May 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 sixth round draft pick receiver Justin Brown (15) participates in drills during Steelers rookie mincamp and orientation at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers signed the following eight players to their practice squad according to the team’s website:
OT Joe Long
OG Chris Hubbard
RB Alvester Alexander
WR Justin Brown
OLB Alan Baxter
ILB Terence Garvin
DE Brian Arnfelt
CB Devin Smith
Let me just say that I believe that Josh Victorian’s pathetic performance during preseason play opened the door for the likes of Devin Smith and Isaiah Green to stick and stay in Pittsburgh. I also assume that Terry Hawthorne’s injury history did not do him any favors either. I do however hope that the Steelers use some high round draft choices on cornerbacks over the coming seasons.
I was happy to see Long and Hubbard both stay. Long should provide insurance if Guy Whimper turns into the turnstile he was in Jacksonville, and a year of development should help the raw Hubbard hone his skills, learn his new position, and put on weight. I’m not sure why they kept Alexander though, especially since he only rushed for 2.9 yards per carry during preseason play (15 carries for 43 yards).
The addition of Justin Brown is a huge plus however. Brown should be the team’s emergency sixth receiver and a possible special teams contributor if injuries strike at the position. Plus, with the contracts of Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery set to expire soon, Brown could be called upon next season to help.
I was actually a bit surprised that Arnfelt was cut, but it is downright awesome that Pittsburgh inked the UDFA. Arnfelt illustrated that he could develop into a solid backup option as a defensive end during the preseason, and it was nice to see that him, Baxter, and Garvin cleared the waiver wire.
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