MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE
*Musings & Opinions on Today’s Latest Buzz*
1. Watching Plaxico Burress yesterday made the coaching staff look dumb for not utilizing him (did not dress) when the season was on the line last week vs Cincinnati. Burress did not dress vs Dallas and Cincinnati last week, both losses, and he only dressed vs Browns because Mike Wallace was put on IR. On Sunday, Burress had 2 receptions for 24 yards, drew a pass interference penalty and had at beautiful 12 yard touchdown catch when he was matched up against the 5-11 Joe Haden in the 4th quarter to seal the game. It was a play that showed where a big target like Burress can be a weapon that the Steelers didn’t take advantage of enough and don’t have in their smallish group of receivers. “He’s an easy target. We knew he would have an opportunity to contribute there, ” Mike Tomlin said on Sunday. Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times was spot on in an article today pretty much ripping Tomlin for dressing a 5th running back in Baron Batch vs the Bengals over Burress last Sunday. When the Steelers season was on the line last week, the team surely could have used the mismatches that Burress showed vs Cleveland.
2. “He has plenty of game left,” Ben Roethlisberger said of Burress yesterday. One thing that stood out with Burress yesterday is that anytime he was on the field, the Browns were worried about him, sending Joe Haden over to his side and on Antonio Brown’s red zone touchdown, Burress drew a double team on the left side. He still gives you that and while Burress is never going to be quick off the line of scrimmage to please Todd Haley and he’s no longer a starter, he knows how to make plays with his size and is still a weapon where the Steelers would be crazy not to try to bring him back next season at the vet minimum. Utilized the right way, Burress can still help a team in a limited role and being used in certain situations. With the Steelers prepared to lose Mike Wallace to free agency and Heath Miller likely not at full strength for the start of training camp, bringing Burress back next season makes a lot of sense. Oh wait, Burress is too friendly with Ben Roethlisberger…..There’s no way he can come back!
3. Cortez Allen is a playmaker, something the Steelers have desperately lacked at the cornerback position. One mistake though that the Steelers could make is if they make Keenan Lewis less of a priority because of the feeling that Allen is ready to step into the starting lineup. While Allen is and Steelers have to get him on the field, Lewis has to remain a top priority as the team needs to look at things from the standpoint that Ike Taylor turns 33, is becoming very expensive, and might only have one quality year left in him. They need to look at their cornerback situation with the mindset that Taylor is not a part of the future.
4. The Steelers will have the No. 17 pick in the 2013 draft. How beneficial would have losing yesterday been? Pittsburgh would have had the No. 12 selection in the draft.
5. Black Monday had Andy Reid, Eagles, Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals, Pat Shurmur, Browns, Chan Gailey, Bills, Romeo Crennel, Chiefs, Norv Turner, Chargers, and Lovie Smith, Bears, all getting fired today. Reid, Shurmur, Crennel, Gailey, Whisenhunt and Turner were no brainers, while Bears brass made a tough decision of letting go Smith after nine years and a 10-6 season. Smith is a good coach who will get another head coaching job, but after missing the playoffs five of six years, it’s time for a change in Chicago.
With playmakers on defense and three core players at QB, RB, & WR in Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, the Bears are the most attractive team of the seve openings.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs firing of Crennel brings into question of how does Scott Pioli still have a job. I guess he’s still living off his time from New England. Only thing he’s good at is secretly video taping coaches.
Regarding Chan Gailey, let’s hope another organization doesn’t take Bill Cowher’s recommendation of hiring Gailey like Buffalo did. Thankfully the Steelers didn’t when Cowher told the Rooney’s to hire Gailey in 2007.