Steelers Practice Squad Could Soon See Upheaval

If you’re a Pittsburgh Steeler who made the practice squad, congratulations. Just don’t get too comfortable. Kevin Colbert and company could shake things up very soon.

Clearly, Colbert expressed a displeasure in the NFL getting rid of the 75 man cutdown rule. His main reason, as he’s repeated, is being unable to work free agents out before the season started. A valid criticism of the change and one that is likely to increase the number of roster moves post Week One.

Tuesdays are the typical day in the week for free agents to come in for tryouts. Without the cutdown, this is the first chance for each front office to get a look at these guys. Some will impress and ultimately be signed to the team.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a massive change in the ten man taxi squad. In 2015, the Steelers made four changes to that group after the first week. And three of the four wound up being wise decisions.

On September 7th, the Steelers signed Matt Feiler, Xavier Grimble, Fitzgerald Toussaint, and Isaiah Burse. Three of those, obviously, Burse is the exception, are still on the team in some capacity. And the four the Steelers released, Harold Spears, Antonio Johnson, Dominique Brown, and Jarrod West, I’m pretty sure aren’t even still in the league.

So who is the most vulnerable? Wide receiver Justin Thomas and center Kyle Friend seem like the most likely. Thomas was really only signed after Demarcus Ayers rejected his practice squad offer, packing his bags for New England. And I’m guessing the Steelers wanted to keep Brian Mihalik but he was claimed by the Detroit Lions. Still needing a 10th offensive linemen to round out that squad, Friend was the next man up.

Who their replacements could be, I obviously have no idea. But the workout circuit is part of an NFL week, just like Mike Tomlin’s press conference or Saturday walkthrough. It creates a team’s emergency list in case of injuries, players they know are healthy, in-shape, and have a feel for their skillset. But it’s also to make sure the team has the best 63 on their roster possible. I imagine you’ll see some upgrades in the near future.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • DirtDawg1964

    This is a great example of why all the angst, from certain posters, over the practice squad and losing people is mostly air. Yes, every now and then a practice squad member does something great in this league. But we’re talking maybe 1 in a 100 here. If that.

    Yes, people will say the presence of Grimble, Fitz, and Feiler is proof we should care. A lot. But I’d counter that they remain fringe players. Fitz is still on the practice squad and not likely to make the roster again. Grumble is hanging onto the 3rd TE depth role. If he can’t find consistency he will be out of the league in a hurry. Feiler could be decent but he remains the 9th best OL on the team.

    Burse, Spears, West? Don’t even recall them. That’s how little this ultimately matters.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t matter at all. I’m saying it doesn’t matter as much as some make it out to be. The amount of teeth gnashing over fringe players boggles the mind at times.

  • NickSteelerFan

    Are there any street free agents that any of you would like to see replace one of our PS players?

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think we should bring in Golson for the squad. At least see him practice some. Another upgrade to our secondary wouldn’t be the worst thing. If he still has talent and can play, you should at least look. He could replace Gay next year.

  • Boots

    Squad life ain’t for the week at heart!

  • NYCSteelCurtain

    On other practice squads? Only ones I know are the dudes on Hard Knocks

  • NYCSteelCurtain

    If he can’t practice then he’s sort of useless as a practice squad player.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I wouldn’t want to lose Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad, and having eight cornerbacks is really not necessary.

  • Lee Foo Young

    They’ll be weak this week?

  • Boots

    Ha I either typed too fast or autocorrect got me!

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    The PS matters because it allows players that are familiar with the teams systems to jump in if an injury occurs. Usually OL’s and WR’s take longer than most to become proficient as well…IMHO

  • Michael Conrad

    I think if you look around you can find a list of unsigned players. I will give Colbert an A if he finds a couple gems on that list. I though they would look at Lowery the safety. I guess they like Golden.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    im curious to see when dangerfield puts back on it.

  • Michael Conrad

    I’m waiting to see who the poor guy is who had to practice all week before getting cut . What a bummer.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    feiler would be my bet.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    No need. Just sign him at some point if there is a vacancy or even after the season. Don’t see teams clamoring to sign him. If they do, good luck to him.

  • Alan Tman

    If he only practiced 7 times in 3 years he can’t play, because he’s never available. He didn’t even really even get hit yet.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Well, we did just lose Brian Mihalik.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I think Colbert already gets an “A” – especially if Tuitt is extended!!!!

  • D.j. Reynolds

    Absent a late injury, my guess is SJ to IR.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I read the other day that we cannot sign him for 3 weeks plus however many weeks injury pay we gave him. I had finally jumped on this bandwagon you’re driving – and then he gets cut. Next time tell me I’m not allowed to jump on in order to avoid this bad juju!

  • charles

    Demarcus Ayers is Haley’s most glaring error since joining Steelers’ staff. Let’s hope Bilk Bellacheat doesn’t make the Steelers pay for it

  • Rocksolid20

    LMAO !

  • Conserv_58

    If Tuitt gets extended?

  • Kevin78

    He gets his salary for the week though, so it still works out.