Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What's in a name?

We’re baaaack ...

Let the games begin.

It’s Browns Week. ‘Nuff said. We’re ready.

Oh, and by the way, it’s the first game of the 2007-08 season. So, Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls have returned from our long somnambulance.

In case you were wondering, yes, we did consider renaming this blog. And, no, not to “Michael Vick’s Pit Bulls. Smart ass. But Joey Porter is no longer with the Steelers, so he is essentially irrelevant. “Dead to us,” as the young Don Corleone might say to Fredo.

Anyway, for now, we’re keeping the name because: (1) We’re too lazy to change it; (2) We’re too lazy to change it; and (3) It has brand equity, believe it or not; i.e., a handful of people seem to like it, and others kindly provide links on their blogrolls.

So we’re keeping the name. For now.

This week, we will discuss some of the names the Steelers kept on their 53-man roster entering the season (subject to change of course).

Today’s subject: Kick Returner Allen Rossum.

The last-minute-trade of a conditional draft pick to acquire the 32-year-old Rossum was mystifying, if only because: (1) He’s old; (2) He can’t do anything except return kicks; and (3) The Steelers already have a handful of players who can return punts (Cedric Wilson and Santonio Homes) and kickoffs (Willie Reid, Najeh Davenport, Holmes and Wilson), while fulfilling other roles productively.

Willie Reid, apparently, is why Rossum is here. Or, to be more precise, Willie Reid’s lack of success as a kick returner is why Rossum is here.

Yet, if Rossum is here, why is Willie Reid still here? Potential, presumably, since he sure hasn’t shown much to indicate he will be either reliable or productive as a returner or receiver. Still, we wonder: How will Reid showcase his talents if Rossum is handling punts and kickoffs? We don’t have the answer, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls just don’t want to see Rossum deployed in the secondary because ... as a cornerback, well, he ain’t.

This point was made rather emphatically in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussing one of the key reasons Atlanta’s coaching staff deemed Rossum expendable:

“Rossum, meanwhile, had been demoted at cornerback behind rookies David Irons and Chris Houston and was solely a returner. This staff wants its role players to contribute in as many ways as possible.”

Just sayin’.