Big Lead Sports Bar

9/04/2009

ON TO THE REGULAR SEASON

STEELERS (3-1) 21
PANTHERS (0-4) 10
We're officially inside of one week until the kickoff of the Steelers' title defense, but first, the champs had to take care of some business, namely wrapping up the preseason healthy against the Carolina Panthers. And take care of business they did, to the tune of a 21-10 victory that featured some memorable plays (although unlike last night's marquee college game, there was no postgame fight).

The story of the night was obviously Stefan Logan, who solidified his place on the Steelers' roster with an electrifying 80-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the game, followed by a crackback block later on that helped spring WR Shaun McDonald for a 27-yard reception. RB Isaac Redman also looks like he locked up a spot with 79 yards and a TD on 12 carries, although 27 of those yards came at the end of the first half when Carolina was anticipating a Hail Mary that never came.

Frank the Tank Summers was this year's epitome of the "you can't make the club from the tub" phrase that Pomps and Edmund used to death last night. The highly-anticipated rookie, who's been banged up throughout camp, had one carry for four yards and played some fullback, but it looks like he's ultimately destined for the practice squad.

As for the heated competition at linebacker, Arnold Harrison had the sack/strip/fumble recovery combo meal, which certainly can't hurt his cause; Patrick Bailey had three tackles, including one of the shoestring variety on the game's opening kickoff; and Bruce Davis had five tackles, including a tackle on the second kickoff. This one will be a close call. It appears, though, that Donovan Woods solidified his place with a fumble recovery late in the first half.

Local boy Ryan Mundy made his case for a place on the team with a 31-yard pick-six of Carolina's Matt Moore while adding six tackles and a sack. The Steeler D would sack Carolina QBs six times before the night was over. Let's just say the Panther linemen are probably glad the Steelers are not in their division.

Cutdown time is at 4 PM, and barring any major surprises, here is my best guess at your 2009 Steelers roster:

QB (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon
RB (5): Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Carey Davis, Isaac Redman
WR (5): Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, Mike Wallace, Shaun McDonald
TE (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Johnson
OL (9): Max Starks, Justin Hartwig, Willie Colon, Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex, Kraig Urbik, Tony Hills, Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster

DL (7): Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Chris Hoke, Nick Eason, Ra'Shon Harris
LB (8): James Harrison, Lamarr Woodley, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, Andre Frazier, Keyaron Fox, Donovan Woods, Arnold Harrison
DB (9): Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Willie Gay, Tyrone Carter, Deshea Townsend, Keenan Lewis, Ryan Mundy, Joe Burnett

Special Teams (4): Jeff Reed, Dan Sepulveda, Greg Warren, Stefan Logan

Cut and/or Practice Squad: Frank the Tank Summers, Mike Reilly, Justin Vincent, Dallas Baker, Tyler Grisham, Brandon Williams, Dezmond Sherrod, AQ Shipley, Jason Capizzi, Jeremy Parquet, Travis Kirschke, Steve McLendon, Scott Paxson, Jordan Reffett, Patrick Bailey, Bruce Davis, Tom Korte, Andy Schantz, Roy Lewis, Anthony Madison, Keiwan Ratliff, Piotr Czech.

IR: Darnell Stapleton. Injured but coming back: Sean McHugh

Thoughts: Surprisingly, I count nine rookies on the final squad: Redman, Wallace, Johnson, Urbik, Foster, Hood, Harris, Lewis, and Burnett, plus Logan, whatever you'd like to classify him as. The highest-profile veterans I had on the outside looking in were Kirschke, Madison, Ratliff, and their 2008 ROY, Bailey, plus the once highly-regarded Bruce Davis. I love the Tank but he's destined for the practice squad, as are local products Capizzi and Shipley. Dallas Baker always seems to be getting bumped, he may find work elsewhere in the league. Make no doubt about it, this will be a tough cut. Which ultimately means a very talented 2009 Pittsburgh Steeler team.

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7 comments:

Broke But Still Drinking said...

People will say Blount should be excused because he got caught up in the excitement of the game, but I'm gonna blame it on his pea-sized brain.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

and then people will say that hockey players fight every game, but nobody says anything about them................

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

Where's Keiwan Ratliff?

mondesishouse said...

Whoops - I thought I missed someone. Went back and fixed it, I had his bubble bursting, but he could go either way.

Brian said...

Mike Reilly was not fun to watch.

Was Mendenhall a lock to make the team regardless? He's still young, so we'll see what he does in the regular season, but I was wondering if the Steelers liked what they saw from other backs, he might be the odd man out. Backs are pretty much a dime a dozen, and if they had something special in camp now, I wondered if they might let Mendenhall go. But it seems a foregone conclusion by pretty much everyone that he'll make the team, so I hope he can fit in well this season.

mberger said...

You forgot: Trvis Kirshke on the DL and last year's ROY Patrick Bailey at LB.

Steve said...

Oh well, looks like Redman wasn't going to make the team regardless of how well he played in preseason and practice. So what was the point? Summers better be one hell of a FB or this will bite the Steelers in the A if and when Redman gets picked up by another team...probably a division rival.