The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to increase their talent reserve when they added 10 players to their practice squad on Sunday.
Earlier in August, the National Football League increased the practice squad size from eight to 10 players, starting this season. Every player has to clear through waivers before being added to a team’s practice squad.
The Black and Gold signed defensive backs Shaquille Richardson and Ross Ventrone; defensive linemen Josh Mauro and Nick Williams; linebacker Howard Jones; offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva; running back Josh Harris; tight end Rob Blanchflower; and wide receivers C.J. Goodwin and Derek Moye.
Mike Tomlin’s crew resumes practice on Monday, Labor Day at approximately 10:45 a.m. so they can get ready to host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. for Week 1 of the regular season.
Cutdown Notes: The Steelers released 22 players on Saturday to get down to the required 53-man roster. The cuts included: defensive backs, Isaiah Green, Dayonne Nunley, Richardson and Ventrone; defensive linemen, Ethan Herner, Roy Philon, Mauro and Williams; linebackers, Chris Carter, Dan Molls, and Jones; offensive linemen, Guy Whimper, Will Simmons, and Graham Pocic; quarterback Brendon Kay; running backs, Stephen Houston and Harris; tight ends, Bryce Davis, David Paulson and Blanchflower; wide receivers, Lanear Sampson and Moye.
Change continues for pro football in the Steel City as 22 of the 53 players on their final roster were not on the team last season.
Of the 10 first-round draft picks on the roster – Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Lawrence Timmons, Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro, Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier and Darrius Heyward-Bey – only Heyward-Bey, who was taken seventh overall by the Raiders in 2009, is the only one not drafted by Pittsburgh.
Landry Jones did enough at quarterback in the preseason that head coach Mike Tomlin kept him on the final roster. For the preseason, Jones completed 27 of 44 passes for 224 yards with no touchdowns and only one interception. He had a passer rating of 64.9.
The Black and Gold ground game has four running backs to start the season in Dri Archer, Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount and Will Johnson.
Meanwhile, it was interesting to note that Pittsburgh kept just three outside linebackers in Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones and Arthur Moats while keeping five inside linebackers in Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Sean Spence and Terence Garvin.
From The Clipboard: James Harrison, 36, announced on Saturday his retirement from the NFL on his Facebook page.
The Kent State product was a five time Pro Bowl linebacker and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He spent 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played his final NFL season with the AFC North rival Bengals last season.