The Yearly Worrying About Players Making It To Practice Squad Is Here

You can tell that the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 season is ever so close because the worrying is ramping up about whether or not a player or players that the Steelers might waive during the final cut down will make it to the practice squad.

What most fail to recognize is that 31 other teams also have tough cuts to make and their fans are nervous Nellies about one or two players on their current roster that possibly might be claimed off waivers and signed to a 53 man roster of another team.

Now I am as impressed with both linebacker Adrian Robinson and safety Robert Golden as the next person. If you have been reading here and listening to the podcast you know I have been talking both up dating back to the OTA sessions. I think both have possible futures in Pittsburgh, but as my latest roster projection suggest, I feel pretty confident that both will make it to the practice squad.

The last Steelers player that I can remember that was headed for the practice squad was Ra\’Shon Harris, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Harris was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers and placed on their 53 man roster to start the season. I remember it being a pretty big surprise back then, but the Panthers did have injuries at the time and needed bodies.

The Panthers wound up waiving Harris a month later and they signed him to their practice squad. Speaking of Harris, who is now a member of the Houston Texans, he unfortunately is out for this season after tearing his right triceps on Tuesday.

While most will point to Harris not making it to the practice squad as a reason to not waive Robinson or Golden, you have to remember that both were undrafted. I can\’t for the life of me remember the last time the Steelers waived an undrafted player during the final cut downs only to have him claimed by another team and placed on their 53 man roster. If you remember a name, let me know.

In closing, it is not uncommon to overvalue the Steelers fringe players, because we know the circumstances and have watched them play four preseason games come time for final cuts. The best 53 players that can help this team will make the roster. The next 8 best after that will make the practice squad. I would not fret about losing anyone to waivers. I am not going to say that it won\’t happen, but it is highly unlikely to.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    In addition to stashing and developing promising young players, the practice squad is there to help the team practice. So some of the choices for the practice squad will always be driven by position more than talent so that the scout team is configured correctly and drills can be run effectively.

    I think if Robinson continues the way he has, he gets a hat and crushes it on special teams.

  • Koleman Dudek

    Dave, was Crezdon Butler headed to the P/S last year, before being picked up by Arizona? I know that would have been a special circumstance, given the familiarity of Ray Horton

  • SteelersDepot

    Yeah, forgot about Cezdon, but he was in his second year though and I do not believe eligible for the practice squad.

  • Steve Duncan

    Thaddeus Gibson? It happens more often than you seem to think.

  • Steve Duncan

    Butler was eligible, from what I can find he only had 4 games accrued in his rookie year.

  • Cols714

    Yes sometimes players are lost to other teams, but no player that is worth anything. Gibson, Crezdon Butler and Harris haven’t really done anything at all in the NFL.

    Yes it’s possible to lose players, but even if you lose them the chances of them ever making something of themselves in the NFL approaches zero.

  • Steve Duncan

    Whether they make anything of themselves is not the discussion at hand. The discussion is whether people get snatched before they clear and make the PS. The article says it is rare. Harris, Gibson, and Butler though are three examples in the last three years, showing it is not so rare.

  • Brendon Glad

    Robinson will be on your final prediction…cuz there are 2 more gamês. He’s too good not to flash something really good several times before then. Meanwhile Worilds flashes a cast and an ice bag. Don’t see why they wouldn’t just IR him and let him get fully healthy anyway. That would solve it

  • Brendon Glad

    I think he meant rookie undrafted FAs. Gibson was a 4th rounder. But I’m still with you. We have 3 starters that were cut as undrafted fas so its scary. (JH…McClendon…and Redman)we easily could have none of the 3

  • Delilah

    Another thing to consider related to this topic – Maybe the Steelers don’t end up filling out the 8-man practice squad entirely with people currently on the 90-man pre-season roster. I recall several instances in recent years where the Steelers put a guy or two on their PS that were cut by other teams. I could easily see that happening again this year. For example, they are having a hard time finding young guys that are separating themselves from the pack amongst the receivers group, the cornerbacks group, and the offensive line group. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers ended up cutting all the young guys in contention and starting fresh by putting a receiver, CB, or OLineman on the PS that got cut by another team(s). It would have to be someone(s) that potentially shows more promise than they guys they already have in the fold. In all three cases, that might not be too hard to do.