15 Steelers Roster Bubble Players To Watch Closely Against Bills

The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their second preseason game of 2014 Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field and several roster spots are still up for grabs. Head coach Mike Tomlin said this past week that he expects a few players to make moves this week and below are 15 players on the roster bubble that should be watched closely in this game.

Brian Arnfelt – Has Arnfelt fallen too far out of favor with the coaching staff already? It sure looks that way based on him playing with the third-team last week against the New York Giants. We will see if he gets second-team reps this week and if he doesn’t, he’s going to have to hope for the practice squad once again.

Bryant Browning – Browning might be too far outside of the bubble already, but if the Steelers decide to keep nine offensive linemen this year, he might still have a tiny chance at being No. 9. Being limited to just playing right guard, however, won’t help his cause and he’s one player that is out of practice squad eligibility as well.

Chris Carter – If Jarvis Jones is held out with his groin problem, it will be interesting to see if Carter gets the start at right outside linebacker over Arthur Moats. A good game could solidify Carter’s roster spot for one more season.

Jordan Dangerfield – If Dangerfield is going to make the final 53, he’s going to have to do it on special teams. He’s a big hitter and needs to force a turnover or two against the Bills to start earning some much needed respect.

Darrius Heyward-Bey – A concussion prevented Heyward-Bey from playing last week, but he should be good to go against the Bills. Like most of the other bubble players on this list, the former first-round draft pick needs to be a special teams warrior. Watch closely to see how many snaps he gets on the four primary return and coverage teams. It’s his last chance.

Chris Hubbard – Hubbard didn’t help his cause last week with his play against the Giants when he entered the game after Ramon Foster was done. There’s a decent chance that Foster won’t play against the Bills and if backup center Cody Wallace gets the start at left guard instead of Hubbard, that won’t be a good sign for the UAB product.

Wesley Johnson – Will Johnson be stuck as the third-team center once again or will he get to play some left tackle or left guard? If he isn’t allowed to show more position flexibility, he might be headed for the practice squad.

Howard Jones – It seems like every year that there is an undrafted outside linebacker that makes some noise during training camp and the preseason and they usually wind up failing to make the final 53 man roster. Jones has a good shot but he needs to make a few more special team splash plays.

Josh Mauro – Mauro had a good first showing last week against the Giants as a second-team defensive end and needs to follow that up with another good game against the Bills.

Brice McCain – Judging by the rotation being used at cornerback, McCain appears to be inside the bubble. Can he stay there?

Daniel McCullers – Big Dan needs to build on his strong showing last week. Will he get into the game this week before Hebron Fangupo?

David Paulson – By default, Paulson appears to be the front runner for the No. 3 tight end spot if the team decides to keep that many. It would be nice to see him start run blocking a little better, but we’ve been saying that going on three preseasons. Count his special teams snaps closely.

Tauren Poole – Poole needs to show more as a ball carrier and as a pass protector. If Josh Harris enters the game before he does this week, that won’t be a good sign. He’s almost too far outside the bubble as it is.

Shaquille Richardson – Richardson will likely only receive late reps once again and needs to make a splash play or two. His only saving grace right now is his measurables and the fact that he was a fifth-round draft pick. Can he contribute on special teams this week?

Guy Whimper – Rubble, rubble, rubble. If the team is going to keep Whimper once again, I sure hope they start giving him some reps at one of the two guard spots. Rubble, rubble, rubble.

  • joed32

    What does “Rubble, rubble, rubble” mean?

  • steeltown

    These next two games are going to be fun, so many things to watch for

  • Isaias Reyes

    Pittsburgh plays Philly after Buffalo. Personally, if we’re going to lose another game I rather we’ll lose against the Bills. I don’t want us to lose to Philly under any circumstances. This is my personal opinion. GO Burgh!

  • GoSteelerz

    Another question is will some of the guys that didn’t play at all last week get a chance this week to either push these bubble guys or even get in the bubble themselves? Should be fun to watch! 😀

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Arnfeld or Mauro?
    DB’s. I’d just about put the 3rd string front 7 with the 2nd string DB’s. Almost like throwing them to the wolves to see what they can do. Can they come up and save a run from being an 80 yard TD? Can they make a play on a long pass? Can Shaq do something or Dangerfield get some respect? (Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist.) The DB’s worry me.

    Johnson or Wallace at guard? Yup. Let’s see if they can perform admirably. Those bubble guys will definitely be the most important decisions. I hope Howard Jones keeps performing well and can knock Carter off the team. Of course, I said the same thing about guys like Arnfeld in the past. And even the Steelers coaches and his fellow players had rave reviews about Arnfeld in the off season. Hmmm.

  • james

    Looking to see shaq Richardson step up..

  • kakello34

    Need to bring back Nik Embernate. These backups have me worried.

  • cencalsteeler

    I, like most, are pulling for a break through performance by Waters or Blanchflower. I, too, have a rubble, rubble, rubble, in regards to Paulson and Palmer.

  • Big White

    I think it’s established that Carter plays on the right side and Moats is the left. Obviously, you would hope they could play both, but Carter if i’m not mistaken has always been at ROLB.

  • Big White

    Also, I hope Isiah Green makes a good showing. He was in good position last week, but his awareness of the ball looked shaky.

  • joed32

    No, he has filled in on both sides in the past. I think Moats can play either side too.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I dont understand what is going on with Arnfeldt either. One of the coaches just said ” He has gotten bigger and stronger and has kept his speed, he looks good”

    I guess only time will tell.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Isn’t that what the McBurglar or whatever his name was would say? lol