PITTSBURGH -- In the NFL, where secrecy is commonplace, the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking deception to another level. They're trying to cover up who's on their team, if only for one day.
The Steelers' final 22 cuts won't be announced until Saturday, when all NFL teams must firm up their rosters.
"I don't want to give the rest of the NFL 24 hours to look at our guys before they deliver theirs," Tomlin said. "We handled the paperwork, we're just going to hang onto the paperwork."
"From a business standpoint, it's not necessarily prudent to discuss those decisions publicly, to be quite honest," Tomlin said. "We've got another 24 hours here in which we can do some things, manipulate the bottom end of the roster if you will, or maybe even get potential (draft) picks for guys that we maybe think aren't going to be a part of it."
One area of concern is an inexperienced offensive line that could go into the season without a single backup who has any meaningful NFL playing time. The Steelers might be looking to add an experienced lineman who is cut by another team.
"I'm not comfortable, no, but I can't tell you I was comfortable a year ago, and we lost two starters in September and found a way to step up and deliver winning football," Tomlin said. "I'm not necessarily looking for comfort. Comfort is not something that comes with this job."
Despite the Steelers' subterfuge, most of their cuts are fairly predictable. Except, perhaps, for one.
Redman, an undrafted rookie from Bowie State, scored three of the Steelers' five rushing touchdowns during the preseason and had a team-leading 145 yards as the top goal-line runner.
If Redman is out, then fifth-round pick Frank "The Tank" Summers, who was injured most of camp, might be in. Summers did little to play his way onto the team, and Tomlin said last week that the former UNLV player needed to show more. Summers had one carry for four yards in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers.
Among those expected to be cut are fullback Carey Davis, who didn't play Thursday; former Penn State center A.Q. Shipley, a seventh-round draft pick; and linebacker Bruce Davis, a third-round draft pick last year. Carey Davis started 11 games for Pittsburgh in the last two seasons.
But don't look for any pregame rhetoric from Tomlin urging revenge for the towel tromping.
"What the '08 Steelers did is history, and it's no different than the '74-'75 Steelers as far as I'm concerned," Tomlin said. "I'm not going to concern myself with something (Titans running back) LenDale White did a year ago. I'm sure Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson did something that could be viewed as disgraceful back when he played for the Oilers (the forerunner of the Tennessee franchise, back in the 1970s)."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press