In every NFL training camp, there are players who will participate with little chance of making the active roster. One of those camp bodies for the Pittsburgh Steelers is DB Isaiah Green.
Green, an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State, originally entered the league with the Buffalo Bills in 2012. Later in the pre-season, he ended up on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts, but was later released. By the end of the season, he landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he has remained since.
Even though he has been unable to catch on in the NFL at this point, Green is not unskilled. He had a bipolar career in college, often bouncing between starting and reserve roles. According to his Fresno State bio, Green had all the physical skills.
"...a fast and athletic player who will is expected to see action in the secondary and on special teams ... penciled in as a starting cornerback heading into fall camp ... one of the fastest players on the team with a 4.29 40-yard dash."
Despite a lack of takeaways in his stat line, Green exhibited a nose for the ball. He also excelled on special teams, once returning a blocked field goal 59 yards for a TD. At rookie orientation, he intercepted a pass and broke up a pass deep down the field. If Green is to earn a roster spot in Pittsburgh, it will most likely need to be through special teams first.
Breaking through the positional ranks would be an almost impossible feat, but not improbable. While Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay are almost guaranteed to survive final cuts, the remainder of the depth chart is as yet undetermined. Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian and DeMarcus Van Dyke each had their own disappointments from 2012, and will be looking to make amends this year. Rookie Terry Hawthorne is still the apple of coach Carnell Lake's eye. Green is at the bottom of the pile looking up with veteran Justin King.
Green, like every other player at camp, will be given every opportunity to prove his worth. Victorian joined the team mid-camp last season, and still beat out draft pick Terrence Frederick for a practice squad roster spot.
If Green can prove his value on special teams, and/or the defensive secondary, he could discover the same fate as Victorian. If he can't, he will share destinies with Frederick, instead.