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.