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Steelers Mailbag: The sleeper pick to crack the Steelers 53-man roster

It is that time of the week again. Time for another weekly BTSC mailbag where I get to answer some great questions from our loyal followers on Twitter. Today's topics: Sleeper pick for the 53-man roster, safety duo, starting linebackers, and more!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-2 this preseason, have lost their place kicker for the season, watched their All Pro center lost for at least half the season, witnessed their starting defensive end hobble off the field and remain questionable for the regular season, placed Bruce Gradkowski on injured reserve, and signed Michael Vick in his place.

Yeah, I'd say there is a lot to talk about if you are a card carrying member of Steelers Nation. When we opened up the BTSC Twitter feed with questions, we were inundated with quality questions from the best fans around, and I decided to answer as many as possible, so enjoy the article as the topics come straight from the BTSC fan base.

Wondering how to get your question in the weekly mailbag article? Simple. Follow BTSC on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain) and every Monday night/Tuesday morning watch for us to announce for questions for the mailbag article. You tweet the questions, we answer them. Easy as pie.

Let's get started, shall we?

From: Andy B (@andrewbailey83)

Question: Who are your sleeper picks to make the 53-man roster?

Answer: This is a great question, but also very difficult. There aren't many battles remaining on the roster. Most have fizzled out, or injuries have essentially answered those questions on their own. To me, if I were to pick three sleepers for the 53-man roster it would be Ian Wild at safety/inside linebacker, Tyler Murphy at WR/QB and Kevin Fogg at CB. Those players all have position flexibility, and in Fogg's case can play both the slot, outside and special teams. If I were a betting man, there are only two of those who have a realistic shot at making the team's final roster and that is Fogg and Wild. Wild is the true sleeper and will have to really show himself on special teams to make the team, but Fogg has out-performed his main competition, B.W. Webb, in every facet this preseason.

From: Carlos (@ca_salasv)

Question: The Shamarko Thomas and Mike Mitchell duo will be solid...yey or nay?

Answer: I have dubbed this duo Shark and Mitch. Sounds like a cheesy television show from the 80's featuring Tom Selleck. Anyways, while I wait for the nickname to stick, to answer your question I will go with 'yey'. Thomas needs time to get used to playing safety at the NFL level. People forget, he hasn't played safety in an 11-on-11 setting in a meaningful game in his career. While some might view this as troublesome, I view it as he just needs to get his feet wet. He and Mitchell played well alongside one another last week against the Green Bay Packers and will be worth watching against the Buffalo Bills this Saturday.

From: Troy Volansky (@troyvolansky21)

Question: Will Brandon Boykin start Week 1?

Answer: "Starting" in the NFL is really nothing to gloat about anymore. With the amount of substitutions made and sub packages deployed, the only thing about starting which is unique is your name is called over the PA system to start the game. That, and your face is on national TV when they show the 'Starting Lineup'. So, when the Steelers open up in their 3-4 scheme for the first play, then switch to nickel and Boykin comes on the field, he didn't start but he played on the second snap from scrimmage. This is the long way around a simple answer, and that is no. Barring injury I don't see Boykin starting over William Gay, Cortez Allen and splitting time with Antwon Blake. He will still see time though. Remember, he is still getting used to a new system in Pittsburgh.

From: Kevin Faber (@KvnFaber)

Question: Is Connor Barth (K - Denver Broncos) worth look at, or will the Steelers stand pat  with Garrett Hartley?

Answer: If I am Mike Tomlin I am "not leaving any stone unturned" when it comes to the kicker situation. If there is something Barth does which Hartley doesn't, I will be bringing him in for a look. It doesn't hurt to look, and Hartley has certainly showed some deficiencies in his game throughout his career. There are a few other kickers who might be worth bringing in, which will be cut as teams take their rosters from 90 to 75, and then 75 to 53.

From: Vino (Depeche_Recknor)

Question: Who are your starting linebackers as of today?

Answer: As of today, August 26th, the starting linebackers are Arthur Moats, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons and Jarvis Jones. A more interesting question is who will be the starting linebackers at the end of the season, and for that answer I will go with Bud Dupree, Shazier, Timmons, and Jones/James Harrison. For this 2015 Steelers defense, it is going to have to be "whatever works" for the linebackers and simply ride the hot hand.

From: BleedBlacknGold (@iBurghNation)

Question: Do we know how serious Lawrence Timmons' injury is? I like the LB corps, but that would be a big loss!

Answer: Although Mike Tomlin spilled the beans on Timmons' injury officially being 'turf toe', all reports from the facility is it isn't serious. However, until Timmons actually gets on the field again will be the true test. I think it is a safe bet you won't see Timmons for the rest of the preseason, all in hopes of getting him back for Week 1. As you said, it would be a big loss. Sean Spence is great, but he isn't Timmons, or 'Law Dog' as some might call him.

From: Sam Beeghley (@sbeeghley)

Question: What is your prediction for the third QB position. Has the Landry Jones experiment finally ended?

Answer: With the placement of Bruce Gradkowski on injured reserve, the experiment will likely continue. I doubt Jones will be cut, and he will remain on the team as the No. 3 quarterback behind Roethlisberger and Michael Vick. Jones has shown improvement through the preseason, but whether it is enough will come down to September 1st, when the team has to trim the roster to 75, and on September 5th when the team has to get their roster to 53 players.

If you want your question to be featured on the BTSC Mailbag, simply send us a tweet on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain).