The Pittsburgh Steelers are now training camp, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp will look much different from the norm, and a big part of that will be the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. There will be no preseason played in 2020, so the first time the Steelers take the field in 2020 will be for the season opener against the New York Giants.
Before we get there, however, there are a number of issues that are outstanding on this team, and this year’s edition of training camp will not provide the level of thoroughness that teams are normally used to in trying to answer those questions.
Questions like, what is the starting offensive line going to look like? Will it include Zach Banner or Chukwuma Okorafor? Who will be the primary nose tackle? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
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 is your reaction to the Steelers’ 53-man roster decisions?
There isn’t ever a year in which there is universal agreement over what the Steelers should do with their 53-man roster, let alone agreement over what they actually end up doing with it. With the unusual circumstances of this season, highlighted by the absence of preseason games, there will probably be even greater disparity of thought.
With the moves now made, this is your thread to voice your opinion and offer your reaction to what the Steelers’ initial 53-man roster looks like. Keeping in mind, of course, that there’s a fair chance it will change even by the time the regular season starts.
And lest we forget, the circumstances are very different this year. With 16-man practice squads and the ability to sign veterans of any level of experience (up to six), roster cuts mean something different than they used to.
Just as a hypothetical example, you could take a guy like Chris Wormley and sign him to the practice squad as long as he clears waivers. That obviously wouldn’t have happened, but you get my point. In other words, everybody who was cut is still in play to potentially return on the practice squad. And veterans of four or more accrued seasons don’t even have to clear waivers.
So what do you think? What was the best decision that they made? What about the worst? Which areas of the roster are too light, or too heavy? Where would they be most likely to target for improvement?