Tomlin Says Play In Steelers Preseason Finale Has Earned Players Roster Spots In Past

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin still is willing to make adjustments to his final 53 man roster based on what may or may not transpire Thursday night at Heinz Field against the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 preseason finale

During his Tuesday during his press conference, Tomlin was asked if players have ever won spots on the final 53 man roster due to their play in the final preseason game and the head coach was quick to note that that has happened before.

“Most certainly and I provided the team examples of that this morning,” said Tomlin. “I thought last year going into Carolina preseason game that Derek Moye was on the outside looking in. He did enough in that football game to turn the tide for him, though. If you look at it over the history of time, you can go back to 2009, Stefan Logan returns the first punt in the game back for 80 yards and earns a spot for himself.

“Sometimes you’ve got to study the history of this game, in this series specifically, to provide information for men so that they can know that they got a legitimate opportunity to help themselves and some of those examples of that opportunity are sitting in the room with them.”

Las year in the preseason finale against the Panthers, wide receiver Derek Moye caught two passes for 55 yards in the 45 offensive snaps that played. However, it’s what he did on a late third quarter interception in that game that likely earned him a roster spot.

On third down and two from the Panthers 9-yard-line, an ill-advised pass thrown by third-string quarterback Landry Jones was intercepted by Panthers cornerback Josh Norman. If not for the hustle by Moye on the play, Norman would have easily scored.

You can see an animated gif of that play below and it sounds like all of the players still currently on the roster were shown this clip Tuesday morning as well.

  • steeltown

    I had never seen Moye run that fast, and haven’t since

  • steeltown

    That said, I think DHB could solidify a spot tonight and hopefully the TE situation gains some clarity. Other than that I think most guys are playing for a spot on the practice squad

  • srdan

    This Thursday is more than likely going to be the last time we see him run.

  • I really wish Moye had worked out. Alas.

    I agree with “steeltown” below — this is the game that could ensure DHB’s spot on the 53, though I think he deserves to be on it anyway. Maybe Brown makes it as well, though.

    As for the third TE spot, I wish Blanchflower had proven himself worth of it. As it is, Palmer vs. Paulson is a battle no one really wants.

    Otherwise, it’s possible that other roster spots will be determined outside of the game, like a P to replace Wing and a third RB not currently on the roster.

  • He may go PS with the expansion to 10. I hope so, he’s a good kid and a friend of a friend.

  • Steelers12328882

    Of course, a Landry interception lol.

  • cencalsteeler

    I have mixed feelings on Tomlins theory. It’s hard for me to base 1 game against 3rd tier opponents on judging roster spots. Shouldn’t it be more of a collection of play throughout training camp and all preseason games? The examples in the article say Moyes play against Carolinas scrubs and Stefan Logans play earned roster spots. Well, chances of Moye returning are slim and Stefan is Longgone. I don’t remember any of the two making significant contributions during their playing seasons, so how is that theory being justified?

  • Hey Dave, thanks so much for puting out this GIF of Derek Moye. I still hope he makes the team.

  • SteveM2

    I’ve always liked underdogs, and Derek Moye certainly qualifies. Incidentally, the GIFs play above is similar to something Moye did against at PSU against Alabama, when he ran down and stripped a defensive back from behind.

    This is also an audition for other NFL teams’ needs, for all the players who find themselves in that “bubble” numbers game. I wish all of them the best, because of all the effort it take for an athlete to even get this far in the NFL.

  • NW86

    Obviously we’re only talking about people who were already CLOSE to making it. If their play up until now has been good enough to put them on the bubble, a great game Thursday could put them over the top. Last year, it seemed that Moye and Brown were in a virtual dead heat at this point, and the last game turned out to be the deciding factor.

  • Still_JPDQ

    Yeah, I think you have to look at it in terms of, “everything else being equal” a singular performance in Game 4 might push you just enough ahead of another guy to fill that last roster spot or two.

    But I agree w/ Cencal that it absolutely should be looked at as a body of work, not just preseason, but from the moment they reported to OTAs and how they’ve carried themselves as a professional.

  • sean mcmartin

    So the 4th game has decided roster spots. And this is the same fourth pre-season game where most starters are held out. So guys can make the team by playing good against back-ups?

  • joed32

    As stated above by Still, if two guys are about even going into this game it could be the deciding factor, we’re not talking about starters here just the last few spots on the roster.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Id like to see Moye stick too.

  • siouxcitysmitty

    That pass had Steeler’s 6 points written all over it if Landry gets it deep/high enough. Good thing he’s progressed so much from last year…..NOT.

  • patrick Mayfield

    How is it a theory that the guy who makes the decision is telling you that play in the final game impacts his decision?

  • cencalsteeler

    I would think after weeks of training camps, practices and preseason games that things should be pretty clear by now. To be going into the last preseason game with the water still muddied is a bit concerning to me.

  • SteveM2

    Derek Moye may be the only WR who ever beat Patrick Peterson for a TD in a bowl game.

  • SteveM2

    To say that Derek Moye was picked over Brown last year simply because of the rundown shown above is an over-simplification, pure and simple. In that same Carolina game, he made also made two other tough catches, with added YAC. He also did the same against the Chiefs and Redskins in the previous weeks.

    My opinion is that Coach Tomlin is, with his comments, trying to motivate players who have relatively few reasons for optimism to play hard tomorrow.