The following is compliments of datruth4life...Great stuff as always. And thanks to schnifin for the earlier update. Discuss all.
Wow! Tomlin isn't playing when he says he is committed to having a SPECIAL, special-teams unit. The Steelers kept 9 linebackers and 10 DBs. Essentially, Marquis Cooper took Chidi's place as the team's top special team's ace. A quick glance at the final 53:
QBs - Roethlisberger, Batch, St. Pierre
- I agree with this move. There aren't enough quarterbacks in the league for every team to have 1 good one. The Steelers have two and St. Pierre will save you the hassle of scrambling to find a backup for Batch if something happens to Ben. Any bets on Leftwich ending up anywhere else than Baltimore?
RBs - Fast Willie, Kreider, C. Davis, Davenport, Russell.
- A good mix of size, running and pass catching and blocking. Haynes is still the best 3rd down back, but you had to keep Russell over him. How long will it take for the Steelers staff to figure out that Russell is the best short yardage back on the team?
WRs - Ward, Holmes, Wilson, Washington, Reid.
- Walter Young will still be available if there are injuries during the season. I wonder what will happen to Reid's role now that they have Rossum. Maybe it'll be Reid on kickoffs and Rossum on punt returns.
TEs - Miller, Tuman, Spaeth.
-If any of the other tight ends would have show anything, Tuman wouldn't have made this roster. Expect Cody Boyd or Dekker to make the practice squad, and take Tuman's roster spot next year. Spaeth gets a red-shirt year.
OLs - Smith, Faneca, Mahan, Simmons, Colon - reserves - Starks, Essex, Kemeautou, D. Stapleton
-The surprise of the group is definitely D. Stapleton, considering he missed most of camp with a knee injury. He must be impressive because they kept him over Philip and Okobi. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Capizzi makes it to the practice squad.
-DLs - Keisel, Hampton, Smith, Eason, Hoke, Kirschke-
-McBean just didn't show enough to make it. Hopefully, he can get his redshirt year on the practice squad and pick up some weight, strength and his game. Derrick Jones might make it on the practice squad also.
LBs - Haggans, Foote, Farrior J. Harrison -- reserves - Woodley, Kreiwaldt, Timmons, A. Harrison, M. Cooper
- This was one of the shocking moves, with the Steelers keeping 9 LBs. It's interesting that both A. Harrison and M. Cooper are both 3-4 OLBs and great special teams players. Does this mean that we will start seeing Timmons at backup inside LB in the base defense and on the outside during some of the dime, nickel and quarter packages? Something else to think about, with Cooper taking over Chidi's special team's role, that means either Timmons or A. Harrison will be inactive on Sundays. At this point in time, A. Harrison is a better pass rusher and special teams player than Timmons is.
DBs - Taylor, Townsend, Clark, Polamula - reserves - McFadden, Gay, Coclough, A. Smith, Carter, Rossum
- Rossum was definitely a surprise. You don't want to see him on the field as a DB, but he is a better (and more dependable) punt returner right now than Reid. If anyone is inactive on game day from this group, it wil be Coclough. Gay and McFadden will be the special teams first-team gunners. One question I have is will Rossum return punts and kickoffs?
-Specialists - Warren, Sepulvada, Reed
- I don't agree with Ed Bouchette in saying the team should have kept Mike Barr and used the extra picks on somebody else. I think Sepulvada is the real deal. And besides, Kelvin Colbert hasn't exactly been hitting them out of the park on the draft's second day anyway. The scouts have been saving his behind with the free agent signings. More picks on the second day under Colbert only means more draft picks for the team to cut on the final cut down date.
Well, this is the group Tomlin has chosen to go to war with. If Cowher were here, Chidi, Okobi, Haynes and maybe M. Philip would have made this team. Just looking at this roster, this would appear to me to be the fastest Steelers team overall that I can remember. Do you agree, Dale? Let's hope the special teams moves pays off. The bottom line is that this year's team will be defined by Big Ben and that shaky offensive line, for better or worse.