Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Roster Bubble Players You Should Know
Training camp is quickly approaching for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there are a handful of players who will have their work cut out for them if they expect to make the 53-man roster.
The Steelers coaches will be keeping a close eye on the running back, offensive line, and safety positions and there are opportunities for players at those spots to really impress when camp opens on July 25.
Let's take a look at five notable players on the roster bubble who will need to step up their game if they expect to make the Steelers' roster out of training camp.
LB Adrian Robinson
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
An undrafted free agent out of Temple, Adrian Robinson was the 2010 MAC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.
The 6'1" 250 lb. Robinson played defensive end in college, but he will line up at outside linebacker for the Steelers and challenge Chris Carter for a backup spot.
While he has the speed and athleticism to be effective off the edge, there are questions about Robinson's strength as he struggles to shed blockers and can disappear against the running game.
Linebackers coach Kevin Butler has been impressed with Robinson's performance so far, but the 22-year-old has an uphill climb to make the Steelers roster out of training camp.
If Robinson can prove to be a valuable special teamer and show potential at outside linebacker, he may have a shot at taking one of the backup outside linebacker spots.
FB Will Johnson
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The Steelers will be using a fullback in 2012 under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and right now it appears it is a battle between former tight end David Johnson and undrafted free agent Will Johnson.
Will is a former West Virginia Mountaineer who can run a 4.49 40 time at his pro day and is very athletic for a 6'2" 240 lb. player.
However the starting fullback spot will be won by the best blocker and right now it seems like a toss-up between the Johnsons.
The fullback battle will be one of the more intriguing stories of training camp and Will Johnson has an opportunity to be a starter as an undrafted free agent.
RB Baron Batch
A Steelers' fan favorite, Baron Batch will be trying to earn a roster spot after missing all of last season to a devastating ACL tear.
Batch really impressed coaches last year in training camp after being selected in the seventh-round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech.
With Rashard Mendenhall out for the first portion of the season, there are a number of running backs vying for the backup spots behind new starter Isaac Redman.
Batch will be battling with fellow backs Jonathan Dwyer, Chris Rainey, and John Clay and it appears that only three of those four will make the roster.
If Batch wants to make the Steelers' 53-man roster out of training camp, he will need to pick up right where he left off before last year's injury.
WR Derrick Williams
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Derrick Williams was a bonafide superstar at Penn State and was selected by the Detroit Lions in the third-round of the 2009 NFL Draft, two picks ahead of current Steelers Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace.
Since then, Williams has caught just nine passes for 82 yards and didn't even see the field in 2011.
A very good kickoff and punt returner in college, Williams has good speed and playmaking ability in the open field.
This is likely the last opportunity the former Nittany Lion will have to make it in the NFL and Williams will have to beat out the likes of Toney Clemons and Marquis Maze for the final wide receiver spot on the Steelers roster.
S Myron Rolle
Easily the most high profile player dangling on the roster bubble, Steelers fans are most certainly pulling for Myron Rolle to make the team.
A highly recruited safety out of high school, Rolle starred for three years at Florida State and was a well regarded prospect heading into the 2009 draft.
Instead, he headed to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his master's degree in medical anthropology.
A very impressive intellectual, Rolle showed a fair amount of rust when he was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft and didn't play a snap before being released in 2011.
Work ethic and mental toughness certainly won't be an issue and there is an opportunity for Rolle to make the team as the Steelers could use safety depth behind Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.
Myron Rolle will certainly be one of the most closely followed players during training camp and could be a very tempting option for Mike Tomlin and the Steelers.