Many Familiar Faces Populate Steelers’ Initial Practice Squad

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the names of 10 players that they signed to their practice squad, and half of them would look familiar to you even if you haven’t been paying attention for the past nine months, because of the 10, five were with the team last year already, including four on the practice squad.

The most notable name on the list is second-year safety Marcus Allen, who though only dressing for two games spent the entirety of his rookie season in 2018, as a fifth-round draft pick, on the 53-man roster. With the team whittling down from six to four safeties this season, he didn’t make the cut over Jordan Dangerfield and newcomer Kameron Kelly, but he was able to clear waivers and revert to the practice squad.

Last year, the Steelers did the same with Brian Allen, at the time a second-year fifth-round defensive back. He spent all of his rookie season on the 53-man roster, though he did have some time active playing on special teams, but he was released to start his second season, re-signed to the practice squad, and eventually promoted back to the roster.

The next name of note is Patrick Morris, originally signed as an undrafted free agent. The interior offensive lineman, primarily a center, spent all of his rookie season on the practice squad, and is now returning for a second season after showing meaningful growth in his second training camp. I don’t think I have to remind you that the team has a good recent track record of developing undrafted linemen, including the seasoning process on the practice squad.

Then there is wide receiver Tevin Jones, who also spent the entire 2018 season on the practice squad. He started off well in the preseason opener this year but then quickly trailed off. Still, thanks to his versatility and special teams capability, perhaps, he returns for another year, and don’t be surprised if another wide receiver is added, maybe even by the time this publishes.

Up next is running back Trey Edmunds, who already had an NFL season on the 53-man roster under his belt with the New Orleans Saints in 2017. He didn’t make the cut last year, so the Steelers added him to the practice squad. He was called up for the final four games of the season, playing on special teams. He had a good summer, but the drafting of Benny Snell made it tough for him to get back onto the roster.

Last, but not least, is Christian Scotland-Williamson, the reason they still have a spot open even though they already have 10 players on the practice squad. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of the alleged development of the English rugby player into an American football player because he was injured in the first preseason game, but another season of maturing already seemed likely to be in the cards for him.

Currently joining these retreads are seventh-round rookie offensive lineman Derwin Gray, first-year Henry Mondeaux at defensive line, first-year inside linebacker Robert Spillane, fellow tight end Kevin Rader, and cornerback Trevone Mathis. Of the group, both Mondeaux and Spillane particularly had strong preseasons.

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