It might have been difficult for some of us to put together the Pittsburgh Steelers initial 53 man roster this year due to running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant both starting the regular season off on the Reserve/Suspended list, but according to head coach Mike Tomlin, it wasn’t a very challenging process at all.
“It really didn’t present challenges,” Tomlin said Saturday during his press conference. “Really, it probably clarified some of the challenges associated with putting together a 53 man [roster]. Often times, you spend a lot of time debating over guys 50 through 55 and how to sort those guys out, if you will, and having those two additional spots really kind of minimized that discussion.”
Even though the initial 53 man roster is now set, Tomlin did hint Saturday that that might not be the same 53 that they take to New England this coming Wednesday as the team will be watching the waiver wire closely over the course of the next 48 hours. Being as DeAngello Williams and Dri Archer are currently the only two true running backs on the team’s current 53 man roster, Tomlin was asked if another player who plays that position will be added prior to Thursday’s game.
“We’re going to look at the market like I said, not only at the running back position, but all positions over the next 24-48 hours, because that’s just standard business for us,” said Tomlin. “It does make it a little bit unique because we’re playing on Thursday night as opposed to Sunday, but we’re not going to let that change our perspective on how we put together our 53.”
So, are we destined to see more of running back Dri Archer during the first two weeks of the season regardless of whether or not another running back is added in the next 48 hours?
“We’re going to do what’s appropriate in terms of giving ourselves a chance to win and we acknowledge that we have some talented people, Dri being one of them and guys that are capable of providing some unique things,” said Tomlin. “And I think that’s the challenge that the next couple of weeks is going to provide us as we work to minimize the absence of Le’Veon Bell.
“Replacing a guy that’s as dynamic as Le’Veon is not a one man job. It’s usual a multiple man job and we’ve got some guys with a skillset that’s capable of collectively filling that void and I’m excited about watching them do it, and obviously Dri being one of them.”