Things To Look for Before the Season Begins: Part Four

Chris StaafCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2009

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes downfield in the second quarter during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on August 29, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This will be a four-part series of things to look for in the final weeks of the 2009 Steelers' preseason. This series will look at remaining position battles, injury updates and prognoses, play calling and coaching, and will preview the season prior to the Sept. 10 opener against the Tennessee Titans.

The Steelers have played two preseason games thus far, winning at home in the Super Bowl rematch against the Cardinals and dropping the game at FexEx Field against the Redskins last Saturday. While the road for the seventh Super Bowl title is well under way, the Steelers have several questions that need answers soon. Some of those answers are:

The active roster (my picks after the third preseason game)



QB Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon

RB Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman*

WR Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, Mike Wallace*, Shaun McDonald^

TE Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Sean McHugh (FB)

OT Max Starks, Willie Colon, Tony Hills

OG Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex, Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik*

C Justin Hartwig, A.Q. Shipley*



DE Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Evander "Ziggy" Hood*, Nick Eason, Travis Kirschke

DT Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke

OLB James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Bruce Davis, Patrick Bailey, Andre Frazier

ILB James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, Keyaron Fox, Donovan Woods

CB Ivan "Ike" Taylor, William Gay, Deshea Townsend, Keenan Lewis*, Anthony Madison

S Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Tyrone Carter, Keiwan Ratliff^


Special Teams

Long Snapper Greg Warren

Kicker Jeff Reed

Punter Daniel Sepulveda

Return Specialist Stefan Logan*


Practice Squad

RB Frank "the Tank" Summers*

WR Martin Nance

TE David Johnson*

OL Jeremy Parquet

OL Jason Capizzi

LB Arnold Harrison

CB Joe Burnett*

S Ryan Mundy


* denotes rookie

^ denotes free agent pickup


I hope I did not miss anyone important. Less than two weeks until the season opens. Best wishes to everyone, especially the Steelers.