Steelers roster analysis: Other moves appear imminent as Steelers prepare for Week 1 vs. Cleveland

Neal Coolong
SB Nation

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.

Offense (25)

Quarterback (3) - Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Running backs (4)Le'Veon BellLeGarrette BlountDri ArcherWill Johnson

Offensive tackles (3)Marcus GilbertKelvin BeachumMike Adams

Offensive guards (3) Ramon FosterDavid DeCastro, Wesley Johnson, Chris Hubbard

Centers (2) - Maurkice Pouncey, Cody Wallace

Tight ends (3)Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer

Wide receivers (6)Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Justin Brown, Martavis Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Defense (25)

Nose tackles (2) - Steve McLendon, Dan McCullers

Defensive ends (4) Cameron Heyward, Brett Keisel, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt

Inside linebackers (5) - Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin

Outside linebackers (3) - Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats

Cornerbacks (6) - Ike Taylor, Cortez AllenWilliam Gay, Brice McCain, Antwon Blake, B.W. Webb

Safeties (5) - Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko ThomasRobert Golden, Will Allen

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1) - Shaun Suisham

Punter (1) - Brad Wing

Long snappers (1) - Greg Warren

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