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.