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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Post-Carolina 53-man roster

With the preseason now in the books, here's a look at how the Steelers' 53-man roster breaks down following the team's finale:

Quarterback: (3) Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones. Simply put, the season is tied to Roethlisberger's health. If he plays in 14 or more games, the Steelers have a chance to win 10 or 11 games. If he does not ...

Running back: (5) Le'Veon Bell, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Felix Jones and Will Johnson. I know there's going to be a lot of disagreement on this, but Jones can do more for this team than Jonathan Dwyer. If I were Kevin Colbert, I'd be working the phones trying to deal him. The Giants lost Andre Brown to a broken leg Thursday night. Dwyer for a conditional draft pick would get it done. Bell is off his crutches and moving around well. Redman should be ready for the opener, and Stephens-Howling and Jones are both different enough types of runners to offer a change of pace. Johnson's hamstring injury suffered Thursday night is a concern, but David Johnson can help out here.

Wide receiver: (5) Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton and Derek Moye. Moye has practice squad eligibility but get a shot to possibly contribute until Heath Miller returns.

Tight end: (3) Heath Miller, David Johnson, David Paulson. Miller will be activated off the PUP list, though he might not be ready to play for a week or two. In the meantime, the Steelers will get by with Johnson and Paulson, with Kelvin Beachum helping out. Matt Spaeth will go on season-ending IR. No sense using the IR with a designation to return on a backup player, when the combo of Beachum and Paulson can accomplish the same results.

Offensive line: (8) Mike Adams, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, Guy Whimper and John Malecki. Depth is an issue, though Whimper is better at guard than tackle. Beachum is serviceable at center in a pinch, but Malecki is better as a long-term option. They'll be watching the waiver wire on this one.

Defensive line: (6) Ziggy Hood, Steve McLendon, Brett Keisel, Cameron Heyward, Al Woods and Hebron Fangupo. Woods can play inside or out, which is a bonus. Fangupo is a run-stuffing fireplug and has been better than Alameda Ta'amu. Brian Arnfelt is a nice practice squad option.

Linebacker (10) LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Chris Carter, Alan Baxter, Marshall McFadden, Kion Wilson and Vince Williams. Special teams, special teams, special teams. Terence Garvin goes to the practice squad.

Defensive back: (10) Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Terry Hawthorne, Ross Ventrone and Josh Victorian. Ventrone makes it over Brown as a special teams ace.

Specialists: (3) Shaun Suisham, Greg Warren, Drew Butler. Butler has beaten out veteran Brian Moorman.


Steve-O said...

Curtis Brown never seemed to live up to his draft status and Dwyer put the last nail in his own coffin when he fumbled....AGAIN!

Ventrone is a guy I've been rooting for all preseason. The guy just exudes hustle!

I like your picks for the 53, Dale. The only thing I have different is the Punter. I had Moorman picked for his hang time but I'm good with Butler, he's the incumbent and the difference between the two wasn't big for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this so quickly Dale.
I mostly agree, but think there's a chance Joe Long might get the nod over Whimper, simply because neither is that good at this point, but Long offers "Long-term" potential.
Brian Arnfelt has played really well, and I don't see him making it to the practice squad, so I think he's on the team. A consideration is that most of the defensive line is not under contract for next year, and Arnfelt offers a long-term option.
I'm split between Fangupo and Alameda... they're pretty much equal from what I've seen so far. Maybe you're right, although most commentators have said Ta'amu has played better and he could be stashed on the practice squad again.
You might be right about 10 linebackers; I think if the Steelers go with 9, Wilson will be the man out.
Can't see Ventrone or Victorian on this team. Don't see much potential with Ventrone and Victorian can't tackle... his weakest skill carried over from last year. I'd rather see both of them gone and Justine Brown whom I think can be developed.
Butler over Moorman... yeah.

Anonymous said...

Ventrone making it over Brown for special teams, when he's drawn a penalty and missed a tackle, literally makes no sense when Brown is the team's best special teams player. There's also no sense *not* using the short-term IR when there's nobody else to use it on. Don't hold it in the holster when you already have a target.

Anonymous said...

He probably just got Brown and Ventrone mixed up. Brown is already a proven NFL special teams ace. The idea that Ventrone has even approached Brown's level of play in a couple preseason games is insane. The idea that he's surpassed him is, well, beyond insane. Dale got the names mixed up is all. I'm sure he doesn't actually think that.

Also, Beachum and Paulson will "accomplish the same results as Matt Spaeth" the minute we are allowed to play with 12 men on the field. Short of that, they will accomplish half the results. By Dale's logic, you can just put Max Starks and Mike Wallace on the same field and have a 380 lb. man running a 4.2 40.

adamg said...

Ventrone is not an NFL player. I have to wonder if Curtis Brown might be better off with a switch to S. He's also the team's best ST player.

Ta'amu, like Hood, is probably a better fit for a 4-3 defense, but he did an excellent job pushing the center of the OL back on the goal line stand early in the game.

Joe Long seems to have gotten better as the preseason went along. I'd take him over Whimper although it makes the OL very young all around.

Also have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Landry Jones. He showed a nice arm and didn't panic in the pocket as was his rep at Okla.

Tony Fontonyots said...

Why not keep Reggie Dunn over Ventrone? I think they can get by with 9 DBs and Dunn has a much better chance to win a game for us than Ventrone, who may never see the field.

Dale Lolley said...

Let's say you use the IR with the designation for return on Spaeth. Now, let's say Pouncey breaks his leg in the first month. Out eight weeks. Wouldn't you feel silly having to place Pouncey on season-ending IR or carrying his roster spot because you used the IR with a DR on a reserve tight end rather than having it available for a starter?
You save that one spot for an injured starter. You can use it at any time.

I originally had Brown on the roster. But I guess I let the emotional stench of being picked on cloud the issue. He probably makes it.

Anonymous said...

Spaeth is a quasi starter when you consider the frequency with which they intend to use 2 TE sets. I'd absolutely IR him designated to return.

I think Long over Whimper and potentially 6 WRs (add Brown) and cut the 10th LBer.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm just telling you what the organization is considering and how I think they're leaning.

Dale Lolley said...

And yes, Spaeth is a quasi-starter. But he's replaceable.

adamg said...

Very replaceable since he was already ably replaced by both Davids Johnson and Paulson.

Anonymous said...

How about Dywer for a decent fill in TE?

Dale Lolley said...

Don't need another tight end. Miller will be activated Saturday. Don't need four tight ends.

Steve said...

Chargers just released Max Starks. Reports are that he's looked pretty bad for him and they're LT situation is not exactly strong, so it would seem telling that they didn't even keep him as a backup. Plus he's made plenty of $ and would seem to have good post-football options, so he may just retire. I wouldn't be too surprised either way.

Steve said...

Sorry, that should've been looked bad for them instead of him

Steve said...

...and their instead they're

that's what I get for not proofreading

Dale Lolley said...

Starks looked bad in the preseason. Course he was blocking for Philip "The Statue" Rivers, too.

I thought he was just OK here last year. Not horrible, but not great, either.

Henry said...

Why keep 5 CBs when 2 of them have little experience like Victorian and Hawthorne? They both have PS eligibility and Golden can play CB in a pinch.