Witman Lost for Season
The news on FB Jon Witman is as grim as was expected -- a broken fibula that obviously will shelve him for the season.
Sad news indeed. You always hate to lose a starter to a career threatening injury.
Still, if you're a Stiller fan, don't angrily throw away your jerseys and Stiller beer mug, thinking that the loss of Witman will turn this season into a 10-game losing streak. Despite Bouchette's sobbing article in the PG, the season will not come to a grinding halt because of the loss of Jon Witman.
Babbled Bouchette, "Witman is in his second year as a starter, and his teammates and coaches have openly talked about the drastic improvement in his blocking this season. What's more, Gilbride uses Witman in several different passing formations, often splitting him out as a wide receiver�.Without Witman, Gilbride will have to limit some of the formations in which he uses the fullback as a receiver."
First off, this is hardly Witman's 2nd season as a starter. With Lester nagged by injuries, Witman started or played significant portions of at least 10 games in '98. 2nd, while Witman has, on occasion, blocked this year as though he grew some gonads, he still spends some time pussyfooting around (see yesterday's goal-line faltering as a prime example) and being only barely effective. Plus, many of Bettis' yards this year have come in ONE-BACK sets in which Witman was sitting on the pine.
Finally, and most importantly, perhaps Kevin Gaypride can now get over this bizarre fetish of using "Witman in several different passing formations, often splitting him out as a wide receiver". Let's see --- Witman is the slowest "skill player" on the entire roster, with mediocre hands and the worst moves of any back on the team. Hey, sounds like just THE player who should be used in a variety of passing formations, including being split out as a WR. If Witman played in, say, St. Louis, I'm sure Mike Martz would sit down 3rd-receiver Az Hakim on occasion and use Witman in his place at WR. As Bouchette states, "Without Witman, Gilbride will have to limit some of the formations in which he uses the fullback as a receiver." Great!! In fact, to hell with "limit" -- let's extrapolate this further�. How about, unless Huntley is lined up at FB, we forever scrap this asinine nonsense of using a FB as a wide receiver, and instead use backups like Shaw and Edwards as wide receivers?? The last thing our stale, stumbling offense needs, is any plays in which a slowpoke back with few pass-route moves and skills is lined up as a WR.
The Still Mill