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Author Topic: Pre-camp look at the 53-man roster and practice squad  (Read 865 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: May 14, 2009 at 16:03 »

QB

Key Departures:
  Byron Leftwich (TB)
Competition to Watch: Dixon v. Batch for the #2 spot

1. Ben Roethlisberger, 2. Dennis Dixon, 3. Charlie Batch<RB

Key Departures:  Gary Russell.
Competition to Watch:  Mendenhall v. Parker for the feature back.

4. Rashard Mendenhall, 5. Willie Parker, 6. Mewelde Moore<Possible Practice Squad Material: Justin Vincent.  He could sneak onto the practice squad another year.

FB

7. Frank Summers<Thanks for Coming to Camp: Ryan Powdrell.
 
WR

Key Departures:
Nate Washington.
Key Additions: Shaun McDonald.
Competition to Watch:<8. Hines Ward, 9. Santonio Holmes, 10. Limas Sweed, 11. Shaun McDonald, 12. Mike Wallace (KR)<Thanks for Coming to Camp: Tyler Grisham, Steven Black Cedric Goodman.
Possible Practice Squad Material: Jayson Foster.  Foster could stick as depth in the slot WR/KR role.

TE

13. Heath Miller, 14. Matt Spaeth, 15. Sean McHugh


Miller and Spaeth occupy the more traditional TE role, although Spaeth seemed to be unimpressive as both blocker and receiver last year.  Could his job be in jeopardy?  McHugh is more in the FB/H-back role, for what little he was used, but rookie David Johnson may have been drafted to test him. 

Dezmond Sherrod is back for another try to prove his worth as a blocker. 

Possible Practice Squad Material: David Johnson.


LT

Key Departures: Marvel Smith.

16. Max Starks, 17. Tony Hills<LG

18. Chris Kemoeatu, 19. Trai Essex


Essex is currently listed on the Steelers roster as RG, but that undoubtedly will change with Kraig Urbik being drafted to push Darnell Stapleton at that spot.  Jeremy Parquet is listed at LG, and it seems like a no-brainer that Essex will move to depth and push Parquet out.

C

20. Justin Hartwig, 21. AQ Shipley<Possible Practice Squad Material:<RG

Key Departures:
  Kendall Simmons.

22. Kraig Urbik, 23. Darnell Stapleton<Possible Practice Squad Material: Ramon Foster.

RT

24. Willie Colon <Offense: 24 players.


NT

1. Casey Hampton, 2. Chris Hoke


Last year, the Steelers carried their NT depth 3-deep, with Scott Paxson in as well.  Paxson looks more like a 4-3 DT, and unless he switches to DE I think the Steelers can find better overall talent.  Age is a concern with Hampton and Hoke, but the front office will likely address this issue next year.

LDE

3. Aaron Smith, 4. Nick Eason<RDE

5. Brett Keisel, 6. Ziggy Hood<
Thanks for Coming to Camp:
Steve McClendon, Jeff Bradley.
Possible Practice Squad Material:<LOLB

7. LaMarr Woodley, 8. Bruce Davis, 9. Arnold Harrison<LILB

10. James Farrior, 11. Keyaron Fox


Fox has shown ability on STs, but could turn out to be a decent LB in his own right.  With the sudden departure of Foote, Fox looks to be all but a lock.

RILB

Key Defection:
  Larry Foote.

12. Lawrence Timmons, 13. Donovan Woods

Woods may be the best bet for additional depth behind Timmons.  He was the starting QB at Oklahoma St. before transitioning to safety, and while his biggest contribution has come on STs, he could benefit from sticking to a position and learning another year under Coach Butler.  Woods has a better frame to play inside than Bailey, Frazier, or Harrison, but he will be pushed by small-school want-to guys Andy Schantz (Portland St.) and Tom Korte (Hillsdale).

Thanks for Coming to Camp: Tom Korte.
Possible Practice Squad Material:  Andy Schantz.


ROLB

14. James Harrison, 15. Andre Frazier, 16. Patrick Bailey


Bailey sticks more by virtue of being a STs demon.

LCB

17. Ike Taylor, 18. Keenan Lewis<Key Departures: Bryant McFadden.
Key Additions: Keiwan Ratliff.

RCB

19. William Gay, 20. Deshea Townshend, 21. Joe Burnett (PR)<FS

Key Departures:
Anthony Smith.

22. Ryan Clark, 23. Roy Lewis

What happens at FS depth is a huge mystery.  Roy Lewis had a nice showing at camp last year, and worked out at safety.  Keenan Lewis certainly has the size to transition here. 

SS

24. Troy Polamalu, 25. Ryan Mundy, 26. Tyrone Carter


With so much youth behind the starters, I suspect Tomlin may keep Carter as a safety net.  Mundy could play either safety spot, whereas Carter looks like someone best suited only to strong.  Carter can also still play STs.

Defense: 26 players.

PK

1. Jeff Reed


Reed is in a contract year. 

Thanks for Coming to Camp: Piotr Czech.

P

2. Daniel Sepulveda<Thanks for Coming to Camp: Dirk Johnson

LS

3. Greg Warren<Thanks for Coming to Camp: Mark Estermyer.

Special Teams: 3 players.


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TwistedLemon
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009 at 18:10 »

Should Shipley make the team as the #2 C, and no plan is in place for him to take over this year but instead learn for a season, why not have him as the long snapper and save a roster spot for something/someone else?  As you noted, he does have some experience in the long snapping role.

Just a thought
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009 at 18:30 »

Should Shipley make the team as the #2 C, and no plan is in place for him to take over this year but instead learn for a season, why not have him as the long snapper and save a roster spot for something/someone else?  As you noted, he does have some experience in the long snapping role.

Just a thought

It's a qualitative issue.  IMO, Shipley has the potential to be a center in the line of Webster...Dawson...Ha rtings...?  With the first two almost impossibly high standards to meet, but at least Q could be far above the Mahans and even Hartwigs of recent memory.  That said, long-snapping is so specialized that you need a player whose full-time job it is to do that.

For example, if your LS gets whacked as Warren did in the Gints fiasco, you're not suddenly calling upon, say, James Harrison to bail you.  Warren>>Shipley>>>>>Harrison.  QED.
« Last Edit: Jun 03, 2009 at 07:42 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 02, 2009 at 14:33 »

Lolley weighs in on same.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 02, 2009 at 16:57 »

IMO, Shipley has the potential to be a center in the line of Webster...Dawkins...H artings...? 

Would that be Steve Dawkins?
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