Pittsburgh Steelers: The Final Cuts


Ready…set…go! The Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 roster has been finalized with the remaining cuts made on Saturday to reduce the roster to the league required 53 players.

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Were there any surprises made by Mike Tomlin and his staff? Perhaps some minor ones such as recently acquired Doug Legursky who was among 18 of the players given their walking papers as well as two additional players placed on the waived/injured list.

As reported in a previous story that Dri Archer might be a casualty, he makes the team again and obviously Tomlin is still intrigued with his speed and athleticism. For Shakim Phillips, he apparently did not do enough at wide receiver to secure a spot on the roster and was cut from the team.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley is satisfied with having just Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, and Archer as running backs because Josh Harris became an ex-Steeler on Saturday. However, Harris could very well be added to the practice squad when that unit is decided on Sunday.

Defensive lineman Ethan Hemer played very well this preseason but not productive enough as he too became a defensive casualty. Joining Hemer on the unemployment line defensively were Mike Thornton, Jordan Dangerfield, Matt Conrath, Alden Darby, Kevin Fogg, B.W. Webb, L.J. Fort, Shayon Green, Howard Jones, and Gerod Holliman.

On the offensive side, the additional cuts were running back Jawon Chisolm, offensive lineman Reese Dismukes, B.J. Finney, and Jarrod West. Howard Jones had shown promise in past training camps and preseasons but there was simply too much depth at linebacker this year. B.W. Webb had an awful preseason this year so he played himself off the team. L.J. Fort has lots of potential and plays with the type of heart endeared for Steelers players. He should and probably will land on the practice squad.

Not making the team and placed on the Waived/Injured List were Kevin Palmer and Mitchel Van Dyk. For depth purposes, free agent Ross Cockrell was signed to a contract and will play at cornerback. Cockrell is a former Buffalo Bill drafted in 2014 in the fourth round and played in seven games last year. His Steelers jersey number will be 31.

The deadline for the practice squad designations is anytime Sunday after 1:00 pm. The guess here for the lucky 10 are: Josh Harris, L.J. Fort, Doug Legursky (granted he is not plucked by another team), Howard Jones, Shakim Phillips, B.J. Finney, Jordan Dangerfield, Kevin Fogg, and Reese Dismukes.

As it is on Saturday, your 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers starting lineups that will take the field this Thursday night in New England for the NFL’s opening game beginning defensively are:

  • Left defensive end: Cameron Heyward
  • Nose Tackle: Steve McClendon
  • Right defensive end: Stephon Tuitt
  • Left outside linebacker: Arthur Moats
  • Left inside linebacker: Ryan Shazier
  • Right inside linebacker: Lawrence Timmons
  • Right outside linebacker: Jarvis Jones
  • Left cornerback: William Gay
  • Free safety: Mike Mitchell
  • Strong safety: Shamarko Thomas
  • Right cornerback: Cortez Allen


  • Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger
  • Wide receiver #1: Antonio Brown
  • Left tackle: Kelvin Beachum
  • Left guard: Ramon Foster
  • Center: Cody Wallace
  • Right guard: David DeCastro
  • Right tackle: Marcus Gilbert
  • Tight end: Heath Miller
  • Running back: DeAngelo Williams (until the return of Le’Veon Bell)
  • Fullback: Will Johnson
  • Wide receiver #2: Markus Wheaton
  • Wide receiver #3: Darrius Heyward-Bey (until the return from suspension of Martavis Bryant who will probably become the #2)

Another reason Dri Archer was probably spared a roster cut is because he is the only viable kick returner outside of having Antonio Brown return to the role. The punter will be Jordan Berry and the placekicker Josh Scobee. Non-starters will make up the special teams coverage units and naturally Greg Warren is the long-snapper.

Barring any further injuries, the 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers are relatively in good health, good shape, and minus a few key players that were lost to injuries, should be ready to be one of the top 5-7 teams in the NFL. The onus on success should fall on the defense as the offense is already one of the most proficient and lethal in the league.

Next: The Zen of Eric Levine: His 'surreal' pro career so far

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