I have made quite a few changes since the last time I made a 53 man roster guess. I think a few players played themselves onto the roster over the past two weeks, the only problem is that no one really played themselves off the roster. That makes it incredibly tough to make a prediction since nothing is set in stone since we have so much depth and talent. But I guess that's a good problem to have.QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch (3)
Explanation: With Byron Leftwich going down for the year, this is self explanatory.
Explanation: Similar to QB, once Baron Batch got hurt, this was all but set in stone
Explanation: My first surprise pick comes in the form of Wes Lyons. The dude is a great redzone threat and also has some impressive speed. With the kickoffs being moved up and the fact that we already have a few special teams studs, Battle's value is not as high as it was last year.
Explanation: Miller and Johnson were locks all preseason but the battle was between Gilmore and Saunders for the 3rd spot. I think with Saunders potential and actual performance in the 4th pre-season game, he will make it simply due to his upside.
Explanation: This has been set in stone for a while. I really don't want Scott to get hurt because I don't want to thrust Gilbert into action this year.
LG: Chris Kemoautu, Ramon Foster (20)
Explanation: Kemo will be our starter whether it frustrates us or not. Foster is a pretty good backup guard to have on your roster.
Explanation: Pouncey is a stud and Essex is #2 since Legursky will be our starting RG. Essex can play any position on the OL and for that reason alone he will make the roster. He actually looked very good vs. the Panthers yesterday.
Explanation: Legursky played well enough to win the job and I am looking forward to seeing him get a chance to play. He was awesome in the Super Bowl last year at center and hopefully he is the same at RG this year. Hills is versatile as he can backup multiple positions.
RT: Willie Colon, Tony Hills (25)
Explanation: Colon has been a lock ever since we resigned him. I think Hills will be the backup over Gilbert and Essex because he will be the only one who can practice solely on the right side whereas Essex and Gilbert will be practicing on the left or center of the line.
Explanation: This one has been obvious all year. I think we end up rotating Hood in for passing situations as he is a much better pass rusher.
NT: Casey Hampton, Steve McClendon (29)
Explanation: My second surprise pick. I think McClendon has the potential to replace Hampton and quite frankly, he has been better than Hoke in the preseason. Also, McClendon can play the DE position in a pinch.
Explanation: Like the situation at LE, I think there will be a rotation here to keep Keisel fresh. Probably a 80-20 rotation.
Explanation: I have Atkins as our 2nd LOLB over Carter because I think Atkins is more ready to actually play on defense.
Explanation: Sylvester will play a little bit at LILB to keep Farrior fresh. Probably about a 90-10 split. Sylvester is also our best ST player and is one of the big reasons we can cut Battle.
Explanation: Timmons is a beast and Foote is a phenomenal ST player. I don't think Harvey can make the squad due to a log jam at CB.
Explanation: This is pretty easy. Lets just hope Harrison can get back to form for next Sunday afternoon.
Explanation: I think we are going to cut Gay. I think Warren and Butler are able to Gay's job just as well, if not better and both offer more upside. Allen and Brown can both be ST gunners which will make them more valuable than Gay as well.
Explanation: This is an easy decision. Mundy looks like he could be the future replacement for Clark.
SS: Troy Polamalu, Ryan Mundy, Will Allen (50)
Explanation: I think Mundy will be the top backup at both safety spots. Allen is on the roster because of his ST abilities.
K: Shaun Suisham (51)
P: Daniel Sepulveda (52)
LS: Greg Warren (53)
Explanations: Suisham is safe. I think Sepulveda is a better punter than Kapinos despite the injury risk. However, we will keep Kapinos as #1 on Colbert's speed dial. And, I really wish a position player could LS so we could keep one more of our great young players but it isn't that easy as Deebo has shown. Therefore, Warren makes the roster.
That is my final 53 for the Steelers. Here are the 8 men on the practice squad.