The Steelers are wrapping up their rookie minicamp and 4 of the players who tried out have gotten signed. Let’s meet the the new guys.
The Steelers rookie minicamp came and went in the blink of an eye. Including those drafted their were over 50 players in attendance. But only a lucky few of those lucky few would make it to the team, if any. When the dust settled the Steelers saw 4 players they wanted to keep around.
Now they’re undrafted free agents of course. It’s not traditionally the most consequential position to be in. But, given we’re talking about a team that’s undrafted the likes of James Harrison and Ramon Foster, it’s not necessarily true that these are players are inconsequential.
So here’s a quick recap of the roster moves followed by an introduction to each new addition and what role they could possibly fill if they move forward with the team.
To make room for these four players the Steelers released wide receiver Tobias Palmer, cornerback Isaiah Frey, and two running backs, Christian Powell and Rajion Neal. Not coincidentally, the Steelers new additions fill those same positional spaces.
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The Steelers recently announced that they had signed wide receiver Marcus Tucker, cornerback Donald Washington, and two running backs, Brandon Brown-Dukes and Cameron Stingily. Let’s get to know the fellas.
Cameron Stingily, RB – Let’s start with the familiar face. Cameron Stingily. Stingily stands 6’1″ and weighs 235 pounds. The Northern Illinois University product came in as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He was signed by the Steelers last year but was cut. He’s back for a second go. He doesn’t catch much but he’s a power back and the Steelers great offense can stall in the red zone. This will help his odds, and his experience with the offense.
Cameron knows the game. He told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com last year, of Tomlin “Honestly I am just happy he knows my name. That was my goal, to get his attention somehow, someway. If he keeps saying my name, whether it’s good or bad, it’s all good. If it’s bad it means he is coaching me, because the last thing I want is the coach to stop coaching me because it means he is looking at the next person.
Brandon Brown-Dukes, RB – Not to be confused with legendary made up doo-wop group Brandon and the the Brown Dukes. Brown-Dukes is only 5’8″ and weighs 200 pounds. He has a solid build despite his height. None of his measurables stand out that much. He played at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA so the Steelers scouts are presumably familiar with the neighboring player and like what they see.
Donald Washington, CB – Donald Washington tried out for the team in the rookie minicamp but he is far from a rookie. Washington has 4 years experience under his built and is playing at the ripe old age of 29, soon to be 30. Washington won 2 BCS crowns with Ohio State before being drafted in the 4th round by the Chiefs in 2009. He played backup safety until 2011 when he was cut. He played a couple seasons in Toronto in the CFL.
While in the CFL he played safety and corner, telling Mark Kaboly of the TribLive.com, “The more you can do, the longer that you can kind of hang around. I kind of take it as a compliment. They can see me as an either/or. I have played all over the secondary, so I am not uncomfortable anywhere.” Versatility is famously coveted by Tomlin.
Marcus Tucker, WR – Tucker stands 5’10” and weighs 192 pounds. He comes from Northern Michigan University. He’s the second actual rookie signed from the rookie camp. It’s probably too much to ask that Tucker produce like the last 5’10” WR addition from a small Michigan college. But he has made the team, which is a first step. He returns kicks as well, kickoffs, which the Steelers really need.
So those are the new guys. Will they be hall of famers? Will they be cut before week 1? Only time will tell.