The 2010 Steelers are 3-0 and headed back home for their first division game against the Baltimore Ravens next weekend. Lost in the 3 wins to start the season is the depth of the roster and the amount of players that have contributed to their 3-0 start. Through 3 games, the Steelers have had 54 different players on the active roster and of those 54, only 3 have not seen any playing time. Those 3 players are Byron Leftwich and rookies Jonathan Dwyer and Crezdon Butler. Even practice squad defensive lineman Steve McLendon, who was activated for the Titans game, played and contributed greatly in the absence of the injured Casey Hampton.
Yesterday in a hot and humid Tampa day, the Steelers masterfully rotated in all 7 active offensive linemen and the defense saw rookie linebackers Jason Worilds and Stevenson Sylvester even get well needed time on the field on the back end of the blowout. It might not seem like a big deal, but every play the young linebackers get in the regular season helps speed up their future development. In addition, it is rewarding them for their strong special teams contributions. Throw on top of all this, Troy Polamalu was able to rest and watch much of the fourth quarter on the sideline and snag errant throws, while Will Allen, Ryan Mundy and even Anthony Madison got some well needed time in the secondary.
Injuries are part of the game and Mike Tomlin preaches that the next man up must uphold the standard. So far in the 2010 season, the standard has been upheld in light of several injuries to the likes of Hampton, Max Starks, Trai Essex, Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon. Backup nose tackle Chris Hoke is the latest to suffer an injury and McLendon will likely be back from the practice squad to continue the next man up mantra and uphold the standard from the 54th spot on the roster. In another week the 55th man, Ben Roethlisberger, will be back from his 4 game suspension and chomping at the bit to make up for lost time. There is no doubt at what type of contributions he will make on offense.
Bring on the Ravens.