There are some familiar faces back at the Steelers practice facility after the team signed safety Will Allen on Thursday and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on Wednesday.
Allen spent the last three seasons with the Steelers, but signed with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason as a free agent. Allen started the first two games of the season for the Cowboys, posting nine tackles through five games and one interception.
"I am very grateful to be back," said Allen. "It was tough to leave. I am grateful to come back and be around such a wonderful group of people. That's what it's about."
Allen, in his 10th NFL season, is hoping to bring something to the table as the team searches for their first win of the season this week against the New York Jets.
"I want to bring some experience to a young group of special teams guys and help on the secondary when need be," said Allen. "I don't know if I am the answer, but I just want to contribute and give the best effort I can."
Sylvester, one of the team's fifth-round draft picks in 2010, was waived on Aug. 25 when the team got down to the mandatory 75 players. He said he has been working out, keeping in shape while waiting to get a shot with a team.
"It feels great," said Sylvester. "It was tough (getting cut). It was surprising at the time. It's was tough but you have to know it's a business and take it as it is.
"It feels like I haven't seen these guys in three years. It's a great feeling. I have been around here the last three years and to go away and come back, it's good to see all of the guys again. I can't wait until Sunday."
Sylvester said he has followed the team and knows what has been happening, but watching games has been another story.
"I tried to watch the first game and I couldn't do it," said Sylvester. "I haven't watched since. It was extremely hard. You miss the game. You know what the guys that retire from it go through. It's tough. The game of football is more than the money that a lot of people look at. It's meaningful to everyone. I really found that out when I got released."
Like Allen, Sylvester wants to do whatever he can to help turn around the Steelers 0-4 start.
"I hope to bring some energy," said Sylvester. "It's been frustrating. Some things haven't gone right from what I have seen. Hopefully I can bring some enthusiasm and make some plays that hopefully that get some wins on the board."
To make room on the roster for both players, the Steelers placed safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith on the waived/injured list and released linebacker Kion Wilson.