Pittsburgh Steelers players had four games to impress coaches and GM Kevin Colbert before the 53-man roster deadline. Training camp begins with 90 players, but only 53 can man a roster. Some significant cuts made by the Steelers after today’s 4 P.M. deadline were:
DT Joshua Frazier
Frazier was the Steelers seventh round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He played collegiate football at Alabama, where he played primarily as a back up and situational pass rusher. Current Steelers Defensive Line coach, Karl Dunbar, coached Frazier at Alabama during the 2016-2017 college football season. Dunbar praised Frazier after draft, but his praise wasn’t enough to help him make the 53-man roster. Frazier being cut is significant because he’s the only rookie out of this year’s draft not to make the team. It’s interesting considering that the Steelers didn’t consider developing him. Maybe Frazier will be a candidate for the practice squad, but for now he’s on the outside looking in. The current defensive tackles on the team are Javon Hargrave, Daniel McCullers, and LT Walton.
CB Brian Allen
Coming into the 2017 NFL Draft, it seemed as if Brian Allen had all the intangibles of being a shut down corner in the league. He’s 6’3, weighs 215 pounds, is long, and he comes from a competitive school in Utah. For some reason Allen’s physical intangibles never transferred over to the NFL. He played a lot with the third team defense during the preseason, so he had amble opportunity to impress, but he didn’t take advantage. Allen was initially drafted as a project player out of college, but the Steelers are in “win now” mode. Allen at least made the roses last year, which makes the release of Joshua Frazier even more shocking.
LB Keion Adams
The common theme of these cuts seem to be former picks that never panned out. Keion Adams is no exception. Adams, like Frazier, was a seventh round pick out of Western Michigan. He was drafted, like Allen, during the 2017 NFL Draft. Adams played with third and second team defenses during the preseason, and he played fairly well. He had a fumble recovery in the first preseason game, and in the final preseason game. Adams was showing glimpses as a pass rusher, especially considering how we was placed on injured reserve last year with a shoulder injury. Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler loves to blitz, so he expects for his pass rushers to be nasty and in the defenders face at all time. Adams was in defenders faces, but not enough to warrant a roster spot.
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
People may forget, but Fitzgerald Toussaint was the Steelers starting running back during much of the 2015-2016 playoff push. He played well enough to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in AFC wild card game, but fumbled and underperformed against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Playoff. Toussaint has battled for a roster spot on the Steelers since 2015, so it’s shocking to see him leave. He was a running back who ran hard, and he embraced the “next man up” attitude the coach Mike Tomlin preaches religiously.
This is my list of the most, but there are 10 practice team spots that any of these players could be signed to. The Steelers have until noon tomorrow to sign any of the players they’ve cut today.