Revisiting The Possibilty Of The Steelers Only Keeping Seven Offensive Linemen To Start 2013

Back in early July I threw out the possibility of the Pittsburgh Steelers only carrying seven offensive linemen on their 53 man roster to start the regular season and now that we have seen the team play two preseason games, that very well could be a legitimate course of action should they not find a swing tackle on the waiver wire that meets their needs.

As stated earlier, Mike Tomlin generally likes to dress seven offensive linemen for games. Doing that of course would mean that one offensive lineman, should they keep eight, would be inactive on game days. Based on his play thus far in the preseason, Guy Whimper has no business making the roster and that was my initial thought on him the day he was signed. Besides, keeping Whimper after the final cut would mean the Steelers would have to guarantee his base salary for the season because he is a vested veteran.

Should the Steelers ultimately decide to carry both Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth on their 53 man roster to start the season, they will need to carry at least one extra tight end and maybe even two. In addition, should the injury suffered Monday night by running back Le\’Veon Bell wind up being serious enough to keep him sidelined for the start of the season, an extra running back might need to be carried as well. Those extra roster spots have to come at the expense of others.

Is it dangerous to carry only seven offensive linemen on the 53 man roster? Absolutely, as you run the risk of being one bad room service meal or a slip getting on the team bus away from only being able to dress six for a game, but it might be a risk that the team has to take until a few of the injured players return to full health.

The Steelers of course have a few more weeks until the final decision is made as to how many offensive linemen will be kept initially, and you can bet they have been scouting the rest of the teams during the preseason to see if a swing tackle worth a grain of salt might become available. The only problem with that is that they aren\’t the only team in the league doing that.

  • steeltown

    I am not ready to say just yet.. but I am close to agreeing with the 7OL theory…

  • James Kling

    We have 7 OL worth keeping. IMO we need to keep 9 optimally. Doing the math, that comes to 2 waiver wire signings. Can’t be worse than Whimp, Batiste, or Long.

  • dgh57

    With the history of our o-line with regards injuries I say yes it would be dangerous to only carry 7 o-linemen. This is where injuries are killing us at TE! Could Spaeth of helped us out by playing OT in a pinch? Not on a regular basis but on certain plays, yes. If not get Palmer to help out with his blocking until something else comes along. The blocking of Spaeth is going to be missed until he returns!

    (NOTE)The above was merely written out of desperation and would be viewed as such if it were to actually happen! Our only other option would be the waiver wire and after our last 2 pickups on the o-line that’s not a encouraging option!

  • Tom

    With the O-lines recent injury history, I think only keeping seven would be a big mistake. Of course, the fact that they don’t currently have 8 quality bodies, is very disturbing. Might be a good idea to see if there is any back-up tackles available via trade, rather than to wait for the uncertainty of waiver claims. There simply has to be better options out there than Batiste and Whimper.

  • JohnnyV1

    Not going to happen.

  • diehard

    Actually I thought Long looked pretty good last night at right tackle. Allowed one hurry but on that play he appeared to be trying to help whimper more than taking on his own assignment. Interested to see how the next 2 pre-season games go with him.

  • steeltown

    Im still not giving up on him yet was his first action of the year, on the road and playing next to Whimper…ouch

  • sean mcmartin

    I really do hope the Steelers are looking through the waiver wires as I type.
    Time to pick up some guys other teams are trying to stash away.

  • bgsteelfan

    I may be missing some, but it seems to me that our last 4 veteran FA pickups on the OL of any note were Whimper, Jonathan Scott, Flozell Adams, and Sean Mahan. That’s a 25% success rate. Not exactly a confidence inducing track record.

    And I think we have to have 8 as well.

  • bgsteelfan

    Like others have said, I think we need 8, but we only have 7 worth a roster spot. Maybe.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Agree, just needs quicker feet. Also like to see him run block more.

  • Nolrog

    LOL. One bad room service meal from being able to dress 6. Funny.

  • george

    Personally I would be OK with only 7 O lineman on the roster if Fangupo and Ta’Amu were the back up OGs. .
    I was exited with the new OL draft picks and a supposed lighter, faster more athletic OL.
    Frankly however it doesn’t matter if the OL players weigh 315 or 350 if they can’t pass block worth a damn.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I would hate to see only 7 but do we have 7 OL that are pro caliber trying out for the team!!!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    We need to wait for the 1st round of cuts and maybe even the 2nd round of cuts to find a guy we can stash for later use.

  • sgtrobo

    it’s simple. we cut Whimper. If we have injuries to the point where we need him again, I guarantee you he’ll be waiting by the phone for a job, just like Trai Essex and Chris Kemoeatu and Justin Hartwig, etc.

  • Tom

    Did you really have to bring those names up?
    I am going to have bad dreams tonight.

    False start #68 offense………….

  • What about adding an 8th from the final cuts off the waiver wire and keeping only two QBs (and C. Batch on speed dial)?

  • sgtrobo

    sorry man, my fault.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    Maybe Max will get cut in SD by the time we will need an 8th.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Gotta be dozens of guys on the cut line the Steelers could use. I’m confident they have done their homework and have a contract and a plane ticket waiting.

  • Ahmad

    Seeing as the 8th OL would be inactive and no one has stepped up to this point it makes total sense to keep only 7. We can use the extra spot to keep Batch since Bell figures to be sidelined for awhile.