Alvester Alexander Should Fight For A Roster Spot This Year

The way the offseason has gone, it would seem to be the case that the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a free-floating roster spot at the skill positions on offense by the time training camp and the preseason roll around.

While they have five reasonable tight ends, one would figure that they could just as easily get by with three, as they typically do. They chose to carry four last season, but that largely had to do with injuries at the position, and the bottom of the depth chart ultimately earning their keep by contributing on special teams.

The wide receiver position seems fairly wide open as well. One would assume that there are four reasonably safe locks here, with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, and fourth-round rookie Martavis Bryant.

Behind them are a smorgasbord of easily expendable players, headlined by free agent Darrius Heyward-Bey, Derek Moye, and Justin Brown. The three could be battling for just one roster spot—or perhaps none—when all is said and done.

Then we have the running back position. The clear-cut starter is second-year back Le’Veon Bell, and behind him is his new partner, free agent signing LeGarrette Blount. When he signed, Blount said that head coach Mike Tomlin believed the Steelers could do with those two what other teams did with three backs.

The Steelers added the multi-positional Dri Archer during the draft, who will serve as a flex running back slash wide receiver in the offense.

In the end, this might just be a long-winded way of saying that a player such as running back Alvester Alexander has a shot of locking up a roster spot this year.

Alexander came to the team late in the process last offseason when the Steelers signed him to replace Curtis McNeal, who as an undrafted free agent wasn’t cutting it. He was originally an undrafted free agent in 2012 and bounced around multiple teams, but he stuck around on the Steelers’ practice squad for the entire duration of the 2013 season.

He seemed to impress the coaching staff, as evidenced by the fact that he lasted on the practice squad for the full season, and he represented himself fairly well when he got a chance to play during the preseason, often behind spotty offensive lines.

While not necessarily an accomplished receiver in college, he showed a disposition for pass protection during training camp, and with his 4.4 speed, he could potentially offer the Steelers a skill set at running back that the Steelers lack with the bigger backs in Bell and Blount and the slight speedster Archer.

With the Steelers having chosen not to re-sign Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LaRod Stephens-Howling, or Felix Jones, they may well have an open roster spot at the running back position, and Alexander would likely have the driver’s seat at the moment.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • blue

    Sorry Alexander, no bums in the backfield this year!


    “Bums In The Backfield” sounds like a soon to be released kids movie starring Adam Sandler. I really like the way the roster is shaping up. Seems we shed some dead weight and some mediocre players.

  • Steelers12328882

    I like Alexander. It’ll be good to have him around incase of injury. I hope Blanchflower can secure a roster spot and fill Palmer’s special teams duties so we don’t need to keep 4 TEs again.

  • steeltown

    Alexander (or maybe Poole) has a legitimate shot of making the squad as a #4, I doubt we go into the season with only Archer as our #3 behind Bell and Blount

    Whichever shows the most prowess on special teams will have a leg up

  • treeher

    What’s the story with LSH? No interest purely due to the injury, or is there something else?

  • steeltown

    He could still be signed after June 1st when we get the designation money, I guess we’ll see

  • srdan

    Can’t wait for backs on backers this year!

  • srdan

    To me it sounds like a movie that is definetly not meant for kids lol


    With recent NFL news, don’t go there!

  • AzheDraven

    What about Ray Graham? I thought Tomlin liked him. And I wanted that Alexander Graham Bell trio.

  • Jason Brant

    I think he has a tough road ahead of him. If he made it, that would be four RBs and a FB on the roster. He would have to play some really good football to justify the roster spot.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I don’t see a point in putting him on the roster. Put him on the PS and if an injury happens THEN you promote him. We will have trouble finding enough carries as it is for the top 2 guys, let alone finding ways to use Archer, he wouldn’t get a helmet anyway.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    Graham cut by Houston , again, gets cut more than a home made loaf of bread.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    If he even does decently well in pre season, he would be or could be signed off the practice squad by another team.

  • I agree, especially when you think about how Archer is going to be used as a RB/WR. Archer can serve as a deep backup at both positions….while of course at the same time he is going to be an Offensive Weapon and get a few touches in every game. I think the point is, they are not going to want to count on Archer getting all the carries if both Bell and Blount get hurt in the same game (which does happen sometimes to teams) so they are more than likely going to keep another RB…..which is a good point.

    I’m sure they don’t even view Archer as a RB; just a weapon!

  • steeltown

    Yea but looking back, when we had Rainey on roster we still carried 3 others Mendenhall, Redman and Dwyer as well as WJ

    I guess we’ll see

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Again, he is your 4th string guy. Losing him off the practice squad will not make or break this season. If you are to your 4th guy, you are in really big trouble.

  • steelster

    The rams cut Richardson. Pick him up.

  • And none of those guys played really good football lol.

  • steeltown

    No, its pretty awesome the talent we potentially now have at RB with Bell, Blount and Archer

  • dave

    The Steelers usually have at least 4 RBs on the 53 – so yeah I’d say Alexander has a decent shot at being on the 53.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    What’s to like. I see him as a smallish back without great speed who does not run hard. I maybe wrong?

  • Steelers12328882

    5-11/213 is not exactly smallish. He has a different skill set than the other backs. He runs a 4.4 too. That’s way faster than Bell and Blount and he’s bigger than Archer.

  • J&LSteeler

    I imagine what it would be like if Richie Incognito still played for the Rams. Now that would be worth a documentary…lol

  • Dewayne Braxton

    No argument here. I see your point.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Did they sign any rookie free agents who have a legitimate shot?

  • patrick Mayfield

    agreed. I’m shocked they only picked up Archer for rookie talent. Maysonet who they signed after the season seems to be the only real competition. With very good #1 and #2 this is the time to go looking for diamonds in the rough.