Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General exterior view of the stadium as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers are getting ready for their last preseason game with a short turn-around from the last game. They have pared the roster down to the required 75 and will soon need to cut the last 22 players. A few can be shifted to the practice roster. I knew a few of the practice squad rules, but wanted a refresher. Brandon Sweeney of the website Steelers N Stuff put together a coherent review of the rules and who on the Steelers is eligible and who isn’t. It can seem like controlled chaos at times. Anyway, here are a few articles from around the internet over the last 24 hours that you may find interesting.
According to Scott Brown of ESPN.com, Isaac Redman is itching to get back to the field. Redman is sidelined with an injury and expectations are that he will be ready for the first regular season game. I would be surprised if he gets much playing time in Thursday’s game, but he may get a series or two to knock the rust off if he’s able. I’m not sure if Redman’s restlessness has anything to do with Felix Jones’ first full practice with the Steelers on Monday.
Which Linebackers To Keep?
Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review looks at the who is left in the linebacker competition. He notes that Cobert and Tomlin usually put 8 defensive lineman on the roster and Timmons, Woodley, Foote are the starters while Worilds and Jones continue to battle for starters versus back up for Harrison’s old position. He also says that Timmons has emerged as the most dominant defensive player. Paulk states that the fight is for the back up positions:
"Now McFadden and Carter appear to be ahead of the pack with the final cuts slated for Saturday. But the others — rookies Vince Williams, Alan Baxter and Terence Garvin and veteran free agents Brian Rolle and Kion Wilson — played well in a 26-20 overtime loss to Kansas City to bolster their chances.”"
I’m not ready to call out a dominant linebacker based on preseason, but Timmons certainly has had his share of successes over the years. I’m ready to see if all this “experimenting” and outwardly appearing “failure” from the preseason actually gels into something that the Steelers can win with. I will be interested in the last preseason game as it applies adds information on who will stay on the roster and who will go, but I don’t hope for much from it. I think the Steelers will be cautious with the veterans, as will most teams on their last preseason game.
Baron Batch Among the Cuts
Scott Brown, from ESPN.com, looked at the Steelers recent cuts, with an initial focus on Baron Batch. He says that Batch (a 2011 seventh-round draft pick) wasn’t a good fit for the Steelers because he is more of a special teams fit and not a featured running back. Brown thinks that if Bell hadn’t been injured that Batch may have had a place on the team. He also contends that this early cut is a sign of respect for Batch because the Steelers may be trying to give him a chance to get picked up elsewhere. Brown briefly looks at some of the other position competition.
Woodley Stepping Up
Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review looks at where Woodley is after a intense off-season workout regimen with Ryan Clark and three preseason games under his belt, albeit with limited playing time. Robinson contends that Woodley, along with Polamalu:
"Already this preseason, they’ve made the type of did-you-see-that plays they once made regularly but produced only infrequently during injury-stalled 2012 seasons.”"
Robinson sums up that Woodley has adjusted to James Harrison’s absence and is comfortable with either Worilds or Jones in that spot. Woodley is looking forward and ready to play.
Yesterday was National Dog Day. Yes, it’s in August and I’m sure there were lots of play of the phrase the “dog days of August.” However, there were also a ton of pictures of pets tweeted around. Here’s one from a Steelers fan, sent to Roethlisberger’s official Twitter account:
Pretty cute. I don’t care whose jersey it is, my dog wouldn’t be having any of that! Anyone else put Steelers accessories on their pets?
That’s it for today. Let us know what you think!