Running back, defensive line concerns with Steelers' 53-man roster

Here's a player-by-player look at the Pittsburgh Steelers' 53-man roster:


Ben Roethlisberger: He's Big. He's Ben. And he should have another Big year.

Michael Vick: Worth the one-year flier, Vick is considered a high-level NFL backup at age 35.

Landry Jones: The Steelers have seen enough to want to develop this guy for a third season.


DeAngelo Williams: He's looked more explosive than many expected for a 32-year-old, 10-year vet.

Dri Archer: At 5-foot-8, he is a change-of-pace back who can line up wide, return kickoffs and take handoffs, but he appears allergic to contact.

Will Johnson: He's the ultimate dirty-work utility player who can serve as a third running back, fullback or tight end.

Jordan Todman: Todman, a speedy option who was signed this weekend, has bounced around the league too long to be considered a viable on-field threat.

Roosevelt Nix: He made the team as a fullback because of his stout blitz pickups and special-teams work.


Antonio Brown: He's trying to be the G.O.A.T. Enough said.

Markus Wheaton: The Steelers need a big couple of weeks from Wheaton while Martavis Bryant is out.

Darrius Heyward-Bey: He was elevated to the No. 3 option after earning Roethlisberger's trust.

Sammie Coates: Coates had an uneven preseason, but the rookie showed a knack for nailing go routes in preseason games.

Tyler Murphy: He's a developmental quarterback-turned-receiver who found favor with coach Mike Tomlin.


Heath Miller: Run 5 yards, turn, catch 60 balls, rinse and repeat.

Matt Spaeth: Going on nine years in the league, Spaeth is a reliable blocker and occasional pass-catcher.

Jesse James: Developmental tight end has good hands and is a big red zone target, but he needs time.


Kelvin Beachum: He has great feet and enters a contract year, which means he'll have really good feet in 2015.

David DeCastro: He's a solid first-rounder (2012) who has more responsibility since Maurkice Pouncey is out.

Maurkice Pouncey: The center expects to return in Week 9 after beginning the season on short-term injured reserve to recover from leg surgery.

Ramon Foster: He's a seventh-year pro who has started 71 games, more than any other Steelers offensive lineman.

Marcus Gilbert: He emerged as an above-average tackle and earned a $30 million contract as a result.

Chris Hubbard: This second-year guard/center made the roster over several undrafted rookies.

Cody Wallace: He is a sixth-year center who has starter's experience, but he's hardly a Pouncey replacement.

Alejandro Villanueva: This former Army Ranger is a great story; he gained 100 pounds and made the Steelers as a reserve swing tackle.


Cam Heyward: The Steelers' defensive team captain signed a $59 million extension in the offseason and looks to build off a 7.5-sack season in 2014.

Steve McLendon: He's a sixth-year veteran who needs to be a tone-setter against the run for a new-look defense.

Stephon Tuitt: The Steelers are expecting a big second year from the 2014 second-round pick after Tuitt showed quality burst in the preseason.

Daniel McCullers: McCullers' massive raw ability is hurt by his lack of instincts for the defensive tackle position.

Cam Thomas: He was in danger of getting cut -- still might be -- because of a $2 million salary, but he played well in the final preseason game.

Caushaud Lyons: The Steelers like what they see on tape, but the waiver pickup from Bucs is still a wait-and-see prospect.


Lawrence Timmons: He's arguably the Steelers' most important defensive player, considering all that he does as a lead linebacker.

Ryan Shazier: Shazier still needs to show he can play man coverage, but his chase-down ability in zone coverage is undeniable.

Bud Dupree: He got into a fight halfway through camp and has been a better player ever since.

Jarvis Jones: Still not fully recovered from his wrist injury, Jones senses he needs a breakout third year and is playing with urgency.

Arthur Moats: He's a reliable option on the outside -- not great, just ... solid.

James Harrison: A pitch count of sorts seems to be working well for Harrison, who had two sacks in his first two preseason games.

Terence Garvin: An athletic inside linebacker, he can rush the passer but will fight for limited reps in a loaded linebacker group.

Vince Williams: He can hit, hit, hit.

Sean Spence: Spence is a classic No. 3 linebacker option, which means he'll play a decent amount of snaps, especially if Shazier gets injured again.


William Gay: He wears the most colorful socks on the team and is still one of the secondary's biggest playmakers.

Cortez Allen: He's eyeing a big season after injuries and confidence issues deflated his 2014 campaign.

Antwon Blake: Blake has positioned himself for a starting corner job as a physical tackler with cover skills.

Brandon Boykin: After coming to Pittsburgh in a trade from Philly, Boykin is competing for reps in the slot and can play on the outside, too.

Ross Cockrell: He was signed over the weekend to be the Steelers' fifth corner but likely won't play much against New England.


Mike Mitchell: He has been hampered by minor injuries for much of the preseason but is the lead safety for the Steelers in the post-Troy Polamalu era.

Shamarko Thomas: Thomas is a promising player who had an uneven training camp. The Steelers need him to make a leap in his third season.

Will Allen: He was the Steelers' most consistent safety in training camp and should play a lot against New England in Week 1.

Robert Golden: He's the Steelers' special-teams captain for the second straight year and is healthy after suffering a preseason knee injury.

Ross Ventrone: Special-teams ace fended off seventh-round safety Gerod Holliman and free agent Alden Darby to keep his spot.


Jordan Berry: The punter outshined incumbent Brad Wing with a booming leg that consistently placed the coverage team in favorable positions.

Josh Scobee: He's the best option the Steelers could find after back-to-back kicker injuries to Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley.

Greg Warren: He's a solid long-snapper, which means you won't hear from him all season.