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Steelers 2013 Roster Now Includes 19 Players That Weren’t On The Team Last Year

You can officially color me surprised as not only did the Pittsburgh Steelers add offensive lineman Cody Wallace to the roster on Sunday, they also added punter Zoltan Mesko and defensive back Antwon Blake on Monday.

While the jury is still out on Wallace being an upgrade over John Malecki, the addition of both Mesko and Blake are certainly upgrades as far as special teams go.

Mesko didn’t have a great preseason for the New England Patriots as he was beat out of the punting job by undrafted free agent Ryan Allen. Still, the Michigan product should be an upgrade over the inconsistent Drew Butler, who made a strong final push in the last two preseason games to beat out veteran Brian Moorman for an initial spot on the 53 man roster.

You could tell that the Steelers punter battle definitely went down to the wire as Moorman would have likely been given a veteran courtesy release prior to the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers if the team had really felt comfortable with Butler.

In 2012, nearly 50% of Mesko’s 60 punts were inside the opposition’s 20-yard-line. In addition to that, the 23 punts of his that were returned resulted in only a 6.7 yard per return average.

In Blake, the Steelers get a defensive back that led the Jacksonville Jaguars last season in special teams tackles as a gunner with 12. At his pro day in 2012, the 5-9, 192-pound Blake reportedly ran a 4.32 forty-yard dash and did 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.

Blake only played four snaps on defense last season for the Jaguars, so he is likely not considered a long-term cornerback prospect. In fact, the Jaguars reportedly tried to switch him to safety last August.

The Steelers have made a concerted effort to change over their roster that went 8-8 last season. Not only have they gotten younger, but as of Monday evening, the 53 man roster now includes 19 players who were not on the roster at all in 2012.

So, are the Steelers done making moves? They have made three more than I expected them to make, so anything is possible at this point.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    Damn… 19 players??? I didn’t think it was that many, ha!

    I like the idea of signing Blake in regards to special teams, but again we already have a CB on roster that is a liability on Defense just because he is a good special teams player.. now, having two is sort of risky IMO

  • Jeff Johnson

    This shows that they are really trying to improve their special teams, which has been problems for them in the past and I’m worried about that this season

  • Jeff Johnson

    ESPN reported only 12 new players and then you add these 3 would be 15 new players

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m all for change if it results in a better record than 8-8. kudos to the front office and Coach T for changing up the team.

  • SteelersDepot

    Shame on you. Are you new?

    Bell, Le’Veon

    Blake, Antwon

    Gay, William

    Gradkowski, Bruce

    Johnson, David

    Jones, Felix

    Jones, Jarvis

    Jones, Landry

    Mesko, Zoltan

    Moye, Derek

    Palmer, Michael

    Spaeth, Matt

    Stephens-Howling, LaRod

    Thomas, Shamarko

    Wallace, Cody

    Wheaton, Markus

    Whimper, Guy

    Williams, Vince

    Wilson, Kion

  • Busforever

    Well, that’s 20

  • cencalsteeler

    I remember Colbert stating, you keep the same players and expect different results is being foolish. I guess he backed his words.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Why would me reporting what John Clayton said say anything if I’m new or not?

  • Jeff Johnson

    And no I’m not, I follow the steelers very closely

  • SteelersDepot

    Go tell John he is wrong. Tell him hello for me.

  • cencalsteeler


  • SteelersDepot

    Then you should have known it was 19, right? So, who is right, me or Clayton?

  • Jeff Johnson

    I just never counted them, I could have made a list if I was asked to before but on behind the steel curtain, they post that John Clayton said that the steelers had the 3rd fewest turnover on their 53 man roster; which is wrong, but I was just posting that he posted that

  • Guest

    William Gay to me is not new even though he was in Pitt West last year, he is still not new to me and I don’t count him

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I think the bottom of the roster will be more fluid than usual all season

  • Jeff Johnson

    I do also and a big part is that he was not happy with the RB group and now only 1 is left from that group. 3 new RB’s

  • Shea Fahr

    Yes and tell Clayton to cut that skullet off. It makes my stomach feel uneasy.

  • Guest

    David Johnson is not new either

  • steeltown

    The article is talking about this year compared to last year

  • Jeff Johnson

    Okay, I will

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    So you know, David Johnson already was on roster last season. I respect your posts, but you gotta behave like a moderator, don’t jump up and down on new posters or whateverso.

    Don’t expect a significant improvement as newcomer aren’t that big of impact anyway.

  • steeltown

    Well technically he has 20 listed, minus D.Johnson still makes 19

    …or wait did I count wrong?… ha im confused

  • Guest

    I read the title, but to me he still is not new

  • Guest

    To me new, is new players that can help us in other wayst hat we have not seen from a specific player. Gay is not new, we’ve all seen what he can do and can’t do. There is nothing new about him

  • steeltown

    I understand that, to me Spaeth isn’t new either, but the article pertains to players not on the Team LAST season

    …just sayin

  • Gautama Om

    It is a sign to the current starters/backups that no one should get too comfortable this or next offseason because no one is safe. Woodley could be next (if he has another unproductive season like last) because most of his guaranteed money would have already been paid up after 2013 season.

    I get a strong feeling that they are saying that “while we are a close knit, player friendly team you shouldn’t be lax but strive to improve constantly”

    I get the feeling the team was lazy, in general this past year…aside from other issues as well.

  • Shea Fahr

    …he was on IR…not the Roster

  • Christopher Wilkes

    lol you been drinking tonight?

  • Christopher Wilkes

    He was on IR, which means he wasn’t on the 53, which means technically he wasn’t on the team last year.

  • cencalsteeler

    O.k. Raise your hand if you went back up and recounted the list more than once?

  • Shea Fahr


  • steeltown

    {hand raised}

  • steeltown


  • Christopher Wilkes

    There’s 53 spots on the steelers roster. Johnson never had one of them last year, because he was on IR, so no he wasn’t on the team last year.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Dude, no one ever said NEW except you lol. The article clearly states the 53 now includes 19 players that weren’t on the roster last year.

  • SteelersDepot

    Johnson was never on the 53 man roster last season. He was on injured reserve.

  • Guest

    I read what the article said dude, I said that earlier

  • SteelersDepot

    Jeff, did you even read the post? do you see the error of your ways now? Have you seen the light?

  • Shea Fahr

    Jeff please do not be a glutton for punishment on the first week of the regular season. We can be brutal on here..just don’t take it personal.

  • Jeff Johnson

    I totally am happy that they are keeping their eye on the waiver wire and seeing if they can get a key player at a position better than what they got

  • Pete

    Neither is Matt Spaeth new. But the article said “that weren’t on the team last year.” He’s talking about the 53 man roster. Neither were on the roster last year. He wasn’t saying whether they were new or not.

  • Madi

    Well maybe ESPN is calling it 15 because they don’t consider David Johnson, William Gay, Cody Wallace and Guy Whimper to be “players.”

  • gene mann

    Not sure they are done here

  • walter mason

    Thats his style

  • walter mason


  • walter mason

    Jeff is new. Maybe thats where you got confused.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Folks please calm down, I was not trying to start anything here. I seen what this article said above and remembered what I read that John Clayton said regarding the steelers only having 12 new players; which didn’t match what was on here so I was just saying what John Clayton said. I’m sorry that mentioning the word “New” bothered some people, it’s just that I’m excited about all the new players that have never played for the steelers before, that’s all

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    D. Johnson was never activated for 53-men roster but he is not a “newcomer” or a free agent addition. I’m positive it is 19 players in total that’s new to this team (including Willie Gay and Matt Spaeth) point of this isn’t who returned to us but how big of change we adopted this year in comparison to last season and I find it funny that on random sites there are different posts saying either one of those- “the change isn’t that big of change” or “19 too many new faces” basically two polar opposite tones.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Problem? Last year’s failure was due to lack of talent at depth and injuries. Overall our starters were good as other best teams in NFL. This off-season it seem like Kevin Colbert kind of dumping the blame into running game and other positions when it was obviously from start those players weren’t either one of those- talented enough/schematic plaer, injuried, or not ready.

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