5 Things We Think We Know About The Steelers Roster Four Days Into Camp (Offense Version)

Just because the Pittsburgh Steelers have a day off on Tuesday doesn\’t mean we are taking the day off. With three days of practices now in the books the 53 man roster is far from set, but here are a few things we think we know as it relates to roster spots on the offense.

John Malecki – Malecki is going to make the 53 man roster as a backup interior swing guy. The former Pitt product is center and guard capable and out of practice squad eligibility. Depending on how Kelvin Beachum progresses in his center training will decide whether or not Malecki is the backup to Pouncey or not. Regardless, he will make the 53.

Plaxico Burress – Each day that passes the more I push Burress towards locking up a roster spot. Sure, there have been some young receivers such as Derek Moye already making some noise during training camp, but none of them are going to be able to push Burress off the roster. If Justin Brown makes it as a punt returner, it will come at the cost of another position other than wide receiver.

Reggie Dunn – I have been firm on this all season and now that camp has started, I am 99.6% certain the Utah speedster will not make the 53 man roster. He can catch multiple balls during the drills without dropping the others he already caught, but he can\’t seem to hold onto a tightly thrown spiral from a quarterback. The Steelers aren\’t going to carry him just as another specialist.

Mike Golic Jr. – I might be risking his father unfollowing me on Twitter once he reads this, but his son will not make the 53 man roster baring an injury and he is most likely heading towards the practice squad. It just does not seem like the Notre Dame product is getting enough reps during practices to amount to anything, but there are plenty of pictures of him holding defensive blocking pads during drills. He worked after practice on his center skills this past week and I think the Steelers view him long-term as another interior swing man.

Joe Long – The more Long works at left tackle during practice, the lesser his chance is to make the roster. Should something happen to Marcus Gilbert during a game, either Mike Adams or Beachum would fill that spot. What the team needs is a backup right tackle and they think they have one already in the form of Guy Whimper. God help us. Long most likely will be headed back to the practice squad.

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

    I wonder how Embernate has been…I saw him on the Depth chart at 2 the other day but yesterday was different with Beachum ect..

  • steeltown

    Yea.. I think they’ll be switched around this first week, giving them all a chance with the 2nd Team, even Cheadle was 2nd on the depth chart the other day. Obviously it comes down to how many OL they keep on the 53man. I see Beachum and Malecki as the top guys of course, then possibly possibly add Whimper as backup Tackle, so if they decide to keep 9OL I think that last spot will be between Embernate or Cheadle IMO with the loser of that battle and Golic Jr to the PS as mentioned

    Obviously pure speculation at this point. An injury or a masterful preseason could change the fate of any of these guys

  • Shea Fahr

    That Could be…I was listening to David Todd yesterday and T-Brad said Whimper was holding his own but I have to see that with my own eyes.

  • hergieburbur

    I cannot lie. I have a hard time getting behind someone named Guy Whimper, even if he was an all pro. It’s not him, it’s me… OK, in this case it’s actually him.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Malecki…everything makes sense that you say. He has been here a while and has the best shot.

    Burress…Ben will find a way to use him. He never wanted Plax to leave and he has always wanted a big target. In the redzone alone, him Brown and Sanders along with Heath gives Ben a TON of targets, 2 with size and 2 with craftiness.

    Dunn…I could have told you this before camp started.

    Golic Jr…..He needs to look at the guy right at the top of this list in Malecki. Keep working hard kid, eventually you might get a shot. Show improvement and versatility.

    Joe Long…I’m not sure that he has not shot at the roster even if he stays at LT. IMO, this comes down to drop off. No matter which tackle gets injured, the reality is Beachum is the first guy up. As noted above Malecki should make the roster as well. The “smart” thing to do IMO is to keep Whimper as well since he is a vet, but you put these guys on the PS if you can. Keep as many of these young guys around as you can…until you know who can and cannot play the new system.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. If they keep only 8OL (#6Beachum, #7Malecki, #8Whimper) then I truly hope they try and stash Embernate and Golic Jr on the PS

  • steeltown

    Lets be honest he didn’t thrive in JAX which was evident, but JAX isn’t known much for its coaching and player development and their roster is usually filled with avg players at most positions… maybe he’ll progress and improve in a better situation with PIT.. maybe..and maybe that’s just wishful thinking

  • Chris92021

    What works against Reggie Dunn: the two seasons the Steelers carried a specific kick return specialist out of nowhere (Stefan Logan, Chris Rainey), the Steelers did not make the playoffs. Oh and neither specialist returned a kick for a TD. Dunn might impress and score a couple of TDs in preseason, but I think we’ve had our fill of preseason kick return heroes.

  • patrick Mayfield

    Best guard backup?? Kind of overlooked I think. Perhaps Embernate or Golic would project as a better guard than Beachum/Malecki if DeCastro or Foster goes down. i would guess they’ll have to show something to make a case for that 9th OL spot. Malecki also needs to look stout at guard to avoid having the same issue the team had last year with Legursky being sub-par at guard. If you keep one of those on the 53 they could push Foster next year perhaps.

  • Shea Fahr

    Ha! Me too…I agree but it is starting to appear as if he is a pet of Jack. We’ll see I guess.

  • Shea Fahr

    Good Points! Malecki and Legursky are basically the same Guy in my eyes.

  • steeltown

    ..and there lies the brilliance of it all, Legs was a FA and looking for more money, where as Malecki who is basically the same type player can replace him for less than half the price it would cost to retain Legursky

  • CW

    Not sure working solely at left tackle hurts Joe Long at this point. The Steelers were supposed to think pretty highly of Joe Long last year as a practice squad player. It is after all the tougher assignment on the O line. So they might be seeing first if he can man the blind side as the primary LT backup.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Spot on with all 5 points in my opinion, but a little disappointing to think Golic and Long will not make it, especially since Whimper will be the beneficiary of that.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Burress!!!

  • Matthew Marczi

    I like this article idea. It gives us a chance to look back a month from now, or even a week from now, and see if the same things still hold. I definitely agree about the point about Justin Brown. If he makes it, it will be as an extra, sixth wide receiver. If anybody happens to make the team almost purely for his special teams abilities, it will be at the expense of another position.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Keep in mind that this article is supposed to be an initial impressions type of thing, which is extremely subject to change. Right now it’s not a sign in his favor that he’s only getting reps on the left side, since he is by no means in a battle to start, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be getting reps on the right side tomorrow. You may well be right, but the article is just going off of what we’ve seen so far.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If Burress makes it it means everyone else sucks!

  • charles

    That is why they play the game…

  • Luke Shabro

    I don’t think it’s just a matter of coaching. He was getting owned at RT by inferior pass rushers. Even in limited snaps he was giving up all sorts of pressure and sacks. I agree whole heartedly with Dave Bryan, GOD HELP US!!

  • Luke Shabro

    I am praying they keep Embernate on the 53. I don’t want him on the PS lest we have another Ryan Lee incident

  • Luke Shabro

    DB and David Todd believe Malecki is Legursky Light. I disagree. I think he’s better than Legursky. Certainly at guard. Malecki will hopefully be a good backup guard/center for a while

  • Steeler Wheeler

    I still question the Steelers every year about keeping terrible vets. The #8 O-Lineman doesn’t get to dress on Sunday. If an injury occurs on game-day, Guy Whimper will not have a job, you sign him the next day to be your 7th lineman. The #8 and #9 spots should be reserved for guys who can one day start, not for a Long Whimper.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    If you mean everyone else sucks at being 6-5 and experienced, I agree, otherwise, NOT!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am not sure what the love affair is with past there prime players in the NFL. Can he be of some assistance to this team? Yes, but is it worth a roster spot to play a guy 50 plays on the year when the chance of a guy who can grow and become a much bigger part of the team if allowed to be on the team is put on the roster. I like the future IMO is much better

  • Steeler Wheeler

    I agree with that rationale almost every time…the exceptions are when those 50 plays are likely red zone plays giving the Steelers a much better chance for an additional four points, AND the simple fact that WR #6 on the Steelers roster will never, ever, start in the NFL and should not be given Plex’s roster spot.