View Full Version : Steelers: More moves remain a distinct possibility

09-05-2009, 11:54 PM
Steelers: More moves remain a distinct possibility
Sunday, September 06, 2009
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Roster cuts are tough part of the job for NFL coaches, but Mike Tomlin embraces the process.

Coach Mike Tomlin said cutting the Steelers' roster to 53 players was merely the first step to building a team he hopes can contend for another Super Bowl title. But it is not the last step. He called the process on-going, something that can and will continue throughout the season.

It might even continue today, or, at least, before the start of the regular season Thursday night.

Tomlin made official his final cuts yesterday, announcing the names of the 21 players who were waived and also placing veteran tight end Sean McHugh, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last week, on the season-ending injured reserve list.

But the roster could get another adjustment soon because the team is in the market for a veteran offensive lineman -- preferably, a tackle/guard -- to add some experience to the backups, none of whom have played in an NFL game.

As reported Friday on the Post-Gazette Web site, the most significant players cut by the Steelers were running backs Carey Davis and rookie Isaac Redman, linebackers Bruce Davis and Donovan Woods, cornerback Anthony Madison, defensive tackle Scott Paxson and two draft choices -- defensive end Sonny Harris (sixth round) and former Penn State center A.Q. Shipley (seventh), a Moon High School graduate.

Tomlin made his final cuts Friday and told all the involved players, but he waited almost until the 6 p.m. deadline yesterday to announce them because he said he wanted to keep open the possibility that several of the players who were cut could be traded. But no trades were made, nor did the Steelers actively seek to trade any of their waived players.

The Steelers will try to re-sign several of those players to their eight-man practice squad, including Shipley, Redman and Harris, if they clear waivers. NFL teams have 24 hours to claim players off waivers and can begin signing players to their practice squads by noon today.

"We are trying to find 53 [players] that we feel are capable of pursuing and bringing home a championship for us," Tomlin said. "There are a lot of layers to some of these decisions, but they are decisions we have to make. It is a part of the job that we embrace."

Also released were quarterback Mike Reilly, running back Justin Vincent, kicker Piotr Czech, tackles Jeremy Parquet and Jason Capizzi, defensive tackle Steve McLendon, tight end Dezmond Sherrod, safety Roy Lewis, linebackers Andy Shantz and Tom Korte and wide receivers Dallas Baker, Tyler Grisham and Brandon Williams.

The roster breakdown looks like this: Three quarterbacks, four running backs, five wide receivers, three tight ends and nine linemen on offense; seven linemen, eight linebackers and 10 secondary players on defense. The specialists are returner Stefan Logan, kicker Jeff Reed, punter Daniel Sepulveda and long-snapper Greg Warren.

The Steelers kept a fifth wide receiver -- veteran Shaun McDonald, who was signed in free agency from the Detroit Lions -- even though Logan also is listed as a wide receiver. But Tomlin quickly dispelled any notion Logan could have been the fifth receiver during the regular season, except in an emergency.

But, that doesn't mean the Steelers won't line the 5-foot-6, 180-pound specialist in the slot in some formations and use him as a running threat, as they did on several occasions in the preseason finale Thursday night in Carolina. Logan was an all-purpose running back with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League last season.

"He is a kick-returner at this point," Tomlin said. "He is capable of delivering some gimmick plays, if you will. We acknowledge he is a work in progress as a wide receiver."

Tomlin kept nine offensive linemen, even after guard Darnell Stapleton was placed on injured reserve last week, but of some concern is none of the four backup linemen has ever played in an NFL game. That includes tackle Tony Hills, the No. 4 draft choice last year; first-year center/guard Doug Legursky and rookie guards Kraig Urbik and Ramon Foster. The Steelers, though, could add another if they see a veteran they like on the waiver list.

Tomlin acknowledged he is "not comfortable" with the lack of experience among his backup linemen, then added, "But I can't tell you I was comfortable a year ago when we lost two starters in September. We found a way to step up and deliver winning football. I am not looking for comfort. Comfort is not necessarily something that comes with this job.

"The reality is, during training camp, we talked about being in the process of team-building. Like I told the team when we were down in Carolina, because we are now in a different phase of the season, it does not mean that team-building stops. It is a continual process. We are still in the process of knowing one another and establishing roles and things of that nature. Who is capable of delivering quality play for us from a backup offensive line position, is one of those questions.

"Who is the third wideout? That is another question. You know who the candidates are. I am not interested in naming who the third wideout is. I will just let those guys continue to play and fight it out and let it reveal itself to us as we play regular-season football."

The reference was to the battle for the No. 3 receiving spot between Limas Sweed, the No. 2 draft choice last year, and rookie Mike Wallace of Mississippi -- one of seven draft picks to make the 53-man roster.

Sweed has always been considered the third receiver because he can play both the X (split end) and Z (flanker) positions. And he made two good catches in Carolina that further solidified his spot.

But Tomlin's public declaration further points to the progress Wallace, a third-round pick and the fastest receiver on the team, has made.

Gerry Dulac can be reached at gdulac@post-gazette.com.
First published on September 6, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09249/996010-66.stm#ixzz0QIbC96IS

09-06-2009, 12:09 AM
Mike Wallace is going to be our best rookie this year.

09-06-2009, 12:22 AM
totally agree with you....everyone thinks sweeds gunna have a big year...(i think he will) but i think wallace will have a big one if not a even better year....he'll b our secret weapon on O. deep threat...sooo fast, and catches the ball really well....think of oour trips bunch....Sweed, Wallace and Holmes...then ward on the other side....that is just nasty...cant wait....TOO MUCH SPEED.


09-06-2009, 12:31 AM
I just saw that the Packers cut Anthony Smith. Maybe we bring him back!? LOL! The roster is solid and we are set to defend our title!

09-06-2009, 01:41 AM
i'd have thought they would have kept redman for trade bait... i mean i heard he was a fred tailor clone... :toofunny:

09-06-2009, 01:47 AM
I just saw that the Packers cut Anthony Smith. Maybe we bring him back!? LOL! The roster is solid and we are set to defend our title!

Really? Dang. He made a nice INT in the last preseason game I saw him playing in.

Wonder what happened.

You know... he is probably one of those guys who had all the skill, all the talent, but just didn't "get it."

Just too pig headed. Much like Harrison was for the better part of his first few years.