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Thread: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

  1. #11

    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebsteel
    Urbik over Summers (what has Summers done to even have a chance???)
    Battle over Grisham

    I'd be very OK with just these two changes. I will scream if Summers makes the team. EVERY time I have taped a game and watched it to study him, he looks horrible. Urbik, on the other hand, has done very well when I have watched him. I love Grisham's hustle and toughness, but I think we need Battle for special teams, especially since we are not keeping Madison.
    Perfectly said. I agree 100%. I'll be pi$$ed if Summers makes it. He's a fullback who can't block. That's like a linebacker who can't tackle. I love Grisham but Battle gives us both ST units (receiving blocking and coverage) and a solid physical veteran possession receiver. The converse is true with Madison. Good special teams but he's a corner who can't cover.

  2. #12

    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    I would also cut Summers (insert Vincent or Wright); and I would keep Sunny Harris over Eason. I noticed Tyler Grisham going over the middle in the Denver debacle ... no alligator arms at all. I just can't help but think he looks like fresh meat to some shark of a safety, but it's the business he chose....[subtle GF2 reference]

  3. #13
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    Grisham had a great catch... but I also thought Wright ran well when given the chance.

    Can't keep them all and I can't see Grisham making it over some of the other WR's at this point in time.

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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    No matter what the final 53 looks like, there will be some raised eye brows and a couple of guys that could well go on and have good NFL careers.
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    I'd like to see Grisham get a shot at returning to see what he can do.

    ARE is really funking up the WR position imho. We could have been just fine without him. But he's a nice to have due to experience.

    I'd like to see us find a way to keep Grisham. He should be #3/#4 on the depth chart but likely isn't due to not being drafted.

    Can Pouncey long snap and save a roster spot?

  6. #16
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewie
    I would also cut Summers (insert Vincent or Wright); and I would keep Sunny Harris over Eason. I noticed Tyler Grisham going over the middle in the Denver debacle ... no alligator arms at all. I just can't help but think he looks like fresh meat to some shark of a safety, but it's the business he chose....[subtle GF2 reference]
    Wright is one of the 5 players who has already been cut to get us down to the 75 player limit after preseason game #3.

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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    Stillers Blog

    September 1, 2010

    For perhaps the final time in NFL history, teams' respective 4th preseason games will be played Thursday evening across the league.

    When the regular season schedule expands in the near future these last exhibitions will be a thing of the past. Who will miss preseason game #4? Only the handful of bubble players on each NFL squad's roster who are desperate for one final chance to make an impression and win a job.

    For the Steelers, here are their bubble guys headed into Thursday night at Heinz Field:

    RB Jonathan Dwyer - If Dwyer is kept on the 53-man roster, he'll be having what amounts to a red-shirt year. He would be a gameday inactive for the entire season, barring injury, protected as a future asset. After coming up injured late in preseason game #1 and not playing game #2, Dwyer's 13 carry, 89 yard performance in Denver gave him a stay of execution. 4th quarter runs of 17 and 40 yards, coupled with a TD scamper, illustrate his ability as a runner. However, Dwyer is not ready to play either special teams or complete enough as a back to be counted on for blitz pickup and assignment-related details. Expect him to get plenty of opportunity Thursday night to prove that last statement wrong.

    Ultimately, is 2nd year RB Frank Summers a better roster choice than Dwyer to help the team in 2010? RB Frank Summers - The "Tank" played in two games for the Steelers varsity last year before being placed on IR with a back injury. To Frank's credit he's worked extremely hard in a year's time to return as a better football player. The real question becomes whether Summers is the team's best lead blocking option (i.e. as close to a fullback as the Arians' offense allows). TE David Johnson, as well as RB Issac Redman and even TE Heath Miller make the need for Summers a question. Expect Frank to get plenty of work early Thursday to show one more time his value.

    KR/PR Stefan Logan - Logan was the Steelers return man for 16-games in 2009, breaking the team record for kickoff return yardage (Ernie Mills had the old mark from 1995). Kick returns of 38, 88, 36, 49, 51, 56, and 40 dotted his resume throughout the year, although he did not take one the distance. His 26.7 KR average was 6th best in the NFL, while his 10.0 PR average was 13th best. This summer, rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have been given a shot to impress, with mixed results. Is Logan, the sure thing specialist, worthy of a roster spot?

    WR Arnaz Battle - With Sanders and Brown seemingly locks to make the team, if Logan makes it a roster spot must be found elsewhere.

    QB Charlie Batch is certainly a cut option, but so may be Battle. Arnaz is a solid veteran backup WR in a pinch, but the 4th WR rarely if ever sees the field for the Steelers as Heath Miller rarely comes out. So like Logan, Battle would really be kept as a specialist, in his case a core special teams coverage man. It certainly helps his old coach Al Everest is the new special teams coach here. And, Battle was guaranteed $975,000 when he signed. Chances are he makes the team, but good special teams work Thursday will go a long way towards securing it.

    OT Tony Hills - A 4th round draft pick from Texas in 2008, Hills has been a two-year redshirt player. Finally, he's started to show a return on that investment this preseason as he's flashed in game action. 6'5, 304 pounders don't grow on trees, and he now should know the Steelers offense thoroughly. However, the free agent pickup of T Jonathan Scott makes it intriguing. Hills would never dress on gameday (Scott will), and in a pinch Ramon Foster can play tackle. So will they keep Hills around again? If the team does keep Hills, C Justin Hartwig is sure to get the axe. What's more important, a veteran backup pivot or a younger, 4th string OT? Probably, the young tackle.

    DE Sunny Harris - The Steelers have drafted several depth defensive ends through the years (Ryan McBean, Orien Harris, Shaun Nua), but few have stuck around. It's a sheer numbers crunch on the defensive side, and Harris could be caught in that again. Last year, the team re-acquired Harris from Carolina (who pilfered him a year ago) when Aaron Smith was injured. But this year, Smith is healthy again, and Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason are solid backups already, so why keep Sunny? The answer is because in two years Smith, Brett Keisel, and Eason could be out of the league. However, keeping Harris means cutting an extra linebacker (Patrick Bailey) or cornerback (Anthony Madison) and I don't see it. Thursday is a big showcase game for Sunny to prove he's worth another redshirt. They'll try to get both Harris and rookie Doug Worthington on the PS.

    LB Stevenson Sylvester - "Sly" has made plays all over the field through the preseason, on special teams and with the regular defense. His technique is not perfect, but his fearlessness and athleticism is tough to ignore. He's a 5th inside linebacker on a team with 4 good ones in front of him, so is he a fit here? Then again, Patrick Bailey has been kept as a core special teamer for 2 years without any plans for him to help the LeBeau 'D.' My hunch is Sly is taxi squad bound, but if Thursday he keeps flashing he could take Bailey's spot on the bomb squad.

    CB Anthony Madison - Every year for about 5 years now, CB Anthony Madison hits the bubble watch in August and the debate ensues. Madison was a key part of the 08 Super Bowl season as a core special teams player, and his cut in 2009 (and eventual re-acquisition) was one of controversy. The Steelers missed him badly on kick coverage. This camp, he's also provided valuable depth at CB with the departure of Deshea Townsend. Madison has to beat out one of the younger guys, either Joe Burnett or rookie Crezdon Butler, not to mention prove more worth than either Sylvester or Harris, to make it. My guess is with a solid performance Thursday night, the Steelers don't make the same mistake twice and Madison stays.

    Ken Laird's bubble ins and outs:

    IN: Stefan Logan, Tony Hills, Frank Summers, Arnaz Battle, Patrick Bailey, Anthony Madison, Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson OUT: Charlie Batch, Justin Hartwig

    PRACTICE SQUAD (Attempted): RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Tyler Grisham, WR Brandon London, CB Crezdon Butler, DE Sunny Harris, LB Stevenson Sylvester, DE Doug Worthington, TE Eugene Bright

    Follow Ken Laird on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ken_laird

  8. #18
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    I'd like to see Grisham get a shot at returning to see what he can do.

    ARE is really funking up the WR position imho. We could have been just fine without him. But he's a nice to have due to experience.

    I'd like to see us find a way to keep Grisham. He should be #3/#4 on the depth chart but likely isn't due to not being drafted.

    Can Pouncey long snap and save a roster spot?
    I've been on this band wagon a long time. But, evidently, there's more to long snapping than meets the eye.

    Pappy


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    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  9. #19
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    What the heck is Laird seeing in Summers? "Made himself a better football player?" In what aspect of the game? Summers has done absolutely nothing except look average and out of position.

    Dwyer is a better keep over both Summers and Logan.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  10. #20
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    Re: Ken Laird: Some Difficult Roster Decisions

    PRACTICE SQUAD (Attempted): RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Tyler Grisham, WR Brandon London, CB Crezdon Butler, DE Sunny Harris, LB Stevenson Sylvester, DE Doug Worthington, TE Eugene Bright


    There seems to be an awful lot of good young talent on that PS. I think Sylvester and Butler make the 53. Still on the fence on Dwyer.
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