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2009 Stillers Roster Overview

September 07, 2009 by Still Mill

Roster review going into the '09 season Sep 8, 2009

2009 Stillers Roster Overview


- A brief look of the final Stillers roster (subject to change, of course) as they embark on the �09 season this Thur. versus Tennessee.




QB:Ben is fine, and Batch is back at the helm.Dixon started to impress early in the preseason; then injured a shoulder and missed a good chunk of what would have been critical PT for him to sharpen his game. Just as bad, Dixon�s injury means the vanilla coaching staff won�t even consider -- just like last season -- using his athleticism as a Wildcat QB, a kick returner, a slot back, etc.


RB:Parker was nagged by a small injury but appears to be fine.The slight concern is Mendenhall, who, frankly, showed far more flashes of brilliance last preseason than this one.Maybe the real season will bring out the best in Mendy, but his burst and explosive was rather humdrum.Mewelde Moore remains a brilliant 3rd down back.Stefan Logan would be a nifty 3D back as well, although the coaching staff has seemed Cavanaugh-like in their lethargic approach to seize & implement this man as a weapon.Rookie sensation Isaac Redman, who really impressed me with his savvy, churning, and vision, was signed to the prac squad.


FB:Carey Davis was cut, supplanted by rookie Tank Summers.Let�s hope The Tank lives up to his vaunted nickname.


TE: Miller is again backed up by Spaeth, the NFL�s leading paradox of being a huge, monstrous TE who is rarely ever involved in the passing game and can�t block worth a tinker�s damn.Rookie David Johnson is a big boy and will serve as the 3rd TE and backup FB.


WR: Ward and Tonio will start, with Sweed presumably being the #3 man for now.Tomlin hasn�t formally announced the #3 wideout, but based on pedigree, camp, and preseason, Sweed would seem to be the shoe-in for the job.The bigger question is the #4 WR; will it be Mike Wallace or Shaun McDonald?The bet here is that it�ll be McDonald, based on his veteran savvy and reliability.Logan could also see limited time at WR for very specific plays designed solely for him, such as bubble screens, end around, and reverses.Given his speed, shiftiness, moves, and awareness around him, it is imperative the Stillers get the ball into Logan�s hands at least 6 times a game, and of course that does not include fair catches or KO�s fielded 8 yards deep in the EZ.


OL: The season-ending injury to Stapleton really decimated the depth and versatility on this line.Hartwig is backed up at center by greenhorn Doug Legursky, a 2nd-year man who has never played an NFL game.Pray that Hartwig stays healthy all season.Guards will be Essex and Kemo, the former being more than adequate for the job and the latter being the most under-performing man on this team right now in terms of experience & ability.Rookie guard Keith Urbik did little to impress and is just a body at this point in time, yet he is the lone depth at guard.Starks and The Colon will man the tackles, and with Essex pressed into guard duty, the depth is just atrocious behind them.Tony Hills was utterly pitiful in preseason, mimicking a traffic cone on almost every pass play.Rookie Ramon Foster is the other OT, and like I said, the depth behind Starks/Colon is enough to keep me awake at night.




DL:Hampton, Smith and Keisel will again start on the line.Rookie 1sst rounder Ziggy Hood showed some flashes of quickness and brawn, and we can only pray that LeBeau will ALLOW Hood to get a few snaps by the 7th or 8th game of the season.Hoke ably backs up at NT and can chip in at DE.I would have preferred that rookie draftee Ra�Shon Harris have been kept over aging greybeard Travis Kirschke, but the Stillers kept the veteran at the expense of infusing some youth into a very, very old D-line depth chart.Nick Eason remains as a versatile backup at all 3 spots.


LB:With Larry Foote finally jettisoned, Larry Timmons finally joined the starting lineup.Then he got a high ankle sprain late in preseason and is doubtful for the opener.If he can�t go, Key Fox, who had a solid preseason, will get the start.Farrior, Harrison, and Woodley remain as starters.Frazier & Arny Harrison again serve as OLB backups, and special teams maven Pat Bailey will presumably backup at ILB if it gets that ugly with injuries.


DB: Pola, Clark, Ike and Gay will start, with Gay replacing the departed McFadden (Gay split time with him anyway late in the �08 season).Clark, of course, remains the enormous weak link in this secondary.The depth through the secondary is superb; perhaps the best I�ve seen it at any point in the past 20-some years. Veterans Townsend and Ratliff will back up at CB.We don�t know exactly what we have in Ratliff, but we all know about Town�s reliability and savvy.Ty Carter is acceptable in limited amounts of PT, and highly regarded Ryan Mundy will push to overtake Carter as the top safety backup.Rookies Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett give the team some athleticism and youth at corner.

Spec Teams:


P: Sepulveda returns after missing all of �08 with the knee injury.Even if he sustains another knee injury, he can�t punt any worse than the ragbags the Stillers employed last season.He had a good preseason and his leg looks quite fine.


PK:Reed returns, with the additional aura of being the team�s #1 upcoming UFA following this season.Reed, in my opinion, is a much higher signing priority than Fat Casey, Parker, or any of the other upcoming UFAs, and was more of a priority than even the recently-signed Keisel.


LS: Greg Warren returns after being lost for the season in the infamous loss to the Giants last year, in which Jamie Harrison was pressed into long-snapping duty and promptly sailed his first snap 7 feet over the head of the punter for a critical safety.We don�t know who the emergency backup LS is this season, but whoever it might be, he�d better snap off 20 good snaps a day at practice just to stay sharp.


KR: Stefan Logan was the huge hit of preseason.I myself proclaimed his roster spot EARLY in the Washington game after a couple of relatively short (6-8 yard) punt returns, as I�d seen well enough of his superb shiftiness, dime-stopping, and acceleration.Mewelde Moore will probably see some duty as a tandem on KO returns, along with Wally getting some work as well.Burnett, Wallace and even Holmes will be at the ready in case Logan gets hurt.


Synopsis:This roster is, in many ways, superior to the one that won the Sup Bowl 7 months ago.These following positions have been vastly improved:


����������� - kick/punt returner

����������� - punter

����������� - depth at safety

����������� - depth at DE (Hood)

����������� - starting ILB (Timmons vice Foote)


There are some question marks &/or areas of obvious concern:


����������� - OL depth at all 3 positions (C, G, and T)

����������� - Chris Kemoeatu and his pervasive shitty play��

����������� - 4th WR (not that the Stillers got anything from this spot last season)

����������� - inexperience at FB (although it�s a spot not used much by Idiot Arians anyway)



Still Mill and -- �When it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close�.�


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