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Buy Or Sell: OLB Quincy Roche Will Make The 53-Man Roster

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With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason well underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: Outside linebacker Quincy Roche will make the 53-man roster.

Explanation: The addition of Markus Golden at outside linebacker was huge for depth, but that muddies the waters behind the top three at the position. That Roche is the most experienced of that group doesn’t say much for him, and the Steelers just drafted a fourth-round pick in Nick Herbig. They only keep four outside linebackers at least as often as they carry five, and Roche already knows what it’s like to miss the cut.

Buy:

One thing that will help Quincy Roche’s bid to make the 53-man roster is the simple fact that Nick Herbig’s position is somewhat nebulous. While he is working and training right now to be an outside linebacker, that could change in time.

Or perhaps the Steelers opt not to settle him into only one position. Perhaps he ends up being that ninth linebacker, both the fifth outside linebacker and the fifth inside linebacker. That leaves enough room for Roche to work himself in.

A former sixth-round pick, he did play well during his rookie preseason even though he missed the cut. He did have a few sacks during his time with the New York Giants in 2021, logging over 400 defensive snaps, but he only saw six snaps last season.

Sell:

The Quincy Roches of the NFL are a dime a dozen. The Steelers had two of them last year in Malik Reed and Jamir Jones, the latter of whom was the player the Steelers chose to keep back in 2021 instead of Roche. And then Jones was replaced by another ‘like’ player in Derrek Tuszka, who then was replaced by Jones again.

Maybe this year’s Roche—or Jones, or Reed, or Ola Adeniyi, or Tuzar Skipper—won’t be anybody we’ve already named, but perhaps somebody like David Perales, one of the Steelers’ rookie college free agents.

While the team has mentioned Herbig’s potential ability to play inside, as well, they ultimately drafted him based on his play on the edge in college, and that’s where he’s working. And he’s got a guy in his corner in Markus Golden, who knows what it takes to make it in the NFL at his size.

On top of that, this Steelers roster is one of the deepest it’s had in years, and unfortunately for Roche, his special teams resume is not extensive. The odds are very strong that the ninth linebacker will be an inside guy who plays on special teams. And they have a lot of other positions where they’ll want to keep an extra guy.

Chances are Roche would make it to the practice squad. I know we said that in 2021, but he’s been in the league for two years now. Teams know who he is and they’re not banging down his door.



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