A short week for the Pittsburgh Steelers 4th preseason game. The Steelers cutting down to the initial 53-man roster overshadows the game. The Steelers have already begun notifying players and will complete it by 4PM, Pittsburgh time on Saturday August 31.
Unfortunately, I was unable to watch or even listen to the SNR broadcast of the game. I was in the air on my way to the Philippines. I had WiFi service all the way up to about 30 minutes to kickoff when it cutoff with a notice that we were outside the coverage area. I was somewhere above the arctic circle. Very aggravating but just had to wait until my short layover in Japan to find out what had transpired against the Carolina Panthers.
The Steelers Forecast
Matthew Marczi described what we should watch for in the game against the Carolina Panthers. Matt directed us to several roster battles. Special teams play may be a deciding factor. Would Tuzar Skipper get a chance to make some tackles on special teams? How about Diontae Spencer or Johnny Holton? Would either show enough to supplant either Ryan Switzer or Eli Rogers?
Tom Mead will identify matchups to watch each week this season. Tom highlighted the match up between the Steelers offensive line and the Panthers front 7. The battle in the trenches may help determine which young players may find a spot on the practice squad or as the 8th or 9th lineman on the 53-man roster.
Dave Bryan identified 7 offensive players to watch versus the Titans. He also listed 7 defensive players to watch. On offense Dave started out with Benny Snell and finished with Johnny Holton. Will their play in the fourth preseason game impact their immediate future with the team?
You can compare these pregame guides to Alex Kozora’s analysis of the game’s winners and losers which came out within minutes of the final whistle. How does his analysis compare with your view of the game?
53-Man Roster Predictions
The focus has quickly shifted to the 53-man rosters and practice squads. So, this week instead of discussing the last preseason game, I will give you links to Dave Bryan’s, Alex Kozora’s & Matthew Marczi’s final roster predictions. Saturday is the first step in finalizing the week 1 roster as the team cuts the roster from 91 to 53 players. Following the waiver period, the Steelers will form their practice squad and conduct any transactions to sign players from other teams or even make a trade. Tight end anybody?
Dave Bryan’s final 2019 53-man roster prediction can be found on the link.
Alex Kozora’s final 2019 53-man roster prediction.
Matthew Marczi’s final 2019 53-man roster prediction.
All three keep only eight offensive linemen which enables the Steelers to keep 10 linebackers including Ulysses Gilbert III & Tuzar Skipper. All three also have Johnny Holton on their roster instead of Eli Rogers. The only outlier is Matthew favoring Marcus Allen over Jordan Dangerfield. Of course, any trades or signing players cut from other teams could disrupt the predictions, we will see very soon.
Your Hot Takes During the Game
First Half Reader Comments
Steelers Depot readers commented 520 times on the game’s first half Live Update and Discussion Thread. Reader Tom White summarized his thoughts of the first half near the end of the thread. Check it out:
1. Rough half for the DB’s. Marcus Allen took a bad angle and got burnt, Layne burnt, Sutton burnt…. rough stuff. There were a few highlights with the Sutton INT and Kam Kelly looks as for real as it gets. I know Davis is the guy but man, maybe it should be Kelly’s job.
- Benny Snell…Nap time any time he is in the game. He has something in pass protection, but he is a plodder and if the hole ain’t there he isn’t making anything happen.
- Josh Dobbs with a grand total of 0 points this entire preseason. Cannot wait to see Hodges. If he throws even 1 TD in this game the 3rd string spot should be his. That being said it should already be his spot. Dobbs just doesn’t have it.
- The offense looked and felt much different with Rudolph in. He missed some deep balls but man, he just looks like the guy. It is a ways off but I think we may actually have Bens heir.
- Is Holton going to be able to do enough tonight to steal a spot? 2 big plays but did anyone notice him blocking as a WR? Seemed solid there too from what I saw.
- Skipper didn’t finish the sack but boy can blitz. I don’t care what his role his, keep him on the 53. I don’t want any chance (even if it is 3%) of him getting snatched up.
- Poor Dirty Red. The dude can straight ball but while the mind is willing the body just can’t quite keep up. A+ against the run, F against the pass. He was born 10-15 years too late.
- How about that spin move by Mondeux? Had some Bettis feet out there lol.”
This top-rated comment by Reader783 (Good Juju!) explains why all three predictions only kept 8 offensive linemen: “Not a good showing from this second/third team OL.”
Smitty 6788 highlights a potential reason that Tuzar Skipper makes the 53-man roster, “Skipper with 2 ST tackles!”
Several folks commented on Benny Snell’s speed or lack thereof. Wisguy50 got a top-rated comment that put a silver lining on a dark cloud, “Snell is way too slow, but he should be better next year. Seems like our running backs are a lot leaner and quicker their second season.”
Second Half Reader Comments
Discussion picked up in the second half. 696 comments in the 2nd half live update & discussion thread . Still well below the standard, let’s see how we do against the New England Patriots!
Franco32 has given fair warning to the Steelers organization: “If they cut Skipper, I will march on Steeler HQ.” A lot of folks replied they would be there too. I know the location of a secret stash of pitchforks & torches on the North Shore. Hopefully, it can remain in situ for another year.
Reader783 (GoodJuju!) reaches deep into the inner workings of the Steelers strategy; “Conspiracy theories are fun: they are purposely bombing Hodges to stash him on the PS.” Jones had another take, “Hodges is getting zero favors from the o line, receivers or running game….”
Looking forward to the regular season. I love reading your comments.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are about to enter a fascinating phase. How will the Black & Gold perform after losing three 1st team All-Pro talents in their prime in the past two seasons. I don’t think may teams could weather such losses easily. After narrowly missing the playoffs last season, will the 2019 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers rebound?