The First Ten

I have never done a fanpost before so if I mess this up, please excuse the ignorance and patiently guide me in how to improve.    Something Michael Bean posted a few days ago caused me to think about the fact that the first cut-down date is fast approaching and although we have seen a number of posts about who is going to make the 53-man roster and why, I thought I would take a different tack and try to say something about who what the first ten cuts transactions will be…and maybe why.   More after the jump:

It will be very hard for new guys to make the club, given that the Steelers were runners-up for the 2010 Lombardi Trophy and signed most of their important free agents.   However, I would also like to say to these young men:  thank you for your diligence, your hard work, and your contributions to the next Lombardi trophy winners. I hope you get to continue to follow and live your dream to play in the NFL.  If not, good luck in your life’s work, as Emperor Chaz would say!   Now on to the players, in no particular order:

1)  Baron Batch, RB, 5-10, 210, rookie 7th round draft choice from Texas Tech – Batch became a fan and BTSC favorite during pre-season because of both his sterling play and his personal journey thru life.  His season ended early due to a torn ACL and subsequent surgery.  Batch will be moved to IR and we hope will rehabilitate and come back better than ever next year.  This might not happen so quickly if the Steelers feel there is more for Batch to learn while rehabbing with the club in Pgh.

2)  Colin Miller, C/G, 6-3, 300, rookie UDFA from Central Michigan – A Chippewa teammate of Antonio Brown, Miller was a 2-time second team All MAC choice at center.  Started 46 games, including 42 at center while with the Chippewas.  Despite the O-Line’s ‘weak’ reputation, there is no room for Miller going forward...probably no PS either.

3)  Trevis Turner, OT, 6-7, 330, rookie UDFA from Abilene Christian – Turner kicked around a number of schools before settling in at Abilene Christian. A 2010 finalist for the Gene Upshaw award, Turner may not have the strength to move from Division II into the pros at this time.

4)  Vaughn Charlton, TE,  6-4, 252, rookie UDFA from Temple – Recognized at Temple for both his leadership and academic performance, Charlton started as a QB at Temple and volunteered to move to TE.  With the potential of Weslye Saunders and the acquisition of John Gilmore, Charlton has not had an opportunity to significantly exhibit or expand upon his skill set.

5)  Armand Robinson, WR, 5-11, 197, rookie UDFA from Miami University (both Benjamin’s and my alma mater!) – Robinson had 94 catches for 1,062 yards and 6 TD’s his senior year, including 14 catches for 176 yards and the game-winning TD in the 2010 MAC Championship game.  Robinson had a long road to hoe to climb aboard the Steelers WR train…too much talent ahead of him.

6)  Eric Greenwood, WR, 6-6, 212, rookie UDFA from Idaho – A second team All-WAC selection, Greenwood presented the Steelers with the tall target Ben wants, but also can’t crack the high quality logjam in front of him, including getting past the 6-8 Wes Lyons.

7)  Mario Harvey, ILB, 6-0, 250, rookie UDFA from Marshall – another pre-season BTSC favorite, Harvey was a team captain and started the last three years of his college career.  Harvey exhibited a good 40 time and good bench reps on his pro day, but injuries have kept him from showing all that he has to offer (can’t make the club from the tub!).  Still a possible PS signing, assuming he clears waivers and depending upon the number of LB’s the Steelers keep.

8)  Jarrett Crittenton, DE, 6-6, 290, rookie UDFA from Middle Tennessee State - Crittenton was a late signing replacing Ty Boyle who was cut previously.  Crittenton hasn’t had much time to show his capabilities, but Corbin Bryant is clearly ahead of him and it will be tough for anyone to crack the Steeler DL first seven.

9)  Niles Brinkley, CB, 5-10, 193, rookie UDFA from Wisconsin – recognized as a tough, hard competitor, Niles is the son of Lorenzo, a 4th round Steeler draft choice @DB in 1972, played w/Edmonton (CFL) in ’72 and the Philadelphia Bell (WFL) in ’74.  Brinkley. ProFootballWeekly says of Niles: “Short, physical zone corner better vs. the run than the pass, Brinkley was productive as a senior, tackles well and could compete for a job as a No. 4 or No. 5.”  This would fit the Steelers style of play, but he just can’t get ahead of the logjam in front of him.  Potential PS depending upon waivers and pickups in front of him.

10)  Brett Greenwood, S, 5-11, 198, rookie UDFA from Iowa – 2010 Big 10 season leader in interceptions with 10, Greenwood started as a walk-on at Iowa in 2008.  Again, Greenwood is caught up in a situation where the established safeties are not only superior, but know the defense.  With no realistic chance at making the team (barring injury), Greenwood has gone out and competed and may find a spot elsewhere and a team with out the luxury of four good safeties..well, one supersafety and three good safeties.

Well, there you have it.  My first shot, not only at a post but at who the first cuts might be.  Let us celebrate their effort and dreams!  I welcome any and all comments…including if you think this is a ridiculous idea for a post.  I did feel compelled, however, to honor those who have followed their dream and helped, in whatever way possible, to make the 2011-12 Steelers the finest football team in the NFL.  GO STEELERS!   (Sorry if that comes off as homerism!)

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