Loose Slag from The Still Mill
Time to catch up after a busy week of Stiller team moves�
* I guess I can live with the Kimo von Oelhoffen signing. First it allows us to get rid of FAT BOY Steed, a man who's girth grew to Michelin-man proportions. The only thing larger than his belly was his outrageous contract. Let the record show that I was amongst the first of any Stiller fans to vilify the signing of Steed back in February '98, stating what a fat piece of manure he is and what little impact he provides for his
"But he pushes the pocket", many cried. (Sure, all of 3 inches.)
"He clogs the middle." (Yeah, he just lays there and teams run right by him.)
"He's an all pro." (Correction, he WAS an all pro.)
I've watched Von Oelhoffen play against the Stillers as well as other teams. He's not pretty, he's not overly gifted, but he's gritty & finds a way to get the job done. He had some very strong games against Dawson. Sure, he was supplanted by Oliver Gibson in Cinci, but only after an injury took him out of the lineup a good while.
MUCH more work needs to be done, but this is 1 signing I guess I can live with.
* Chris "Oldman" Oldham was signed by the Aints. Because Oldham was so revered by some Stiler fans, I'm sure there will be many tears shed over his departure. None of them will come from me, however. Yes, Oldham was handy enough to play multiple DB positions, and he garnered some fame and glory by getting sack on some of his blitzes. But, all in all, Oldham is exactly the kind of player who is keeping us from moving past the depths of mediocrity. He had mediocre speed, mediocre tackling ability, mediocre coverage skills, and at his age was NEVER, EVER going to improve one bit. Role players like this are handy for a team on the cusp of a title, but for a team that needs to re-tool, Oldham was taking up a valuable roster spot for a younger, quicker, better player.
* The Stillers named Irv Eatman as the OL coach. This hopefully will pan out well. At the very least, he's gotta be a helluva lot better than Tunch Ilkin, whose nose is so far up Cowher's shorts that he can barely breathe. Ilkin is also infamous for tutoring the likes of JaLame Stephens and Paul Wiggins, which tells us all we need to know about his coaching prowess. Let's hope Eatman won't be the "yes man" that nearly everyone else is on this coaching staff.
* The Stillers FINALLY named a new GM, hiring former Lions front office guy Kevin Colbert for the job, over a MONTH after Tom Donahoe was canned. I'm willing to give Colbert some rope and see what he does with it. However, when asked again about the possible difficulties of co-existing with Cowher, Colbert said, "I told Coach the only problem he'll have with me is that I'll be giving him too much to do as far as evaluating personnel.""
If this one sentence is any indication, we're in for some tough times.
If Field Goal Bill has "too much to do" in terms of evaluating talent, this team is in trouble --- not just this season, but for years to come.
Cowhead is the same personnel evaluator guru who saw fit to play Chris "The Turnstile" Conrad game after game, while rotting Pourdanesh on the bench for, in Cowhead's own words, "no reason".
Cowhead's the same personnel whiz who has started Lil' Courtney Hawkins --- a career possession receiver who was brought in ONLY to replace Hastings as the #3 WR --- for 2 seasons in a row. Cowhead is the same genius who rotted Porter on the pine all year, while Carla Enema got bullied and pushed around like a little girl.
Cowhead is the same forward-thinking professor who refused to give rookie QB Wright any snaps at all in meaningless games, yet now is planning on having this same green QB gight for the starting job 7 months later.
Cowhead is the personnel expert who gushed last training camp: "This the best off. line we've had since I've been here."
We could go on and on here, but the fact remains quite clear: Cowhead has no more business having "to much to do" with personnel evaluation, than Kirkland does giving public speeches about leadershp or Joel Steed having
input on the team's diet during the season. Cowhead's imbecilic, no-brained lack of evaluation abilities will drag this team down for years to come. If Colbert allows Cowhead to run amuck on this, it'll be grisly.
* Adding to this concern in the Feb. 20th announcement that longtime college scout Max McCartney quit the team. He was justifiably miffed to not even be interviewed when the team rolled in 7 other candidates for the GM job. The concern here -- as is most of the concerns nowadays surrounding the team -- is that Bil Cowhead will have even MORE personnel input, which is akin to giving the captain of the Titanic permission to fly jumbo jets chock full of paying customers.
* The Stillers signed New England DE Chris Sullivan, a fourth-year pro from Boston College. I'm not overly enthusiastic with this signing. For one, Sullivan is 6-foot-4, 285-pounds --- NOT the big, studly kind of body you need to excel in the 3-4 defense, which presumably the team will INSIST on keeping for at least the next 18 years. Sullivan is a run of the mill bit player who won't provide much of an impact, and at a $1.3 million signing bonus on a three-year, $5.2 million contract, costs us some sizeable dollars for what looks like Nolan Harrison-like impact.
(Sullivan's contract will cost the Steelers about $846,000 against the 2000 salary cap; he will earn a base salary of $413,000 this season.) Signing Kimo was fine; this is getting to be a bit of an overkill. How many average defensive linemen do we need to sing in free agency?? Aren't there any more holes to fill --- WR, OLB, OT ?? One thing this signing DOES tell us --- the team is basically admitting what a DISASTROUS pick Jeremy Faat Staat was back in '98. If they had 3 ounces of confidence in Staat the Puss, they wouldn't have felt a need to sign Sullie.
* Stop the presses! For the 1st time in forever, the Stillers renogotiated a player's contract!!!!! In order to fit Sullie under the cap, the team re-worked Slowpoke Breuner's outrageously fatty contract, Bruener agreed to reduce his salary of $2 million this year and take a bonus instead in order to maneuver his salary-cap figure down. Unreal. Maybe Rooney is finally starting to catch on to how Capanomics in the Year 2000 actually works.
* Lastly, backup QB Pete Gonzales was released this week, and immediately snapped up by the Indy Colts. What a waste of a roster spot this was for the past 2 years. This is not to be critical of Gonzo, but rather this imbecilic coaching staff. We kept Gonzo around for 2 seasons, and the man threw exactly ONE pass in a regular season NFL game. One pass. Perhaps if we'd given him a few quarters worth of work, we might have been able to trade him for a #5 draft pick. But, since we ROTTED the man on the pine, there was no way we'd get anything for him. I hope like heck he comes back and torches Field Goal Bill's flimsy defense for 250 yards and 3 TDs some day.
The Still Mill