With tonight comes the end of the preseason for the Steelers. With that also comes the final roster cuts to get the team down to 53 men. Before we know it the regular season will be here. So here are a few links to help that time go by even faster for Thursday, Aug. 28th.
Steelers Depot Roster Predictions
Over at Steelers Depot, Dave Bryan took an attempt at predicting the Steelers final roster yesterday. Here are some notable things I saw when looking over it. Only two quarterbacks are kept. Heyward-Bey makes the roster as the sixth receiver. Only six defensive lineman end up on the roster. Daniel McCullers makes it over Josh Mauro. Chris Carter makes it over Howard Jones. A certain fifth round pick is left off the roster. Lastly, Long snapper Bryce Davis makes the roster in light of Warren’s injury.
As far as my opinion goes, I largely agree with Bryan’s predictions. On the offensive side of the ball the only thing I disagree with is Heyward-Bey making the roster. He he’s been awful for his whole career, no reason to think that will change now. On the defensive side of the ball, I have two complaints. I didn’t like Daniel McCullers before the draft (I had a seventh round grade on him) and I don’t like him now. He has looked good in the preseason, but he is competing against third teamers. There his size can mask is amazing lack of any technique or rush moves. My other complaint comes at outside linebacker. I don’t think that Carter should be kept over Jones in any world. Jones has looked amazing, not only on special teams, this preseason. Carter has been given opportunities to impress in the pass and he has thoroughly disappointed. His chances should be long gone.
Biggest Preseason Disappointments
Curt Popejoy from Bleacher Report published an article late last night that profiled five of the Steelers biggest disappointments this preseason. The list consists of: Kelvin Beachum & Marcus Gilbert, Landry Jones, cornerbacks, new defensive alignments, and last but also least Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. This really encompasses it all. At the very best any member of this list has been below average this preseason. The tackles have played subpar in the running game as Popejoy points out, meanwhile Landry Jones has looked like a pee-wee quarterback transitioning to the pros. On the defensive side of the ball the cornerbacks have been just as bad as everyone suspected, and it doesn’t help that the position was utterly ignored over the offseason by what is quickly looking like an incompetent front office. Also, Dick LeBeau’s experiment with the “base 4-3 nickel” needs to end right away.
Despite all of the awfulness listed above, there is a clear number one in the backfield. There is absolutely no excuse for the idiocy of Bell and Blount. There is no acceptable excuse for making that mistake and putting your team in a situation where it could be without it’s top two backs for any number of games. Bell’s “kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar, I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to do this” excuse for the whole matter doesn’t help either. Act like a professional or you won’t be a professional for long.