The next order of business after trimming down the roster from 75 to 53 was to sign players to the practice squad for the Steelers. That was done on Saturday as the team announced the 8 players who will return to work with the team during the week and also help run the scout team in practice.
According to Steelers.com: The eight players include offensive linemen John Malecki and Ryan Lee, wide receivers David Gilreath and Toney Clemons, tight end Jamie McCoy, linebacker Marshall McFadden, safety Damon Cromartie-Smith and cornerback Josh Victorian.
This is actually a pretty solid PS all around. All of these guys had very good training camp and preseason showings, but there’s just never quite enough spots on that 53 man roster to get everyone on board.
Most speculated that at least one of the receivers would make the PS for the Steelers, espcially when they decided to carry only 4 on the active roster, Gilreath seemed to have the slight edge all during camp and preseason, and did ultimately post up the better stats when given the opportunity. He’ll likely be the first player pulled off the squad in the event that the team needs more help at wide out.
Ryan Lee and John Malecki both impressed in preseason, and Lee especially showed a serious nasty streak as he was taking on defenders and getting in several scrapping matches after the fact.
Marshall McFadden was one of those bubble type players that you thought might have an outside chance at a roster spot but ultimately he’ll be able to continue his progress throughout the year and gain valuable experience for next season.
Ryan Mundy and Will Allen will continue to be primary backups to Polamalu and Clark, but both Damon Cromartie-Smith and Josh Victorian will help backup the secondary now as well if needed. Cromartie-Smith played in 4 games for the Steelers last year and Josh Victorian was signed on August 3rd to replace Terry Carter who was waived/injured.
Jamie McCoy was a guy who I thought might have a shot at making the final cut, at least until Weslye Saunders comes back from his 4 week suspension. He originally joined the team in January 2011.