Pittsburgh Steelers: Playing For Jobs


The Pittsburgh Steelers have concluded their 2015 preseason with a 23-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field last Thursday night. With just one win in the five games played since August, should Steelers Nation be concerned about the 2015 season?

More from Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Tomlin and the team he will compete with this season will be a viable contender not just as a playoff team but also in defending their AFC North Division title. There should be no reservations as to how the team performed in the preseason because the first team offenses and defenses played very little. Schemes and the playbook were not put to full use in the five games of the preseason.

What the final preseason game served a purpose as, is the same for all 32 NFL teams; it was a game to determine who would make the final roster cuts down to the required 53 players. While Mike Tomlin hates to lose, he and his coaching staff were more closely watching the performances of some young players and other veterans who were on the cusp of either making the team or being handed a pink slip.

One player that stands out as playing for a job is Dri Archer. Archer was drafted in 2014 in the hope his superior speed would result in a new weapon. His rookie campaign last year was a disappointment. Through the preseason Archer certainly didn’t wow anyone. Last Thursday night in Pittsburgh, Archer ran the ball three times for just seven yards, and caught two passes for only 11 yards. Not a shining performance.

Live Feed

Buccaneers vs. Packers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15
Buccaneers vs. Packers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15 /

Lombardi Ave

  • 2024 NFL Draft order: How high the Chargers can climb after Justin Herbert's injuryBolt Beat
  • The not so secret stat that is determining the outcome of Colts gamesHorseshoe Heroes
  • Packers release Kyu Blu Kelly from 53-man, sign WR Thyrick Pitts to practice squadDairyland Express
  • Why are the Steelers playing on Saturday this week?Still Curtain
  • Texans vs. Titans prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15Titan Sized
  • The final roster cuts are due in by Saturday at 4:00 pm and at that time we will know who will be suiting up for the Steelers in 2015. Brad Wing won’t have to wait until that time as he has been dealt to the New York Giants for a draft pick automatically making Jordan Berry the winner in the competition for starting punter.

    If Dri Archer fails to make the team then the guess here is that it will be because the Steelers drafted a more talented and productive Sammie Coates. With Shakim Phillips coming on strong in the preseason, those two could make the team and force Archer to be released.

    On Thursday night, Coates caught two passes for 55 yards, one good for 42. Phillips had just one reception but it was for 16 yards. For the five preseason games played, Dri Archer had the most receptions with 10, but they were only for a total of 58 yards.

    In other words, he wasn’t stretching the field. Coates on the other hand, also had 10 catches, but he gained a whopping 179 yards. With eight receptions, Shakim Phillips added 134 yards receiving.

    Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers /

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    On the ground, Archer ran with the rock 13 times gaining just 51 yards and nearly a yard less in per-carry average than that of newcomer DeAngelo Williams who posted a 4.8 mark.

    If Mike Tomlin dumps Archer, he will then have to figure out who will be the kick returner. He certainly can’t put Antonio Brown back there again. But Archer in the preseason returned three punts for just a 6.3 yards-per return average. On kickoffs, the diminutive player returned four kickoffs while averaging 24.5 yards per.

    As for that punting duel, Jordan Berry received the most attempts with 19, Wing finished with 12. Berry’s average was a final 49.8 and Wing as the incumbent left Pittsburgh with a 48.8 average in the preseason. What might have been the deciding factor is Berry’s amazing hang time which is so important in the NFL.

    Will there be surprise roster cuts with the Pittsburgh Steelers? Most likely yes. Around the NFL there are always eyebrows raised at this time of the year. This is most difficult part of the season for any head coach because he must tell players they are no longer employed. 53 players may seem like a lot, but when you have 75 on one day and must trim down to the limit by cutting 22 more, that’s not easy.

    “When Thursday comes we’ll be ready to play” Cortez Allen

    With less than a week to go before the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the world champion New England Patriots to open the 2015 NFL season, it’s time to forget the 1-4 preseason. Those games don’t count in the standings and the players are not affected by the losses. They say they will be ready to go come Thursday night.

    Cortez Allen: “When Thursday comes we’ll be ready to play. I see how these guys prepare. I see how these guys, the seriousness of film study, coaching, taking coaching, taking what the coaching staff is trying to deliver to us, the message that they’re trying to get to us. I see that every day. I’m very excited about the season.”

    Cam Heyward: “I’m ready to go Thursday and we will be, too.”

    Next: Colonials Vs. Flyers Weather, Radio, And Preview

    More from City of Champions