With the 2015 season kicking off in less than three days, there was no rest for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Labor Day. They made a flurry of roster moves to finalize their 53 man in advance of Thursday’s expected massacre at the hands of the New England Patriots. The most notable of which was placing center Maurkice Pouncey on short term IR meaning he can be activated after week 9 and leaving open the possibility of him returning to the field this year. In the meantime, old friend Doug Legursky was signed as back-up depth at guard/center while Cody Wallace takes over at center.
I apologize for my dire outlook on the upcoming Patriots game but the Steelers had one of the worst defenses in the league last year and apparently have done little to improve it. It’s hard to be optimistic when you’re facing a defending Super Bowl champion who’s gonna come out with a deflated chip on their shoulders.
And it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when you read the Black and Gold haven’t even settled on a STARTING LINE-UP on defense yet. The secondary is an utter mess with William Gay and Cortez Allen your apparent starters and Mike Mitchell at safety. Nickel corner was a battle between Antwon Blake and new acquisition Brandon Boykin. Neither played particularly well so it’s anybody’s guess who our nickel is. Then there’s safety. Shamarko Thomas was tabbed as Troy Polamalu‘s heir yet he’s had a dreadful preseason leading some to think the team will install veteran journeyman Will Allen instead. Either way, we’re looking at a huge drop from even end-of-career Troy.
The draft class of 2015 is already looking like a flaming bag of poo poo as 3 of our 8 picks have already been cut. Everybody wanted the Steelers to address their inept defense in the draft and they did, going D on 6 of their choices. Much like the Nazi in Indiana Jones, they evidently chose….poorly…since CB Doran Grant and S Gerod Holliman are gone while second round CB Senquez Golson is hurt. LB Anthony Chickillo also met the Turk although he was kind of a long shot to make the team anyway. Chicki and Grant were later signed to the Practice Squad so I suppose all is not lost (yet).
Offensively, the Steelers will have to get by with DeAngelo Williams taking Le’Veon Bell‘s place for two games while Darius Heyward-Bey fills in for Martavis Bryant for the next four. Two rookie receivers, Sammie Coates and former BC QB Tyler Murphy, made the final roster. Also, the team cut back-up RB Josh Harris, who started in Bell’s place in last year’s Wild Card game, replacing him with Jordan Todman. Ironically, Todman had a 49 yard TD for Carolina in the Steelers’ last preseason game where he ran right through Thomas’s comical attempt at tackling. He’ll be the primary back-up until Bell gets back since Dri Archer is pretty much useless as a between the tackles runner.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a 2015 preseason post if I didn’t talk about damn kickers. No, we didn’t lose another one. We did, however, get a new punter as Brad Wing was traded (!?) to the Giants for a conditional 7th round pick (?!). Taking his place is another Aussie, Jordan Berry. I would say Berry has mighty big shoes to fill *rimshot* but since it’d be nearly impossible to be worse than Wing, I’m sure he’ll do fine. The fact we got anything for Wing amazes me. Then again, somebody took Markus Wheaton in the 2nd round of our Fantasy Football draft so I guess anything’s possible.
Are you ready for some football?