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Saturday, August 31, 2013
Pittsburgh Steelers cut-down analysis

By Scott Brown

Most significant move: The Steelers parted ways with Jonathan Dwyer, their leading rusher in 2012 and a player who looked like he would get a lot of carries for the first part of this season with Le'Veon Bell (foot) out and Isaac Redman hampered by a stinger. I thought the Steelers might keep an extra running back with Bell sidelined but injuries at tight end did not allow them to do that. The release of Dwyer is a signal that Redman will be fine for the regular-season opener and that the Steelers held him out of the last two preseason games as a precaution. It also shows they are comfortable with the smaller Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling complementing Redman, a power back, in the running game.

Unbalanced offense: The Steelers kept five receivers, including local product Derek Moye as their No. 5 wideout. Their 53-man roster also includes five tight ends, and they didn't have many other options than to keep that many players at the position. Heath Miller (knee) has been activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list but he won't be ready for the start of the regular season. The Steelers also didn't want to use their one exemption for the short-term injured-reserve list on Matt Spaeth (foot), which is why Michael Palmer joined David Johnson and David Paulson on the 53-man roster.

What's next: The Steelers, like every other team, will scour the waiver wire tonight to see if any available players can help them. It wouldn't surprise me if they look to bolster their depth along the offensive line, and Steelers fans are no doubt aware that Max Starks, the team's starting left tackle in 2012, was among those released by the Chargers. The Steelers kept only four cornerbacks, so they could be looking for help there. Teams are allowed to start signing players to their practice squad Sunday afternoon, and that is -- and should be -- a priority for the Steelers. There are a handful of developmental players, such as outside linebacker Alan Baxter, that I'm sure they would love to sign to their practice squad. And given the inevitability of injuries, they are going to need contributions from practice-squad players at some point during the season.

Players cut: RB: Jonathan Dwyer, Alvester Alexander; WR: Justin Brown, Reggie Dunn, Kashif Moore; TE: Jamie McCoy, Nathan Overbay; OL: Mike Golic Jr., Joe Long, Chris Hubbard, Joe Madsen; DL: Alameda Ta'amu, Brian Arnfelt; LB: Marshall McFadden, Alan Baxter, Brian Rolle, Terence Garvin; DB: Terry Hawthorne, Josh Victorian, Ross Ventrone, Devin Smith; P: Brian Moorman.