The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are in a critical portion of the offseason in which the preseason takes center stage, where some of the biggest and most important questions get answered, especially in terms of personnel.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: What player or position is most negatively affected by the Steelers’ acquisition of Ryan Switzer?
The Steelers are taking a sixth stab in four seasons at adding a player to their roster via a trade late in the preseason (actually seventh, including the player-for-player trade in which they acquired Dashaun Phillips, but he didn’t make the 53-man roster). The player in question this time is second-year wide receiver Ryan Switzer.
It’s safe to say that he is going to make the roster. It also seems to be a much surer bet than it otherwise would have been that the team will now carry six wide receivers. They may have done so anyway (though I might argue it was decreasingly likely with Marcus Tucker’s injury and Damoun Patterson quieting down), but this virtually assures that to be the case.
So that could end up affecting another position. Perhaps they would have kept a ninth lineman, or a fourth running back, or an 11th defensive back or 10th linebacker, had they not gone with six wide receivers. At least one of these things will not happen as a result of that. in your estimation, which is the most likely to not happen now?
Perhaps the biggest loser of this arrangement will end up being Eli Rogers. Part of his value that he offered was a seemingly viable option as a punt returner, but the Steelers are looking for Switzer to take over that role on a full-time basis now. He got benched last year after he fumbled a punt, thus marginalizing his special-teams value, in favor of Justin Hunter, who offers nothing on special teams.
Rogers is almost assured to spend the first six weeks on the PUP list, but if the team has no need for him, he may never be activated this year, or possibly even released.