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My projected 53 (for now)

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The Steelers’ final preseason game ensured a couple of things: coach Mike Tomlin and his staff have some tough decisions to make and several players that are deserving to make the team won’t be on the final roster because there simply isn’t enough room.

Here is my projected 53-man roster with the caveat that it is likely to change. I’ll explain some of my decisions below:

Offense
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon.
RB: Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Mewelde Moore and Jonathan Dwyer.
WR: Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery.
TE: Heath Miller, David Johnson, John Gilmore and Weslye Saunders.
OL: Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Doug Legursky, Willie Colon, Tony Hills, Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster and Trai Essex.

Defense
DL: Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward and Chris Hoke.
LB: James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Jason Worilds, Stevenson Sylvester and Chris Carter.
DB: Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, William Gay, Ryan Mundy, Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown, Crezdon Butler, Will Allen and Cortez Allen.

Specialists:
K: Shaun Suisham
P: Daniel Sepulveda
LS: Greg Warren

– Arnaz Battle is a veteran and had a good preseason. But he wouldn’t see the field as a wide receiver, as loaded as the Steelers are at the position.
And I just don’t see him as a must-keep special-teams player.

– I keep going back and forth between Hoke and Steve McLendon on defensive line and both could make it.
Tomlin likes to dress an extra defensive lineman while the weather is still warm. If the Steelers keep seven on their 53-man roster Hoke and McLendon are locks. If they go with six, Hoke gets the edge because of experience and position flexibility.
Corbin Bryant, while a promising prospect, has practice squad written all over him.

– Mortty Ivy may have played himself onto a 53-man roster Thursday night but it won’t be in Pittsburgh.
There is simply no room for him, unless the Steelers keep a ninth linebacker and they think the Gateway High graduate can really help them on special teams.
Ivy just hasn’t stood out enough in that aspect of the game.

– The Steelers keep seven cornerbacks only because they don’t want to risk losing rookie Cortez Allen by sneaking him onto the practice squad.
I think Crezdon Butler removed himself from the bubble by virtue of his play in final two preseason games. Only way he is in trouble is if Steelers go with six cornerbacks and it comes down to Butler or Allen.
If they keep six cornerback, the Steelers may go with the player that has more long-term potential in Allen. That is how Butler made the team last year over Joe Burnett.

– I have Sepulveda barely holding off Jeremy Kapinos at punter. But the injury factor when it comes to Kapinos may be what separates them in the end, in the eyes of the Steelers.

– Scott Brown

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Comments

  1. Pedro says:

    McLendon over Hoke, I dont see Butler and Kapinos will be the punter. Tony Hills ???

    What is he good at?

  2. Luis says:

    I would let go John Gilmore, and add one of those hard cuts you mentioned.

  3. Nick says:

    Was hoping you’d explain the decision to keep 4 TE’s. Bruce Arians-itis?

  4. Jim says:

    I thought Warren might have played himself on. Is he eligible for the Practice Squad? I think Sepulveda should be the punter.

  5. Tom Pfeiffer says:

    I think they should of drafted a QB in the late rounds Dennis Dixon is not the answer.
    I hope they can pick up some OL help because they still need help at tackle but maybe Gilbert will work out before the season ends.
    I do not see them keeping 4 TE’S
    Go Steelers

  6. Dave Rattigan says:

    I think William Gay needs to go… Cost us a Superbowl and gets beat at least a couple times every game… Time to get some new blood in his spot.

  7. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    When MT became coach he said that the Steelers had to become younger. Mr. Rooney lamented that the Steelers take too long to develop young talent. This year’s squad is a tipping point for a youth movement. I can live with Scott Brown’s squad for 2011, but next year will bring a big turnover of older players for younger, whether the vets want to retire or not. There is too much young talent to ignore, here.

  8. David says:

    well everything is set, we are on the road to opening day, this first game between the Ravens and Steelers is must see tv, and i will watch this classic in the making!…..
    Steelers . 37
    Ravens … 13

  9. David says:

    This edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers is very different from years pass, i actually am excited to get the 2011 NFL season under way, our offense really has got me hyped and thats a rare thing because the past offenese has never been this deep with quality skilled players… we can put up 40 points if we are on our game….. lets light up the score board……

  10. Jim says:

    I am sure the coaches know better than I, but I would have preferred Warren over Gay. I wonder if they could have gotten anything for Gay? A 7th next year, I would take it.

  11. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Delta Steelers: 52

    Omega Ravens: 1

    (Dean Wormer-Goodell arbitrarily decrees “double-secret-Steelers-shutout-probation”)

    Batch: I don’t think it’s fair!

    Dean Goodell: I’ll tell you what’s fair and what’s not!

  12. Becky says:

    I think Mortty Ivy ROCKS!!!!! just saying

  13. Jason says:

    I think Supulveda is gone… if they cut Kapinos, he gets picked up and if DP gets hurt, we are in the same situation as we were.

    No way they keep 4 TE’s… if Gilmore doesn’t make the team, he doesn’t get picked up by anyone else. The Steelers know that and if they need him, can sign him down the road. If they keep Gilmore, there is a good shot Saunders clears and they can keep him on the practice squad. My money is on Saunders… he can catch and is crazy athletic.

    All corners left on the roster make it…and I wouldn’t doubt Warren makes the practice squad. Ivy doesn’t make the team… they have too many LB’s. if he isn’t picked up by another team (and I think he will), he makes the PS. Let me add to that…if McFadden isn’t healthy, he will be gone. We can bash Gay all we want, there is no drop off between him and McFadden. There is no drop between Gay and Lewis. There is Ike and then everyone else…

    The DL is a tough call… Hoke is the only real NT behind Hampton. Hood could play there but is more of a DE. It will come down to the Steelers believing if Mcllendon can back up Casey. Also, Bryant will be on the practice squad…if they feel he can be used in a pinch (as Mcllendon was used in the past off the Practice Squad), then Hoke stays.

    One last take… they have to start pushing for youth to play a part. This roster has young guys who can play (Worllds…Hood…Sylvester as examples)…by going with Mcllendon instead of Hoke, will that cause this team to not play in the Super Bowl?

    As for Battle… there will be returns when the weather gets cold. Sometimes you need guys who just do the little things. If they feel they have another guy that can do that, Battle is gone. I still think you need a 6th WR especially when Sanders and Cotchery are banged up and Hines is 104. Battle doesn’t have to dress every game…

    That’s my 2 cents…excuse any spelling errors.

 
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