When It Comes to Cuts, Steelers Choose Wisely

Because we’re diehard fans, the four of us here at the Lounge spend a lot of time wondering and worrying about the cuts that will get Pittsburgh roster down to 53.

But this morning something struck me. The Steelers may cut a player or two that I wish they would keep, but when it comes to making those decisions, Pittsburgh has proven to be very impressive.

When is the last time the Steelers’ cut someone who ended up being a significant player elsewhere? Off the top of my head, I could come up with defensive lineman Dwaine Board and tight end Brent Jones, but those guys were both part of the Chuck Noll era, so we’re going way back. And you could also cite Kimble Anders, a rookie fullback with the Steelers in 1990 who become a Pro Bowler for the Chiefs, but again, still talking about a Chuck Noll team, and Anders’ didn’t really fit the Steelers’ offense as a pass-catching fullback.

In more recent times John Kuhn turned into a sometimes starter at fullback for the Packers, but it’s hard to say the Steelers really missed out there. And Ryan McBean has become a starter in Denver, but if he was back in Pittsburgh right now, you couldn’t guarantee he’d even make the roster. Gretz pointed out that the Steelers also had Rod Bironas in camp, but Jeff Reed’s ability to not go (too) mental at Heinz Field means Bironas probably was a wise cut.

Maybe one of you can come up with someone I’m missing, but the point is, when it comes to picking a final 53, it’s hard to find a whole lot of gems the Steelers didn’t recognize.

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  • Israelp

    There are a few kickers who did well after being cut, but like McBean, the Steelers had no need for them.

    And wasn’t there another running back around the same time as Kuhn who played a bit for the Browns?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BPP6FNZBKJF7KAQI4TH75KX4G4 Dan

    mike vrabel

    • Cols714

      Except that Vrabel was given more than one season to prove his worth and he never really did much. He went to the Pats and became a good player, but he never showed that here. I don’t think the Steelers can be blamed for that one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BPP6FNZBKJF7KAQI4TH75KX4G4 Dan

    they were loaded at linebacker at the time but I liked him

  • ievo

    packers are using john kuhn pretty well though. hes versatile. there going with two RB and three FB because of kuhns ability to play back up RB. therefore they can keep another one of their stud TE.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Lee Vickers and Matt Kranchick immediately come to mind. That’s a joke, obviously, but I’m guessing some Steelers fans are waxing nostalgic right now about what could have been if Pittsburgh gave Kranchick a chance.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/100857546184516732260 drobviousso

    Yup, and Cowher knew he was going to be a starter for another team in the NFL when he let him go.

  • Anonymous

    Even though it is ancient history, we made what has to be the worst cut in any sport ever: Unitas.

  • JJ Cooper

    Vrabel was an unrestricted free agent, not a roster cut if I remember correctly. He played four years in Pittsburgh and then was free to sign with anyone.

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  • Dhenigin

    Noah Herron is the only guy I can think of. He went to the Packers also and contributed for a few years there

  • TroyHill

    James Harrison comes to mind. Of course, we ended up with him in the end but that was more luck than anything else.

    • TroyHill

      Oops – I guess the question was qualified by “ended up being a significant player elsewhere,” which Harrison doesn’t fit. That being said, it does say something about wisdom, luck, and the Turk.

  • Gretz

    A name that escaped us, I think: Hank Fraley.