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UPDATED – Bryan: Steelers 2014 53 Man Roster Prediction – Final Edition


UPDATED: Being as the team has yet to make any moves outside of placing Jordan Zumwalt on injured reserve, which I predicted, and claiming cornerback B.W. Webb off of waivers, I feel like I deserve a mulligan. All of my changes are in red and it really just involves the addition of Webb and releasing of Will Allen.

Now that the preseason games are behind us, it’s finally time for me to predict the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster and 10 man practice squad for the 2014 season.

A few injuries that took place Thursday night might shake things up just a little bit, but luckily we have clarity as far as the long snapper position goes.

I will not be surprised if a player or two are claimed off of waivers after all of the teams trim their rosters down on Saturday as we saw this done last year at this time.

Let me know in the comments below the selections that you disagree with. The Steelers are expected to make their final cuts on Saturday.

Offense (25)

Quarterbacks (3)Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Analysis: If it were me, I would waive Jones and try to get him to the practice squad, but I would be fighting history by doing that. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin like keeping three quarterbacks,  so I will predict that they will let Jones hang around on the inactive list all season once again.

Running Backs (3)Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer

Analysis: All three are running backs are healthy, so I can’t see a fourth being kept. Instead, I will send the other two to the practice squad.

Fullbacks (1)Will Johnson

Analysis: Thankfully Johnson is back healthy to start the season. He can also serve as an emergency ball carrier in addition to playing some fullback and tight end.

Wide Receivers (6)Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Analysis: Heyward-Bey has to stick thanks to what he’s done the last two weeks. In addition, Bryant’s shoulder sprain might have him down for a few weeks. Because of that, I am keeping Brown as a sixth as he can also be a player that bounces back and forth between the practice squad should a roster spot be needed.

Tight Ends (3)Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer

Analysis: Palmer is a better blocker than David Paulson and a better special teams player as well. He deserves to stick. I will send the rookie draft pick to the practice squad.

Offensive Line (9)Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Cody Wallace, Wesley Johnson, Guy Whimper

Analysis: This team could really use an upgrade at the backup tackle position and it won’t surprise me if they find one on the waiver wire to replace Whimper. I think Johnson has done enough to stick even though he only played center during the preseason. Johnson and Whimper will both likely be inactive to start the season.

Defense (25)

Defensive Linemen (6)Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt, Brett Keisel, Daniel McCullers

Analysis: Thanks to the position flexibility that several of the above have, I don’t see the need to carry a seventh. They usually like to dress five every week, so McCullers will likely be an early season inactive.

Inside Linebackers (5)Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Terence Garvin

Analysis: There is no need for more than five here. It looks like Spence dodged a bullet, but he could start the season on the inactive list just in case.

Outside Linebackers (4)Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats

Analysis: In my opinion, Carter has done enough to beat out the undrafted rookie free agent, who I have going to the practice squad.

Cornerbacks (6)Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain, B.W. Webb

Analysis: I am gambling that McCain’s groin injury won’t keep him sidelined too long. I found where McCain injured his groin during the game and it was non contact and looked harmless. I will add Webb as a sixth cornerback.

Safeties (4)Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden

Analysis: I just don’t think Tomlin will cut Allen. In order to add Webb, I will go ahead and predict that Tomlin will let Will Allen go.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1)Shaun Suisham

Analysis: Easy selection.

Punter (1)Brad Wing

Analysis: Tomlin still seems to be pleased with the work that Wing has done during the preseason.

Long Snapper (1)Greg Warren

Analysis: It sounds like Warren has been cleared to play, so there’s no need to carry two long snappers.

Practice Squad (10)Stephen Houston, Nick Williams, Rob Blanchflower, Josh Harris, Chris Hubbard, Josh Mauro, Dan Molls, Shaquille Richardson, Howard Jones, Isaiah Green

Analysis: I have Jordan Zumwalt going to injured reserve and think that Molls did enough to stick around on the expanded unit. If Richardson’s knee injury was serious, you would think they would have placed him on IR during the first cut-down. Maybe both were held out of Thursday’s night game on purpose even though Tomlin said neither were close to being able to play. I think my other choices should be self explanatory.

2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Final Edition

OFFENSE (25)

OFFENSE (25)
Roethlisberger, Ben QB
Gradkowski, Bruce QB
Jones, Landry QB
Brown, Antonio WR
Wheaton, Markus WR
Moore, Lance WR
Bryant, Martavis WR
Brown, Justin WR
Heyward-Bey, Darius WR
Miller, Heath TE
Spaeth, Matt TE
Palmer, Michael TE
Bell, Le’Veon RB
Blount, LeGarrette RB
Archer, Dri RB
Johnson, Will FB
Pouncey, Maurkice C
DeCastro, David G
Foster, Ramon G
Beachum, Kelvin T/G
Gilbert, Marcus T
Adams, Mike T
Wallace, Cody C/G
Whimper, Guy T/G
Johnson, Wesley C/G/T
DEFENSE (25)
Taylor, Ike CB
Allen, Cortez CB
Gay, William CB
Blake, Antwon CB
McCain, Brice CB
Webb, B.W. CB
Polamalu, Troy S
Mitchell, Mike S
Thomas, Shamarko S
Golden, Robert S
Heyward, Cameron DE
McLendon, Steve NT/DE
Tuitt, Stephon DE
Thomas, Cam DE/NT
Keisel, Brett DE
McCullers, Daniel NT
Timmons, Lawrence ILB
Shazier, Ryan ILB
Williams, Vince ILB
Spence, Sean ILB
Garvin, Terence ILB/OLB
Worilds, Jason OLB
Jones, Jarvis OLB
Carter, Chris OLB
Moats, Arthur OLB
SPECIALISTS (3)
Warren, Greg LS
Suisham, Shaun K
Wing, Brad P
PRACTICE SQUAD (10)
Harris, Josh RB
Houston, Stephen RB
Richardson, Shaquille CB
Jones, Howard LB
Mauro, Josh DE
Green, Isaiah CB
Blanchflower, Rob TE
Williams, Nick DE
Hubbard, Chris G
Molls, Dan ILB
INJURED RESERVE (1)
Zumwalt, Jordan ILB

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About Dave Bryan

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

    Maybe they will look on the waiver wire for a third qb, landry did not have a td drive all pre-season and the o-line back ups could be up graded from the waiver wire. really need the starters to stay healthy.

  • Caesar

    Is it crazy to think maybe we roll the dice on Richardson on the 53 and just say goodbye to Blake? Seems McCain can do whatever Blake can; just don’t think we need to keep two replacement level CBs on the roster because they can play special teams. There should be enough other guys to step in.

    But with the way the coaches favor veterans, who am I kidding.

  • chris ward

    Hard to go against history with Colbert carrying 3 QB’s.

  • Matthew Colarossi

    I really want to see Asante Samuels get a shot at making this team. Could be a huge help

  • Jacque Strappe

    I would have to question the notion that you do what you have to in order to provide yourself with your best roster if they keep Landry Jones. There HAS to be someone out there unemployed right now that would upgrade that spot. In truth, Gradkowski is a 3rd QB at best. Lord, please watch over Ben, amen.

  • NW86

    I agree with most of that roster. I don’t see them keeping 6WR though. Brown isn’t going to dress for most games, and he wouldn’t be claimed by another team, so I’d put him on the PS and replace him with a RB or CB. I’m not sure there are any more of them on the roster worth keeping right now though, so it could be a waiver wire pickup.

  • NW86

    Also, I don’t really see Zumwalt going to IR, unless you’re talking about him being waived/injured, which I believe means he would show up on IR until a settlement is reached. I haven’t heard anything to really indicate his injury is that serious. Both he and Richardson could be released, maybe with some sort of small injury settlement, and then brought back onto the practice squad at some point.

  • Steelers12328882

    Perfect roster. That was probably the easiest roster selection I can remember. Absolutely zero competition left.

  • 2443scott

    your list looks pretty much on ..but i cut landry keep kay hes shown more in just the last part the game then landry has the 2 years hes been here …palmer i cut too but after i see who was cut from other teams they need a better blocker catcher like miller …

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I could see several potential new signings after the final cuts. They should be able to find a backup OL, CB, RB, QB. They are sadly lacking depth at these positions. Would OL joe Long or Ryan Lee be considered as they were already cut and have been with the Steelers before? RBs are usually a dime a dozen although I rather like Houston. Every year there are some surprise cuts in September. The Steelers should definitely pick up a CB with potential because the backups terrify me.

    The offence better be good this year because the D may need another year or 2 before they can become really solid again. Here’s hoping.

  • steeltown

    Third QB and another swing OT are needed. The QB can go to the practice squad. We may want to look for another CB as well, especially with the injury to McCain

  • steeltown

    Bryant ‘could’ be down for a number of weeks (shoulder) so I think JB and DHB both make the roster initially, not to mention JB is one of the best blockers on the Team.

  • steeltown

    Yea but remember last season with N.Williams and his injury issue, ultimately ended up on IR

  • SteveM2

    A least one of the starting corners terrify me.

  • SteveM2

    Isiah Green makes the practice squad? No way; he was roadkill on the highway this preseason; ask the New York Giants, who repeatedly victimized him for their win.

  • Doug

    Yeah sure, let’s keep a 5th round pick who can’t get on the field over and has proven nothing, on the 53-man roster.

  • Caesar

    Is that so much worse than a guy who has been on the field and proven he isn’t much?

  • http://jasonbrant.blogspot.com Jason Brant

    I’d like to see them get Ventrone on the practice squad. He’s the Rudy of the Steelers.

    Assuming he has eligibility.

  • http://thereactionblog.com Michael Stickings

    Can’t really disagree with any of this. Palmer vs. Paulson is a toss up. DHB has certainly played himself onto the 53, while Brown may make it because of the injury to Bryant — and in any event I guess 6 WRs makes sense at this point. I suppose Landry sticks. HoJo probably played himself off the 53 last night, but he might not have made it anyway, and it’s probably for the best that he’ll get a year on the PS, assuming no one else picks him up. Same for Mauro. Basically, some of these guys are just too young and too raw, like Blanchflower, whatever their upside and future potential.

    If anything more dramatic happens, it’ll likely be because of a waiver pickup from somewhere else. I certainly agree that a new o-lineman to replace Whimper would be great. As bad as Adams was/is, I can’t see the team cutting him right now. They need to look for a new CB as well given Richardson’s problems.

    I still wonder about Harrison at OLB, but the most promising thing from last night’s game was the play of Jones and Moats.

  • joed32

    There will almost certainly be a few players on the practice squad that are not on the current roster but will be cut from other teams.

  • steeltown

    I agree Ventrone and Molls are keepers

  • steeltown

    2nd this

    …and who knows, next season with yr under their belts maybe guys like Mauro, HoJo, Blanchflower and Richardson can make some noise

  • Doug

    Yeah, there’s a reason why he was only a 5th round pick. He could be a lot worse than Blake.

  • Caesar

    Blake who was undrafted and cut by Jacksonville.

    I’m just saying the same-old-same-old of preferring vets who are provenly mediocre or worse over unproven young guys is maybe causing some stagnation. I think rolling the dice a little bit on some unproven guys with unknown potential might be worth it, even if it is admittedly a gamble.

  • steeltown

    But that’s exactly what we’re doing with Blake, he just turned 24yrs old and has never started a game in his young 2yr career. I am still intrigued with the potential of Richardson but im not giving up on Blake after one mediocre preseason game.

  • http://thereactionblog.com Michael Stickings

    Yeah, I think sometimes we expect too much of these younger players, especially those who show glimpses of something in the pre-season. The fact is, they’re all still very raw. But there’s a lot of potential in these four (and a few others), and it would be great to see them develop. I can certainly see Blanchflower as the #2 TE in a year or two, preparing to take over from Heath, and I’m certainly not giving up on Richardson (yet).

  • http://thereactionblog.com Michael Stickings

    Any idea who might be a viable swing OT option at this point? Or a viable backup CB?

  • steeltown

    No.. I haven’t been watching the waiver wire

  • pat

    You the the Vikings keep Ponder?

  • Taylor20

    Seattle will have some CBs cut. Would be nice to find a big body physical CB….oh wait, we like short CBs

  • Taylor20

    I’d just keep Brendon Kay on the PS, cut Landry. Fingers crossed Ben stays healthy. I think he will.

  • Alan Felicia

    There’s a reason Samuels is seating at home while teams that are desperate for CB help like the Jets are not calling his agent.
    Only way the secondary can get better is if or when Pittsburgh’s front seven wakes up and improves from last year 27th rank Pass Rush. More sacks, more QB pressures means secondary can cover better and take advantage of forced throws.

  • Matthew Colarossi

    I think the reason is they are waiting for the reg season to start because it’s cheaper to sign vets. That’s why they waited on keisel and are waiting on silverback as well.

  • Michael Aubele

    I’m still hanging on to the Harrison idea…cut Carter and bring him back.

  • Matthew Colarossi

    And how do know who’s calling his agent? Guy has 50+ int. but if you would rather wait for the front seven to

  • newguy68

    Mauro won’t stay on the practice squad for long. Another team will pick him up, he’s a talented player with a high motor. A LOT of teams need guys like him.

  • Alan Felicia

    Dude, I live in the NYC area and everyday I either gotta read or hear from the media that the Jets should contact or sign Samuels for the last 2-3 weeks. Yet, he’s still sitting at home. Steelers don’t need Samuels. Yeah he has better hands and instinct than say Taylor but Samuels is god awful against the run plus one of the worst tacklers.
    And, feel confident that Worilds, Haywood, Jones, Tuitt, will make huge contributions in the pass rush. Not saying they’ll be top 5 or 10 again but at least close to 10. Just IMO.

  • srdan

    We already give up enough big plays without him

  • srdan

    How so? I’m not aware of this bit it does seem to happen

  • srdan

    That competition made the whole receivers group better

  • Matthew Colarossi

    I’m not just saying I have to have Samuels lol I could care less who it is but we need some one any one and hopefully it’s a vet CB

  • srdan

    You don’t quit a job before you find a new one. You don’t cut people before finding suitable replacements.

  • srdan

    I would argue that dhb played himself into the third wr. Lance can’t block. Dhb has been catching. His speed is an asset on the field. I haven’t seen lance

  • Matthew Colarossi

    I may be wrong but I was tracking that after the season starts you can offer different types of contracts to vets. I believe it has to do with the bonus. Pretty sure I read it on this site. But like I said I could wrong lol I’m pretty doped up right now just got me a new ACL yesterday

  • Alan Felicia

    They signed Keisel b/c they have so many young defensive linemen this year with Tuitt, McCullers, Thomas, Mauro (hoping in the practice squad), that they needed another veteran to learn from…to mentor these young pups.
    Don’t hold your breath on Harrison. Even if does sign with Arizona, he’s better off retiring quietly like Porter did a season ago. Love Harrison but this is not 2008. He WAS an Awesome player.

  • srdan

    Sorry to hear that brother. Hope you heal well.

    This is interesting, does anyone know for certain?

  • Matthew Colarossi

    I’d rather see Harrison then carter would also love to see Troy and Harrison digging into JJ

  • Matthew Colarossi

    Thanks. Yea I’m pretty sure that’s why they kept keisels locker intact because the plan was after preseason sign him

  • Alan Felicia

    We have vets: Taylor, Gay, Allen. IMO, you’re over reacting to what you saw in the preseason. Yeah, they looked bad against the Philly, but again, preseason. Tomlin even told reporters, no game planning, no exotic blitzes (just plain vanilla corner blitzes).
    Me, I’m holding off reaction until Week 4.

  • Doug

    Last time I checked, Ike was 6’2″ and Cortez was 6’1″. So you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Alan Felicia

    They have someone who will dig into Jones = Coach Joey Porter! Come on bro, if you’re a long time Steeler fan, who was a more vocal leader: Porter, Harrison, or Polamalu.
    Porter would lead the team speech before and after the game!

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Good Roster. I think there are only so many potential changes:

    1. QB – Landry might not make it
    2. WR – Do we really keep 6?
    3. TE – I still think any of Palmer, Paulson, or Blanch could make the team
    4. OL – Whimper and Johnson… those are the 2 I question with Hubbard having an outside shot at the roster IMO.
    5. DL – I could see us carrying 7 if Landry doesn’t make the squad with Mauro making it.
    6. OLB – H. Jones still has a shot IMO
    7. CB – McCain’s injury? how does that affect Richardson who has his own injury issues. Blake got burned badly last night and didn’t get ANY help from Golden on the play. It worries me that he is currently our 4th CB.
    8. S – Could we really say goodbye to Allen….again?….but I doubt it.

  • steeltown

    Initial thoughts- I think with Bryants injury we’re keeping 6WRs, I think Wes Johnson played himself on the roster and I think HoJo is headed to the PS

  • joed32

    I thought Blake played well except for the long pass, he was pretty tight in coverage most of the time. Everybody gets burned, he just can’t make it a habit

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I’m well aware of that.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think the Steelers will, but I would shoot for completing a bit more of the rebuild this year and churn more of the roster.

    I would cut Adams and Whimper

    I would also cut Landry Jones, Allen, Palmer and Carter.

    I would keep Mauro and Branch on the 53

    Shaq and Zum go on IR

    I would sign a CB and an OL off waivers and make a trade for a LT using a 3rd round pick and either Cam thomas and or Lance Moore.

    Waters to the practice squad

    Jones or waiver claim to Practice squad

    sign 1 or 2 additional BPA’s from waiver wire.

    Probably sign Harrison after the first game if no one flashes.

  • Craig M

    I’m hoping for replacing Whimper and Adams from the cuts, bring back Harrison to replace Carter, who I was a big supporter of, not impressed w/ jones as QB, old man Batch would be a better 3rd string QB, I think Taylor will cost us a win with his penalties, I would hope for replacing him and Allen from the wire, I’m most interested w/ this Ranger Villanamuve?, spelling may be wrong (if he likes you he will kill you first) huge, good hands, moves fairly well, can handle blockers, might make a very good TE combo DE eventually replacing Spaeth w/ Blanchflower eventually replacing Palmer/Paulson then Miller. What has Tomlin done in the off-season to improve his clock management, maybe the wife using Flash Cards at the dinner table. :)

  • steeltown

    I agree with some of this.. I definitely wouldn’t lose sleep if they cut guys like Whimper, L.Jones, Carter, Paulson etc.

    I would place Shaq and Zum on IR if possible and I would keep Mauro and Blanchflower in the 53man.

    I also would completely concentrate my efforts on finding the best available OT for depth, maybe two of them for good measure

  • Taylor20

    and everyone else becides him and Richardson?….how many 5′ 8″- 5′ 9″ corners have we tinkered with the past couple seasons there spanky?

  • Taylor20

    *them and Richardson

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Subtract Landry and add Mauro and I’m happy. I’d also like to see Howard Jones get a cracked at a roster spot. I think he has more potential than Carter, even if Carter might be further along right now.

  • Zumwalt Fan Club

    I hope Mauro makes the team. With Cam Thomas having a history of being lazy, and Keisel’s age, it would be nice to have Mauro ready to play.

  • CW

    I just can’t see them keeping Landry Jones over someone else. Even knowing the history of Tomlin and Colbert, he’s just that bad. Could see them taking a look around the cut lists for an upgrade, but not keeping a nearly useless player on the team.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Who is the three-name QB from last year’s camp? Where is he now? I recall he had a pretty good arm.

  • Buccos9

    The Giants released Curtis Painter. I would have a lot more faith in him than I do Landry Jones. I don’t care if Jones knows the system. It means nothing if you haven’t got the skill to be an NFL QB.

  • Murry E Baskerville

    Please remember Will Allen just started and is a Tomlin guy. Look how fast he brought him back last year. He’s not going anywhere. You did a great job, but this is where I see your differences.
    1) Cut Landry Jones – Practice Squad, – Take Green off the PS, he needs to go.
    2) Cut Whimper, and find a young OL to put on the practice squad
    3) Cut Carter and Keep Howard Jones – he will get claimed by another team

    With the 2 spots, Will Allen and Josh Mauro stay. Mauro looks like a young Aaron Smith and you don’t take that chance with the practice squad.

    Also Martavius Bryant and McCain are injured, so one of them could go on the injured to return list, but I believe they will leave that for a starter just in case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/STEELMANIAC STEEL MANIAC

    Make room for Moye at least on the practice squad.

  • Ironcity125

    I would like to see Terrelle Pryor!

  • Bradys_Dad

    OK, I’m thinking that it’s time to gamble a little and only carry 2 QBs this year. Landry hasn’t shown us anything and certainly didn’t play “above the line” this past week vs. Carolina. I’d rather we carry an extra LB, DB, DL, WR or even another OL instead of carrying dead weight at QB. A risk? For sure. But when you’ve gone 8-8 back to back years isn’t time to take a few calculated risks? Thoughts?

  • Cliff Yerkins

    Ok – this MIGHT be a little off kilter, BUT does ANYONE ELSE see the opposing defense Always lined up in the neutral zone? I swear each game on most every snap this is happening and it is not being called. The linesman is right there, and the other teams players’ have their hand on the line or helmets over the ball, giving them an unfair advantage to our O-Line. This is not right – ONE OF OUR COACHES needs to be watching this and yelling at the ref’s.

  • DarthVenamis

    Just stop with the Kay over Jones. Kay looked absolutely terrible by throwing ducks around the field. I get that Jones isn’t very good, but don’t let that cloud how bad Kay looked when he got his time.

  • WilliamSekinger

    I do hope you are right about Allen. He needed to go last off season.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Not really a risk when you consider that if Landry is playing the team has no shot. They would be better off listing Heath Miller as the emergency QB.

  • NW86

    You’ve already had several cracks at this throughout the preseason Dave, no mulligans. ;-)

  • treeher

    Not only that, but I think Kay demonstrated more mobility and quicker decision-making and I’d put him on the practice squad.

  • treeher

    I think MM will keep Whimper because he needs the experience to back up any of the positions in case of injury. Maybe not for entire year, but certainly in first half. I’d keep Kay around on the PS. In his short stint, he showed me more than Landry. Agree wholeheartedly with cutting Carter and keeping HJ.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Leshoure cut by Lions. I say Landry to the Practice squad and pick up Leshoure

  • CW

    Richardson has shown nothing to this point while Blake even with a couple of bad moments has shown some decent coverage skills at times as well as some decent tackling and special teams skills.

    Richardson can easily slip to the practice squad and get a red shirt year while Blake should be able to at least play above the line special teams play this year.

  • SteelersDepot

    you are not going to believe this but I absolutely hate doing these. They are necessary evils and 5 minutes after you do one you hate it. They are like doing mock drafts. I hate doing those as well..

  • (hate)49ers

    OT Eric Winston please!

  • WIINGY

    Same reason Ike should be sitting at home probably.

  • Ryan Roberts

    they should cut jones and keep Kay- Jones doesnt bring anything good to the table

  • CW

    The interesting possible roster shake up I see out there is Tomlin was always interested in Terrelle Pryor as a potential multi purpose weapon on offense and since the Seahawks already cut him the Steelers could sign him as their 3rd quarterback who could also play a few other positions as needed.

  • SteelersDepot

    51 of 53 right. missed carter and whimper being cut.

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