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Numbers, Damn Numbers: A Quick Look At The Steelers Post-Draft Roster


By Jeremy Hritz

Note: This was submitted prior to the Wednesday release of Chad Spann and Antonio Smith

With the 2012 NFL Draft in the books, the Pittsburgh Steelers roster is nearly set for training camp. Although a few nondescript cuts and signings may take place in between now and late July, the names on the roster look to stay the same. On steelers.com, the current roster of players can now be accessed (though the ages of some players are not yet provided). I decided to take a closer look at the roster and to see what information I could glean from the provided information related to position, age, and university. The results are quite interesting.

Currently, there are 92 players listed on the Steelers roster, 40 defensive players, 47 offensive players, and 5 specialists. There is a tie for the position with the most players: 15 total defensive backs (safety, corner) and 15 offensive lineman (guard, tackle, center). It is no surprise that the Steelers have stocked the positions for camp that have proved to be the Achilles heel over the last few season. It is also no shock that the positions with the fewest players are specialists (kicker, punter, long snapper) with five and quarterbacks with six.

Number of Players Position

QB RB OL WR TE DL LB DB Spec.
# of players 6 7 15 12 7 12 13 15 5

Several young players have been added to the team through the draft and through rookie free agency, and this has had an impact on the average ages of players. The youngest position on the team is the running back position at 23.8 years of age. This year, Steelers’ running backs have an average of 2.28 years experience in the NFL. The most experienced position is quarterback, with an average age of 29.8 and an average of 7.8 years of experience.

The average age overall for a Steelers player is 25.15, with 4.26 years of experience. Also, the average ages for offensive and defensive players are close, with offensive players coming in at 25.1 years of age with 3.8 years of experience, while defensive players are 25.8 years of age with 4.5 years of experience. While many critics of the Steelers last year argued that the defense was too old, the average age of a defensive starter this year, assuming Cortez Allen starts opposite Ike Taylor, is 29.5 years of age. While the numbers say the defense is a bit long in the tooth, they also say they are long in experience, with each starter having 8.36 years of experience. Undoubtedly, experience ensures leadership, and there will be no shortage of it this year.

Position Years Experience Average Age
DB 4.7 25.8
LB 4.4 25.2
DL 4.3 26.5
OL 3.8 24.7
QB 7.8 29.8
RB 2.28 23.8
WR 2.8 24.1
TE 3.8 25
Specials 7 27.25

I also took a brief look at where the current Steelers played their collegiate football. There are three NCAA teams that have each produced four current Steelers: Florida, Ohio State, and West Virginia. There are also three teams that have each produced three current Steelers: Texas A&M, Texas, and Georgia. 16 current Steelers hail from the SEC, while 13 current Steelers hail from the Big Ten Conference.

Lastly, with all of the excitement generated in the draft about the offensive line, I took a quick look at the average weight of an offensive lineman on the roster, and unsurprisingly, it comes in at a robust 315 pounds. Upon examination of the predicted starting offensive line next year (Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Willie Colon), the average weight of a starter stands at 316.8, only 1.8 pounds higher than the average. Though Casey Hampton has been forever known as the “Big Snack” at 325, the main course (or the heaviest player) on the team is new nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu who rolls into Pittsburgh at 348 pounds.

This year’s roster is a nice blend of experienced veterans and hungry youth which will make for a competitive camp come July, and without question, the roster as it stands now will change forms many times as those that can play separate themselves from those that cannot in Latrobe. The countdown to camp is on…

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  • greeny

    Curious to see how this age chart compares to last year

  • Jprankster2005

    I just saw that Jabar Gaffney was released by the Redskins yesterday and signed with the patriots, I remember someone said that it would of been nice to add him to our WR core…. I think it would of been nice to get him…… The pats supposebly signed him to a 2yr. deal they have alot of decent WR’s under contract and will pick from the best 5 to 6 more than likely… I hate the Patriots more than the Ravens and that’s saying something….. But they did add a few good defensive weapons but not as much as they should have….. If they would sign defense as much as they have WR this yr. they would be unstoppable…… Stallworth,Ochocino,Branch,Welker,Lloyd,Gaffney,Gonzalez and I’m sure I missed one… But there going to be unstoppable on offense with Hernadez and Gronk…. They did lose anderson on defense and possibly Carter….. SO let’s hope Brady just doesn’t have a good yr. and Welker will spend his last yr. there……

  • Bobby Bowers

    do you think if Alameda drops 10lbs, he’s more mobile, effective and better endurance in the 4th Quarter???

  • Wdmason

    “rolls into Pittsburgh” lol

  • Reader783

    I don’t think a) we can afford Gaffney with our tight cap nor b) do we need Gaffney with a core of Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Cotchery and a bunch of rookies

  • zbluez1

    O-line 3.8yrs experience and 24.7 yrs of age, and yet I am more encouraged then dismayed, younger, stronger, and faster. Mobile, able to pull, if they can gel and develop, there could be long term stability, continuity, and cohesion where there has been desperation, injuries, and confusion. Am I wrong to believe that this is a good thing? I am sure there will be growing pains, missed assignments, and initial misgivings, still, I am encouraged, nah, even excited to see this change because I know the future is bright and the upside of what the O-line can be is so much more than what it has been. So to all the nervous nellies, all those with, the “I want the old guys back syndrome”, and the “OMG WTF’s were they thinking” folks out there I say have faith, be patient, it will all be alright, these young guys will develop and a few years from now you will be complaining that one of these guys got robbed by not making the pro bowl when you know they should have, k?

  • Reader783

    And don’t be too quick to praise the Patriots. Stallworth is cheap because he got suspended for a year, Ochocinco had like 10 catches all year, Branch is well past his prime, Gaffney is no superstar seeing that he can’t keep a job on the Redskins, Gonzalez can’t stay healthy and Lloyd can’t stay on a team. Just like last year, Welker, Gronk and Hernandez are that offense. If you can shut those guys down, like the Steelers did last year, then they are nothing.

  • PoKey21

    Tam’mu weighed up to 390 pounds at Washington. I am kind of concerned about his conditioning level.

  • James

    I wouldn’t assume that Allen will be the starter next year. I would say that Lewis has the edge going into training camp (he played that spot when we went to nickel last year). Should be a good battle either way

  • Pete

    Not too many teams can shut them down. Those are 3 very potent players. They made it to the SB with a high powered offense and a crappy defense.

  • Reader783

    I didn’t say it was easy, but the Steelers did do it last year. Go back and look at the Pats losses last year. In all of their losses, on of those three was shut down completely

  • Woodley56

    Casey Hampton 325 my ass

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