Steelers 2013 Practice Squad Prediction

The Pittsburgh Steelers have now made their roster cuts and the next course of action will be the signing of eight players to the practice squad. Below is my educated guess as to who those eight players will be.

Terry Hawthorne – Hawthorne is now healthy after missing the offseason practices and a good portion of training camp with an injured knee that ultimately required surgery. Due to all the time he missed, the Steelers fifth-round draft pick must now focus on learning the defense.

Justin BrownDerek Moye cleanly beat out Brown for the fifth wide receiver spot. The jury is still out on Brown and his long term upside, but I think he will circle back around to the practice squad.

Joe Long – The Steelers only kept eight offensive linemen on their 53 man roster so Long should be a good bet to return to the eight man practice squad once again.

Chris Hubbard – Once the team lost Nik Embernate and Justin Cheadle to injuries, Hubbard became the next man up. He played exclusively at left guard during the preseason so I suspect they will now try to work on his position flexibility moving forward.

Brian Arnfelt – The undrafted Arnfelt really showed a lot during the preseason at right defensive end and now John Mitchell should have all season to work with him. With rookie draft pick Nick Williams now out for the season with a knee injury, The Northwestern product will have a good shot at making the 53 man roster next year.

Alan Baxter – The Steelers liked Baxter so much that they traded away Adrian Robinson a few weeks ago. Baxter can get after the quarterback and must now work on his drops and getting a better grasp of the defense. Depending on how things go, the undrafted free agent might see time on the Steelers 53 man roster at some point during the season.

Marshall McFadden – McFadden might have lost his roster spot because of a hamstring injury suffered by fullback Will Johnson Thursday night in the preseason finale. The Steelers needed to keep tight end Michael Palmer, so being as Kion Wilson is regarded as a better special teams player, McFadden was waived. If McFadden is not signed to the practice squad, you would have to think Terence Garvin will be.

Alvester Alexander – Being as the Steelers only have four semi-healthy running backs on their 53 man roster right now, I think they might consider adding Alexander to the practice squad to help with the scout team duties.

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

    That’s a talented group.

  • MrTeabag

    What about J.D. Woods??

  • Matthew Marczi

    Who would you keep him over?

  • MrTeabag

    A Alexander once Bell comes back is expendable

  • MrTeabag

    Plus there is extra practice squad room once the TE moves to injured reserve.

  • steeltown

    Boy that would be nice…

    I sure hope we can get McFadden and Arnfelt back and of course Alan Baxter because the futures of Worilds and Carter are uncertain after this season

  • Venkar

    What happens to Ta’amu? Does he have a shot at the practice squad?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Most likely, true.

  • Brendon Glad

    I agree. I really hope it stays in-tact with the posted predicton. Because more moves are needed and coming.
    Due to those dreadful “6-8 week injuries” (those ones that leave a team in the catch-22) I expect that 1, 2, or 3 guys made the roster whom the Steelers were not intending to keep. That probably happens for over half of the teams in the league, but unfortunately we are one of them.
    As a result, the Steelers potential practice-squad probably looks more talented than it should (and more talented than the Steelers were hoping it would).

  • Matthew Marczi

    He is eligible, but I don’t think it’s likely the Steelers use a spot on the practice squad for what is essentially a fourth-string nose tackle behind McLendon, Woods, and Fangupo. Think of it this way, we swapped one for the other. Fangupo is the better player right now, a plus, but he’s four years older, a minus.

  • Venkar

    Yes, though they traded up in the 4th round last year to get him. I guess the 2012 draft still looks OK. 2 starters on the OL (+ Paulson and Beachum).

  • Matthew Marczi

    I kind of look at Al Woods as the do-over pick for Thaddeus Gibson in the fourth round of the 2010 draft as well. I guess it just makes it easier when thinking about losing a draft pick. Hopefully Sean Spence next year can help turn the 2012 draft into the great one many thought it was going to be.

  • Jason Brant

    Agree completely.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Rather have Garvin over McFadden and not a fan of Alexander, maybe we can find a HB out there in place of Alexander. I like the rest.

  • Brendon Glad

    I agree. I don’t get to see practices, nor do I know how they operate…but I imagine that as a 3-4 defense in the new NFL of consistent need for dime-personnel, that the “practice squad” really means what it says more than us fans like to think. We probably would like to see the 54th thru 61st best players land there. But when practicing, it’s probably paramount to have a decent chunk of DB’s LB’s and WR’s on the practice squad…so you can be sure that you can “practice” effectively.
    So a pure NT probably is in a bad spot for the practice-squad game.
    Can’t say it bothers me much. He’s also a NT with character issues who has never performed in a real-game. Not a big loss. He’ll probably be around in week 10 if we need to call him.

  • steeltown

    Hope once Spaeth goes on IR with designation, they sign McFadden or Baxter to the active roster and then Garvin to the PS

  • Jeff Johnson

    Scott Brown over on ESPN said that Ta’amu was still eligible for the PS and I hope he gets on there