The Pittsburgh Steelers' offseason reconstruction of their roster has been finalized. On Saturday, Pittsburgh released their first 53-man roster of the 2019 regular season. While Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell are gone, the Steelers' roster is considerably stronger now than it was this time last year.
On Sunday, Pittsburgh also solidified its practice squad, signing 10 players that include Johnny Holton, the team's most productive receiver during the preseason. On Monday, the Steelers named quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, fullback Roosevelt Nix, center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive tackle Cameron Heyward captains or the upcoming season.
Below is the Steelers' first official 53-man depth chart of the 2019 season.
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger|| Mason Rudolph ||Joshua Dobbs|
|RB||James Conner||Jaylen Samuels||Benny Snell Jr.|
|FB||Roosevelt Nix|| || |
|LWR||Donte Moncrief||Ryan Switzer|
|RWR||JuJu Smith-Schuster||James Washington||Diontae Johnson|
|TE||Vance McDonald||Xavier Grimble||Zach Gentry|
|LT||Alejandro Villanueva||Chukwuma Okorafor|| |
|LG||Ramon Foster|| |
|C||Maurkice Pouncey||B.J. Finney|| |
|RG||David DeCastro||Fred Johnson|| |
|RT||Matt Feiler||Zach Banner|| |
Ben Roethlisberger will return for his 16th season as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback. Big Ben is coming off a 2018 regular season that saw him that saw him throw for a career high 5,129 passing yards.
Roethlisberger's No. 1 option at receiver this season will be JuJu Smith-Schuster, last year's team MVP after leading the Steelers with 111 receptions for 1,426 yards. He will be complemented on offense by Pro Bowl running back James Conner, who amassed 1,470 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns last season despite missing three games due to injury. Pittsburgh's offense is also expecting significant contributions this season from receiver James Washington and tight end Vance McDonald, among others.
Pittsburgh's offensive line includes three Pro Bowls in center Maurkice Pouncey, right guard David DeCastro and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva.
The Steelers elected not to keep receivers Diontae Spencer and Eli Rogers on their 53-man roster. They also traded tackle Jerald Hawkins and a 2021 seventh round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2021 sixth round pick.
|DT||Cam Heyward||Isaiah Buggs|| |
|NT||Javon Hargrave||Daniel McCullers|| |
|DE||Stephon Tuitt||Tyson Alualu|| |
|LOLB||T.J. Watt||Anthony Chickillo|| |
|LILB||Mark Barron||Devin Bush|| |
|RILB||Vince Williams||Tyler Matakevich||Ulysees Gilbert III|
|ROLB||Bud Dupree||Ola Adeniyi||Tuzar Skipper|
|LCB||Joe Haden||Justin Layne|| |
|SS||Terrell Edmunds||Jordan Dangerfield|| |
|FS||Sean Davis||Kameron Kelly|| |
|RCB||Steven Nelson||Artie Burns|| |
|SCB||Mike Hilton||Cam Sutton|| |
T.J. Watt is poised for a breakout season after recording 13 sacks last season, his first year at left outside linebacker. Cam Heyward, the Steelers' defensive captain, is tied with Watt for the team lead with 20 sacks over the past two seasons.
Watt will be flanked this season by rookie inside linebacker Devin Bush, Pittsburgh's first round pick. Bush, who enjoyed a strong summer while seeing extensive time with the first team defense, will start the season as a backup behind Mark Barron, a veteran who started on the Los Angeles' Rams NFC championship team last season.
Pittsburgh's defense should be vastly improved with this season, with Terrell Edmunds expected to make a significant jump in his second season. Steven Nelson, one of Pittsburgh's two offseason defensive acquisitions in free agency, gives the Steelers a quality starting corner opposite veteran Joe Haden.
The Steelers kept Tuzar Skipper, an undrafted rookie OLB out of Toledo, on their 53-man roster after a strong preseason. Pittsburgh also kept Kameron Kelly, who recently starred in The Alliance of American Football.
|K||Chris Boswell|| || |
|P||Jordan Berry|| || |
|LS||Kameron Canaday|| || |
|KR||Ryan Switzer||JuJu Smith-Schuster||Artie Burns|
|PR||Ryan Switzer||Cam Sutton|
Chris Boswell, after having to compete to keep his job this summer, outlasted challenger Matthew Wright during camp and will keep his starting job for the 2019 season. A Pro Bowler in 2017, Boswell is looking to rebound after making just 65 percent of his kicks last season.