Ladarius Green, Sean Davis angle for starting jobs with Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers open training camp July 28 at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Here's a starting lineup projection:


Quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger): A 12-year veteran, he holds a 113-56 career record and enters the season five yards short of 43,000 passing yards.

Running back (Le'Veon Bell): Bell, one of the game's best all-around tailbacks, was averaging nearly 100 rushing yards per game before suffering a knee injury in Week 8.

Fullback (Roosevelt Nix): The Steelers still use a traditional fullback, and Nix is the only fullback on the current roster. He's safe.

Receiver (Antonio Brown): After setting an NFL record with 264 catches over a two-year span, Brown looks to maintain his place as the game's top receiver.

Receiver (Markus Wheaton): With 79 receiving yards per game in the final six weeks of 2015, Wheaton is a candidate for the Steelers' No. 2 receiver spot after Martavis Bryant's departure.

Tight end (Ladarius Green): The Steelers signed Green to a four-year, $20 million contract this offseason to become a new vertical threat up the middle of the field.

Left tackle (Alejandro Villanueva): He will battle veteran Ryan Harris for the starting left tackle spot and acquitted himself well in 10 starts in 2015.

Left guard (Ramon Foster): After consistent play spanning 87 starts, Foster earned a three-year contract worth $9.6 million this offseason.

Right guard (David DeCastro): DeCastro's All-Pro performance in 2015 is expected to earn him a hefty contract extension this offseason.

Right tackle (Marcus Gilbert): He has become an anchor on the line after flourishing at right tackle and getting in ideal shape.

Center (Maurkice Pouncey): Pouncey, a former Pro Bowl selection, hopes to regain his role as the offense's emotional leader after missing 31 games in the last three seasons.


Defensive end (Cam Heyward): He was probably the Steelers' most consistent performer on defense last season, finishing with 54 tackles and seven sacks.

Defensive end (Stephon Tuitt): Tuitt solidified a starting role with 6.5 sacks in 14 games, pairing with Heyward to form a formidable defensive front.

Nose tackle (Dan McCullers): He has made minimal impact in two seasons but has obvious strength at the line of scrimmage that intrigues coaches.

Outside linebacker (Bud Dupree): He hit a rookie wall with zero sacks in his final eight games, but has flashed enough ability to enter the season as the favorite to start.

Outside linebacker (Jarvis Jones): A former first-round pick, Jones enters a make-or-break season after the Steelers declined his fifth-year option.

Inside linebacker (Ryan Shazier): Shazier expects to make a sizable jump in his third season after 87 tackles and 3.5 sacks last year while showcasing elite athleticism.

Inside linebacker (Lawrence Timmons): The longest-tenured Steelers defender has started 110 games and recorded 867 tackles in nine seasons.

Cornerback (William Gay): Despite upgrades in the secondary in the past two drafts, Gay remains the team's key veteran at cornerback and signed a three-year deal to remain with the team.

Cornerback (Ross Cockrell): The Steelers drafted Artie Burns in the first round, but Cockrell has progressed well in this defense and, though probably a stopgap, has a good chance to start in Week 1.

Safety (Mike Mitchell): Coach Mike Tomlin has trust in Mitchell, who adds splash plays to the defense. He had three interceptions and two forced fumbles last year.

Safety (Sean Davis): A second-round pick, Davis will have competition with Shamarko Thomas and subpackage favorite Robert Golden, but Davis looks the part and plans to jump on this job early in camp.

Special teams

Kicker (Chris Boswell): Boswell made 26 of 29 field goals (89.6 percent) in his first full NFL season, easing concerns about the team losing veteran Shaun Suisham to a knee injury.

Punter (Jordan Berry): He averaged 42.6 yards per punt on 59 attempts as a rookie.

Long snapper (Greg Warren): Warren hasn't missed a regular season game since 2009 and re-signed with the Steelers in the offseason.