A few days of camp are under our belts and the Steelers first preseason game is quickly approaching. Sounds like a good time to hash out some of the key training camp roster battles. We'll hit up the offense today and go defense tomorrow.
|81||Battle, Arnaz||WR||6-1||208||31||9||Notre Dame|
|84||Brown, Antonio||WR||5-10||186||23||2||Central Michigan|
|15||Lyons, Wes||WR||6-8||230||23||1||West Virginia|
|14||Robinson, Armand||WR||6-1||199||23||R||Miami (OH)|
I know next to nothing of the new rookie WRs so we will have to see how they look in preseason game 1. One of them may surprise and stick with the team and kick Grisham/Sweed/Battle off the roster.
The team really needs Limas Sweed to step up and live up to the hype, he's the guy I'm focusing on this preseason at the WR spot. There is no reason why he can't be a contributor, given his size, skill, and pedigree. Grisham is white (joking) and Battle is purely a special teams ace so I'm hoping Limas wins the job.
|85||Johnson, David||TE||6-2||260||23||3||Arkansas State|
|45||McCoy, Jamie||TE||6-2||240||24||1||Texas A&M|
|44||Saunders, Wesyle||TE||6-5||270||22||R||South Carolina|
Does it matter? You know what you're getting from this position in our offense. David Johnson has been a real nice surprise, showing the ability to play FB/TE. He is an above average blocker and catches the ball when it is thrown his way.
Heath Miller is a Pro Bowler but won't be utilized as much as he should (no matter what the coaching staff tells us in the preseason).
John Gilmore was just added as a reserve/backup blocking TE. He's a bit of a ho-hum boring signing but you need backup blocking TEs.
The most intriguing guy here is Wes Saunders who has all the talent in the world and has a legit chance to make the team. If he makes the squad he may be the most athletic TE we've had in a while but with that said, how much of an impact would he really have? We don't use our TEs much in the passing game but he'd be a nice backup to Miller. If he's 6'5, athletic and can run after the catch, that's nice and all but how much would we actually use him? Arians likes to run 2 and 3 TE sets but not nearly as much as he did in his first 2 seasons with the Steelers. I'm looking forward to seeing Saunders play this preseason though.
a title=”Harrison, Joshua” href=”http://www.steelers.com/team/roster/Joshua-Harrison/41c6ddf2-c162-41dc-be09-b535d8a2640c” rel=”/cda-web/person-card-module.htm?mode=data&id=41c6ddf2-c162-41dc-be09-b535d8a2640c” rev=”Player”>Harrison, Joshua
|OT||6-4||290||23||R||South Carolina State|
|67||Jolly, Kyle||OT||6-6||300||24||1||North Carolina|
|55||Turner, Trevis||OT||6-7||330||24||R||Abilene Christian|
First things first….Signing Willie Colon and cutting Flozell Adams is a move I don't agree with. Age and salary got Flozell tossed off the roster but there is a small chance he gets brought back.
Willie Colon is a barely average (at best) RT and nobody should be real excited to see him starting at RT Game 1 of the regular season. Moving Colon to Guard and getting Flozell back at starting RT would be my dream scenario but I don't know how realistic it is.
Max Starks getting released is not a huge deal as far as I'm concerned but the team better hope Scott or one of the other young guys are ready to take over at LT from day one. A risky move indeed, but in the salary cap era you're going to enter the season with question marks at a few positions no matter what you do. It seems the OL always has question marks but they pull it together enough to get by and be serviceable.
|54||Miller, Colin||C||6-3||300||23||R||Central Michigan|
Keith Williams is supposed to be turning heads in camp but let's see what he amounts to in the preseason games; a guy like him could get an older established vet like Kemoeateu tossed off the roster. A guy like Kemo who has had his ups and downs is only one young impressive rookie away from getting cut. I think his salary and inability to cut out the mental mistakes is something that may work against him if guys like Foster, Legursky, Williams, Colon, etc…get time at guard and excel. Legursky is nice C/G depth and Pouncey is the best Center in the NFL…other than that the OL is an open competition that should be pretty interesting to follow as camp unfolds. Some of these rookies and second year guys have great opportunities here to win jobs. There is really no sense is guessing what the depth chart at OL will look like given the fact that Starks/Flozell could be re-signed and that would throw the entire position upside down.
|16||Batch, Charlie||QB||6-2||216||36||14||Eastern Michigan|
|2||Dieker, Chris||QB||6-5||230||24||R||Southern Illinois|
|7||Roethlisberger, Ben||QB||6-5||241||29||8||Miami (Ohio)|
The only thing that interests me here is how many weeks go by until Charlie Batch is cut and asked to join the organization as a QB coach or QB consultant/adviser? No way he should make the roster.
Leftwich is a great backup and I like the idea of holding on to Dennis Dixon for a while and see if he can play well enough in the preseason to bring back some value in a trade. I'm not saying he's on Kolb's level but look at what he brought in return for Philly. If Dixon impresses in the preseason why not trade him to somebody looking for help at QB? I was listening to ESPN Radio in D.C. this week and the hosts were openly discussing bringing in Dixon. He may be a guy that gets lost in the shuffle in Pittsburgh but keep in mind, there are PLENTY of teams out there that have QB issues. The Redskins, for example, enter the season with John Beck and Rex Grossman as their top 2 QBs. A team like that should be interested in adding a guy like Dixon to the mix. What would you get in return? Who knows, but it's better than letting him get away for nothing.
|35||Batch, Baron||RB||5-10||210||23||R||Texas Tech|
|27||Dwyer, Jonathan||RB||5-11||229||22||2||Georgia Tech|
|41||Johnson, James||RB||5-11||205||26||2||Kansas State|
|33||Redman, Isaac||RB||6-0||230||26||3||Bowie State|
According to people in Latrobe, rookie RB Baron Batch has been the most impressive player in camp. That's great news if you ask me, the Steelers need some RB depth behind Mendenhall and Redman.
Dwyer is somebody I was high on last year but word is that he reported to camp fat and out of shape….if that's the case then things don't look good for him making the roster. Your livelihood is on the line…your chance to play pro football and make millions of dollars is on the line and you show up fat/out of shape? I can't imagine being dumb enough to blow an opportunity like that. It's not a good sign when the bullet point highlights from the first day of training camp from every news organization covering the Steelers is as follows:
*Timmons looks to be in fantastic shape
*James Harrison ducked the media
*Sweed looks impressive
*Pouncey has amazing balance and agility
*Jonathan Dwyer looks like he's 400 lbs
John Clay is a similar runner to Dwyer and may end up on the practice squad. He and Dwyer are the same type of player, only room for 1 of them, if that. Mendy, Batch, Redman, Moore isn't a real high-profile backfield in terms of “name” players but you could do worse. I wouldn't mind adding another veteran RB to replace Moore, I appreciate his ability to get yardage on 3rd down and catch the ball out of the backfield but Redman can do that as well.
I think the team could really use another RB capable of carrying the load or splitting carries with Mendenhall; I'm surprised the team hasn't jumped on anyone yet.