The first round of cuts has come and gone and the Sports Page’s initial 53-man roster has suffered just one casualty.
Not that it took Nostradamus to ascertain Lewis Toler, Kashif Moore and Jordan Dangerfield, among others, weren’t going to make it.
Other than Brian Arnfelt not surviving the reduction to 75, what seemed apparent on Aug. 13 still appears applicable today.
Getting to 53 can be done relatively easily, and without sacrificing anyone the Steelers will regret cutting.
In advance of Thursday night’s preseason finale against Carolina, let’s revisit the projected roster in mid-August and see what if any changes might be made leading up to Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline for the cut to 53:
QB (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones.
Is Jones still on the team after what he’s put on tape this preseason? Being a former fourth-round pick in all likelihood buys him at least one more season. But that said it would be a good idea for Jones not to stink against Carolina.
RB (4): Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer, Will Johnson.
It still isn't difficult to weed out what’s left at this position.
WR (5): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown.
The suspicion now is Darrius Heyward-Bey has caught and passed Brown. A lot of that has to do with the accolades Heyward-Bey has been earning for his play on special teams. But that was also a big-league catch Heyward-Bey made at garbage time in Philadelphia.
TE (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer.
The need for Palmer can be argued given Will Johnson’s status as a tight end-capable player. But Palmer’s a veteran who has started in the league and he contributes on special teams.
OL: (8): Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Cody Wallace, Mike Adams, Wesley Johnson.
Could the number be nine, as offensive line coach Mike Munchak desires? And could No. 9 be veteran swing man Guy Whimper? Whimper filled in well when called upon last season.
DL (6): Cam Thomas, Steve McLendon, Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Daniel McCullers, Arnfelt.
Arnfelt, in retrospect, fell behind Josh Mauro, who wound up making a significant push for a roster spot. But that no longer matters in the wake of Brett Keisel’s return.
LB (10): Jason Worilds, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, Jarvis Jones, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin, Arthur Moats, Jordan Zumwalt, Howard Jones.
Zumwalt hasn’t been healthy enough or active enough to ensure his status. And if an extra offensive lineman or wide receiver is ultimately deemed necessary, room could be made for such an addition by cutting Zumwalt.
DB (11): Cortez Allen, Mike Mitchell, Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain, Shaquille Richardson, Will Allen, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden.
Richardson, like Zumwalt, can play but hasn’t been able to establish that often enough for comfort. And like Zumwalt, perceived needs elsewhere might be satisfied at Richardson’s expense.
LS (1): Greg Warren.
P (1): Somebody (I don’t think it’s going to be Brad Wing).
K (1): Shaun Suisham.
Warren appears on track to make it to Sept. 7 healthy enough to snap. I’m still not buying Wing as the punter.