Pittsburgh, PA —
This preseason in the NFL has brought several players, new and old, together to create quite a funny experience for Steelers fans – trying to keep players’ names straight. In a fun piece, we take a look at some pairings that may help fans catch up. The names are all players’ last names.
Cortez Allen – This rookie is a defensive back and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Wearing the number “39” for the Steelers, Allen came from The Citadel. Currently, Cortez Allen is suffering from a hamstring injury.
Will Allen – In his eighth year in the NFL, Allen is also a defensive back (#26) – a safety. It may be that in the future you could see two Allens in the Steelers defensive backfield running down receivers.
Baron Batch – This rookie running back and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Wearing the number “35”, Batch came from Texas Tech and looked great in preseason training camp before being injured. While he was on the PUP list, the latest Steelers roster has him ready to go.
Charlie Batch – Although early jokes suggested that Baron Batch was Charlie’s son or relative, it isn’t true. Batch is a 14 year veteran quarterback (#16). Wouldn’t it be fun to hear an announcer say, “Batch hands off to Batch”?
Curtis Brown – This rookie defensive back out of the University of Texas (Longhorns) was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Assigned the number “40”, Brown was also injured during training camp, but is on the current roster as a defensive back.
Antonio Brown – In his second year out of Central Michigan, Antonio Brown (#84) has been making a loud statement at wide receiver in the preseason. He has had soft hands and is ready to be a scoring machine.
While both Steelers players with the last name of Greenwood are rookies, Brett Greenwood (Iowa) has also been assigned the number “35”. Brett plays safety. Eric Greenwood (Idaho) has been assigned number “8” and is a wide receiver. Try not to get the two confused when they leap in the air.
HARRIS – HARRISON
Yes, the last names are different, but when they are on the field, even announcers have trouble at times distinguishing which is which, especially in a pileup. To make it easier, we’ve broken it down.
Macho Harris – Given a great nickname, this third year player out of Virginia Tech has been assigned the number “31” and plays defensive back. In contrast, James Harrison, number “92”, is an eight year veteran and staple at the linebacker position for the Steelers. To make matters worse, if they hadn’t released him, the Steelers would have had offensive tackle Joshua Harrison in there as well.
David Johnson – This third year tight end has filled the vacancy left when Matt Spaeth left the Steelers earlier this year. He has looked strong and sometimes punishing in his blocking. He wears number “85”.
James Johnson – After playing with the Bengals last season, Johnson is a second year player at running back (#39).
Both of the Steelers’ McCoys are both have one year of experience, although neither of them saw much playing time in 2010. Chris McCoy is a linebacker from Middle Tennessee State (assigned number “46), and Jamie McCoy is a tight end from Texas A&M. Chris wore number “52” while playing with the Seattle Seahawks while Jamie played last year with the St. Louis Rams (#42).
Heath – One of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite targets, Heath Miller is arguably one of the most talented tight ends in the NFL. Wearing number “83”, watch for Miller to have an outstanding season in 2011.
Colin – This rookie from Central Michigan was picked up by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie. Assigned the number “54”, the center has some stiff competition for a starting spot on the final roster.
Mewelde – Typically used as a third-down running back, Moore (#21) showed some good moves in the second preseason game this year against the Philadelphia Eagles. The eight year veteran has his hands full with other running backs that would like to take the third-string position away from him.
Kenny – This third year veteran played his 2010 season with the Indianapolis Colts as a wide receiver. The Steelers have assigned him the number “18”. He has some good moves, but a lot of competition for a spot on the final roster due to the Steelers being relatively deep in the WR position.
SANDERS – SAUNDERS
Once again, the last names are different…but similar enough to be confusing when you’re watching the television screen or in the upper deck at Heinz Field. Emmanuel Sanders (#88) is a second year wide receiver who showed last season that he can go for the long ball. He had some trouble with a foot that required a procedure on it and has been limited in action, but when the season rolls around, he’ll be on the field again. Weslye Saunders was picked up as an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina and plays tight end. Saunders has been assigned the number “44” and has had some good moments in camp and the preseason.
Jonathan – The five year veteran tackle has been in and out of games in both 2010 and the 2011 preseason. He suffered an injury in the Eagles preseason game, but is going to be ok after hyperextending a knee. That is good news for the Steelers’ offensive line. He wears number “72”.
Chris – The second year player who played offensive tackle at Tennessee, strangely enough, may be seen more often as well. He has been assigned the number “61”.
Greg – The seven year veteran long snapper has no worries now that his competition, Derek Chard, has been released. He wears number “60”.
Donovan – With a single year of experience after playing cornerback at Michigan, Warren may have a shot at strengthening the Steelers’ defensive backfield. Unfortunately, he currently has a hip flexor injury.
Check out the photo slideshow so that you can make sure you know the difference between the players. It might keep you from embarrasing yourself when bragging to friends.
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