Pittsburgh Steelers’ General Manager Kevin Colbert has been around the organization since 2000 and can be credited with helping build the Steelers into a three-time Super Bowl participant. The Steelers would of course win two of those.
The National Football League is a “what have you done for me lately” type of business and Colbert has done little of late. Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin announced the 53-man roster today and among the cuts were five former draft picks of Colbert.
Two were selections from this year in Shaquille Richardson and Rob Blanchflower. The other three were Chris Carter, David Paulson and Nick Williams. Granted all five were selected in the fifth round or later, but this continues a trend of failed drafts for Colbert that has left the Steelers in a situation where depth is a very significant concern.
You could make a very valid argument that two other recent draft picks, Landry Jones (4th round) and Mike Adams (2nd round) are deserving of being released as well but they are both on the roster for two very different reasons.
In the case of Adams, his ability to run block is trumping his poor pass protection skills which has allowed him to remain on the team. The scary factor keeping him a member of the Steelers is that he is the top reserve they have on the line. This goes back to what I said about depth. An injury to either Kelvin Beachum or Marcus Gilbert will put Ben Roethlisberger on high alert every time he drops back.
As for Jones, he is on this roster for no other reason than Colbert’s unwillingness to admit he screwed up in selecting him. By cutting Jones, he is admitting that it was a mistake in drafting him and he won’t go there. Look at this situation for a moment. If the team were to have cut him, he easily would have passed through waivers and would have ended up on the practice squad. Colbert’s stubborn attitude is hindering this.
If Colbert and Tomlin wanted him on the roster for ’emergency purposes’ then that argument doesn’t wash either because they never activate him for games. Why have him on the 53-man roster if you aren’t going to at the very least dress him? If Colbert wants to make the argument that keeping him on hand because he knows the offense then that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.
Is a third-string quarterback going to win you many games anyway? There are numerous and more athletic quarterbacks available to hold down the clipboard but Colbert won’t go there and it’s obvious that he won’t admit he was wrong.
Two guys I would have liked to have seen make this roster were linebacker Howard Jones and/or defensive Josh Mauro. Now the Steelers are playing with fire because I have a very strong feeling that both will be signed by other teams sooner rather than later.
I could be totally wrong but I’ll be more than happy to admit it. Unlike someone else I can think of…
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio