Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Nov 2010

Bucs Cut Sabby Piscitelli

The Buccaneers have waived dismal safety Sabby Piscitelli. The move comes despite a season-ending broken ankle suffered by rookie safety Cody Grimm on Sunday.

Thanks to reader MilkmanDanimal for pointing out the move.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 30 Nov 2010

27 comments, Last at 02 Dec 2010, 8:44am by Hurt Bones


by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 5:48pm

Why did I point it out?


In the offseason, they dumped Ward and Clayton. Now Sabby, who would be best used as an example of how NOT to tackle, is gone. I actively danced around my office. I have never seen somebody so repeatedly take the wrong angle to the ball carrier and miss utterly. I believe he led FO in tackles missed last year by a healthy margin, and won the yearly KCW award.

Maybe the Lions can pick him up, C.C. Brown needs an appropriate backup.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 5:51pm

Yeah, but who needs to tackle with a name like that?

by Sander :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 6:21pm

He was so bad, that after being in for about 2 plays he blew a coverage and gave up the TD to Heap last Sunday. Am I glad I never have to see him on the field for the Bucs again.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 6:28pm

The moment Heap caught that pass I jumped to my feet and screamed, "I HATE YOU, SABBY PISCITELLI!"

Piscitelli whined in the offseason about not being given the opportunity to start this year. I have to assume that Morris assumed he would whine more after finding out he was still not starting, plus he yet again proved he can't actually, you know, play football and all, and that all led to the decision to cut him.

The guy's not even that good of a special teamer. He's just one of those guys who should have the ability, but is more or less "football dumb".

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 7:02pm

Piscitelli whined in the offseason about not being given the opportunity to start this year.

God, I had forgotten about that. It's hysterical in hindsight.

by Sander :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 8:59am

Not just in hindsight, it was hysterical at the time too.

by dmb :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 8:34pm

When I saw this link on the main page, my first thought as I clicked the link was, "this will make MilkmanDanimal's day!" Apparently I was wrong: it made your week, and well before I clicked on the link.

by Sophandros :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 6:02pm

This is horrible news for fans of other NFC South teams.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Drunkmonkey :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 1:27pm

That's exactly what I was thinking. In regards to the article earlier this year where he found out that he actually sucked and wasn't getting the starting job, I expressed my dismay about how the other teams in the NFC South were gonna have a little bit of a harder time taking on the Bucs defense. And lo and behold! The defense is actually better!

There goes the only chance the Panthers had at vicotry #2. Oh well, at least they have the rights to the top pick, until they trade it for nothing. Hello Patriots backup punter!

by Theo :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 6:59pm

This is screaming for a Kwamme Harris style lowlight video...

by Just another Falcons Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 7:58pm


Why couldn't the Bucs wait one more week?

by andrew :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 8:54pm

Was he Jason David bad?

by BucNasty :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 9:04pm

Yes, but with an ego. He's made a few picks, but all of the ones I remember were tipped to him by someone else. He can't cover, he tries to lay the wood on people instead of wrapping up but always seems to either miss entirely or get ran over, and he takes bad angles. I started missing rookie 7th round pick Cody Grimm the second he came off the field. I won't miss Sean Jones when he's shown the door, either, but at least he's just mostly invisible instead of in my face screwing up on every play.

by Long for tdz (not verified) :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 11:03pm

You people are not laying down the facts, Sabby was heavily exploited in the secondary in 09 and totally scape goated by the team and media. That defense in 09 was horrid all around, when you have a defensive line that bad and lb.'s playing horrid too the safety will be exploited by one on one scenerio's way to often then they should. I'm not saying the guy is lynch, but come on you get drafted in 2nd round and told you are the teams next lynch, get hurt 08 miss most of the season then come back in on get over 90 tackles few picks and on a horrible defense and you don't even get a shot at a 2010 starting position. In fact the guy got text messages he was cut, Sean jones? Please, definitely seems like head coach has a big dislike for number 21, that stemmed way before Sabby spoke out on not getting a chance. You can't give a guy no reps and expect him to ball out, sabby is a game play maker when given the opportunity to make plays. You all forget the game saver against cinci, the awesome special teams play he made to down the ball on the 1 few weeks ago,what he isn't athletic, please it's all coaching staff and bias hate.

by BucNasty :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 7:11am

He got that pick off a tip. Kudos for hanging onto it and getting it upfield, but it's not like he made a great read and broke on the ball. That's better than dropping it, but I give more credit to whoever got their hand on it in the first place. Raw tackle numbers mean absolutely nothing. The fact that he lead the league in misses says a lot more. The guy never stops people dead in their tracks, he's always being dragged upfield. Compare that to the perfect technique of the 7th round rookie that got the start over him when Tanard Jackson was suspended.

I think I'm in the minority among Bucs fans here, but I don't carry over an extreme bias from what happened last year. I was willing to completely ignore everything that happened in '09 for two reasons: One is that the entire defense was bad, like you mentioned. The second was that I'd seen it before. Jermaine Phillips was terrible at SS under similar circumstances in '06, but he came back with renewed dedication and not only competed but won his job back against a relatively high draft pick (Piscitelli) that the city and coaching staff were hoping would take the job. He didn't whine and cry about how the team was looking to replace him, he made sure they knew it would have been a mistake if they did. Hell, he didn't even bitch about it when they tried to make him play linebacker so that they could hand Sabby the job without him having to win it in camp, something they knew he couldn't do. Piscitelli didn't do that. He had a bad year and when he failed to convincingly beat his replacement, he cried his way out of the rotation entirely.

Morris was his position coach before he was his head coach, so I think he knows Sabby's game better than anyone else in the league. If the coaching staff hates him, I imagine there's a pretty good reason for it.

by Sander :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 9:09am

Also note that having 90 tackles is not impressive behind such a leaky defensive line. Safeties on poor defenses always rack up a lot of tackles.

by Dr. Mooch :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 1:18pm

Donte Whitner had 18 tackles on Sunday.

by Sander :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 9:05am

This is a parody, right? Please tell me this is a parody?

And a horrible ill-informed one at that. Sabby's lone strength is his athleticism, to think the coaches hate him because he isn't athletic is ridiculous. To call him a playmaker is even worse. besides, Raheem Morris has been his coach for his entire tenure with the Bucs - he was there when he got drafted, when he missed '08 with an injury, when he showed no capability of actually being able to play the game in '09 (where he actually started 15 games as well - what do you mean he never got a chance?)

Here's a fact: over 15 started games last year he had all of 2 interceptions. Wow what a playmaker! He was also to blame on almost every single one of the long plays our defense gave up - whether it was through the air or on the ground.

And what's more: this season we fielded the same defense, except the defensive line was worse than last year for most of the season (turning around just now), yet the defense was exponentially better with him off the field and a seventh-round rookie on the field. Wow that must be some real bias against Sabby, right?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 10:19pm

Best line from the PFT comments:

"I heard he took the wrong angle to the unemployment line."

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 9:42am

None too Sabby. Sorry - I had to get it off my chest.

I'll miss those rare occasiones where the TB radio announcers (you know the guy with "Alstott up the gut") shouts his name in joy.

Sabbaaay Pisssscatelliii...

by BucNasty :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 11:15am

That's Gene Deckerhoff. If you're listening to the radio and not watching the game you'd think every 2 yard run was going to the house.

by Southern Philly :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 11:22am

His use of "we" to describe the Bucs always makes me picture him calling the game in full uniform.

by BucNasty :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 2:15pm

For some reason this makes me wonder what the Steelers' home guy sounds like. Is he as wildly pessimistic as their fans? Does he have a meltdown at every perceived strategic error by the head coach?

by Jerry :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 7:20pm

The play-by-play man is Bill Hillgrove, also the longtime voice of Pitt football and basketball. The flagship station is WDVE (dve.com; I have no idea what kind of clips they have). He's a competent, mildly homer announcer.

I think that overall, the distribution of Steeler fans is no different than other fanbases. Some are optimistic, some are pessimistic, some are paranoid, many are realistic. Two things that might differentiate Steeler fans: (1) We're spoiled. Anything less than a championship is an unsuccessful season, although some are less successful than others. (2) Between Roethlisberger's suspension and memories of last year's 5-game losing streak (including losses to bad Kansas City, Oakland, and Cleveland teams), it's hard to get and keep a handle on this year's club. I don't think the percentage of Steeler fans who exhibit the behavior you describe is much different than other teams, though.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 6:15pm

Sabby is now a Brown. As if enough bad stuff hasn't happened to Cleveland sports fans . . .

by Sander :: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 8:16pm

Wait, we stole a safety from their practice squad and in revenge they pick up Sabby?
This is hilarious.

by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 12/02/2010 - 8:44am

The ensuing revelry in Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh cannot be contained.