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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hartwig among final cuts

The Steelers finalized their regular season roster today when they released 11 players, including former starting center Justin Hartwig, to reach the NFL’s 53-man limit.

Hartwig's release means the Steelers are comfortable with rookie Maurkice Pouncey as their starting center.

Also released were linebacker Patrick Bailey – a former team rookie of the year – cornerback Joe Burnett, safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, wide receiver Tyler Grisham, defensive end Sunny Harris, wide receiver Stefan Logan, defensive tackle Steve McLendon, fullback Frank Summers, guard Kraig Urbik and defensive tackle Doug Worthington.

Expect Burnett, Grisham, Harris, Worthington and Cromartie-Smith to be headed to the practice squad.

The Steelers’ 53-man roster includes three quarterbacks, four running backs, three tight ends, six wide receivers, nine offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, nine linebackers, 10 defensive backs, one kicker, one punter and one long snapper.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Worthington or Harris claimed off waivers. Any 3-4 DE projects we cut always seem to generate interest.

Anonymous said...

Is Urbik eligible for the Practice squad?

Dale Lolley said...

Urbik is eligible for the PS, but I doubt they'll go that way. He projects as a center and they have enough of those.

adamg said...

I know Arians is in love with 3 TEs, but they could easily get by with 2.

I'm happy for Tony Hills. He worked hard and improved greatly to earn a roster spot.

datruth4life said...

Dale, what are your thoughts on the final roster? I believe that Tomlin's decision to play Lefwitch behind that mix and matched OL cost Sunny Harris or D. Worthington a roster spot this year. I hope both can end up on the practice squad because A. Smith and B. Keisel have missed quite a few games the past few years.

Do you think that Batch will be the starter? I kind of agree with Merril Hoge now. I'd rather have C. Batch starting than Dennis Dixon. I'm confident that Batch can make plays and not give the game away. I'm not so sure about Dixon. Let's give Dixon a package of plays and keep him involved but let's start the season with Batch. I believe he can hold down the fort until Ben is ready.

I still expect Leftwitch to go on IR because I don't think that knee will be ready in 4 weeks. That was a pretty nasty injury he suffered.

Dale Lolley said...

I can see the argument to start Batch. It's a tough decision.
Does he go with the known commodity, even though he knows that could wind up getting Batch hurt, or does he roll the dice with Dixon and hope the kid's athleticism can get him by?

I think the defense is going to be very good and will be able to keep them in games - if they don't make any big mistakes.

adamg said...

On the post-game radio show, one of the hosts or reporters said the sense in the locker room was that the players were preparing for Dixon to start.

Dale Lolley said...

That's the sense that I got, but they don't know. Tomlin has had a few days to think about it and could change his mind - even if he told them anything.

Dave said...

If you can't start a player because it 'could wind up getting him hurt,' why is he on the football team?

What's the point of carrying Batch on the roster if they're going to be afraid to play him in a game? Isn't that what backup QBs are for?

Old Man said...

Go Charlie

Anonymous said...

I am surprised in comparison to last season that they kept Dwyer given that they released Redman and kept Summers last year. Redman was a "out of shape rookie" last year that didn't play special teams and was making some mistakes. Dwyer is in a similar situation this year except his pass blocking and level of confusion on non running plays seems a bit worse than Redman's last year. It could be the commitment to the run this year. I think that it is actually a commitment to draft picks over undrafted players. I think if Redman was taken in the fifth last year instead of Summers, he would have been on the team last year. If he had been we would have been in the playoffs as he almost certainly could have helped us pick up an extra game as our short yardage game was non existent last season. What a shame. We were lucky nobody picked him up, but that shows the undrafted bias is not just a steelers issue. Well good thing we didn't make the same mistake. Welcome to the regular season Isaac.

adamg said...

I think Dixon will start over Batch just because of Charlie's injury history over his entire career. For at least the next 2 weeks, there are only 2 healthy qbs. If Batch starts and gets hurt, it's Dixon or bust, but if Dixon starts and gets hurt, Batch is there to play.

I might be looking to claim Mike Robinson. BA doesn't like the direct snap/RB-QB hybrid, but Robinson is perfect for it. He can throw well enough to keep defenses honest. When Cowher was still here, I heard reports that he loved Robinson as a tough football player and for leadership qualities.

Dale Lolley said...

Cowher's not here anymore, so that's a moot point. Coaches fall in love with specific players, despite what the scouting department thinks - see Urbik as an example.
Mike Robinson wouldn't help them.

As for the Dwyer-Redman comparisons, Dwyer has a pedigree, Redman did not. They felt they could sneak Redman onto their PS. They did not have the same confidence with Dwyer - particularly with some teams needing RB help.
Another team may not want to take a chance on a RB from a D-II school. But they make take one on a guy who had 2,700 yards the past two years at an ACC school.

As for why they kept Charlie around if they fear his injury history. He's a good soldier. If they need somebody to go to a hospital or make an appearance, Charlie's always the guy. He's good with the younger players explaining things to them. He's like having another coach out there. As Hines Ward told me last week, Charlie knows the offense probably better than anyone there. And they needed a fourth QB in the spring. They already had a young prospect in Dixon and another backup type in Leftwich. Anyone else they signed would have been nothing more than a camp arm and you never know what you're getting there.
Can Charlie still play? Yes. I believe he can be effective. But the injury history is hard to overlook. That's just something that comes with age.