Who doesn’t like a little family drama?
Most people, to be completely honest. But that is exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers will be facing when training camp gets underway. As we have seen from previous seasons of the show Hard Knocks, NFL teams are given the difficult task of having to trim their rosters from 90 to 53 during the preseason before the regular season gets underway.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are no exception to this, but they could have some family ties that could be severed due to roster cuts. The Steelers naturally are an organization built on relationships with its players, coaches, and support staff, but the team has several blood families on the roster as well. T.J. Watt and Derek Watt, Terrell and Trey Edmunds, Carlos and Khalil Davis, and Cam and Connor Heyward are all siblings, with Sheldon and Cody White being a father/son duo on the team, too.
T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, and Terrell Edmunds are all safe to make the roster, as is Sheldon White holding down his front office position. However, the other names on the list above can be up for a little more debate. One would figure Derek Watt should be safe to make the roster as a core special-teamer and the entrenched FB on the team. This could put Connor Heyward’s spot on the roster in jeopardy, but Watt said recently that Heyward isn’t a threat to his job and will be used all over rather than just at fullback.
Trey Edmunds has been on and off the Steelers’ active roster and practice squad the last few seasons, providing virtually nothing as a runner but does bring some special teams value to the team. Should one of the UDFA RBs brought in after the draft prove to be viable contributors on special teams, Edmunds may have a tough time not only making the roster, but sticking on the practice squad altogether.
The Davis twins both have an uphill battle to climb to make the 53. Carlos dealt with injuries all last season after showing flashes as a rookie, and Khalil was picked up after being released by the Buccaneers and stashed on the practice squad. Both guys have noticeable athletic traits, but also were deemed as raw developmental prospects, hence the Day 3 draft capital spent on both. Given the addition and play of Montravius Adams last year, both brothers will have a tough time making the 53-man roster.
In the case of Sheldon and Cody White, I know personally that I wouldn’t hate to be in Sheldon’s position as a father having to potentially cut your own son from the roster. That’s exactly where things are trending after Pittsburgh overhauled their WR room this offseason, signing Gunner Olszewski and Miles Boykin while drafting George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. The WR core is suddenly stacked, leaving Cody White, who was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster due to injuries to the position last season, on the outside looking in for a spot on the active roster.
It’s not like these families will actually be fractured, and several of these players have a good chance to make the practice if they don’t make the 53. Still, if Pittsburgh were to host Hard Knocks this year, I would want to see these football families highlighted as a storyline, and see who makes it and who doesn’t.