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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Steelers acquire Rossum

The Steelers, who have sought a dependable kick returner throughout training camp, acquired cornerback Allen Rossum from the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday for a conditional 2008 draft pick.

It appears the team has released Marvin Philip to make room for him.

I guess that makes Kendall Simmons the backup center.


datruth4life said...

Wow! Tomlin isn't playing when he says he is committed to having a special, special-teams unit. The Steelers kept 9 linebackers and 10 DBs. Essentially, Marquis Cooper took Chidi's place as the team's top special team's ace. A quick glance at the final 53:

QBs - Roethlisberger, Batch, St. Pierre

- I agree with this move. There aren't enough quarterbacks in the league for every team to have 1 good one. The Steelers have two and St. Pierre will save you the hassle of scrambling to find a backup for Batch if something happens to Ben. Any bets on Leftwich ending up anywhere else than Baltimore?

RBs - Fast Willie, Kreider, C. Davis, Davenport, Russell.

- A good mix of size, running and pass catching and blocking. Haynes is still the best 3rd down back, but you had to keep Russell over him. How long will it take for the Steelers staff to figure out that Russell is the best short yardage back on the team?

WRs - Ward, Holmes, Wilson, Washington, Reid.

- Walter Young will still be available if there are injuries during the season. I wonder what will happen to Reid's role now that they have Rossum. Maybe it'll be Reid on kickoffs and Rossum on punt returns.

OLs - Smith, Faneca, Mahan, Simmons, Colon - reserves - Starks, Essex, Kemeautou, D. Stapleton

-The surprise of the group is definitely D. Stapleton, considering he missed most of camp with a knee injury. He must be impressive because they kept him over Philip and Okobi. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Capizzi makes it to the practice squad.

-DLs - Keisel, Hampton, Smith, Eason, Hoke, Kirschke-

-McBean just didn't show enough to make it. Hopefully, he can get his redshirt year on the practice squad and pick up some weight, strength and his game. Derrick Jones might make it on the practice squad also.

LBs - Haggans, Foote, Farrior J. Harrison -- reserves - Woodley, Kreiwaldt, Timmons, A. Harrison, M. Cooper

- This was one of the shocking moves, with the Steelers keeping 9 LBs. It's interesting that both A. Harrison and M. Cooper are both 3-4 OLBs and great special teams players. Does this mean that we will start seeing Timmons at backup inside LB in the base defense and on the outside during some of the dime, nickel and quarter packages? Something else to think about, with Cooper taking over Chidi's special team's role, that means either Timmons or A. Harrison will be inactive on Sundays. At this point in time, A. Harrison is a better pass rusher and special teams player than Timmons is.

DBs - Taylor, Townsend, Clark, Polamula - reserves - McFadden, Gay, Coclough, A. Smith, Carter, Rossum

- Rossum was definitely a surprise. You don't want to see him on the field as a DB, but he is a better (and more dependable) punt returner right now than Reid. If anyone is inactive on game day from this group, it wil be Coclough. Gay and McFadden will be the special teams first-team gunners. One question I have is will Rossum return punts and kickoffs?

-Specialists - Warren, Sepulvada, Reed

- I don't agree with Ed Bouchette in saying the team should have kept Mike Barr and used the extra picks on somebody else. I think Sepulvada is the real deal. And besides, Kelvin Colbert hasn't exactly been hitting them out of the park on the draft's second day anyway. The scouts have been saving his behind with the free agent signings. More picks on the second day under Colbert only means more draft picks for the team to cut on the final cut down date.

Well, this is the group Tomlin has chosen to go to war with. If Cowher were here, Chidi, Okobi, Haynes and maybe M. Philip would have made this team. Just looking at this roster, this would appear to me to be the fastest Steelers team overall that I can remember. Do you agree, Dale? Let's hope the special teams moves pays off. The bottom line is that this year's team will be defined by Big Ben and that shaky offensive line, for better or worse.

Your thoughts on the final roster?

datruth4life said...

Oooppsss! I left out the tight ends post on the earlier blog. Here it is:

TEs - Miller, Tuman, Spaeth.

-If any of the other tight ends would have show anything, Tuman wouldn't have made this roster. Expect Cody Boyd or Dekker to make the practice squad, and take Tuman's roster spot next year. Spaeth gets a red-shirt year. Sorry about that.

Let's hear from you, adamg, steve and the rest of the Dale Lolley blog faithful.

adamg said...

Really surprised about the center situation. Given the talk about the Steelers renewed interest in resigning Simmons, might this be the start of a plan to make Simmons the starting center next year with Mahan moving to guard? Or is Stapleton being groomed to be the heir apparent? But, as I said before, I expect the Steelers to have a new OL coach next year. I'm sure the Rooney's haven't forgotten Zerlein's email caper.

I can see Okobi ending up in either Ariz, or more likely IMHO, in Cleveland given the situation with LeCharles Bentley.

I already know how hard I am going to be laughing if Tomlin actually has to use Kriewaldt in a game against the opponents starters. He's going to be shocked at how bad Kriewaldt is when the games count. I guess Tomlin missed the comment made about Kriewaldt last year that "he's our smartest LB, always knows the game plan inside and out". Code talk for he knows, but he can't play.

adamg said...

Practice squad signings per Bouchette at the P-G:

"The Steelers today signed eight players to the practice squad.

Seven of them were with the team in training camp. They include wide receiver Dallas Baker, tight end Jon Dekker, defensive back Grant Mason, defensive lineman Ryan McBean, defensive lineman Scott Paxon, center/guard Marvin Philip and wide receiver Gerran Walker.

The Steelers also signed running back Jamaal Branch, who had been with the New Orleans Saints."

No Capizzi which is kind of surprising.

datruth4life said...

Dale, what happened to Jason Capizzi? Was he picked up by someone off of the waiver wire or did he elect to sign to someone else's practice squad? Below is a story that ran today quoting Capizzi about how difficult the cut was for him.

Steelers cut IUP's Capizzi, 22 others
Written by Matthew Burglund, Gazette Sports Writer
Sunday, 02 September 2007
Jason Capizzi's time with the Pittsburgh Steelers is over. But for how long?
Capizzi, the former IUP All-American offensive lineman, was one of 23 players cut by the Steelers on Saturday as the team pared its roster to the final 53 players.

"I thought I had a chance of making the team," Capizzi said Saturday night. "I had hoped for the best. I was a little bit surprised, but I'm young and they probably don't have a ton of need for me right now."

Beginning at noon today, all 32 NFL teams can begin signing players to their eight-man practice squads, so there remains a decent chance that Capizzi's time with the Steelers isn't really over. If he is signed to the practice squad, he'll draw a paycheck and practice with the team, but he won't dress for games.

Capizzi received a call from the Steelers on Saturday morning asking him to come to the team office and to bring his playbook. When he arrived, he met with head coach Mike Tomlin and director of football operations Kevin Colbert.

"It went well," Capizzi said. "They just said that it was 'nothing that you did wrong. It was just where you are in your development. It's a numbers game. We'd love to keep you as a fifth tackle, but the numbers don't permit us to do that.'"

The Steelers chose to keep four tackles: Max Starks, Trai Essex, Willie Colon and Marvel Smith.

The other players sent packing Saturday were: wide receivers Dallas Baker, Gerran Walker and Walter Young; tight ends Cody Boyd and Jon Dekker; running backs Verron Haynes and John Kuhn; defensive backs Chidi Iwuoma, Jovon Johnson, Mike Lorello, Anthony Madison and Grant Mason; defensive linemen Ryan McBean, Shaun Nua and Scott Paxson; offensive linemen Chukky Okobi, Marvin Phillip, Cameron Stephenson and Brandon Torrey; quarterback Bryan Randall and linebackers Ron Stanley and Rian Wallace.

The big surprise is the team's decision to cut Okobi and Phillip, leaving no insurance policy should starting center Sean Mahan be injured. Speculation the last week or so had the Steelers cutting the expensive Okobi in favor of Phillip, but the departure of both players comes as a surprise.

Three of the Steelers' eight draft picks did not make the team: McBean (fourth round, Oklahoma State), Stephenson (fifth round, Rutgers) and Baker (seventh round, Florida). Boyd, like Capizzi, was an undrafted free agent.

Capizzi, whose family has had Steelers season tickets for a number of years, said he enjoyed his time with his hometown team. But he hopes it doesn't leave him jaded.

"I just tried to take it all in stride," he said. "If you let it take control of your mind, it will. I just played my hardest. I'm not disappointed in the end because I played my hardest. I have nothing to regret. …

"I'm not gonna lie, I got a little choked up. I wanted to make this team for so many other people, not just myself. For IUP, for my family and for this city. … It's a little disheartening. But things happen for a reason. We'll move on from here and see where the road takes us."

Personally, I think this is the team's biggest mistake in the cuts. He has more upside and potential than any current lineman with the Steelers that made the cut. I hope I am wrong. Your thoughts?

adamg said...

Personally, I'd have preferred Capizzi over either Mason or Walker.
If they need a 10th DB, I suspect Chidi will still be around. They've already got 2 WRs on the PS if they need a 6th WR sometime during the season, don't know why the can't do with just one. Nor do they need a 4th TE. With all the losses they will take on the OL next year, it would be prudent to keep 2 OLs rather than 2 WRs or another TE.

Dale Lolley said...

The practice squad is made up of guys who can help the team practice with an occasional guy hiding on there who the team feels it can develop. But if they have any real talent, somebody will snatch them up.
I haven't seen anything on Capizzi signing anywhere yet, but he didn't play real well in Carolina Thursday.