Steelers regular season is right around the corner so whether we are predicting roster moves, previewing the next preseason game, or looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block for Wednesday, Aug. 27th.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media on Tuesday in advance of the Steelers preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Tomlin discussed how the last preseason game is used to help shape the final roster cuts as the Steelers will go from 75 players to 53 by the end of the weekend. He also discussed the growth of second year linebacker Jarvis Jones.
“I like the work that he’s done. By no means is he a finished product. Jarvis is a type of young guy that I expect him to continually be on the rise not only through the remainder of the preseason but as we get into the season. Sometimes you think as you push forward toward opening day that you can take a snapshot of individuals and the group and that’s the finished product. Really that’s far from the case. I expect him, I expect us to continually get better even as we push through opening day and into this season because the reality is ultimately if we’re going to be the type of team that we need to be and want to be and individuals that we need to be and want to be, we’re going to be continually in growth and develop particularly from a young guys standpoint.” – Mike Tomlin
Roster cuts analysis
ESPN’s Scott Brown broke down the roster cuts made by the Steelers on Tuesday. He explains that the most significant cuts were made along the defensive line as the Steelers parted ways with two players in Brian Arnfelt and Hebron Fangupo who played in regular season games last year for the team. He thinks the cuts solidify rookie nose tackle Daniel McCullers’ spot on the 53-man roster. On the other side of the ball it’s worth noting that the Steelers let go of three running backs on Tuesday, even while contending that they could still end up suspending, or deactivating, Le’Veon Bell or LeGarrette Blount for the season opener against the Browns. Scott Brown doesn’t expect the Steelers to sit either Bell or Blount for the entire first game but it should be interesting to see if they pick up any backs off of the waiver wires between now and Sept. 7th.
Cornerbacks with something to prove
The Trib’s Alan Robinson points out that the Steelers cornerbacks have quite the challenge ahead of them this season. On top of the fact that they are the lone defensive unit that didn’t undergo roster changes this offseason in spite of what was projected or suggested the team do, they also have to be aware of the increased attention the NFL officials are paying to contact made by defensive players, particularly cornerbacks. The last preseason game pretty much showcased that painfully clear; Ike Taylor was flagged if he looked at a guy too long. Along with the intense scrutiny and increased opportunity to commit penalties, Robinson reminds us that pretty much the entire unit is in final years of contracts as well. Certainly a make or break year for this particular group of Steelers cornerbacks.