With the Pittsburgh Steelers set to start training camp on Saturday, we will now take a look at several players who stand to lose the most during the upcoming weeks. In order to qualify for this list, the players must’ve spent time on the Steelers 2014 roster.
Cam Thomas – Being as Thomas didn’t play overly well in his first season with Steelers and combined with the fact he’s scheduled to earn $2 million in 2015, he certainly isn’t guaranteed a spot on the team’s 53-man roster. Thomas’ biggest competition heading into training camp this year figures to be well-traveled defensive lineman Clifton Geathers, who failed to dress for a game with the Steelers after being signed to the roster late last season after Brett Keisel went down injured. Should Geathers ultimately beat out Thomas, it certainly wouldn’t make sense for the Steelers to keep a player who earns as much as he does.
Chris Hubbard – While Hubbard has been in Pittsburgh for a few years now, he has yet to play 10 total snaps on offense during a regular season. While he did manage to stick on Steelers 53-man roster all of last season, Hubbard will have a new crop of younger interior offensive linemen looking to take his spot this year in training camp. Hubbard has a limited upside and if he hasn’t already hit his ceiling, this year during the preseason would be a good time for him show just how high it actually is.
B.W. Webb – Webb joined the Steelers just prior to the start of the 2015 season after being waived by the Dallas Cowboys. He did manage to keep his roster spot throughout the season even though he isn’t viewed as being a premier special teams player. Now that the Steelers have spent two of their first four draft picks on cornerbacks, Webb will have to show this year in training camp that not only can he be counted on as a special teams player, but also as a reserve slot cornerback.
Brad Wing – Last year, Wing managed to stay on the Steelers roster all season and as of late, that’s huge accomplishment for a Pittsburgh punter. Even so, Wing still has to overcome his inconsistency problems during training camp and the preseason along with fending off the challenge of newcomer Jordan Berry.
Ross Ventrone – Ventrone has managed to stick around the league for several years thanks to his aggressive and productive play on special teams. While he produced in that area last season after being promoted from the team’s practice squad due to an injury suffered by safety Shamarko Thomas, Ventrone now has several new defensive backs on the training camp roster looking to make him an afterthought in Pittsburgh.
Landry Jones – Jones has yet to dress for a regular-season game since being drafted in the fourth-round by the Steelers in 2013. Additionally, his play during the previous two preseasons has also been very uninspiring. In order to push Jones this year in training camp, the Steelers signed former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who failed to stick last year with the New York Jets after they drafted him in the sixth-round. If Jones isn’t able to play noticeably better than Boyd in the coming weeks, he might very well be out of a job come September.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – Much like Ventrone, Heyward-Bey has been able to carve out a niche for himself in the NFL as a special teams player after failing to impress early on in his career as a wide receiver. While the former first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders only caught three passes last season for the Steelers, he still showed that his speed can be asset in other areas of the game. While Heyward-Bey is considered by many to be a virtual roster lock this year, stranger things have happened.