August 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver David Gilreath (18) runs with the ball on a punt return against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Various sources are reporting the confirmation of the eight members who will make up the Steelers 2012 Practice Squad as of Week 1 of the NFL season.
G Ryan Lee
OL John Malecki
TE Jamie McCoy
S Damon Cromartie-Smith
One name some may wonder about is QB Jerrod Johnson. The most likely answer for him not being added to the practice squad is simply a lack of reps available. Granted, $5,700 a week is a drop in the bucket for a professional football team, but paying Johnson that money to do little more than be in on meetings seems like a waste of resources, especially considering players like WRs Toney Clemons and David Gilreath are one injury away from being pulled to the active roster. Taking a spot away from one of them, for example, and giving it to Johnson who simply won't get any reps during practice isn't the best option.
With only four receivers, Clemons and Gilreath can get work in practice as well as participate in meetings.
Other teams face the same issue, and likely wouldn't make a move on Johnson anyway, assuming they wouldn't make him their third-string quarterback. He technically is free to sign with another team's practice squad, but Johnson's best option likely would be to continue working out, follow the Steelers closely and be ready in case of injury. He's worked within the Steelers' system since May, and would likely be the first guy they would call in the event of an injury to Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch.