Cuts Are In, Jonathan Dwyer Is Out

UPDATE II: Steelers signed C/G Cody Wallace, formerly of the Bucs, and released C/G John Malecki. They also signed P Zoltan Mesko and CB Antwon Blake, and parted ways with P Drew Butler and CB Isaiah Green.

I’m oddly excited by the Mesko and Blake moves, mostly because they improve special teams. Whether they’re enough to overcome Danny Smith is another issue.

(If you’re looking for another reason to like Mesko, here ya go.)

UPDATE: Here are the eight guys named to the practice squad (interestingly, no Ta’amu): offensive linemen Chris Hubbard and Joe Long, running back Alvester Alexander, defensive end Brian Arnfelt, linebackers Alan Baxter and Terence Garvin, defensive back Devin Smith and wide receiver Justin Brown.

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This is sorta surprising: Jonathan Dwyer was released Saturday.

Here are the rest of the cuts to get the Steelers to 53:

The Steelers released running back Jonanthan Dwyer and punter Brian Moorman. The team also released running back Alvester Alexander, defensive linemen Alameda Ta’amu and Brian Arnfelt, linebackers Alan BaxterTerence GarvinMarshall McFadden and Brian Rolle, wide receivers Justin BrownReggie Dunn and Kashif Moore, offensive linemen Mike GolicChris HubbardJoe Long and Joe Madsen, tight ends Jamie McCoy and Nathan Overbay, and defensive backs Terry HawthorneDevin SmithRoss Ventrone and Josh Victorian.

The Steelers also announced that Heath Miller has been activated from the PUP list. And the team can begin adding players to the practice squad Sunday at noon.

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  • Rob D

    I was hoping Arnfelt would make it. Maybe a PS candidate? Hope so. Not surprised with Dwyer. Felix is better in just about every way possible AND he’s our starter GAme 1, IMO. REALLY surprised McFadden didn’t make it as most commentators seemed pretty liberal with praise for him. J. Brown..looked good to me…shrug. Hawthorne’s injury made him impossible to evaluate but I liked the pick.

    I hope Arnfelt, McFAdden, Ta’amu, Baxter, and Hawthorne are part of our PS.

  • Intropy

    Several moves here are really confusing.

    1. Baxter outplayed Carter. Why keep Carter over him? The only way that makes any sense is if Baxter makes it to the PS. But then all you’ve done is managed to keep around Carter. Oh, boy!

    2. Ta’amu outplayed Fangupo by a wide margin and is five years younger as well. Why on Earth did Fangupo make the 53 and Ta’amu didn’t. I could maybe understand cutting both, but this is weird.

    3. Curtis Brown has been terrible. Why is his name not on that list? We hope Hawthorne is better, but we know Victorian is.

    4. I thought McFadden had a pretty nice camp. It’s true that several young ILBs looked good, but I thought he looked like the best of the bunch.

    • Randy Steele

      Disagree that Ta-amu outplayed Fangupo. And that Ta’ amu wasn’t signed to the practice squad isn’t surprising either. With McClendon and Fangupo on the roster, what’s the point of keeping a third nose tackle, which is usually only a two-down position? And don’t forget that Al Woods has played nose tackle, too.

      McFadden may be re-signed yet, so I’ll hang fire about that decision.

      Curtis Brown has a very good record on special teams. Hawthorne not only didn’t make the final 53, he wasn’t signed to the practice squad either.

      Baxter > Carter? I agree based on what we saw this preseason, but I trust the Steelers’ defensive coaches. They don’t get many of these types of choices wrong.

      I don’t understand today’s other news: Malecki was cut in favor of C/G Cody Wallace, about whom no one seems to know anything. And while I trust the Steelers’ defensive coaches, the offensive coaches have yet to prove themselves infallible, to say the least.

      • Intropy

        Ta’amu didn’t outplay Fangupo by a little. He outplayed him by a lot. One guy is playing better now, has the better measurables, the better college resume, the better upside, has more experience learning your system, is five years younger, and costs the same. That’s not exactly a hard decision. The only conceivable way this makes sense is if the offseason fiasco weights heavily in their estimation, in which case Ta’amu had zero chance so why bother with him in the preseason at all? Either that or Ta’amu has looked absolutely putrid off camera with Fangupo playing like a beast. I hope it’s that last one, but that seems unlikely.

        McFadden could be resigned. I guess I’m more surprised by that than confused. The young ILBs played well as a group.

        Yeah Brown played well on special teams. But he’s in a position where he’s going to be put in on defense. ANd he’s showed himself to be a pretty big liability there. And that’s when he goes against second teamers. I know we need to put someone in this spot. But yikes! Still have Crezdon Butler’s phone number?

        I trust the Steelers defensive coaches to some degree. But I think they’ve shown a propensity for keeping the experienced but poor player around over a better inexperienced player. The devil you know and all that. But I don’t think that’s a particularly wise way to go. You have to take chances sometimes, and when the risk is losing a poor player at a depth position that’s the ideal time to take that gamble.

        So I “get” what reasons are potentially lurking behind most of these even where I disagree with those admittedly guessed-at reasons. But man, that Ta’amu/Fangupo thing. That’s the one that makes no sense at all.

        • Rob D

          No offense, but you are the ONLY person I’ve come across who thinks Ta’amu had a great camp. Most observers were saying the opposite and that FAngupo’s appearance in the OT of the KC game spoke volumes..
          My resume doesn’t include “keen observer of all things NT” BTW.

          • Intropy

            That’s good the hear. I hadn’t heard much about the camp in either way. I live 2,500 miles away so I’ve never had a real opportunity to see a camp in person, though I’d love to visit one.

            I was basing that statement solely on the plays I saw in the preseason games. I don’t know if anyone can put “keen observer of all things NT” without also putting “x-ray vision” there too. Lot of big bodies in the way pretty much all the time.

          • Rob D

            Cool…Ihave nothing against either one of those guys. Someone pointed out to me that Ta’amu and Fangupo (sounds like a Ringling Brothers act!) were essentially competing for the third string spot behind McClendon and Al Woods. I had never considered Al …o well..strange things going on with the roster this year. I had to check twice that it was the STeelers adding and subtracting punters, practice squad CB’s etc. I think they must be as scared of our ST”s as WE are…lol

          • Intropy

            Good point not many.

            Urbik, Hope, Poteat, Vrabel, and Woodson are the only recent ones who come to mind.

        • Cols714

          This may seem like it’s true, however what players have the Steelers cut that have come back to bite them? I can’t think of any really.

  • Cols714

    Nothing odd about the cuts. The only weird thing was not signing Hawthorne to the PS. I figured for sure he’d be there. Oh well.

    • Rob D

      Yep..me too.He was/is an intriguing talent.

      Apparently, he and Eddie B. had some kind of exchange where the kid denied he was on the bubble..Eddie tweeted that a player who was injured and has had limited snaps should KNOW he’s on the bubble. Maybe that’s part of the problem with him…who knows? Lake seemed to go out of his way to praise Terry. so I figured he was at least PS material. Probably every player on that PS can play ST’s…maybe he didn’t make the grade there.

      McFadden just went to Oakland…Ta’amu is in Pittsburgh West..what a surprise!

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Blake is 5’9″. Maybe he can ask Zoltan to make him Big.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning