What’s the better Boot Camp Battle: starting position or roster spot?


The Pittsburgh Steelers have concluded all of their organized team activities for the 2022 offseason and have now entered the six-week “period of darkness” leading up to training camp. As fans patiently wait for their team to return to prepare for the upcoming season, there are many things to ponder and discuss.

A topic of discussion will be the many ongoing training camp battles with the Steelers in 2022. Rather than diving into the specific battles, I first wanted to raise the question of which battles are the most important, those of the players who fight for a starting position. Or those players fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster?

While I firmly believe that the answer “it depends on the battle” may be the best answer of all, sometimes it’s the names of the players and the stance they’re fighting in that means everything. For some, the battle for the third quarterback position may be more intriguing than the battle for the starting defensive lineman position. For others, who the Steelers start inside the offensive line may be far more important than the last linebacker on the roster.

But rather than being precise, this is just a general question knowing that there will be outliers in both cases. So, before making your final decision, which you may have already made, here is an argument in favor of each position:

The battle for startup

Ultimately, which players start and receive the majority of playtime is the most important battle of all. While there are positions where players always get snaps per rotation, there are plenty of others where the starter sees all the snaps and the reserve is there just in case. Players such as defensive secondary, offensive line, and quarterback are all positions where a player can play 100% of the snaps on his side of the ball in a given game. Since these are the players who will have the most impact on the outcome of each contest, the battle over who the starter has to be the most important.

The battle for the 53

Since these battles are specifically the ones that take place at Training Camp, just getting on the roster is more important. Players can gain or lose starting positions throughout the season depending on their production, but for a player to be in the mix, they must first make the roster. Even with the 16-man practice squad where players who show up just before roster battles often land, there’s no guarantee they’ll make it past waivers and still stay with the Steelers. In order for a player to first earn a helmet on game day, contribute on the field, and eventually be in line for a starting position, they must first be on the roster. Additionally, looking beyond the upcoming season and shaping the roster for the future is also a consideration as it is beneficial for Steelers players to grow while on the team. So while who eventually starts is noteworthy, the cart has to be put before the horse when it comes to getting every player on the roster for Week 1.

So there’s at least some of the argument why the Boot Camp battle type is the most intriguing. But what are your thoughts? Be sure to vote in the poll and leave your feedback in the comments below.


Which boot camp battles do you find the most intriguing?

  • 52%
    Battles for starting jobs

    (97 votes)

  • 47%
    Battles to make the roster

    (88 votes)

185 voices in total

Vote now


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