My Thoughts on Donahoe Resignation�.
With the resignation of Tom Donahoe as the Director of Football operations, who will be hired to fill this gaping hole? Will the power be given to Cowher? Will Modrak return (doubtful in my opinion - why leave Philly for the same job in Pitt?) What about bringing back former scout Charles Bailey? Chuck Noll?
I have great concern about giving any coach the power, because with it comes the power of the wallet and the power to mortgage the future. Not only mortgage the future of our cap situation ala San Fran, but also our draft future ala the Saints recent deal or Bobby Beathhard. Coaches just have to short an average stay with a team to be given that kind of control over the future well being of a franchise, especially in this "just win now" environment.
All I can say about Tom Donahoe's resignation is that it is a shame that these three men who are all (or who have all) been very good at their jobs couldn't work together and work it out. Donahoe was a loyal employee (say what you want about the Seattle situation being a shake down - I know when someone offers me more money, I go to my boss and let him know my market value is higher than what he is paying me and He gives me a raise. If it's ok for me to do, it's ok for anyone else to do.) I appreciate that kind of loyalty in the NFL, a place where it is rare. He was a 15-year employee of the Steelers. You don't stay that long in the NFL (Not For Long league) unless you are good.
Say what you want about some of Donahoe's busted draft picks. The experts say he was one of the best (See Steelerslive.com) and his record and stats speak for themselves - more drafted players currently in the NFL than any other GM. I also believe he has drafted more pro bowlers than any other GM. He finished the 1996 season with 34 draft picks on the roster - more than any other team - and that doesn't include the 2 on IR that year. (Sport magazine Sept. 1997 - sorry don't have stats for other years.) Between 1990 & 1997, 11 different draft picks of his played in the pro bowl. (Sport Sept. 1997) Simply put he was one of the best at his job.
The timing of his resignation should be of great concern to every Steelers fan, even the ones who hated him. We are 3 months from the draft, weeks from Free Agency, and have several players on our roster who will become UFAs. Finding a replacement for Donahoe will take time (unless we appoint Cowher as the GM - see my concerns above on this) Simply put, the resignation puts our team behind the ball going into the off season. Bad for everyone.
What is likely to change with Donahoe's resignation? The Steelers will still be one of the poorer teams in the league and be unable (or Rooney will be unwilling) to hand out the large signing bonuses other teams can or will. All this does is put an unknown in charge of player acquisition and retention. The Steelers have enough unknowns without one more. It isn't even known that the next GM will get along better with Cowher. I mean the guy hired Sherman and couldn't get along with him. Saddest of all is that one of the largest factors in this resignation was undoubtedly Kordell Stewart, a move Donahoe made in support of Cowher - who said Stewart was his QB as long as he was there.
Again the question, Who will be the Steelers next Director of Football Operations? Let's face it, it's not the best GM job in the NFL. The team is poor, the owner said to be cheap, the coach rumored to be hard to get along with (and ran off your predecessor. The expectations high, the blame great, and the thanks little.