What We Learned This Week in the NFL Season:
- Roster cuts made around the league
- Ray Lewis talks conspiracy with Super Bowl blackout
- Steelers make roster moves after initial cuts
- Analyzing Steelers roster
I trust everyone out there in Steeler Nation is having a great Labor Day. We’re finally in a game week. The Steelers have narrowed down their roster, as have the other NFL teams and in a few short days the regular season will kick off in Denver. It’s the greatest time of the year. What a perfect opportunity to take some cheap shots.
Saturday afternoon was cut-down day in the NFL and some notable names across the league got their pink slips. Surprisingly, Bill Belichick has done the first likeable thing ever when he released Tim Tebow in the New England Patriots roster cuts. Not surprisingly, Tebow played like dog crap during the preseason and made you wonder what the hell the Pats thought they could do with him in the first place. Tebow has now cleared waivers and is officially a free agent/unemployed, depending on how you look at it. I know the desire to see Tebow fail has gotten a little out of hand because it’s not necessarily Timmy’s fault that there is such overwhelmingly grotesque over coverage of such a bad football player. But that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to make a roster when he’s clearly not qualified for the job. I’ll go back to hating the Patriots now though. In other news, Vince Young got cut from the Packers. Shocker.
Ray Lewis is nuttier than a bag of trail mix. Of course that means he must be interviewed about how he still, to this day with a Super Bowl ring on his finger, thinks that there was a malicious conspiracy against the Ravens in the Super Dome which caused the blackout.
“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing – because I don’t know facts. But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way.”
Couldn’t be more obvious to me that Ray Lewis “don’t know facts”. I’d bet Ray Lewis don’t know a lot of stuff. Lewis pointed out how following the blackout the 49ers almost erased a 22-point deficit because the blackout “left them right back in the game.” Of course it did. Reminds me of the ’72 Raiders who still claim the Immaculate Reception was a conspiracy. Only difference is those guys lost that game. ESPN gave this man a job where he can talk some more, because that’s what we all need, more of Ray Lewis’ opinions.
The Steelers shaved down their roster on Saturday and then continued to make more roster moves on Sunday. The most notable name released by the Steelers was running back Jonathan Dwyer. On Sunday afternoon the Steelers signed guard Cody Wallace and released John Malecki. The offensive line is going to be one of the most closely watched position groups on the team this season. While neither Wallace nor Malecki had a ton of experience, Wallace has slightly more experience than Malecki and could provide some depth where it is seriously lacking.
Mark Kaboly of the Trib suggests that the Steelers’ roster moves were largely motivated by their salary cap issues and that Jonathan Dwyer’s release wasn’t necessarily because of his ball security issues. While the Steelers starters should be able to match up against any other squad in the NFL, the backups are comprised of minimum-salary young guys with little to no experience. That is largely due to the fact that the Steelers have $71.5 million of their $123 million salary cap tied up in 10 players; Roethlisberger, Miller, Brown, Hood, Taylor, Clark, Polamalu, Keisel, Woodley, and Timmons. That’s not a lot of money left for the rest of the roster, which is why the acquisition of Felix Jones along with Dwyer’s preseason fumbles, made him expendable. Dwyer was the team’s leading rusher last year, which was one of their worst rushing seasons in franchise history. If you go with GM Kevin Colbert’s motto on change, this might make some sense. You can’t expect different results in the new season from the same players that failed last season. Unfortunately, Dwyer just didn’t do enough to secure his roster spot. Fumbling twice in the preseason can do that for you.
Ready or not, here we go Steeler Nation. Kickoff is less than a week away. What are your thoughts on the roster moves? What is your feeling going into the kickoff of the regular season?