What does the waiving of Buddy Jackson say about the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team about to start its first preseason game with only five healthy cornerbacks - two of which are only supposed to play a dozen snaps?
The Steelers already have Cortez Allen, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Curtis Brown and Terry Hawthorne sidelined with injuries. Ike Taylor and William Gay are slated to start per the team's depth chart, but head coach Mike Tomlin stated his starters would not see extensive action in the first game. If the majority of the playing time is reserved for the rest of the roster, then it is fair to expect significant snaps for Josh Victorian, Isaiah Green and Ryan Steed.
Ryan Steed? Who the heck is Ryan Steed?
Steed was signed on July 30th by the Steelers at the expense of Nigel Malone, another cornerback. Before coming to Pittsburgh he had been with the New Orleans Saints, signed to their practice squad last December. He originally enter the NFL with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
In college, he was a standout for the Furman Paladins. He was named a first-team All-American in 2011 by the Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association. He was an All-Southern Conference first-teamer in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He was also a member of the SoCon All-Freshman team, earning playing time in 12 games, recording two interceptions and two blocked punts. His special teams efforts earned him the Furman Whitey Kendall Specialist award.
In high school, Steed played quarterback, running back, receiver and return specialist for Pinewood Preparatory. He was named South Carolina Shrine All-Star Classic player of the game. He also played for two Pinewood Prep state championship basketball teams.
At 5-11, 185 pounds, he isn't the biggest DB on the roster; but he isn't the smallest either. He certainly isn't the fastest, posting a 4.64 40-yard time at the 2012 Scouting Combine. He ran slightly better at his pro day, posting a 4.55. While he may not come across on paper as the most desirable prospect, his achievements prove he knows about winning. He may not have been a high draft pick or become an instant star with his first team, there is a reason why other NFL teams keep giving him a shot.
He will get his first real shot since joining the Steelers tonight at 7:30 pm ET when the New York Giants enter Heinz Field to kick-off the preseason in Pittsburgh.
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