As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the New England Patriots this Thursday, there has been a lot of talk about potential turnover at several positions. Shamarko Thomas was reportedly unseated for the starting strong safety position in lieu of Will Allen. Likewise for Cortez Allen, possibly being replaced by Antwon Blake.
If you take a look at the depth chart for the Steelers heading into Week 1, it might answer some questions regarding where certain players stand heading into the regular season, and in some cases it might cause more questions.
* - This depth chart did not include the most recent transactions of the Steelers.
Running Back/Full Back:
RB - DeAngelo Williams / Dri Archer
FB - Will Johnson / Roosevelt Nix
WR1 - Antonio Brown / Sammie Coates
WR2 - Markus Wheaton / Darrius Heyward-Bey / Tyler Murphy
TE - Heath Miller / Matt Spaeth / Jesse James
QB - Ben Roethlisberger / Michael Vick / Landry Jones
RT - Marcus Gilbert / Alejandro Villanueva
RG - David DeCastro / Doug Legursky / Chris Hubbard
C - Cody Wallace / Doug Legursky / Chris Hubbard
LG - Ramon Foster / Doug Legursky / Chris Hubbard
LT - Kelvin Beachum / Alejandro Villanueva
On offense, there weren't many surprises on the depth chart. Without Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant, there weren't many options for the Steelers heading into Week 1. It is worth noting the Steelers are very limited along the offensive line in terms of depth.
LCB - William Gay / Antwon Blake
RCB - Cortez Allen / Brandon Boykin / Ross Crockell
SS - Shamarko Thomas / Will Allen / Ross Ventrone
FS - Mike Mitchell / Robert Golden
LOLB - Arthur Moats / Bud Dupree
ROLB - Jarvis Jones / James Harrison
LILB - Ryan Shazier / Sean Spence / Terence Garvin
RILB - Lawrence Timmons / Vince Williams
RDE - Stephon Tuitt / L.T. Walton
NT - Steve McLendon / Daniel McCullers
LDE - Cameron Heyward / Cam Thomas
On the defensive side of the ball, it is noteworthy to see Shamarko Thomas and Cortez Allen listed as the starters heading into the first game of the regular season. Not that this would guarantee them starting Thursday night, but as Antwon Blake said after practice Sunday, "it is just practice". Such a saying might have one think the way the team deploys their lineup on the practice field might not be the exact outlook the team shows on opening night.
KR - Dri Archer / Markus Wheaton
PR - Antonio Brown / Dri Archer / Markus Wheaton
K - Josh Scobee
P - Jordan Berry
LS - Greg Warren
It looks as if fans of the Steelers will have to get ready to watch Antonio Brown returning punts again in 2015. Is there an increased risk of injury with Brown being the primary return man heading into the 2015 regular season? Possibly, but as Mike Tomlin states, "We won't live in our fears." Fans shouldn't forget Brown was a Pro Bowl return man before being a Pro Bowl wide receiver.
The Steelers depth chart seems set as the opening night is just days away. Stay tuned to BTSC for any changes on the depth chart, as well as additions to the team's roster if another transaction takes place.