Panthers 10 – Steelers 0
The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a 10-0 loss in their preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers. Pittsburgh ends the preseason 1-3. Here’s the Latest Roster Buzz heading into Saturday’s roster cutdown
If Landry Jones played any other position than quarterback, he would have been shown the door when the Steelers cut down to 75 the other day. Jones went 14/18 for 97 yards, struggling to move the ball through the air for any chunks of yards as threw just four first downs in the Steelers 10-0 loss. Jones just can’t play at this level and he’s unlikely to suddenly develop into a No. 2 QB down the road. However, the sense continues to be the Steelers want to stand by him for one more year.
Locks (2): Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski
Bubble (1): Landry Jones
Josh Harris rushed for 41 yards on six carries vs Panthers, including a long run of 31, but nothing any running back outside of the top-3 did against the Panthers was going to matter at this position. The Steelers are taking three running backs and one fullback, barring a waiver pickup.
Locks (4): Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer, Will Johnson
Darrius Heyward-Bey had a team-leading 6 receptions for 44 yards in the loss to Carolina. He’s coming on strong in the last couple weeks with 9 catches for 98 yards, touchdown in his last two games. Has it been enough? With Justin Brown not producing in preseason and Martavis Bryant now injured, who likely wasn’t going to be active anyways early on, Heyward-Bey looks to have moved into the category from bubble to likely making the team. Meanwhile, Brown had 2 catches for 17 yards on 3 targets
Locks (4): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant (IR Candidate, if injury is severe)
Likely to make team: Darrius Heyward-Bey
Bubble: Justin Brown, Derek Moye
Michael Palmer had a very strong game blocking and adds special teams value. He looks to have won the No. 3 tight end job tonight.
Locks (2): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth
Likely to make team (1): Michael Palmer
Bubble:David Paulson, Rob Blanchflower
One thing the preseason and practices alone have shown, the Steelers are in big trouble if Kelvin Beachum or Marcus Gilbert go down. The backup tackle play was again brutal tonight for the Steelers. Guy Whimper being a veteran and adding versatility continues to give him an edge for a final depth spot but nothing is certain. Mike Munchuk wants to keep nine linemen. The Steelers will be keeping an eye on the waiver wire. For now Wesley Johnson who gave up two sacks tonight, still remains a possibility to make the roster based on his draft position but he needs a year on the practice squad.
Locks (7): Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Cody Wallace, Mike Adams
Bubble (2) Guy Whimper, Wesley Johnson
Brett Keisel graded out very well tonight and Steve McLendon was better than previous weeks. Rookie NT Daniel McCullers stood out tonight and Josh Mauro in contention for the last defensive end spot if the Steelers keep seven d-linemen, had 4 tackles vs Panthers and continues to show upside. Mauro has been upgraded to likely make the team.
Locks (6): Cam Heyward, Steve McLendon, Brett Keisel, Stephon Tuitt, Cam Thomas, Daniel McCullers
Likely make the team (1): Josh Mauro
Jarvis Jones was arguably one of the Steelers best performing players vs the Panthers. He showed a nose for the ball and some of the splash play ability he flashed last preseason. However, until he proves he can dominate against above average left tackles and top tier tackles, the doubters won’t be going away. There are eight locks at the linebacker position and it’s just a matter of whether the Steelers pick 9 or 10 linebackers. The sense in the organization has been that Chris Carter will get the ninth spot over Howard Jones. Does Jones grab that 10th spot or Steelers risk him on PS? Jordan Zumwalt again didn’t play tonight, limiting the Steelers chances of opening a spot for him. Dan Molls helped himself but if the Steelers were to give the 10th spot to Molls, it would likely go to Jones or Zumwalt.
Locks (8): Jason Worilds, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Terrence Garvin
Likely to make team (1): Chris Carter
Bubble (3): Howard Jones, Jordan Zumwalt, Dan Molls
The preseason didn’t derail any concerns with the cornerback group and the depth is very concerning. The Steelers would like to keep 6 but Shaquille Richardson hasn’t been able to stay healthy, which has had Brice McCain in position to win the No. 5 spot. McCain went down with groin injury vs Panthers.
Locks (4): Cortez Allen, Ike Taylor, William Gay, Antwon Blake
Likely to make team (1): Brice McCain
Bubble (1): Shaquille Richardson
Shamarko Thomas flashed all preseason that he’s ready to compete for playing time. Thomas had 6 tackles, including a tackle for loss vs Panthers. Meanwhile, Robert Golden has been upgraded from likely to make team to a lock due to his special teams value. With Thomas progress, Will Allen could be a surprise cut but unlikely.
Locks (4): Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Sharmarko Thomas, Robert Golden
Likely to make team (1): Will Allen
The Steelers appear to be comfortable with Brad Wing and Greg Warren anticipates being ready for week 1, a reason for the Steelers releasing Luke Ingram
Locks (2): Shaun Suisham, Greg Warren
Likely to make team (1): Brad Wing