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Pittsburgh Steelers Return to Practice with Changes to Their Depth Chart

August 14th, 2013 at 11:46 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the practice field on Wednesday, starting preparations for their Monday Night match-up against the Washington Redskins. One player that was happy to back in the fold was second-round selection Le’Veon Bell, who is preparing for his first action after being held of the preseason opener due to knee discomfort.

'Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp 2010' photo (c) 2010, RJ Schmidt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Of the course, his return was met by multiple outside reports that moved Bell up the depth chart, even after missing the game. Prior to the match-up against the New York Giants, Bell appeared to be at least third on the depth chart, but after sub par performances from Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch, his position changed. He is now listed as the number one back, sharing the position with Isaac Redman, who started the preseason opener.

Of course, neither Dwyer nor Batch had a chance to run behind a solid offensive line. In fact, after watching the tape, that unit may not even be considered an adequate line. Complicating matters is the undisclosed knee injury suffered by Justin Cheadle during practice on Monday. While no player from the reserve offensive line was over-powering on Saturday, Cheadle was one of the more consistent performers.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the second (and third) offensive lines was the performances of the back-up veteran tackles that the Steelers signed this offseason, Guy Whimper and D'Anthony Batiste. Yes, neither of those veterans were expected to start this season, they were at least expected to be serviceable and at this point, even that is in doubt.

The Steelers still have a lot of questions that must be answered during camp, but none more important that what players will step up and join Kelvin Beachum as a solid back-up. If the does not happen, it will not matter who the running back is, if an injury happens to a starting lineman, the season will be over.

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Tags: Baron Batch, D’Anthony Batiste, Football, Guy Whimper, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Just Cheadle, Le'Veon Bell, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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