Steelers Knee-Jerk Reaction – 15 Sacrifices To The Turk

The Pittsburgh Steelers have now made it through three preseason games, so that means the next major date on the NFL calendar is Tuesday—the day rosters must be trimmed down to 75. For Pittsburgh, that means saying goodbye to 15 players.

As has frequently been the case over the last several seasons, the Steelers will not necessarily wait until Tuesday to start making their cuts. In fact, that can begin as early as today, so here are my knee-jerk reactions in light of last night’s game about who will not be making the first cut, in very rough order:

1. WR C.J. Goodwin: Goodwin never even got on the field, spending most of his time battling injuries.

2. WR Lanear Sampson: Sampson had a good kick return yesterday, but Kashif Moore has been around the system now and has shown enough to make it through the first wave of cuts.

3. T Emmanuel McCray: McCray barely played at all, and when he did, he didn’t play well. The Steelers have other options to fill bodies at tackle in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game.

4. T Graham Pocic: Just signed, didn’t play. Pretty straightforward.

5. CB Dayonne Nunley: Like Pocic, he was just signed, and didn’t even see a single snap of playing time.

6. CB Lew Toler: Toler, unfortunately did see playing time, and it was poor.

7. RB Stephen Houston: Played a bit at the end of the game last night, but the Steelers have more than enough backs to finish out the preseason.

8. QB Brendon Kay: He hasn’t gotten into a preseason game yet, and he wouldn’t appear to now. Landry Jones can clean up the last scraps of the preseason in the hopes of showing some improvement.

9. S Ross Ventrone: As well as he might have played late in games and on special teams, there’s just too much in front of him to make the roster, and Jordan Dangerfield has practice squad eligibility. Releasing him now would be doing him a favor.

10. DL Roy Philon: Though he played a few snaps two weeks ago, it seemed like he got benched for Nick Williams.

11. LB Dan Molls: He registered a lot of tackles against third-stringers. The Steelers have too many inside linebackers, and he’s on the bottom of the totem pole.

12. TE Eric Waters: After missing the last game with a concussion, he may have already fallen too far behind. With some good news from Greg Warren, this spot could got to Bryce Davis or Luke Ingram.

13. RB Jordan Hall: This spot could go to Tauren Poole if his injury is serious enough. Otherwise Hall will be the one to go.

14. OL Chris Elkins: He received early praise, but didn’t do enough with his limited playing time. Wesley Johnson worked at center over him.

15. DE Brian Arnfelt: I can’t ignore the fact that Ethan Hemer has been playing over him this whole time. Plus, Hemer recorded a sack last night.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • sweetleb

    I think houston will get a look next game, has some size and look good on his one catch vs eagles.

  • ScottB

    Can we cut the coaching staff?

  • DoctorNoah

    LeBeau is waiting for your call. 🙂

  • steeltown

    Seems about right, I’d still find a way to hang onto Molls for now, with Spence down and Zumwalts chronic groin issue we’ll need the bodies inside

  • blackandgoldBullion

    No big deal. The cut down to 53 is going to be tough. After that, the Steelers usually will look to pick up someone that got cut. What should they do? Perhaps a CB, O linemen that Munchack handpicks, OLB?

    Off topic: My stance has been that they are not winning the Super Bowl this year, so why resign Keisel? As much as I love him, I would keep another young guy. They may be more desperate for Harrison, but he ain’t coming back. Keep getting younger, even though there will be more pain for a while.

  • steeltown

    I see your point, especially with Harrison, but with Keisel atleast he can lead by example.. Tuitt, Cam Thomas, McCullers and Mauro can all learn technique from Keisel. They obviously can use all the help they can get in regards to stuffing the run.

  • Biggie

    Houston needs another look, the rest I have no problem with though would like to see Elkins considered for PS, technically he is sound, give him a year to build strength and add 10lbs who knows.

  • Doug

    Who says that they’re not winning the Super Bowl this year? The division is pretty wide open and the AFC is pretty weak in general. You have to keep the best 52 players on the roster.

  • SteveM2

    I agree. The play where Houston almost scored is reminiscent of his college video, where he shows power and speed when he’s loose in the secondary.

  • Mark

    Yes, please? Please add Tomlin, Haley, and Colbert to this list. Wanna have a good laugh, go watch Snoop Dog’s instagram to Tomlin regarding our OC…..

  • treeher

    He can show these young guys how to pace themselves through a long season. He’s intimate with the defense and can coach them on the field. He’s a known quantity in a group of many unknowns. Finally, he is one of our most loyal guys and will serve as a great example and role model.

  • AndyR34

    On shear potential, Zumwalt makes it over Molls, but…based upon merit, Zumwalt should be the first cut.

  • AndyR34

    With the possible occasional exception of Archer, what RB’s do we have that will be running loose in the secondary? You need blocking from WR’s to have that…we don’t have any of that so far.

  • AndyR34

    Can’t argue much…maybe a short-term quibble on a few…Zumwalt vs. Molls…but by the time we get to 53, the result will be the same. Your rationale are pretty accurate.

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree with Biggie. Houston needs to be given an opportunity. You could tell how fluid and natural he is by his catch and run last night. The guy has talent. I feel the Steelers will only keep Blount around for this season. Houston can be the guy to replace Blount next year and what better way than to start grooming him now.

  • CW

    I don’t see giving up on Houston prior to the last preseason game. Facing facts none of the other free agent backups who have been with the team longer showed anything remotely promising and Houston might be worth at least getting a longer look at before saying goodbye.

    Hall, Harris, and Maysonet all have been lackluster far longer. They could cut all three and I don’t think anyone would notice.

  • charles

    Give me the number.

  • BFB


  • No argument from me. If any of these guys do make the next cut, I don’t see any of them making the 53.

  • GoSteelerz

    I’d rather cut Green over Toler, simply because we have over a years worth of work with him and he still looks rookie-ish and he’s been around a bit. Whereas Toler has had a total of 18 defensive snaps all preseason, none against the Eagles, hardly enough to truly evaluate. And in the prior game, while he had a couple of bad plays, he also had some good ones, a near interception, and good coverage which helped lead to a couple of sacks. He’s a guy we needed to see more of, I mean he couldn’t have been any worse than the starters were against the Eagles. But no we got more of Green and other than nice penetration on one running play, he didn’t look too good. As few looks as our backup DB’s have gotten overall this preseason, I would be hesitant to cut any of them, even Green, so we can see them in game situations in the last preseason game. We are going to have some decisions to make in our secondary next off season, if not sooner. We better evaluate these depth guys to see what we really have, or don’t have, we could end up signing some cuts/PS guys from other teams.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Coach wants to see you, Mr. LeBeau. Bring your playbook.