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Steelers Roster Moves Suggest Positional Targets For Waiver Upgrades


The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly made some interesting decisions with their 53-man roster yesterday, but as recent history suggests, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the team is finished assembling the roster for this season.

Last year, for example, the Steelers signed center Cody Wallace and punter Zoltan Mesko off waivers, and released John Malecki and Drew Butler, respectively, to take their place. Mesko’s signing proved to be a bad decision, but Wallace became critical at the end of the year.

Although Brad Wing made the roster this season as the punter, he was uncontested. In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Steelers do sign a punter off waivers, even if they appear to be satisfied with what he showed in the final preseason game. Among those released yesterday was Butler himself.

The interior offensive line position could also be an area that the Steelers target for an upgrade again this year after adding Wallace a year ago. They chose to keep guard Chris Hubbard on the roster for now, releasing veteran Guy Whimper.

But Hubbard is certainly in no more stable a position than Malecki was a year ago. It may be worth noting that former Steeler Doug Legursky was released yesterday.

As Dave Bryan noted yesterday, the outside linebacker position is obviously a potential target for upgrade, considering they only carried three true players at the position, with Terence Garvin serving as a versatile all-positions type.

One position the Steelers likely won’t be actively searching for would be defensive back, considering that they kept 11 of them on the roster.

However, both cornerback and wide receiver could be potential targets of redundancy in order to make room for a new signing if they can hold off until Tuesday, because, depending on the severity of their injuries, either Martavis Bryant or Brice McCain could be candidates for the short-term injured reserve.

Aside from placing either player on injured reserve, it’s still possible that the numbers at either position could be cut outright, given the numbers.

Justin Brown, for example, could be sent down for another tour of duty on the practice squad if a more enticing option at another position becomes available. Even a player such as Will Allen, as much as the team loves him, could become expendable if the right person falls to them on waivers or as a veteran free agent.

But nothing would make the fan base happier than if the Steelers choose to make the third quarterback an expendable target for a waiver signing, as second-year player Landry Jones certainly hasn’t impressed many outside the organization this preseason. It’s also possible that the Steelers look toward a veteran such as Curtis Painter as a third option.

One potential surprise target for a roster upgrade would be at running back. The Steelers didn’t really entertain any serious options behind their top three on the depth chart, but there are now several veteran options on the market after the cuts yesterday; the same could be said about outside linebacker for that matter.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Correction: Landry Jones didn’t impress anybody EITHER OUTSIDE OR INSIDE of the organization.
    What a waste, I can’t understand why they would first draft this guy, then keep him last year (maybe a bit of a pass there), then keep him AGAIN this year!
    He has shown nothing to make ANYONE think he should stick with the 53.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Upgrade the 3rd QB, please. And that simply can’t be that difficult a task.

  • Paddy

    Just say no to Legursky, that ship sailed

  • Brendon Glad

    Keeping 3 qbs when one of them is Landry Jones is a waste of a spot. Sure, u theoretically could lose 1 game because of it…(if BOTH qbs go down in one game)…but Haley has been around long enough that there are veterans sitting at home who could come in and know the offense immediately. If he had an upside, then I’d say “Sure, keep 3″…but he has shown NOTHING. And the 14-18 for 97 yds and 0 points…with his job supposedly on the line showed me that he doesn’t have the “cajones” to be an NFL QB….even a backup. 3-18 for 97 would have impressed me more because then I would have thought he was laying it on the line and trying to make some plays.

  • Nolrog

    If they do release Landry Jones, then it would be in favor of a better option at 3rd string QB. I doubt very highly they would go with only 2.

  • scottbb

    AND they wasted a pick by trading UP to get him.

  • DoctorNoah

    Matthew: to confirm, is it true that veterans on a week 1 roster have their 2014 salary guaranteed? If so does that mean we might see some considerable moves made after the First game? If we were to bring on a veteran, at least

  • steeltown

    They didn’t trade up to draft Landry, why does everyone always think that..

  • Brendon Glad

    Well, I agree with you. But it wouldn’t be the first time a mistake was made by The Steelers. They are great, but even they make a mistake. And when Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are both sitting on couches (if i’m not mistaken)…and both with a year of experience under Haley….then I would be using Jones’ spot for a waiver-wire pickup at a position of need. Knowing that if both Ben and Gradkowski suffered significant injuries in the same game…that LJ would not be starting the subsequent game anyway…cuz he just ISN’T NFL level. Landry Jones has zero value at this current point…(in fact he probably would make it to the practice-squad…that’s how uninspiring his performance has been). So I would be leaning towards a waiver-wire RB, or CB, or TE, or OLB, or OT, or OG, (in no particular order)…and taking my chances that LJ WILL clear waivers and be sitting right there at PS-QB if that’s what is wanted…while knowing that several veteran QB’s whom actually have proven they can WIN on an NFL level, AND are familiar with Haley’s offense…are on the street right now.

  • cp72

    I am with you that comment drives me crazy. It was Shamarko we traded up for not Landry.

    I do think if the Cowboys didn’t take Webb right before us we would have drafted him instead Jones. Now that we have Webb we can pretend we never drafted Landry.

  • Jason

    No need to let facts get in the way of their rants. Lol

  • Frank Schrader

    Terrell Pryor anyone?

  • cp72

    He is an upgrade over Hubbard and you never miss a chance to upgrade the roster.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Lego is versatile and in good shape. He’d be an upgrade for the moment. Vet min is Vet min. Beggars can’t be choosers at this point. He’d sign on the cheap and be able to live in the city where he owns a home.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Wouldn’t be my choice but If you’re interested I do have an OSU jersey that he signed :-)

  • scottbb

    no thanks. Kafka would be much better

  • cp72

    You know the funny thing is that Jones and Pryor are same age. Why not try to develop someone with obviously more upside. I would be all for Pryor coming home.

  • scottbb

    my bad. Still a wasted pick. Sorry.

  • Brendon Glad

    I’ve thought of that myself, but I talked myself out of it. I’d prefer they just find a nice addition at a position of need and cut LJ…but LJ does NOT deserve to be an NFL QB at this point. I stated below why i think the Steelers could comfortably go with 2 qb’s for now, and hope Ben and Gradkowski stay healthy like they did last year. But if they absolutely want their 3rd qb to be a “young guy”, I’ll take Terrell Pryor over LJ.

  • cp72

    I totally agree with your assessment of Jones.

  • Jason White

    It wouldn’t matter anyways. The 3rd QB can no longer act as an emergency QB anymore. Landry Jones would have to be active on game day to play.

  • Matthew Suloman

    3 people they are considering… I hope are Simon/Barrett/Boyce

  • Matthew Suloman

    AND I see the club dosent seem to have confidence in Shark. I think hes a decent player, but sure would have been nice to have, that other 3rd round pick this year.. and a 3rd rounder for Sanders last year.. scratchin my head

  • Matthew Suloman

    no point in re-hashin…whats done is done..

  • Brendon Glad

    All the more reason to go with 2 qb’s and hope for the best…knowing u have emergency vets familiar with the offense on couches. Victor Hampton comes to mind (a DB whom Deion Sanders raved about at the combine)…Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis…comes to mind. James Harrison comes to mind (he’s only been retired for a day)…if Landry Jones had flashed (Scott mitchell, Aaron Brooks, mark Brunell, matt Cassell, matt Flynn style)…then I’d say: “sure…let’s try to parlay the pick ‘matt-cassell-style'”….but it just isn’t going to happen. And the entire Nation would be TERRIFIED if he actually got pressed into duty in a regular season meaningful game. So cut bait…know that vets are there on couches in a pinch…and NEVER draft a QB above the 7th round ever again until Ben is about 38.

  • Matthew Suloman

    And yes steeler nation..Wheaton wasn’t ready to assume the #2 role last year.. But Stedman Bailey would have…

  • Matthew Suloman

    Where are u at Chad Weiss…btw Colbert/Haley will be gone after the season, if its sub-par

  • 2443scott

    i see from alot the comments everyone wants a qb to replace landry ..i am for that my self …but no ones asking for cb …is everyone ok with who we have that we are set ok in the spot…

  • Brendon Glad

    Tajh Boyd I would consider also, if they NEED the third qb to be young. B GLAD prefers that his starting HOF-to-be qb NOT be asked to mentor a young QB until his career is clearly at the end. But quibble as we may over the details…I think it’s quite obvious that 99.9% of Steelers Nation believes LJ does not deserve the spot he currently has. But oh, that .1%, when it includes Tomlin and Colbert, can be a bearcat.

  • Brendon Glad

    Not “everyone”…I want the Steelers to only carry 2 qbs…for reasons I elaborated below. And CB was a roster spot I’d be seeking to upgrade. Victor Hampton comes to mind as “young”…Champ Bailey comes to mind as aging vet. But our CB’s don’t make plays. And they haven’t for years…aren’t asked to much, because sacks and “bend but don’t break” have been our staple…but the sacks aren’t coming as well. Ball-hawks are needed in the secondary.

  • pkeats86

    Yes, I live in Youngstown, Ohio and I’m a Buckeye fan….but, I have always referred to Landry Jones as “Not John Simon” because he was the last pick the steelers made before the dirty birds picked my hometown hero. It would be sweet justice for the steelers to nab Simon and cut Jones. For me at least. Lol

  • Richard

    Hubbard may be the fastest OL we have

  • Nlaw34

    would dump Landry for a guy like Zac Dysert out of Big Bens old University in a heart beat. He played exceptional in preseason and actually looked like he wanted to be an NFL QB.

  • charles

    Lego got beat by Habib against GB right as Wallace was outrunning their secondary. Ben’s arm was hit as he was throwing long and instead of 6 for us, it was 6 for GB and the difference in the ballgame. He was and is not an upgrade over anybody!

  • Brian Miller

    I agree with you…Hampton is a good call and i was hoping we would draft him this year. There are several I hope/wish we go after and add to the roster:

    DT Sopoaga, LB Smallwood, WR Boldewijn, T Britton, DE Montgomery, DT Vickerson!! LB Barrett, T Farrell, T Feiler, CB Harris, OLB Hunt, ILB Jackson, S Loston, DT Worthy, WR Coleman, LB Acho, RB Josey, RB Tucker, WR Momah, DT Square, K Henery, T Winston, DE English, S Thomas…and those are at first glance. Then you take a dart, throw it at a board, and pick another QB and P off of waivers to fill our other spots. It amazes me that I can watch college football all weekend long and watch better special teams and punters than we have had in the last 7 years.

  • Brian Miller

    agreed…if they can’t make Buffalo’s team on oline, they sure as heck should not be picked back up by us.

  • Steelers@2010

    I have no faith in the F/O; after being a Steeler fan for 40 years, I never thought I would say or mention those words. Kevin Colbert / Mike Tomlin = another marginal season in 2014. It’s strange though, more analysts at ESPN and the NFL Network are more optimistic. They really do seem to think the Black & Gold will be back in the playoffs. Ed Bouchette seems to think so as well, I hope they all are right.

  • Weiss Chad

    Maybe if this was Cleveland ,Oakland,or Jacksonville but it’s not!The room eyes are smart enough to realize this is a rebuilding process and Imo are even somewhat pleased w the direction the new steelers are heading.Captain obvious says “no way either are gone next year”With or without a sub par year.Theres not a team on the market that don’t have bad decisions in the draft.It would be interesting to see them bring cowher back as a coach,personally if I was looking for a coach urban Meyer would be my pick but steelers like defensive minds and who am I to argue..

  • LucasY59

    Yep and even if Jones played they would still lose the game, because he has shown NOTHING to prove he can be a NFL quarterback. Instead of worrying about having a 3rd QB that wont help even if he plays. Go get players that can improve the team talent and help to win games (something landry will never do)

  • Steelers@2010

    Just because they didn’t trade up to get Landry Jones, it was still a bad draft pick. I’m not going to say it was a bad decision though, the way Big Ben plays, the amount of yrs he has played in the league, I can understand why they made the pick. However, he has been in the league for two yrs, has shown very little improvement, why waste a spot on the 53 man roster? Why not place the kid on the practic squad if he clears waivers? And trust me, I don’t forsee another team having that much interest in Jones.

  • Weiss Chad

    I would take a look at ebon Britton

  • steeltown

    I totally agree with everything said

  • BFB

    They have made some great picks too but I guess no one ever shows up at the town hall meeting to tell them how great the roads are in the township…..

  • Weiss Chad

    Pretty good assumption .I tend to agree with you .Worried about simon in space..Boyce would be a nice young reciever to bring in.Im wondering what porter thinks about Barrett as he would know more than anybody if our lbs are better than him.I like dt mowar from Seattle and Britton from bears.

  • Nlaw34

    Zac Dysert would be a sure upgrade off waivers. Not a big name, but great production in preseason. Ironically from Big Bens same Univ.

  • Brian Miller

    Uh, G. J. Kinne is an upgrade…Pryor is an upgrade…

  • Brian Miller

    agreed.

  • Matthew Suloman

    no he isn’t..

  • Matthew Suloman

    That actually was Kemeoatu….

  • Matthew Suloman

    agreed. rarely bring back previous OL

  • Matthew Suloman

    But I concur with your sentiments, regarding Lego..

  • Matthew Suloman

    Yeah and they chose the guy, that was aquainted with Ben’s sister.. prolly smashed her..

  • Tammie Sherrell Hill

    I agree but I think he’ll be a wasted spot on ps too

  • Benjamin Simpson

    I’m most concerned with our depth at Outside Linebacker.. If it was as solid as in years past, it would take the pressure of the secondary. When JH and LW were bringing it from the edge. We had a number one pass defense and forced a lot of timely turnovers that were game changers. We flat out dominated teams on defense..

  • Nlaw34

    Agreed, they would be great replacements as well but I think Dysert is showing serious potential and growth in his game vs the other “project type” QBs. Especially based on his preseason.

  • Brian Miller

    at this point Nlaw34, I would be happy with any of the three over Jones…I assume what you look for is improvement each season not regression, and I’m sorry, but he has at the very least NOT improved and at worst, regressed from his rookie year.

  • marcus

    Amend, he sucks, what a waste.

  • Nlaw34

    Landry would be lucky to be a backup in the arena league at this point. Saying he regressed is an understatement.

  • charles

    Wasn’t Leggs playing center because Pouncey was out? Habib was nose for the Packers.

  • Craig M

    Maybe they get a weird twitch when they think about cutting him and thinking of some guy they cut called Unitas so they just back off. :)

  • Craig M

    Nobody’s job is ever safe, I wouldn’t be surprised it Tomlin gets a twitch every time he hears the name Tony Dungy. :)

  • Craig M

    No line injuries and we would of had one more win- or maybe better clock management, last two years.

  • Craig M

    I still liked that Kay guy, moved like Ben seemed to throw similar to Joe Gilliam and viewed the field and released quick like Batch, maybe I’m just dreaming but?

  • Craig M

    Dysert, that would be interesting.

  • Craig M

    There’s always Miller in an emergency. :)

  • Terrible Towlie

    I hear ya, I wanted Simon too….still think he’d look good in black and gold

  • Terrible Towlie

    if they insist on keeping 3qb’s….please, please sign Pryor, he has said before he’d be willing to play any position for the hometown Steelers a 3rd or emergency QB that can actually be useful as a slash type until Ben is ready to retire….who knows, he did play some wr at OSU, and at 6’6 and running a 4.3 you can find a place for him on the field and maybe if he put his all into playing WR, who says he couldn’t be another CJ, you’re not allowed to touch or tackle wr’s now either

  • Terrible Towlie

    I thought So’oto earned at least a PS spot

  • Ric W Sewell Jr.

    It takes 3 seasons on average to grasp to the speed and mental aspects of playing in the NFL. Jones actually is on pace for a young player. A.Rogers sat for 4 seasons to become a top Qb he’s no A.R or Ben of course not. But he has shown enough to remain our num 3.

  • Brendon Glad

    1972… Season ruined by mia punter running for 30…1975, Noll runs a sweep on 4th and 8 from his own 30-something yd line cuz he feared Dallas ST so much(& trusted his own Def, to be fair, but STILL)…1976 blocked punt helped ruin season of what many people believe was best team of all-time. 1993, Cash blocked Punt turns tide…1995, under Bobby April, in SB, Steelers ST almost turn tide. 2001, I attended… PR-TDA, and BFG-TDA help jumpstart the Patriot 4 yr incredible run. 2002…roughing K, negates an inspired AFC div Playoff game in Tenn…2008, SH punt-return negated by Gardocki whiff…2009 ST debacles all yr ruined season. 2012, jacoby jones PR damages season severely. Yep…mediocre special-teams probably means 2 extra Lombardis at a min (1972,76)…. And i would argue that 2001 had a heck of a shot too. And NEVER has ST taken us farther than we should have been except 1989. Thats it. Kinda off subject, but dont get me going on Steelers ST. I can rant forever on them

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