Seemingly the only team in the NFL that did not release the names of its practice squad on Sunday, Pittsburgh announced its list early Monday morning, with no surprises among them, because all eight were in Steelers training camp this Summer.
Players signed to the squad were TE Eugene Bright, OG Dorian Brooks, S Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, WR Tyler Grisham, OT Kyle Jolly, DT Steve McLendon, FB Frank Summers and DE Doug Worthington.
It was particularly nice to see Worthington clear waivers and join the practice squad. A 2010 seventh-round pick out of Ohio State, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Worthington showcased much athleticism in preseason games. If he can add some bulk to his upper body, Worthington could be a solid contributor in the 3-4 scheme at defensive end and replace veteran reserve Nick Eason on the Steelers’ 53-man roster in 2011.
Summers and Grisham are the other most recognizable names signed to the practice squad, although both have multiple, talented youngsters ahead of them at their positions on the Pittsburgh roster.
The only disappointment was that the Steelers were unable to re-sign OG-C Kraig Urbik, a slow-footed, third-round pick in 2009 who flashed potential as a dominant run blocker in preseason games against the Lions, Giants and Broncos.
Urbik was signed to the 53-man roster of the Bills, who were reportedly one of five teams to put in waiver claims for him. It is extremely rare for five teams to put in waiver claims for any one player.
If that report is true, it is surprising and disappointing that the Steelers were unable to get a 2011 late-round draft pick in a trade for Urbik before releasing him. Then again, after the front office absurdly did not even call every team in the league before quickly trading a Super Bowl MVP in Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick, I am not sure they bothered to try and trade Urbik.