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Old 08-17-2008, 04:27 AM   #1
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Default Columnist cuts to chase

Columnist cuts to chase
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 17, 2008

The cut to 75 isn't until Aug. 26, and the final slice to 53 isn't until Aug. 30.
That being the case, publishing a presumptive regular-season roster at this early juncture qualifies as a preseason media false start.

But that's never stopped us before.

When it's time to leave St. Vincent College, it's time to get serious.

So, here we go again.

Presenting the 2008 Steelers, or, more accurately, the Trib's vision of what the roster should be as check-out time from the St. Benedict Hall Hilton approaches:

QB (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon.

Dixon arrived as a long-term project but has played well enough to carve out a spot for himself above and beyond the practice squad. To get him a roster spot, the Steelers are going to have to place Charlie Batch on the injured-reserve list or cut him. Leftwich's presence makes either alternative an option.

RB (5): Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Carey Davis, Gary Russell. That's been established since Moore was signed as a free agent from Minnesota, and Mendenhall was drafted No. 1 out of Illinois.

TE (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth and Cody Boyd. Boyd almost made it a year ago and is an NFL-ready blocker.

WR (5): Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Nate Washington, Limas Sweed, Eddie Drummond. There really isn't a legitimate No. 5 receiver, but Drummond has a chance to contribute on both ends of the kicking game.

OL (9): Marvel Smith, Chris Kemoeatu, Justin Hartwig, Kendall Simmons, Willie Colon, Max Starks, Trai Essex, Sean Mahan, Darnell Stapleton. The list does not include No. 4 pick Tony Hills. Position flexibility affords the Steelers the luxury of relegating to the practice squad a guy they can't yet afford to play.

DL (6): Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Chris Hoke, Travis Kirschke, Scott Paxson. Nick Eason didn't last as Smith's replacement last season. Paxson doesn't play end, but Hoke could. And Paxson may yet become a factor on kickoffs.

LB (9): LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, James Farrior, James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Bruce Davis, Keyaron Fox, Arnold Harrison, Andre Frazier. Mike Humpal winds up on the practice squad, for now.

DB (10): Deshea Townsend, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Bryant McFadden, William Gay, Anthony Smith, Tyrone Carter, Ryan Mundy, Roy Lewis. Lewis edges Anthony Madison because of position flexibility (Lewis plays cornerback and safety) and because Madison isn't a consideration on anything but special teams.

Special Teams (3): Kicker, Jeff Reed; snapper, Greg Warren, and punter, pick one. We'll allow more time for the preseason punt off to resolve itself.

This much we know: whoever emerges will be a battler.

Paul Ernster is trying to overcome being on the field for Cleveland last season when his first punt traveled 15 yards and four penalties were called on the Browns.

Let the best leg, and best hands to hold for Reed, win.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_583331.html
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

There has been a lot of recent speculation that Hills will be destined for the Practice Squad.

My concern is will he make it past the waiver claim. If not then that would be a truly wasted pick, throwing on top of the 3rd rounder wasted on Willie Reid.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

I can see Dixon making the roster also but as it was said above we will have to do something with Batch.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_steeler View Post
There has been a lot of recent speculation that Hills will be destined for the Practice Squad.

My concern is will he make it past the waiver claim. If not then that would be a truly wasted pick,
I've been saying that too Aussie, I think he can sign with a team and be elevated to the 53 man roster in a few games. All indications are the Starks and Smith will be gone in 09 via free agency, so it leaves our returning OT's as Colon and Essex if they can sign Trai.

I also think Humpal makes the roster and either plays ST or rides the bench. With Harrison, Davis, Fox or even Timmons to play OLB if needed.....why keep Frazier around. But, stranger things have happened.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

Roy lewis name seems to be showing up everywhere. and on the field too

Hope he makes the team, then BMac leaves next season and they wouldn't need to use a high pick on a DB

Mitch Berger should be the punter imo. 3 punts inside the 20, 1 touchback, pretty good average....
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

have roy lewis and e. drummond been that good to leave us w/ 4 wr's and get rid of baker and reid? i guess baker would be practice squad again.

is humpal just too slow to beat frazier or harrison?
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

No huge surprises there. I can live with that roster.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
have roy lewis and e. drummond been that good to leave us w/ 4 wr's and get rid of baker and reid? i guess baker would be practice squad again.

is humpal just too slow to beat frazier or harrison?
Gotta agree that Humpal makes the roster and either Harrison or Frazier will be cut...
Drummond may make it due to ST's.

I think that Mundy or Lewis make the roster...not both. Lewis may get the edge due to being able to play CB and safety...that would give us not only a back up for each safety and CB spot, but also Lewis as a safety valve for injuries during the season....

That leaves room for another WR.....Baker?
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

I keep Baker over Drummond. Drummond is just a journeyman being kept for kickoff and punt returns only. Mewelde Moore can do both and he's already on the roster. With Washington, more than likely, leaving after this season....I like Baker to take the #4 slot since Sweed will be taking the #3 slot next season. IMO, with what Baker has shown with good hands and good route runner, I think he is a keeper.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Columnist cuts to chase

I think that Moore can handle the kick return duties. I say swap Drummond for Baker and the rest seems good.
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