15 Roster Spots Up For Grabs At Steelers 2013 Training Camp


Before we get into the individual roster battles that will begin to take place when the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe in six weeks, let\’s have a look at how many roster spots are legitimately up for grabs now that the team has wrapped up their offseason practices.

Quarterbacks (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

These three spots have been set in stone ever since the Steelers selected Jones in the fourth round of the draft and while the Oklahoma product has reportedly struglled some during the offseason practices, there is no way that he doesn\’t make the team.

Running backs (1): Le\’Veon Bell

While I am very tempted to add LaRod Stephens-Howling to this list, good arguments can be made against him being a roster lock right now. The Steelers will more than likely keep at least four running backs in total, so as you can clearly see that this will be one of the most exciting position battles to watch later on this summer.

Fullbacks (1): Will Johnson

I dare you to make an argument against Johnson making the roster, as he has the potential to be one of the best all-around fullbacks that the Steelers have had in several years. Johnson is one of the few players that general manager Kevin Colbert gushed about during the offseason, so he\’s not going anywhere.

Wide receivers (4): Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton

Much like the quarterback position, these four spots became locked in stone as soon as the Steelers drafted Wheaton in the third-round back in April. The only thing we don\’t know for sure right now is if the team will choose to keep five or six total wide receivers on the roster. I\’m willing to bet it will only be five.

Tight ends (2): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth

Much like the running back position, I am tempted to list David Paulson as a roster lock, but being as good arguments can be made that he shouldn\’t be, I will leave him off for now. The Steelers brought back Spaeth during the offseason for a reason and there is no way he doesn\’t make the roster unless of course he gets injured during camp. The Steelers will obviously keep at least one more tight end in addition to these two.

Offensive Linemen (6): Maukice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Kelvin Beachum

We know that these six will make the roster, but beyond that nobody should be considered a lock. At the very least the Steelers will keep eight offensive linemen in total, but likely not more than nine.

Defensive Linemen (5): Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Al Woods

While some of you might question Woods being on the list, it is obvious that the Steelers are trying to maximize his position flexibility during the offseason for a reason. With these five set in stone that leaves potentially one more roster spot open should the team carry six defensive linemen in total. Could they carry seven? Yes, but I would be surprised if they did.

Linebackers (7): Larry Foote, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Jarvis Jones, Vince Williams

When linebackers coach Keith Butler listed Carter as a depth player that he can depend on behind the starters this past week, this made him a roster lock in my eyes. While there certainly will be other roster battles at both the inside and outside spots during training camp, Carter\’s spot is safe. No, I haven\’t forgotten about Sean Spence, but I do think he will start the season on the PUP list. In my eyes, there are at least two roster spots to be had here in addition to these seven players and possibly even three.

Cornerbacks (4): Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown

Brown\’s special teams play alone is enough to roster lock him in June and there is no way that they give up on him being a future defensive contributor after just two seasons. Now, will the Steelers need one or two more cornerbacks in addition to these four?

Safeties (4): Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Robert Golden, Shamarko Thomas

These four are easy to lock in and it might be the only four safeties that they keep being as they consider Gay as a potential emergency safety.

Specialist (1): Shaun Suisham

Suisham had a career year in 2012 and has a history with new special teams coach Danny Smith. As far as the punting and long snapping jobs go, both are wide open right now considering the problems the Steelers had at the two positions last season.

The above players total out to 38 so that means there are 15 spots up for grabs right now. Let\’s look at what positions will definitely be filled based on easy to speculate minimums.

RB (3) WR (1) TE (1) OL (2) LB (2) CB (1) P (1) LS (1)

Those above open roster spots are minimums only and they total up to be 12, so that leaves three additional spots yet to be filled.

Steelers 2013 Roster Locks

OFFENSE
QB Ben Roethlisberger
QB Bruce Gradkowski
QB Landry Jones
RB Le\’Veon Bell
FB Will Johnson
WR Antonio Brown
WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Jerricho Cotchery
WR Markus Wheaton
TE Heath Miller
TE Matt Spaeth
C Maurkice Pouncey
T Marcus Gilbert
T Mike Adams
G David DeCastro
G Ramon Foster
OL Kelvin Beachum
DEFENSE
DE Brett Keisel
DE Ziggy Hood
NT Steve McLendon
DE Cameron Heyward
DE Al Woods
ILB Larry Foote
ILB Lawrence Timmons
OLB LaMarr Woodley
OLB Jason Worilds
OLB Chris Carter
OLB Jarvis Jones
ILB Vince Williams
CB Ike Taylor
CB Cortez Allen
CB William Gay
CB Curtis Brown
S Troy Polamalu
S Ryan Clark
S Robert Golden
S Shamarko Thomas
SPECIALIST
K Shaun Suisham

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Eddy

    Good list, you make good augments for Curtis Brown and Will Johnson.

    However, I don’t agree Vince Williams is a roster lock. If the Steelers only keep 8 LBs, which is unlikely but not totally insane, Williams will fighting hard with Robinson, McFadden, Sylvester and Rolle for the 2 remaining LBs spots.

    The Steelers are not afraid to cut an under-preforming 6 round draft pick, they’ve done it twice in the past 5 years, with the most recent being Keith Williams.

  • sms

    Thanks Dave. Can’t wait to see your next piece on who fills the 15 spots!!

  • Rob H

    Sylvester is gone, he’s done nothing to show he’s anything more than a special teams player, whereas Williams has upside, and the coaches like him. In your scenario, he and Robinson make the cut.

  • Shea Fahr

    I think Vince Williams locked himself up a spot during rookie camp when he was instructing other players what to do. He is very smart and loves to hit hard…

  • sms

    Both are excellent qualities!

  • JohnnyV1

    I would not sleep on some of the rookie free agents, with one or two (LS, OG, WR/KR) making the team, and some good practice squad prospects. Some were pretty productive college players at solid programs.

  • RyanW

    Williams is easily a roster lock he showed his smarts already and he is an ILB so he’s not fighting Robinson for a roster spot his only real battles are with McFadden, Rolle and Sly and they could realistically keep all of them and be at 9 lbs total but I see then keeping Williams over Sly if they cut one

  • george

    I think they keep 9 ol given the recent injury history and lack of depth there.

  • lefnor

    Adrian Robinson is a roster lock imo. And Terry Hawthorne too.

  • steeltown

    Agreed

  • steeltown

    I would think Hawthorne is a lock as well… unless he is somehow unable to return from his recent injury, so in that regard I guess he isn’t a lock just yet

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