The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.
How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?
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: How well will Kameron Kelly play, assuming he starts against the New England Patriots?
The day has finally arrived, and it sure was a hell of a journey getting here. Who thought a year ago today that Antonio Brown would be on the opposite sideline of this game? (Technically, he won’t be, because he’s not eligible yet, but you know what I mean).
One guy who will be out there for his first NFL game is Kameron Kelly, the first-year safety who made the 53-man roster after getting ample opportunity to run with the first-team defense thanks to repeated injuries suffered by starting free safety Sean Davis.
Davis’ most recent injury was to his ankle, suffered in the third preseason game, and he hasn’t been back out on the practice field yet since then. While it’s only the second game in his career that he’ll be missing, this offseason has been terrible it seem for his health.
But the Steelers made their 53-man roster knowing that Davis could miss this game, and that means that they’re comfortable with starting Kelly if Davis is out. Mike Tomlin also said as much during his Tuesday pre-game press conference.
Tonight, the limits of that comfortability will be tested in Foxboro by Tom Brady and company. Will he play ‘above-the-line’ football, or will he look like somebody playing in his first NFL game going up against arguably the greatest to ever do it in the history of the sport? I guess we’ll all find out together, soon enough.