Why Did the Steelers Release Gary Russell?

Giles AugustineContributor IApril 21, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Running back Gary Russell #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Am I the only one here that thinks that the Steelers are crazy for releasing Gary Russell?

He scored the first touchdown in the Super Bowl.  One of the main problems for the Steelers offense the past three years has been short yardage and goal line downs.  Coincidentally that has been the time Bettis has been retired.  

Now comes along Gary Russell and he scores on almost every time on the goal line.  The first try in the Super Bowl didn't count because Max Starks got confused and blocked nobody and Carey Davis was helping him out with that.  Gary Russell is no Bus, but he was an upcoming young player with a huge upswing.

If anyone should have been released it should have been Carey Davis.  I don't understand why he is still on the roster.  He is not a fullback, he is not a running back.  He still holds a roster spot because of the move to eliminate the FB position and replace it with three tight end sets and a receiving FB.  But he just doesn't cut it.  He is currently contributing nothing and Sean McHugh has taken over the normal full back responsibilities.  

I can understand the idea to make room for rookies and cap space relief.  But what about Stefan whatever and Davis?  There is literally no big back now.  Mewelde is a third down back, but not goal line.  He is not big enough or an upright runner.  Mendelhall is not a prototypical big back.  I think he was drafted to take over for FWP.  

I bet Russell gets the start behind Cedric Benson for the Bengals next year and has a good year.  I am guessing seven touchdowns for the season.  The Bengals will beat out the Ravens for the second division rank and a wild-card berth, not directly from Russel, but partly from his contribution.  


According to Steel City Insider, Gary Russell might be implicated for a marijuana arrest.   We will update as the story develops.  http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2009/4/21/847540/scratch-that-gary-russell