||08-24-2005 04:01 PM
Another chance to make an impression
By Teresa Varley
The blue skies and cool, crisp air at St. Vincent College signified that the dog days of summer are coming to an end and the Steelers regular season is just around the corner.
As fans get their last chance to see the players in action at camp on Wednesday afternoon, the players are preparing for their third preseason game and it?s one last chance to make an impression for some of them.
The roster must be reduced to 65 players by August 30 and Friday night?s game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field will answer a lot questions about who will stay.
?This is tough,? said head coach Bill Cowher. ?To be honest with you, it?s probably not going to be as tough as the last cut. But these games are all important with each one of these players. Even practice, we have some pretty intense battles going on right now. Every practice and every game is going to have some degree of influence on the final decision.?
The Steelers started the 2004 season with two quarterbacks on the active roster, Ben Roethlisberger and Tommy Maddox, and Brian St. Pierre on the practice squad. Charlie Batch began the season on injured reserve.
There hasn?t been any decision this year as to how many quarterback will be on the active roster, wit hBatch and St. Pierre competing for the third spot, but Cowher is keeping all options open.
?You have to entertain all those things,? said Cowher. ?Right now, there?s a lot of different combinations that come up, and I don?t know if I?m leaning one way or the other. Maybe the circumstances and what takes place in the next two weeks will have an affect. You get a couple of injuries over the next couple of weeks and that could also alter the positions that you?re keeping for the 53-man roster.?
Another position that has some uncertainty as far as final numbers is running back. Duce Staley will miss the remainder of the preseason, so Jerome Bettis will continue as the starter. Behind them, Verron Haynes, Willie Parker and Noah Herron will continue to get a good look
?We?re going to continue to use them,? said Cowher. ?You monitor the snaps. We?re going to continue to do that and I like the way it?s kind of balanced out. We?re getting a chance to see these guys express themselves. I like the information we?re gathering.?
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