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mesaSteeler
08-31-2009, 12:08 AM
Picture at 53-man roster coming into focus
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/viewfromthepressbox/
Posted August 30, 2009 9 :10 PM

Players fighting for a roster spot -- and the Steelers didn't have a whole lot of open ones when they convened for training camp at the end of July -- get to make one final argument Thursday.

That is when the Steelers visit the Carolina Panthers in the final preseason game for each team. Has 5-6 Stefan Logan played his way onto the team with the dynamic return ability he had flashed in the last two games? Which rookies in an impressive rookie class will make the cut -- and which ones will end up on the practice squad?

With these questions still yet to be answered here is one guess at how the 53-man roster will look after the Steelers finalize it Saturday.

Quarterback (3)

Ben Roethlisberger -- So much for concerns about his right foot.

Charlie Batch -- Solid preseason has only strengthened his grip on No. 2 job.

Dennis Dixon -- Made significant strides before a shoulder injury halted his progress.

Running back (5)

Willie Parker -- Should open season fresh after getting limited work during the preseason.

Rashard Mendenhall -- Will he emerge as a legitimate complement at or will he simply spell Parker from time to time?

Mewelde Moore -- Third-down back is also injury insurance for Parker and Mendenhall.

Carey Davis -- Does the little things that don't show up in a box score and is a superb special teams player.

Stefan Logan -- The Steelers have to find a spot on the roster for the 5-6 mighty mite given what he has shown as a return man.

Wide receiver (5)

Hines Ward -- Ageless wonder still one of the better all-around wideouts in the NFL.

Santonio Holmes -- Is this the year he supplants Ward as Roethlisberger's go-to guy?

Limas Sweed -- One of the most improved players on the team should have inside track to No. 3 wide receiver spot.

Mike Wallace -- Rookie gives the Steelers a deep threat and supplants Sweed at No. 3 wide receiver if Sweed falters.

Shaun McDonald -- Consummate professional catches everything thrown his way.

Tight end (3)

Heath Miller -- One of the top all-around tight ends in the NFL.

Matt Spaeth -- At least two solid blocking tight ends are required in Bruce Arians' offense.

David Johnson -- Knee injury sustained by Sean McHugh opens the door for the rookie seventh-round draft pick.

Offensive line (nine)

Max Starks -- Will be at left tackle for his first full season since entering the NFL in 2004.

Chris Kemoeatu -- Should improve in his second season as starter at left guard.

Justin Hartwig The Steelers could do a lot worse as far as a starting center.

Trai Essex -- Takes advantage of Darnell Stapleton's knee injury to win the job at right guard.

Willie Colon -- Has started 38 consecutive games at right tackle.

Stapleton -- Could re-gain his starting job at right guard once he is healthy.

Tony Hills -- Beats out Jason Capizzi and Jeremy Parquet for the spot at backup tackle.

Kraig Urbik -- Rookie still has a ways to go but status as a third-round draft pick buys him some time.

Doug Legursky -- Ability to play both center and guard gives him the edge over A.Q. Shipley.

Defensive line (seven)

Aaron Smith -- One of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL

Casey Hampton -- Vital plug in the middle of the Steelers' defense.

Brett Keisel -- Get overshadowed on Steelers' star-studded defense.

Chris Hoke -- Defensive tackle is as valuable a reserve as the Steelers have.

Travis Kirschke -- Not getting any younger but played well last season when filling in for the injured Keisel.

Nick Eason -- Made significant improvement last season, his second one with the Steelers, and is one of the younger defensive linemen on the team.

Ziggy Hood -- First-round pick has done so well as a rookie that he could be in the rotation at defensive end.

Linebacker (eight)

James Harrison -- Hard to believe that the outside linebacker once had to sweat out final cuts on an annual basis.

James Farrior -- Like Ward, he is an ageless wonder as well as the heart and soul of the defense.

Lawrence Timmons -- All-around skills could him an upgrade over the steady Larry Foote at right inside linebacker.

LaMarr Woodley -- Doesn't allow teams to pay too much attention to Harrison.

Keyaron Fox -- Special teams ace is more than capable of filling role as top reserve at inside linebacker.

Andre Frazier -- Top reserve at outside linebacker is also a special-teams stalwart.

Donovon Woods -- Provides depth at inside linebacker and is a regular on special teams.

Patrick Bailey -- His special-teams play gives him the nod for the final spot at outside linebacker over Bruce Davis and Arnold Harrison.

Cornerbacks (six)

Ike Taylor -- Has his sights set on making his first Pro Bowl.

William Gay -- New starter at right cornerback but was rotating with Bryant McFadden by the end of last season.

Deshea Townsend -- Nickel back isn't the biggest or fastest guy but he is rarely out of position.

Keiwan Ratliff -- Veteran provides injury insurance at both corner and nickel back.

Keenan Lewis -- Depth allows Steelers to bring rookie third-round pick along slowly.

Anthony Madison -- He is that valuable of a gunner on the punt coverage team that he grabs perhaps the last remaining spot on roster.

Safety (four)

Troy Polamalu -- All the strong safety does is make plays all over the field.

Ryan Clark -- Remember when Anthony Smith was going to push him out of the starting spot at free safety?

Tyrone Carter -- Steady veteran is the top backup at both safety positions.

Ryan Mundy -- Gets nod over Roy Lewis because he is more of a natural safety.

Specialists (three)

Jeff Reed -- One of the more reliable kickers in the NFL.

Daniel Sepulveda -- Is a significant upgrade at punter over Mitch Berger.

Greg Warren -- Long snapper is coming back from a serious knee injury.

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MasterOfPuppets
08-31-2009, 12:17 AM
i still think foster makes the roster... maybe hills goes to PS,...or stapleton gets cut.... with legursky being able to play C/G, and foster being able to play G/RT... and both guys probably have more upside. stapleton may be expendable.

KeiselPower99
08-31-2009, 12:39 AM
i still think foster makes the roster... maybe hills goes to PS,...or stapleton gets cut.... with legursky being able to play C/G, and foster being able to play G/RT... and both guys probably have more upside. stapleton may be expendable.

Agreed. :thumbsup:

Steelers & I
08-31-2009, 03:15 AM
I think that this article is dead on with its final roster prediction. I hate to see Carey Davis back for 2009 but with the injuries to McHugh and Frank Summers, they really won't have a choice other than keeping Davis.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-31-2009, 08:42 AM
Pretty close to my last roster:

I have the same QB's...WR's..TE's...CB's...NT's...Safeties...and specialists.

The writer feels that we will keep Carey Davis, who I am not a huge fan of, but I am hoping that Summers plays this week and makes Davis expendable.

He also kept one extra DE, which would actually eleviate my anxiety over having to pick between Eason and Kirschke.
The one extra DE might cost us a LBer...and if that happens, we have to think that Bruce Davis might get the ax.

I also have Capizzi making this team...but wouldnt be surprised, or sad, to see him go. I would rather lose Stapleton to be honest. I think Foster might go to the PS...not because of ability but for conditioning.

Dino 6 Rings
08-31-2009, 09:36 AM
Who's the punk that keeps dropping punt returns?

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-31-2009, 09:45 AM
Who's the punk that keeps dropping punt returns?

Burnett...definately not a returner...but he has 2 interceptions and a blocked punt. I dont think we cut him just because he might not have additional value as a RS.

mmalone
08-31-2009, 10:41 AM
Burnett...definately not a returner...but he has 2 interceptions and a blocked punt. I dont think we cut him just because he might not have additional value as a RS.

burnett stays madison is out.

Steel Head
08-31-2009, 10:51 AM
burnett stays madison is out.

+1

Burnett has coverage skills and is very athletic

BlastFurnace
08-31-2009, 10:54 AM
I would hate to lose Madison, but Burnett could end up being something special for us.

Everyone else I have read has said that Foster has basically made the team.

SunshineMan21
08-31-2009, 11:01 AM
I agree Foster is in . . . also I think Burnett has a pretty good shot of making the team.

Possible that Mundy gets cut for a sixth corner, as Deshea can play safety. Also I would say that one of the ST guys (Madison, Bailey, Woods) might be gone.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-31-2009, 11:13 AM
I would hate to lose Madison, but Burnett could end up being something special for us.

Everyone else I have read has said that Foster has basically made the team.

Thats a tough one...Madison is a superb gunner...But I love the skills of some of these young guys like Burnett.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-31-2009, 11:59 AM
i still think foster makes the roster... maybe hills goes to PS,...or stapleton gets cut.... with legursky being able to play C/G, and foster being able to play G/RT... and both guys probably have more upside. stapleton may be expendable.

I think Foster only makes the roster if they keep 10 O linemen and only 6 D-linemen. Hills is gonna make the 53. I wish they would let Stapleton go and keep Legursky, Foster and Urbik instead......but I doubt that it happens.

Despite what some talking heads say, Urbik is looking better each preseason game. He was just driving some guys downfield in the Buffalo game while Legursky and Foster were stuffed at the LOS.

I think the secondary keeps 10 and they are gonna be: Taylor, Gay, Townsend, Polamalu, Clark, Carter, Keenan Lewis, Ratliff, Burnett, Madison. (Mundy goes to PS again)

pancake
08-31-2009, 12:17 PM
I think Foster only makes the roster if they keep 10 O linemen and only 6 D-linemen. Hills is gonna make the 53. I wish they would let Stapleton go and keep Legursky, Foster and Urbik instead......but I doubt that it happens.

Despite what some talking heads say, Urbik is looking better each preseason game. He was just driving some guys downfield in the Buffalo game while Legursky and Foster were stuffed at the LOS.

I think the secondary keeps 10 and they are gonna be: Taylor, Gay, Townsend, Polamalu, Clark, Carter, Keenan Lewis, Ratliff, Burnett, Madison. (Mundy goes to PS again)

I was thinking the same thing...

LVSteelersfan
08-31-2009, 12:53 PM
I just don't see Carey Davis as doing what the OP says. He is a lousy blocker (kind of a FBs job) He gets knocked down if someone gets a fingernail on him. We don't need him on STs as we have plenty of good ST players. Why oh why did Summers have to get hurt? We could have seen the end of a useless player.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-31-2009, 01:07 PM
I just don't see Carey Davis as doing what the OP says. He is a lousy blocker (kind of a FBs job) He gets knocked down if someone gets a fingernail on him. We don't need him on STs as we have plenty of good ST players. Why oh why did Summers have to get hurt? We could have seen the end of a useless player.

Despite Davis being a poor lead blocker and minimal receiving threat from the backfield.......he probably wins by default. Summers and Redman havent shown any ability to be a lead blocker. The only guy that might knock Davis off is the TE/Hback Johnson.

Psyychoward86
08-31-2009, 02:10 PM
I think the battle for a roster spot in the secondary is between Mundy and Madison.