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Old 09-04-2007, 12:12 AM   #1
83-Steelers-43
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Default Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The roster is what it is but not what it could be or should be.

Not without Chidi.

And of all the issues the Steelers have wrestled with in compiling their 53-man roster and in aligning their starters, the eventual conclusion that they're better off without Chidi Iwuoma is the most confusing.

They made this same mistake a year ago, in part because of circumstances, and paid dearly for it.

This year, with no such pressure brought to bear by an emergency appendectomy or the sudden temporary unavailability of one of their tight ends, they've repeated their error.
That'll cost them on punts and kickoffs.

At running back, the decision to keep rookie free agent Gary Russell over veteran Verron Haynes is much easier to comprehend. The Steelers clearly no longer valued Haynes as the best option to protect Ben Roethlisberger as the third-down back and went instead with Russell, who might be their best option at tailback behind Willie Parker.

Along the offensive line, the inclusion of Darnell Stapleton is surprising only in that Stapleton was able to overcome knee surgery in training camp that had seemingly derailed his candidacy for a roster spot. Stapleton, another rookie free agent, had made a name for himself among the coaches and scouts by the conclusion of the offseason's organized team activities. And he's more position-flexible (Stapleton plays guard and center) than his former Rutgers teammate, fifth-round pick Cameron Stephenson (guard only).

The release of center Chukky Okobi, meanwhile, had been expected ever since the free-agent signing of center Sean Mahan. If Okobi wasn't going to finally become the starter after years of serving as the backup, there was no sense in keeping Okobi around.

Linebacker Marquis Cooper carved out a place for himself because of his experience and special teams prowess. Nothing wrong with having another guy such as that available, particularly when an extra roster spot at linebacker could be obtained by affording one fewer along the defensive line at the expense of fourth-round pick Ryan McBean.

McBean simply isn't worthy.

As for the conclusions reached in listing Willie Colon ahead of Max Starks on the depth chart at right tackle and in signing Kendall Simmons over Alan Faneca, those are at least understandable if not agreeable (they should have extended Faneca and they should be starting Starks).

The same can't be said of trading for veteran cornerback/return man Allen Rossum.

The Steelers already have a return man in Willie Reid and, in the event Reid becomes unavailable or at some point is no longer considered acceptable, viable alternatives in Santonio Holmes and Cedrick Wilson.

What they no longer have is one of their special teams leaders, a player considered so invaluable that linebacker/special teams demon James Harrison repeatedly campaigned to former coach Bill Cowher to bring Iwuoma back after Iwuoma was released last season.

Harrison considers Iwuoma to be one of the best special teams players in the league, a guy around whom Steelers' coverages revolved and a guy so accomplished other teams had to account for him in special teams game-planning.

Perhaps Harrison can convince new coach Mike Tomlin to correct this year's mistake.

Chidi should still be here.

Without him, the Steelers won't be all they could be in Cleveland.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_525575.html
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

One big difference this year - they're actually PRACTICING at STs. Not simply "just running down the field and making plays" like they used to. Or did this guy miss the fact that they were ranked 30th in the league on STs last year?

Last edited by fansince'76; 09-04-2007 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

wow. talk about the melodrama hitting the fan....

i like chidi and all, but didnt 3 teams cut him last year?
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

wish i could agree with you about chidi,we must move on,and things are not like they used to be.plain and simple,hope you are not right ,but we will soon know the answers.i agree with the coach about letting things play out.we hired him for a reason so lets see how the mans picking and choosing holds up.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

i like chidi as well.. but i feel better about this cut this year, knowing we have william gay to replace him on ST and the emergence of carey davis on ST.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

I like Chidi and all, but damn. Losing him doesn't really hurt with Cary Davis and William Gay being able to play ST.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

we need more discussion on who we have,than who we don't have.spilled milk will dry and wither away.what's wrong with the screen pass to the port?
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosdo View Post
I like Chidi and all, but damn. Losing him doesn't really hurt with Cary Davis and William Gay being able to play ST.
Yep. And in the end, it is a much better trade off for the entire team.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

may god bless you the preacher!!! i really like the fact that this is the begining of a whole new era. no one has opened the can of worms just yet.cleveland will do that.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma

Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
Steelers err by dropping Iwuoma
......... and they should be starting Starks).

What exactly has Prisuta been smoking?
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