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Cutting down the Steelers roster to 53

-- Chaz Palla Steelers running back Baron Batch will make the final cut.

— Chaz Palla
Steelers running back Baron Batch will make the final cut.


Mark Kaboly  | Tribune-Review


Training camp is quickly coming to a close at St. Vincent College.


Three weeks of practices may not be enough time for Mike Tomlin to form an opinion on his final 53-man roster that he will call the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers, but it is plenty enough time for me.


So, as I break camp Thursday so I can get ready for this thing called my wedding over the weekend (and subsequent honeymoon to Hawaii), what better time but to set forth the Steelers 53-man roster than now?


There has been a lot of questions who the Steelers fifth receiver might be since Plaxico Burress was placed on injured reserve. My answer is … I guess you are going to have to read on to find out.




QUARTERBACK (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Notable cut: None

Comment: There’s really no surprise here. Landry Jones might have been outperformed slightly by John Parker Wilson in camp, but Jones gets the edge because he’s a fourth-round pick.


RUNNING BACK (6) – Le’Veon Bell, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Larod Stephens-Howling, Baron Batch, Will Johnson (FB)

Notable cut: None

Comment: The uncertainty of Redman, Dwyer and even Stephens-Howling returning next year forces the Steelers to keep Baron Batch.


WIDE RECEIVER (4) – Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton

Notable cuts: Justin Brown, David Gilreath, Derek Moye

Comment: The Steelers kept only four receivers last year and very well could do the same this year. Their fallback plan is that they can easily sneak one or two of their young and talented receivers onto the practice squad.


TIGHT END (3) – Heath Miller, David Paulson, David Johnson

Notable cut: Matt Spaeth (placed on IR/designated for return after final cutdown)

Comment: What likely will happen is that the Steelers will add a tight end after the final cuts come down in the league in early September. If that’s the case, they could keep four tight ends and make a sacrifice somewhere else.


OFFENSIVE LINE (9) – Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, John Malecki, Guy Whimper, Joe Long

Notable cut: D’Anthony Batiste

Comment: The Steelers could also look via the waiver wire in early September to fill a backup spot, if not, the unit is pretty easily put together based on their training camp performance.


DEFENSIVE LINE (7) – Ziggy Hood, Steve McLendon, Brett Keisel, Cameron Heyward, Al Woods, Alameda Ta’amu, Nick Williams

Notable cut: None

Comment: Al Woods’ versatility of being able to play nose and end could make this a six-man unit, but defensive line coach John Mitchell will fight for a seventh … and get it.


OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5) – LaMarr Woodley, Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Adrian Robinson, Chris Carter

Notable cut: Alan Baxter

Comment: Baxter played well enough to make the roster, but will likely find himself on the practice squad instead


INSIDE LINEBACKER (4) – Lawrence Timmons, Larry Foote, Marshall McFadden, Stevenson Sylvester

Notable cut: Kion Wilson

Comment: McFadden and Wilson could be interchanged, but McFadden’s upside will be the determining factor over Wilson.


CORNERBACK (5) – Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian

Notable cut: Isaiah Green

Comment: Victorian is in a battle for that fifth cornerback spot on the roster with Green. At this point, Victorian has been just a little bit better than Green.


SAFETY (4): Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden

Notable cut: None

Comment: This position is pretty cut-and-dry. Golden is a little bit of a sleeper because he is much better than Thomas at this point.


SPECIALIST (3) – Shaun Suisham, Brian Moorman, Greg Warren

Notable cut: Drew Butler

Comment: The punter battle will ultimately come down to hang time and Moorman is a little better in that area than Butler.


OK, have fun and keep my updated until I return.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. Kevin says:

    Your math is incorrect. You have only 52 names listed. Your mistake is having them keep 7 DL but only have 6 names listed.

  2. Todd says:

    Mark, you listed six D-lineman, but said Mitchell will get to keep seven.

  3. Skip says:

    What about Vince Williams?

  4. Larry G says:

    How has Victorian been better than Green up to this point when Green has surpassed Victorian on the team depth chart from this week?

  5. Noah says:

    I think overall your right but have a couple tweeks to your roster. I think they will keep bell redman dwyer and stevens-howling(Will johnson). Therefor i think they will keep an extra reciever and its either gonna be Woods Moye or Brown and right now i would give brown the spot due to his play in the first game and him being a draft pick. Also i do believe that Drew butler is gonna be the punter.

  6. Mark, love your 53 with a few tweaks:

    – Cut RB B. Batch and give me a 5th WR (R. Dunn as KR/PR/WR or J. Brown)

    – DE Brian Arnfelt makes this team over DE (N. Williams); Williams and Fangupo to practice squad.

    – Give me 6 DBs (add T. Hawthorne & I. Green, cut Victorian) over 8 OL (cut Whimper)

    – 9 LBs (I’m keeping 4 OLBs, cut C. Carter) and 5 ILBs (McFadden, Wilson, Williams) with Timmons & Foote.

  7. Mark, has Chris Carter done ANYTHING in camp or the preseason to warrant the Steelers keeping a 5th OLB? To me, the ILBs have looked much more impressive thus far. Sly can’t play ILB in the base defense, so if the other backup ILBs prove themselves on special teams, Sly is history.

  8. Shades says:

    What about Vince McMahon?!?

  9. leefoo says:

    I wondered about that, too.

  10. Hart says:

    Easier to draft a RB v. WR next year. BBatch out replaced by J Brown.

  11. John says:

    who are the punt and kickoff returners, does Reggie Dunn make the team?

  12. Rich says:

    I think you still to attached to what you have seen in training camp. For I think they will carry;
    only 4 – RB + 1 FB Barring injury, There will not be a Batch on this years roster.
    OL – 8 -There will be only 8 unless they do find a good one on the waver wire.
    TE – 4 – because on the injuries they almost have to carry 4
    10 LB – 5 each ILB and OLB.
    The toughest cuts will be on defense at both LB spots and at both CB and safety

  13. Glorious Comrade says:

    No Justin Brown WR? Batch (RB) has looked ordinary I think they can afford to lose him to keep J. Brown.

  14. Brent Morrow says:

    I think Justin Brown makes the squad as does Williams.

  15. Belinda Smith says:

    I like QB John Parker Wilson he was the only guy that seems to play good in week 1 against the New York Giants but Landry Jones gets the Edge. Okay they could of cut Bruce.

  16. jimbo says:

    Me too. Thought he looked good…has upside at a need position.

  17. David says:

    The only changes that i would like to the 53
    drop Baron Batch and Keep Justin Brown (next year we may lose Sanders )
    Sylvester is still on the bubble (I think the battle for the last inside linebacker will be
    won on the special team performance the next two weeks)

  18. joe says:

    4 tight ends, let along 4 poor tight ends are a waste of roster space. disagree with you there.
    Vince Williams looks good, he should stay. Whimper looks like horrible, he needs to go.
    I like Green over Victorian, but that’s just my personal opinion.

    if we have an injury on the starting OLINE we are doomed.

  19. Jeff Z. says:

    Congrats on getting Married Mark. I wish you and Mrs.Kaboly Nothing but the Best.

  20. Bob Sauers says:

    defensive line,, from what I saw in pre season so far,, no 69 (Arnfield ?) should be kept before Heywood or Williams,,,

    Receivers,, from what I understand,, there are at least three teams waiting for Derek Moye to be cut so they can grab him,,,

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