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Steelers Roster Projection after Preseason Week 2

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have finished the halfway point of the preseason. Week 3 is known as the dress rehearsal game, which has the starters preparing as if the game were a regular-season one. Week 4 of the preseason is the last chance for bottom-level players to put tape out there for the practice squad and other teams’ consideration.

With that in mind, the Steelers roster is not locked but is much closer to set than it has been. How would the Steelers 53-man roster look if they were to make cuts today?

QUARTERBACK (3):

Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs

Rudolph may have claimed the backup job in Week 2 of the preseason. Dobbs has not played well enough to find a trade, but has not played poorly enough to lose his job to Devlin Hodges.

RUNNING BACK (4):

James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, Rosevelt Nix

Benny Snell’s surprising special teams prowess has made it easy to keep just four backs, including Nix.

WIDE RECEIVER (6):

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers, Ryan Switzer

Johnny Holton is trying to use special teams to claim a spot, but he is currently on the outside looking in. Could he catch Switzer?

TIGHT END (3):

Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry 

Gentry was banged up in the second preseason game but looked solid in Week 1. Without competition behind him the team will need the rookie to be healthy in Week 1 of the regular season.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8):

Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Matt Feiler, B.J. Finney, Chuks Okorafor, Zach Banner

Fred Johnson is pushing to make a case for the 53-man roster while Okorafor and Banner duel for backup tackle duty. The rest is locked in.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6):

Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs, Dan McCullers 

This is very cut and dried with no one close to pushing the group.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5):

T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Ola Adenyi, Tuzar Skipper

Adenyi is not injured enough to go on IR, but will miss regular-season time. That combined with a strong preseason has Skipper in.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

(5): Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert 

Gilbert has played his way onto the roster with speed and special teams ability.

CORNERBACK (6):

Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Artie Burns, Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne

Artie Burns is on the books and has played hungry in camp, making this a fairly decided unit. Brian Allen has played well, but there probably isn’t room for another outside corner.

SAFETY (4):

Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Jordan Dangerfield, Kameron Kelly

Kelly may get to work in one some dime snaps while Dangerfield is a reliable special teamer. Marcus Allen appears destined for the practice squad.

SPECIALISTS (3):

Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry, Kameron Canaday 

The Steelers brought in competition for Boswell, but he has been unphased.

Steelers

Terrell Edmunds Explains New Nickname

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Terrell Edmunds informs the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, about his new nickname. Call him “Old Fashioned” from now on. He also expresses how feels about the current state of the Steelers, and that’s obviously includes being happy about the team’s record but also understanding the need to improve.

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Steelers Week 10 Game vs. Bengals Flexed to 4:25 p.m. National Broadcast

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The Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10 has been flexed into a national television broadcast slot.

The Steelers and Bengals will now kick off at Heinz Field on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4:25 p.m. The game had originally been scheduled to kick at 1 p.m. It will be broadcast nationally on FOX. All of that weekend’s early games will be broadcast on FOX, as CBS has coverage of The Masters, which was rescheduled from this summer.

The game will be Pittsburgh’s first matchup against 2020 NFL Draft No. 1 pick, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Steelers are also playing a 4:25 p.m., nationally broadcast game in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. That game will be televised by CBS.

That will be the second time this season the Steelers will be placed in a nation-wide television slot. The team opened the season playing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.

The Steelers’ Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans was protected by CBS in a 1 p.m. time slot, but was broadcast nearly nationwide, with CBS only showing two other 1 p.m. games.

The Steelers will play on national television at least three more times this season: against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Nov. 26, on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 13 and at the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 21.

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What Does Being NFL’s Last Unbeaten Team Portend for Steelers?

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The Steelers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL after beating the formerly unbeaten Tennessee Titans on Sunday while the Seattle Seahawks lost on Sunday night, leaving the Steelers as the only 6-0 team in the nation.

What does that mean for them in the long term? Not as much as you might think.

In the last 20 years, one of the last undefeated teams didn’t even make the playoffs three times: 2002 4-0 San Diego Chargers, 2014 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2016 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. Ten other times, one of the last undefeated teams (some years, there are more than one), lost in the first or second round of the NFL playoffs.

Just once since 2000 has the last undefeated team won the Super Bowl, in 2006 when the Indianapolis Colts started 9-0 on the way to winning Super Bowl XLI.

In the first three decades of the league’s modern era, that was significantly different. The last undefeated team won six Super Bowls in the 1990s, two in the 1980s and three in the 1970s, including the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished a perfect 17-0, the only team in NFL history to do so.

More recently, being the last undefeated team has resulted in a bunch of Super Bowl losses, including the last time the Steelers were the league’s last unbeaten team. 

The 2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Eagles, 2007 New England Patriots, 2009 Colts, 2010 Steelers, 2015 Carolina Panthers, 2018 Los Angeles Rams and the 2019 San Francisco 49ers all made it to the championship game after being the last undefeated team before losing in the end.

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