Sunday, September 1, 2013

Analysis, Breakdown Of Steelers 2013 Roster

                      photo courtesy of Matt Vargo

The Steelers announced their cuts, current roster and current practice squad Saturday and Sunday. Because of knowing that certain players being designated for the PUP list, the 8-week Injured Reserve or complete Injured Reserve, we knew the names would change. We just didn't realize how soon. 

To start, the Steelers' initial cuts were Jonathan Dwyer, Alameda Ta'amu, Terry Hawthorne, Justin Brown, Brian Moorman, Josh Victorian, Marshall McFadden, Jamie McCoy, Reggie Dunn, Mike Golic, Joe Madsen, Chris Hubbard, Brian Arnflet, Alex Baxter, Terrence Garvin, Devin Smith, Alevester Alexander, Joe Long, Nathan Overbay, Brian Rolle and Ross Ventrone cut. 

The cut that was a big surprise to many was Dwyer, a fan favorite and the team's leading rusher last season. Yes, the yardage total, 623 yards on 156 carries for 3.99 yards per carry, was the lowest run total by a leading rusher in nearly 50 years (Dick Hoak in 1963 had 679 yards), but he was the most consistent. 

It also, though, should not have been a surprise to loyal readers of If It Ain't Steel as we had suggested that, if he did actually even make the team, that he could be gone once Bell returned. We even said so in our roster prediction blog which we weren't able to update because of personal matters. It also covers the practice squad parameters. - http://ifitaintsteel.blogspot.com/2013/08/its-time-for-our-look-at-projected.html

It isn't that we didn't want to see him stay, in fact, one half of If It Ain't Steel was livid over his release. And for seemingly good reason. 

Was it fumbles as some have suggested? No. Redman has fumbled the ball seven times in 273-career carries. Dwyer? Twice in 181 carries. More on this in our next piece, though.

As for those whom we thought would make the roster and then the players who did instead go as follows: Dwyer as we've stated, inside linebacker Marshall McFadden, cornerback Terrance Hawthorne (but he was in tub instead of on the field too much), Reggie Dunn and Alan Baxter (though he did make the practice squad). 

Those whom we were surprised over making it: tight end Michael Palmer nose tackle Hebron Fangupo (a very powerful 0-technique prototype nose tackle), cornerback Isaiah Green, safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, linebacker Kion Wilson, that god-awful Guy Whimper, and Devin Smith and Alvester Alexander on the practice squad.

ASIDE: With approximately $3.9 million available under the Salary Cap, every tackle on two legs whose last name isn't Whimper is worth looking at at this point.

As for the roster change on Sunday, center/guard Cody Wallace was signed to the roster and replaced John Malecki. A true journeyman, Wallace has bounced around to seven teams now after being a 4th-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2008. Malecki has used up his practice squad eligibility and must be signed to a team's roster. 

It's a curious move considering the Steelers usually stick with what they know rather than they don't know. It was suggested that they felt they needed more experience for backups on offensive line. Ok, but Cody Wallace has 18 career snaps, whereas John Malecki has 31 career snaps. 

Curiouser and curiouser...

Here now is the link to the official Steelers roster complete with PUP and practice squad lists, minus DeMarcus Van Dyke whom the Steelers waived on Friday from the injured reserve with an injury settlement. - http://www.steelers.com/team/roster.html

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TIDBITS: The short-version timeline for linebacker Sean Spence's return after being placed on the reserve PUP list is as follows: he’ll be eligible to return to practice after week six and through week 10. He'll then have two more weeks to be added to the regular 53-man roster. 

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Steelers team captains have been chosen. They are: Big Ben, Maurkice Pouncey, Brett Keisel and RC25.