They tell me in that blur that was the first weekend of "the year before the year before the Mayan Apocalypse" that the Steelers won, but were eliminated from the playoffs amid other teams' key wins or losses. That saddened me at the time, from what I remember, and the knowledge is presently doing so yet again.
So, in a way to sort-of get over the fact that football season is over in our great city, we glanced at the list of Steelers who are up for free agency, and compiled a list of who we think should stay, who we think should go, and who we think should be kicked down that random hole in Sparta.
Here is the list of the prominent Steelers who, pending negotiations, are up for Free Agency: Tyrone Carter, Ryan Clark, Casey Hampton, William Gay, Travis Kirschke, Willie Parker, Jeff Reed, Daniel Sepulveda, Willie Colon and DeShea Townsend. Some of our commentary below is cross-posted from a reply I made to friend of the blog's Champsburgh, a blog you should be checking out because they're smarter than you. Okay, off we go:
- Let Tyrone Carter go. He is turning 34 this year and is in the twilight of his career. We can nab another cornerback in free agency, if need be. Truth be told, we better be drafting another cornerback in the first few rounds anyways, because I think Ike Taylor's flash in the pan years are about over.
- Willie Gay should stick around. His poor performance this year may actually help in contract talks. Remember how rocky Troy Polamalu's start in this league was? Gay is 24 and, with a push, has the potential to light things up in the secondary.
- Ryan Clark should be re-signed because of how cohesive he and Troy make the defense. He was frustrated and made some stupid comments this year; but who could replace him? I would like to see him make more plays when the ball is in the air, rather than just laying big hits on a receiver who has already made a catch. Still, letting Clark go would be high-risk, low-reward immediately.
- Peace out, Jeff Reed. He's old and I don't think necessarily reformed in his ways. Don't expect the Rooneys to offer him an extension, and don't expect us to care. We see him taking a job working with Joe Francis, traveling around to college towns and creeping out underage girls.
- Sepulveda needs to stay. So long as our special teams collectively gets its shit together, Sepulveda's punts have been a breath of fresh air next to those lobs that Berger used to put up last year. Danny is clutch, and can kick the ball and hit if called to action.
- So long, Deshea. He'll be 35 next season, and I don't really know what he could do to remedy the Steelers' pass defense. Actually, Deshea should retire. I would rather see DeWayne Washington back in the secondary than see Deshea back there. He has a great attitude and pretty good vision, but is pretty worthless in most coverage packages. In being a defensive back, you need to be a) young or b) fast as all hell. Deshea Townshend is neither of these things.
- I wish we could fire Willie Colon. I would rather take my chances drafting an O-line man and starting him as a rookie, but knowing the Rooneys' forgiving stance on linemen, I see Colon sticking around. He could be replaced, though, and is most definitely the weakest link on that line. He is the Rico Fata of that Offensive Line, next to Max Starks' Ryan Whitney.
- I would like to see Willie Parker offered a contract, and I see the Rooneys doing so. Unfortunately, based on Rashard showing flashes of LT this season, Parker is going to have to take a pay cut to stick around, something that is improbable when dealing with a running back with two Super Bowl rings. Parker has been frustrated with the Bruce Arians offense (as we all have - oh yeah, FIRE ARIANS) and I can see him leaving. Sad, because Parker is a good guy and a dependably speedy running back.
- Hampton is another player that I would like to see re-signed but will probably be cut loose. The Steelers have not liked his volatile weight issues, and his playing style is a little extreme. He is always on the verge of an injury. But guess what? The man is still a beast and is going to the Pro Bowl this year. I say sign Hampton, especially in light of other defensive woes.
- I like Travis Kirschke, but the man is 35. He is always hurt, and his on-again, off-again status is affecting would-be replacements. I would like to see our drafted D linemen (like Ziggy Hood) get polished. I respect veteran players, but in a position like the D line, we need a young guy to match the veterans in Kiesel, Smith and Hampton. Let Kirschke go.
That is all for now. We will be returning (as well as with quasi-regular posting again) with a 2.0 feature regarding potential draft picks. Until then, thank you for toughing it out on this long ass post. Go Pens.