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Thoughts on the Latest Cuts

August 31, 2001 by Steel Hammer

The latest cuts were:

The latest cuts were:

FB Ron Janes

RB Ron Rivers

WR Tim Baker

WR Chris Taylor

GTom Mylinski

OT Larry Tharpe

DE Chris Sullivan

LB Roger Knight

CB Payton Williams


As I was looking over this list, I started wondering a few things.


1st � Has Cowher changed his ways? Events of the past few weeks had me thinking this again and again. After all, Bill Cowher had announced in the past few weeks that a rookie linebacker, Kendrell Bell, would be starting for his defense. This was in contrast to his prior treatment of Joey Porter and others. Cowher�s acceptance of a few mental mistakes in exchange for Bell�s playmaking ability and hitting power, was simply something that the head coach hadn�t been willing to accept in previous seasons. Then there was the no huddle, K-gun-like offense we saw against the Bills, and now veterans on the chopping block. Undrafted rookies still on the roster while a Cowher favorite like Mylinksi is axed. Is this the same guy who cut Hank Fraley and Al Lucas last year in favor of Mylinski and Sullivan?It looks as if Cowher might actually be considering how well a player is performing when considering who makes the roster. Shedding such under performers as Sullivan, Rivers, and the once decent Mylinski, certainly supports this possibility. Sure there are reasons to have doubt (like Tim Baker�s name on the above list and the announcement that Graham will be traded or cut � who will trade for a guy that they can get on waivers?), but it might just be a reason for hope. I mean, the no-huddle, in Pittsburgh, can you believe it?


2nd � Wasted draft picks. That�swhat Roger Knight and Chris Taylor are, just like I said they would be when they were drafted. Instead of Knight, we could have FB Dan Alexander on the roster. He looked pretty good playing as Eddie George�s back up against the Eagles and is almost certain to make their roster. DE Ross Kolodjziej would have been a better fit for the Steelers than Taylor. Another D-linemen would have been a good edition if the plan is to play more 4-3 alignments.

With such picks as Burress, Farmer, and Taylor, 2 of the 3 not even making the opening day roster and Plaxico being a disappointment, you�ve also got to wonder whether Colbert has as much trouble evaluating WRs as Tom Donahoe had evaluating Right Tackles.


3rd � Wasted space. Rivers and Janes never had a chance to make this roster. Having been around the league, they are known commodities. Commodities which have no place on a roster with Bettis, Fu, Amos, Krieder, or even Witman. The space they took up on the camp roster would have been better spent looking at an undrafted rookie like Pat Conniff, Ja�Mar Toombs, Ed Wilder, or others.

Then there is the cap space that was wasted on Chris Sullivan who started a whole 2 games while a Steeler. Add Sullivan�s name to the list of Colbert�s veteran free agent busts like Gabe Northern, Tom Mylinski, and Kent Graham.


4th � Wrong choice again. Early this off season, the Steelers brain trust decided to let Shar Pourdanish leave in free agency. Shar was quickly snapped up by the Raiders. Now Tharpe is on the trash heap, Marvell Smith is doing his best Chris Conrad impression, and the back ups are all inexperienced projects. Not good.

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