LATROBE, Pa. – It has been released because the NFL requires one in advance of the preseason, and it can change in an instant because that’s just the nature of things at this stage of the process.
With that in mind, the Steelers have released their first depth chart of 2014, and mostly it serves as confirmation of what already is known.
On offense, Markus Wheaton
is listed as the starting wide receiver opposite Antonio Brown
, with the rest of the starters on that unit being exactly as expected.
Staying with the receivers, Lance Moore
is listed as the primary backup to Wheaton, and Justin Brown
is the primary backup to Antonio Brown. Based on this, it would appear that as of the issuing of this initial depth chart Justin Brown is currently the team’s No. 4 receiver.Darrius Heyward-Bey
and then Martavis Bryant
are behind Justin Brown, and Derek Moye
and Kashif Moore
are behind Lance Moore.
Along the offensive line, the backups are Mike Adams
at left tackle, Chris Hubbard
at left guard, Cody Wallace
at center, Bryant Browning
at right guard, and Guy Whimper
at right tackle.Michael Palmer
is the No. 3 tight end, behind Heath Miller
and Matt Spaeth
; LeGarrette Blount
is behind Le’Veon Bell at running back, with Dri Archer
currently No. 3 and Tauren Poole
No. 4. Will Johnson
is listed as the starting fullback, even though he has been spending the bulk of his time this camp working with the tight ends.
The starting 11 on defense is the same group that opened minicamp, with rookie Ryan Shazier
at inside linebacker next to Lawrence Timmons
, and Mike Mitchell
as the starting free safety despite being on the physically unable to perform list.
Rookie Stephon Tuitt
is Cam Heyward’s backup at one defensive end spot, with Brian Arnfeldt behind Cam Thomas
at the other end. Hebron Fangupo
is listed as the No. 2 nose tackle on this initial depth chart behind Steve McLendon
is listed behind Shazier at the LILB position, with Sean Spence
at No. 3 there. Terence Garvin
is behind Timmons, with rookie Jordan Zumwalt
the No. 3 at that spot. Chris Carter
, behind starter Jason Worilds
at LOLB, and Arthur Moats
, behind Jarvis Jones
at ROLB, are the backups at outside linebacker.
At cornerback, it’s William Gay
behind Cortez Allen
at LCB and Brice McCain
behind Ike Taylor
at RCB. Antwon Blake
is third at LCB, and Isaiah Green
is third at RCB. As for the safety positions, Shamarko Thomas
is listed as the No. 2 strong safety behind Troy Polamalu
, with Will Allen
as the No. 2 free safety behind Mitchell, which explains why Allen lines up with the starters instead of Thomas as Mitchell continues to work his way back from the PUP list.
At punter, Adam Podlesh
and Brad Wing
are listed as co-starters. Archer is the kickoff returner, with Antonio Brown as the punt returner. Archer is No. 2 at punt returner, and Wheaton is No. 2 at kickoff returner.
The Steelers’ preseason opener will be against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 9, and the next week’s depth chart could include some changes based on what happens that night.