Wednesday, April 23, 2003

End of a Saga: As the NFL draft approaches, I note that the Pittsburgh Steelers have finally addressed the elephant in the living room of their roster: Kordell Stewart, a free agent, was allowed to go. (Hey, I was watching the war!) The Bears are interested, I hear. Kordell was a prodigiously talented fellow, and played some good ball for the team, but you could always count on him to choke the big game. He was given too many chances to try to redeem himself, always another season for him to work out the kinks. Often it seemed he would do just that -- for a while. The Steelers have been contenders these past few years, but have always been denied a championship because, when it was all on the line -- in a division championship, in a conference championship, in the Bowl -- Stewart turned erratic, threw interceptions, muffed plays. Worse still, the highly ranked Steeler defense always commanded respect, and made opponents pay for on-field movement. But in big games, big losses, the opposing team generally scored the majority of their points from turnovers. In the heartbreaking conference championship against the Patriots two seasons ago, the Steelers dominated the game physically and statistically 90% of the time. The Pats won by pressuring Stewart and picking him off for points three times.

I guess this is just a long way of saying goodbye, good luck, good riddance. Pittsburgh has long combined success with frugality. It's about time Stewart did something useful -- like free up salary cap space.

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