Steelers Sign Ex-Bears Wide Receiver, Former Titans Defensive Tackle

Anthony Miller

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Anthony Miller of the Chicago Bears reacts to a fourth quarter catch against the Detroit Lions on November 28, 2019.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had several practice squad spots open up in recent days, thanks to wide receiver Cody White signing to the active roster and cornerback Mark Gilbert getting poached by the Detroit Lions.

The Steelers filled those holes by signing former Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots defensive tackle Isaiah Mack, as well as wide receiver Anthony Miller, a former second-round pick of the Chicago Bears who was drafted nine spots ahead of Steelers receiver James Washington in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Miller Has 11 NFL Touchdown Catches

Anthony Miller was a hyper-productive receiver in college at Memphis, producing 238 catches for 3,590 yards and 37 touchdowns in his 38-game college career. He’s been inconsistent since joining the pro ranks, but has delivered 139 receptions for 1,587 yards and 11 touchdowns in 39 NFL games.

He figures to compete with two other practice squad receivers to get a chance to contribute on game days, those being Tyler Vaughns, a rookie out of USC, and Steven Sims, a third-year pro from Kansas.

Notably, Miller had a visit with the Jaguars on Monday, and reports—including one by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network—indicated that he planned to sign with the Jaguars. Yet he left Jacksonville without consummating a deal and subsequent reports indicated that he had scheduled a visit with the Steelers. The situation reminded some fans of how Pittsburgh nose tackle Tyson Alualu reversed his decision to sign with the Jaguars in free agency this past spring, and came back to the Steelers instead.

Mack is a Former Moc

As for defensive tackle Isaiah Mack, he entered the NFL in 2019, signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee-Chattanooga. As a rookie, he appeared in 13 games for the Titans and recorded eight total tackles, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery, this according to Pro Football Reference.

In 2020 he played in six games for the Titans before being waived. He was subsequently claimed by the Patriots, who utilized him in two games. In February 2021 he signed a contract with the Denver Broncos, but was released during the final round of cuts on August 31.

Prior to entering the NFL Mack played in 48 games for the Chattanooga Mocs, making 32 starts. He finished his college career with 21 sacks, fourth all-time in school history.

The Steelers Released Eli Ankou

In one other bit of Steelers business from Tuesday, the team cut veteran defensive tackle Eli Ankou, who has played for both the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns. Ankou signed with the Steelers little more than a week ago, and with his release, Pittsburgh has just 15 players on its practice squad, so another signing could be just around the corner.

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Patriots Work Out Sean Davis, Titans Re-Sign Derwin Gray

Finally, two former Steelers were out and about early this week looking for work. According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, former Steelers safety Sean Davis had a tryout with the Patriots.

Davis, who was a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2016, was released by the Bengals earlier this month, having appeared in two games in a Cincinnati uniform. Actually, he started the 2021 campaign with the Indianapolis Colts, who signed him to a one-year contract in April but terminated his contract during the last week in August.

Meanwhile, the Titans had former Steelers seventh-round pick Derwin Gray in for a workout along with a half-dozen other players. Gray is not unfamiliar to the Titans. In fact, Tennessee claimed him on waivers in late August before signing him to the practice squad for a spell—and re-signing him to the practice squad today (October 12), this according to Joe Rexrode, senior writer for The Athletic in Nashville.

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