Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cutting the roster part II

In an effort for fairness, I'm not going to look at who I had making the team and who I didn't the first time around two weeks ago before the Steelers played a game.

Suffice it to say that while some things have stayed the same, others have changed.

Here's my 53-man roster through two preseason games.

Quarterback (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski and ?. Kevin Colbert has said in the past that he's a proponent of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. There's some danger to just keeping two, the biggest being that a team can sign a player off your practice squad. Quarterbacks are a big part of the game-planning. They know all of the audibles and what everyone is doing on the field offensively. So the Steelers will likely go with three. Is that guy Landry Jones? Quite frankly, he's not been good. Might there be a better possibility out there who is going to get released? It would be an un-Steelers-like move, but perhaps.

Running back (5): Le'Veon Bell, LeGarette Blount, Dri Archer and Will Johnson are givens. None of the other guys have shown much in game action. But Miguel Maysonet did have two special teams tackles against the Bills, so he gets a spot, for now.

Wide receiver (4): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant are givens. I supposed Justin Brown is No. 5 for now. But with the NFL talking about expanding practice squads to 10 players this season and nobody really making a solid push, I'm now of the mind they go with four receivers and use Dri Archer as the fifth. They'll need a roster spot for a long-snapper. That puts both Justin Brown and Derek Moye on the practice squad.

Offensive line (8): The starting five plus Mike Adams, Guy Whimper and Cody Wallace. I know Mike Munchak has said he'd like to keep nine, but there isn't a ninth who would be anything close to being one of the top 53 players.

Tight ends (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth and Michael Palmer. Spaeth's continuing injury problems concern me and force me to keep Palmer, whose a solid special teams player and blocker.One of the young tight ends go on the practice squad.

Defensive line (6): Cam Heyward, Cam Thomas, Steve McLendon, Stephon Tuitt, Daniel McCullers and Josh Mauro. Three rookies? Sure, why not? Brian Arnfelt was a frontrunner for a backup spot, but Mauro's pushing hard and has passed him up.

Linebackers (9): Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Arthur Moats, Howard Jones, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin and Sean Spence. Chris Carter just hasn't shown anything.

Defensive backs (11): No changes here from the first time around. I still see Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain and Shaq Richardson at corner and Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Will Allen, Robert Golden and Shamarko Thomas at safety.

Specialists (4): Shaun Suisham, Brad Wing, Greg Warren and Luke Ingram. This is going to have to be a week-by-week thing until Warren is ready to go, which should only take a week or two into the season.


Anonymous said...

Really hoping we can replace Jones on the Waiver Wire. 3rd string QB's aren't that hard to find.

Anonymous said...

Half the league rolls with 2 QBs. And most of those that keep 3 don't really have 1. I assume most of those teams that went with 2 QBs kept one on the practice squad. I don't recall any getting pouched. And what are the odds anyways if 16 other teams have a QB on the practice squad. Would Jones even be top 5 from that lot?

I sorta get why they went with 3 in the past. Roethlisberger seldom plays every snap, and their backups were held together by doilies and poligrip. But now?

This is why I'm generally opposed to spending mid round picks on QBs. Historically they are not materially better than those that go late or undrafted. But given the investment capital, teams feel they have too much invested in the player to expose them to the practice squad.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of a 3rd qb on the roster either. realistically, if they get to that point, they're screwed anyways. might as well put the 3rd qb on the practice squad and use the roster spot for another player who may contribute more to the team.

separately, I watched the browns game last night and their o-line #1's struggled mightily against the pass rush, especially the right side of the line. however, they did run block quite well.

Anonymous said...

If Ben and Gradkowski went down would the Steelers even start Landry Jones anyways? Or would they sign some veteran off the street? I think they would sign someone. If that is the case why have him around anyways.

Theosa said...

I would rather see Steelers keep 4 RBs and 10 LBs, give So'Oto a spot, he deserves it! Hope they find better back up QBs, Jones don't seem to cut it for NFL and GradKowski seems very rusty.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Keisel is heading to AZ. Wexell tweeted he is flying out to take a physical.

Anonymous said...

has any one team poached as many players from another team as Arizona/Pittsburgh?

Randy Steele said...

So, who makes the practice squad?

datruth4life said...

Dale, I think Vic So'oto has done enough to make this 53. He can play in the base 3-4 right now while HoJo can't. He can also hold the point of attack, which HoJo can't do yet. If I'm not keeping 10 LBs, the final cut comes down to T. Garvin vs. HoJo. Also, K. Colbert has to find a better 3rd QB than Landry Jones. And lastly, how can LeBeau keep Sharmarko Thomas off the field in the team's nickel pkg when the pkg is consistently getting gashed against the run? Put Shamarko in the slot and let him use that 4.38 speed to cover, stop the run or harass the QB.

Anonymous said...

All this Howard Johnson hype is idiotic. All he did was recover some fumbles which just means he happened to be around WHEN SOMEONE ELSE MADE A PLAY. Recovering a fumble is luck. You want the player who CAUSED THE TURNOVER!

This is easy stuff people, come on.

Unknown said...

You've heard of FreeJoshGordon?

I'd like to propose LoseLandryJones

Anonymous said...

If he will take a back up role..

Mike said...

Welcome Back Keisel!!!!!
Da' Beard is back!

adamg said...

Gilbert was also signed to a 6 yr/30M contract extention.

If Kiesel does return, it likely means Mauro is headed to the PS.

Whimper did a good job at G last year, but he's not that great at T. I think they'd keep Adams over him as they do have some candidates (Johnson, Elkins, Simmons, Hubbard) for the interior OL. If they would keep Whimper over Adams, I wonder if Adams could bring them a better backup qb in a trade?

BTW, is the PS being expanded from 8 to 10 this year?