“Nothing Sells a Paper Like a Crisis.” Anyone over 30 or so will remember that phrase and it was borne out in the wake of the Steelers pasting at the hands of the Patriots.
The big story of course was the Steelers decision to cut Jeff Reed.
The Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette lashed out at the decision immediately and then repeatedly throughout the week, both on Post-Gazette.com, PG Plus, and on PG TV. Bouchette even went so far as to contrast the way the Steelers have dealt with Jeff Reed vs. who the Raiders have handled similar issues with Sebastian Janikowski.
Ron Cook also weighed on the issue, similarly taking the Steelers to task for casting Reed aside so quickly.
Opposition to the Steelers decision to cut Reed was not unanimous in the press, however. The Tribune-Review’s Joe Starkey wrote a powerful piece praising the move. While other writers tended to fall back on emotional arguments to fortify their position, Starkey assembles some solid statistics to back up his claims.
Cutting Reed a PR Ruse?
In his weekly chat, Ed Bouchette made an interesting observation, stopping short of insinuating that the Steelers cut Reed to distract attention from their horrendous performance against the Patriots.
While I doubt that the public relations angle played any part in the decision to waive Reed (one can only imagine Mike Tomlin’s response to such a question) there is a certain merit to his claim.
One of the week’s under reported stories was the Achilles injury that kept Troy Polamalu out of practice for much of the week. The injury is said to be minor, but is there such a thing as a minor Achilles injury?
Polamalu practiced Friday and is expected to play, so let’s hope that events will vindicate the lack of coverage the story got.
The Reed that Broke the Camel’s Back?
Judging by the number and tone of fan comments on PG Plus, many fans felt that Bouchette went too far. While some of the criticism lobbed Bouchette’s way went a little too raw for my tastes, I think they were on to something.
While everyone was obsessing about Jeff Reed, Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review wrote an excellent article about a conversation that Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward had on Tuesday. In keeping with Steel Curtain Rising’s long-standing editorial policy, I will not give away all of the goods.
Rather I’ll simply commend Brown on getting a good story and let you know that Ward and Roethlisberger see their roles in the offense as changing.
Must Read of the Week I
Regarding must-read matieral, Gerry Dulac’s weekly PG Plus chat is quickly raising itself to must read status.
One of Dulac’s comments, already cited here, discounted into a rumor about Bryant McFadden born in the Tribune-Review. He also included some surprising behind the scenes revelations into the interplay between the press and Mike Tomlin.
Dulac does answer fewer questions than Ed Bouchette, and does not have quite the same wit, but the truth is that Dulac doesn’t duck the tough ones, and gives answers which are more substantive.
Must Read of the Week II
The best overall piece this week was penned by Behind the Steel Curtain’s Anthony Defeo, who wrote “Comparing Steelers Place Kickers to Old Girlfriends.”
If you haven’t seen this folks, it is an absolute hoot! Click here to read it now.