The Pittsburgh Steelers released yet another depth chart Wednesday, which is a must for NFL teams prior to a preseason game. With the Atlanta Falcons coming to town on Sunday, fans pored over the information and started to discuss and debate the information thrown in front of them.
I’m all for a lively debate and/or discussion, but when it comes to preseason depth charts, you might just want to save your breath. Why? Because a regular season depth charts means very little, which means a preseason depth chart means even less? How much less? Try borderline stupidity.
Just look at the offensive depth chart below, photo courtesy of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
So, if I am to go by this depth chart, I would see at the WR1 position, behind Antonio Brown is Sammie Coates. Yes, the Sammie Coates who just came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, who hadn’t even practiced once before Wednesday this preseason and has been one of the more inconsistent players on the roster since being drafted three years ago.
Above all that, Coates is listed above a player like Eli Rogers, and behind Martavis Bryant on the other side of the ball is a cast of characters such as Darrius Heyward-Bey, Justin Hunter, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cobi Hamilton.
Yeah, this depth chart makes a ton of sense.
Meanwhile, James Harrison is listed as the starter at the right outside linebacker position. But wait a second, didn’t outside linebacker coach Joey Porter say T.J. Watt was the starter? And Harrison has only practiced once in pads this preseason, what the heck is going on here?!
Steven Johnson is ahead of Tyler Matakevich as the primary backup at inside linebacker?! I thought ‘Dirty Red’ was impressive this camp.
Hopefully you get the hint.
These depth charts mean absolutely nothing. Ben Roethlisberger is listed as the QB1, as he always has been, but won’t see the Heinz Field turf other than to warm up this Sunday when the Falcons come to town.
I understand fans are thirsty for football news and information, but let’s not go overboard. Depth charts are for the media, but are rarely used by the coaches. I compare these charts to a player being labeled a “starter”. Eli Rogers could be listed as a starter on offense, but that essentially means he is just going to be on the field for the first play of the game. After that, he could only see the field for 15 snaps, but he is still considered a “starter”.
As we all strive to gain more information from the team, we should also keep in mind some “news” isn’t really news at all. In fact, some news can actually just be chalked up to something akin to the New England Patriots injury report. In other words, just keep moving.
If you are someone who loves depth charts, and poring over said information, then by all means wait until the regular season. After all, Joey Porter said T.J. Watt was supposed to be the starter...I’m soo conflicted.