Most often, a player is waived during the season because he has failed to meet expectations in some way, either on the field or off the field. That was not the case with
Gibson, the team’s No. 4 draft pick from Ohio State, was waived in the back end of the move that added defensive lineman
Adding McLendon was made necessary by the injury to
That meant McLendon had to be added to the 53-man roster this week, and that meant Tomlin had a difficult decision to make.
Tomlin is not a coach prone to lavishing praise on rookies who haven’t done anything yet in the NFL, but a hint of what he thought of the team’s 2010 draft class was found in how many were kept on the 53-man roster coming out of the preseason.
The Steelers made 10 draft picks last April. Eight were on that initial 53-man roster, and a ninth –
Butler plays cornerback, and there is no such thing in the NFL as having too many cornerbacks. Dwyer came on late in the preseason and showed himself to be a running back with potential, and the Steelers are a team that believes in running the football.
And finally, at this time in the NFL calendar, every player who is cut – even vested veterans – are subject to the league’s waiver system. That means if a player is cut and a team puts in a claim, that player must either go to that team or retire.
Earlier in the season when the Steelers needed a player at a specific position for the upcoming game, they released veteran quarterback
“Linebacker is our deepest position,” said Tomlin, “and (Gibson) is the low man on the totem pole, so we had to make that necessary move. We were thin at defensive line. It’s just one of the casualties of this profession. It’s very much a reality, and that’s why we don’t take what we’re doing here for granted and we acknowledge that it’s precious.”