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Loose Slag From The Still Mill -- Jul. 12
July 12, 2000 by Still Mill
Loose Slag from the Still Mill - July 12th
Loose Slag From The Still Mill - July 12th
Last week, the Stillers announced that the ever-so-brittle Will Jackwell will miss all of training camp with a hobbled knee that requires more surgery. The obvious question, of course, is: WHY was Jackwell even re-signed this spring?? A team with such a miserable passing attack hardly needs an injury-prone stiff who has averaged a whopping 9 yards per catch in a pitiful NFL career. And, in the same vein as Fat Joel Steed, WHY would these team even want to keep this gimpy simpleton around after this latest go-around of knee problems?? At a minimum, he'll inevitably be placed on PUP, or at worst on IR for the entire season. He�s wasting cap money and perhaps more importantly, space inside the hot-tub. Hey, after all, Mike Vrabel needs some room in the tub if he makes the team.
In a slightly surprising announcement, the team declared that the equally brittle Chris Fu will be moved to FB and will back up slowpoke Jon Witmann. This comes as a bit of a surprise, since Fu never played FB in college and has been widely regarded as a softie blocker. What likely forced the team to make this shift, is a failure --- for 2 years in a row --- to sign or draft a solid, dependable, REAL fullback. Witmann has an achy back, plus runs a 5.3 forty, and there's no other veteran depth or top-notch rookie waiting in the wings. With Hunt and Amoz the front runners at backing up Fatboy Bettis, this move is fairly sensible. The concern, of course, is if Fu can survive at least a few preseason games without getting hobbled by some little pansy injury.
Some folks have asked me, "What's the biggest surprise to you regarding the offseason for this team?" After considerable thought, to me it's the non-offer of a contract to WR Courtney Hawkins. After all, this was 1 of Bill Cowher's favorite players EVER. Hawkins was signed in spring '96 to be a 3d down receiver in the exact mold as Andre Hastings, and did this job well in '96 and '97. Then, Cowher, the rookie-despiser who never met a veteran he didn't love, started the short, glacially-slow Hawkins in every game in '98. Hawkins responded with a miserable season and showed without question that he was entirely unable to be a starting WR in the NFL. Not to back down from a challenge, the mule-stubborn Bill Cowhead nevertheless INSISTED on starting Lil' Courtney in every game of '99, until some late-season small nagging injuries thankfully forced him to the bench. Once Cowhead won his power struggle with Tom Donahoe, I fully expected Cowhead to barge into GM Colbert's office, thrust out that big jaw, and DEMAND that Lil' Courtney be THE top signing priority among our FA's. And even when Lil' Courtney wasn't courted by the Stillers, I still expected Cowhead to make a June swoon and attempt to sign Lil' Courtney. Of course, there's actually still time to sign Lil' Courtney, so perhaps I'd better put this idea away before Field Goal Bill catches wind of it, and makes a ploy for the Lil' Hawk.