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Jooser
09-06-2009, 08:52 AM
This per the Post-Gazette. It backs Ruthlessburger's ideas that we'll sign a veteran O-linemen before everything is said and done.


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

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." :Clap

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." Interesting... 8)

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.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09249/99 ... z0QKXh8kRA (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09249/996010-66.stm#ixzz0QKXh8kRA)

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2009, 10:11 AM
Things can certainly change. Last year's rookie of the year, Patrick Bailey, did not make the final 53 coming out of camp. He was elevated to the active roster from the practice squad early in the season, and flourished from there. So you never know...the eventual rookie of the year may be one of the guys who just got cut.

It also didn't make sense that the article said that the deadline for the cuts was 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, then teams had 24 hours to claim players off waivers, and then we can start signing players to their practice squads by noon on Sunday. How exactly does that give teams a 24 hour waiver period? I'm no math whiz, but that sounds an awful lot like 18 hours to me...

NorthCoast
09-06-2009, 10:21 AM
The local media had Mangini quoting nearly the same thing about the Stains roster. BTW, the Stains cut to 52 players meaning a pick-up is almost guaranteed. They are in desperate need of a CB after cutting Corey Ivy. They are also paper-thin at safety. I haven't seen many of the cuts throughout the league but I have to believe, given the level of talent in this year's draft, there are some vets worth taking a look at as fill-in.

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2009, 10:37 AM
The local media had Mangini quoting nearly the same thing about the Stains roster. BTW, the Stains cut to 52 players meaning a pick-up is almost guaranteed. They are in desperate need of a CB after cutting Corey Ivy. They are also paper-thin at safety. I haven't seen many of the cuts throughout the league but I have to believe, given the level of talent in this year's draft, there are some vets worth taking a look at as fill-in.

I guess, unlike Tomlin, who had difficulty deciding among the last few cuts since he had to let some quality players go, Mangini followed Chuck Noll's logic from back in the 80's when our team stunk. When asked by the press if his last cuts were difficult, Noll replied with something to the effect of "yeah, it was difficult to stop."

NorthCoast
09-06-2009, 10:48 AM
The local media had Mangini quoting nearly the same thing about the Stains roster. BTW, the Stains cut to 52 players meaning a pick-up is almost guaranteed. They are in desperate need of a CB after cutting Corey Ivy. They are also paper-thin at safety. I haven't seen many of the cuts throughout the league but I have to believe, given the level of talent in this year's draft, there are some vets worth taking a look at as fill-in.

I guess, unlike Tomlin, who had difficulty deciding among the last few cuts since he had to let some quality players go, Mangini followed Chuck Noll's logic from back in the 80's when our team stunk. When asked by the press if his last cuts were difficult, Noll replied with something to the effect of "yeah, it was difficult to stop."

Haa, haa, haa...never heard that one before. BTW, the C-land press is already really irritated with Mangini on all this team secrecy stuff (not naming the starting QB, no details on injuries, etc.). He definitely came from the Belichick school of coaching.

I think the open competition for #3 WR is a good thing. I think Sweed needs pushed hard to reach his potential and Wallace and McDonald are just the guys to do it. Sweed has the size advantage, but I can't say his hands are better than the other two.