When the horn blew to signal the end of the final practice at Saint Vincent College yesterday, many fans started to think about which unknowns will make the team. I was one of them. So here is my choice based on what I viewed at camp and read about camp performances for the final 53 man roster. Please take note that the order in which players are listed won't be as they appear on the depth chart.
Quarterback (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon.
Notice no Charlie Batch, I believe Batch will either be put on the injured reserve or just be released, even if Batch was healthy, the Steelers would be looking for a third quarterback after the season.
Runningback (5): Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Gary Russell, Carey Davis.
No suprises here, basically Dan Krieder and Najeh Davenport are replaced by Mendenhall and Moore.
Wide Receiver (5): Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, Nate Washington, Dallas Baker.
Willie Reid has not shown enough to warrant a roster spot, time for him to go. The Eddie Drummond experiment is a disaster and the team would be better to go with Holmes and Mendenhall/Moore as their return men.
Tight End (3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Cody Boyd.
Jonathan Dekker may have taken Boyd's spot if he had not torn his ACL in the Bills game, but for now its Boyd. Boyd is another large tight end for Roethlisberger to throw to near the goaline.
Tackle (4): Marvel Smith, Willie Colon, Trai Essex, Max Starks.
Smith will be the starter at left tackle, there's no question about that; however, Colon must prove he deserves to start each time he takes the field, as Starks will be waiting for a chance to reclaim the spot he lost in camp last year.
Guard (4): Kendall Simmons, Chris Kemoeatu, Darnell Stapleton, Tony Hills.
There was never a threat to Kemoeatu's job at left guard; Tony Hills could become a really good guard if the team moves him inside.
Center (2): Justin Hartwig, Sean Mahan.
Hartwig is larger than Mahan and should fare better against the bigger nose tackles in the NFL.
Defensive End (4) : Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Travis Kirschke, Orpheus Roye.
Roye gets the edge over Nick Eason and Ryan McBean, both of whom were underwhelming during camp and in the two pre-season games thus far.
Defensive Tackle (3): Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke, Scott Paxon.
Paxon will make the team, and other than special teams, will only see the field if Hampton or Hoke get hurt.
Outside Linebacker (4): LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, Arnold Harrison, Bruce Davis.
Mike Humpal, a rookie from Iowa, had a chance, but after missing many practices due to a stinger, he'll end up on the practice squad.
Inside Linebacker (4): Larry Foote, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, Keyaron Fox.
Fox replaces Clint Kriewaldt who left to join other Pittsburgh cast offs in the desert of Arizona.
Cornerback (5): Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, Bryant McFadden, William Gay, Roy Lewis.
Only real suprise here is ROY Lewis, not Ray Lewis, who can player either corner or safety.
Strong Safety (2): Troy Polamalu, Tyrone Carter.
Pittsburgh's Ryan Mundy has a chance to take away the spot from Carter or Anthony Smith, but a high ankle sprain limited his practice time and ability to take that spot away.
Free Safety (2): Ryan Clark, Anthony Smith.
Would the media still call Smith a thug if he put devisating hits on a Browns wide receiver?
Specialists (3): Jeff Reed, Greg Warren, Paul Ernster.
Reed and Warren are mainstays, and Ernster will use this opportunity to audution for a job next year.
This is my view of the team and we will find out later this month how close I am to correct.