Stillers Make Final Cuts (Aug. 28th)
The Stillers sent the following players to the unemployment line Sunday afternoon:
LB Babe Northern
OT A. Brown
DT E. Brown
S. Lance Brown
TE Matt Cushing
WR Danny Farmer
OG Hank Fraley
OL Greg Huntington
OLB Chad Kelsay
FB Dan Kreider
NT Al Lucas
RB Pepe Pearson
QB Anthony Wright
To me, the biggest, and most alarming cut, was Danny Farmer, who was cut in favor of keeping Cowher-favorite Courtney Hawkins. I continually warned yunz faithful readers of Stillers.com, that Cowhead would do everything in his power to keep his all-time favorite Hawkins on the roster, and by golly he did, by cutting a promising youngster who happened to be nagged by an ankle injury at camp. This was vintage Cowher at his worst. Hawkins has no upside, and has no long term fit in this team's plans. Hawkins is a nice receiver to use as a 4th receiver on a contending team that needs a crafty veteran to chip in on 3rd down, 4-WR sets. However, this team is not going to contend for much at all this season, and cutting Farmer shows Cowhead's typical myopia that has caused him to fail to develop a draft pick into a Pro Bowler since the 1993 drafte yielded Kirkland. Yeah, Farmer struggled at camp, but much of that might have had something to do with Gilbride's 450-page playbook that no one seems able to master. With Plex, Troy, Shaw, Ward, and MJ, the team didn't need Farmer to step in and grab 47 balls this season. Farmer should have been viewed as a man capable of contributing in '01. Instead, Cowhead keeps a slowpoke, never-will-improve vet who will hopefully see the field only in 5 WR sets. The fear here, as I've expressed all during camp, is that Hawkins -- who somehow wormed his way to the top of the depth chart for 2 years ('98 and '99) -- will soon be the #3 receiver and get gobs of playing time in the process. And forget about Hawkins' 2 long receptions on Friday nite at Washington -- they were both made against scrub 5th-string DBs, fer crying out loud. I can't believe the media is jumping all over those 2 plays, as though Hawkins suddenly was whipping by the likes of Champ Bailey and Deon Sanders. Once again, this is a case of Cowher being able to bamboozle the media.
* Other cuts that I was a lil' perturbed about (but realize that numbers are numbers�):
Kreider: This guy blocked every bit as well as Jon Witman, and would make about 1/8th his salary. So why cut Kreider and keep Witman ?
Lucas: He got lost in the numbers game. Hopefully he can be placed on the practice squad.
* As for the others:
A. Brown: Good riddance. No more seeing "Skates" Brown getting wheeled about like an invalid on roller blades.
E. Brown: Gee, hasn't the World League/NFL Europe been a BOON for this team? The World League is like a minor league farm system for the Stillers. Uh, let's see, who have we developed from the World League/NFL Europe�??
Northern: Ham injury really set him back, in terms of impressing staff. He looked capable enough in Redskin game, that he'll likely latch on very quickly with another team looking for veteran depth.
Kelsay: I was never, ever overly impressed with this man, dating back to last preseason. He was stiff, slow, and sloppy. He benefited last year from minimal competition at LB. Another classic example of how Nebraska players look so good when their N.U. team continually overwhelms overmatched conference foes.
Pearson: Only reason for being in camp, was to relieve burden caused by nagging injuries to Bus, Hunt, and Fu.
Wright: This cut was so comical, I'm still laughing. This is the man the vaunted Stillers coaching staff gushed and fawned over since about day 2 of LAST year's camp, as though he were the 2nd coming of Dan Marino. "He's got such a strong arm", blah blah blah. Sure, and so do a lot of collegiate javelin throwers. Wright never once impressed me and I was always baffled as to WHAT this staff saw in this bozo. What's even more comical, is that the staff and front office, before they signed Graham and before Mike Prozac signed with Detroit, was actually considering having him bid for the starting job this summer.
L. Brown: This cut is almost as hilarious as Wright's. Remember from this past spring, when the Stillers, bidding against themselves, lustily and ravenously signed Lance to a contract, as though he was a budding Pro Bowler and the key cog to our defense. Praise the Lord that they kept Battles, who played his butt off in preseason, over a no-upside stiff like Lance Brown.
The Still Mill