Friday, September 03, 2004

I agree with Ron Cook! (kind of)

I've sometimes described Ron Cook, the inveterate columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (subscription req'd) as curmudgeonly, but whatever the case, I'm in 100% agreement with his latest sentiment -- namely that Chad Scott is awful. I don't think he'll get cut, and Cook admits as much, but it doesn't change the fact that no matter how much offseason conditioning Scott does, he still stinks.

And speaking of cutting people, Cooks makes the very good observation that cutting Jerome Bettis is nothing short of ludicrous given that Staley and Haynes are predisposed to injuries and Parker/Brown are unproven (sound familiar?).

Anyway, back to Scott. After dropping another potential interception last night against the Panthers, Scott is entrenched in my book as the worst player on the roster. I'd rather see kicker Jeff Reed play corner (I'm being facetious of course, unless he's actually better than Scott. Remember when he at least tried to trip Dante Hall last year on the kickoff return? That's more effort than you'll get out of Scott).

Cook must be taking his lucid pills because he's making a lot of sense all of a sudden:
You want to cut Chad Scott?

Hey, I'm with you there. It's awfully tempting. But that's not going to happen, either. And, if you can step back for a minute and put aside your emotional investment in those long touchdown passes that Scott is prone to give up, I think you'll see it shouldn't happen...

Yes, Scott's play can be infuriating, but at least he has experience. Are you ready to turn his spot over to Ike Taylor? Did you see the Panthers' Eugene Baker run by Taylor and pull in old friend Rod Rutherford's pass for a 57-yard gain?

The Steelers' secondary is young even with Scott. Deshea Townsend started eight games last season. Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope are first-time starters. Taylor and Colclough are frighteningly raw.

Scott has to keep his job.
I agree with Cook that Scott is infuriating to watch. I disagree however, that the Steelers might be worse off with Taylor back there. Taylor has a lot of upside where Scott's upside ceased to exist somewhere around the 1997-1998 season. You can scream all you want about experience, but the defensive backs coach, Darren Perry has the most experience on the team, but that doesn't mean he should be trotted out their opposite Terrell Owens.

I'd have Scott on a very (very, very) short lease against the Raiders. And if he gets beat deep by the human fossil, Jerry Rice, he should be pulled (look, I understand that Jerry Rice is the best receiver ever, but under no circumstances should he beat anyone not in a wheelchair deep. If he beats a player with a slant, post, crossing pattern or any other route that doesn't require a dead sprint to the end zone, that's fine, but if Scott gets beat in a footrace by a 40+ year old, what does that say about him?).

Of course the impetus for Cooks article is not to lament the depths to which Scott has plunged, but instead to lobby anyone who'll listen that the Steelers should rid themselves of last years' second-round pick, DE/OLB Alonzo Jackson. I guess I don't know enough about his responsibilities, because other than missing a tackle on 230 lb. Donovan McNabb, he's looked just as average as everybody else on defense. Of all the questions being raised about this defense, I think Jackson's progress isn't near the top of the list. But hey, like I said, what do I know?