Thoughts on Final Cuts...
Note: My apologies for not compiling a post-game report after the Bills game. I had to travel on Thur. evening, but had made meticulous plans to arrive at the airport and immediately proceed to a buddy�s house to pick up the Bills game-tape. Well, no good plan survives initial contact, and as luck would have it, he had technical problems tuning in the game, etc. I was able to get a tape of the game on Sat., but by then my compadres here on the site had already done a stellar job in their post-game reports (as many would argue, better than my reports!) So, for the six folks who sent me queries via email, as well as longtime site follower �The Rock� for busting me out in public on the message board, please accept my apologies. J Just for the record, my contract with Stillers.com stipulates that I cannot divulge the annual salary that they pay me...but let me give a hint...it�s roughly the same, in dollars, as the total career pass receptions caught by the team�s "pass catching tight end", Jerame Tuman...
Anyway, my thoughts on the final weekend of cuts:
"Yes, he�s gone!" moves � Myslinski, Tharpe, Sullivan (I.R.). The Pierogi Boy, Myslinski, looked utterly horrendous the entire preseason. Not that he was a shining star in last year�s camp, but this year he wasn�t worth a tinker�s damn. Lardboy Tharpe was a semi-serviceable tackle, but his massive belly and poor stamina made him a viable cut in my book. Piss Sullivan has been placed on IR, which means that, as I understand it, we�ll still have to eat the ridiculous $1.7M of cap money for �01. Sullivan, who spent the vast majority of his tenure thus far with the Stillers sitting idly in a whirlpool, should really have been run out of town and forced to use some other city�s unemployment office. I hate the thought of Piss Sullivan still having ANY association with the team -� unless he�d be willing to clean vomit-filled latrines after each home game �- but at least he�s on IR for the season and unable to step anywhere near the gridiron.
Ho Hum moves � Rivers, Williams, Janes, Knight, Baker, Taylor, Thomson, Graham. I still laugh at the way The Lion Lover, Colbert, fawned over Rivers and frothed at the thought of bringing him here. To think that we tied up over $400K in cap money since March for a guy who had no chance at all of making what may be the deepest RB depth in the NFL. The cutting of Knight and Taylor prompt one question �- why do papers like the PG and TR trumpet the signing of these low round scrubs ??? The guy signs, and blaring headlines proclaim, "Steelers sign 7th round pick Taylor". These "signings" have marginally more significance than a backup catcher hitting a game-winning bloop single in a beer-league softball game out in West Mifflin. One thing about Baker � he played his ass of on spec teams. Has more heart and guts than a good many of his now-former teammates. Finally, the cutting of Graham was expected by me, as I�ve been predicting it for about the past 10 days. I�m happy to recoup the cap money that Graham was tying up. My one worry is that our 3 QBs are Stewart, Martin, and Maddox (in whatever order)... not particularly enthralling. My one gripe with the whole Graham ordeal this summer, is the fact that we wasted valuable practice time and game-time on Graham, which could have been rightfully apportioned to Maddox and Martin if we had cut Graham in the first place. And, lest anyone forget, I�d mentioned here several weeks ago that Graham could have easily been cut, and then easily re-signed if one of our QBs tore up a knee. As can be seen from the Sunday trading activity, exactly zero teams were interested in acquiring Kent Graham.
Tough cut � Geason, Battles, Brown. Geason nicked up his foot in the Bills game, which may have cost him a roster spot. Damn shame, as I think he is the best blend of blocking, route-running, and pass catching out of all our TEs, including the God of TEs, Mark Breuner. Battles has impressed me ever since his first preseason game LAST year. Ultimately, he lost out to a Cowher cronie, Myron Bell. D. Brown was a tough cut, as he seemed to have some promise.
"I can�t believe we�re still saddled with this sack o�..." � Blackwell, Witman, Tuman. Worthless Will Jackwell is back for a 5th year of essentially stealing a paycheck from the Rooneys. I call it "stealing", because when a guy receives a lot and gives virtually nothing in return, that�s called "stealing", "theft", or "larceny". I don�t want to hear a peep about Jackwell�s KO return �ability�. He blows. He walks on eggs and has no guts and no heart. The KO return for a TD waaay back in �97 was the result of a fake-reverse that fooled the entire Raven coverage team, thus allowing Jackwell to run down the sideline with about 2 acres of room. His KO return for a TD in �00 was similar; a fleet of AMC Pacers could have been driven thru the gaping hole Jackwell was fortunate to run thru. Jackwell has no upside --- what you see is what you get. And what you see -� or you should see -� is a brittle, injury-prone, timid, meek, no-skilled WR who has a better future selling encyclopedias than playing WR in the NFL. Jon Witman -� the man coming back from a season-ending leg injury, and the man with the chronic bad back � has no business being on an NFL roster, especially one that supposedly wants to play smashmouth football led by an effective blocking FB. Obviously, Kreider�s gimpy calf opened the door for Witman. Funniest quote I ever saw about Witman: in last year�s ESPN The Magazine NFL preview, they noted, "Jon Witman �- we know that a fullback is supposed to lead block at the point of attack...why doesn�t he?" I have no earthly idea how Tuman made the roster. The pile of manure missed more blocks this preseason than the number of hanging chads down in Florida, and didn�t do squat in the passing game, yet somehow made the team (perhaps on the basis of the Geason injury). Let�s see �- what use is there for a "pass catching TE" who has ZERO career receptions in 2 years in the NFL, and who cannot block worth a rat�s ass on a team that will run the ball 60% of the time??
Good to see make the team � Kurpeikis, Vincent, Bailey. Kurpeikis has three times the guts and heart as Gildon does. Not only that, but there remains a possibility that, if he works at it, he could replace Schneck as the long-snapper in �02 (although I don�t think Cowher is capable of seeing the 2nd and 3rd order effects of a.) saving a roster spot; and b.) having a superior cover-man on punt-coverage) Vincent is raw, but has vast promise and potential. Bailey has impressed me right from the first preseason game, and could be a valuable 3rd down pass-rusher as a rookie, and then fight for more work in �02.