Steelers training camp preview: Breaking down the offense
No. 7, 6-5, 240 | The 37-year-old Roethlisberger, entering his 16th season, is running out of time for his stated career goal of four Super Bowls. The reigning NFL passing leader continues to scale league all-time passing lists and is a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame, though.
No. 5, 6-3, 216 | Dobbs unexpectedly won the backup job over veteran Landry Jones last season, but he perhaps faces a bigger challenge keeping it this year against the more highly drafted Mason Rudolph.
No. 2, 6-5, 235 | After a year in the pros, Rudolph is on more equal footing with Dobbs in their competition for the No. 2 spot.
No. 6, 6-1, 210 | Hodges was the NCAA Division I passing leader at Samford last season, and he made the Steelers as a rookie camp tryout. But he faces long odds because of his height and lack of arm strength.
No. 30, 6-2, 233 | Conner again proved doubters wrong last year with a Pro Bowl season in his first extended NFL action, easing the sting of the loss of Le’Veon Bell. Can Conner do it again? A lucrative contract extension might be at stake.
No. 38, 6-0, 225 | Samuels showed he could be relied on as a featured back with his 142 rushing yards during a December win against New England. It will be interesting to see how he’s deployed this season.
No. 24, 5-10, 224 | Snell accumulated 3,873 rushing yards and 48 rushing touchdowns during three years in the SEC at Kentucky. An old-school back, the Steelers perhaps envision him for a short-yardage role to complement Conner.
No. 45, 5-11, 248 | Nix enters Year 5 as the Steelers fullback and special-teams dynamo, though he might have competition for the former role from Samuels or Sutton Smith. Only eight current players have been on the 53-man roster longer than Nix.
No. 33, 6-2, 223 | Edmunds, the older brother of Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, was signed to the practice squad early last season and made the active roster by December. He was a special teamer as a rookie for New Orleans in 2017.
No. 40, 5-10, 200 | Like Snell, Webb produced in the SEC: 4,178 career rushing yards for Vanderbilt. He spent time on the practice squad of three teams last season and has been with the Steelers since December.
No. 35, 6-0, 209 | Once a highly recruited quarterback, McMillian recorded 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Virginia Tech and Colorado. He has intriguing athleticism.
No. 39, 6-3, 221 | A bruising back, Williams was buried on the depth chart at Louisville. He had only 67 carries as a senior after two seasons in junior college. He spent last year’s training camp with the Falcons.
No. 19, 6-1, 215 | Smith-Schuster’s meteoric rise over about a 14-month span from late 2017 until Antonio Brown’s trade request in January has culminated with massive expectations for his third NFL season. A productive one would result in an equally massive contract extension in 2020.
No. 11, 6-2, 216 | The veteran was signed as something of an insurance policy to be the No. 2 WR if none of the team’s talented young pass-catchers pan out. Worst-case scenario is he provides quality depth. Moncrief will get to work with a top QB for the first time since 2014.
No. 13, 5-11, 213 | It’s fair to say Washington was one of the Steelers’ bigger disappointments last season. That might be in part because unrealistic expectations were heaved upon him, but the Steelers are hopeful for a Year 2 breakout.
No. 10, 5-8, 185 | Acquired via a late-August trade, Switzer filled a variety of roles last season: punt returner, kickoff returner, slot receiver, third-down back and safety valve in the passing game. Will he maintain all of those roles this season?
No. 17, 5-10, 187 | A torn ACL limited Rogers to three games last season. In 2016, he showed he could be an effective slot receiver (48 catches), but he slipped to 18 catches in 2017. Can he again show that early form?
No. 18, 5-10, 183 | Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Steelers’ draft was taking Johnson high in the third round with a pick they acquired in the Brown deal. The comparisons to Brown are many, but Johnson has a long way to go to make an impact this season.
No. 80, 6-3, 190 | The Steelers declined to re-sign Darrius Heyward-Bey after five seasons with the team, and Holton was brought in as something of a clone. He’s fast and an accomplished “gunner” on special teams.
No. 82, 5-8, 170 | A CFL All-Star the past two seasons who set a league record for all-purpose yards in a game (496), Spencer turned heads during OTAs and minicamp. He will be an intriguing player to watch in the preseason to see if his skills translate against NFL talent.
No. 14, 6-2, 225 | Jones has good size and speed, and he has a full year of experience within the Steelers system via their practice squad. He has flashed playmaking ability in the preseason, but the wide receivers depth chart is daunting.
No. 15, 6-3, 192 | Griffey, the son of MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., has a similar profile to Jones. Griffey’s second NFL training camp in 2018 was enough to earn a spot on the Steelers practice squad.
No. 89, 6-4, 267 | Now the unquestioned No. 1 tight end, McDonald is coming off a career year in which he stayed relatively healthy, something that had bogged down his career in the past. McDonald is a sleeper for a big receiving season.
No. 85, 6-4, 261 | Grimble slides up into the TE2 role after Jesse James’ departure. That’s potentially huge for Grimble as he enters his contract year. However, he must show enough in camp to dissuade the Steelers from acquiring another veteran.
No. 81, 6-8, 265 | After Grimble, there is a precipitous drop-off in experience at tight end. The Steelers took Gentry in the fifth round of the draft for a reason, but the former QB has played only three years at the position (all in college) and just one as a starter.
No. 87, 6-4, 250 | A Pine-Richland alum who played at Youngstown State, Rader is a blocking tight end who had 41 catches in college and hopes to show enough to nab an available roster spot.
No. 49, 6-9, 274 | A former pro rugby player from London, Scotland-Williamson is in his second year of a roster exemption for the Steelers under the International Player Pathway program. He has worked hard to improve over his time in Pittsburgh.
No. 88, 6-6, 265 | Also listed as a long snapper, Wood’s focus is at tight end after a college career at Arizona (2014-17) and Texas A&M (2018) in which he caught 11 passes for 80 yards.
No. 53, 6-4, 304 | Pouncey likely is on track for a bust in Canton if he stays healthy. The center turns 30 this week, and he already has been named to seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro teams. Pouncey signed a two-year contract extension this spring.
No. 66, 6-5, 316 | DeCastro is on a similar track as Pouncey. DeCastro is 29 and has three first- or second-team All-Pro selections at right guard. Last season, he missed time because of injury for the first time since his rookie season in 2012.
No. 73, 6-5, 328 | This will be Foster’s 12th season, most of which as the starting left guard. The only players who have been with Pittsburgh pro sports teams longer are named Roethlisberger, Crosby, Malkin and Letang.
No. 67, 6-4, 318 | Finney is one of the NFL’s highest-paid backup interior offensive linemen. That likely won’t be the case next season since he is due to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. A strong year could earn him a big contract elsewhere.
No. 62, 6-3, 300 | Morris spent all of last season on the practice squad, the next man up on the center depth chart. He could be poised to inherent the No. 2 role from Finney in 2020, assuming Morris can hold off challengers.
No. 60, 6-2, 295 | A top center recruit who went to Alabama, Hassenauer was mostly a backup for the perennial national title contenders. But he spent several months with the Falcons last year and was a starter in the AAF in the spring. He could push Morris.
No. 74, 6-7, 326 | A mammoth rookie guard out of Florida, Johnson is the type of high-ceiling raw prospect the Steelers are drawn to. Even with position coach Mike Munchak gone, Johnson has potential. But he has to show enough at camp to earn a spot.
No. 68, 6-4, 302 | An undrafted rookie from LSU, Brumfield was rated the No. 1 guard in the country coming out of high school, so the raw talent is there. Brumfield is a strong candidate to make the practice squad.
No. 78, 6-9, 320 | Villanueva is one of the Steelers’ greatest success stories in developing unheralded talent. This will be his fifth season as the starter at left tackle, and he has made two Pro Bowls. Another strong season will earn Villanueva a lucrative extension next year.
No. 71, 6-6, 330 | Feiler has the inside track to take over the starting right tackle job on a permanent basis; he started 10 games there last season after injuries to Marcus Gilbert. Feiler also would be in line for a big-money contract if he seizes the gig and performs well.
No. 76, 6-6, 320 | Okorafor was taken in the third round of last year’s draft, and nothing during his rookie season suggested that was a mistake. But if he doesn’t beat out Feiler, Okorafor becomes a man without a defined role. It’s likely Okorafor serves as the swing tackle in 2019.
No. 65, 6-6, 305 | Hawkins has lost two of his first three NFL seasons to injury, and suddenly he’s entering the final year of a rookie contract signed as a fourth-round pick in 2016. Even if he has a strong camp, it might not be enough to leap Feiler or Okorafor.
No. 72, 6-8, 360 | In a telling sign of how much potential the Steelers see in Banner, they kept him on their 53-man roster all of last season. But offensive tackle is a crowded and deep position for the Steelers, so barring injury, it’s tough to see where Banner fits in.
No. 77, 6-4, 320 | A seventh-round pick who was Maryland’s starting left tackle for 2½ seasons, Gray took practice reps at both tackle and guard spots during OTAs and minicamp. That suggests the Steelers envision a super-utility backup role for Gray.
No. 64, 6-3, 280 | Gray’s longtime friend and teammate, Prince was signed off a tryout as an undrafted rookie after starting for 3½ years at right tackle for Maryland. A former five-star recruit out of high school, Prince practiced exclusively at guard over the summer.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .