My Two Cents. Cortez, the Draft and DeCastro Christmas.
Cortez Allen, mercifully, is finally released. I totally believe in our personnel people, but man, did we whiff on this one — twice. Colbert and company missed on the draft pick. Based on a handful of good games, somehow, they decided to give Allen a four year, $24.6 million contract at the beginning of the 2014 season. After the contract was signed, Cortez played in exactly nine games. According to overt heap.com, the contract was the 25th most lucrative contract of the 240 signed by cornerbacks at the time.
I usually don’t weigh in what we we need to draft and when we ought to do it, but I’m rooting for a good CB with a high floor (and hopefully a high ceiling) in the first round unless another DeCastro Christmas materializes.
I know you need to draft for value, but we need to get some talent back there.
I do have to laugh, as articles appeared on certain websites that we are even worse off than last year with the release of Cortez, because the only experienced CBs we have are Cockrell and Gay. I already addressed this silly notion in my article “Secondary Concerns.” Long story short, if we can’t do better than Blake, Boykin and Allen (who, by the way, played one game last year) with Golson, Grant, a draft pick or two and maybe a free agent, I’ll be shocked. I know we may be very short on experience, but other than a few decent (not great) games by Boykin, the trio now so sorely missed did bupkis. Scary, but no more so than the crew we had last year. Still, I’d like to see a CB in the first round.
The 2016 schedule is out and, at this point in time, it looks a good deal less formidable than last year’s slate. Of course, what we see now may not be what we get. It’s a little early to know how teams will shake out. We have only a vague idea who will be good and who will be bad, even after the draft. Having said that, I’ll throw in my two cents.
The first three road contests are against the Skins, Eagles and Dolphins. Seriously, we should be favored in all three games. I’m not a true believer in the Skins just yet and Philly and Miami are retooling.
The next three away games are the Ravens, Browns and Colts. Any game with Baltimore is a toss up. The Brownies are a perennial mess — still. The Colts should bounce back. How far is the big question and it’s just too early to even guess how good they will be. The final Road trips are to Buffalo and Cincinatti. These will be two barn burners. The Bills were 8-8 and trending up, knocking the Jets out of the playoffs and letting the Steelers in in week 17. Burfict will be back for the Bungles making this one interesting. The Bills game may actually be the more difficult game.
My two cents – wins against Washington, Philly, Miami, Cleveland, Buffalo and Cincy; losses to the Ravens and Colts — 6-2.
The home schedule begins with the Bungles, Chiefs, Jets and the Brady Bunch. These are four tough games, none of them are in the bag. Three of the teams made the playoffs and the Jets were near misses. The final four are not much easier with Dallas, the Giants, Ravens and Brownies. Though none of those teams made the playoffs, everyone but Cleveland could contend.
My two cents – wins against Cinci (revenge game), Jets, Cheaters (wishful thinking?), Dallas, Ratbirds and Browns; narrow losses to the Chiefs and Giants — 12-4, for what it’s worth ($.02).
Steelers.com had a nice article on Joey Porter’s reminiscence of his draft day. It’s a good read.
Peezy recalls that the Cowboys told him they were going to choose him in the second round. Obviously, that didn’t happen and the Steelers selected Joey in the third round.
“I will never forget it. We played Dallas in a preseason game and I was going against Flozell Adams and beat him around the corner. I sacked Troy Aikman and made him fumble. I remember looking at the coaches on the sideline and being fired up pointing at (Dave) Campo and he knew what that was looking at them, thinking you could have had me but you didn’t. You always get excited about going against a team that passed on you. It’s always added motivation. That was the only team I started off having a chip with.”
Joey took it from there and steadily added to his “chip list.”
With the draft just eight days away, check out this article in Forbes magazine on Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert. Colbert discusses the history and the philosophy of the organization for the college draft.