Steelers Notebook: Tomlin must make first wave of cuts tomorrow
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Last night was the final game for at least 10 players on the Steelers' 85-man roster.
Coach Mike Tomlin must pare his roster to 75 by 4 p.m. tomorrow, as does every other NFL coach.
Tomlin said after the game that he will make those 10 moves today.
The five exemptions the Steelers received for NFL Europa players expire tomorrow.
This is the first year teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players on the first cut; previously it was 65.
That makes the second and final cut (Saturday) the most difficult, when teams must reduce their rosters to 53 players. Each team can add eight players to its practice squad Sunday.
Often there are surprise cuts when a new coach takes over, and it may be no different for the Steelers. None are likely to come tomorrow, but some veterans could go Saturday.
"We've been straightforward with the men about what we intend to do in that regard," Tomlin said.
"They've accepted it and they understand that decisions are going to be made based on performance. Hopefully, somewhere along those lines, they appreciate that, and I'm sure that they do."
Tomlin has one more game to evaluate those on the bubble, those players on the edge of either making it or getting cut.
In fact, the first teams will see little action Thursday night in the final exhibition against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.
It's a chance for those players on the edge to show why they should be kept.
"Really, I'm looking for, from them, what I'm looking for from everybody, and that's that they continue to grow in terms of their game, technically, levels of execution," Tomlin said.
"We have to continue to grow. We're a developing football team, and they're developing men. Whether they're been-there-done-that guys or whether they're guys on the bubble, it really doesn't matter.
"Every time we go out and play in the stadiums on weekends, we're looking to keep it moving forward in terms of being a finished product."
Capizzi makes big impression
One of those players not likely to make the 53-man roster -- barring injury-- is rookie tackle Jason Capizzi. He has made an impression in camp and has shown he knows his way around left tackle -- something others have failed to do.
It appears, however, that he is headed toward the Steelers' practice squad unless another team claims him off waivers.
At 6 feet 9, 315 pounds, Capizzi is an intriguing prospect who is not quite ready. He played at Pine-Richland High School and spent a year as a redshirt at Pitt before transferring to IUP, where he started the past three years.
"Jason's been working well, and he's been progressing," Tomlin said.
"Of course, the speed of the game and things of that nature for him -- not only because he's a rookie but the level of competition that he competed against -- have been a factor. I think he's made a good representation of what he's capable of.
"We'll continue to evaluate him. He's a prospect, but it's some distance between him and some of the names we've been mentioning in terms of the quality of their execution at this point. But we acknowledge he's a young guy. We like the way he works."
The Steelers did not dress two players last night, both injured -- defensive end Derrick Jones (calf) and tight end Jerame Tuman (back).
The Steelers had three sacks in the first half and another in the second.
There was one by Clark Haggans, Ike Taylor and a shared one by James Farrior and Troy Polamalu in the first half.
Rookie LaMarr Woodley had his second sack of the preseason in the second half.
First Published August 26, 2007 11:51 pm