Thursday, April 30, 2009
Pool of possible 3rd Wide Receivers Deepens
The Steelers made some roster moves today, adding a few veterans to the mix. The first move was bringing in former Lions WR Shaun McDonald. Via Steelers.com: "McDonald (5-10, 183) was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Arizona State. McDonald spent four years with the Rams before signing with the Detroit Lions during the 2007 offseason. He led the Lions with 79 catches, 943 yards and six touchdowns that season." As you can see he had a pretty productive year in 2007, leading the team in catches while playing behind Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. BTSC has likened McDonald to a poor man's Wes Welker. He should not still be available if that is the case. For our sake, let' hope he is just another diamond in the rough that the Steelers have discovered a la Mewelde Moore last season.
In what is sure to be welcome news to many Steeler fans, Mitch Berger will most likely never be punting for the Steelers again. Daniel Sepulveda is returning from his ACL injury this season. Plus, the Steelers inked Dirk Johnson, formerly of the Eagles, among other teams, today to take reps during pre-season. If anything happens to Sepulveda, Johnson will hopefully step in for him. Via Steelers. com, "Johnson (6-0, 210) enters his eighth NFL season after playing 12 games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. He averaged 41.8 yards on 40 punts with the Cardinals, including a 35.2-yard net average. In 69 career games played, Johnson has averaged 41.7 yards on 320 punts (13,356 total yards)."
Finally, with the Steelers signing the long-snapper from Pitt as an undrafted free agent and with our former long-snapper, Greg Warren, returning from injury, the Steelers cut Jared Retkofsky. He was the long-snapper who filled in for Warren after his season ending injury. He filled in seemlessly and never was an issue or concern during our Superbowl run. He was actually working moving furniture when he got the call from the Steelers to try out for the long-snapping duties when Warren went down. He made the most of that opportunity by winning a rather large ring.
I always feel for long-snappers. They play a crucial role on the team. See the NY Giants guy who came out of retirement to snap and botched a potential game winning FG try or James Harrison's attempt flying out of the back of the endzone. They get little recognition if and when they perform well and are the goat if they screw up. Teams want to keep them as cheaply as possible for cap reasons leading to them getting replaced all the time by rookies who get the lowest possible salary instead of having to pay a veteran the league minimum.