Bryan: Steelers 2014 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Second Preseason Game Edition

With the Pittsburgh Steelers now having two preseason games behind them, it’s now time for the latest installment of my 53 man roster prediction. If you would like to see my previous version, it is right here.

In the comments below, tell me the selections you disagree with and which player makes it instead. How many of these 53 are locks?

Once again, the final five or six spots really had me thinking and the situation at long snapper sure didn’t help things. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an unbalanced roster before.

My next 53 prediction will come after the Steelers third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Offense (23)

Quarterbacks (2)Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski

Analysis: Maybe Alex Kozora was right all along. Landry Jones has looked horrible so far and the team sure could use his roster spot. This time around I’m sending Jones to the practice squad. He has two weeks to change my mind.

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

Analysis: Nobody is pushing to be the fourth running back. Will Tauren Poole or Josh Harris make a move? Will it even matter if they do?

Fullbacks (1)Will Johnson

Analysis: I sure don’t like to hear about Johnson’s hamstring bothering him, but it seems like he battled through the same injury last year at this time.

Wide Receivers (5)Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown

Analysis: I sure thought Justin Brown would have showed us more so far during the preseason, but the quarterback play of the backups might have something to do with that.

Tight Ends (3)Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson

Analysis: I swear I’m trying to cut Paulson, but still can’t. Hopefully Spaeth and Johnson will get back on the field soon to settle my nerves.

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

Analysis: I will continue to give Mike Munchak his nine offensive linemen with Johnson and Whimper both likely being inactive to start the season.

Defense (26)

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

Analysis: Keisel made it back.

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

Analysis: This group should be set with Garvin serving as the swing guy that can play both inside and outside.

Outside Linebackers (5)Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats, Howard Jones

Analysis: Welcome aboard to HoJo.

Cornerbacks (5)Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain

Analysis: It’s hard for me to turn loose Shaquille Richardson, but he has done nothing during the preseason and now has a knee injury. He goes to the practice squad.

Safeties (5)Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Will Allen

Analysis: I want to cut Allen really bad, but have a feeling that Mike Tomlin won’t be able to.

Specialists (4)

Kicker (1)Shaun Suisham

Analysis: Suisham got a new deal so he isn’t going anywhere.

Punter (1)Brad Wing

Analysis: Could we see a repeat of last year after finally cuts are made? Wing needs to be a bit more consistent.

Long Snapper (2)Greg Warren, Luke Ingram

Analysis: It would be real nice if Warren was able to make it back for the opener.

Practice Squad (10)Tauren Poole, Brian Arnfelt, Derek Moye, Rob Blanchflower, Landry Jones, Chris Hubbard, Josh Mauro, Dan Molls, Shaquille Richardson, Vic So’oto

Analysis: I’m torn with several players here. I like Molls a lot more than I do Jordan Zumwalt, who can’t seem to stay healthy. If Mauro doesn’t make the 53 with Keisel back, I think he has a good shot at clearing waivers. I chose to keep Blanchflower over Eric Waters for now. So’oto should still have eligibility left.

2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Post Second Preseason Game Edition

Roethlisberger, BenQB
Gradkowski, BruceQB
Brown, AntonioWR
Wheaton, MarkusWR
Moore, LanceWR
Brown, JustinWR
Bryant, MartavisWR
Miller, HeathTE
Spaeth, MattTE
Paulson, DavidTE
Bell, Le’VeonRB
Blount, LeGarretteRB
Archer, DriRB
Johnson, WillFB
Pouncey, MaurkiceC
DeCastro, DavidG
Foster, RamonG
Beachum, KelvinT/G
Gilbert, MarcusT
Adams, MikeT
Wallace, CodyC/G
Whimper, GuyT/G
Johnson, WesleyC/G/T
Taylor, IkeCB
Allen, CortezCB
Gay, WilliamCB
Blake, AntwonCB
McCain, BriceCB
Polamalu, TroyS
Mitchell, MikeS
Thomas, ShamarkoS
Golden, RobertS
Allen, WillS
Heyward, CameronDE
McLendon, SteveNT/DE
Tuitt, StephonDE
Thomas, CamDE/NT
Keisel, BrettDE
McCullers, DanielNT
Timmons, LawrenceILB
Shazier, RyanILB
Williams, VinceILB
Spence, SeanILB
Garvin, TerenceILB/OLB
Worilds, JasonOLB
Jones, JarvisOLB
Carter, ChrisOLB
Moats, ArthurOLB
Jones, HowardOLB
Warren, GregLS
Ingram, LukeLS
Suisham, ShaunK
Wing, BradP
Jones, LandryQB
Poole, TaurenRB
Richardson, ShaquilleCB
Arnfelt, BrianDE
Mauro, JoshDE
So’oto, VicOLB
Blanchflower, RobTE
Moye, DerekWR
Hubbard, ChrisG
Molls, DanILB

  • Deebosgonnaeaturkids

    Why not Palmer over Paulson?

  • DoctorNoah

    Is it a numbers game with CB’s Dave? Brice McCain doesn’t seem to have done much. I’d argue for a 7th DL and keep Mauro maybe. More flashes there. Just a thought. I think you’re spot on otherwise, though I’m not sure what they’ll do about LS. Maybe Designated to Return and keep Ingram through half a season? Opens up a roster spot…

  • ApexSteel

    This is something i was wondering. Will we keep a 4th running back just because or do they really have to show something?

  • superfan

    Jim Wexell reported on Twitter that the Steelers could release and resign Greg Warren without any kind of wait. So they won’t have to carry two long snappers.

    If that’s true, who gets that extra roster spot? Mauro? L. Jones?

  • Aric Brown

    Pretty spot on…. does So’oto have a shot at Carters position?

  • T R

    Damn i really hope that Heyward-Bey could make it on the squad but looking at your 53, i cant kick no one off the 53 to make room for him. unless injury.. so sad.. I do think they can put Greg Warren on IR (Des to Return) and keep a healthy Luke Ingram for the minimum games and bring Warren back if he pass physical. Now i got room for Heyward-Bey.. cause he surely didnt get a chance to make the squad practicing with Landry Jones. LOL Antonio Brown would have lost his spot getting passes from him.

  • Simon Cutts

    Carter, paulson? There must be better, how is carter still in the NFL. Allen has become surplus with Thomas development. DBs, pick one and hope.

  • T R

    dave, you forgot the link to your first 53. or my puter messed up

  • richheddleson

    They can just cut Warren. Since he is a Vet, he does not go on waivers. No team can claim him. He is a free agent, and can sign with the Steelers in Week 3. He just loses 2 checks doing it that way.

  • Caesar

    There has to be a different solution than carrying two freaking long-snappers. Put Warren on IR designated to return, is that a possibility? So what if it goes two weeks longer than his recovery might take.

    And so far from what we have seen I would probably take Waters over Blanchflower. And if we are going back to a vet on the d-line, hopefully we at least commit to more youth and safety and take Dangerfield over Allen. And I would be careful with the DE’s on waivers. I know Dave just had that article about over-anxiety about losing bottom of the roster guys, but I could definitely see Arizona making a play now that they have a need and a propensity to poach Pittsburgh guys.

  • SteelersDepot

    NFLPA might not like an injured player being released. Just saying.

  • T R

    But remember if they poach.. they have to put them on their 53. don’t think really anyone we place on a practice squad would be ready to start at Arizona, like Kiesel could have.

  • sweetleb

    yea lets make sure he is healthy, 2 long snappers is 1 too many. give heyward bey his spot.

  • SteelersDepot


  • richheddleson

    They can just cut Warren. Since he is a Vet, he does not go on waivers. No team can claim him. He is a free agent, and can sign with the Steelers in Week 3. He just loses 2 checks doing it that way.

  • steeltown

    I think I almost completely agree with your roster.. although I’d swap Paulson for Palmer we have enough pass catchers and that’s all Paulson is, I’d rather have Palmers blocking and special teams contribution. I might also swap Whimper for Mauro. I have not seen anything from Whimper this off season that makes me want to give him a roster spot. I’m pretty sure he’d be a phone call away if needed and in that case I’d throw Elkins or Simmons on the PS (or a rookie OT released from another Team during final cuts)

  • Aric Brown

    I like the designated to return option

  • CuldesacBill

    Wow, 10 linebackers. That is a lot. I think they should keep 9 linebackers and 7 defensive lineman. Cut Carter and add Mauro. That is my only change. Kiesel as an older player is more subject to injury.

  • CodeNameJerk

    Somehow Chris Carter keeps finding himself on the team. I don’t know how it keeps happening…

  • Iron Cadet

    Why is hojo getting all the love over so’oto?

  • Steelers12328882

    I think it’s just about perfect, but I’m not a fan of carrying 2 QBs. If Landry isn’t good enough for the 53 than go get another QB somewhere that is. I don’t think there’s one out there, so Landry makes my 53 and in his place I’d cut Will Allen who could be brought back very easily incase of an injury. If Tomlin won’t let go of Will Allen then I think HoJo gets placed on the PS until Greg Warren is ready or Luke Ingram wins the job. I also think the battle between Carter, So’oto and HoJo is still to be determined.

  • steeltown

    I have always been a proponent of keeping 3QBs as well, but the more I thought about it the more I realize it doesn’t really matter. While I agree that a 3QB should be kept, it isn’t always necessary to have the 3rd guy on the 53man, more often than not they’re inactive on game days anyway and will only be activated if Ben and/or the #2 has some sort of minor injury during the week. In that case bring up the #3 from the PS

  • Steelers12328882

    Just curious, what have you seen from Waters and Blanchflower that would lead you to keep Waters?

  • Tullydew

    I think Nick Williams has more upside than Arnfelt and will be given a spot on the practice squad. Arnfelt has shown nothing so far this camp.

  • Caesar

    I think just health mainly. Blanchflower seems to be kind of in the same boat as Zumwalt. I feel leery of a guy who from the get go just keeps getting hit with all these nagging ailments. Might be unfair, but I guess I just lean toward buying the idea of guys being injury-prone sometimes. If they are close to equal, I would prefer to guy who is more likely to stay on the field.

  • SteveM2

    Good question, even with the splash plays Hojo made.

  • Steelers12328882

    That’s why I was asking. Funny enough but I was thinking the opposite. I haven’t seen much out of either of them but I do remember seeing Blanchflower last game. I thought Waters was the one injured.

  • Steelers12328882

    Yeah I could see them carrying 2 QBs with the situation with the long snappers but only if they’ve truly given up on Landry. I’m still holding out hope he will show something in the next 2 games.

  • SteveM2

    As things stand, there’s a 99.999% probability that no other NFL team snags L. Jones form the practice squad. In other words, it’s a safe risk.

  • Caesar

    If that is the case then I have lost track and stand corrected.

  • steeltown

    I think Waters has missed more time (practice and game) than Blanchflower at this point

  • steeltown

    They could still put LJ on the PS

  • cencalsteeler

    I’d like to see So’oto, Molls or Mauro switched out with McCain. Also, Palmer for Paulson.

  • steeltown

    They’ll keep McCain I think at this point. I could see them keeping So’oto or Mauro over Carter or Whimper

  • Steelers12328882

    Yeah but that still means they’ve pretty much thrown in the towel.

  • AndreuGon

    I agree with you about Landry Jones. He played awful and we’ll need that spot. I’m concerned about the RB situation, I mean, we have 2 and a half (Dri Archer) and if Bell or Blount got hurt it would be very painful because Archer is not made to run very often between the tackles. I would prefer taking 4 RB’s but I don’t see Poole or any other of those making the team.
    I always want Paulson not making the team, so I will take Palmer over him.
    I don’t see the Steelers going with 5 OLB. I’m tired of watching the poor performances of Chris Carter.
    I disagree about the long snapper even with the injury. That spot could be for another OLine like Chris Hubbard.

  • steeltown

    Will Johnson could help carry the ball if Bell and Blount both go down

  • Hard to argue with your list, Dave, and for those guys on the bubble or for one more player at this position at the expense of that one, it’s a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other. Which is to say, the differences are more or less negligible.

    That said, starting at the bottom, I’d put Zumwalt on the PS over Molls. I think the team sees something in him and may want to give him a shot to prove himself. I’d also like them to find some way to have one LS instead of two, which would be a waste. In the event they can, I really think the extra guy has to be Mauro.

    I still have hopes for Blanchflower and Shaq, but I guess it’ll have to the PS for them now. Hard to see Shaq doing enough to make the 53.

    I also agree it’ll be Carter at OLB, and maybe they’ll just keep him on the team because he has some (if not much) experience, but hopefully So’oto can continue to show promise on the PS.

    As for two QBs, I just don’t know. I’m not quite ready to believe they’ll actually do what they need to do and send Landry to the PS. But I hope so.

  • Superdriller316

    Being that their bringing old guys back, why not bring back Deebo and cut Carter?

  • JohnB

    I’d like to get Ben to throw to DHB a few times. I know he has had problems catching the ball in the past but Oakland never had a good QB to throw to him and the same thing is happening in practice here with the back ups. Concussion didn’t help but I’d like to make sure he’s crap or not before we release him.

  • Bill

    I guess they signed Keisel because they need D-Line leadership and somebody who maybe can deliver a number of meaningful snaps; but I hope they don’t lose a promising young player to poachers because they kept an aging player one year too long. Remember Aaron Smith? Allen & Carter; for what? Too many LBs

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Just a couple of things.

    First, I am fine with your offense. I am still hoping that Blanchflower has some spectacular games over the last 2 and can beat out both Paulson or Palmer, but right now I think that 3rd spot is a crap shoot. My guess is practices may be the key…something we won’t see.

    Second, I don’t think they need to keep 10 OLBs. So’oto, Carter and H. Jones need to determine which of the 3 of them is going to be on the roster. So’oto would be my choice at the moment.

    Third, my guess is that H. Jones and Richardson both currently make it to the PS.

    Fourth, I can understand everyone’s desire to not carry an extra long snapper for 2 weeks, but using the Designation to Return IMO is a really dumb move even if it is an option. So you enter week 2 against Baltimore and a major player gets hurt and will be out 8 weeks. Now we can’t use the Designation with him and we have to carry him for all those weeks with no replacement option. NOT a good idea. We would need to cut someone just to bring in a replacement.

    Lastly, as I look at your roster options, it looks like Paulson, Whimper, and Wesley Johnson are the only question marks to make the O roster with Poole, another RB, DHB, and Moye also as options. On D, I think you are pretty well spot on except at OLB. And I agree that Tomlin won’t be able to cut W. Allen 2 years in a row.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Good lineup. I would put Mauro and So’oto on the 53, as Vic can apply pressure, but the younger guys need to beef up. Bye-bye Carter, once and for all and then Howard Jones to the PS. Palmer may take Paulson’s place if ST is a concern.

    Otherwise guys like Carter and McCain may make the team but then be at risk of being cut if they find a couple of guys with potential after the final cuts in early September. They did that last year.

    7 D linemen means they can play most of these guys, kind of like a platoon situation, except for Cam Heyward, who will be in on almost all downs. Dave Bryan, you should write something about the merits of the D linemen rotating in, providing fresh legs, and whether it’s beneficial for the Steelers current situation. I believe it would be because the young guys would learn more while not being thrown to the wolves.

  • Brendan

    Glad to see you came around one Big Dan, Dave. Now we just need to do the same with Zumwalt.

  • mrwirez

    My 53 moves/changes..

    1 – Move Warren to DL/Return 2 LS’s = unacceptable
    2 – Add Josh Mauro.

    Mauro will be a starter if given time and opportunity and will be poached if not protected, Likely AZ Cards..

    Tough year for a 53 list indeed.

    ** Some LBs & DBs scare me, yet unsure who to move/keep. Lots of middling/average talent at the backup-roster bottom.

  • Luis Garcia

    What about Dangerfield?

  • Luis Garcia

    Wexwell is dependable, I bet Gregg Warren will agree to what the Steelers offer after 10 years of mutual loyalty.

  • Luis Garcia

    Warren on IR designated to return is wasting a silver bullet. He is expected to be out 4 weeks only. And you only have one designated to return spot.

  • Luis Garcia

    Tomlin did let go Allen last year.

  • Luis Garcia

    Yeah but Whimper is playing better than Adams… and can play guard.

  • Luis Garcia

    Tauren Poole is playing outstanding special teams, always the first to arrive during punts.

  • Luis Garcia

    With all respect to him, he seems to be a great guy, I would not keep Carter anymore because after 4 years we all know what he has. He is an athlete more than a football player…. I think….

  • Luis Garcia

    Silver back would not look right languishing at the bench.

  • Luis Garcia

    I would like to see Justin Brown showing -during a game- why everyone is so high on him. If he shows it… then DHB is a cut.

  • Luis Garcia

    I like your analysis, just a comment, I don’t think Allen is safer one year older, and less with Robert Golden and Jordan Dangerfield growing on the team. Allen is on the hot seat.

  • steeltown

    Whimper is not playing better than Adams, not this year so far

  • Dave Clifton

    Updated 53 man Roster & 10 Practice Squad personal predictions for 2014

    Offense & Specialists:(25)

    QB Ben Roethlisberger 7
    QB Bruce Gradkowski 5

    RB Le’Veon Bell 26
    RB LeGarrett Blount 27
    RB3 / WR6 **Dri Archer 13

    WR1 Antoino Brown 84
    WR2 Markus Wheaton 11
    WR3 Lance Moore 16
    WR4 Justin Brown 15
    WR5 Martavis Bryant 10

    TE Heath Miller 83
    TE Matt Spaeth 89
    FB / TE Will Johnson 46
    TE Michael Palmer 82

    OL Markise Pouncey 53
    OL David DeCastro 66
    OL Ramon Foster 73
    OL Kelvin Beachum 68
    OL Marcus Gilbert 77
    OL Cody Wallace 72
    OL Guy Whimper 78
    OL Mike Adams 76

    (If they keep 9 OL, Wesley Johnson)

    K Shaun Suisham 6
    P *Brad Wing 9
    LS Luke Ingram 48

    QB = 2 RB = 3 TE/FB = 4 WR = 5 OL = 8 K = 1 LS = 1 P = 1 25


    Defense & Special Teams Demons:(28)

    DE Cam Heyward 97
    DL Steve McLendon 90
    DE Cam Thomas 96
    DL **Stephon Tuitt 91
    DL **Daniel McCullers 74
    DE Brett Keisel 99
    DE ***Josh Mauro 71

    OLB Jason Worilds 93
    ILB **Ryan Shazier 50
    ILB Lawerence Timmons 94
    OLB Jarvis Jones 95
    LB Arthur Moats 55
    LB Vince Williams 98
    LB Sean Spense 51
    LB Terence Garvin 57
    LB ***Howard Jones 34

    DB Ike Taylor 24
    DB Cortez Allen 28
    DB Will Gay 22
    DB Antwon Blake 41
    DB **Shaquille Richardson 31
    DB Brice McCain 25

    S Troy Polamalu 43
    S Mike Mitchell 23
    S Shamarko Thomas 29
    S Robert Golden 21

    (ST) Greg Warren 60 LS (INJ)
    (ST) Darrius Heyward-Bey 85 WR

    (Landry Jones if not Warren)

    DE/DL = 7 LB = 9 DB = 6 S = 4 LS = 1 WR = 1 28


    Practice Squad: (10)

    1) **Rob Blanchflower (TE) r
    2) **Jordan Zumwalt (LB) r
    3) Chris Elkins (OL) r
    4) **Wesley Johnson (OL) r
    5) Dan Molls (LB) 1
    6) C.J. Goodwin (WR) r
    7) Nick Williams (DE) 2
    8) Chris Hubbard (OL) 1
    9) Jordan Dangerfield 42 {s}
    10) Derek Moye (WR) 2

    {not real sure about some of these practice squad guy’s eligibility, but i put something down for the sake of doing it}

    Potential Notable Cuts:

    Landry Jones (QB)
    David Paulson (TE)
    Will Allen (S)
    Hebron Fangupo (DL)
    Ross Ventrone (S)
    Chris Carter (LB)
    Vic So’oto (LB)
    Isaiah Green (DB)
    Brian Arnfelt (DE)
    Tauren Poole {rb}
    *Bryce Davis LS/TE
    Dayonne Nunley (DB) r

  • Brendon Glad

    I trust Steelers class and aura…so I think that if mauro shows well in the final 2 PS games, then the Steelers will be able to release Will Allen in the same way we always used to release Charlie Batch and Leftwich….the “wink-wink-release”…Then when Warren returns, Allen comes back….it’s a luxury only classy organizations have, and I appreciate it every time it is used to our benefit.

  • Brendon Glad

    I did not know u could do that with veterans. If they can, then I’m sure that will be what they do. Warren knows he has a job when he returns.

  • Brendon Glad

    I think they have to show something. Because it has been proven time and time again that RB’s can be found off the streets…and if your own set of RB’s have not shown the instinct to play NFL RB, then it is quite likely you can find a guy off the streets who will be better than that “bubble-rb”

  • Brendon Glad

    I could see the Steelers making a small trade….since Blake and Allen have underperformed, and Ike is coming off of his worst season in a long time. Don’t be surprised if a draft pick or some depth at LB, OL, or DL is sacrificed to get a CB….in a similar way as what happened with mcFadden a few years ago.

  • Dan

    I’m also thinking more about this 2QB possibility. I’m in favor (in case Colbert/Tomlin want my opinion) IFF we have somebody who can be a reasonable quality emergency QB. If we still had Ward, Randle El or even Bettis, I’d be in favor, but who do we have now with some passing experience in case #1 and #2 go down in a game? Any of our RBs or QBs thrown a pass?

  • bustedknuckles

    My thoughts exactly.

  • steeltown

    Antonio Brown, haha, but seriously I think AB and Archer both have passed for a TD in college. Not that it’s a solution. We wuld most likely run a wildcat type offense.

    The main thing to remember is in most times the #3 QB is inactive on game days, so keeping him on roster doesn’t really help you on game day

  • Tammie Sherrell Hill

    Hopefully they will cut carter and adams And L jones (if not eligible for ps) add Mauro/so’to/ho-jo to 53 I would put elkins/Hubbard on 53 to take adams spot I would also find a spot for dangerfield by cutting w.Allen and from what I’ve been reading ike/carter/adams been looking terrible thoughout camp ike just signed but why keep the other two (adams ) maybe ps but just like landry he hasn’t really earned that (and I used to be one of his supporters)