Tomlin takes advantage of versatility

September, 8, 2013
9/08/13
12:25
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are only dressing seven offensive linemen and five defensive linemen for their season opener against the visiting Titans.

The move is a bit of a surprise since coach Mike Tomlin usually dresses an extra defensive lineman early in the season because of the heat and humidity. Defensive end Al Woods, however, can also play nose tackle, allowing the Steelers to make Hebron Fangupo one of their seven inactives for the 1 p.m. game.

Kelvin Beachum’s versatility, meanwhile, is the reason the Steelers didn’t dress an eighth offensive lineman. Beachum can play every position on the offensive line. He also could see the field today as a sixth lineman/eligible receiver.

I’m a little surprised that the Steelers did not dress No. 3 quarterback Landry Jones. I think it’s always a risk to go into any game with two quarterbacks, but the Steelers' inactives reflect Tomlin’s determination to get his best special-teams players into uniform.

That explains why five safeties are suiting up for the Steelers, who were shaky on special teams during the preseason.

The Steelers also dressed five wide receivers, and Derek Moye will make his NFL debut not far from where he grew up in Rochester.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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