The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: If you were assembling the 53-man roster, what one change would you have made?
Now that the initial 53-man roster has been assembled—and know that it will continue to be tweaked as early as today—we are yet one more major step closer to some real football being played. The assembling of the initial roster presents a certain finality to the offseason, having essentially chosen the soldiers the team plans to go to battle with.
Of course, it’s incredibly rare that anybody ever completely agrees with every single decision that a team ends up making for their 53-man roster. Admittedly, there are things, if I were making the decisions, that I would have done differently than the Steelers ended up doing, while acknowledging that I lack a great deal of first-hand information the team has to aid in the process.
One decision that surprised me a bit was the team electing to keep Matt Feiler on the roster, and I can’t help but wonder if they would have made a different decision had he retained eligibility for the practice squad. Given the rarity of a ninth lineman being used in any capacity, I likely would not have done so.
Daniel McCullers also would not have made my roster. I realize there are a few of his supporters that were willing to go down with the ship, and now that it remains afloat, I expect that some will even return. But he has not shown any growth. He could be a prime target for upgrading off waivers, but I would have rather even temporarily gone with Lavon Hooks or Johnny Maxey.
Many will probably know this, and perhaps I will write about it more later on today, but David Johnson would definitely have been on my roster, and I would even have considered giving up on one of the younger tight ends to make it happen. I hold out hope that he may still be brought back, perhaps even after the first game when his salary would no longer be guaranteed for the season as a vested veteran.