The final cuts have been announced, the drama is over. Here are YOUR 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers:
(Rookies in bold, players not on the 2009 roster at any point in italics)
QB (3): Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch; *Ben Roethlisberger is on suspended list
RB (4): Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman, Jon Dwyer
WR (6): Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle-El, Arnaz Battle, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders
TE (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Johnson
OL (9): Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey, Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex, Flozell Adams, Jonathan Scott, Tony Hills, Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster
DL (6): Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke, Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Nick Eason
LB (9): James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, Larry Foote, Lawrence Timmons, Stevenson Sylvester, Thaddeus Gibson, Jason Worilds, Keyaron Fox
DB (10): Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy, Will Allen, Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Anthony Madison, Crezdon Butler
Special Teams (3): Jeff Reed, Daniel Sepulveda, Greg Warren
The final 2010 cuts: OL Justin Hartwig, LB Patrick Bailey, CB Joe Burnett, S Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, WR Tyler Grisham, DE Sunny Harris, KR Stefan Logan, DT Steve McLendon, FB Frank Summers, OL Kraig Urbik and DT Doug Worthington.
Roster totals: 16 new faces in 2010 (30.1% turnover); including 8 of 10 rookies drafted (Doug Worthington, Chris Scott).
Surprises? If there were, I didn't see them. I'm no good at picking anything, and I called 50 of 53 two weeks ago, erring on Frank the Tank, Doug Worthington, and Joe Burnett. So to call today's cuts completely unexpected would for the most part be incorrect.
I'm struggling to criticize the final choices based on what the team had in camp, and it will be up to these 53 (plus another notable player who will join them for their fifth game) bearing the burden of getting the Black and Gold into the postseason and beyond in 2010-11.