He’s the human yo-yo. The man with the flowing black locks. A true character who isn’t afraid to put on a mustard bottle costume.*
He’s also a free agent. A role he’s accustomed to. Football’s version of Schrodinger’s Cat. Somehow, a free agent and not a free agent at the same time with the rate he gets bumped on and off of rosters. If I’m the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m bringing him back to the practice squad. I, of course, refer to Ross Ventrone.
The CBA is confusing enough for someone like me who doesn’t have a degree in it and Ventrone’s quadrillion transactions makes determining his eligiblity tough. But he was signed to the New England Patriots’ practice squad several weeks ago so somehow, he is still able to be assigned there. That’s the first bit of good news. The other is the fact the Steelers have an open spot after promoting Fitzgerald Toussaint to the 53 man roster on Friday.
You can give Ventrone the classic “is what he is” line. He’ll never be a starting safety. That’s okay. I wanted to be an astronaut. Some dreams don’t materialize. But we can come close. I’m not an astronaut but I spend long periods of time in a small space by myself eating things that are barely considered food. Ventrone isn’t a starter but has carved out a niche as a top special teamer.
Ventrone is the type of guy you can bring up at a moment’s notice and not worry one bit about. He’s experienced, handles himself as a professional, and brings a ton of effort. That energy he has is important by itself. Even on the practice squad, he’ll make the whole safety room better with his edge and energy. And maybe crack a joke or two to break up the monotony.
I’m all for development but odds are, whoever else would get added is a longshot to make an impact not only in 2015 but at any point beyond that. Ventrone could make an impact immediately with one injury to one of several positions. A WR, a CB, a S, anyone who gets work as a gunner/jammer and coverage unit player would be someone Ventrone can step in for. I am a card-carrying member of the special teams fan club. But who else do you want on this team