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Stillers Waste Cap $ and Roster Spot on Witman

April 03, 2001 by Still Mill

Stillers Waste Money, Roster Spot on Signing of Witman

Stillers Waste Money, Roster Spot on Signing of Witman

The Stillers continued their signings of the insignificant, re-signing UFA Jon Witman to a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum of $477K.

The Stillers will proudly trumpet the fact that they�ve now signed guard Jeff Hartings, Safety Mike Logan, and now Jon Witman, and thus they are an improved football team.

Sorry, but I don�t see it that way. Witman�s signing is just another in which we�ve added a body, but failed to add impact or significant improvement. Logan will presumably start in front of Alexander, who had a sterling season last year once he was able to crack the starting lineup. Hartings, who has never played a down of center in the NFL, will be an upgrade over Duffy, but it�s not as though Duffy was pulling a Chris Conrad all year and getting whipped every time the ball was snapped. And now here�s the slowpoke Witman, coming off a broken leg. He was slow and bootfooted before the injury; imagine what he�ll be like now. More importantly, we already have a starting FB, and his name is Dan Kreider. Without question, Kreider proved himself to be the superior blocker. Now, with this needless signing, Little Billy Cowher, always one to favor veteran mediocrity at all costs, will in all likelihood fiddle-faddle with some absurd platoon between Kreider and Witman.

We�ve seen this before. The past three offseasons, dating back to spring 1998, this team has taken the "stand-pat and let�s pray for the draft to bail us out" strategy. That off-season, it lost its best WR & OT (Thigpen and Jackson), and then did nothing to address its most glaring deficiency with a veteran replacement. They did, however, throw millions at bodies � not impact players � in the form of Bruener and Steed, which have since shown a ROI (return on investment) of zero.

This offseason is no different. The team�s most glaring deficiencies -- defensive line and now ILB with the release of Tub Kirkland -- remain totally unaddressed and will apparently, as is the Stillers norm, be addressed only in the draft. We�ve tried this theory with Troy Edwards, Jeremy Staat, JaLame Stephens, Will Jackwell, and Plex Burress, with miserable results.

But look on the bright side. With the return of Witman, we can once again look forward to the "2-yard out pass" to the speedy Witman, which has bedeviled NFL defenses ever since Cowher and his staff came up with this clever ploy.

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