Watch Tower: Steelers Cut Down Day Varium

Perhaps its because of the lock out, perhaps its just a one time thing, or perhaps its because it’s a new trend, but the 2011 version of cut down day was some what of a non-event compared to it’s the 2010 edition.

News of the Steelers final cuts leaked out in drips and drabs last year, with rumors poping up on Twitter and other blogs about “so and so says is Tweeting that such-and-such’s agent his shopping him now that he’s been cut….”

This time around the Steelers simply released the names of the cuts in one foul swoop.

But they did it in two waves, leaving some room for drama.

To that end, kudos to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for going out on a limb and hazarding a guess on the identifies of the “Final Five” (ah, now that had a nice ring to it for Battlestar Galactic fans in Steelers Nation.)

We single out Brown because he was the only member of the professional press to hazard such picks.

For the record Brown was right that the Steelers would opt for Wesle Saunders over tight end John Gilmore and that Jarrett Crittenton would be the odd man out on the defensive line. He missed Crezdon Butler and Tony Hills’ departure and predicted that Arnaz Battle would get the boot.

Post-Gazette beat writer Ed Bouchette discussed possibilities surrounding “The Final Five” in PG Plus but stopped short of making his own pick.

The Mystery of J. Crittenton

The Post-Gazette’s reporting of the Steelers final five cuts was a tad bit confusing because they only reported that the team had cut “J. Crittenton.” Wondering who “J.Crittenton” was I went to Behind the Steel Curtain (a site which I occasionally write for) and they also were listing him as “J.Cirttenton.” (The PG has since corrected the page.)

Fortunately, the Tribune-Review had his full name (Jarrett) in its report. Score another for the Trib. Watch Tower only points out it as an example of how mistakes, even trival ones like this, can get magnified on the internet.

Practice Squad “Unimportant?”

Ed Bouchette raised an eye brow in his PG Plus article discussing the Steelers 53 roster stating:

We won’t speculate here on the practice squad because it means so little and they also may sign players cut from other teams, not just their own.

Given that the likes of James Harrison, Chris Hoke, and Isaac Redman, to name a few, have done apprenticeship on the Steelers practice squad, Bouchette’s characterization of the practice squad as something that “means so little” is a little surprising.

In the same article, however, he did predict that Crezdon Bulter would sign with another team and Butler indeed did sign with Pittsburgh West aka the Arizona Cardinals.

Gerry Dulac Shuns Speculation

This edition of the Watch Tower began by praising one professional writer for having the guts to predict the identities of “The Final Five,” and it is going to end by praising another who decided to follow suit.

At the end of his Wednesday chat, Gerry Dulac surprised with his response to a question about the up coming cuts:

That’s the attitude of an old school journalist who came up the hard way, banging out article on a typewriter and calling them in. As fun as making these kinds of guesses and predictions might be, it is refreshing to see journalists committed to basing their reporting on facts.

Thanks for visiting. To read more analysis of the media that cover the Steelers, click here to read more from Steel Curtain Rising’s Watch Tower.

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2 thoughts on “Watch Tower: Steelers Cut Down Day Varium

  1. I enjoy your coverage of the local media. The blog, “Heels, Sox and Steelers” used to do this (to a point, but not as thoroughly as your site), but it’s been dormant since the NFL draft in April.

    Ed Bouchette knows way more about football and the Steelers than I do, BUT sometimes he comes across as dismissive, smug and self-satisfied, as if he knows more than anybody else, which for all I know he does. Still, it can be irritating.

    Years ago — before the NFL draft became big-time mainstream on ESPN, etc. — it seemed he covered it only grudgingly. Just an example.

  2. Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls,

    Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t realize there was another site that did media analysis on the Steelers press corps, so it is good to know there are others.

    I agree with your comments about Bouchette.

    I have lot conjectured that guys like Bouchette, Dulac, and Wexell frequently know more than they write.

    Sometimes that is a good thing – Bouchette held off on the rumors that Arians was going to get fired in early ’10, and his adherence to old school journalism made him look smarter than the average bear.

    On the flip side, I agree, he is a little dismissive. In one of the first ever PG Plus posts he compared the decision to cut Sunny Harris to Chuck Noll’s decision to left Dwayne Board go.

    When I asked him about (on a chat) it when Harris was back with the Steelers a year later, he almost reprimanded me, saying “never wrote that, never thought that, never remembers thinking that.”

    When I sent him a link to that very post (unfortunately, those early PG Plus posts no longer exist) he ignored my message, even though I went at great pains to be polite in my email.

    Ditto the practice squad. The Steelers have developed a number of starters via the practice squad, so I think that shows that who they choose to add and who they reject is important.

    I generally respect Bouchette’s work, but I agree with your points about his style.

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