All-Shunned Team and other Bites

This past week, Pete Prisco of CBS released his annual top-50 players. Once again, Prisco failed to include any Steelers and once again he's continued his trend of making gross exaggerations about players from the Jacksonville Jaguars.<br><br> There aren't many people outside of Jacksonville that would put Jaguars running back Fred Taylor on a top NFL players list ahead of Steelers receiver Hines Ward, but Prisco did.

A breakdown of Prisco's top-50 finds he chose:

6 Quarterbacks
8 Running Backs
6 Wide Receivers
3 Tight Ends
8 Linebackers
3 Safeties
7 Defensive Linemen
4 Offensive Linemen
5 Cornerbacks

Yet, as with last season, Prisco seems to follow stats and "chic-pic" mentality when choosing his team, rather than going with players who truly are at the top of their game. Therefore I present the All-Shunned Team.

QB Dante Culpepper - Can't fault Prisco for his choices here, but Culpepper, after a weak season in 2002, returned to post the 3rd highest passer rating in the NFL.
RB Edgerrin James - Again, can't fault Prisco's choices, but James being healthy again was a huge reason Peyton Manning's interceptions were down.
RB Travis Henry - On a Bills team wracked with injuries and little offensive firepower, Henry played through pain to rush for over 1300 yards and 10 touchdowns.
WR Hines Ward - The top possession receiver in the game. He is better than Marvin Harrison at this stage of their careers because Hines doesn't have Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.
WR Derrick Mason - Mason is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the league. Yet all he does is rack up the yardage.
LB Donnie Edwards - Edwards led the league in solo tackles.
C Kevin Mawae - Can anyone explain why this guy isn't on Prisco's list?
PK Adam Vinatieri - Sure he's a kicker. But there is no other clutch kicker in the last 20 years that has had such an impact for one team.

Some Quick Bites

  • Here is a radical thought: Attempt to trade Kendrell Bell. Now before you go and slam me on the message boards consider this. How much would you pay for a two-down linebacker that can't beat a lineman rushing from the outside? Definitely not what Bell will be asking for. I know the Steelers are thin at the linebacker slot, but really when it comes down to it, trading Bell for the opportunity to draft more linebackers and opening cap room to sign a linebacker next off-season seems more attractive than throwing money at a two-down linebacker. They wouldn't pay Earl Holmes big money to play two downs so why should they risk that money on Bell?
  • I still think Maddox is a fall guy. Even more so now that it's become clear that his contract still woefully underpays his services. He was given $2 million to shut his trap and step aside after next season. Don't cry foul or be surprised that at the first sign of a season turning south, Maddox will be pulled for the younger rookie Ben Roethlisberger.
  • I don't know why anyone would pick Seattle to go to the Super Bowl. Especially with the most overrated running back in the NFL in Shaun Alexander and the most overrated GM in Mike Holmgren.
  • Dave Wannstedt will once again this season show why he is the worst coach in the NFL when it comes to preparing his team for clutch games. He's even worse than Cowher, because while Wannstedt tends to mail it in during the playoffs, he's finding it near impossible to make smart decisions during regular season games also.
  • Apparently CBS still thinks Greg Gumbel is better in the booth than in the studio. If most people had their way, Dick Enberg would be with Phil Simms.
  • Although I do remember stories coming out of CBS inferring that Enberg and Simms didn't get along in the booth.
  • The best team by far is Jack Buck, Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman, and they're from FOX. Shame on you CBS. Shame.
  • Cowboy Matt shouldn't be too thrilled by his Cowboys' off-season. They still don't have a running back or a quarterback. Yet, like most Cowboy fans, Matt is very misguided and thinks Bill Parcells will make everything better.

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