PITTSBURGH — The Steelers have released their depth chart for the 2019 season opener against the New England Patriots, and there are relatively few surprises following the team’s preseason games and cuts.
As expected, Matt Feiler will begin the season as a starter for the first time, replaced traded Marcus Gilbert at right tackle.
Free agent acquisitions Donte Moncrief, Steven Nelson and Mark Barron are projected to start at wide receiver, cornerback and inside linebacker.
Barron is the only of those that’s even a moderate surprise. He and first-round draft pick Devin Bush played alongside one another a good bit during preseason and training camp while veteran Vince Williams was out with a hamstring injury.
Williams is healthy and all three should be expected to play on Sunday against New England, though to what degree each will see the field is still somewhat of a mystery. Head coach Mike Tomlin talked about the balancing act of wanting to rely on the athleticism of Bush, while being cognizant of a young player in his first NFL.
“In the long term, those answers will be based on how he performs, based on the amount of work that we give him,” Tomlin said Tuesday.
Here’s the entire depth chart:
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs
RB: James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell
FB: Roosevelt Nix
TE: Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry
LT: Alejandro Villanueva, Chukwuma Okorafor
LG: Ramon Foster
C: Maurkice Pouncey
RG: David DeCastro, Fred Johnson
RT: Matt Feiler, Zach Banner
DT: Cameron Heyward, Isaiah Buggs
NT: Javon Hargrave, Dan McCullers
DE: Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu
LOLB: T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo
LILB: Mark Barron, Devin Bush
RILB: Vince Williams, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert
ROLB: Bud Dupree, Ola Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper
LCB: Joe Haden, Justin Layne
FS: Sean Davis, Kameron Kelly
SS: Terrell Edmunds, Jordan Dangerfield
RCB: Steven Nelson, Artie Burns
NCB: Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton
K: Chris Boswell
P: Jordan Berry
LS: Kameron Canaday
KR: Ryan Switzer, James Washington, Artie Burns
PR: Ryan Switzer, Diontae Johnson, Cameron Sutton
Steelers Hire Alfredo Roberts as Tight Ends Coach
The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired Alfredo Roberts as their next tight ends coach, the team announced Monday.
A 22-year coaching veteran, Roberts most recently spent the last four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, serving as their tight ends coach this past season and the running back coach the three prior. He has also made previous stops in Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Jacksonville over his career.
Roberts has coached a number of standout tight ends throughout his career, including Mercedes Lewis as a rookie with the Jaguars, and Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener with the Colts.
Roberts fills the vacancy left by previous tight ends coach James Daniel, who announced his retirement on Jan. 14.
The Steelers tight end room will look different in 2021, as veteran Vance McDonald announced his own retirement from football over the weekend. Pittsburgh is expected to return Eric Ebron, who caught 63 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns this past season, including playoffs.
A native of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Roberts played his collegiate ball at the University of Miami, before being selected in the eight round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He won a pair of National Championships with the Hurricanes, and two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
Roberts caught 50 passes for 476 and two touchdowns over 82 career games.
Steelers Connections Abound in Chiefs-Buccaneers Super Bowl
While the Pittsburgh Steelers saw their Super Bowl LV hopes dashed two weeks ago, fans will recognize plenty of familiar faces when the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Feb. 7.
Six players with Steelers ties are expected to take the field in either red or pewter on Super Bowl Sunday, with the two most notable examples being Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown and Kansas City running back Le’Veon Bell.
Both missed their respective championship games due to injury, but could return to health in time for the Super Bowl with two weeks to recover.
In addition, the Chiefs also boast guard Stefen Wisniewski and punter Dustin Colquitt, who both spent time in Pittsburgh earlier this season.
Wisniewski is in line to make his second-straight Super Bowl start in response to injuries along the Chiefs’ offensive line suffered Sunday, while Colquitt is on Kansas City’s practice squad.
Former Steelers defensive back Ross Cockrell and nose tackle Steve McLendon will take the field for the Buccaneers defensively.
But Tampa Bay’s Pittsburgh connections do not stop on the field, as the Buccaneers will also have six coaches with Steeler ties on the sideline for the big game, including head coach Bruce Arians.
Arians, who is in his second season in Tampa, spent eight years in Pittsburgh, serving as wide receivers coach (2004-06) before being elevated to offensive coordinator (2007-11).
Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich played under Arians in Pittsburgh, and had three separate stints with the Steelers as a backup quarterback to Ben Roethlisberger.
Tampa Bay also boasts assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin, outside linebackers coach Larry Foote, offensive assistant Antwaan Randle El and assistant coach Tom Moore.
Even with the Steelers at home watching along with the rest of the country, Pittsburgh should have no shortage of rooting interests when the Chiefs meet the Buccaneers in Tampa in two weeks time.
Report: Steelers OL Coach Candidate Hank Fraley Retained in Detroit
Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Hank Fraley will reportedly be retained as the Detroit Lions’ offensive line coach, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett.
Some good news for Lions fans still coming to grips with the news Matthew Stafford likely will be playing elsewhere in 2021:— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 24, 2021
Respected OL coach Hank Fraley will be back with the team, and Dave Fipp could be joining him as ST coach now that the Eagles are letting him interview.
Pittsburgh reportedly interviewed Fraley last Thursday for their offensive line coach vacancy, but he has opted to remain with Detroit under new head coach Dan Campbell.
Fraley was a standout at Robert Morris before signing with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He was waived prior to the season, but played ten seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams. Fraley has spent the last two seasons as Detroit’s offensive line coach.
Pittsburgh’s search for their next offensive coordinator and line coach continues. The Steelers chose not to retain Randy Fichtner and Shaun Sarrett earlier this month.