New to this forum and I really wanted to start posting and share some of my opinion about the steelers! Before I begin, I would like to say its great see a group of people who love the steelers as much as I do. I have been rooting for the black and gold since I was a young kid.
Without further a do, I will give some of my predictions on this seasons roster and camp battles I think we will see. I am going to do offense first, defense, then special teams in a few posts.
Big Ben, Bryon Leftwich, Charlie Batch
Ben - Our franchise qb will be back in full swing. Although a new OC and playbook might hamper a bit early in camp, we will see the same old ben from previous years. He is reported to be in the best shape of his career and just recently wed. Look for a thinner, meaner, mature ben ready to take the field this fall.
Leftwich - Backup coming off a season where a broken arm hampered any type of production. A former first round pick who is a great backup and provides veteran leadership to a young team.
Batch - One of the oldest players on the roster. I see this as a final year for him. A great stand in and reliable backup but who is slowly loosing the battle to old age in an ever changing nfl.
Rb's and Fb's
Redman - We will finally see the rise of redman. A product out of Bowie State the 27 year old back has proved his worth as a backup. He now has the chance to show he is starting caliber in the nfl. I have always like redman and he will surprise more people. With mendenhall in his final year, look for redman being extended for at least 3 years to compete with a young core of backers.
Baron Batch - A stud out of Texas Tech who is in his second year. A torn ACL in last years camp hampered any production from him. After a full year of rehab he is ready and will make this roster and redmans backup. He is a great runner who has good speed and excellent cuts for his size and build. Look for him on third down and in passing situations.
Dwyer - Will make the roster and will replace redman as the work horse/short yardage back on the squad. I think redman will still see most of the carries but dwyer is capable of filling this role.
Rainey - Will make the squad and produce on special teams in returns. He will see the field on passing downs and you may see him in a few running situations. Great player with excellent speed but a bit on the small side to carry the full load. May see him line up at wr in certain plays.
Will Johnson - More athletic than david johnson. More upside and can be used in many more ways. Great player out of WVU.
Wallace - Wallace will be there for camp and will be signed to a contract within the next few weeks. I cannot see the steelers letting him go for a few years. I would liek to see wallace improve his routes and see some more action over the middle.
Brown - A great receiver that not many expected to be as good as he is. A former 6th round pick who blossomed last year and became one of bens favorite targets. Will see much more action this year and be covered more with safety help. One of my favs!
Sanders - Coming off multiple injuries and surgeries to his feet, the fast and sure handed sanders will be in the final year of his contact. He will need to prove that he can remain healthy and to show he is worthy of another contract. I really like sanders and he has great hands. Look for him to produce in the slot but he can play all three receiver positions.
Cotchery - The veteran receiver who replaces Ward as the old guy. A dependable backup Wr who will split time with sanders. May see him on more running downs also because of his blocking skill and size.
Maze/Clemons - This will be the battle for the final spot. Maze is an undersized wr who excels mostly in special teams. Clemons is a raw prospect who has good size and speed but may not provide enough to make this team. My pick will be Clemons based on his size and upside.
Miller - Will be back and you will see him targeted more due to the o-line make over. A great player who provides great leadership.
Saunders - Suspended for the first four games for illegal substance use, will see action as soon as he returns. A player who was suspended from college and who went through many issues, will be a great player for the steelers. First round talent that slipped to the steelers while they try to rehab him into a better person and player.
Pope - Will make this team because his salary is not to high and he is a former player of Haley. A huge target but a better blocker.
Gilbert - A former 2nd round pick who played well as a rookie. Will stick to RT and provide many years at that spot.
Adams - A 2nd round pick who will get the chance to start this year as a rookie. Speculation on him was pretty bad around draft time and the steelers had him off their board after a drug test failed for him. A great athlete who needs to build some more strength but will start this season.
Starks - Was brought back but will start on the PUP. He is still rehabbing but is ready to go once he is off that list.
Belchum - Will make the roster due to versatility. He is one of this years 7th rd picks and he was a great LT for SMU.
Pouncey - Fully healthy after many naggin ankle injuries last year. Will provide the leadership a young line needs to produce in the nfl
Legursky - Will be the primary backup and is a reasonable player for the guard spot also.
Decastro - It will take some time for decastro but he will be the best player on this line next to pouncey. He will start this year but have some rookie mistakes along the way. Look for him to be a great addition to this line.
Colon - A former T who will move inside. He is one of bens bf's and he will try a new position where I think he will be better suited. He is a major liability due to his recent injuries the past two seasons.
Foster - A good backup who could start at G or T in a pinch.
Essex - A good backup who could start at G or T.