Pittsburgh Steelers' 53-Man Roster Prediction: Starting CB Doesn't Make the Cut
There are still two more Preseason games for guys to prove themselves and many position battles to be figured out.
Here is how I think the Steelers 53-man roster will ultimately pan out and also who the team will keep on the Practice Squad.
He has the size, accuracy, toughness, competitiveness and the most important quality you want in any quarterback, he just wins.
Byron Leftwich is clearly the best option behind Ben at this point and should be the backup unless something drastic happens.
Charlie Batch did a good job starting last season when the Steelers needed him however, I still think the team will hang on to Dennis Dixon for one more season.
Starter: Ben Roethlisberger
Backup: Byron Leftwich
Third String: Dennis Dixon
Gone: Charlie Batch
Roster Spots: three
Rashard Mendenhall may have made headlines in the offseason for his comments, however, he is still one of the most complete backs in the NFL.
He still needs to work on his fumbling problem as he lost two in the playoffs including one against the Packers in the Super Bowl.
Isaac Redman looks like a beast in the preseason and with Baron Batch going on IR, Mewelde Moore will be the third-down back.
Jonathan Dwyer is the guy who benefits most from the Batch injury and actually looked pretty good against the Eagles so he gets that last running back spot.
As far as fullback I think it will be a full committee this season with David Johnson, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Doug Legursky and even John Clay if he shows enough value at the position.
Starter: Rashard Mendenhall
Primary Backup: Isaac Redman
Third Down Back: Mewelde Moore
Backup: Jonathan Dwyer
Fullback: David Johnson/Jonathan Dwyer/Isaac Redman/Doug Legursky
IR: Baron Batch
Gone: John Clay, James Johnson
Roster Spots: four
Most of the offense took a slight hit in 2010 with Ben Roethlisberger missing the first four games and that included Heath Miller.
With that said, Heath is still one of the best tight ends in the game and there is steep competition for who will be backing him up.
David Johnson has had a pretty good camp and could possibly be ready for a larger role in the Steelers offense, or the team could just choose to continue to use him as an H-Back/fullback type of player.
When the Steelers signed Weslye Saunders I thought he could have a decent year as a rookie until they brought in John Gilmore.
Gilmore is more of a blocking tight end however, and there is no way that the Steelers will be able to sneak Saunders onto the Practice Squad so they’ll keep him.
Starter: Heath Miller
Backup: David Johnson
Backup: John Gilmore
Backup: Weslye Saunders
Gone: Jamie McCoy, Vaughn Charlton, Miguel Chavis
Roster Spots: 4
Mike Wallace has become one of the best receivers in the NFL with great speed and is always improving his hands and route running.
Hines Ward may have had a down year in 2010 however, he is still more than capable of being productive and with Ben Roethlisberger back, he should be fine in 2011.
Emmanuel Sanders seemed poised to become a big part of the Steelers offense in his second year although he has not been healthy yet this camp.
With Sanders hurt, it has given Antonio Brown the opportunity for more playing time and he has looked great in camp and the preseason.
Jerricho Cotchery was a late signing yet he could become a great pickup for the Steelers as a good veteran receiver.
Arnaz Battle and Tyler Grisham made pushes for roster spots in camp however, I think the Steelers are going to need those spots for other positions.
Starter: Hines Ward
Starter: Mike Wallace
No. 3 slot: Emmanuel Sanders
No. 4: Antonio Brown
No. 5: Jerricho Cotchery
Gone: Arnaz Battle, Tyler Grisham, Terrence McCrae, Armand Robinson, Kenny Moore, Eric Greenwood, Wes Lyons
Roster Spots: Five
The Steelers' offensive line has been all over the place so far in camp and the preseason and there are a few spots still up for grabs.
At this point I see the starting offensive line being Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Trai Essex and Willie Colon.
I’m hoping that Marcus Gilbert can stay healthy and still fight for at worst the starting left tackle spot, however, I think the Steelers may choose to develop him for a year barring injury.
I had high hopes for Chris Scott coming into camp but he has looked really bad so far and now I think his best case scenario is landing on the practice Squad.
The one real surprise is Tony Hills making the team since I did not think he would even get an offer from the Steelers and now he started at guard against the Eagles.
Left Tackle: Jonathan Scott
Left Guard: Chris Kemoeatu
Center: Maurkice Pouncey
Right Guard: Trai Essex
Right Tackle: Willie Colon
Backup: Doug Legursky
Backup: Ramon Foster
Backup: Marcus Gilbert
Backup: Tony Hills
Gone: Chris Scott, Colin Miller, John Malecki, Keith Williams, Trevis Turner
Roster Spots: Nine
The Steelers defensive line is the best in the league and now they will be getting Aaron Smith back healthy.
They already have Brett Keisel at No. 1 defensive end and Ziggy Hood showed last season that he is a dominant force on the other side when in the game.
With Smith and Keisel starting and Hood as the backup, the Steelers defensive line should be just as stout as last season.
Then throw in first-round pick Cameron Heyward, who has been impressive so far in camp and could contribute in his rookie year.
Casey Hampton is back plugging up the middle and Chris Hoke has been a solid backup at both DT and DE.
Starter: Aaron Smith
Starter: Brett Keisel
Starter: Casey Hampton
Primary Backup: Ziggy Hood
Backup: Chris Hoke
Backup: Cameron Heyward
Gone: Corbin Bryant, Jarrett Crittenton, Steve McClendon, Anthony Grey
Roster Spots: six
Because of the Steelers having greater needs at other positions, I do not see the team keeping an extra linebacker on the roster.
I thought at the beginning of camp that they would definitely find a roster spot for Mario Harvey, however, he has not played at all due to injury and I see him going to the practice Squad now.
There is no question to who are the starters and that will be LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons.
I was hoping that Larry Foote would be overtaken by a guy like Mario Harvey as I stated, but now I think they keep him for one more season.
Stevenson Sylvester and Jason Worilds will be a lot more involved with the defense in 2011 and will still be major contributors on special teams.
This will basically be a red shirt year for Chris Carter who probably won’t see the field barring injury and even then he'll only play on special teams.
Starter: LaMarr Woodley
Starter: James Harrison
Starter: Lawrence Timmons
Starter: James Farrior
Backup: Larry Foote
Backup: Chris Carter
Backup: Jason Worilds
Backup: Stevenson Sylvester
Gone: Mortty Ivy, Mario Harvey, Baraka Atkins, Chris Ellis, Chris McCoy
Roster Spots: Eight
There is no question with Ike Taylor starting on one side but I think the recent good play of Keenan Lewis could allow the Steelers to cut Bryant McFadden.
I would rather them keep McFadden and cut William Gay, however, if the team is comfortable with Lewis starting, I am all for it.
It is time in my opinion to see what some of these young corners can do even though I know that thinking burned the Steelers with Gay a couple years ago.
There have been some reports that rookie Cortez Allen could be placed on injured reserve before the season and if that happens I could see the team then keeping McFadden but more likely an extra linebacker or offensive lineman.
I think there is also a chance that Donovan Warren gets some significant playing time in 2011 as he has looked pretty good so far in the preseason.
Starter: Ike Taylor
Starter: Keenan Lewis
No. 3: William Gay
No. 4 Curtis Brown
No. 5: Donovan Warren
No. 6: Crezdon Butler
No. 7: Cortez Allen
Gone: Bryant McFadden, Niles Brinkley, Kevin Dockery, Macho Harris
Roster Spots: Seven
The combination of Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark will roam the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary for at least one more season.
Troy makes the entire defense better and elevates Clark’s game to another level while both of them are on the field.
Ryan Mundy showed to be serviceable last season when Troy was hurt and I do not see anyone unseating him as the primary backup at safety.
I thought there was a chance that Will Allen could be cut if Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith showed enough in camp, however, I just do not think that is going to happen at this point.
Starter: Ryan Clark
Starter: Troy Polamalu
Backup: Ryan Mundy
Backup: Will Allen
Gone: Da’Mon Cromartie Smith, Brent Greenwood
Roster Spots: Four
I was surprised to see the Steelers not bring in an undrafted free-agent kicker to camp since I thought there were a few interesting guys out there.
As it stands, Shaun Suisham is set to be the kicker for the Steelers this season although he has not attempted a field goal in the first two preseason games.
Daniel Sepulveda has proven to be the best guy for the punting job even though he has shown to be a bit injury prone.
I thought this would be the season that Greg Warren would be replaced at long snapper, however, in the end I see the Steelers keeping him in that spot.
Kicker: Shaun Suisham
Punter: Daniel Sepulveda
Long Snapper: Greg Warren
Gone: Jeremy Kapinos, Swayze Waters
Roster Spots: Three
I am really hoping that pretty much all of these guys make it to the practice squad and do not get picked up by other teams.
I can see Cromartie-Smith, Clay, Scott, Grey and Harvey all making the team next season if they are not signed by anyone else.
Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith SS
John Clay RB
Chris Scott T/G
Kyle Jolly T
Anthony Grey NT
Tyler Grisham WR
Mario Harvey LB
Jamie McCoy TE