Steelers assemble their practice squad

The Steelers signed eight players to their practice squad Sunday afternoon, including wide receiver Justin Brown, a sixth-round draft pick last April, and outside linebacker Alan Baxter.

Here is a breakdown of the players added to the practice squad:

RB: Alvester Alexander. WR: Justin Brown. OL: Chris Hubbard, Joe Long. DL: Brian Arnfelt. LB: Alan Baxter, Terence Garvin. DB: Devin Smith.

Some quick thoughts:

  • The finalization of the 53-man roster and the practice squad means all but one of the Steelers' nine draft picks in 2013 made the team in some capacity. The Steelers cut ties with fifth-round pick Terry Hawthorne, instead adding cornerback Devin Smith to the practice squad.

  • The Steelers have to be happy that they were able to sign Baxter to their practice squad. The undrafted rookie stood out during training camp and consistently got to the quarterback in preseason games. Baxter did this while making the transition from defensive end, the position he played at Northern Illinois, to outside linebacker.

  • Brian Arnfelt is another one who played his way onto the Steelers if only the practice squad for now. The undrafted rookie out of Northwestern showed a lot of promise, and he is still learning the nuances of playing end in a 3-4 defense.

  • The Steelers return to practice Monday following a three-day weekend. Captains will be selected Monday, and my guesses are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive end Brett Keisel and safety Ryan Clark. Kicker Shaun Suisham is also a possibility.