34. scoobies05 says: Apr 24, 2013 9:56 PM

    and i am sure i am not older than you but how can you actually say the nfl began with the superbowl. that may be the most ridiculous comment you have ever made…and thats saying something

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