After week one of the preseason, several players have made a name for themselves on the gridiron.
Some names that come to mind are Stevenson Sylvester, Thaddeus Gibson, Issac Redman, Maurkice Pouncey, Antonio Brown, and Dennis Dixon.
I just made a little chart and I was shocked to find that there is room on the roster for every single one of those players. Naturally cuts were made, but they were people I'm sure most of us agree we could do without.
So without further ado, here are my predictions for the Steelers 53 man roster.
There is no doubt that the Steelers have the best linebacker core in the NFL. Well, this year we can add to that talent with nine linebackers.
- James Harrison OLB
- James Farrior ILB
- Lawrence Timmons ILB
- LaMarr Woodley OLB
- Larry Foote ILB
- Keyaron Fox ILB
- Thaddeus Gibson OLB
- Jason Worlids OLB
- Stevenson Sylvester ILB
That may seem like a lot of linebackers, but we need the depth. Besides, Farrior and Harrison are not getting younger. Now is the perfect time to groom their replacements.
Cuts: Patrick Bailey, Andre Frazier, Renauld Williams, Brandon Renkart
Safety has to be one of the easiest decisions when it comes to roster cuts. I know it was for me.
- Troy Polamalu SS
- Ryan Clark FS
- Ryan Mundy FS
- Will Allen SS
Mike Tomlin has said he plans to go into the season with four safeties.It's obvious it will be these four.
With Tyrone Carter no longer with the team, Will Allen figures to be Polamalu's backup while Ryan Mundy will backup Ryan Clark.
Practice Squad: Justin Thorton, Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith
No doubt that cornerback was the Steelers' weakest position last year. Our corners only picked off two passes last year with both of them coming in the last game of the season.
Most of the blame can be put on Willie Gay.
He was constantly picked on last year and blew coverage after coverage. Not that Ike Taylor did much better; our best corner found himself struggling to keep up with receivers and couldn't pick the ball off to save his life.
With last season behind us, here is who I have making the roster.
- Ike Taylor RCB
- Bryant McFadden LCB
- Keenan Lewis NB/DB
- Joe Burnett NB/DB
- Anthony Madison DB
- William Gay NB/DB
Both Lewis and Burnett have shown significant signs of improvement. Both players should be given the opportunity to play the nickelback and maybe some time in the starting lineup. Madison makes the roster for special teams contributions and as a backup. Gay gets one more chance.
As of now, McFadden does not have the number two corner job all locked up. According to Tomlin, Lewis still has a chance to take that job. He will be given a significant amount of reps throughout the preseason to see if he's worthy.
Cuts: David Pittman
Practice Squad: Crezdon Butler
Our defensive line is getting old, with all the starters in their thirties. Keisel is 31, Hampton is 33, and Smith is 34.
However, these guys have shown they still have it.
With up and coming star Ziggy Hood giving Smith and Keisel breaks, our defensive line shouldn't be so tired when it comes to the fourth quarter. Even more good news—I have them all making the roster again.
- Brett Keisel RDE
- Casey Hampton NT
- Aaron Smith LDE
- Ziggy Hood RDE/LDE
- Chris Hoke NT
- Nick Eason RDE
Has anyone heard anything about Sunny Harris? He's been relatively quiet lately. If anyone hears anything, let me know.
Cuts: Scott Paxson,
Practice Squad: Steve Mclendon, Doug Worthington, Sunny Harris
Another weak link of the Steelers.
They didn't exactly inspire confidence in me last Saturday, but it was one preseason game and they have three more to turn it around.
A lot of changes have happened to the O-line in the offseason. The Steelers hired a new line coach in Sean Kugler, drafted Maurkice Pouncey to be our future center, and acquired Flozell Adams in free agency to replace Willie Colon, who's on IR.
After a grueling battle for roster spots, here is who makes the team.
- Max Starks LT
- Chris Kemoeatu LG
- Maurkice Pouncey C
- Ramon Foster RG/LG
- Flozell Adams RT
- Trai Essex RG
- Jonathan Scott RT
- Doug Legursky C
Flozell Adams is going to have to learn his playbook faster than he is because so far he's not working out at right tackle. Tomorrow's game against the Giants will determine how well Scott plays.
This line is really going to have to gel together this year, especially for the first four weeks, if we want to get back to the Super Bowl.
Cuts: Kraig Urbik, Justin Hartwig, Tony Hills, Kyle Jolly, Adrian Jones,
This one is a no brainer. Does it really warrant a discussion?
- Ben Roethlisberger QB
- Dennis Dixon QB
- Byron Leftwich QB
- Charlie Batch QB/coach
Big Ben doesn't count as a roster spot until after his suspension
Cuts: Charlie Batch after Ben's suspension.
We have got to get our running game going this year.
Last year we ranked 19th in rushing yards and couldn't convert on third and short to save our lives. But with these three running backs, that's about to change.
- Rashard Mendenhall RB
- Mewelde Moore RB
- Isaac Redman RB
We will need nothing but their A-game for the first four weeks of the season. That means no fumbling, Mendenhall.
Notice I didn't put Jonathan Dwyer on here. I'm sorry, but he just hasn't turned out to be the steal we all expected him to be. Maybe some time on the practice squad will do him some good.
Cuts: Justin Vincent, Dwayne Wright
Practice squad: Jonathan Dwyer
With the emergence of rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Anotnio Brown, we just might have to carry six receivers on the roster this year. To no surprise, that's exactly what I have.
- Hines Ward
- Mike Wallace
- Antwaan Randle El
- Emmanuel Sanders
- Antonio Brown
- Arnaz Battle
I'm so hyped about our receiving corps this year. We have speedy receivers in Wallace, Sanders, and Brown, and power receivers in Ward and Randle El. Battle, well I need to see more of him.
Cuts: Brandon London, Isaiah Williams
Practice Squad: Tyler Grisham
The most hated position of Bruce Arians.
Well, whether he hates it or not, we need one badly. Too many times last year we all saw Mendenhall trying to break tackles before he got to the line of scrimmage. These two guys look to solve that problem.
- Frank Summers FB
I could immediately see the difference Saturday. Redman's biggest runs came when we had a fullback in the backfield. Let's hope we can see that success continue.
There is no doubt that we are the most set at tight end and quarterback. Since we have so much talent at wide receiver and we have a full back, we only need two tight ends this year..
- Heath Miller TE
- Matt Spaeth TE
Cuts: Sean McHugh, David Johnson
Last but not least: Special teams. I'm sure my picks are not going to surprise anyone.
- Jeff Reed K
- Daniel Sepulveda P
- Greg Warren LS
- Antonio Brown KR/PR
- Stefan Logan KR/PR
I've changed my mind. I think Logan will stay. One major reason is because if Brown gets hurts, Logan is the only one ready to back him up.