Training camp is already in gear for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the league, and a lot has changed for them over the course of the past several months. They have lost a number of players in free agency, through releases, and retirements. But they have also brought in a number of new faces to replace them.
We all know that roster turnover is an ever-present reality for today’s rosters, and it seems that over the course of the past half-decade or so even the Steelers have proven to be as susceptible to the annual shakeup as anybody. With that in mind, we should take the time to get to know some of the new faces with training camp already underway.
We are wrapping up the new faces series today with one last look at one more under the radar cornerback, which seems appropriate given that the Steelers figure to have at least one roster spot open that otherwise would not be for the back end of the depth chart following the injury to Senquez Golson that could keep him out for the entire year.
We have already talked about Donald Washington, the 30-year-old tryout player who has had prior NFL experience and was originally drafted in 2009, and we have also talked about Al-Hajj Shabazz, a tall cornerback with intriguing size, and now we conclude with Montell Garner, who, like Shabazz, originally came to the team as a Reserve/Future player following the conclusion of the 2015 season.
The 24-year-old South Alabama product has decent size, not far off from six feet tall, though he did not post the most impressive 40-time. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent last year by the Rams, and spent training camp with the team, but failed to make the 53-man roster or earn a spot on the practice squad, instead turning to the Arena Football League.
But the Steelers signed him soon after signing with an AFL team, along with Shabazz and a couple of others, in early February. Each have had their moments in practice here and there since then. Garner in particular had a nice showing during the Steelers’ minicamp in June.
Between Garner, Washington, and Shabazz, there figures to be at least one place on the 53-man roster for a dark horse player to make it. The Steelers also added undrafted free agent Kevin White to the mix after Golson’s injury, though he would have to be on the bottom of the totem pole right now.
Either way, the Steelers have to cobble together a depth chart somehow with the players that they have, and it will take the preseason game for a player such as Garner to distinguish himself. Otherwise, they may have to look once again to the scrap heap of other teams to find a suitable answer.