Kozora: Steelers 2014 53 Man Roster Prediction – Final Edition

By Alex Kozora

My sixth and final attempt at predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster following the preseason finale. As of this writing, the final cuts have yet to be announced.

Feel free to add in with your input below.

Offense (24)

Quarterbacks (2)Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski

Analysis: Statistically, Landry Jones may have had an ok night Thursday but the tape shows a different story. He should have been intercepted at least once, rarely tried to throw vertical, and couldn’t generate any points. He finishes the preseason by leading the offense to just six points. Greg Warren’s likely clean bill of health does slightly crack the door but I still refuse to spend it on a #3 QB who has instilled zero confidence in anybody.

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

Analysis: Unless the team grabs someone off the waiver wire, which is entirely possible, these will be the only three runners. Josh Harris and Stephon Houston have no shot to make it. They’ll fight for the practice squad.

Fullbacks (1)Will Johnson

Analysis: Nice to see Johnson back and involved heavily against the Carolina Panthers. Even picked up a carry. That was the Will Johnson that had me excited at the start of camp.

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

Analysis: I came full circle. Started the year off with these six and after thinking Heyward-Bey didn’t stand a chance to make it, he’s back on for the second week in a row. Martavis Bryant’s injury is the player fans are focusing on the most when trying to determine DHB’s status but the focal point should be Brice McCain’s injury. If McCain misses multiple weeks, keeping Heyward-Bey – and making him active on Sunday – seems a lot more likely. Heyward-Bey is the #4 gunner with a healthy McCain but moves as the top backup should McCain miss time. If the Steelers keep four receivers active on gameday, Justin Brown could become inactive for the first few weeks. Lot to watch here.

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

Analysis: Still really not sure who the #3 TE. Likely will come down to Palmer vs David Paulson. Rob Blanchflower will probably be stashed on the practice squad. Palmer ran ahead of Paulson Thursday and is the more competent blocker. I’ll stick with him.

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

Analysis: I want to make a change here but can’t bring myself to do so. We need to at least entertain the idea of Johnson going to the practice squad. Maybe the team has had him play just center in an attempt to stash him, not letting other teams see how versatile he is on game day. With three draft picks likely off the 53, it is hard to imagine a fourth being kicked off the island. Still keep an eye on the team adding a swing tackle. That and running back are the two positions I’d comb the waiver wire for.

Defense (26)

Defensive Linemen (7)Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt, Brett Keisel, Daniel McCullers, Josh Mauro

Analysis: With the assumption Greg Warren is healthy, my final spot on the 53 goes to Mauro. Really don’t see anyone else I would be comfortable with adding here. Mauro and McCullers will likely be inactive on Sunday.

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

Analysis: After Spence looked back to normal early in camp, my grouping here hasn’t changed.

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

Analysis: Nothing different here either. Only other OLB is Howard Jones, who is best suited for the practice squad. Just way too raw at this point in his career. Welcome back, Carter. The cough medicine of this roster. We don’t really like you but have become trained to tolerate your existence as a necessary evil.

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

Analysis: I really hope McCain isn’t out for a long time. The only other slot cornerback on this roster is Gay. An injury to him or the starters will put the team in a bind. Shamarko Thomas would logically be forced to play some slot work.

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

Analysis: Status quo again. Allen starting for Polamalu should halt any questions about the safety of his roster spot.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1)Shaun Suisham

Analysis: No explanation needed. Though Suisham’s misses have started to become concerning.

Punter (1)Brad Wing

Analysis: Have yet to get to delve much into Thursday’s game so far but Wing looked strong. Could go either way on this one but perhaps the team doesn’t want to try and start anew like they did last year. They like players they’re familiar with. Even punters.

Long Snapper (1)Greg Warren

Analysis: Warren sounds healthy for Week One. No longer need to endure the agony of carrying two long snappers.

Practice Squad (10)Rob Blanchflower, Ethan Hemer, Stephen Houston, Chris Hubbard, Isaiah Green, Howard Jones, Landry Jones, Dan Molls, Shaquille Richardson, Ross Ventrone

Analysis: I’ll follow Dave’s lead and placed Jordan Zumwalt on injured reserve. The same could happen to Richardson but injuries are obviously impossible to predict from an outsider’s view. Both injuries seem long-term enough though to justify it. Green should have been on here a try or two ago. All Molls does is find the ball. Having guys like him and Ventrone immediately elevate the intensity and work ethic of everyone around them. Nice to have for the practice squad. Hard to say with any confidence but Houston seems a tick more talented than Harris. Like his build.

Game Day Inactives (7) – Mike Adams, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Chris Carter, Wesley Johnson, Daniel McCullers, Josh Mauro

2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Final Edition

Roethlisberger, BenQB
Gradkowski, BruceQB
Brown, AntonioWR
Wheaton, MarkusWR
Moore, LanceWR
Bryant, MartavisWR
Brown, JustinWR
Heyward-Bey, DariusWR
Miller, HeathTE
Spaeth, MattTE
Palmer, MichaelTE
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
Mauro, JoshDE
Timmons, LawrenceILB
Shazier, RyanILB
Williams, VinceILB
Spence, SeanILB
Garvin, TerenceILB/OLB
Worilds, JasonOLB
Jones, JarvisOLB
Carter, ChrisOLB
Moats, ArthurOLB
Warren, GregLS
Suisham, ShaunK
Wing, BradP
Ventrone, RossS
Houston, StephenRB
Richardson, ShaquilleCB
Jones, HowardLB
Jones, LandryQB
Green, IsaiahCB
Blanchflower, RobTE
Williams, NickDE
Hemer, EthanDE
Molls, DanILB
Zumwalt, JordanILB

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Steelers12328882

    If you put Wesley Johnson on the PS, than who are you putting on the 53? The answer is no one that’s currently on the team. I can see dumping Landry and adding Mauro, but other than him who on that PS really has done something to deserve a spot? Besides the 3rd QB spot this roster looks to be set in stone unless there’s a waiver wire pickup.

  • steeltown

    I like Palmer over Paulson and I like the addition of Mauro, he deserves it over any other. I’d keep N.Williams over Hemer and Harris over Houston. Absolutely love the idea of keeping Ventrone and Molls, nice additions

  • Superdriller316

    Philly cut Henry Josey. He could be the 4th RB.

  • Nan Marshall

    You say 6 defensive linemen, but list 7 names. ?

  • steeltown

    It should be 7DL

  • Rubem Dornas

    Alex, Hemer is listed as G in your table.

  • SteveM2

    Isiah Green on the practice squad? Can’t the Steelers do any better than that re: a reserve cornerback/safety?

  • Ryan Huguenard

    Seen enough of Chris Carter !! James Harrison would be a better choice by far what are they waiting for ??

  • Biggie

    I’d pretty much be good with this, though would use Vetrone and Greens PS spots on OL and WR, either from our cut group or looking to others waiver wires.

  • frednash

    No way that Big Dan is inactive

    I had binoculars on him every play last night

    He’s not Casey

    But he’s a lot better than 90

  • steeltown

    BenJarvis Green-Ellis?

  • Mark_K

    Alex, should that be Hubbard on bottom practice squad summary and release Nick Williams? Looks like a pretty solid 53……..

  • AzheDraven

    If Seattle releases Terrelle Pryor maybe we could give him a shot. I heard Tomlin wanted him some time ago. He would be a “change of pace” QB and being on him hometown could help too.

  • Grant Baker

    What is the point of having your two biggest red zone targets, Bryant and Brown on the roster if you are just going to have them inactive on gameday? You are completely eliminating that height threat on the field and the other teams defense knows this. Same thing happened with Moye last year. I’m no expert, but look around the rest of the league, defenses everywhere have to respect the size of receivers in the redzone leaving mismatches in other areas. I know I sound like a broken record but come on..

  • frednash

    Great idea plus

    He’d be a great gunner or backup safety

    Landry Jones never could be any of those

    Why was 53 spots

    That is a multi purpose player

    Just a great athlete

    Something like DHB

  • Grant Baker

    Also think that regardless of the liability Mike Adams is in pass protection, you have to keep him active on gamedays. Simply because of the injury history this team has faced along the oline. Way to risky having two linemen, adams and Johnson, both inactive any given Sunday.

  • dgh57

    Not sure what to do with Howard Jones as he has upside and pretty good on Special Teams. Can we say that with Carter? After three seasons the answer is NO!

  • dgh57

    You and I both on the Carter situation!

  • steelster

    Chris carter is awesome

  • dgh57

    Haha, yeah awesome at being mediocre at best!

  • PA2AK

    ‘A lot better than 90’?…calm down Bell.

  • steeltown

    I like The X-Files too

  • steelster

    You may see his name in the hall of fame someday.

  • steelster

    No way.

  • marcus

    I am sorry, but laundry jones was a horrible pick. He is not worth the time and effort. Antwon blake and green both need to be cut, both are not good CBs. Bring back dangerfield and look for CBs on the waiver wire. Wing , Im still not empress with, need to find another punter. Harris is quicker and was more impressive to me then Houston. Kay wasn’t all that great but he look more promising than jones, either keep kay or hit the wire for a replacement. DHB earned a spot , I was very impressed with him, he caught everything thrown to him. Ventrone and molls with make the 53 next year, those have great upside. Just a litte bit of my opinion.

  • marcus

    Yes, agree

  • marcus


  • marcus

    I read in some other article, proyor doesn’t want to play in pittsburgh, so no on him.

  • Luis Garcia

    Me too.

  • Superdriller316

    They just cut Pryor.

  • Pud Pushman


  • Alex Kozora

    Boils down to McCain’s injury. Brown could be active and DHB down if McCain is healthy. But if 25 is out awhile, DHB needs to be active. And I have to keep 2 WRs inactive.

  • Zumwalt Fan Club

    I agree about Ventrone and Molls..but Im pretty sure Ross doesnt have anymore PS eligibility..but he should make this team because of STs.

  • You don’t even have Derek Moye making the practice squad?

  • mokhkw

    OLB Adrian Robinson, who the Steelers traded last season to get RB Felix Jones, was cut by the Redskins a few days ago.

    Cut Carter & sign Robinson?

  • Milliken Steeler

    Why not Steel. Our RB’s could use the law firm on our team right about now. lol

  • steeltown

    That’s pretty funny

  • SteveM2

    Being released might change Pryor’s attitude.