First, let me ask the NicePickCowher readers: which Steelers Superbowl win is your favorite? I hadn’t really thought about it before, but came across a ranking in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. According to the article, 15 NFL media members were asked to rank the teams that won the 6 championships and they ranked the 1978 team first with the 1975 team a close second. Here’s your chance to weigh in:
Which Pittsburgh Steelers Superbowl Team is the best:
Ok, now for the other Steeler news on my mind: The Steelers, like all the other NFL teams, are looking at NFL personnel not currently on any contract that they can sign and start working with. As fans know, signing these players right now isn’t a life-time commitment and in no way signals anything for the 2013 season. You aren’t going to sign the awesome players that everyone has heard about who were playing for a team when the season ended. Those contracts can’t be handled right now. However, it is interesting, when you consider the salary cap issue to look at the six signed so far:
Brian Rolle, a linebacker, was drafted in the 6th round in 2011 by the Eagles. He playes 16 games in 2011 with 54 combined tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. He played 4 games in 2012 and was released during the Eagles poor defensive showings as they tried to stop the hemorrhaging. He’s listed at 5’ 10” and 240 pounds, which might be a little undersized on height, but if he can gets some sacks in and force some turnovers, he might come at a bargain price. However, his stats with Philly aren’t encouraging.
Kion Wilson, linebacker, signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played three games before injuring his ankle and going on the injured/reserved list. The Chargers released him in 2011 and he signed with the Carolina Panthers practice squad. NFL.com lists that he played in 5 games with 1 combined tackle. There are no stats for him for 2012. Again, I hoping for a hidden gem, but these numbers must mean he comes at a bargain price.
Justin King, Defensive Back and Penn State alum, signed in early Jan. He had three seasons with the Rams, but doesn’t seem to have played a full season during any of those years. King played three games with Indianapolis in 2012 and the Steelers signed him late in 2012 but he didn’t get any playing time. King’s a local boy, from Monroeville, is 5’ 11” and 197 pounds. A blog on pennlive.com lists him as player cornerback during his college years.
Daniel Hrapmann, a kicker, confuses me – I mentioned it in a previous blog. However, they signed him last year and worked with him in training camp so they must see something they like if they are going to lock him up in a contract this early. Based on Suisham’s performance the last two seasons, I can’t imagine they are looking to replace him nor does he represent an issue on the salary cap. However, since you don’t get have depth at the kicker position, I guess you have to work them out and have a few back-ups in mind if there is an injury (heaven forbid!).
Zach Pianalto, Tight End, also signed in early Jan and I talked about him in a previous blog. He’s another who could be a hidden gem. On paper, his college numbers with North Carolina are strikingly similar to Heath Miller’s. However, his NFL career hasn’t inspired any confidence. He played 13 games with Tampa Bay in 2011 but only has 4 receptions. With the right circumstances maybe he could be a great addition to the team. I haven’t heard anything about Heath Miller’s injury rehab and wonder if the Steelers are concerned about Heath’s return.
Kashif Moore was signed this week and his signing definitely got my attention. Moore was a wide receiver at UConn and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals in 2012. He never got any playing time before being released. He bounced around and wore four different uniforms during the 2012 season. According to SBNation, Moore’s college career is impressive for a school that doesn’t have a strong passing game. During his senior year he has 41 receptions, 604 yards and 5 touchdowns. Apparently UConn only had 12 passing TDs, so Moore got a major share of them. At 5’ 9” and 180 pounds, he seems a bit small for the position, but determination can overcome a lot of things. With the issues at WR for the Steelers, I hope they see something they like with him during the various training camps.
As I said earlier, it’s too soon to even begin to speculate whether or not these six players will even make the active roster come regular season. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the Steelers continue to look in this direction because of the salary cap issues. Obviously, they are going to have to solve the salary cap issue long before they know if these players will make the team. But, it should be a good reminder to Steeler’s veteran players that there are always hungry young NFL players looking to make a roster. Did you notice that Ryan Clark deactivated his Twitter account so he can focus on his rehab? He gets it.