The 4th preseason game is supposed to be meaningless. Indeed, most starters were kept off the field. 61 players played at least one snap meaning over 30 did not. Plus, a slew of injuries to defensive backs Cam Sutton, Jordan Dangerfield, Malik Golden & Terrish Webb. Coupled with Mike Mitchell being held out of practice was a door opened for Jacob Hagen to make the roster? Nope. Let’s see what happens on the waiver wires.
WR Sammie Coates was traded to the Browns. Was the decision to move on before the 4th game or did his performance during his 23 snaps against the Panthers seal the deal with Cleveland? Maybe Justin Hunter won out with the 58-yard touchdown catch. In any case, he got that bone. Another bout was to be Ross Cockrell versus Coty Sensabaugh. Neither won, but Coty remains so a technical victory. LB L.J. Fort won going away from Steve Johnson who was out with an injury and now back in as of Monday. TE Xavier Grimble was on many people’s farewell list; but he won a spot over steady David Johnson.
How about the camp battle between Fitzgerald Toussaint and Knile Davis? Terrell Watson came out of nowhere and took that bone. A battle most may have been unaware was even happening was between 6th round draft pick Colin Holba and undrafted long napper Kameron Canady. They split literal snaps in the last game at 5 apiece. Was this Danny Smith’s call or as another Steelers Depot reader suggested, did Chris Boswell have some input. In any case the underdog got the bone.
Obviously, the performance (or lack thereof due to nagging injuries) of the tight ends and cornerbacks at practice and/or the preseason games was not meeting the standard. Obviously, the Steelers decided they had to look outside the 89 who showed up at Latrobe for some better talent. Prior to the 4th preseason game, Kevin Colbert was earning his contract extension with deals for former San Francisco 49er TE Vance McDonald & former Cleveland Brown CB Joe Haden.
This of course; has impacted all our roster predictions. Way back in early May; several folks followed Dave Bryan’s lead and offered their own post-draft predictions on the initial 53-man roster. These are the predictions I will use to grade the best prognosticators frequenting the Steelers Depot. Here is the link to that article to see predictions given in the comments: post-draft 53-man roster prediction
No Valedictorian and no A’s were earned. None. The release of Ladarius Green on May 18th eliminated the possibility of a perfect grade. It did create the opening on the roster for Terrell Watson who was signed in a corresponding transaction. The late trades ensured former locks were opened up.
The best we could do was 46 correct answers to the initial 53-man roster.
B+ (46): awarded to Dave Bryan; KindaMoney; & John
Everyone else earned a B with 43-45 correct entries to their 53-man roster.
Here are some comments from the preseason live discussion thread that caught my eye:
In the first half a prognostication by Wreckless, “So let’s just go ahead and hand (Mike) Hilton one of those roster spots… I think the man has earned it.” Another by Rob asking, “How anyone isn’t pulling for Watson idk…definitely the most tenacious runner we have seen.”
Then in the second half this exchange after the game winning touchdown: S.T.; “Now, for the obligatory pause between hateful comments about the rookie QB trying to learn his trade. Maybe you all can just shut up about all the ‘Dobbs sucks’ garbage and let the kid–KID–develop. For Christ’s sakes….” DirtDawg1964 responds “Everyone loves him again ….” Ni mo concludes “Until next year preseason….”
The question is whether the Steelers front office has completed The Fixx to the roster? We all know That One Thing Leads to Another …