<
>

Pittsburgh Steelers cut 20 players, including RB Josh Harris

RB Josh Harris was plagued in camp by nagging injuries and ended up being cut by the Steelers. AP Photo/Don Wright

Most significant move: If you watched Josh Harris run early in training camp, then today’s news is at least a mild surprise. He looked explosive. But multiple minor injuries kept him out of the lineup, and he didn’t do enough in two preseason games (49 yards on 22 carries) to warrant a spot. He’s also didn’t impress in pass protection. The Steelers now consider Will Johnson the backup running back/H-back, with Roosevelt Nix the fullback and Dri Archer the change-of-pace running back/receiver/kick returner. That left Harris out in the cold.

Revolving door at center: The signing of Doug Legursky in late August was a nice storyline for the former Steeler who played in the 2011 Super Bowl. Today, he’s gone. The Steelers will ride with Cody Wallace and combo guard/center Chris Hubbard while hoping Maurkice Pouncey makes a miraculous recovery from lower leg surgery. This could be painful unless Wallace holds up. Pouncey will likely be added to short-term injured reserve after the league’s 4 p.m. deadline for roster cuts, meaning he can return for the second half of the year. Looks like the Steelers will ride with three tackles -- Kelvin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert, swing tackle Alejandro Villanueva -- and lead guards David DeCastro and Ramon Foster.

Steelers love their draft picks: Seventh-round safety Gerod Holliman was the only draft pick to be released. He could stick somewhere because of his ball skills. Overall, seven of eight picks stay on the roster for now, with second-round corner Senquez Golson on injured reserve. Sixth-round defensive end L.T. Walton was hardly a lock, but the Steelers needed depth behind Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. Sixth-rounder Anthony Chickillo did enough in training camp to stay as the fifth outside linebacker. He didn’t produce any splash plays in games. Still, the Steelers like him.

What’s next: Put the champagne away. This bottom half of the roster is probably set in sand, as evidenced by today’s signing of cornerback Ross Cockrell. The league cuts hundreds of players around the league, some with the chance to impact other rosters. Just consider the defensive linemen available -- Darnell Dockett, Louis Nix, Da’Quan Bowers. The Steelers could explore linemen depth, which means watch for Cam Thomas, who is due $2 million this year. Thomas played in the preseason finale as if getting cut wasn’t in his plans. That’s a good thing. He’s still got to get through the weekend. The Steelers are likely done with corner depth; they’ll go into New England with six corners.

Steelers cuts: RB Jawon Chisholm, RB Josh Harris, DL Matt Conrath, DL Ethan Hemer, DL Mike Thornton, S Jordan Dangerfield, S Alden Darby, S Gerod Holliman, OL Reese Dismukes, OL B.J. Finney, C Doug Legursky, OL Kelvin Palmer (waived/injured), OL Mitchell Van Dyk (waived/injured), CB Kevin Fogg, CB B.W. Webb, LB L.J. Fort, LB Shayon Green, LB Howard Jones, WR Shakim Phillips, WR Jarrod West.