Wednesday, September 13, 2006
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers gave up on rookie quarterback Omar Jacobs when they released him from their practice squad yesterday.
The team drafted Jacobs in the fifth round from Bowling Green University, where he passed for 6,938 yards. He had every chance to win the No. 3 job behind Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch and failed to do so.
The Steelers contacted the agent for quarterback Brian St. Pierre even before Roethlisberger's Sept. 3 appendectomy with the idea he would become the No. 3 quarterback. St. Pierre served as the backup for the opener Thursday and Jacobs remained on the practice squad.
Coach Bill Cowher said he has no plans to make any moves to his 53-man roster this week, which means St. Pierre will remain on it for at least one more game. It's possible he could go onto the practice squad after that.
The Steelers signed receiver Walter Young back to their practice squad to replace Jacobs. Young spent the past two seasons on their practice squad.
Davenport fits in
Veteran halfback Najeh Davenport, signed on Friday, will get a chance to play Monday night in Jacksonville.
"We will see what he is able to pick up and how comfortable he is," Cowher said. "I think he is a proven big back and I think we are looking for that."
The Steelers would like to find someone to take some carries off the shoulders of starter Willie Parker and also to use around the goal line. Davenport, 27, is 6 feet 1, 247 pounds.
"I have watched him run; I think he fits what we are looking for," Cowher said. "He is a young guy. He could also play some in the kicking game. He has played third down, he has played fullback. I think he gives you a lot of versatility.
"I think he is the one guy that was out there that fits what we were looking for at this point, with the makeup of our roster."
Parker ran 29 times, the most in his brief pro career, against Miami Thursday night and Cowher does not want to give his 5-10, 209-pound back a steady diet of that.
"It's not so much the size, it's the size as it relates to 16 games and wanting to have him fresh," Cowher said. "I don't want to give Willie 30 carries a game, every game. The fact that we're running the football means we have to utilize our other guys."
Parker carried 255 times last season for 1,202 yards, adding another 57 carries for 225 yards in the postseason.