Stillers Settle on Bizarre 53-man roster
The Stillers settled this past weekend on a bizarre 53-man roster.
QB: Roethelisberger, Gradkowski, Jones (3)
RB: Bell, Redman, Stephens-Howling, Jones (4)
FB: Johnson (1)
TE: Miller, Spaeth, Johnson, Paulson, Palmer (5)
WR: Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, Wheaton, Moye (5)
OL: Adams, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert, Beachum, Malecki, Whimper (8)
NT: McLendon, Fangupo (2)
DE: Hood, Kiesel, Heyward, Woods (4)
OLB: Woodley, Worilds, Jones, Carter (4)
ILB: Timmons, Foote, Williams, Wilson (4)
CB: Taylor, Allen, Gay, Brown, Green (5)
S: Polamalu, Clark, Thomas, Golden, Cromartie-Smith (5)
SP: Suisham, Butler, Warren (3)
Granted, Zoltan Mesko was just signed to replace Butler, and Cody Wallace was signed with Malecki booted.
Those 2 small moves are hardly the concern. The concern is a roster jam packed with cripples, and terribly thin on depth at RB, OL, and the D-Line.
Carrying only 4 RBs, especially when 1 is a china doll thus far (Bell) and 2 others have been nicked up, is dangerous. And it’s not like Felix Jones has been lighting up the NFL the past 3 years.
The O-line is dangerously thin, what with only 8 players. Anyone remember last season in Denver, when the team was nearly forced to insert a TE as an O-lineman, when 2 OL went down to injury that game....? It’s not such an outrageous happenstance that it couldn’t happen again. The D-line is dangerously thin, too. You anticipate, in the heat of Sep, having to rotate TWO backups into the mix on a regular basis. But they have only 2 backups on the roster. An injury to a Hood or a Heyward would mean that 35-year old Keisel would have to play 100% of the snaps in the Sep heat -- not a favorable scenario.
The root cause of all this thin-ness is the assaholic decision to keep 4 TEs. For a team that, aside from Heath Miller, treats the TE position like a night-time janitor. Five TEs, when most teams keep, at most, THREE. And it’s not like they’re stockpiling the next Jay Novacek or Russ Francis. Plus, they have OT K. Beacham as a power TE blocker. And Will Johnson, who can block as a TE. If Miller isn't in the game, the offense will use the TE very, very little. Here’s the cast of characters clogging this roster at TE:
- David Johnson -- a complete pile of dung who should have simply been given an injury settlement and sent packing. Last time we saw this sorry TE in a meaningful game, he was literally avoiding contact with Clay Matthews, who then drilled Mendy for a big fumble in the Super Bowl.
- Matt Spaeth - a mistake when he was drafted as high as he was. Fortunately, he was cast aside a few years later. Colbert, wanting to somehow re-justify the pick, then signs him this offseason. For what?? And then Spaeth gets a Liz Franc injury at camp and is now clogging the Reserve-injured Designated for Return spot. Unbelievable. You’d almost swear the guy has photos of Colbert with farm animals. He doesn't yet count on the 53, but is still clogging a key spot and will probably clog the 53 once he's activated later in the season.
- Paulson - worth keeping, as he has nice hands. Mediocre blocker, but ok to keep.
- Palmer - another stiff who is literally clogging a roster spot.
- Miller - like Mendy last season, this guy should have been placed on the PUP. Instead, he’s clogging the 53-man. Let’s see -- it takes 12 months to recover from a major knee tear. Miller tore all 3 ligaments -- ACL, MCL, and PCL. How in the living hell is this guy going to come back here in Sep -- just 9 months later -- and compete in the rigors of the NFL ? Again, as we saw with Mendy and Harrison last season, 1 of 2 things happens when you rush a player back before he is 100% healthy:
a. the guy aggravates the injury, and takes longer to get to 100% (see Harrison, James) than he would have had he been permitted the time to actually heal.
b. the guy compensates for the injury by over-using another body part, which they gets aggravated and injured. This happened to Mendy’s quad last season, and has happened to hundreds of players over the years when rushed back too quickly.
What irks me is that Colbert, The Dumbass, saw this very issue blow up in his face last season, when he had a short-handed game-day roster due to the cripples (FatAss Hampton, Harrison, and Mendy) that he refused to PUP. Colbert then saw both Harrison and Mendy play at relatively low levels of performance, and like the dufus that he is, he was dumbfounded as to why they weren’t playing better. At this level of athletics, being “back to full range of motion” and being able to exert 100% while kicking an opponent’s ass, are 2 vastly different things. Miller is probably well healthy to run laps and job on the treadmill. Can he block a 295-Lb. DE ? Can he get open against a decent safety ? Can he plow and juke after catching the ball?
In summary, a mindless, myopic 53-man roster that was compiled, entirely devoid of planning, practicality, and agility.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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