Lolley: Out with the old …

OK, I know what you're thinking: A punter? <br><br> With all of the holes the Steelers have, they go out and sign a punter. <br><br> Adding Chris Gardocki wasn't exactly the splash anyone was hoping for from the first free agent the Steelers signed from another team.

But it probably beats the signings of Matt Cushing and Chris Doering in terms of excitement generated.

At least the Steelers have free agent running back Duce Staley coming to town today for a little wining and dining before he goes and signs on the dotted line with Tampa Bay.

Certainly, the early offseason moves of the Steelers aren't the ones fans wanted. They want a new cornerback, a new outside linebacker, a new right tackle.

But they've been treated to more of the same as the team has re-signed four of its own free agents and the big Gardocki signing.

Then again, there's some addition by subtraction going on here.

Josh Miller got the boot Saturday after Gardocki was added. And Clark Haggan's deal all but assured Jason Gildon will be gone after June 1.

The Steelers have yet to find a way to get a cornerback to visit them before he signs somewhere else. But if they can get somebody to come in and sign a deal, you can kiss Chad Scott goodbye, too.

Is Gardocki an upgrade over Miller. Well, they'll both be 34 when the 2004 season begins and they had identical averages in both 2003 and for their careers.

But his signing does signal one thing. Apparently head coach Bill Cowher figures that he went 6-10 with these bums in 2003. So if you can't go out and make an upgrade over the old bums, at least bring in some new bums to replace them.

Just clearing the likes of overpaid, underperforming veterans like Miller, Gildon and Scott should be an improvement for this team.

What's the worst that could happen, another losing season?

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