Depending on the health situation of a few players, as well as the availability of other players released Saturday, the Steelers seem likely to be ready to make a few more moves post-cuts.
Perhaps it's a look at the Steelers' new five defensive backs base defense.
The Steelers kept 11 defensive backs (six cornerbacks and five safeties) in their initial cut down to 53 players, while keeping just three outside linebackers and six defensive linemen. This could suggest the team wants to go coverage-heavy, or, more likely, it indicates there are other moves coming.
None of the following players should feel comfortable right now: WRs Justin Brown and Darrius Heyward-Bey, S Will Allen and Robert Golden, G Chris Hubbard and cornerbacks B.W. Webb, Antwon Blake and Brice McCain.
It's reasonable to suspect someone will be placed on Injured Reserve, or IR-Recall in the near future (McCain and wide receiver Martavis Bryant suffered injuries in the team's preseason finale loss to Carolina). Teams cannot place a player on IR-Recall - a designation that would put them out until Week 9 - unless they make the initial 53-man roster. Bryant seems like a possible candidate for that, considering he suffered a separated shoulder and the team kept six receivers initially. Moving him to IR-Recall would free up a spot on the roster, one that would not likely be filled with another receiver.
Terrelle Pryor said no to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin Upon being asked if Pryor wanted to play for his hometown team, the Steelers, before the 2011 Supplemental Draft, Pryor said no due to the pressure he felt he'd be under in Pittsburgh.
Many want to point to Landry Jones' inclusion as the team's third quarterback as some fat that could be trimmed. There's been a fairly on-the-nose link between the Steelers and free agent QB Terrelle Pryor (just released by Seattle), and the inclusion of Jones on the initial roster can be seen as the team hedging its bet on the acquisition of another quarterback, but that remains to be seen. Pryor is a free agent though and bringing in a third quarterback with starting experience isn't exactly a bizarre notion.
Pryor, of course, is the player who broke the NFL's longest carry record for a quarterback when he blew past the Steelers' defense on the first play from scrimmage in 2013, sprinting 93 yards for a touchdown. The Pittsburgh native once told Steelers coach Mike Tomlin "no" when asked if he wanted to play for the Steelers. Given the team's firmly established hierarchy of current quarterbacks, it's understandable Pryor wouldn't want to go somewhere he had no chance to start. He may answer that question differently today.
Depending on who's available, and what the team intends to do with its practice squad (up to 10 players can be signed to that roster starting at noon ET Sunday), there still may be moves coming. Heading into a game against run-dominant Cleveland with 11 defensive backs and just six defensive linemen seems a bit odd.
Quarterback (3) - Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones
Centers (2) - Maurkice Pouncey, Cody Wallace
Tight ends (3) - Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer
Nose tackles (2) - Steve McLendon, Dan McCullers
Inside linebackers (5) - Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin
Outside linebackers (3) - Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats
Kicker (1) - Shaun Suisham
Punter (1) - Brad Wing
Long snappers (1) - Greg Warren
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- Carolina shuts Pittsburgh out in preseason finale, 10-0
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- Congratulations to Dan McCullers, your 2014 Isaac Redman Award winner
- Which recently cut players the Steelers could target
- Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones cannot be deemed a bust after one season
- Steelers injury report: Martavis Bryant left with separated shoulder
- Should the Steelers keep five or six receivers?
- Inside the Steelers Locker Room: Dale Grdnic's notes and quotes from Heinz Field