A Third Tight End Shy of a Load

Mike Prisuta doesn't need to see the allegedly all-important third preseason game to know who's on his Pittsburgh Steelers roster this year. His 53 follow:

When he meets the media today, in advance of Saturday night and exhibition game No. 3 against Atlanta, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin might just opine about how tough the decisions will be when the Steelers get around to cutting the roster.

Don't buy it if he does.

That's what coaches do at this juncture of the preseason.

Writers and broadcasters feel as if the team could be cut to 53 immediately, if not sooner.

That's what we do at this juncture of the preseason.

In that spirit, presenting your 2011 Steelers …

OFFENSE

QB (3) -- Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon.

Sorry, Charlie.

RB (4) -- Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Mewelde Moore, Jonathan Dwyer.

John Clay didn't quit, but nor did he ever resemble Ron Dayne the way Tomlin liked to intimate on the practice field as a form of inspiration for the former Wisconsin Badger. Clay makes the practice squad.

Keeper Baron Batch lands on IR.

WR (6) -- Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Arnaz Battle.

If you're going to play five at a time at times, and the Steelers are, you'd better have six at the position. Battle is a perceived special-teams demon and gets the nod over Tyler Grisham for the last spot as a result. Grisham makes the practice squad.

TE (3) -- Heath Miller, David Johnson, John Gilmore.

The Steelers tried to get Weslye Saunders enough opportunities for him to earn a spot; it didn't happen. He'll end up on the practice squad because he's just not ready for prime time. Gilmore will stay on the roster until someone better comes along.

OL (9) -- Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Tony Hills, Willie Colon, Trai Essex, Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky, Marcus Gilbert.

Fifth-round pick Keith Williams makes the practice squad because he's a draft pick this year. Chris Scott, a fifth-round pick last year, falls from right guard to right tackle to left out.

DEFENSE

LINE (7) -- Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward, Chris Hoke, Corbin Bryant.

Bryant keeps the Steelers' undrafted-rookie tradition going, as does Hoke, who edges out Steve McLendon (Hoke has been relentless this preseason). Anthony Gray is intriguing enough to keep around for a stint on the practice squad.

LINEBACKER (8) -- LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison, Jason Worilds, Stevenson Sylvester, Larry Foote, Chris Carter.

Mortty Ivy and Mario Harvey have had their moments. Harvey will have more on the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE BACK (10) -- Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, William Gay, Keenan "Ivory" Lewis, Will Allen, Ryan Mundy, Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen.

Cortez Allen hasn't participated enough to warrant keeping, but if the Steelers tried to sneak him onto the practice squad he'd get picked up by another team.

Donovan Warren and Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith make the practice squad.

SPECIALISTS (3) -- Greg Warren (LS), Daniel Sepulveda (P), Shaun Suisham (PK).

Swayze Waters might have a future place-kicking in the NFL some time some place, but now isn't the time and here isn't the place.


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