Lack of Depth Due to Steelers Off Field Decisions May Haunt 2013 Season

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (5) brings much needed youth to the back up quarterback position. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Roster Had Things According to My Plan (Starters in Bold)

Running Backs

Bradshaw, Stephens Howling, Redman, Dwyer, Will Johnson


Roethlisberger, Gradkowski, Quinn

Offensive Line

Starks, Foster, Pouncey, Decastro, Adams, Beachum, Colon, Gilbert

Tight Ends

Miller, Eifert, Paulson, (D. Johnson or whomever until Miller returns)

Wide Receivers

Brown, Sanders, Wheaton, Cotchery, Justin Brown (Burress out with injury)

Defensive Line

Keisel, McClendon, Heyward, Woods, Ta’amu, 6th spot open for competition Arnfelt or Fangupo

Outside Linebackers

Harrison, Woodley, Worilds, Robinson, Simon

Inside Linebackers

Timmons, Arthur Brown, Vince Williams, Bryan Rolle, M. McFadden


Taylor, Lewis, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, the remaining spot open to competition


Polamalu, Clark, Thomas, remaining spot open for competition

Special Teams

Greg Warren long snapper, Brain Moorman punter, Shaun Suisham kicker

Ziggy Hood, like Rashard Mendenhall, has been a disappointing #1 pick. Like Mendenhall the Steelers should not re-sign Hood for 2014. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Competition for a Few Roster Spots

That is 50 players with 3 open spots left which most likely would be between cb Josh Victorian and Terry Hawthorne, wr’s D.J. Woods or Derek Moye and linebackers Alan Baxter and Kion Wilson.  I will also add that Baron Batch, Chris Carter and Ziggy Hood most likely would be casualties as I feel none has shown much if anything as a Steeler. Hood flashed in his first year but has been the worst ranked 3-4 defensive end by Pro Football Focus over the last 3 years. Pro Football Focus also shows that Cameron Heyward has statistically out performed Hood with much less playing time. It is time to give Heyward his shot and to move on from Hood.

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Tags: 2013 Preseason Bruce Gradkowski James Harrison Jason Worilds John Simon Keenan Lewis Landry Jones Max Starks Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Adam Banig

    A lot of what you said just want going to happen.

    Keenan Lewis went for the $ and to his hometown.

    Mike Wallace went for the $.

    The team needed to move on from Max Starks and see what their young tackles had in them before they are in contract years.

    I do agree with you about pay cuts. The team
    Should have asked some of the vets to take paycuts but that doesn’t mean we keep the guys I mentioned before- Lewis, Wallace, Starks and Hampton.

    The steelers have pretty good depth, just much of it is young and unproven but that doesn’t mean it’s not good depth just because we aren’t sure what they can do yet. The young DL, LBs and DBs look like they have good potential. The young wrs and TEs the same.

    The concern for me is the depth at OL but we have to remember we were facing the giants DL, one of the best in the league- even their reserves. The team can’t be stacked in every position though and they just need to develop a few of thee reserves more like Beachum, Malinecki, Long and Golid

  • disappointed

    This site is usually writes better articles. Very disappointing one here. You are ignoring the fact that multiple people have said Max Starks is not a good fit for a zone blocking scheme, and that he wasn’t even that effective in run blocking period. He also stated he wanted to start only. It takes 2 to tango. Cortez Allen is viewed as an upgrade to Kennan Lewis, so not breaking the bank on him allowed us to extend McLendon, who looks like a beast; and match the offer for Sanders.

    Our depth is fine outside of the OL. Don’t forget, this year the rosters for camp increased from 80 to 90. This is 10 extra players each team gets, and I bet most of them were used on OL and DL. So that’s a smaller pool of the players available for backup positions. When the waiver cuts come, we’ll probably find a backup tackle we can use, and we’ll be ok.

    As for extending Foote, he plays well for us, and we had no good ILB prospects on the team. The young guys that are making headlines in the preseason were unknown quantities. They still are unknown in my opinion, as promising as some of them seem. But at the time of free agency, this was unknown.

    Your premise we would have drafted Eifert had Harrison stayed is also extremely flawed. The team made a very generous and fair offer to Harrison. He chose to reject it. Again, 2 to tango. Colbert said that the team considered Jarvis Jones one of the 5-7 elite players in this draft class. He didn’t mention if Eifert was another one of them, but I doubt it. Tight ends are rarely labelled as elite. So chances are high the Steelers would have drafted Jones anyway.

    I don’t know why everyone is upset about the 4th round pick of Landry Jones. After the 3rd round, any pick that makes the team is a bonus. People are really anti-Landry and/or really think a 4th round draft pick is guaranteed to succeed. Yes, we had luck with some lower round WR picks, but we have far more failures than successes in later rounds, as do all teams.

    Considering the cap and the challenge in front of him, I thought Colbert had one of his best offseasons as a GM. We are looking like a very competitive team, with some true potential super stars. (Jarvis Jones, Wheaton, Shamarko).

  • Milliken Steeler

    I appreciate what you’re trying to say in the article however, I think there are a few things you are missing.

    He wanted to go back to New Orleans where he was from and stated this to the organization. Being a Steeler for life wasn’t in his way of thinking.We have had a few issues with players (Wallace,Mendenhall) that above their neck, did not seem to fit a true Steeler player. I actually think that went into the thought process as well as cap space and how they drafted.

    Starks as a back up maybe for the right price. He wanted to start and he doesn’t fit our new scheme. He is going to be the back up in San Diego and was blown up by his man when they were playing Chicago and almost got Rivers killed. Rivers got sacked, fumbled and turned the ball over. I think the Steelers wanted a change regardless as it just was not working and Ben has been still getting hit to much.

    Deebo is debatable. He wound up signing for less money with the Bengals. For less money when the Steelers are the team that gave you your opportunity? Im going to say PUSH on that situation.

    Heyward Bay?lol

    I’m not really concerned about this team except for depth on the O-line. We have nice depth on the D-line at middle linebacker and I like our WR’s. Ill take AB,Sanders,Cotch,Wheaton and Justin Brown any day of the week. Yes I said Justin Brown, he’ll make the 53

  • blustrk

    Fantastic article. One of the best in-depth analysis of personnel that I have ever seen. Of course everything cannot be done as you presented it, but the possibilities make you wish the Steelers had gone in your direction. Whatever the criticism of your article may be, the FACT remains that we lost a number of good players and that we are very thin behind our starting players.