We'll keep updating this as we move through the summer, but now seems like a good time for us to take a crack at figuring out what our final 53 man roster will look like come September.
Quarterbacks (2): Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch
Running Backs (5): Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, Gary Russel, Mewelde Moore, Carey Davis
Wide Receivers(5): Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, Nate Washington, Willie Reid
Tight Ends (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Jonathan Dekker
Offensive Linemen (9): Max Starks, Willie Colon, Sean Mahan, Kendall Simmons, Justin Hartwig, Trei Essex, Chris Kemoeatu, Marvel Smith, Darenell Stapleton
Defensive Linemen (7): Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, Aaron Smith, Kyle Clement, Travis Kirschke, Chris Hoke, Ryan McBeam
Linebackers (9): James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Larry Foote, James Harrison, Mike Humpal, Arnold Harrison, Keyaron Fox, Bruce Davis
Defensive Backs (10): Ike Taylor, Bryan McFadden, DeShea Townsend, William Gay, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Anthony Smith, Tyrone Carter, Ryan Mundy, Grant Mason
Specialists (3): Greg Warren, Jeff Reed, Daniel Sepulveda
So, what do you think? 9 LBs is definitely a lot, though we did carry that many last year. I think Humpal, Harrison, Fox and Davis will all make the squad, and all four will be asked to contribute on special teams.
I think we'll add another DL to the squad this year. We carried 6 for most of last year. My surprise of that group is of course Kyle Clement, the undrafted Division 2 FA rookie.
Even though we have a bevy of WRs that could possibly make the team as a KR, I don't see it happening. I think Willie Reid will make the team and we'll be cutting a slew of WRs early this summer. I'd imagine that some of you guys have some different thoughts here.
If we were to carry a 3rd QB, would it be Dennis Dixon or Jared Zabransky? I'd guess Dixon and it's very possible he makes this team. I was tempted to put him as a 'specialist' because if he's healthy, I have a hard time seeing him work on the practice squad when he could conceivably be worked into the offense somehow. We'll see.
And then of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room: the offensive line. I'll go ahead and guess Tony Hills will spend this year getting stronger on the practice squad. I did include 3 possible centers - Stapleton, Hartwig, and Mahan, but my guess is we'll see Mahan play at guard some this year and not at center.