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Preseason and depth charts are irrelevant to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin has issued warnings in the past of Steelers depth charts being more suggestion than scripture when it came to establishing work volume for players. Nothing has changed despite recent confusion.


The title of 'starter' is almost an antiquated, ceremonial term for the Pittsburgh Steelers; and it carries only the simplest, and most obvious definition possible. They will be the players to take the first snap for each respective unit on offense and defense, but it is not indicative of the prioritization of snap counts.

In the case of outside linebacker, Jason Worilds is the starter, but Tomlin guaranteed rookie Jarvis Jones would be playing and giving the world a chance to show his abilities. Jones may not have been able to officially wrestle the right to be the first player on the field at his position, he may still end up with as many snaps as Worilds, if not more.

The subject of depth chart seedings came up at Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's press conference Tuesday. Tomlin was asked about recent releases Brian Rolle and Marshall McFadden, who had both at one time or another been listed with the second team at inside linebacker, only to see those jobs eventually go to Kion Wilson and rookie Vince Williams.

Tomlin claimed he never viewed Rolle or McFadden as second-teamers. He pointed to a 'mix-and-match' approach to a deep interior linebacking corps which prompted them to often work with the second team, but also the third as well. Jonathan Dwyer was listed as the team's second running back, but is now unemployed. Same can be said for guard and center John Malecki, and punter battle winner Drew Butler. Both men were released a day after making the final roster for newcomers Cody Wallace and Zoltan Mesko respectively.

Tomlin also said his surplus of tight ends would be used in roles which catered to their specific skill sets. Simply being named the starter does not imply bulk of workload - a statement which can be made about almost any position on the roster.

Tomlin also separated the regular season from anything related to the preseason, by reminding those in attendance 'the preseason becomes irrelevant in about four days'. The Steelers will put their flexible depth chart to the test for the first time on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans to kickoff the 2013 regular season.

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