Oh how things can change so quickly. One play of the preseason even. As it stands right now, it looks like Byron Leftwich has some MCL damage. Early reports say it is torn, but that is not confirmed. This 53 man roster prediction of mine assumes he will be placed on IR. If not, I get one mulligan before the cuts are made Saturday. Here is the 53 man prediction from last week and I will note the changes and why I made them.
First I added Kraig Urbik back because I feel he has improved greatly over the last 2 weeks. This takes me from 9 to 10 lineman. The next change is the releasing of Joe Burnett for Crezdon Butler. Burnett has slid way down the depth chart, while Butler has really flashed as I thought he would. I have also seen Butler on special teams a few times and Butler also adds more position flexibility.
Ra\'Shon Sunny Harris has shown me nothing this preseason. Nick Eason clearly has beaten him out in my opinion. The final few decision tough cuts were Patrick Bailey, Tyler Grisham and Stefan Logan. Bailey played great Thursday night, but the first 3 preseason games did not impress me. Too much is tied up in draft picks to keep Bailey just for special teams play. Grisham and Battle was a tough choice as well as I think Grisham is the better route runner and receiver, but Battle offers more flexibility and is a known special teams contributor. He also has a bigger contract involved with a bigger signing bonus. Stefan Logan is just not needed any longer. Brown and Sanders showed they can do the job on returns.
I went against my better judgment and kept Jonathan Dwyer. I drank the Isaac Redman Kool-aid last year thinking there was no way he could be cut. Dwyer beats out Frank Summers merely because Frank has no upside. Dwyer can run, we have seen that, but he has a long way to go though and is likely the 52nd man on the roster right now. I would not rule out a free agent running back being signed when cuts are made either. For now Dwyer reluctantly makes my list. I also found a way to keep Anthony Madison. He is the 53rd player right now. He has position flexibility, albeit not strong at any of them, but is the heart of special teams.
The last choice that was hard was long snapper. Matt Stewart was off the mark in the Denver game a few times and really this was a coin flip. Anyone that claims to have info that Stewart will unseat Greg Warren is just guessing. Only Mike Tomlin and Al Everest know this for sure. If I miss one it could be something stupid like this. I kept Warren.
All in all I like my chances at nailing all 53. I think I have a great shot at nailing at least 50 of 53. There are always surprises though. Always.
EDITED TO ADD: FRIDAY 9/3/10 12:06 PM Central - If indeed Leftwich is kept on the active roster and not placed on IR or PUP, I think Kraig Urbik becomes the final player cut. So there you have my IF/THEN scenario on the Leftwich injury.
2010 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction
|82||Antwaan Randle El||WR|
Injured Reserve or PUP
Released Signed To Practice Squad