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Old 09-30-2006, 04:13 AM   #1
lamberts-lost-tooth
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Default Cowher promises changes on special teams

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 29, 2006


He faced the TV cameras and the questions of how he could have so badly bungled what turned out to be the pivotal play Sunday at Heinz Field.

Like him or want to get him a one-way Greyhound ticket out of town, Ricardo Colclough has been a stand-up guy since the botched punt return that has been directly linked to the Steelers' 28-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Whether he is the right guy to return punts may have already been decided by Bill Cowher.

The Steelers coach said Wednesday that changes will be made to what has been a pitiful punt return unit, though he has declined to be specific.

If Colclough is pulled from returning punts following a costly fumble against the Bengals, Cowher could go with Santonio Holmes exclusively (the two have been alternating). Or Cowher could go with another option: current fan favorite Willie Reid.

"I don't pay attention to the talk shows or things of that nature," Reid said, "(but) I heard I've become kind of popular here, so we'll see how things go."

Reid's credentials prompted the Steelers to spend a third-round pick on him in April, and they are indeed impressive.

Reid returned three punts for touchdowns last season for Florida State, including one against Penn State in the Orange Bowl. He is one of two players in school history to pile up over career 1,000 yards in punt returns (1,069). The other player to do it? A guy by the name of Deion Sanders.

Reid returned punts during the preseason but has yet to dress for a regular-season game. If that changes Oct. 8, when the Steelers visit the San Diego Chargers, it won't be because Reid is publicly lobbying to return punts.

"I'm just going out there and doing what the coaches tell me to do," Reid said. "I haven't heard anything.

"We haven't lost faith in (Colclough). I think he just had a bad game, and if you're a punt returner, you're in the limelight."

The Steelers have been bad on punt returns, averaging just 3.1 yards per return. By comparison, former Steelers returner Antwaan Randle-El is averaging 8.8 yards per return for the Redskins in his first year in Washington.

Colclough said his confidence hadn't wavered, despite the fumble against the Bengals, and that he would still like to return punts.

"Whatever decision (Cowher) makes, I'll just have to live with it and move on from there," Colclough said.

Cowher has been reluctant to dress Reid because he would then have six wide receivers among the 45 players available to him.

Sitting seldom-used wide receiver Sean Morey to strengthen one part of the Steelers special teams would only weaken another aspect of it. At least that's what Cowher's thinking has been through the first three games.

"It's something that you can easily sit there and say you want this, but that's not always easy to do," Cowher said. "I'm doing what I think's in the best interests of the team, and I'll make those decisions accordingly."
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Old 09-30-2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cowher promises changes on special teams

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
"It's something that you can easily sit there and say you want this, but that's not always easy to do," Cowher said. "I'm doing what I think's in the best interests of the team, and I'll make those decisions accordingly."
While I generally go along with Cowher's decisions, as he is a great coach and being paid the big bucks to make these decisions, surely he has to see that Coke's punt returning skills (or lack thereof) just aren't getting the job done and are not in the best interests of the team. A 3.1 pra is deplorable considering the importance of field position in a game. If a particular strategy is not working, you have to re-strategize and make whatever changes are necessary to correct the problem. Bill - sit whoever you have to sit this coming week, but get Willie Reid in there. That was why you drafted the kid - it's early in the season - let's see what this kid can do out there!!!
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Old 09-30-2006, 04:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cowher promises changes on special teams

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Sitting seldom-used wide receiver Sean Morey to strengthen one part of the Steelers special teams would only weaken another aspect of it. At least that's what Cowher's thinking has been through the first three games.
Too much thinking Bill.
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Old 09-30-2006, 10:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cowher promises changes on special teams

he has to try something new, or we are done for, time to get the WILLIE out of the shed.
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cowher promises changes on special teams

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
Cowher has been reluctant to dress Reid because he would then have six wide receivers among the 45 players available to him.

Sitting seldom-used wide receiver Sean Morey to strengthen one part of the Steelers special teams would only weaken another aspect of it. At least that's what Cowher's thinking has been through the first three games.

I think they should dress Willie Reid. Bring back my boy Chidi Iwuoma another special teams specialist to replace Morey. Then you still have 5 wrs dressed.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cowher promises changes on special teams

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For letting Quincy Morgan go and keeping Ricardo Colclough.
For keeping Willie Reid on the Inactive List.
For keeping fat, lazy Duce Staley for another record appearance on the Inactive List and wasting a roster spot.
I have no problem with keeping Duce for depth and possibly salary cap reasons.

Coke is a dime CB we really didn't have anyone to replace him. We need 2 dime CB's, one for starter insurance, the other to take over for the dime CB ( again when a starter goes down), and alternate on different series. Coke just has no business returning kicks. But some said the same thing about EL at times and look how well he turned out for us.

IMO Reid should be given a chance. Sit one of the 5 safeties we have and activate him for a few games. In camp he looked like he had good hands, so in the least he should be able to avoid the fumbles.....

I also think Morgan should have stayed, but with Morey on ST's and drafting two rookies he was just squeezed out of the equation. Much to my dismay.
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