Stefan Logan's ability warrants Steelers using roster spot on him
• The Steelers have to find room on their roster for Stefan Logan. So what if all he can do is return kicks• If he touches the ball four or five times a game and can pick up the kind of yardage he's been getting in the preseason, he's worthy of a spot. Four or five catches for a receiver or a tight end is a good day. Hopefully the Allen Rossum experience of two years ago won't sour the Steelers' thoughts of keeping Logan. Rossum was kept only as a return man, and was extremely disappointing.
• Preseason games in the NFL may not be much of a reflection on how teams are going to perform once the regular season games start to count. But consider the fact that the Steelers are 20-9 in the preseason all time in the years that they went on to win the Super Bowl. In 2006 after winning Super Bowl XL over Seattle, the Steelers were 0-4 in the preseason and went 8-8 in the regular season. They aren't completely meaningless either.
That's why if you are a Steelers fan, you should be fairly encouraged by what you witnessed Saturday night against Buffalo. The starters dominated the Bills in the first half. The guys fighting for jobs more than held their own in the second half. The Bills are not going to be confused with a playoff contending team anytime soon, and they are going to look more threatening offensively once Terrell Owens is healthy, but it's still impressive to shut a team out without allowing them to convert a single third down play all night.
• It's early, but Jon Gruden is going to be really good on the Monday Night Football telecasts. There was always something missing with people like Tony Kornheiser and Denis Miller. But Gruden has the knowledge of a coach and a much more engaging personality than you would have expected from the scowling face beneath the visor we saw for years on the sidelines. The "Chucky" nickname may no longer work though.
• Plaxico Burress has really messed up his life, and it's his own fault. But I couldn't help but feel sorry for him during Jeremy Schaap's exclusive ESPN interview with him last week, especially when Schaap asked him how he thought he was going to survive in prison. Plax isn't a bad guy. Hopefully this will change his life and force him to make more responsible choices.
• They won one game with a homer in the bottom of the ninth, they won another with a homer in the bottom of the eighth, and they tied another with a homer in the bottom of the ninth, only to lose in extra innings. The Pirates/Phillies series at PNC Park last week was as good a group of baseball games as we've seen the Bucs play in a while. Winning two out of three from the defending World Champs is nice. But perhaps most impressive is three straight strong starting pitching performances against a very potent Phillies lineup that was red hot coming into the series.
• The Phillies may have the best lineup in the National League and may even have the best 23- or 24-man roster in the league. But until they get their closer situation straightened out, it's hard to imagine a repeat. Brad Lidge leads the league in blown saves, and if he can't nail down the Pirates, how is he going to get Albert Pujols or Manny Ramirez out in the ninth inning with a playoff game on the line?
• Ryan Doumit gushed with thanks when he was given a contract extension that guaranteed him nearly 11 million dollars last off-season. Now he's got an attitude because the team traded away some of his teammates• Seems like injury-prone .219 hitters should be seen and not heard. He should be laughing all the way to the bank.
• So Jim Tracy was a bum here, right• He couldn't hack it as manager of the Pirates. He only won in Los Angeles because of the payroll, right• Do you remember when the Colorado Rockies were in town earlier this year with Clint Hurdle managing them• They were a mess. All Tracy has done since taking over the Rockies when Hurdle was fired May 29 is win 54 and lose 29 games. His career managerial record with Los Angeles and Colorado is 481-412. With the Pirates he was 135-189.