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.