Aug 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) during warm ups before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers waited until just shortly before the deadline to announce the final 22 players that would be cut from the team in order to trim down to the allotted 53 man roster. The Steelers started early with their surprises, however, when they signed B.W. Webb the day prior – meaning that the cornerback situation wasn’t cut and dry. There were more surprises to follow on Saturday when the list of cuts became public. But what was the biggest surprise from Saturday?
Admittedly, I was surprised to see the Steelers carry nine linemen (showing that Mike Munchak has lots of pull on this team already) and that both Wesley Johnson and Chris Hubbard were kept over veteran Guy Whimper. I was even surprised that TE David Paulson was shown the door as well. But the biggest surprise of them all was that the team went all in with their outside linebackers and only kept three.
That meant that they cut Chris Carter and rookie Howard Jones on Saturday and keeping only Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, and Arthur Moats. While everyone was debating which of Carter and Jones the Steelers should keep, they kept neither. Of the six top linebackers on the team, the coaches only retained three. That’s about as all in as you can get. Without any leads on claiming other LB’s off of waivers, the Steelers are completely banking on the play of Jones and Worilds… and their health too.
Now, the team can sign HoJo to the practice squad as long as he clears through waivers after Sunday. That’s likely to happen, but the Steelers would need to release someone from the roster if they ever need to bring him up should the other LB’s sustain minor injuries that are not IR worthy. It’s a little unprecedented for a team to carry so little in reserve, but there you have it. It’s a very surprising move and probably the biggest one to come out of Saturday.
Hopefully, the Steelers won’t run into any problems with health or performance at OLB.