Colon, Taylor are Steelers' free agents to watch

Posted Feb. 25, 2011 @ 2:53 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

With LOLB LaMarr Woodley receiving and signing his franchise tender, the Steelers now can focus on their other prospective free agents, director of football operations Kevin Colbert told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday, with ORT Willie Colon and CB Ike Taylor two players about whom he was specifically asked.

"Once we got LaMarr situated, we can look at the rest of the group and see if there's anything we can do," Colbert said.

Colon, who turns 28 in April, was the Steelers' top offensive lineman in 2009, but he suffered an Achilles injury last June and missed the 2010 campaign. The Steelers signed Flozell Adams to replace him, and Adams fared relatively well, particularly as a run blocker. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told the Pitttsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he would like Adams, who turns 36 in May and has one year left on his contract, to return for another season in 2011.

The Steelers also lost OLT Max Starks to a neck injury in November, and they were without C Maurkice Pouncey in Super Bowl XLV because of a high ankle sprain. The line had its share of struggles but managed to hold up well enough to help Pittsburgh win the AFC, and Colbert praised the Steelers' coaching staff.

"I thought Sean Kugler, our offensive line coach, did a great job in piecing together what he had available to him throughout the course of the year," Colbert said. "But really coach (Bruce) Arians (the offensive coordinator) and coach (Mike) Tomlin always stated the standard never changed and these other guys have to step up and play."

Taylor, who turns 31 in May, comes off one of his finest seasons and is clearly the club's best cornerback. He could be one of the better cornerbacks to hit free agency if the Steelers can't come to an agreement with him. The Broncos' re-signing of CB Champ Bailey and the Raiders' re-signing of CB Stanford Routt likely enhances Taylor's value. Colbert told Pittsburgh reporters the team has had contract talks with Taylor, who has played his entire eight-year career in Pittsburgh.