As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for their final preseason game against the Detroit Lions, the final roster cuts loom around the corner. On Tuesday, August 30, every NFL team must reduce its roster to no more than 53 players by 3:00pm CST. Teams will be able to try and re-sign players that are released back to their practice squad for the regular season, but these players will be subject to waivers, meaning that they could either be claimed by a team with waiver priority or that they can sign onto a team’s 53-man roster should they clear waivers.
For many teams, this is the time when they will look to add a couple of players from other rosters to their own to strengthen areas of weakness at certain positions. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it has often been thought that the team could look into specifically targeting an offensive lineman or an outside linebacker to add to the roster given the depth behind the current starters at each position.
The state of the offensive line in Pittsburgh has been well-addressed to this point after the unit’s horrendous showing against the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend. Alex Kozora pointed to the coaching philosophy of OL Coach Pat Meyer being a likely issue for the OL, as they appear to be uncomfortable executing the techniques they have been taught, but the unit still lacks talent and proven options at multiple spots. LT Dan Moore Jr. was completely overwhelmed against the Jaguars’ pass rush, and neither Kevin Dotson nor Kendrick Green have taken the reins of the LG job. RG James Daniels has struggled thus far in his Steelers tenure, while Mason Cole and Chukwuma Okorafor have been solid yet unspectacular.
Pittsburgh has added several new names to the OL room shuffling the bottom of the roster but has yet to add a player with a proven track record. Should the Steelers want to see notable improvement upfront, adding a starting-caliber player at tackle or guard could go a long way in helping this underperforming unit potentially stabilize.
As for outside linebacker, the Steelers have gone about shuffling the room behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith as well, releasing the likes of Tuzar Skipper, Genard Avery, T.D Moultry, and Tyree Johnson, and bringing in Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Ron’Dell Carter, and James Vaughters to get a look at different names as potential backups to their top two edge rushers. Rashed has flashed in his limited run with the team and appears to be in line to make the roster with Derrek Tuszka as Pittsburgh’s backup OLBs. However, Pittsburgh could greatly benefit from an experienced free agent currently unsigned, or a surprise cut that would add more proven production as a pass rusher to the OLB room behind the entrenched starters.
We are only a few days away from seeing what Pittsburgh does regarding finalizing their initial 53-man roster for the start of the regular season, and given the team’s history, you can expect at least a couple of additions to be made currently not on the team to make the 53. With that, do you think that Pittsburgh will be more likely to add an offensive lineman or an outside linebacker outside of the organization prior to the start of the regular season? What is your reasoning? Do you think that the player will add could be a meaningful contributor or no more than simply roster depth? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!